Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Note of Caution for Paranormal Investigators

This last year has been such a blessing. Since my decision to first publish some of my tales the paranormal community has welcomed me and made me feel so at home.


That you read this blog is to me a blessing, and when you ask me questions of a religious or paranormal nature I am doubly blessed.


In a year that has been personally very tough I have been given strength and encouragement.


Thank you all so much.


To my readership I give a heartfelt thanks that I can only say has been a gift from God.


Throughout this year I have had some struggles in the subject of the paranormal that I may have raised but I have not fully voiced.


But I just have a fear and dread for some who have just begun to explore the dark corners of the earth.


Not to mince words I will just say it.


I fear by then end of this decade (and beyond) we will see a devastating toll in the ranks of paranormal investigators.


Many will face debilitating illness and those who have minor illnesses will see an increase to their inflictions.


I speak not of physical illness but mental ones.


Those of you who have come to know me in this blog should know that I never confuse a mental health issue with an instance of demonic oppression or infestation.


I know SO many that have mental health issues that the church has misguidedly assumed to be demonic and proceeded to cause more psychological damage to innocent victims that the numbers actually overwhelm me at times.


Instead of the peace that they sought in the church, they find that condemnation, judgment and misunderstanding. A place of solace for them has been transformed into yet another arena for them to be cast off as wrenched refuse.


It is a shame of indignity on the church as a whole in some circumstances and a cause for looming judgment for many Christians who think they live a prefect life yet choose to demean others who have no control over their circumstances.


No, I do not want you to confuse my compassion with my fears on this subject.


I fear that many Paranormal investigators in their zeal to uncover issues of the paranormal have unleashed forces in their lives which they have no control over. Forces that they are truly unprepared to face while trying to function in their normal day to day life apart from their ‘investigations’.



The issue at hand is how many handle encounters with various entities while in their investigations. I have observed an increasing number of individuals relating that they are trying to carry on a conversation with entities whose position and power they have no knowledge of. It is as if they are long lost friends with whom they are trying to catch up.


Even in the face of possible physical manifestation.


Let me just forewarn you that if the entity that you have been called on to investigate has in the past manifested itself physically in the real world you need to keep your guard up and be VERY cautious.


Even without such manifestations you still need to be very cautious when trying to communicate with entities.


The Bible warns about communications with spirits, and with good reason.


Deuteronomy 18:10-12 commands,

“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,.” NKJV.


Now as a good Biblical deconstructionist I of course have to ask why the Bible condemns such practices. Of course the easy answer that most Evangelicals and Fundamentalists would give is because in participating in these practices you are wandering into the Devil’s territory. Doing any of these things is and of itself ‘satanic’. However there are examples in the Bible where the Holy Men of history are participating in these very things.


Joseph apparently practiced divination. In Genesis 44:1-5 Joseph has servants put his ‘silver divination cup’ into his younger brother’s baggage in a ruse to reunite his unsuspecting family.


In Judges 6:35-37, Gideon a Judge of Israel used a fleece in the same way as soothsayers used various others objects to divine the future.


And in the book of Acts the remaining 11 Apostles draw lots to pick a replacement for Judas.


All of these practices are either the same ones condemned in Deuteronomy or bear a close resemblance in both form and substance to them.


So the command to not participate in these occult practices must have a deeper underlying meaning.


I feel they are condemned rituals because one can easily come into contact with demonic spirits while doing them and because of the nature of the practices one can easily become ensnared and manipulated by said evil entities.


These practices fall under the umbrella of the forbidden rites of communication with spirits.


Now why does the Bible and other religious tomes warn against communication with disembodied spirits?


Because they lie.


They lie very good.


Why?


Sometimes it seems as if they can read your mind and find the weakest spot of your psyche on which to feed upon.


And they want you to believe the lies they spit forth.


They want you to believe in them. To let your guard down.


They want power. Power over YOU.


They want to control you.


I know a woman who has spent most of her life in the church and whose life has been one of caring and giving. She is not just a religious woman, she is a spiritual woman. But she has spent most of her life in bondage. She was addicted to asking advice from her Ouija board. She would not make any decision no matter how small without asking her board first. And the board answered her with precise clarity. She told me it had a real personality of its own. It even told her unknown secrets and predicted the future. The spirit of the board became her best friend and confidant. Soon though she felt trapped by the spirit of the board and told her son, who was a church Elder, of her dabbling with the occult. In a solemn ritual they took the board out to the backyard and put it in a burning barrel.


It would not burn.


She is just one example, I know of many others who have been ensnared by the power of divination.


Demonic entities have one goal: to harm as many as they can. They hate human beings and will do anything to make their lives miserable.


And they can latch on to anyone who gives them undue attention or power. Letting the entity have control in an investigation feeds it and allows it develop a bond with the person who allows it to have control in a conversation.


I am not talking about asking simple questions or tasks that would assist in determining if there is an intelligent entity in the place of investigation. I am talking about those investigators who have drawn conclusions about the entity before any evidence as to its nature or origin is determined and they assume that the entity is the spirit is a deceased individual and try to ‘get to know it’.


Malevolent entities love the attention and would love to get to know the interviewer in an up close and personal way.


Powerful Demonic entities do seem to have some sort of telepathic or at least empathic ability. Whether they can actually read minds or have been around humans for so many millennia that they can predict human thought and behavior is a discussion for another day. That they have the ability to latch on to unsuspecting victims and affect them emotionally and psychologically is well documented and is the basis for demonic possession. But possession is a rarity, even though some popular television shows would like to have us think otherwise for the sake of the spectacular.


More common is Demonic oppression. It is when a dark entity latches onto a person and although it does not control the individual it does manipulate. Some signs of Demonic oppression are changes in personality, depression, suicidal or uncontrollable thoughts, addictions, increased severity of pre-existing psychological problems, undiagnosable physical ailments and poltergeist phenomena. Now the presence of any of these conditions does not mean Demonic oppression, but if they happen to manifest themselves after an encounter with an entity it might be a sign of an infestation. Of course even then it could be a natural occurrence and have nothing to do with the demonic at all, so caution mixed with wisdom and discretion is advised. If they are caused by Demonic oppression, in the long run normal treatments will not work. In fact the conditions might actually get worse. And the common wisdom of our current culture is to treat many of these conditions with pharmaceuticals, which will only hide the symptoms or exacerbate things.


What is needed is spiritual guidance and cleansing.


You need to find yourself a reputable person who has had training and experience in these areas. Sometimes that is hard to find.


In talking with a few associates I have decided to try to compile a national/international database of those who have both training and experience in the field of Demonology and spiritual deliverance or Exorcism to handle any such problems if the need arises. Those on the database could also be consulted in investigations as well.


The list is growing and we are hoping to compile it and distribute it within a few months. Of course it will be an ongoing project with names being included and updates being distributed periodically. The completed list will be distributed to all those included and to various paranormal investigative teams that wish to participate across the globe. Anyone in the general public who needs these services as well will be able to get in touch with anyone on the list through various contacts that shall be web accessible.


If you have had experience and training in Demonology and/or Deliverance-Exorcism please send you name, address, phone number, e-mail, limit of geographical area you would wish to travel in (most are saying within 100 miles from home) and a brief description of your experience or training to: theparanormalpastor@roadrunner.com .


Let’s fight the darkness together.


Until Next Time,

Pastor Swope

____________________________________________________________________
Vote for me to be a take part in the new paranormal show from the Discovery Network, click the link below and vote! You can vote every day!

39 comments:

Bryony said...

your blog speaks true i fear. can i ask... have you seen TAPS ghost hunters? what are your thoughts on the way they investigate?

Pastor Swope said...

Thanks for the comment Bryony,

Yes I watch the original show every chance I get. I think Jason and Grant have a very logical and cautious attitude toward the unknown. They are scientific and thorough.

Other shows that highlight the sensational of paranormal investigation just fan the fire for those who have no experience with demonic forces. I hope that not too many get burned.

truthseeker said...

Thanks for the wisdom Pastor Swope! Christianity is (and should be) spiritual and not religious. Isn't that what Jesus taught us about breaking down religion (Pharisees and Sadducees) for an intimate relationship with GOD?

Job 1:7
"And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?”
So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” NKJV

That should be a warning to anyone wishing to contact spirits.

Howard said...

I find your blog interesting, even though I cannot agree with everything you write. An Exorcist Tells His Story and An Exorcist: More Stories by Fr. Gabriele Amorth are two of the most thorough and reliable (based on the position and experience of the author) books I have found on the topic of this week's post. It appears that even more caution than you recommend is in order.

The following passage from the Catechism of the Catholic Church is relevant to your discussion this week:

2116 All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to "unveil" the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.

Anonymous said...

First of all, just what does the "Fi" part of the Sci-Fi network (which broadcasts Ghost Hunters) stand for?

Too much of the show is obviously scripted for it to be taken seriously. How many times do we see 2 plumbers with a camera crew needed to change a leaky faucet? Are we really expected to believe that they don't discuss an upcoming case until they are in the vans and just about to pull into the site? And a lot of the "personal conflict", particularly involving Brian, could have brought charges of libel or slander if this had been "real", rather than role-playing.

Leaving that aside, and without going into other criticisms that could be leveled at the group, I have seen an episode in which Jason Hawes of TAPS invite a "ghost" to follow him home. This is, if you will pardon my French, a damn fool thing to do. If this were anything real, Jason had no real knowledge of what he was inviting into his life.

Angela said...

Thank you so much for doing this post!

Take care,
Angela

Jeff said...

Pastor Swope, thanks for posting that Bible verse, I've been looking for it for a while, but I thought it was in one of Paul's letters.

I've been working on some stories about ghosts and spiritualism, so your blog has been a real treat to read and has given me some good ideas. I have been doing some second-hand research about paranormal investigations and have spoken to one active investigator. I also like the way the TAPS guys work, and I dislike many of the other shows that sensationalize everything. Especially the ones that use mediums as their primary source of information. But my wife has cautioned me not to participate in any of these investigations as part of my research (I haven't) because I have a tendency to bring these things home with me.

Although I am not entirely convinced of the evidence of demons, I do believe there are malevolent spirits that people should not toy with. They are like spoiled children - if you pay attention to them, you give them power and encourage them.

Have you heard of the Philip Experiment? Google it. I think it corroborates much of what you said in this post.

Anonymous said...

Longtime fan of the blog Pastor Swope. I've been reading it since The Anomalist first linked to it and have thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm not sure if I agree with you on WHY Ouija boards are bad news but ultimately I agree with you- Ouija boards are often bad news. I recently discovered that Janet, the child that the Enfield Poltergeist seemed to revolve around, had messed around with one before things kicked off. There also seems to be a rise in women practicing witchcraft. I don't approach this field with the same religious inclination as you- but even I can't shake the feeling these people are being terribly reckless.
I've also noticed a increase in cult like behavior amongst many of those interested in UFOs. They'll tell you about the types of ships, the different races, etc.- but there's often a very dark side to their New Age gibberish. Many of them have pegged December 21, 2012 as a momentous date. I have a bad feeling we're going to see a lot of unstable people committing suicide around that date. Judging from their rhetoric- many of these folks have become increasingly delusional. I'm probably more concerned about mass suicides on the part of members of these emerging ufo belief systems as I am about people getting wrapped up in their Ouija board.
ps
I find it odd that it's almost always women that get wrapped up with Ouija boards. Not sure why that is.

Daniel said...

Pastor Swope,

I know what you mean. I think Paranormal State is the worst offender as far as TV shows mean. I love to watch the show every week because its pretty entertaining but I often wonder if these guys have any idea what ther are getting themselves into in the shows where they are supposedly dealing with demons. From what little I know about exorcism from the couple books I have read these guys don't really seem to take any of precautions for the safety of either their physical, mental or spiritual well being. One show I saw where they cast a demon out of a teenage girl they seems to do everything that that Father Malachi Martin says not to do.

But maybe the show is fake so they are not too worried. The problem is that it might make some viewers believe you can so casually deal with demons and such & end up getting in real trouble.

FWIW

Daniel

Author said...

Pastor,

Deuteronomy 18:10-12 commands,

“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,.” NKJV.

While I mostly agree that one should NOT mess with things they are not spiritually ready for, I interpret the above scripture differently. I read the above as a warning against following the religious practices of the Gentiles. It would seem that the practices discussed in the above passage are ways to gain power, knowledge or even comfort from sources other than God. "Calling up the dead" is different in my mind than trying to determine if the dead don't already sleep uneasily in a certain location.

There is scripture that begs one to take care while investigate already infested locations. That would be Acts 19:13-16. Basically some Jewish exorcists tried calling on the NAME of Jesus as a word of power and without belief. The demons they were exorcising beat the stuffing out of them saying, "Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?"

So basically I agree. I just think there is a difference in calling forth a spirit for purposes of divination and exorcising/investigating a spirit that is already there. In the case of the latter one must prepare oneself with prayer and possibly directed fasting.

cryptidsrus said...

I don't like TAPS, by the way. MY opinion, of course. Jason and Grant like to show how "brave" they are and like to "provoke" the entities to show themselves. No thank you for me. Entities like this do not need to be tangled with that way.
I do sort of like Paranormal State, though. At least some episodes. And that Most Haunted lady gives me the colic, for some reason.

Anyway...
This reminds me of what Manly Hall used to say about channelers. He also used to discourage reliance on them. Also it reminds me of Dr. John Dee (Elizabeth I's Magus) and Edward Kelley---Dee's scryer---back in the 16th century. They also dabbled in magic and "spirit summoning," causing them grief and ruin in the process. I assume you know about it, Swope??? Very good cautionary tale.

I get you are saying, Pastor.
Keep up the good work. :)

Paige said...

I really liked your article and the points you make are very valid. A paramormal enthusiast that I am familiar with brought home something that had formed an "attachment" to them and the only way they could get rid of it was through a spiritual cleansing and blessing. We dont know what we are dealing with when we go delving into the world of the supernatural and unexplained. That is the only thing that has kept me from pursuing a paranormal hobby. If something came home with me and harmed someone I loved, I dont know what I would do. I love Ghost Hunters and they really know what they are doing. But seeing them do it every week on tv and making it look so easy can be deceiving to someone who wants to go try it and knows nothing of the paranormal. Thank you again for y our informative and much-needed blog. Peace.

Pastor Swope said...

Thanks for the Comment Cryptidsrus,

Your comment on the Most Haunted lady almost made me fall off my chair!

I have briefly heard of John Dee; there is a large history of those dabbling with summoning spirits and devastated lives.

I understand how you feel about The Ghost Hunters challenging spirits, but I have seen the same thing done by exorcists in a different more controlled way. I appreciate it when they (Jason and Grant)debunk.

Pastor Swope said...

Thanks for the Comment Author,

I agree with you 100% on all your points. The problem comes when you cannot ascertain what you are confronting. Prayer and fasting yes, but you also need someone with the gift of discernment.

Thanks again!

Pastor Swope said...

Thanks for the Comment Daniel,

Yes. I once saw a show where they 'laid hands' on a 'possessed' person to do an exorcism. This can raise a whole host of horry problems.

Laying on of hands is to heal or commit, NOT to exorcise. A demonic spirit can leap from person to person or actually SPLIT apart and oppress or infect many.

Pastor Swope said...

Thanks for the Comment Anonymous,

I think in its basic for a Ouija Board is like dowsing and pendulum use.
It is controlled subconsciously by the user. However it can be a portal and point of contact with malicious entities.

Pastor Swope said...

Thanks for the Comment Howard!

Great reference, one can NEVER be too cautious!

With Catechism of the Catholic Church though I agree for the most part. However in the Christian tradition Prophecy and other spiritual gifts seem to mirror some of the issues in the passage you reference.


Then again you have the issue of some of the Patriarchs practicing these things that I have raised and the whole issue of the Magi and their connection to astrology.

Of course 'by their fruits you shall know them' and anything from God will produce Faith, Hope and Love. And as a whole I agree with the basic gist of the passage you reference.

Pastor Swope said...

Thanks for the Comment anonymous,

Does the Fi stand for the same thing as Hi-Fi?

Boy am I old.

Yeah the obvious scripting is hokey sometimes, it's no Battlestar Galactica!

Never saw that episode, and yep darn fool thing to do, especially if you have kids at home.

Bryony said...

anonymous, i agree with your point of certain parts being "put on" on TAPS but i think that is just for the tv. They've been told by the tv show producers to do that. i think the rest of it is pretty accurate and true. just my opinion though :)
p.s Most Haunted is rubbish :P. I do like Paranormal State but yes i feel they are a tad nieve.

Mark said...

Thank you for your very interesting article and perspective on this subject Pastor Swope. I have often thought that the behaviour of purportedly extraterrestrial UFO occupants that have been reported by their human contactees to have come from various ridiculous places including Venus or Jupiter is similar to the type of lies that demons seem to enjoy spreading. The utter rubbish and lies mixed with truth emanating from some EVP recordings seems to belie something other than the common interpretation of a deceased human being in many instances. However, the questions that occur often to me is exactly what IS a demon, and why have they the power to be able to watch us from afar, as from a mountain top when we are in the valley below unable to see the wider landscape. If God in some form does exist, why have such entities been allowed to exist and sow confusion and doubt amongst mankind? Also, how can they be destroyed, not just banished or exorcised but totally and utterly annihilated such that their ethereal form no longer exists in this or any other high vibrational state or dimension? I appreciate that none of this has an easy answer, and hence is more of a rhetorical question.

Catherine said...

Pastor Swope,

I have enjoyed your blog from the beginning and can relate to many things you speak of. I was raised in the C&MA church and have seen many people over the years try to perform exocisms when they did not know what they were doing or the "victim" was clearly mentally ill. My point is, you are so right about people taking the paranormal too lightly. It is not something I believe a non-Christian is capable of handling without dire consequences. Despite being raised in the Church my whole life, I practiced divination for many years believing I could live a Christian life and practice the occult side-by-side. Needless to say, it doesn't work that way and I still suffer spiritually from demonic doorways I opened years ago. I still feel drawn to the occult from time to time and I know it's the result of entities that attached themselves to me. Thank you for reaching out to those who may be tempted to make the same mistake and think the paranormal is a game. God Bless.

Randy said...

Great blog, Pastor Swope. I hope that anyone who dabbles in the paranormal is careful; I've heard too many tales fo how even incidental contact has caused havoc in peoples' lives.

As for the TV ghost shows, the only one I really place any faith in is "Ghost Hunters". TAPS has always approached their investigations with the attitude of looking for a non-paranormal explanation first. They try to debunk all that they can, and when they have no natural explanations left they look to the supernatural. As far as camera crews folowing them on their day jobs, they do that to remimd us that Jason and Grant aren't Spengler, Stantz and Egon; they're regular folk with a passion and a desire to help others.

"Most Haunted", on the other hand, takes the opposite view: it's haunted until someone proves it different. Of course they can't prove someplace isn't haunted, so viola! a ghost every week. I'm not saying that some of the places they've visited aren't haunted, but I don't think they all are. I haven't watched enough "Paranormal State" to form a good opinion of that show, but it always seems a little too showy and atged for my taste. And, like others have pointed out, they seem a bit reckless in their style fo investigation.

Just my two cents.

chaneyjr said...

Pastor,
I just discovered your site tonight (while watching Ghost Hunters International in the background!) The only comment I have for now is in response to the person wondering about what 'Sci-Fi' in the Sci-Fi Channel stands for and I would ask you, ever heard of Forest J Ackerman? He coined the phrase "sci-fi" many, many years ago which simply means, "science fiction"!!
"Remember, a Jedi feels the force flowing through him.."
Until next time..

Pastor Swope said...

Thanks for the Comment Chaney Jr,

Oh yes I knew of Uncle Forrey. Famous Monsters, Eerie, and Fate were my first reading material when I was a child.

I was only kidding about Fi. We all know it's a Marine thing, Semper and all that....

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify, "What does the "fi" in 'sci-fi' mean?" was a rhetorical question. Ghost Hunters is broadcast on the Science FICTION channel, not on network that is meant to be taken seriously.

(I continue to wait for C-SPAN to add a paranormal show to their lineup.)

cryptidsrus said...

One thing, though...

Since the theme of "exorcism" has been raised...
I wonder what Pastor Swope thinks of Bob Larsen---who has a new show on Sci-Fi, BTW---and the "methods" he uses for summoning and casting out demons? I don't pretend to have extensive knowledge of exorcisms but I DO know it's not as easy as he makes it out to be on each episode.

Larsen uses the Protestant method of exorcism, of course, which involves actively engaging and communicating with the entitiy, as oppossed to the Catholic method, which tends to discourage active engagement ("I don't care what kind of demon you are; when are you going to leave?").

All he does is wave his Bible a couple of times and "lay hands" on the person; also smack them with the Bible a couple of times. All done within the time period of the show (I know, Tv edits out scenes for time purposes). He says "Go back into torment" a lot and after that, the sufferer is cured, just like that.

I don't doubt that a lot of his clients are really possessed, but ALL of them? And they're that easily cured? I don't know...
Just wondered what Swope thought. :)

wahauf said...

Pastor Swope, thank you for this blog and opportunity to express my thoughts. Even though a conservative Christian (Lutheran-Missouri Synod) all my life, I consider myself also a "student of the bizarre", only in that I read and watch (e.g. Ghost Hunters), but never dabble.

I know this point-of-view has probably been expressed before, here, but given certain apparent characteristics of demons or fallen angels, and their MO (Method of Operations) biblically and historically derived, one could suppose they could easily pretend or disguise themselves as ghosts or not-yet-departed spirits of the deceased, as well as grey aliens. These characteristics would include extreme intelligence and age (immortal-even), intimate knowledge of mankinds sinful nature, and since they can watch invisibly, knowledge of specific secret acts of a person, alive or dead, the propensity to deceive, and likely skilled acting. Such secrets, if not observed first hand, might be acquired by other fellow demons who were present (Watchers), in a sort of demonic secrets network. Thus they know things that only a deceased one would know, so as to 'prove' their identity as the deceased, or only you would know, to demonstrate a power over you.

Often Ghost Hunters frustratingly encounter phenomena that is just out of reach, sounds that stop when they get close, shadows that were just missed by the camera, and a feeling that the entity is playing with them, phenomena seemingly designed to inspire fear. This seems inline with demonic purposes of demons who purport to feed on fear, itself.

That raises the question, are any ghosts truly spirits of the deceased, or are they all lying demonic spirits? The Christian view as I understand it does not allow for deceased spirits to hang about, but to be transported to heaven or hell (or sleep until it is time). Only anecdotes (I have read) of helpful, comforting visitations of a deceased loved one's spirits would I think support a No answer to that question.

Pastor Swope said...

Thanks for the Clarification Anonymous,

Sorry my pitiful attempt at humor was misconstrued. I've been a Sci-Fi fan since Star Trek hit the convention scene in the late 60s.

So you could say I am Semper Fi to Sci-Fi, ever since I listened to Leonard Nimoy's early 70's records on my Hi-Fi.

Pastor Swope said...

Thanks for the comment Cryptidsrus,

I had no idea Larson was on Sci-Fi.

We have a lot of differences of opinion.

I used to listen to his talk show while in College and Seminary "Talk Back with Bob Larson". Reflecting back on those shows he reminds me of a mix of Jimmy Swaggert and Shawn Hannity.

I'll have to watch the show. Who knew you could have demons preform for a television audience?

Pastor Swope said...

Thanks for the Comment Wahauf,

Well put good sir!

However I think that Biblical interpretation on the subjects of ghosts have been a little askew for the last two centuries.

I do propose that the Bible does not give a point by point method of departure from this realm to the next, but it gives generalities that are stated within a specific context (to be absent from the body is to be with the Lord. If read in context there is scriptural support to the phenomena of 'ghost' or 'spirit' of a departed human.

I believe God wants us to love and adore Him and our fellow man, and to observe the world around us with an open heart and an open mind.

Kudos

Literary Equine said...

I, too am a pastor as well as an author of fantasy and dark fantasy stories. I have been a silent lurker on your blog, have enjoyed it immensely, enjoying the tales and related experiences and sharing in a vicarious thrill (or shiver) or pausing in thought, but I want you to know as a former missionary to the third world, I appreciate this post most of all.

Well said, sir, and I hope your readers take it to heart.

David said...

I’d suggest that trying to encounter the supernatural does not have to be a negative experience. First, the chances of actually encountering spiritual entities are really pretty remote. Most ghost hunters rarely encounter anything outside their own imagination. But on the rare chance someone actually encounters something from the “other side”, that experience should be worth its weight in gold. The danger to the world’s spiritual health is not ghosts, but skepticism. What are the consequences of meeting a spirit of any sort? One then has to face the fact that there is more to our lives then the material world. If there are demons, then there is a God, and to meet a demon proves God exists.

Pastor Swope said...

Thanks for the Comment David,

I'm not advising against encountering the supernatural in the least, and you are right about not many Investigators actually encounter entities.

However I am advocating that those who look for something potentially dangerous should be prepared and cautious. Because although they might be rarely encountered they do exist.

Pastor Swope said...

Thanks Anonymous!

Pastor Swope said...

Thanks for the Comment Literary Equine,

Good to have a true kindred soul here!

Welcome! and thanks!

Anonymous said...

Dear Paranormal Pastor;
I have a slightly different view but essentially I agree with you that there are many seriouse dangers in "investigating" haunted sites. I especially dislike the practice of "provoking" as it is disturbing and disrespectful to the dead. The fact is some have had spiritual or unseen forces follow them home and it can be not a good thing. There are many things in this world that are not described in the Bible and yet are real.
I especially dislike Bob Larson as he is a publicity hound and uses unsafe and exploitive measures on "possesed" which are often women who have been sexually abused as children. For years they may have repressed some of thier trauma which is "released" on t.v .
I find this most disturbing as it violates the privacy of the person andwhile they might find catharsis in such a release, others will face some heavy repercussions from thier nieghbors and families. As far as I know he provides no further counseling. If you are dealing with hundreds of people, you might do a few some good but many some bad. It has been alleged by some that he summoned spirits of the dead into thier bodies to be "released" in an episode televised in Great Britian. This is appalling! Many Christians feel likewise and his ministry has some seriouse questionable practices and behaviors. Furthermore, in the unlikely event that he actually deals with a demon or two, some will find the sanctity of thier home "invaded" as such spiritual forces can ride in on sound and visual vibrations. This is why we are urged to avoid it. We do not need to poison our souls with trash.
As far as the danger goes, many paranormal investagators are looking for proof of a hereafter and the existance of the soul. The good thing about these shows is that it is quite clear, madeup medieval doctrines aside, that something is out there and interacting with us. Thus proof of the unseen worlds of the creator.
The bad side of it, is that often they will mis-interpert evidance and "reassure" the homeowner that there is nothing to fear, or "invite" the cute little boy ghost home, not realizing that there is everything to fear, and some spirits shapeshift, appearing as innocent little children, until you get up close.....
Peace and Prayers. And yes, God doth love the non-Christians and has provided for the last 40.000years ways of dealing with this in a good way, as the Creator is all mercifull and sent many good and holy people throughtout and from the beginning of time. Peace.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the practice of "provoking the spirits":

But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!" Yet these men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand; and what things they do understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals—these are the very things that destroy them. Jude 9,10 (NIV)

jennifer renee said...

i've read 2 Cor. 5:8 in several different versions... i didn't get that "to be absent from the body..." i got "prefer to be" or "would rather be absent from the body" i'm just saying what i understood it to be...

gyoung said...

my son has started experiencing some odd things, it only happens in his room when he is alone, nobody else has experienced it. He states he has seen clothes move in his closet or a light shutting down in the air in the middle of his room when there were no lights or appliances on in his room. Not sure what to make of this yet, what do you think Pastor Swope?