By Reverend Mark Hunnemann
Continued from part 2 http://eyeontheparanormal.blogspot.com/2016/11/the-great-evangelical-disaster-part-2.html
Let me recap...We have been looking at the larger picture of how and why the belief in ghosts has spread so rapidly..For the first time, I have deviated from focusing 100 percent on the paranormal....but there is a method to my madness. 80 years ago our nation had a Christian consensus; biblical knowledge and values were widespread, as was a biblical notion of objective truth (as opposed to the rampant relativism of today). Autonomous freedom--reckless attempt to be freed from the restraints of God and His moral law-- has been the culprit that has undercut this Christian consensus and made the way for belief in ghosts and other evil and error.
There is another culprit pointed out by Francis Schaeffer from whom I borrowed the title of his last book. Before I proceed I want to point out that, before he died in 1985 (book published in 1984), many people thought Schaeffer had retreated from his earlier works and got sidetracked on pro-life activism and other crucial issues. He addresses this misperception in the book, and says that it is not true. Rather, his books should be seen as a whole, and his confrontation of vital issues plaguing our society were simply the logical outworking of his previously stated beliefs.I take the time to mention this because, if you are fifty years or older, chances are you were affected by the brilliant and compassionate work of this man.
Evangelicals (bible believing Christians) are divided into two groups, he stated: those who are obedient to God's inerrant word over the full spectrum of life and those who aren't. And the division over this watershed issue is only going to keep growing. Which brings us to the second reason our society is suicidal: evangelical leaders (seminaries, publications, para-church leaders, and pastors).abruptly stopped lovingly confronting the moral rot in society. Content to preach expository sermons, the pastors forgot the responsibility to confront elements of autonomous freedom in application of their sermons. Hence, these evangelical leaders began to accommodate or adapt to the sinful world spirit, and our country took a nose-dive.This last point did/does not sit well with the majority of evangelical leaders, because they were/are guilty of passively adapting to all manner of evil, and they turned their back on the very man who had touched so many of their lives.
Hunnemann is about as German as you can get, and I know what happened in Nazi Germany when Hitler declared a whole race of people as non-human...the Jews. Do you think the German pastors should have addressed from the pulpit this particularly vicious form of autonomous freedom which swept the German people off their feet?.Of course they should have! But most German evangelical preachers didn't. If they had, the people would not have supported Hitler like they did. I saw Ray Comfort's 180. tonight and it floored me.In speaking along these lines, he implied what Schaeffer made explicit: why, then, does the US evangelical band play on while a whole segment of society has been declared non-human and slaughtered? Fifty-three million babies have been massacred and few evangelical preachers can bring themselves to confront it from the pulpit, not to mention in public. What good is an expository sermon if it does not address head-on the crucial issues of the day? Remember the quote from Luther about confessing Christ? There is a hierarchy of importance: should a Christian vote for Hitler? Then why vote for a pro-choice candidate?
Now we are in a position to ask why the notion of ghosts has skyrocketed in recent years.There are aspects of believing in ghosts that are appealing (eg,.speaking to deceased loved ones, alleged proof of the afterlife and it makes no difference what you believe, it fills a spiritual void, etc.) which have contributed to its popularity. But the primary reason the belief in ghosts has risen so sharply is because the vast majority of evangelical leaders have not lovingly confronted this crucial issue. If 65% of American young adults (18-25) believe in ghosts, then it is a crucial issue. Is it as important as abortion? No, of course not. But it is a juggernaut that is changing the landscape of spirituality in America. It is drawing tens of millions of American's into a close encounter with the demonic.It is contrary to every aspect of a Christian worldview. It is drawing millions away from Christ, and destabilizing the faith of many others. Most significantly, the notion of earthbound spirits undercuts the singular honor and dignity of our Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, it is a serious issue. So, why have you never heard a sermon on ghosts, or even a sub-point of a sermon? I have not... I say this with tears, but firmly, evangelicals leaders (whether Reformed, charismatic, and so on) have become sissified when it comes to being guardians of culture.
Go to virtually any evangelical church of one-hundred or more members, and some of those members will believe in ghosts or are not sure. (There are some exceptions to this rule). So, the problem is inside as well as outside the church, but the band plays on. I have tried to generate interest, but pastors resolutely remain the most dismissive group regarding the significance of the issue of ghosts that I know of. With few exceptions, it is not addressed from the pulpit, let alone in public One glance at a TV Guide should be enough to persuade even the most hardened skeptic, but there are none so blind as those who refuse to see..That, my friends, is why the belief in ghosts is steamrolling our country.It is tremendously sad, but it places the debate in a larger perspective or context.
Today.I had the joy of communicating with a fellow minister.who has 22 years experience of lovingly confronting this issue as a demonologist/exorcist. And he is making a real difference in people's lives. Praise God!
But as Schaeffer reminds us, we must not pretend that there is not division in the evangelical ranks when there is.There are those who are obedient to the inerrant bible in practice by confronting error and evil, and there are those who are worldly and disobedient due to their.passivity in confronting evil and error--and in their passivity they are accommodating to it. The growth of belief in ghosts is just one issue out of a cluster of issues that is growing worse due to the great evangelical disaster.
That brings our three part series to a close. As always, if you have any comments or questions, please contact me....or if you just want to talk...
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.