FREQUENTLY  ASKED  QUESTIONS
ABOUT  WITCHES  &  WITCHCRAFT

 

Index:

  

What Does The Bible Say About Witches & Witchcraft?

 

Christians should have no participation with the practices of witches and witchcraft. God commanded His people Israel to separate themselves from witchcraft in Deuteronomy 18:10–12 saying, “There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD. And because of these abominations the LORD your God is driving them out before you.” In God’s eyes, witchcraft was sinful even before the issuing of the Law of Moses. If witchcraft was sinful and nations were judged for their participation in it before the giving of the Law, then we can be certain that it remains a sin today because of the consistency of God’s character.

In God’s eyes there is no such thing as good witches and bad witches—white magic versus black magic. According to God, all who practice witchcraft are an abomination before the Lord. This is because at the heart of witchcraft is a spirit of rebellion, as is evident in the prophet Samuel’s equation of the two while speaking to King Saul in 1 Samuel 15:23, “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” (KJV). Witchcraft places personal desires and ambitions above the ways of God, and it seeks to accomplish them apart from God. However, the Bible teaches that we are to humble ourselves and to submit ourselves to God. James 4:5–7 says, “Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, ‘He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us’? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Witchcraft offers man the lusts of his heart without requiring that he submit to God.

Every time the word “witchcraft” appears in the KJV Bible, it is associated with idolatry1 (1 Sam. 15:23; 2 Chron. 33:6–7; Gal. 5:20). A person who rebels against God places his self-will and desires above God’s will and desires. As such, the individual’s self-will and desires become idols—things which are placed above God. Achieving the individual’s goals and desires become more important than following and honoring God.

Witches, exist in reality today, but there is also a form of witchcraft that exists only in the realm of fictitious entertainment. Perhaps the most obvious example of this is the Harry Potter series. It is easy to dismiss this fictitious form of witchcraft as harmless entertainment. However, Scripture speaks repeatedly of the imaginations of men. In nearly every instance, the reference is negative because often, it is within the imagination that evil is first devised. Never does God dismiss evil because it exists only in the imagination. Rather, 2 Corinthians 10:5 teaches that Christ cast down imaginations and grants us the power to take every thought captive for Christ, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” (KJV). We are to be seekers of God-honoring truth at all times—whether it be in the realm of reality or the realm of entertainment and our imaginations. 

 


1. The word translated in the KJV as “witchcraft” is the Hebrew word “kashaph.” It means “to whisper a spell, that is, to inchant or practice practise magic.” This word is translated as “witchcraft” in the KJV Bible, whereas the ESV chooses to use the synonyms “divination” and “sorcery.” Likewise, the Greek word for “witchcraft” is “pharmakeia,” which means “magic, sorcery, witchcraft.” The KJV translates this word as “witchcraft;” whereas, the ESV translates it as sorcery.
(Strong’s, #H3784, 76. Also: Strong’s, #G5331, 101.)

Works Cited

1. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Crossway Bibles: 2001. E-sword Bible Software.
2. The Holy Bible, King James Version. Public Domain, 1769. E-sword Bible Software.

 

The above comes from our book Sinister Spirit . Check out this book to see how witches and witchcraft are linked to the spirit of antichrist.

 

 

 What’s Wrong with Obviously Fictitious Accounts of Witches and Witchcraft?

 

Witches, exist in reality today, but there is also a form of witchcraft that exists only in the realm of fictitious entertainment. Perhaps the most obvious example of this is the Harry Potter series. It is easy to dismiss this fictitious form of witchcraft as harmless entertainment. However, Scripture speaks repeatedly of the imaginations of men. In nearly every instance, the reference is negative because often, it is within the imagination that evil is first devised. Never does God dismiss evil because it exists only in the imagination. Rather, 2 Corinthians 10:5 teaches that Christ cast down imaginations and grants us the power to take every thought captive for Christ, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” (KJV). We are to be seekers of God-honoring truth at all times—whether it be in the realm of reality or the realm of entertainment and our imaginations.

People tend to emulate their role models. This has given rise to such fads as spandex, sagging pants, twerking, and Tebowing. It has also spawned celebrity advertisements and product placement in popular entertainment. Therefore, it should not be surprising to learn that some people even seek to emulate the paranormal qualities of their favorite fictional characters. What begins as fiction often spills over into reality.

A 2000, BBC article titled “Buffy draws children to witchcraft,” reports that paranormal entertainment such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and Harry Potter encourage an interest in witchcraft among children. According to the report, “The Pagan Federation, which represents druids and witches, says it has been ‘swamped’ with calls following teenage programmes featuring good witches.”1 According to a This is London article titled “Potter fans turning to witchcraft,” the Pagan Federation “deals with an average of 100 inquiries a month from youngsters who want to become witches, and it claims it has occasionally been ‘swamped’ with calls.”2 “‘It is quite probably linked to things like Harry Potter, Sabrina The Teenage Witch and Buffy The Vampire Slayer,’ explains the Federation’s media officer, Andy Norfolk. ‘Every time an article on witchcraft or paganism appears, we had a huge surge in calls, mostly from young girls.’”3 Because of this, “The Pagan Federation has appointed a youth officer to deal with a flood of inquiries following the success of the Harry Potter books which describe magic and wizardry.”4

Steve Wohlberg5 of White Horse Media and author of Exposing Harry Potter and Witchcraft was asked the question, “Where do you see evidence that Harry is causing an upswing in the popularity of Wicca/Witchcraft?” He answered:

The evidence is all around us. Here are just a few examples. During one radio interview (Live from Seattle, KGNW, WA) with me as the guest a caller named Melissa phoned the show and told host Thor Tolo and me that her 14-year-old daughter read the first Harry Potter book and then promptly went back to the bookstore to purchase books about Wicca. A friend of mine has a daughter who works at a Barnes & Nobel bookstore in Nashville, TN. She said that many young people purchase both Harry Potter and Wicca books together. Another teenage friend told me that she met a Wiccan in an internet chat room who confessed that it was Harry Potter that first created his interest in spells and magic. The founder of a large internet witchcraft school has publicly stated in a press release that Harry Potter teaches Wiccan philosophy and is aiding the Wiccan cause – big time.6

Paranormal entertainment has proven to be a popular gateway into genuine Occultism. Perhaps this is because it ignites the imagination and fuels curiosity. Perhaps it is because the fictional accounts often rest upon a solid foundation of historical witchcraft and Occultism. In fact, during a 1999 radio interview on The Diane Rehm Show, J.K. Rowling “admitted that fully one third of her material is based on actual occultism.”7 Richard Abanes, author of Harry Potter and the Bible, notes that J.K. Rowling has “an extremely well-developed and sophisticated knowledge of the occult world, its legends, history, and nuances.”8  According to HarryPotterPower.com:

Practically every symbol and object used by actual witches is found in these books. This includes spells, spell books, curse and bewitchment formulas, magic words, exorcism, wands, robes, cauldrons, flying brooms, and all the rest. All the weird and vicious animals, and mythical creatures of ancient centuries (such as elves, goats, banshees, owls, and dragons), are added to present a picture of extreme witchery. … These books instruct the reader in the actual practices of witchcraft. These books do more than merely talk about witches, they explain in detail their training program and how they carry on their magic.

Information from the actual instructional books for witches in training are here, providing entry-level instruction.
The Ordo Anno Mundi (OAM) Series are books for professional witches. They contain instruction only slightly in more detail than the Rowling books. The OAM Series contains complete witchcraft instructions—yet is little different than the Potter books! Here is a comparison between the professional witchcraft training series and the Harry Potter books:

OAM has seven degrees of “Magical Training,” and includes classes strikingly similar to those offered at Hogworts, Harry Potter’s school.
OAM General Education primer: “Ancient Runes.” Here is an example from the Harry Potter books: “Those are my books for . . Divination, the Study of Ancient Runes” (Prisoner of Azkaban, p. 57, original edition).
OAM First Degree: “Divination.” An example in Harry Potter: “We will be covering the basic methods of Divination this year” (Prisoner of Azkaban, p. 103).
OAM First Degree: “Spellcasting.” An example in Potter: “All students should have a copy of The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 1” (Sorcerer’s Stone, p. 66).
OAM Fourth Degree: “Animal Transformation (witches also call it “transfiguration”).” An example from the Potter books: “Transfiguration is some of the most complex and dangerous magic you will learn at Hogworts” (Sorcerer’s Stone, p. 134). “My transformations in those days were—were terrible. It is very painful to turn into a werewolf . . [My friends] could each turn into a different animal” (Prisoner of Azka¬ban, pp. 353–354).
OAM Fifth Degree: “Magical Lore.” An example from Potter: “Their very last exam was History of Magic” (Sorcerer’s Stone, p. 263).9

Paranormal entertainment has proven to be an ideal primer into the world of genuine Occultism. In his book Harry Potter and the Bible, Richard Abanes observes, “Ultimately, only a short distance needs to be covered in order to cross over from Harry’s world into the realm of real occultism.”10

Of course, not every person who reads Harry Potter or watches Buffy the Vampire Slayer will pursue the Occult. Just as not every person who drinks alcohol becomes an alcoholic, so also not every person who is exposed to the Occult will become engrossed in it. However, it is difficult to know in advance how each individual will respond. Lindy Beam, a youth culture analyst, warns us, “Any time the dark side of the supernatural world is presented as harmless, there is the danger that children will become curious and find out—too late—that witchcraft is neither harmless nor imaginary.”11

 


1. “Buffy draws children to witchcraft.”
2. “Potter fans turning to witchcraft,” This is London, August 4, 1999, Source: Kjos, “Book Review.”
3. “Potter fans turning to witchcraft,” This is London, Aug. 4, 1999, Source: “Harry Potter and Witchcraft.”
4. Kjos, “Book Review.”
5. Steve Wohlberg’s ministry is Seventh Day Adventist, which is a denomination that denies some critical doctrines among the Evangelical, Baptist, and Reformed denominations. Included in these doctrines is the doctrine of salvation. Seventh Day Adventists teach that a person is saved by grace, but their salvation is kept—or maintained—by the Law. This is not to deny the salvation of all Seventh Day Adventists, but in order to embrace the doctrine of salvation by grace alone, apart from works, one cannot fully adhere to Seventh Day Adventist doctrine.
6. Avoid Harry Potter, “Where do you see evidence that Harry.”
7. The Diane Rehm Show, WAMU, October 20, 1999, Source: Harry Potter Power, “The Harry Potter Books are Witchcraft.”
8. Abanes, Harry Potter and the Bible, 24.
9. Harry Potter Power.  “The Harry Potter Books are Witchcraft.”
10. Abanes, Harry Potter and the Bible, 173.
11. Abanes, Harry Potter and the Bible, 1.

Works Cited

1. Abanes, Richard. Harry Potter and the Bible. Camp Hill: Christian Publications, Inc., 2001.
2. Avoid Harry Potter. “Where do you see evidence that Harry is causing an upswing in the popularity of Wicca/Witchcraft?” Accessed March 18, 2014.
3. “Buffy draws children to witchcraft.” BBC, August 4, 2000. March 18, 2014. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/864984.stm .
4. Harry Potter Power. “The Harry Potter Books are Witchcraft.” Accessed March 4, 2012. http://harrypotterpower.com .
5. Kjos, Berit. “Book Review: Harry Potter Lures Kids to Witchcraft (With Praise from Christian Leaders).” Personal UPDATE News Journal Articles, October, 2000. Accessed March 18, 2014. http://www.khouse.org/articles/2000/292/.http://www.avoidharrypotter.com/questions/evidence.ph .

 

The above comes from our book Sinister Spirit . Check out this book to see how vampires are linked to the spirit of antichrist.

 

 

Why Should Christians Care About the Paranormal?  /  How Should Christians Respond to the Paranormal?


America is obsessed with the paranormal. Certainly this is not a shocking revelation. One need only take a cursory glance at popular media to realize that America crossed over the line of obsession a long ways back. Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, about

400 movies have been made about werewolves, vampires, and zombies. This does not include movies about cryptoids, aliens, ghosts, etc. Likewise, each season, a host of new paranormal reality shows and dramas are introduced on
television.


This fascination with the paranormal is nothing new. Popular media has been ruled by the paranormal for decades. Most recently, zombies have reigned as the undisputed king of popular media. Much of the current fascination with zombies can be attributed to the success of the award-winning1 television series The Walking Dead. Introduced in 2010, the show has broken various records for a television series. During its season 3 premier, the show boasted 10.9 million viewers, making it the largest telecast for any drama series in basic cable history.2 This record was shattered during the season 3 finale which attracted 12.4 million viewers.3

Many ideas have been postulated for why zombies resonate with so many people. According to a 2013 Wall Street Journal article titled “The Lessons of Zombie-Mania:”4

Zombies thrive in popular culture during times of recession, epidemic and general unhappiness. Traditional threats to U.S. security may have waned, but nontraditional threats assault us constantly. Concerns about terrorism have not abated since 9/11, and cyberattacks have now emerged as a new anxiety. Drug-resistant pandemics have been a staple of local news hysteria since the H1N1 virus swept the globe in 2009. Scientists continue to warn about the dangers that climate change poses to our planet. And if the financial crisis taught us anything, it is that contagion is endemic to the global market system. Zombies are the perfect metaphor for these threats. As with pandemics and financial crises, they are not open to negotiation. As with terrorism in all its forms, even a small outbreak has the potential to wreak massive carnage.

Similarly, a 2013 Esquire article titled “Why Zombies are Everywhere Now” reports:5

They are a metaphor for Communism or for National Socialism. They are a metaphor for consumerism. They’re a way of describing terrorism. They’re a way of talking about AIDS. My personal favorite is the idea that zombies represent the sexuality of teenage boys, while vampires represent the sexuality of teenage girls. There are so many theories about the popularity of zombies that this magazine found, and interviewed, a scholar of zombie culture.

Regardless of why, the rotting corpses of the undead hold great appeal to Americans. In 2011, 24/7 Wall St. estimated that the zombie culture is worth at least $5,740,000,000 in America. Surprising as this sum may be, they believe this figure to be “grossly undercalculated.”6

Prior to zombies, vampires ruled the world of popular media with television shows such as The Vampire Diaries, True Blood, and Angel. The Twilight series was a key catalyst for America’s obsession with vampires. In 2003, Stephenie Meyer received a “very vivid dream” about a human woman and a vampire who was in love with her but thirsted for her blood. She began writing a story whose main characters would be named Edward and Bella. On her official website, Stephenie Meyer recounts:7

All this time, Bella and Edward were, quite literally, voices in my head. They simply wouldn’t shut up. I’d stay up as late as I could stand trying to get all the stuff in my mind typed out, and then crawl, exhausted, into bed (my baby still wasn’t sleeping through the night, yet) only to have another conversation start in my head. I hated to lose anything by forgetting, so I’d get up and head back down to the computer. Eventually, I got a pen and notebook for beside my bed to jot notes down so I could get some freakin’ sleep.

This supernatural revelation became the Twilight series.

Despite the fact that Stephenie Meyer had very little writing experience when she began crafting the first book in the series, Twilight became an immediate success. Publishing translation rights have been sold in nearly 50 countries, and well over 100 million copies have been sold worldwide.8 After the release of Eclipse, the first three books in the Twilight series spent 143 consecutive weeks on the New York Times best seller list.9 After the release of Breaking Dawn, the four books of the series claimed the top four spots on the USA Today’s year-end best-seller list in 2008 and 2009.10 Stephenie Meyer was the first author to achieve this feat. The series also won the 2009 Kid’s Choice Award for favorite book.11

The influence of the Twilight series is phenomenal. In 2011, Search Engine Journal reported, “It might also shock you to know that there are about 8 times more Twilight fans than Jesus Christ fans on Facebook, and there are 4 million more Twilight fans than Metallica fans, who have been influencing the world for 30 years.”12 According to Statistic Brain, the Twilight series has generated an estimated $5,736,100,000 through its books, DVDs, and merchandising sales as of November 27, 2013.13

Prior to vampires, witches and wizards reigned over popular media with television shows such as Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Charmed, and movies such as Hocus Pocus, The Craft, and Practical Magic. In 1990 an unknown author named J.K. Rowling began to create the Harry Potter series after meeting a young wizard named Harry Potter through her mind’s eye. In a 2000 Reuters article titled “Harry Potter ‘Strolled into My Head,’” J.K. Rowling recalls, “The character of Harry just strolled into my head… I really did feel he was someone who walked up and introduced himself in my mind’s eye. … [T]he idea for Harry just came. He appeared in my mind’s eye, very fully formed.”14 Likewise, in 1999, J.K. Rowling told the Boston Globe, “I really don’t know where the idea came from. It came into my mind when I was on a train to London. Harry as a character came fully formed, as did the idea for his sidekicks, the characters of Ron and Hermione. It started with Harry, then all these characters and situations came flooding into my head.”15

After being rejected by twelve publishing houses, Bloomsbury Publishing agreed to print her book. It became the best-selling book series in history,16 having sold nearly 500 million copies worldwide, and it has been translated into more than 70 languages.17

The extent and impact of the Harry Potter series cannot be overstated. By 2001, according to a survey by The New York Times, almost 60% of children in the United States had read at least one Harry Potter novel.18 In 2003, Time Magazine reported that “… J.K. Rowling has mesmerized an entire generation of kids …”19 And the great demand for Harry Potter books prompted the New York Times to create a separate best-seller list for children’s literature in 2000.20

When Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was released, 9,000 FedEx trucks were used solely for the delivery of the book. It also set a new record when an astonishing 3.8 million copies were produced in the U.S. and the U.K. during its initial printing.21 This record was quickly broken by Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with 8.5 million copies printed.22 Again, Harry Potter broke his own record with 10.5 million copies printed of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. For more than half a year before the book was released, it claimed the top rank on Amazon’s best-seller list.23 Finally, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows crushed the series’ initial record with 12 million copies in its initial printing.24 Two months before the July 21, 2007 release of this final book in the series, Barnes and Noble announced that it had already broken its pre-order record with over 500,000 books pre-ordered through its site. Likewise, Amazon had broken its pre-order record with 485,000 books pre-ordered.25 And on its day of release, it set a new record for the fastest selling book of fiction in 24 hours, selling 8.3 million copies in the United States alone.26

Eight Harry Potter movies have been created, and in 2010, a Harry Potter theme park was opened in Walt Disney’s Universal Studios called The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. According to Statistic Brain, the Harry Potter franchise is estimated to have earned $24,751,000,000 through its books, DVDs, and merchandising sales as of January 1, 2014.27

It appears as if witches are set to once again dominate popular media. Already we are seeing indicators of such a shift with a number of recently released movies and television shows featuring witches in key roles, such as OZ: The Great and Powerful, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, The Lords of Salem, Beautiful Creatures, Maleficent, Sleepy Hollow, The Originals, Salem, American Horror Story: Coven, and Witches of East End. Other movies, such as The Last Witch Hunter, The Witches, A Discovery of Witches: All Souls Trilogy, The Alchemyst, Into the Woods, and Seventh Son are expected in the near future.

Paranormal series such as The Walking Dead, Twilight, and Harry Potter have governed the imaginations of Americans for decades. The widespread influence of paranormal entertainment is further evidenced by how many Christians have incorporated these themes into their Bible studies. The Harry Potter Bible Study by Jarred Moore, The Gospel According to Harry Potter by Connie Neal, and Looking for God in Harry Potter by John Granger can be found in Christian bookstores, along with The Gospel According to Twilight: Women, Sex, and God by Elaine A. Heath and Parables from Twilight: A Bible Study by Diane Schantin.

However, paranormal activities are not limited to the world of entertainment. A growing number of Americans believe in the reality of paranormal activity. According to a 2005 Gallup Poll, 3 in 4 people believe in the paranormal.28 Likewise, authors of Paranormal America and Baylor Sociology professors, Christopher Bader and Carson Mencken, conducted a survey in 2010 which concluded that 70–80% of Americans believe in the paranormal.29 Of course, this might be little more than a return to mankind’s roots. Prior to the rise of modernism, paranormal activity was taken for granted. History is replete with stories of the supernatural. Nearly every culture shares similar stories of werewolves, vampires, zombies, ghosts, witches, giants, extra-terrestrial visitors, unidentified flying objects, and non-human creatures that abduct humans. The pervasiveness and consistency of these stories among all cultures, all walks of life, all religious backgrounds, and at all points in history indicates that these stories are rooted in some degree of truth.


Until recently, the Christian church accepted incubi,30 succubae,31 satyrs,32 fauns,33 unidentified aerial crafts, and demon manifestations as an established fact. In his book City of God, St. Augustine writes:34

There is, too, a very general rumor, which many have verified by their own experience, or which trustworthy persons who have heard the experience of others corroborate, that sylvans and fauns, who are commonly called “incubi,” had often made wicked assaults upon women, and satisfied their lust upon them; and that certain devils, called Duses by the Gauls, are constantly attempting and effecting this impurity is so generally affirmed, that it were impudent to deny it.

Franciscan theologian, exorcist, and advisor to the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition in Rome, Ludovico Maria Sinistrari, also writes, “Subject to correction by our Holy Mother Church, and as a mere expression of private opinion, I say that the Incubus, when having intercourse with women, begets the human foetus from his own seed.”35 Additionally, in his work Demonality, Sinistrari recounts in all seriousness a tale of a nun having sexual intercourse with an Incubus within the confines of the Monastery.36

One of the more well-known examples of the Christian church accepting paranormal entities as a fact of life is the story of St. Anthony’s journey to visit St. Paul the Hermit. St. Anthony lived around 300 A.D. and is considered to be the founder of Christian monasticism. According to a translation of “The Life of Paulus the First Hermit” in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series:37

All at once he [St. Anthony] beholds a creature of mingled shape, half horse half man, called by the poets Hippocentaur. At the sight of this he arms himself by making on his forehead the sign of salvation, and then exclaims, Holloa! Where in these parts is a servant of God living? The monster after gnashing out some kind of outlandish utterance, in words broken rather than spoken through his bristling lips, at length finds a friendly mode of communication, and extending his right hand points out the way desired. Then with swift flight he crosses the spreading plain and vanishes from the sight of his wondering companion. But whether the devil took this shape to terrify him, or whether it be that the desert which is known to abound in monstrous animals engenders that kind of creature also, we cannot decide.

8. Antony was amazed, and thinking over what he had seen went on his way. Before long in a small rocky valley shut in on all sides he sees a mannikin with hooked snout, horned forehead, and extremities like goats’ feet. When he saw this, Antony like a good soldier seized the shield of faith and the helmet of hope: the creature none the less began to offer to him the fruit of the palm-trees to support him on his journey and as it were pledges of peace. Antony perceiving this stopped and asked who he was. The answer he received from him was this: I am a mortal being and one of those inhabitants of the desert whom the Gentiles deluded by various forms of error worship under the names of Fauns, Satyrs, and Incubi. I am sent to represent my tribe. We pray you in our behalf to entreat the favour of your Lord and ours, who, we have learned, came once to save the world, and “whose sound has gone forth into all the earth.” As he uttered such words as these, the aged traveller’s cheeks streamed with tears, the marks of his deep feeling, which he shed in the fullness of his joy. He rejoiced over the Glory of Christ and the destruction of Satan, and marvelling all the while that he could understand the Satyr’s language, and striking the ground with his staff, he said, Woe to you, Alexandria, who instead of God worshippest monsters! Woe to you, harlot city, into which have flowed together the demons of the whole world! What will you say now? Beasts speak of Christ, and you instead of God worship monsters. He had not finished speaking when, as if on wings, the wild creature fled away. Let no one scruple to believe this incident; its truth is supported by what took place when Constantine was on the throne, a matter of which the whole world was witness. For a man of that kind was brought alive to Alexandria and shown as a wonderful sight to the people. Afterwards his lifeless body, to prevent its decay through the summer heat, was preserved in salt and brought to Antioch that the Emperor might see it.

It could readily be argued that the above accounts are exaggerations, fabrications, or the consequence of ignorance. Whether these accounts are entirely accurate is not the issue. The point is that these accounts reveal that there has long been an acceptance of the reality of the paranormal even among some of society’s most well respected institutions and scholarly minds.38

Society is returning to a belief in the paranormal. Constant indoctrination that anything which defies the scientific method must not exist combined with media criticism and ridicule of the paranormal had convinced most people that anything supernatural must be a misconception, a fraud, or the figment of one’s imagination. However, modern science, the preponderance of eye witness and video testimony, and a rejection of secular humanism in favor of cosmic humanism and post-modernism have changed this thinking.

Today, more people in England believe in the existence of UFOs than believe in the existence of God. According to a 2012 survey by Opinion Matters, 52% of UK adults believe UFO evidence has been covered up because widespread knowledge of their existence would threaten government stability, whereas only 44% believe in the existence of God.39 According to a 2012 National Geographic poll, 36% of Americans believe UFOs exist. 48% are unsure whether UFOs exist. Only 17% do not believe in the existence of UFOs.40 Similarly, a 1996 Gallup Poll and a 2002 Roper Poll reports that 45–48% of Americans believe UFOs have visited earth, and 12% say they have seen a UFO.41, 42, 43 This equates to approximately 32 million Americans in 1996 who claim to have personally witnessed a UFO.44

Millions of Americans believe they have encountered the paranormal. Millions believe they have witnessed a UFO, or that they have been abducted by aliens, and untold numbers believe that they have witnessed a ghost or a cryptoid such as Bigfoot, Hell Hounds, Thunderbirds, etc. This has generated such great interest that paranormal investigators, crypto-zoologists, and alien abduction psychologists are now recognized vocational fields. Even so, the typical Christian reaction to stories of the paranormal is one of trivialization, dismissal, or mockery.

Christians are wise to not immediately accept every account they hear. However, it is wrong to dismiss an individual’s testimony before critically evaluating it. Not every strange story deserves to be dismissed. The majority of paranormal experiences have natural and reasonable explanations. However, there are some accounts which defy natural explanations. It is easy to laugh away these accounts, but good research and investigation into these accounts will often reveal more substance and evidence than we might have initially given credit. Often such investigation will reveal that there are solid reasons which lead people to believe in some otherwise incredible things. This is not to say that they are correct in their conclusions. Nevertheless, some of these paranormal activities do seem to have a genuine reality about them. As for which ones, and to what extent, such consideration stretches far beyond the scope of this article.

If we would take the time to honestly investigate the paranormal, we would find that there is often more credible testimony and evidence undergirding this topic than we might imagine. This is not to say that Christians ought to spend their time investigating the paranormal. Often times a study of these topics will lead a person into spiritually dangerous territory. It is difficult to sufficiently study the paranormal without also studying New Age and Occult doctrines. Also, many investigators develop an unhealthy fascination with the paranormal which steals their attention from other spiritual matters necessary for personal growth in the Lord.

How then should we as Christians respond to the paranormal? To begin with, we should acknowledge its reality. In its pursuit of being viewed as credible and scientifically accurate, the church has habitually denied the reality of anything supernatural. Its sense of the supernatural has been supplanted by the philosophy and tenets of modernism. The church has embraced secular humanism’s tenets that everything must have a rational and scientifically verifiable explanation, and that a belief in the paranormal is the result of ignorance and superstition. To protect these tenets, the Christians actively conform Scripture to make it comply with modern scientific theory and historical understanding. Many of the supernatural aspects of Scripture have been ignored, allegorized, or rejected. Consequently, those who claim to have experienced something paranormal are generally disbelieved. They are told that they were confused, that they misidentified the object, that they dreamed it, or that they imagined it. Too often, without fully listening to the individual’s testimony—and certainly without critically considering the individual’s story—Christians have defaulted to a dismissal of these accounts. By so doing, the church has pushed away the individual.

Many people have had a very real experience that they cannot understand, and they are seeking answers. Unfortunately, the church has lost respect and credibility among those seeking answers because of its consistent denial of all things paranormal. Many have been angered by accusations that they simply imagined their experience. Many have been hurt when the church has suggested that they receive psychological help. Many feel abandoned by the church. Many have felt as if they cannot express their experience for fear of how their church may respond. Many have even been run out of churches because of their experiences. Today, people who seek answers to the paranormal are compelled to look beyond the church because of these experiences.

Coast to Coast AM is one of the most popular radio shows in the nation. It features guest speakers who range anywhere from the highly credible to the extremely suspect, and it covers issues and theories which range anywhere from the scientifically verifiable to farfetched speculation. No story is too bizarre to be considered. Consequently it has established a venue to discuss all forms of the paranormal in a non-threatening atmosphere of acceptance. Everyone is made to feel welcome regardless of how strange their experience or beliefs may be, and they are encouraged to share their testimonies. Because of this, the show attracts numerous spiritual seekers and even many Christians who desire answers but cannot find them within the church.

Coast to Coast AM should not be the primary venue for people to discuss paranormal activity. The church should fulfill this role. Of all people, Christians should be the most likely and most well-equipped to believe that paranormal events occur. Our entire belief system is based upon the paranormal.45 Consider what we believe for just a moment. We believe that a spiritual being called the Devil interacted with mankind to convince Adam and Eve to sin. God divinely elected the people of Israel and supernaturally protected them. God became a man, performed miracles, and rose from the dead. Christians receive special abilities from the Holy Spirit, and the early church spoke in foreign languages that they had not learned, healed the sick, prophesied, and raised the dead. We hope for the resurrection of the dead and the future return of God to earth to wage physical war with mankind, the Devil, and the demons. And all of this is recorded in a book which was delivered to us via Divine inspiration.

At the heart of our belief system is a conviction that paranormal activity exists. Moreover, we believe that not only is there a physical and a spiritual world, but the two frequently interact with one another. Not only is it possible for the inhabitants of the spiritual world to contact those of the physical, but the inhabitants of the physical world can also initiate contact with those of the spiritual world. If Christians truly believe this, then why do so many immediately deny every account and testimony which may serve as an example of this interaction between the physical and the spiritual?

Scripture is filled with examples of paranormal activity. God warns His people in Deuteronomy 13:1–5 that there will be those who correctly prophesy the future even though they are not of God. He also warns in Matthew 24:24 that there will be individuals who can wield great power to perform miraculous signs and wonders. People have been Divinely made sick or struck dead as well as healed (Acts 5:1–10; 1 Cor. 11:27–30; James 5:14–15 ). Angels have manifested themselves and interacted with men (Acts 5:19; 10:1–6; 12:7; Heb. 13:2 ). God gives people special abilities through supernatural gifting (1 Cor. 12:4–11; Rom. 12:6–8 ). It is also possible for people to be possessed by spiritual entities (Matt. 17:14–18; Mark 5:1–13 ).

As Christians, we should recognize that not all paranormal events are demonic in nature. Most of the examples in the above list do not have demonic origins. We know that angels are regularly ministering to the saints (Heb. 1:13–14 ). The Bible teaches that Christians can interact with angels in the physical realm, sometimes unaware (Heb. 13:2 ). This is, by definition, a paranormal event which is not demonic. Just because something is difficult to understand does not make it inherently evil. When Christians blame the Devil for anything which cannot be explained, they lose credibility among those who are genuinely seeking answers. If the Devil is to be blamed, then we must be able to provide Scriptural reasons for our conclusion.

As Christians, we should be willing to accept the reality of paranormal events. Moreover, we must move past our fear of looking ignorant. It is okay to admit that something does not make sense to us. We do not need to shift the blame and attention onto the Devil. Sometimes authentic paranormal activities happen, and they are not always demonic in nature.

Most of the time, there is a reasonable explanation. By definition, “paranormal” means that it is an event which does not frequently occur. Most Christians will live their entire lives without ever experiencing a genuine paranormal event. Of course, just because an event has a reasonable explanation, does not mean the individual experiencing it understands what is occurring. Regardless of the cause behind the experience, it is a genuine experience to the individual. Even if the experience is entirely a figment of his imagination, he has still had an emotional and mental experience. This experience—whether it be natural, paranormal, or imagined—is significant to the individual; therefore, it ought to be significant to us as well. Denial and belittling of the experience is, to some degree, a denial and belittling of the individual.

Crucial in all of this is that we know how to be discerning. Not every paranormal event is genuine. Not every paranormal event has a supernatural explanation. Not every paranormal event is demonic. Having said this, some paranormal events are demonic. This is why we are called to test the spirits to determine whether paranormal events are truly from God. 1 John 4:1 says, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

As Christians, we should recognize the significance of the paranormal in our society. We have been granted a prime opportunity to connect with society and to provide real answers to those who are seeking the truth. The paranormal opens wide doors of opportunity to discuss the reality of the spiritual realm and the consequences of ignoring and rejecting God’s free gift of reconciliation and salvation. We may not have the answer to every paranormal experience, but we do possess the answers to life’s most meaningful paranormal issues. However, we cannot accomplish this if we put our heads in the sand and pretend as if all things paranormal are restricted to the imagination and to popular media.

 


1. IMDb, “The Walking Dead.”
2. Goldberg, “‘Walking Dead’ Season 3 Premiere Shatters Basic Cable Ratings Record.”
3. Goldberg, “‘Walking Dead’ Season 3 Finale Sets More Ratings Records.”
4. Drezner, “The Lessons of Zombie-Mania.”
5. Marche, “Why Zombies Are Everywhere Now.”
6. Ogg, “Zombies Worth Over $5 Billion to Economy,” 24/7 Wall St., Oct. 25, 2011, http://247wallst.com/investing/2011/10/25/zombies-worth-over-5-billion-to-economy/ .
7. Official Website of Stephenie Meyer, “The Story Behind Twilight.”
8. Little Brown Book Group, “Twilight Saga.”
9. Grossman, “Is a Mormon,” 49.
10. Minzesheimer, “Sellers basked.” Also: Anthony DeBarros, “Best-Selling Books.”
11. Jocelyn Vena, “Jonas Brothers And ‘Twilight’ Rule Kids’ Choice Awards,” MTV News, March 28, 2009, http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1608034/jonas-brothers-rule-kids-choice-awards.jhtml .
12. Fach, Melissa, “#Twilight Saga.”
13. Statistic Brain, “Total Twilight Franchise Sales.”
14. J.K. Rowling, “Harry Potter ‘Strolled into My Head,’” Reuters, July 17, 2000, Source: Joe Schimmel, “Twilight, Harry Potter.”
15. Loer, “All about Harry Potter.”
16. Farr, “JK Rowling.”
17. Hypable, “Harry Potter.”
18. T. Race, “Most wanted: Drilling down/Harry Potter; Rowling's readers are ready for film,” New York Times, April 9, 2001, 10, Source: Knapp, “In Defense of Harry Potter.”
19. Grossman, “Is a Mormon,” 50.
20. Smith, “The Times Plans a Children’s Best-Seller List.”
21. Fierman, “Wild About Harry.”
22. “Harry Potter hits midnight frenzy.”
23. Ibid.
24. “Record print run for final Potter.”
25. Wearden, “Pre-orders spell record sales.”
26. Lynch, “World Book Day.” Also: Rich, “Record First-Day Sales.”
27. Statistic Brain, “Total Harry Potter Franchise Revenue.”
28. Moore, “Three in Four Americans.”
29. “Survey reveals.”
30. An incubus is a spirit that seeks sexual intercourse with women.
31. A succubus is a spirit that seeks sexual intercourse with men.
32. A satyr is a typically an ugly dwarf-like man who possesses various characteristics of a goat. Often his ears, tail, and sexual organs are of a goat. He is known for his sexual prowess.
33. A faun is a man who is a goat from the waist down and human from the waist up with the exception of goat horns on his head.
34. Aurelius Augustine, The City of God, Source: Schaff, Nicene, 303.
35. Ludovico Maria Sinistrari, (Whitefish: Kessinger, 2003), 27, Source: Putnam, Exo-Vaticana, 127.
36. “In a Monastery (I mention neither its name nor that of the town where it lies, so as not to recall to memory a past scandal), there was a Nun, who, about trifles usual with women and especially with nuns, had quarreled with one of her mates who occupied a cell adjoining to hers. Quick at observing all the doings of her enemy, this neighbor noticed, several days in succession, that instead of walking with her companions in the garden after dinner she retired to her cell, where she locked herself in. Anxious to know what she could be doing there all that time, the inquisitive Nun betook herself also to her cell. Soon she heard a sound, as of two voices conversing in subdued tones, which she could easily do, since the two cells were divided but by a slight partition. [There she heard] a peculiar friction, the cracking of a bed, groans and sighs, her curiosity was raised to the highest pitch, and she redoubled her attention in order to ascertain who was in the cell. But having three times running, seen no other nun come out but her rival, she suspected that a man had been secretly introduced and was kept hidden there. She went and reported the thing to the Abbess, who, after holding counsel with discreet persons, resolved upon hearing the sounds and observing the indications that had been denounced her, so as to avoid any precipitate or inconsiderate act. In consequence, the Abbess and her confidents repaired to the cell of the spy, and heard the voices and other noises that had been described. An inquiry was set on foot to make sure whether any of the Nuns could be shut in with the other one; and the result being in the negative, the Abbess and her attendants went to the door of the closed cell, and knocked repeatedly, but to no purpose: the Nun neither answered, nor opened. The Abbess threatened to have the door broken in, and even ordered a convert to force it with a crow-bar. The Nun then opened her door: a search was made and no one found. Being asked with whom she had been talking, and the why and wherefore of the bed cracking, of the sighs, etc., she denied everything.
 
But, matters going on just the same as before, the rival Nun, become more attentive and more inquisitive than ever, contrived to bore a hole through the partition, so as to be able to see what was going on inside the cell; and what should she see but an elegant youth lying with the Nun, and the sight of whom she took care to let the others enjoy by the same means. The charge was soon brought before the bishop: the guilty Nun endeavored still to deny all; but, threatened with torture, she confessed having had an intimacy with an Incubus.”
(Ludovico Maria Sinistrari, Demoniality: Or Incubi and Succubi (Isidore Liseux, 1879), 235–245, Source: Putnam, Exo-Vaticana, 125–126.)
37. St. Jerome, Jerome: The Principal Works of St. Jerome, Source: Schaff, Nicene, 300–301.
38. This acceptance has never been universal. Agobard, who was the Archbishop of Lyons, France and “one of the most celebrated and learned prelates of the ninth century,” writes, “We have, however, seen and heard many men plunged in such great stupidity, sunk in such depths of folly, as to believe that there is a certain region, which they call Magonia, whence ships sail in the clouds, in order to carry back to that region those fruits of the earth which are destroyed by hail and tempests; the sailors paying rewards to the storm wizards and themselves receiving corn and other produce. Out of the number of those whose blind folly was deep enough to allow them to believe these things possible, I saw several exhibiting in a certain concourse of people, four persons in bonds—three men and a woman who they said had fallen from these same ships; after keeping them for some days in captivity they had brought them before the assembled multitude, as we have said, in our presence to be stoned. But truth prevailed.” 
(Agobard, Liber de Grandine et Tonitruis, Chapter XI, Source: Vallee, Passport to Magonia, 9–10.)
 
Agobard’s understanding of this incident differed greatly from the philosophers, or scientists, of his day, “In vain does a Philosopher bring to light the falsity of the chimeras people have fabricated, and present manifest proofs to the contrary. No matter what his experience, nor how sound his argument and reasoning, let but a man with a doctor’s hood come along and write them down as false—experience and demonstration count for naught and it is henceforward beyond the power of Truth to re-establish her empire. People would rather believe in a doctor’s hood than in their own eyes. There has been in your native France a memorable proof of this popular mania.
The famous Cabalist Zedechias, in the reign of your Pepin, took it into his head to convince the world that the Elements are inhabited by those people whose nature I have just described to you. The expedient of which he bethought himself was to advise the Sylphs to show themselves in the Air to everybody: They did so sumptuously. These beings were seen in the Air in human form, sometimes in battle array marching in good order, halting under arms, or encamped beneath magnificent tents. Sometimes on wonderfully constructed aerial ships, whose flying squadrons roved at the will of the Zephyrs.
 
What happened? Do you suppose that ignorant age would so much as reason as to the nature of these marvelous spectacles? The people straightaway believed that sorcerers had taken possession of the Air for the purpose of raising tempests and bringing hail upon their crops. The learned theologians and jurists were soon of the same opinion as the masses. The Emperor believed it as well; and this ridiculous chimera went so far that the wise Charlemagne, and after him Louis the Debonair, imposed grievous penalties upon as these supposed Tyrants of the Air. You may see an account of this in the first chapter of the Capitularies of these two Emperors.
 
The Sylphs seeing the populace, the pedants and even the crowned heads thus alarmed against them, determined to dissipate the bad opinion people had of their innocent fleet by carrying off men from every locality and showing them their beautiful women, their Republic and their manner of government, and then setting them down again on earth in divers parts of the world. They carried out their plan. The people who saw these men as they were descending came running from every direction, convinced beforehand that they were sorcerers who had separated from their companions in order to come and scatter poisons on the fruit and in the springs. Carried away by the frenzy with which such fancies inspired them, they hurried these innocents off to the torture. The great number of them who were put to death by fire and water throughout the kingdom is incredible.
 
One day, among other instances, it chanced at Lyons that three men and a woman were seen descending from these aerial ships. The entire city gathered about them, crying out they were magicians and were sent by Grimaldus, Duke of Beneventum, Charlemagne’s enemy, to destroy the French harvests. In vain the four innocents sought to vindicate themselves by saying that they were their own country-folk, and had been carried away a short time since by miraculous men who had shown them unheard-of marvels, and had desired to give them an account of what they had seen. The frenzied populace paid no heed to their defence, and were on the point of casting them into the fire, when the worthy Agobard, Bishop of Lyons, who having been a monk in that city had acquired considerable authority there, came running at the noise, and having heard the accusations of the people and the defence of the accused, gravely pronounced that both one and the other were false. That is was not true that these men had fallen from the sky, and that what they said they had seen there was impossible.
 
The people believed what their good father Agobard said rather than their own eyes, were pacified, set at liberty the four Ambassadors of the Sylphs, and received with wonder the book which Agobard wrote to confirm the judgment which he had pronounced. Thus the testimony of these four witnesses was rendered vain.”
(A.H. Clough, Introduction to Plutarch’s “Lives,” Source: Vallee, Passport to Magonia, 11–12.)
39. Speigel, “More Believe In Space Aliens.”
40. Wrenn, “More than a third of Americans.”
41. Newport, “What If Government.”
42. “Sci Fi Channel / Roper UFOs Poll 2002: Highlights,” The Sci Fi Channel, http://www.syfy.com/ufo/roper/02.html , Source: UFO Evidence, “Sci Fi Channel.”
43. Additional public opinion polls can be found at http://www.ufoevidence.org/topics/publicopinionpolls.htm .
44. Population Estimates Program, Population Division, U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Historical National Population Estimates: July 1, 1900 to July 1, 1999,” April 11, 2000, Revised June 28, 2000, Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Historical National.”
45. For the purposes of this article, no technical distinction is being made between the paranormal and the supernatural. The supernatural is not perceived as being ordinary, and therefore, it can be considered paranormal.

Works Cited

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The above comes from our book Sinister Spirit . Check out this book to see how popular paranormal topics are linked to the spirit of antichrist.

 

Author: Timothy Zebell, 2014