Messing with the Supernatural


It’s Halloween week – and having seen a handful of posts of people looking forward to some spooky supernatural escapades, I wanted to share a word of advice for anyone thinking about having a dabble:

Don’t do it.

As much as our society likes to laugh at the concept of the supernatural, writing it off as a fairy tale, it certainly has a place in pop culture. Ghost hunting tv shows wouldn’t be so commonplace if there wasn’t a part of us wondering ‘is there something more to this….?’ Shows like Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, or the White Queen explore magic and the demonic, and a ouija board even made its way into Downton Abbey as a subplot a couple of seasons ago. Often it’s just as a joke, sometimes it’s more serious, but there is an interest in the supernatural, and we are willing to try all sorts of ways to engage with it.

The trouble is, we can get in over our heads all too quickly. When people muck about with attempting to contact spirits – whether through seances, ouija boards or whatever else, we are messing with something that is in a very real sense beyond us. The best intruction manual you could turn to is the Bible – and it says over and again, don’t touch this stuff with a barge pole.

The occult is a counterfeit of the real thing. The Bible forbids it because, in a search for answers and hidden knowledge, it involves turning to forces that explicitly wish you no good, when it is God’s desire that we turn to him for all our needs, both material and spiritual.

What I want to get across is that these things can sound exciting – but they are empty counterfeits in comparison to seeing God at work. The one who, though being in every respect infinite and boundless, came to Earth in the form of a man in the person of Jesus Christ. The one who was put to death, and three days later took up his life again. Physics and biology are but tools in his hands. In his presence, the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, demons are cast out, the deaf hear, and the dead are raised to life. And he is still doing these things today, through his people the church. Little wonder that occultists in Acts gave up their former ways for something altogether better. He is the one who reveals mysteries, who works miracles, and who guarantees our resurrection from the dead. Don’t mess about with the counterfeit. The real thing is here.