Written by Bailey Ochs. Media by Fallyn Paruleski.
This time of year, there is a lot of excitement about telling ghost stories, dressing up as monsters, and watching scary movies. A lot of it is innocent fun and entertainment, especially for kids. But what it represents is something a lot more real: there is evil in the world, some of which we cannot see.
If someone were to ask me if I believe in ghosts, I would say no, assuming that by “ghosts,” they mean the undead spirits of people who have already died and who now roam around doing whatever it is that ghosts do. However, I do believe in spirits, both good and evil. Because of my upbringing in the church, I believe that there is a spiritual world as well as the physical world. Humans are part of the spiritual world in that they have eternal souls. I believe each of us has a soul that will live on after our body dies and that will continue in eternal life or eternal death, depending on the choices we made in life in relation to God.
But I also think that there are spiritual beings that exist both in realms we cannot see and among us in our everyday lives. I believe that these beings are good or bad, angels or demons, and that they try to influence humans based on the goals of the one to whom they belong (God or Satan). These beings are powerful. I do not think that it is wise for humans to be ignorant or apathetic to the existence of these spiritual beings, because I think that there are ways to let evil influences into your life without meaning to if you are careless or meddling in the wrong things (like the occult).
A way to summarize these ideas would be to say that I think there is spiritual warfare going on around us all of the time because of verses like the following: Ephesians 6:11-17, Luke 22:31-32, 2 Corinthians 10:3-4. Whether we like it or not, we are involved in, or affected by, the spiritual world. Therefore, we have to decide to be on our guards and alert to it. If we are not, we could be overwhelmed by temptation or influenced by evil in other ways. I think that people are still possessed by demons, just like they were thousands of years ago. I think that if there is such a thing as a house or a building that is “haunted,” that it is a place where demons are acting and moving evoking fear into the people that give them “a foothold” (Eph. 4:27). This is one of the reasons that I do not like to watch scary movies. Because although some of them are simply ridiculous, some of them portray things that I think could really happen and I do not need those images in my head when I am trying to sleep at night. I don’t think that it is wrong for someone to enjoy being scared. But it is too much for me. I’d rather have pleasant dreams and trust that God can take care of the things that I cannot see.
Although He may not have been speaking of more than spirits, I think that we could benefit from listening to the words that Jesus spoke to his disciples in Matthew 10:16, “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore, be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”