By Reverend Mark Hunnemann
"For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:3-6)
"....so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his schemes." (2 Corinthians 2:11)
"...for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light." (2 Corinthians 11:14)
Last Friday night there was a special Dead Files in which Steve (ex homicide detective in NYC) and Amy (physical medium) met with the producer and answered fan questions. It was enlightening. The reason I reference the Dead Files so much is because, in my opinion, they have raised the bar on how effective demonic collusion has become in deceiving people. Amongst some Christians, I have noticed an across-the-board dismissal of paranormal TV shows. I dislike the para-celeb nonsense as much as anybody, but I remember vividly how much I struggled in the beginning with how to deal with the attention to historical detail, and how it lined up with current apparitional appearances in certain locations. It was only when I stumbled upon the reality of demonic collusion, that I was able to find cognitive rest in my biblical beliefs. PLEASE, let us never, forget how horribly persuasive this deception is, and our need to address it. So, this blog is miscellaneous musings re: popular culture and the demonic.
1. Amy mentioned that a particularly difficult case involved a man named Moses, who is currently incarcerated for murdering a man on the premises that Amy and Steve investigated. While he was in prison, she was giving a description of Moses to a sketch artist, but Amy nervously said Moses was in the room with them--threatening them. We talked about soul fragmentation, before and after death, last time. Well, here is a man who literally was in two places at the same time! (in prison and in the room with her and the sketch artist) How in the world can this occur? Does 50% of his soul remain in prison, while the other 50% fragments off and flies to this other location? Make no mistake, Amy said he was REALLY THERE....so much so, that she was extremely frightened. I ask: is it not so much simpler to say that a demon was present in the room with her and mimicking his (Moses) identity? It certainly is more plausible than what she said was occurring. And the bible sees the soul as being indivisible--incapable of being "spliced and diced", due to God's protection. (the soul is not intrinsically immortal, as the Greeks thought) However, this is why I am so insistent on the importance of worldview presuppositions, because, given her mistaken view of ultimate reality, then Moses' dual, fragmented presence makes sense to her, and millions of others viewing reality through distorted worldview glasses.
2. I rarely do this, but please seriously consider reading my book because I go into considerable detail re what a worldview presupposition is, how worldviews are formed, and how comprehensively they drive how we think, act, and feel. Like an iceberg where most of the mass lies hidden beneath the water line, so also our worldviews are beneath the water line of our conscious thought, but they have a profound effect on how we view the paranormal, and all of reality. One rarely gets past first base when discussing the evidence alone because we do not realize how different worldview "glasses" will radically effect how one sees the data.
3. This clearly shows that the most psychically "advanced" are often the most deceived. Starting with the wrong presupposition, will get you further from reality the longer you pursue it. But this is an obvious example of soul fragmentation belief, which is being watched by millions, and shaping their worldviews.
What I think has happened is that a template of psychiatric pathology (e.g. Schizophrenia) has been applied to paranormal phenomenon.
4. I found it tragic to hear Amy say that most physical mediums die young, (and this is crucial) "because of their having the dead constantly entering inside them." They are dying young, but it is because of having pure evil (demons) enter them frequently. For some reason the heart is usually targeted. Being indwelt by such horrendous darkness and filth is going to pollute and damage the heart (physical and non-physical), as well as causing all kinds of other diseases and illnesses. To be fair, many legitimate exorcists, have made the same claim re their health (see "Hostage to the Devil" by Malachi Martin).
Along those lines, one of my concerns is that we become jaded to the true horror that is occurring on the TV screen. For example, last week was the first time (I think) that Amy had to leave a location because of being "jumped". That is the term she uses when, as a physical medium, she allows a "dead person" to enter her so she can see and feel how things "went down" when this person died. And when she is done or finished with their "tour", then Amy will oust them. However, on this occasion. Amy said it would not leave until some six hours later after they had driven home. My point is this--millions of folks are watching a woman being possessed, partially or otherwise, for a period of time. Of course, having the "dead person" enter the physical medium is precisely what they are all about. But, God forbid that we ever become numbed to seeing a person being demonically indwelt. By the way, this is one reason I ALWAYS pray for protection before and during my viewing of paranormal shows/movies. You should too.....ALWAYS.. It deeply disturbs me in two ways: first, the person being possessed is being indwelt by pure evil, and will quite likely not live to see forty (unless they are fakes).. Second, to watch Amy gesticulate or writhe in pain is hardly something a Christian should find entertaining....she is unwittingly being duped and partially possessed by diabolical entities, who would just as soon kill her.. Do not let your cynicism due to widespread fakery, blind you to instances of when demonic forces show up for prime time. Would you expect anything less of them in their lust for power and expansion of the kingdom of darkness? For Satan to not use TV as a means of wowing folks with demonic signs and wonders would be stupid of him (strategically speaking)....and Satan is many things, but he is not stupid. The weakest, most feeble-minded demon can run circles around the strongest and most intelligent human, operating in the flesh. Cynicism will cause one to assume any psychic/medium is guilty until proven otherwise. Real demonic activity will be dismissed as fakery, which does not help anyone.
Discernment is one thing (and very much needed these days), but cynicism causes us to become myopic--it is a fine line, isn't it?
While on the subject of debunking, just because we can show an alternate explanation for why an alleged claim took place, it does not follow that we have debunked it. I fear that much, real demonic activity is being dismissed simply due to being able to visualize how it MIGHT have occurred naturally.
5. Which leads me to my next point: is it proper for Christians to research the occult? Many say no, and I understand their concerns. One person said that it was akin to watching pornography. I believe this is an inappropriate analogy and will argue that SOME folks must keep abreast of cutting edge developments in the occult/paranormal. The pornography analogy seems persuasive because we know that looking at pornographic material is harmful and wrong. My problem with this analogy is that viewing porn is a visual sin--just looking at a centerfold is defiling of the mind and sinful. But watching a TV show or reading occultic primary sources is not necessarily defiling. It can be (i.e. defiling), but not necessarily, as pornography is necessarily defiling. Jesus tells us that we are to be in the world, but not of the world. Biblical writers show considerable knowledge of their cultures and there are numerous quotes from pagan sources in the bible.
My question to those who would prohibit any study of the occult is this: how can we effectively refute that which we do not understand? Does not Paul's assertion that we are to destroy strongholds and arguments (2 Corinthians 10:3-6) imply a prior knowledge of that which we systematically dismantle? Did not Paul have to study and understand an aberrant belief/argument in order to competently "destroy" it? One could say that it is a matter of compassion when we care enough about others that we take the time and effort to carefully study what they believe. If we have a friend who is a witch, will she not be rightly upset with us if assume she is a Satanist, or even that all witches are Wiccans (which they definitely are not)? Moreover, such ignorance insures the triumph of evil because we will have no way to oppose it.
The great apologists of the early church (first 4 centuries)--Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Iranaues, Augustine, etc, were used of God to destroy numerous heresies that threatened the very existence of the church. In fact, Gnosticism was rampant, inside and outside the church, but was so effectively challenged by Iranaeus and others that it withered away....UNTIL 1,500 years later it oddly re-emerged 30 years ago. However, (and this is key), one of the main reasons these early apologists were so effective is that they thoroughly studied that which they attacked. It is through their writings that we get most of our understanding of what the great heretics believed. And so down through the centuries, God has protected His Bride from doctrines of demons by raising up men who studied the primary sources (no doubt, prayerfully) For the glory of God, and out of compassion for the lost, some of us must focus on this task. Certainly, all Christians should be able to defend their faith and give a reason for the hope that we have. (1 Peter 3:15).
Let me hasten to add, in-depth study of heretical beliefs is a call from God for a few That is where my calling lies, and my seminary training has been invaluable. And so I intend on joining the Rhine Institute so that I can read all the material from decades of parapsychology research. I find deep satisfaction in this.....and that is a sign that we are tapping into God's call for us.
It also needs to be said that every Christian must pray before and during exposure to occultic studies. In addition, if a person is spiritually sensitive, or if they have a history of demonic oppression/possession, then they likely need to avoid watching or reading anything occult related. As an alcoholic needs to avoid that which others have liberty to use appropriately, if they wish, so also those addicted to the paranormal (many are very obsessive re evidence analysis), will need to abstain. However, God has sovereingly used folks formerly in cults/occult to have ministries to folks who are enslaved to these same beliefs. Bottom line, it is person-specific, but we do need to err on the side of caution. We who do study the occult must keep our guards up, and walk humbly before our God.