Not posted here to debate religion or religious beliefs….
A long while ago, like last autumn, I was speaking with a friend we’ll refer to as “D” because I have no idea if he wishes to be referenced herein. We were meeting with a potential new investigative client who wanted to ask us a bit about religion and the paranormal. He was raised, as many are, in the South aka Bible Belt and had always been told, as many are, that ghosts are all evil and psychics do the work of the devil and basically your entire belief system should consist solely of God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost. Oh and sometimes angels. I’m no expert, and no one is or can be on the subject.
Back to the story at hand, and I will shorten it greatly: The Bible does talk about ghosts but much like all other topics if one tries to use the Bible you can pick and choose what you want to support your idea and negate anyone else’s. For example, when Jesus rises from the tomb and everyone runs back to town screaming HE HAS RISEN, the replies are: “you must have seen his ghost, Jesus is dead.” When Jesus shows up, He says, “And He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39“See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet.…” Luke 24:39. The New Living Translation says “Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it’s really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do.”
BUT many others say that if you accept ghosts as the spirits of those who have died, unless you believe in the equivalent of “soul sleep” (Verses that suggest the soul may “sleep” or enter a “holding place” until Judgment Day, such as Revelation 20:11-15 and Matthew 26:31-46) you are denying the long-standing belief that once you die you go to Heaven or Hell. Mostly it’s passages like this that cause a stir:
“Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone wh o does these things is detestable to the Lord.” Deuteronomy 18:10-12
I read an article where Dustin Pari (yes that one) says the following: “Pari, for his part, says he doesn’t believe “a loving God would trap a soul here.” He does, however, leave open the possibility that the likeness of earthly bodies may occasionally be used by God. “I think that heaven just really isn’t as far away as people think it is,” he says.” Or perhaps it is our free will that we choose to be here after we leave our physical bodies.
Now to get off on a slight tangent that circles to another blog post about OJ Simpson…. When Simpson was found not-guilty, Nicole Brown’s mother whispered, “God, Where are you?” It of course touches on the whole “Why does God let bad things happen to good people” unanswerable question. Bugliosi, who has written an entire book about the case for and against God, raises interesting questions in response to Mrs. Brown’s question. (I had to laugh when someone asked him if he believes in God and he responded “assumes facts not in evidence”) Bugliosi was raised Catholic and like so many others, turned away when he couldn’t get the answers he wanted from The Church. He was taught that God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-good, as many of us were. Bugliosi, however, with his keen prosecutor insight at a young age, noticed serious flaws in that lesson in an attempt to answer the good things/bad people question. In summation, Bugliosi says, If God is all-knowing than He knows of evil and chooses not to stop it, which means He can’t be all-loving, or He doesn’t know of evil and is therefore not all-knowing. There’s also the option that God knows of evil but simply cannot stop it and is therefore not all-powerful. As a wise woman in a debate once said, which of these do you want to be? Why would God put someone on Earth if He knew he or she would end up going to Hell? The typical response is that of free will, but either He is all-knowing and therefore knows we will stray, or He is not. If He is all knowing and all good what is the point of prayer? We are essentially thanking Him for what we have while simultaneously asking for mercy from someone who is to be called all-good. If we announce that God has heard and answered our prayers, aren’t we saying that God has the choice to be all-good and answer ours, but then chose to be “bad” and not answer anyone else’s- like the family of Nicole Brown? He chose to answer Simpson’s prayers of freedom and not guilty but told the Browns and Goldmans to take a hike. Where’s the all-good in that? If God knew of the Holocaust but either couldn’t or didn’t want to stop it, then there is no all-good merciful God. If He didn’t know, there is no all-knowing. If He knew and couldn’t stop it, He is not all-powerful. Many say God’s will is the band-aid that covers all, but if it was God’s will that so many good people befall horrible ends, why would we clamor to be with Him?
Again, not a religious debate but just showing the circular logic that can easily become of picking and choosing pieces of the Bible to support your idea.