“If you ever see a ghost, you can be assured it is not the deceased person you are seeing or someone who died that was unbeknownst to you; it is positively an evil spirit that is imitating the dead person,” writes Jack Wellman, Christian author and pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane, Kansas.
The King James Version of the Bible, published in 1611, refers to the Holy Ghost. The New King James Version of the Bible, published in 1982, translates Holy Ghost to Holy Spirit. As with so many Christian beliefs, there is much disagreement over whether the belief in ghosts contradicts Christian and biblical teachings.
If Christians believe in the resurrection of Jesus after His death and if there is belief in life after death, then why would it be difficult to accept the idea that a ghost or a spirit could manifest its presence to a mortal? And, why would that contradict Christian beliefs?
I have heard credible ghost stories from people I trust are relating an honest experience and not an exaggerated fantasy. I do believe some individuals are more susceptible to experiencing spirits than others. I have had only one encounter with a spirit and it was a brief, but a very comforting moment. I am getting chills as I write about it now.
I am a deeply sentimental person and through much of my life I have lived apart – often in different cities - from the people I love most – my son, parents, family members, significant others and I had a longstanding tradition of not filling my apartment with pictures of those I love and miss. That was my way of dealing with a life that led me to be apart from loved ones. For me, the pictures only reminded me of what I missed. Of course, thinking of those I love and miss are a constant part of my daily life, but I just chose not to display a gallery of pictures that only reminded me that I was not physically close to loved ones.
One night, while I was living alone in Denver and my son and longtime girlfriend were still living in Portland, OR, I was working at my desk and realized it was my mother’s birthday – April 25. I started thinking about my mom and I remembered that I had her beautiful bridal picture in a small storage unit in the basement of the apartment building I was living in. I’m not sure why, but at that moment I decided to go down to the basement and get that picture of my beautiful mother.
I brought the picture up to my apartment and placed it on the counter just behind me and I continued working on my radio show. When my father passed away not long after my mother died, I inherited my Dad’s cat, since no one else in the family could take the cat at the time. As I was working that night, the cat climbed up on the counter next to my mother’s bridal picture and began meowing in a way I had never heard him meow before.
When I turned around, I noticed he was staring up over the picture behind me. And at that moment – I sensed the presence of my mother. It was as if I felt a hug from her, but more than that, a sense of comfort came over me. I grew up calling my mom “Hon,” and when I was convinced she visited me, I looked up at the spot where the cat was focused – spent a moment thanking her for being a great mother to me and I said, “I love you, Hon!” And with that – I sensed she left. I always believed both of my parents were with me after they passed away, but that night, I was reassured they are, indeed, with me.
Honestly, I talk to my parents every day. I may never feel such a physical presence again, but I believe, in some way, they are both still taking care of me.
When I read the comment that I opened this blog with, I immediately thought about that experience with my mother’s ghost that night. To suggest that any ghost you see is not the deceased person you know, but is definitely an evil spirit was proof to me that some people are possessed by such strict beliefs they would dismiss that wonderful moment I had when my mom visited me.
It is not my goal to tell you what you should believe about ghosts and Christianity or any other religion, but I personally believe for different reasons there are those who have passed on who feel the need to make their presence known to this world. Outside of the nightmarish scenes in movies, those who may still be part of this world don’t appear to be evil – mostly just visitors.
Believing in life after death is the foundation for believing in ghosts – or spirits, if you prefer!