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Christianity and the Paranormal


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#1    AquilaChrysaetos

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 11:51 PM

The most common belief system concerning the paranormal, is the assumption that the majority of all paranormal activity captured or recorded are the spirits of the dearly departed. Now, I know that there is plenty of evidence to support these claims, however what I find difficult to understand is how many people who claim to be Christians support this very theory.

My question is for those such Christians. Where do you base these assumptions on? The belief that the souls of the dead can linger here on Earth seem to be in direct opposition of Christian and biblical teachings. I'm not meaning to insult or badger you, I'm only attempting to understand.

Jesus Christ - Matthew 28:18-20 said:

"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

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#2    Ashotep

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 12:20 AM

Maybe they don't want to go through the light because they are afraid of where they may be going.  Then some of them just don't want to leave because of unfinished business or maybe they don't realize their dead.


#3    AquilaChrysaetos

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 12:28 AM

View PostHilander, on 09 December 2012 - 12:20 AM, said:

Maybe they don't want to go through the light because they are afraid of where they may be going.  Then some of them just don't want to leave because of unfinished business or maybe they don't realize their dead.

Yes, I understand that, but that's not my point. Where is this idea ever mentioned by Christ, or anyone else in the bible? Where do you base this on?

Jesus Christ - Matthew 28:18-20 said:

"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

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#4    Jessica Christ

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 12:39 AM

View PostAquilaChrysaetos, on 08 December 2012 - 11:51 PM, said:

The most common belief system concerning the paranormal, is the assumption that the majority of all paranormal activity captured or recorded are the spirits of the dearly departed. Now, I know that there is plenty of evidence to support these claims, however what I find difficult to understand is how many people who claim to be Christians support this very theory.

My question is for those such Christians. Where do you base these assumptions on? The belief that the souls of the dead can linger here on Earth seem to be in direct opposition of Christian and biblical teachings. I'm not meaning to insult or badger you, I'm only attempting to understand.

To understand why some Christians believe in elements of Spiritualism it is all fairly straightforward if we understand history.

The original belief, at least in America, was that upon death one would remain buried until the Resurrection during the Second Coming.

When the Civil War occured this belief was shattered since many died losing parts of their body, being mutilated, because of the industrialization of war it was a new phenomenon, so there no longer was a body in tact in many cases to be resurrected, this posed a problem for many American families.

No longer could American Christians hold onto the view, and heaven became the view that the "spirit" continued to live even as the "body" decayed, the view was the the spirit would live on in "the other side" where life would be pretty much as it was then, a small house, family, etc,...

Then the religion of Spiritualism a few decades after the Civil War became popular in America. It was the belief that we could get messages from the departed.

How can Christians believe in elements of Spiritualism? Because it is very natural for humans to adopt and mix views they are exposed to, it is part acculturation, part blended-faith or syncretism.

The course of history decided what we belive, it was a natural course of events that led to this, Christians throughout history have always been influenced by the views ot the countries they find themselves in, throughout history those countries have been vastly varied. Would a Christian in 2nd century Rome have the same views as one from today in China? Probably not.

Edited by I believe you, 09 December 2012 - 12:41 AM.


#5    libstaK

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 12:43 AM

View PostAquilaChrysaetos, on 09 December 2012 - 12:28 AM, said:

Yes, I understand that, but that's not my point. Where is this idea ever mentioned by Christ, or anyone else in the bible? Where do you base this on?
Who says it's based on Christ or the bible?  Perhaps it is based on personal experiences people have had with the departed or ghosts, it is more likely that when the unexplained occurs a person of any faith will try to fit that into the frame work of their denomination or teaching, they may see it as the proof they seek that there is life after death even though they have no idea why the spirit is not in hell/purgatory or heaven but hanging round as though stuck on earth instead.

Personally, I take it as a "sign" that we do not have all the answers, there are different levels of being outside this material/carbon based version of life.  This tells me we are more likely to know very little about alternative dimensions/realms or whatever than we are to have the answers based on our "extrapolating" from our experiences that which is comforting and makes us believe we do know what we are dealing with

We could be seeing departed loved ones when the sentient "being" is actually only reflecting back to us something that is familiar and therefore will set us at ease because they don't want to frighten us and wish to communicate somehow OR they wish to confuse us and gain an upper hand by having us trust them somehow - just one theory of a miriad of theories/possibilities when dealing with the paranormal which I am not sure we can gain any real answer to at this time.

"I warn you, whoever you are, oh you who wish to probe the arcanes of nature, if you do not find within yourself that which you seek, neither shall you find it outside.
If you ignore the excellencies of your own house, how do you intend to find other excellencies?
In you is hidden the treasure of treasures, Oh man, know thyself and you shall know the Universe and the Gods."

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#6    Jessica Christ

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 01:03 AM

Correction: looked into it and it appears Spiritualism was already popular during the Civil War.


#7    AquilaChrysaetos

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 01:09 AM

View PostlibstaK, on 09 December 2012 - 12:43 AM, said:

Who says it's based on Christ or the bible?  Perhaps it is based on personal experiences people have had with the departed or ghosts, it is more likely that when the unexplained occurs a person of any faith will try to fit that into the frame work of their denomination or teaching, they may see it as the proof they seek that there is life after death even though they have no idea why the spirit is not in hell/purgatory or heaven but hanging round as though stuck on earth instead...

...We could be seeing departed loved ones when the sentient "being" is actually only reflecting back to us something that is familiar and therefore will set us at ease because they don't want to frighten us and wish to communicate somehow OR they wish to confuse us and gain an upper hand by having us trust them somehow - just one theory of a miriad of theories/possibilities when dealing with the paranormal which I am not sure we can gain any real answer to at this time.

You bring up the very point I was eventually going to approach.

To me, it may be more likely that demons impersonate the dead in an attempt to throw others off and bring people further away from the truth. I say this because there have been numerous accounts and recorded evidences that would support this theory. Such as EVP's where a voice changes entirely mid-sentence, and numerous accounts from spiritual mediums claiming to see "residual energy from the living" that is for some reason conscious. There have even been EVP's where when asked by paranormal investigators what the entities names were, they answer with the same name as a dead loved one. However immidiately afterward they are given the command: "In the name of Jesus Christ, I command you to tell me your name." and the same voice responds as "Legion." or something entirely different. Sometimes the voice changes, and sometimes entities change their appearance right before spiritual mediums eyes. Many so called "loved ones" have shown malicious behavior in death in which such behavior has never been known of them during their lives.

If it isn't based on Christ, or even the bible, then many may in fact currently be getting duped. And if you ask why they would do this, the answer seems simple, that many have disregarded Christ because of such activities.

I know you may say I'm simply fitting it into my own belief system, but at least take it as seperate evidence to another possible theory. ;)

Jesus Christ - Matthew 28:18-20 said:

"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

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#8    AquilaChrysaetos

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 01:10 AM

View PostI believe you, on 09 December 2012 - 01:03 AM, said:

Correction: looked into it and it appears Spiritualism was already popular during the Civil War.

I'm definately going to look into this. Thank you for all the great information. :tsu:

Edited by AquilaChrysaetos, 09 December 2012 - 01:10 AM.

Jesus Christ - Matthew 28:18-20 said:

"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

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#9    libstaK

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 01:21 AM

View PostAquilaChrysaetos, on 09 December 2012 - 01:09 AM, said:

You bring up the very point I was eventually going to approach.

To me, it may be more likely that demons impersonate the dead in an attempt to throw others off and bring people further away from the truth. I say this because there have been numerous accounts and recorded evidences that would support this theory. Such as EVP's where a voice changes entirely mid-sentence, and numerous accounts from spiritual mediums claiming to see "residual energy from the living" that is for some reason conscious. There have even been EVP's where when asked by paranormal investigators what the entities names were, they answer with the same name as a dead loved one. However immidiately afterward they are given the command: "In the name of Jesus Christ, I command you to tell me your name." and the same voice responds as "Legion." or something entirely different. Sometimes the voice changes, and sometimes entities change their appearance right before spiritual mediums eyes. Many so called "loved ones" have shown malicious behavior in death in which such behavior has never been known of them during their lives.

If it isn't based on Christ, or even the bible, then many may in fact currently be getting duped. And if you ask why they would do this, the answer seems simple, that many have disregarded Christ because of such activities.

I know you may say I'm simply fitting it into my own belief system, but at least take it as seperate evidence to another possible theory. ;)
I would say that but I would also agree that those that blindly imagine they know what they are dealing with in the paranormal realms should consider a great many possibilities and understand first and foremost that they can be duped by their own mind and by that which can extract familiar peoples and personalities from their mind or their history in the material world - we just don't know.

Interestingly, two stand out experiences I have had have NOT been related to familiar or family members and there have been a few that have but have not tried to impart anything.

Anyway, the two most inexplicable have been a ball of orange coloured light in my bedroom about the size of a basketball, the other was what I can only desribe as a kaleidescope of coloured lights on my stairwell, which my dog was none too happy about.  In the end, the occurrences themselves are no longer the most interesting part of the experiences - people's explanations are far more interesting.

I have been told it is my "guardian angel", someone departed who is watching over me, a messenger, a spirit guide and so on and so forth.  Fact is, I do not know what these were, I know I felt no threat when I saw them but was scared of the unknown and I know they didn't impart anything to me, in fact apart from their appearance my best description is that they were as benign as a fly or moth in the room would be to me.

Those who insist on a "name" for my experiences keep prodding me to consider they were this or that but I keep thinking - what if we are completely wrong?  Your demons may be wrong and my friend's guardian angels may be just as wrong.  It is a slippery slope to put a label on something just so we can sleep at night don't you think?

"I warn you, whoever you are, oh you who wish to probe the arcanes of nature, if you do not find within yourself that which you seek, neither shall you find it outside.
If you ignore the excellencies of your own house, how do you intend to find other excellencies?
In you is hidden the treasure of treasures, Oh man, know thyself and you shall know the Universe and the Gods."

Inscription - Temple of Delphi

#10    AquilaChrysaetos

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 01:37 AM

I agree. There is no way to truly know. I don't think there is anything wrong with speculation, it can and has in many cases, moved science itself forward. The problem lies with accepting one speculation as absolute fact. I am inclined to believe my own theory expressed here (obviously) but am still open to other possibilities. It's certainly honorable to look at things purely scientifically though, and not give in to one belief over another. I commend you for that.

I am just still however curious as to what evidence these "Christian Spiritualists" have to base their claims, as I have evidences to support mine. Yet of course, no true proof.

Jesus Christ - Matthew 28:18-20 said:

"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

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#11    and then

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 01:47 AM

View PostAquilaChrysaetos, on 09 December 2012 - 01:37 AM, said:

I agree. There is no way to truly know. I don't think there is anything wrong with speculation, it can and has in many cases, moved science itself forward. The problem lies with accepting one speculation as absolute fact. I am inclined to believe my own theory expressed here (obviously) but am still open to other possibilities. It's certainly honorable to look at things purely scientifically though, and not give in to one belief over another. I commend you for that.

I am just still however curious as to what evidence these "Christian Spiritualists" have to base their claims, as I have evidences to support mine. Yet of course, no true proof.
I, also have wondered about this topic.  As Christians we are actually forbidden to seek contact with the dead or with those who communicate with "familiar spirits".  For myself, I would be very troubled to have contact with an entity that appeared to be a dead loved one.  I would believe it was a demon spirit sent to deceive me into an action that could damn me.  I believe that people have experiences of this nature all the time and they appear to be coming from creatures of light and love.  Satan himself was transformed into a being of light so that he could deceive.
Good topic!

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#12    AquilaChrysaetos

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 01:51 AM

View Postand then, on 09 December 2012 - 01:47 AM, said:

I, also have wondered about this topic.  As Christians we are actually forbidden to seek contact with the dead or with those who communicate with "familiar spirits".  For myself, I would be very troubled to have contact with an entity that appeared to be a dead loved one.  I would believe it was a demon spirit sent to deceive me into an action that could damn me.  I believe that people have experiences of this nature all the time and they appear to be coming from creatures of light and love.  Satan himself was transformed into a being of light so that he could deceive.
Good topic!

Thank you. I just happen to be one to believe the "wolves in sheeps clothing" analogy from Christ doesn't only apply to humanity.

Jesus Christ - Matthew 28:18-20 said:

"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

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#13    libstaK

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 02:12 AM

View PostAquilaChrysaetos, on 09 December 2012 - 01:51 AM, said:

Thank you. I just happen to be one to believe the "wolves in sheeps clothing" analogy from Christ doesn't only apply to humanity.
Naturally, but in the same way that it doesn't apply to all humanity, it also need not apply to the all paranormal events enmasse.

Personally, I fall back on cause and effect or "do unto others as you would have them do unto you".  If something fails that litmus test I discard it.  For instance, if someone claims a dead uncle is telling them to forgive a friend or family member for something, I would say "no harm no foul".  If, on the other hand something was advising someone to sacrifice their neighbours pet cat to lift a curse - warning bells go off all over the place.

It can, and usually is, far more subtle but the principle remains that being advised to do something that will bring suffering to another sentient being directly or indirectly, no matter how "justified" it is made to sound or appear is coming from an inferior paradigm internal or external take your pick.

Let's add "thou shalt no judge" and then you can understand how when something advises someone to turn away from or to persecute others in the name of God is highly questionable.  Fact is, God is perfectly capable of handling the good the bad and the ugly, he doesn't need us to make that judgement on others but we can pray for others and lighten their burdens in doing so - as well as our own as a by-product, that makes far more sense to me.

Jesus healed, forgave and loved, and in the end went willingly to his crucifixion, he forgave all and his next to final words were "forgive them, for they know not what they do".  Those words are very poignant to me and if he could do that when in such pain and at point of death, then why can't we do that when faced with much lesser persecutions and slights?

"I warn you, whoever you are, oh you who wish to probe the arcanes of nature, if you do not find within yourself that which you seek, neither shall you find it outside.
If you ignore the excellencies of your own house, how do you intend to find other excellencies?
In you is hidden the treasure of treasures, Oh man, know thyself and you shall know the Universe and the Gods."

Inscription - Temple of Delphi

#14    JesseCuster

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:31 PM

View PostAquilaChrysaetos, on 09 December 2012 - 12:28 AM, said:

Where is this idea ever mentioned by Christ, or anyone else in the bible? Where do you base this on?
If you only believe in things that Jesus mentioned in the Bible, you're missing out on a hell of a lot of things.

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool." - Richard P. Feynman

#15    AquilaChrysaetos

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 11:57 PM

View PostArchimedes, on 10 December 2012 - 09:31 PM, said:

If you only believe in things that Jesus mentioned in the Bible, you're missing out on a hell of a lot of things.

Not if he is as he says, the only perfect being that's existed. What more would one need?

Jesus Christ - Matthew 28:18-20 said:

"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

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