Friday, September 21, 2012

The Ghost Hunters ... A Time for Anger

By Reverend Mark Hunnemann

“Be angry and do not sin…” (Eph.4:26)

When I mention the TV show The Ghost Hunters, what thoughts or feelings does that show elicit in you? All things considered, I think anger is one of the most biblically appropriate. How quickly this bizarre new reality show back in 2004 has become old hat. Love it, hate it, or – worst of all for a Christian – be indifferent or dismissive. God forbid! Do we realize how electrifying these brushes with the supernatural are to millions of Americans who are hungry for spiritual reality? God forbid that I forget how I almost fell off the couch the first time I saw the show. God forbid that we ever become accustomed to what is profoundly disturbing, wrong, and cruel. Let me illustrate this insidious evil, and the need for righteous indignation, as well as confrontation.

Recently a new season, without Grant, began. Jay and crew went to Charleston to investigate the Old Jail. People, especially women, were being scratched on the tours, and the clients wanted to know who or what was behind the attacks, and if it was safe to stay open for business. During the investigation a young woman on the TV production crew, Hagar, was scratched repeatedly all over her body by the unseen presence, and she was understandably unnerved. Later during the reveal, Jay said that it was the worst attack in the eight years of the show. (It emphasizes in an unusually vivid fashion, the subjective and capricious nature of “ghost hunting” and the ensuing harmful consequences.) Jay got a triple scratch on his neck, as well. I just shook my head when Adam told the ghost (demon) to please leave her alone. At the reveal, Jay spoke candidly about Hagar, and it seemed he was actually going to be real for once regarding the danger. How could he not, given what had just happened? However, as if on cue, Amy pipes in, “No need to be worried . . . just make certain your visitors treat the ghosts with respect, and they will show respect back.” Yeeaaahhh! Another victory for the TAPS gang in putting a client at ease!

These people need to take a class on logic or critical thinking, because there is a glaring disconnect between Jay’s observations and Amy’s advice . . . which I’m quite sure was scripted. Hagar was simply walking through, as a tourist might, and she was attacked. Jay and Amy HAD to have discussed beforehand who was going to say what, and that is what angers me because their advice was foolish to the point of being cruel. At least before the arrival of TAPS, the client had the good sense to be concerned for his patrons, but now he lives with na├»ve optimism for their safety based on foolish advice. Also, at the reveal, Jay stated that many of these human spirits were deranged, based on their mental condition when alive. How does a deranged spirit suddenly acquire the ability to respond appropriately, even if treated with respect? I confess, I wanted to drop Jay after the reveal. That kind of anger is wrong, but certainly we should be angry about this show, and its many spin offs, because it is so thoroughly dishonoring to God, as well as harmful to everyone involved. The text in Ephesians 4:26 tells us to be righteously angry at the appropriate time (be angry and not sin).

If a medical doctor showed such recklessness they would be sued in a heartbeat for malpractice, as would a pest control professional if they gave similar advice. Those who believe in earthbound spirits cannot avoid giving an inaccurate diagnosis of the problem, as well as harmful advice. It has already occurred to tens of thousands of clients . . . all of whom are now living “comfortably” with demonic spirits.

As terrible as the temporal consequences are of Jay and Amy’s advice (folks getting scratched), think of the clients and the millions of viewers who saw this, and how their eternal destinies are being jeopardized? You may really dislike the show, but if you are a Christian you must not be indifferent, forgetful, or dismissive of this demonic madhouse.

Ghost Hunters symbolizes a water-shed issue for evangelical Christians regarding our belief in the inerrancy of the Bible. According to Webster’s Dictionary a watershed is “a dividing ridge between two drainage areas.” On this ridge, rain that falls on one side of the divide goes in one direction, and rain that hits just a few inches away, goes in an entirely different direction.  What good is it to claim to believe in the inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible, if we are not actively confronting this horrible deception of Satan? Confronting evil in all its manifestations in our culture (especially the most serious), is a watershed issue dividing evangelicals today, as Francis Schaeffer points out in The Great Evangelical Disaster.

The belief in earthbound spirits is so coercive and hostile to every doctrine in the Bible, that it is mis-shaping people’s worldviews on a massive scale. That is why it has become a litmus test for our belief in, and submission to, the authority of the Bible—a watershed issue. To say you are a follower of Christ, but believe in ghosts, means one of two things: you are either abysmally ignorant of the Bible, or you simply are not a Christian. Furthermore, professed Christians who know these spirits are really demonic, but are not confronting this issue, are accommodating this demonic deception . . . which makes you no different than those who embrace it. It has the same effect – it assists in the spread of the kingdom of darkness. I am tired of the lying heretics who carry the banner of evangelical Christianity, but who deny the authority of the Bible, by spreading a serious demonic lie. Some errors in belief are so coercive; they have titanic ramifications that ripple out to eternity.

Certainly we must confront in love, but we must confront . . . confront what Ghost Hunters has helped to popularize – the belief in ghosts. With each passing day, ever larger numbers of people are falling prey to this doctrine of demons. It is costly to confront . . . you will notice certain friends on Facebook either drift or run away from your “fanaticism.” But true believers seek to please God and not man, and when the Lord is dishonored they get righteously angry. This is a watershed issue . . . which side of the divide are you on?