Since I am going to be talking about a flavor of Christian practice, I want to make it very clear that I have no bone to pick with Christianity and Christians in general. I strongly disagree with some of the theological implications of Christianity but I have known too many people who have benefited from Christian religion and who lead lives in which they try to follow the example of their Master. I even know some serious neo-pagan types who have the occasional conversation with the Christ energy and those interactions have been healing to them.
There exists within Christianity, however, a fundamentalist subset whose narrow-mindedness is, in my view, dangerous. I happened to hear one of these individuals on a podcast not long ago, talking about a set of hostile hauntings that he ‘endured’ and spouting his particular brand of belief whenever he had the opportunity. While I will defend to the death this man’s right to believe whatever he wants, his brand of ‘spiritual warfare’ is not only insulting to the beliefs and practices of others but is, in my opinion, hazardous to those who are facing paranormal incursions.
To be certain that I fully understood what this man was saying, I actually read one of his books over the weekend. During the course of reading this work, I learned that:
- The religious community in the area around this person’s home was apparently out to get him because he did not profess the exact same beliefs they did.
- In addition, this entire area was a wretched hive of scum and villainy second only to Mos Eisley space port and filled with Satanists and ‘witches’ (the author specifically attacks the religious community in the area but I am not going to put those attacks in print).
- While I acknowledge PowWow as a form of traditional witchcraft, the author’s ignorance is such that he lumps it in with Wicca and seems to think there is some similarity in practice.
- In addition, First Nations people still practicing their traditional beliefs are “pagan” and obviously in league with Satan since they do not follow Christianity.
- The First Nations people were responsible for part of the issue on ‘his’ land since those pagan folk cursed the land when the good Christian white people took it from them in another of a long series of ridiculously unfair treaties.
- All paranormal activity is the result of demonic (i.e. fallen angels) activity.
- Giving money to televangelists will lead to opportunities for your ‘deliverance’ if you are ‘oppressed’ by ‘demons’.
I can only call this sort of black and white, us vs. them thinking paranoid and dangerously delusional. I certainly think that it is the case that a hostile haunting might benefit from the services of a qualified Christian exorcist, depending on the type of infesting entity, but, even in those circumstances, we are talking about an individual who has been ordained, been through a rigorous apprenticeship with an exorcist inside their denomination and is intimately familiar with the rites of exorcism for his or her denomination. The efficacy of such an exorcism, whether carried out on a building or a person, is then going to depend on the faith of the exorcist, his or her relationship with their god and helping spirits (angels) and the type of spirit that is being addressed.
I really feel that this individual created most of his own problem by being pugnacious but I do not have the space to go into that here. Suffice to say that, if, instead of immediately assuming that the odd things happening in his home were the result of ‘demonic activity’ and going into ‘spiritual warrior’ mode, this person had sought the calm of meditation and tried to discern what he was dealing with, he might have saved himself a lot of pain. He freely admits that it is very likely that battles were fought between First Nations people and white settlers on or around his land. Gettysburg should teach us that those who die in battle can be restless. Rather than assuming that Satan was out to get him, this fellow could have used the services of a qualified medium to assist him in finding out what spiritual presences were there and what they wanted or at least how best to appease those forces and live lightly with them.
Instead, the author tried repeatedly to cast the spirits out of his home. He addressed them as if they were demonic and thus invited the presence of exactly what he was afraid of: disharmonic entities that fed off the fear of human beings. Reading the book, I could not help but note how the haunting continued to escalate, the more this individual tried to end it using techniques taught to him by ministers on TV and DVD. Personally, I suspect that, if he had spoken nicely to one of those ‘witches’ he was always railing about in the neighborhood, they would have been able to advise him on how to live with the spirits on his land.
What is sad to me about the whole scenario is that this person never learned the lesson that spirits, like people, are often simply looking for a little respect and compassion. While there are beings that certainly need to be removed from human habitations, more often than not, it is actually the humans who need to adapt and be flexible enough to live with the unseen neighbors who surround them.