I was watching Paranormal State the other day. I know this is not the best show for a “Christian” to watch, but I am past the stage where watching it would jeopardize my beliefs. I believe what I believe and this show wont change it. It does get me thinking though.
So, if you have never seen the show before, it is similar to the other ghost hunting programs with the exception that they are not trying to disprove a supernatural connection with the incidents that are occurring. Seems a little slanted, but they are not trying to prove a spirit realm, they already believe it exists. I am not sure of any Christian affiliations within the group, but there is a Wiccan among the members. Red flag right? I used to believe and follow Wicca traditions, so it doesn’t really surprise me. Most of the occult groups believe in the spirit realm and its interaction with the natural. What is surprising is that more Christians don’t.
Anyways, this one episode had a man who was under demonic influences. The group along with a psychic expert came to this conclusion. Also interesting as most Christians wouldn’t think this way. On other episodes, when a spirit is encountered, they might perform a cleansing ritual for the person or area or just try and exert their will over the sprit and command it to leave. These are similar to what some Christian groups do. Since there was demonic activity, they called in a priest to exorcise the spirit. Exorcism flashbacks. The priest would pray and recite versus in Latin and English commanding the demon out. The head of the group would sling the holy water on the man suffering from these influences.
I wonder many things due to this episode. Why do the priests need to revert back to Latin when casting out the demon? The demon should be a fallen angel. Latin is not what God spoke, so it really wouldn’t hold any power over the demon. It is not as if they say, “crap, they are speaking Latin. We are in for a real fight.” Why do we put so much power in the ability to speak Latin. If I said it in Hebrew or Greek, would it be more powerful since those are the original languages of the Bible? The power is in the Word of God and not in the language that it is spoken in. It reminds me of those ads that are willing to teach Aramaic so you too can speak in the language that Jesus did. Why would you want to unless you need a trick for a party? No one is walking around speaking Aramaic, unless you took the course. You couldn’t evangelize with it, so what it the point?
Language issue aside, I thought it was really interesting that they would note that they have no power over the demonic. When you see someone exerting control over a spirit without the power of God, it can cause someone to question their beliefs. If anyone can do it, why do you need God? What real power comes from being with God? Then they note that they don’t have enough authority over all of the spirits and the power of God is needed. But what about the fact that they have some authority over some spirits? Christian thought says that the spirits are either of God (angels) or against God (fallen angels or demons). How can some non-Christians have power over a demon?
Here is my thought on this. Jesus died on the cross for all of mankind. Salvation became available to all. Jesus reestablished authority over the earth by his actions. What if that means that non-Christians have access to this authority just because they use it? Satan and the minions have no real power over mankind any longer. They have been defeated and stripped of all power that Adam allowed them to have. If they have no power, then they are only a threat when we fail to exert authority over them. This doesn’t mean that God and Salvation are no longer needed. It just means that spiritual authority is an ability that is available to all of mankind, whether we understand it or not.
Going back to why I watch his show. When I watch, I am looking for the truth. When Satan attacks / tempts, there is always some truth in what he says. The truth has to be there in order for it to be believable. You have to find the truth in what is being presented to you so you know how to react it the lie. If you cant separate the lie from the truth, you have the potential to stumble.