Ghost Myths

Even if Halloween seems to be a western festival, we Filipinos are into it also. Just stroll in the mall and we see a lot of fake cobwebs and plastic skeletons. Horror movies are popular movie genres nowadays. TV news programs are now working 24/7 just to make sure their Halloween episodes would be the scariest. Thus, allow me to debunk some myths on ghosts.

Myth # 1: Ghosts don’t exist. Yes, they do. We can’t deny the supernatural. We can’t always dismiss ghost stories as exaggerations, imaginations or indigestions. We have to accept that there is an invisible world which is as real as the visible one. Jesus taught about the after-life. If you can’t accept what he taught about life after death, don’t accept any of his teachings at all.

Myth #2: Ghosts are spirits of dead people.
No, they’re not. In Luke 16, in the parable of Lazarus and the rich man, Jesus made it clear that “between [paradise] and [hell] a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to [hell] cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to [paradise].” (v. 26) If souls cannot move from one place to another in the spirit world, then they cannot move from there back to our world. (By the way, this is the only parable of the Lord where he named a person. Thus, this talks about real persons and events.)

Myth #3: We can contact the spirits of the dead. No, we can’t. In fact God forbids us from doing so: “Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them.” (Leviticus 19:31)

The death of his beloved mother in the 1920s crushed Harry Houdini, the famous escape artist. So he consulted spirit mediums. But, with his trained magicians’ eyes, he saw that the so-called “spiritists” just employed magic tricks. So he spent the last 13 years of his life exposing those frauds. Then, before he died, he made a pact with his wife Bessie that she would try to contact him through a séance or a ritual to call spirits. To verify if it was really Houdini, they agreed on a secret code. Any apparition would have to give the code. Houdini died on October 31, 1926, a Halloween. For ten years after his death, Bess held a séance on Halloween. She never heard from Houdini.

But, despite these myths, the fact remains that there is life after death. God said, “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Thus, all of us need to know where we will spend eternity.
Let us also use this open door to discuss the afterlife with friends and relatives as a launching pad to share the Good News.

Brethren, instead of exchanging ghost stories, let us share the Gospel story.

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