Thursday, March 24, 2016

My Basic Beliefs About What the Paranormal Realm IS...

... and How That Relates to People’s Suffering

by Reverend Mark Hunnemann

continued from Viewing the Paranormal from a Biblical Worldview, Part 1

Ever since I became interested in the paranormal, I felt a call from God to analyze the basic beliefs of the paranormal community. But underneath that was a deeply felt compassion and concern for those who are unwittingly exposing themselves to danger by their involvement in the paranormal and the demonic.

Recently, I came across an excellent article by Tim Yohe, whom I have subsequently met, who expressed concern about the physical dangers of being exposed to the demonic via involvement with the paranormal. Tim was kind enough to mention me in his blog and I sincerely want to thank him for his gracious and kind spirit…as well as his deep compassion for those who are (or may) suffering from serious diseases or organ failure. Tim mentioned that he met a woman who is trying to collate the data of the connection between the paranormal and ‘getting sick’….hopefully by July.

It occurred to me that if we want to deal with this issue thoroughly, then we need to ask a very basic question: WHAT IS THE PARANORMAL REALM? If we wish to understand more fully why an increasing number of folks are suffering by being involved with the paranormal, then we must understand what the paranormal realm IS. That will be my main focus in this blog.

In this blog I simply want to explore the origin and nature of the spirit realm. I will mostly leave it to the reader to assess what is appropriate behavior towards the supernatural realm, after discussing what it IS. My ultimate criterion which gives justification for my beliefs is the Word of God, which is based on the unchanging character of our Triune God. If you are a Christian, then I trust that the Word of God is your ultimate criterion as well. We desperately need to recover a CHRISTIAN MIND, especially with regards to this exploding fascination with the paranormal. All too often we mirror the intellectual status quo, instead of having our minds thoroughly transformed…able to reflect deeply and honestly with people’s honest intellectual questions, which deserve honest intellectual answers. It is a matter of compassion that we listen to the questions/beliefs of those around us, and express an observable love to a watching world.

 As I mentioned, I have had the honor of communicating with Tim Yohe, whom I quoted from a couple weeks ago…and whom I have grown to deeply respect.  He is a man that cares deeply for those who are suffering, and he is trying to do something about it. We share a mutual burden….

As will become clearer, I’m not going to appeal to the scientific method to answer this extremely vital question. Instead, please read the following texts which shed God’s light on the origin and nature of the supernatural realm, which has taken our nation by storm. How can we answer other questions, if we are not clear on what the paranormal realm actually IS? And the bible has a lot to say about that.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. (Colossians 1:15-20)

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. 7 The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” (Job 1)

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. (Ephesians 6)

8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. (1 Peter 5:8-9)

We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. (1 John 5:19)

What do these texts teach us about what the paranormal realm IS?

1. God created all things, including the paranormal realm (invisible, supernatural, spirit realm) out of nothing for His glory. (Genesis 1:1; Colossians 1:15-18) Because the Triune God created the supernatural realm: He owns it, He sustains it moment by moment, and He is absolutely sovereign over it. That MUST be our starting point in our quest. The bible’s view of the paranormal realm (as with all reality) is theo-centric. There are no brute facts in any realm…only theistic facts or data. He not only created and owns the spirit realm, He sustains it moment-by-moment. Otherwise it would ‘poof’ out of existence.

2. Though the Word of God (bible) is not an exhaustive handbook on the paranormal realm, it tells us all we need to know (explicitly or by inference) about it in order to function and interact appropriately with it. (2 Timothy 3:16-17) But that does not mean that there are certain aspects of the paranormal which we can’t learn from observation.

Should we explore it though, like the natural realm? I’ll leave that to you to decide after answering what it IS.

3. Before we ask what is appropriate behavior regarding the paranormal—what kind of exploration is proper?—we need to know what the spirit realm IS? From Genesis to Revelation, the invisible realm on earth is the place that God has sovereignly placed Satan and his demons, until they are hurled into hell for all eternity. (see texts above) Of course, holy/elect angels exist here as well, but the paranormal realm ON EARTH is where Satan and countless demons lurk around as roaring lions, seeking those whom they can devour. The important thing to note is that GOD placed Satan and his minions here…in what we call the paranormal realm.

 It is the spiritual battleground between angels and demons. God has placed them here on earth, and as spirit beings, they operate from the spirit realm…interacting with the visible realm. The important fact is that, by God’s decree, the entire paranormal realm is a supernatural battle field in which a battle royal is being waged. It is imperative that we understand that the paranormal realm is essentially a place where armed conflict of the most vicious kind is occurring moment-by-moment (Daniel 10; Ephesians 6, ect.) Of course this conflict spills over into the natural realm, but its origin is in the spirit realm, what we call the paranormal.

I live next to a national military park—where the Battle of Guilford Courthouse was waged in March 1789. It is a battlefield, but it is an INACTIVE battlefield. The spirit realm/heavenlies (Ephesians 6) is an ACTIVE battlefield….every human being is a target for Satan/demons who are lurking about…HERE.

This is extremely important—if I could use just one word to express what the paranormal realm IS, it is a “BATTLEFIELD”. Surely, this fact sheds some light on the dangers of purposely ‘entering it’.
Would you rush headlong into a fire-fight between American soldiers and ISIS terrorists? Surely not! Satan/demons are the ultimate cosmic terrorists who are waging war 24/7, and we must re-think if we are endangering ourselves by certain behaviors relative to the paranormal realm.

4. The creation/cultural mandate given first to Adam and Eve, and then to their descendants, was to subdue all creation (Genesis 1:26-29) in a way that reflected God’s holy and loving character—and love for His creation. However, you will note that this foundation for the scientific enterprise and technological advancements is limited to the natural realm.

In Genesis 2:19-20 God brought before Adam all the various kinds of animals, and whatever Adam called them, that was their name—showing the creation/cultural mandate in action. Again, this holy and happy taxonomic exploration was limited to the natural/visible realm. Never does God ask Adam to name any inhabitants of the supernatural or explore it. Why not?

Perhaps one is thinking, “Adam also did not explore space…go the moon…experience the internet.” Quite true! But he started the ball rolling that eventually brought us to that place. Moreover, all of the technological advances mentioned are within the realm that God sanctioned for exploration—namely, the natural realm.

Just because we can do something, does mean that we should…and we are finding out now the physical suffering many people are enduring for trying to extend the creation mandate to the spirit realm.

The urge to extend exploration to the paranormal is understandable because we are naturally inquisitive. However, in light what the paranormal realm IS, should we not re-think our strategy and assumptions?

5.  As a corollary, we are given no indication that Adam’s creational supremacy and stewardship extended to the paranormal realm. (I am not referring to the work of Christ, but creational inquiry) Indeed the first appearance of a paranormal creature was Satan, who had taken over control (or appeared as) one of the beasts of the field(3:1)…where he is called ‘a beast of the field’. The Hebrew word (arum) for ‘crafty’ does not necessarily take on the negative connotations of English usage.

6. Given all of the above—what the paranormal IS--what role should a child of God (or anyone) play in exploring the paranormal realm? I have no doubt that discoveries are being made, but at what price? Something I am convinced of is that folks will NEVER be able to discern the true identity of paranormal entities solely through scientific means. The scientific method was designed to discover God’s laws graciously manifested in nature. It is not equipped to explore a realm which is essentially a spiritual battleground, harboring creatures of unspeakable evil and deception. When scientists explore the visible realm (from astro-physics to zoology), they don’t have to be concerned about entities who are pure evil and who are master deceivers—and who will intentionally manipulate the data to suit their infernal purposes. How can we trust the results, when they are hell-bent on deceiving us?

In sum, we have been speaking of the physical dangers folks face when exploring the paranormal. My hope and prayer is that this brief blog will shed some light on this subject. Given what we have seen about what the paranormal realm IS—and I say this with tears—is it any wonder that some folks are getting very sick and even dying?

"Seeing Ghosts through God's Eyes" (also in a Kindle edition)...please consider purchasing my book which uses science, logic, and the bible to analyze the true source of power behind paranormal activity.