Reports Commissioned by Major Christian Churches Support the Paranormal
Several denominations of Christian churches have continuously commissioned reports seeking to reconcile people’s belief in the paranormal and Christian teachings. The studies were conducted by the major denominations—not the “Prosperity Christian” churches that do not report to a higher governing body. (Note: That right there should be cause for concern; however, that discussion can be for another blog.) Some Christian churches enjoy diminishing the role of the paranormal. Further, some sects outright condemn it, which is quite ironic since the Bible fully supports the paranormal.
Paranormal experiences have always existed. Always. The 1st recorded experience occurred in the 1st century B.C. Athenodorus, ancient philosopher, rid a house of a pesky ghost.
Likewise, the Bible is full of paranormal episodes. The most simplistic is this: Jesus performed miracles, miracles are acts of the unknown, unknown events are paranormal; therefore, those miracles are paranormal events. But there are other examples. Angels and demons are discussed at length in the Bible. There are several accounts of people seeing ghosts—most notably a dead Jesus. Here’s a link to a site that has the events organized by book: https://verticallivingministries.com/2013/06/18/chart-of-all-the-supernatural-events-recorded-in-the-bible/.
A follower of Christ cannot condemn the paranormal while praising Jesus. Healing is a paranormal activity. There are three examples of healing: Spiritual, Faith, and Psychic. They are not isolated categories and often overlap.
- Spiritual: Basically, one asks the Lord for help.
- Faith: Healers ask the Lord for help on behalf of someone. In order for the healer to be effective, both the healer and the one seeking healing must believe that the healer possesses the power to heal.
- Psychic: The healer is not necessarily associated with the church; however, s/he possesses the power to heal. Mediums fall into this category.
All three types are paranormal events. Again, if a church offers healing, for example laying on hands, then that church supports the paranormal.
The problem is not the paranormal community but rather these denominations. They fear monger in order to build up their coffers without acknowledging they actually believe. They fear losing congregants so they cast out the paranormal believer. They don’t fear the unknown; they fear the empty pews. When churches embrace this belief their membership will increase.
Up through the late 70s, major Christian churches did not have a problem with the paranormal. Benedict XIV heavily researched the paranormal. He felt that “prophecy … can occur among people who are not saints and who need not even be particularly good.” The Anglican Church appointed a commission in 1937, which was finalized in 1939. The report was never officially published; however, portions have been published. One part notes that people do recognize and feel the recently deceased. Further, this feeling should not be dismissed but embraced so long as it does not “distract Christians.” Finally, the report states that the Church should interact with “intelligent Spiritualists.”
In 1976, The United Presbyterian Church of the USA commissioned its own report. Findings were that parishioners’ interest in the paranormal was because the Church failed to effectively teach psychic matters. Not surprising, a few members strongly stated that individuals should not practice on his/her own.
The most supportive results came from the Church of Scotland where in 1922 members sought to understand paranormal phenomena. They found that although consistent scientific proof did not exist, it did not rule out the existence of paranormal activity. Specifically, the church stated that pastors used healing through ESP (Psi) with congregants. Further, the prayers and the answers were evidence of paranormal phenomena.
Churches should not cast out believers. Instead, they should support these people and provide accurate teachings on how the Bible does support paranormal phenomena. Simply put: If you pray for healing, you’re praying for a paranormal event. Period.
Photograph: Mysterious abandoned ghost church in Czech Republic. The “ghosts” are plaster. Read about the church here: http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/haunted-ghost-church-kostel-svateho-jiri.