Witches and Ghosts and the Road to En-dor by Kevin Probst
I recently had a conversation with a friend regarding ghosts. He said he didn't believe in ghosts. I asked him if he believed in spirits and he said, "No, I don't." I then asked if he believed in the Holy Spirit and he looked a bit confounded and replied, "Yes, of course."
Webster defines a ghost as a spirit or a demon, a disembodied soul believed to be an inhabitant of an unseen world.
We live in a very naturalistic age. Those who embrace naturalism believe that nature is all there is. It's not so much that a naturalist wants to affirm the world in which he lives, he mostly wants to deny there exists any other world. As Carl Sagan once said, "The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be." He was denying a supernatural world.
Wasn't John Lennon making the same denial when he wrote his song, Imagine? Imagine "there's no heaven", no hell, nothing but earth and sky.
Worshipping the idol of naturalism goes back thousands of years. The Greek philosopher, Epicurus, declared our existence to be a "blind experiment in a planless world."
So which came first, the chicken or the egg? Did those who paid homage to the idol of naturalism first deny the existence of God and then they went looking for a theory that would vindicate their atheism or did they first worship their own idol of naturalism and then decide there must not be a God after all?
God could most certainly have included in the Scriptures a logical treatise proving his existence and his role in creation but what would that have done to our faith? God teaches us that faith is necessary to establish a relationship with him. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, faith is believing in something for which there is no proof. Instead of presenting us with logical proof, God simply said, "what may be known about God is plain to (all people), because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities -- his eternal power and divine nature -- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." (Romans 1:19-20 NIV)
In essence, God is saying, "seeing is believing". How can one look at the creation and deny the existence of a Creator? Some have stepped up to the challenge. Intelligent and well-educated men have declared a logical absurdity that contradicts all of science, that something can actually come out of nothing. They have made science a religion by inserting it into the realm of theology. Why do scientists insist on trying to answer religious questions: "Where do I come from?", "Who am I?" and "Where am I going?" The naturalist believes they came from nothing, evolved from monkeys, there is no meaning in life and they have no destination. Such despair and hopelessness!
When I told my friend that I believed in ghosts he looked aghast. I clarified by telling him that I am not willing to deny that there is a supernatural world and bow with the masses to the idol of naturalism.
2 Kings Chapter 6 tells the story of Elisha who had defied the King of Aram. The king sent a vast army of horses, chariots and warriors to besiege the prophet's hometown. When Elisha's servant saw the great army he began to panic and he ran to Elisha and asked, "What shall we do?"
Elisha calmly invited his servant to step away from his natural world and consider the supernatural world.
“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha." - 2 Kings 6:16-17
Elisha's servant got a glimpse into the supernatural world.
We are fascinated by the supernatural world that parallels our own. Even naturalists and atheists are often intrigued by the possibilities of a supernatural world. Demons, werewolves and vampires are popular in our literature. But God instructs us clearly in his word that we are not to be obsessed or try to participate in a world that belongs not to us. 1 Samuel 28 tells of the Witch of Endor who was employed by Saul to call up the ghost of Samuel after his death. The witch was successful and the spirit of Samuel first uttered these words: “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” The woman realized how dangerous it was to try to communicate with those in the supernatural realm? "I took my life in my hands and did what you told me to do," she said to Saul.
Rudyard Kipling repeated the warning in his poem, En-Dor
"Oh the road to En-dor is the oldest road
And the craziest road of all!
Straight it runs to the Witch’s abode,
As it did in the days of Saul,
And nothing has changed of the sorrow in store
For such as go down on the road to En-dor!"
Kevin Probst - Is a teacher of Apologetics and History at Calvary Christian School and Associate Pastor of Crosspointe Nazarene Church church in Columbus, Georgia.