"Did you know there's another new TV show about a medium?" my husband asked as he looked at me over the top of his laptop expectantly.
"Yes, I know about it. How many paranormal programs do you think there are now?" I wondered. "Last time we checked there were 27 on ghosts alone".
By the end of the evening, my husband had compiled a list for me (because that's just who he is). There are currently over 70 first run or syndicated television programs devoted to the topics of ghosts, aliens, mediums, and psychics being aired in the United States, England, and Canada.
Why so much time devoted to the paranormal? People are interested.
Reported statistics suggest that one in three Americans believes in ghosts, three out of ten teenagers have played with an Ouija Board, and 57% of Americans believe in psychic phenomena. This may explain why a 2010 Michigan psychic fair drew over 800 people seeking readings from psychics and mediums. It is definitely the impetus behind the current rash of paranormal television shows over the past ten or twelve years.
The problem behind all of this for the church is that many of these people who believe in ghosts, ghost hunt, visit psychics or mediums are CHRISTIANS. They have "accepted Jesus into their heart" but don't know what the Bible says and are receiving little to no discipleship. Therefore, these Christians never mature in their faith. Their spiritual beliefs are being informed by our popular culture---which currently has a fascination for the occult.
There is a danger here which many church leaders are simply not taking seriously. There are many Christian's who are watching these programs, reading the books, and being misled as to what happens when we die. There are people professing to be Christian psychics or mediums, forming ghost hunting groups. Typically, the interest moves beyond simple reading or viewing programs about paranormal phenomenon into active participation.
As I've written in previous posts (such as Why Are There Ghosts?) Hebrews 9:27, states "…each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment…". Those who have repented of sin, asking Jesus Christ to be their Savior enter into God's presence (2 Corinthians 5:6-8, Philippians 1:23). Those who have not enter a place of punishment for sin, separated from God (Matthew 25:46, Luke 16:22-24). Paranormal television programs (of any kind but in particular ghosts, ghost hunting, psychic, medium) promote ideas which are contrary to the Bible.
What we need to ask ourselves (as Christians) is not if we are mature enough to handle a program like Ghost Hunters, Ancient Aliens, or Long Island Medium but is it honoring to God to do so? Is there (truly) any purpose beyond our own curiosity (or thrill seeking) being met or served by watching any of these television (or movie and book) offerings? Am I being drawn to explore the paranormal myself?
For me, theses are important questions to ask and respond accordingly.
"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." Philippians 4:8 (NLT)