Monday, October 30, 2023

On "Ghosts" and Other Undue Influences

Some Evangelical Christians talk more than others about evil influences in the spiritual realm, and different denominations believe different things about evil spirits. Some believe that people and even Christians can actually be “possessed,” while others think that demons can only create oppression and opposition that impede an individual Christian's efforts. There are many different ideas about how to resist and overcome all of that.

My husband who grew up in a liturgical church would add some balance to some of these ideas by saying that the spirit of man and human nature usually give us plenty of cause and a means of explaining most problems. We often don't need any supernatural creatures to serve as our scapegoats.

Job said that man was made for trouble.

As my clock approaches midnight on October 30th, I found myself thinking about the many kinds of would-be ghosts we face in life. I like the following description that Henrik Ibsen offers in his 1881 play better than most ideas.  

A quote from "Ghosts":

“I am half inclined to think we are all ghosts…it is not only what we have inherited from our fathers and mothers that exists again in us, but all sorts of old dead ideas and all kinds of old dead beliefs and things of that kind. 

They are not actually alive in us; but there they are dormant all the same, and we can never be rid of them. Whenever I take up a newspaper and read it, I fancy I see ghosts creeping between the lines. There must be ghosts all over the world. They must be as countless as the grains of the sands, it seems to me. And we are so miserably afraid of the light, all of us.”

May we find all the courage, strength, support, and hope 

that we all need  to help us step into the light.