Obsession with the Paranormal can lead to unwanted results

When one reviews the statistics that posit an increasing number of those that do not believe in anything to do with religion, a growing demographic of secular, atheistic individuals that deny the existence of the spiritual realm; one cannot help but find a conundrum at hand considering the also increasing statistical number of people that are highly interested if not obsessed with the rite of exorcism.  Any motion picture produced that deals with the subject immediately develops a cult following; especially the movie that is widely considered the one that started it all—that is to say movies about exorcism—The Exorcist.

The novel The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty and the 1973 film of the same name is the dramatic presentation based on the story of an unidentified male juvenile who is now known to the world as Roland or sometimes Robbie Doe who unwittingly became the inspiration for the book and screen play: The Exorcist.  The details of this case have been argued and skeptics have even tried to debunk the case, so as to give credibility to their claim that demonic possession does not exist.  Admittedly motion pictures such as the Exorcist do overly dramatize events, however there has been countless testimonies given by educated, objective professionals that indicate that possession does happen and bizarre seemingly unbelievable events do actually take place.  See our post St. Louis University Expert Talks About Exorcism On Campus

Forty years after the release of the book and movie, public interest continues in the story of “Roland Doe” who stayed at several locations while undergoing exorcism in St. Louis Missouri.  In a story dated September 18, 2013, Gail Pennington of the St. Louis Post-dispatch reports in a piece titled ‘Ghost Adventures’ will spotlight St. Louis’ ‘Exorcist House’ that the Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures” will visit St. Louis and explore “the notorious Exorcist House” for its Season 8 opener, airing at 8 p.m. Oct. 4. Ms. Pennington writes; “The show boasts that it’s the first paranormal TV show ever to examine the home in Bel Nor where the Roman Catholic ritual that inspired the William Peter Blatty book (and subsequent movie) “The Exorcist” took place.”

Ghost Adventures is an American television series about the paranormal that premiered on October 17, 2008, on the Travel Channel. Produced by MY-Tupelo Entertainment [1] but it is just one of a plethora of cable programs as well as possibly thousands of web sites and you tube videos that populate the internet which are dedicated to exploring the realm of the paranormal and followed by an equally dedicated contingent of obsessed fans.

I would be remiss if I did not reiterate that it is the position of this ministry as well as that of most clergy that the entities that most of these venues investigate and refer to as ghosts are in reality demons.  Classic Christian doctrine as well as that of other Abrahamic traditions, insists that after death the spirit does not linger in this Earthly realm, but rather the spirit of the recently departed proceeds directly to heaven or hell.  Any entity that manifests itself is either an Angel of God or an Angel of Hell.  Obviously—if this is indeed true—the sixty-four dollar question is how does one discern if the entity encountered is angel or demon, especially as Satan and his minions are known to be deceivers.

This ministry receives reports every week of individuals, good people that are besieged by demons; or what our counterparts in the field of paranormal investigation and New Age spiritualism refer to as poltergeists, or noisy ghosts.  In the process of interviewing and screening requests for spiritual assistance, almost every one of these victims reports an interest in watching these shows on television as well as DVDs portraying fictional accounts—as well as documentaries of real events such as that experienced by “Roland Doe”—of ghosts and evil spirits such as those portrayed in the series of movies titled Paranormal Activity.  While I believe the testimonies of the victims that come to me for assistance, the fact that they have watched such fiction gives room for skeptics to attack the veracity of their claims.  Also I have to point out that should interest in the paranormal reach obsession level, this obsession becomes a state of sin in that any obsession becomes a type of false Idol.  Deliverance ministers—Protestant as well as Catholic—see this as a “legal right” for the demon to harass and oppress the victim.  Therefore if you are experiencing any so called paranormal activity in your home or surroundings, whatever you do, do not make a habit to watch these programs and presentations, but do your best to distance yourself from this programming and focus on other aspects of the living.

Some observers maintain that our growing interest/obsession with the paranormal—as a society—contributes to the increase of evil in our culture.  I don’t know if this is true or not but the rise of malignant Narcissism in the world gives reason for concern and seemingly seems to support the previous supposition, see our post http://wp.me/p31n5U-1k .

In conclusion, while we of the ministry rely on faith to tell us what it really is that goes bump in the night, and our friends in paranormal investigations / parapsychology maintain that the entity moving through your home and keeping you awake at night is your long lost auntie Ethel, from a scientific viewpoint we do not know exactly what is happening, we can’t say with scientific certainty that the thing that wakes you up at night while standing at the foot of your bed is ghost or demon.  But I highly suggest that you are experiencing things out of the normal, do not dwell on these events, do not try to contact the entity or converse with it, do not develop any empathy for it or on the other hand fear it, because these emotions are what the things seem to feed on.  So instead of becoming obsessed and opening doors to further oppression or even the most remote likely hood, possession, focus on the living and the glory of God.

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