Ghosts and haunted houses

Discussion in 'General discussions' started by Pergamum, Dec 18, 2018.

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  1. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Every culture believes in ghosts and haunted houses. Even some in the NT thought Jesus was a ghost/spirit and also Peter.

    Why the universal cultural belief in ghosts and what are they?

    Every culture also believes in haunted or enchanted places or houses or relics.

    What is true?
     
  2. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    The easy answer is demons, but I think that is problematic on several levels:

    1) As the gospels make clear, demons always seek a host. I don't think they would be in houses.

    2) Unless the houses function as sort of a "doorway." That could explain areas where sex magick and rituals were performed.
     
  3. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    Demonic forces being used by Satan to continue to keep the unsaved occupied with bad things, and also to divert the attention of the saved away from Christ and to focus on Ghost shows and Paranormal activities.
     
  4. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I could say none of stuff is true, no matter what cultures think because superstition is abundant in all cultures.
     
  5. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    What about Lilith, the Night Hag (or demoness of the night) mentioned in Isaiah 34:14. She doesn't seem to seek a body but dwells in desert wastes.
     
  6. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    That is true. I don't think she is what the NT calls "an unclean spirit." That's our problem, we tend to think that anything that isn't a Precious Moments angel is a "demon," which is clearly false.
     
  7. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    And that's all you do in these situations. You "say." You never mount an argument or offer defeaters for my exegesis.

    Now, I am generally skeptical of what we call "haunted houses," but only because I have a robust angelology and theory of the supernatural.

    I think most of the "haunted houses" are bunk. I do think that some areas, though, particularly those associated with satanic ritual abuse, are a different matter.
     
  8. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Here is the problem with Lilith:

    1) She is clearly not an unclean spirit like what we see in the Gospels and Acts (but curiously not what we see in Paul's letters).
    2) I don't think she is an archon, a thronoi, or anything like that. I could be wrong about the archon, though.
    3) I think she is a minor territorial spirit (which Gregory of Nazianzus believed in, interestingly enough). I don't think she is a major one, though, for several reasons:
    3.1) She is not a bene elohim.
    3.2) That desert isn't all that big.
     
  9. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Where would she have come from? The spirits of the Nephilim, if you believe that? Satyrs are also mentioned. Some speak of genetic hybrids before the Flood. And all cultures speak of monsters. But what is a monster and where did monsters come from?
     
  10. Jeri Tanner

    Jeri Tanner Moderator Staff Member

    I think it’s best to translate this as a normal creature of the wild, as at least the KJV does. This creature after all is just looking for, and finds, a place of quiet rest and repose; doesn’t sound like anything a demon/goddess/ hag would find. Read in the context of what’s being said.

    Nothing in Scripture prepares us or teaches us that we must deal with haunted houses or forests. One thing we don’t have to worry about, thankfully.
     
  11. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    About haunted houses and inanimate things/places holding spiritual power:

    (1) Every culture believes this,
    (2) In the bible we even had a pool of water where an angel stirred it from time to time.
    (3) Moses and the priests of Egypt used rods to work magic (or at least the apperance of magic in the case of the Egyptians).
    (4) The very bones of Elisha raised the dead.
    (5) In the OT the Bible spoke of certain lands becoming "defiled" - so what did this mean? Is Revelation 18 an explanation of this?
    Revelations 18:2, "And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the HABITATION OF DEVILS, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird."
    (6) The Apostle Paul's napkins/handkerchiefs were inanimate objects and yet had spiritual power proceeding from them.
    (7) Acts 5 tell us that people even hoped for the mere shadow of Peter to fall upon them and all were healed:
    ----People brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.
    (8)
    Mark 5 tells us this: When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

    So at least in some cases inanimate objects were used to transfer spiritual power. We shy away from these verses because the Church built a doctrine of relics upon these verses...yet these verses are scripture, too.
     
  12. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    The Pulpit Commentary:

    The word here used, lilith, occurs only in this place. It may be doubted whether any bird, or other animal, is meant. Lilitwas the name of a female demon, or wicked fairy, in whom the Assyrians believed - a being thought to vex and persecute her victims in their sleep.


    Cambridge Bible:
    The Hebr. is Lîlîth, a fem. formation from Iáil “night.” Render with Cheyne: the night-hag. Lilith appears to be a creation of the Babylonian demonology. “This Lilith plays a great part in the Talmudic demonology; the cabalistic Rabbis forged a whole legend in which this spirit is said to have taken a feminine form to deceive Adam, and to have united herself to him.” (Lenormant, Chaldæan Magic, Engl. Tr. p. 38.) She is mentioned in the Bible only here.

    find for herself a place of rest] On the restlessness of evil spirits, cf. Matthew 12:43, “walketh through dry places, seeking rest.”


    Barnes Notes on the Bible:

    The word לילית lı̂ylı̂yt (from ליל layil, night) properly denotes a night-spectre - a creature of Jewish superstition. The rabbis describe it in the form of a female elegantly dressed that lay in wait for children at night - either to carry them off, or to murder them. The Greeks had a similar idea respecting the female ἔμπουτα empouta, and this idea corresponds to the Roman fables respecting the Lamice, and Striges, and to the Arabic notions of the Ghules, whom they described as female monsters that dwell in deserts, and tear men to pieces (see Gesenius, Com. in loc; and Bochart, Hieroz. ii. 831). The margin in our version expresses the correct idea. All this is descriptive of utter and perpetual desolation - of a land that should be full of old ruins, and inhabited by the animals that usually make such ruins their abode.


    Gill:

    By the name "Lilith", it appears to be a night bird, which flies and is heard in the night. The Jews call a she demon by this name, which, they say (s), has a human face, and has wings, and destroys children as soon as born; and therefore the Jews, especially in Germany, write upon the four corners of the bed of a new mother, Adam, Eve, out Lilith (t); the same with the Lamia of the Romans; and so the Vulgate Latin here renders it.





    Of course we have animals called Tasmanian Devils, but we don't believe they are actual demons. ...But the meaning of Lilith was alive in the cultural venue when Isaiah penned his words.... seems the meaning is that a place would become desolate and the abode of wild animals and perhaps demons.
     
  13. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    I don't think she is the spirit of a slain Nephilim. Possible, but unlikely. I guess wherever territorial spirits came from. Possibly a beney elohim.
     
  14. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    That could work if that were the only verse. But the text also mentions in Leviticus, I think, about the realm of Azazel, and how he is connected with goats and demons
     
  15. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Sophomore

    Imagination.
     
  16. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Sophomore

    I generally place little stock in the truth claims of primitive paganism.
     
  17. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    They can still be dealing with occultic forces of Satan through some of their beliefs and rituals trying to access darkness.
     
  18. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    The work of Satan and His demonic forces can be quite real though!
     
  19. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Or you may be a functional deist.

    The spirit world is still active all around us every day.

    Your views are more from the Enlightenment than from the Bible.
     
  20. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    I just think that people are sometimes messing around with stuff that is really an opening into the Occultic/demonic.
     
  21. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    Jonathan Edwards believed demons could manipulate physical objects.
     
  22. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Can you send us a link?
     
  23. Jeri Tanner

    Jeri Tanner Moderator Staff Member

    When Isaiah wrote this I’m sure any association with Jewish or other superstition would have been clear. But we can only speculate right?

    As for all the other Scriptures from the Gospels to Acts: my belief is that the kinds of demonic activity described, Christ did something about by his death and resurrection. Perhaps there are still vestiges of it where the light of the gospel is darkened by evil. But something changed with Christ’s victory! Whatever may still go on, it’s the seemingly expert knowledge expressed by some on unseen things, things we can’t really possibly know, that I think is a problem. Anywhere Satan has a foothold, all the seeming expert knowledge involved with identifying principalities and powers (we aren’t Christ or apostles to have such immediate knowledge) and descriptions of them in action, or power confrontations, will not avail one bit. The answer is always the same- the light and preaching of the Gospel and prayer and Christ’s power to free people. To me, the over-concern (to me that’s what it is)about exactly what is happening in the spiritual realm is useless. Or perhaps even harmful, depending on the audience- some are really susceptible to obsession or worry about these things. Jesus put all such causes for speculation to flight. What he told his disciples about the activities of Satan and his hordes, and how to deal with them, is instructive and edifying to us but they’re not our marching orders as they were his apostles’ marching orders. Sorry for the long-windedness, I was just wanting to get out these thoughts on the subject. I don’t think it’s wrong at all to be spend time on those passages that speak of such things, by the way.

    I don’t know why all cultures have a belief or stories about haunted houses, etc. People are religious by nature. Some may remember a long discussion on PB about this several years ago (UFO’s and ghosts were in the title). Rev. Matthew Winzer had some helpful things to say (effort needed to discern what he was not saying). Satan is a deceiver and illusionist. I would guess he would want people to over-focus on the sensational dark side of things, and to delude them into beliefs in practical gods and goddesses, to distract from the truth.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2018
  24. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    Those who have not been redeemed are being influenced by the "bad" Supernatural at times though, as Satan would want us to either see Him as having no authority or power at all, as in being just a master illusionist, or to focus on him and His forces to such an extent that everything bad comes directly due to him all of the time.
    My concern on this is that when children are introduced to witchcraft and Ouija boards and horoscopes and the such, all under the banner of entertainment, and then as they grow older, can get really into Ghost shows and hauntings and really into th occult. Those are things best left to those who have to deal with that stuff when the lord directs and guides them to be dealing with it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2018
  25. Jeri Tanner

    Jeri Tanner Moderator Staff Member

    Oh well.
     
  26. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    That statement isn't clear. Are you saying that when Isaiah wrote that, and since he obviously believed in Lilith, he was engaging in Jewish superstition? Or are you saying he was rebutting Jewish superstition?
     
  27. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    Sadly, I have his physical works and I remember hopping through them and coming across that section. If I can find it I'll try to send it.
     
  28. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Which is more or less what Perg and I are saying. Do "gods" exist in the sense like Zeus? Of course not. Do dark entities exist today who have mind and will? Of course. That's Biblical Supernaturalism 101.

    Are we wasting our time talking about this? I don't think so. I've evangelized numerous people who were into Voodoo, New Age, etc.
     
  29. Jeri Tanner

    Jeri Tanner Moderator Staff Member

    I’m speculating that perhaps at that time a certain bird was associated with that name and its links to mythology. I don’t know. Why do you say Isaiah believed in Lilith- what do you mean by that?
     
  30. TheInquirer

    TheInquirer Puritan Board Freshman

    I have close friends who have done the same. One friend was doing an evangelistic Bible study through the Gospel of Mark with some Wiccans awhile back. When they got to the place where Jesus was dealing with demon possessed people, my friend was wondering how the Wiccans would react. They said, "Oh yeah, demon possession, we've seen that" like it was no big deal and quite common.

    Another friend was witnessing to a gal who was into some sort of occult behavior. She mentioned to him she was afraid of her spirit guide who said he would kill her if she tried to get out of the spiritual practices she was involved in.

    As the Christian worldview erodes and interest in non-Christian spirituality rises in the West, I have no doubt we are going to see an upsurge in demonic manifestation as they move from the background to the foreground. Drug use, spiritism, sexual immorality, occult practices - these all seem to occur quite a bit together and are becoming more normative at an alarming rate.

    Unfortunately, I think an overreaction to the abuses of the Charismatic movement have lead some Evangelicals to reject a biblical view of the supernatural world. It's scary and not pleasant to think about but it actually exalts the victory of Christ when we began to see the triumph over these powers he won at the cross. Satan is called the "god of this age" (2 Cor. 4:4) and the prince of the power of the air at work in the sons of disobedience (Eph 2:2) for good reason. We are at war with these beings (Eph. 6:12). Not understanding the nature of the war, and how to deal with it, I think is dangerous. The only way out of Satan's enslavement for any unbeliever is bowing before the Lordship of Jesus Christ and coming into the protection of His kingdom and authority.
     
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