By Reverend Mark Hunneman
Can you be a Christian and believe in ghosts? If you were to ask me if you could be a Christian and believe in abortion, I would respond,. "You are either abysmally ignorant of the Bible or you are not a Christian...probably the latter." In a biblical worldview, it helps you to see God's priorities regarding different issues. The sanctity of human life is so central to God, that any serious deviation raises a red flag. However, belief in ghosts is in a different category. The short answer is "Yes, you can be justified/saved if you believe in ghosts". We are justified by grace through faith alone...through the finished work of Christ, plus nothing. We are not justified by faith. Plus a proper view of ghosts...or a proper view of politics...or a proper view of the death penalty and so on.
I have a linebacker-esque quality to my writing when it comes to tackling the issue of ghosts. That stems from a holy hatred and loathing of demons/Satan, as well as the unspeakable suffering they cause. But unfortunately, I am certain I have lost subscribers due to my hard-hitting style. When I preached the whole counsel as a pastor, many visitors did not return...Not brimstone sermons but meaty ones, which they did not have a stomach for..The message itself has enough built in "offense" (ghosts are demons), that I don't need to inadvertently further turn them off by a grating or offensive style.
So, it is possible to be a Christian and believe in ghosts. I'll go further and state that some of these folks love Jesus way more than I do. Justification is by faith alone....And I rejoice in this for many reasons, one of which is nobody has a perfect understanding of the bible. But as the great Cornelius Van Til said (I think it was him), Reformed theology is the most biblically consistent expression of Christianity. I concur. But my Armenian brothers are justified just as freely and fully as I am.
Belief in ghosts is not a core issue in terms of what is necessary for salvation. The deity of Christ and the Trinity are core issues and you cannot be saved with a deficient view of either.
But here are my concerns...
1. Belief in ghosts usually comes about by putting human experience above the authority of the bible...will a genuine Christian put their experience above the bible? Will that grieve the Holy Spirit?
2. The intellectual starting point must be man's autonomous reason...not a healthy spiritual sign.
3. Is not one of the crucial facets of the cross to defeat Satan?
4. The singular honor ad dignity of Jesus is diminished if ghost theory is right
5. Specifically, Jesus defeat of, and sovereignty over death is denied.
6. Huge emotional and spiritual ramification makes a consistent walk with Jesus problematic
7. We are ordered not to speak to the dead...this is done routinely through EVP gathering.
There are more concerns but I will stop there. Yes, we are justified by faith alone, but not ny a faith that is alone. That is, genuine faith will bear fruit...showing that Christ is Lord (not perfectly, but really) over us.
Yes, you can believe in ghosts and be a Christian, but only God knows if this embracing of a forbidden practice crosses the line, showing where your true allegiance is.
Again, I invite feedback please. I very much desire it. Blessings.
Mark Hunnemann is the author of Seeing Ghosts Through God's Eyes: A Worldview Analysis of Earthbound Spirits. It's also available in eBook format.