Ghost Hunting and Consulting the Dead

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Ghost hunting has become popular on TV in recent years.  Just about all of us are curious about those things that are unknown, mysterious, and frightening and we think maybe even a little dangerous.  Some people believe in ghosts and some do not.  The disciples thought they were seeing a ghost when they saw Jesus walking on the water - Matt. 14:26, Mark 6:49 - but that may have been simply because they felt there was no other way of accounting for what their eyes were seeing. 

Be that as it may and no matter how great the bravado there are many places we would prefer to not spend the night alone no matter who we are.  Most of us have no interest in spending the night in a morgue, in an abandoned asylum, in a dark country cemetery away from civilization.  There are just places we would rather not be given a choice.  No, there is nothing to fear and I am not implying there is but I am saying I think it is in most people's nature to feel ill at ease in certain situations despite themselves.

It is little wonder that some of these shows on TV have become quite popular.  They have quite a bit in common with horror movies that have been popular in the movie industry for years.  We kind of like to be scared provided we are safe while doing so.

My subject for this article deals with whether or not these types of shows are suitable for viewing.  Not everything on TV is fit to watch or merely simple innocent entertainment.  With Pay Per View one can have access to even XXX rated videos which I am sure all Christians would agree is sinful to view.  Even without Pay Per View many of the movie channels are guilty of much the same kind of programming.

Then there are some of the cartoon animation type programs where all kinds of vulgarity of speech, obscenities, and cursing run rampant.  A parent that would allow his child to be exposed to this sort of thing can expect to reap what he has sown in due time.

Even comedy shows are often a problem today.  Stand up comedians tell off color jokes, use language that is coarse and crude even to cursing and the situation or sitcom comedies are often as bad or worse.  Casual sex, better known in Bible terms as fornication, is played up as though it is something every normal person that is unmarried ought to engage in as just a normal part of life.  Seinfeld is a good example of that kind of show.   

Well, how about ghost hunting shows?  Are they just clean innocent TV entertainment?  I am fairly certain most of us would at first, without thinking it through, say yes - just like watching a horror show or something like that we would say.  I thought that way myself when the shows first came on.  In fact, I never gave it a thought at first but as time went by and I did begin to think about it I have changed my mind for the simple reason that I did begin to consider some of the things they were doing on the shows in light of the scriptures. 

In just about everyone of these shows it is not just a matter of walking through a building and seeing what happens but it always, sooner or later, comes down to an attempt to make contact with the dead and that is where the problem comes in.  Why?  Because of what God has said.

"There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.  For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord." (Deut. 18:10-12 NKJV)

The phrase "calls up the dead" is in the old King James Version the word "necromancer" which means, according to Albert Barnes the well known commentator, "one who interrogates the dead."  In fact, he says that is the literal rendering of the Hebrew if I understand him correctly and I am satisfied I do.  This is exactly what is done when people try and talk to the dead on these shows asking the dead questions and hoping for an answer while the viewer sets on the edge of his chair anxiously waiting to see if they receive a response.

Mediums are also quite common on these shows.  The word translated "medium" in verse 11 in modern translations is in the old King James Version "a consulter with familiar spirits."  God has said, "Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them." (Lev. 19:31 NKJV)  The Bible is very clear that it is a sin to try and contact the dead.  As you well know people will go to mediums today, pay them money, in hopes of making contact with departed loved ones.  This is sinful.  A person should never in their grief try and consult anyone on the other side in the spirit world other than God himself and that through prayer.  "Should not a people seek their God?  Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living?" (Isa. 8:19 NKJV)  Part of Manasseh's sin was that he consulted mediums (2 Chron. 33:6 NKJV).

We might say well that is the people on the show that are doing these things, we are only watching.  Yes, watching and enjoying them while they are committing this sin and with that being the case what is the difference between that and watching a triple X rated video?  Are we to take pleasure in others sinning?  We are to "seek good and not evil...hate evil, love good." (Amos 5:14-15 NKJV)  "You who love the Lord, hate evil!" (Psalms 97:10 NKJV)  It kind of becomes a matter of the heart does it not?

I close this by saying I am not the TV police.  There are probably not a lot of shows on TV that are not objectionable one way or another.  I even heard a ballplayer curse taking God's name in vain on the basketball court as the two teams I was watching played this past evening.  I do not always know where to draw the line (do you?).  But, the bottom line is we need to think about what we watch and listen to on TV, we need to give it more thought than we do.   If you object to what I have said you are free to do so.  I think we will all agree, however, that we all need to be a little more discerning than we probably are.

(Unfortunately, the days of good clean family entertainment on TV with shows like The Honeymooners, Andy Griffith, I Love Lucy, Family Matters, The Beverly Hillbillies, and a host of others - good clean entertainment - are now pretty much a matter of history except for reruns.)

 

 

 

Visit Denny Smith's web site to read more of his articles and also listen to over 110 audio sermons on many different subjects from "Where Are the Dead?" to "The Weaver's Shuttle," to "What Must I Do To Be Saved?"  The audio sermons are by a good friend.  Why not visit his site now www.dennysmith.net?  You are sure to find a sermon topic or article of interest.

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