Answers in Genesis: Are Ghosts Real?

This isn’t directly about creationism, but it’s close, because it involves supernatural phenomena. We found it at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), the online creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo). This is their new article: Do You Believe in Ghosts? Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us and most scripture references omitted:

Ghosts. What do you really think about them? If someone pushes us, most will admit a degree of love for scary stories. But what about reports of real ghosts, even by sincere Christians? Few Christians seem to know what to think. If we look to the Scriptures, however, we find solid answers, even on this murky subject.

Pay attention, dear reader, because AIG is presenting us with news you can use. And it’s timely, because Halloween is coming. So here’s The Truth about ghosts. You know you can trust ol’ Hambo’s website in such matters. They say:

But what is a ghost? Although definitions vary, the most common one is that ghosts are the disembodied spirits of dead people that linger on earth. According to tradition, ghosts are invisible but can permit humans to see them.

Of course, either a thing exists or it doesn’t. No amount of belief will cause ghosts to exist if they don’t; nor could personal opinion cause ghosts not to exist if, in fact, they truly do exist. Because a person’s belief in ghosts creates very serious and far-reaching ramifications, it’s a topic that no Christian should ignore.

Belief is irrelevant to reality? Be careful, AIG. That applies to a lot of things that people may believe in. Let’s read on:

Tales involving apparitions drift down to us from ancient times. Various languages contributed words such as wraith (Scottish), phantom (French), specter (Latin), shade (Old English), banshee (Gaelic), and poltergeist (German).

And there are more recent tales, like those that come from Seattle about the intelligent designer. Oh, wait — that one doesn’t count, because no one has ever claimed to see it. AIG continues:

In ancient Iraq, the Epic of Gilgamesh portrayed Gilgamesh conversing with the spirit of his dead friend Enkidu. Old Egypt left a cryptic tale about the ghost of Nebusemekh chatting with the high priest of Amun-Re. Such stories prove nothing, of course, except that the concept goes back a long way. In fact, even Christ’s twelve disciples fearfully mistook Jesus for a spirit when He appeared walking on the sea at night.

That’s very true — ancient tales prove nothing. Those are words to live by. Here’s more:

Most reports of ghost sightings include details that defy logic. For instance, most alleged apparitions are clothed. But if a ghost is the spirit of a dead person, shouldn’t a spirit appear unclothed after shedding his earthly body and its garments? Is one to conclude that pants, shirts, dresses, and medieval armor contain spirits of their own that faithfully cling to the ghost of a person?

That’s an important principle, dear reader. Beware of tales that defy logic. Moving along:

God — the Creator of the universe — offers solid answers to man’s questions. His Word, the Bible, is the foundation for understanding both the visible and invisible world because God is Lord of both the natural and the supernatural. Regardless of whether a question concerns the origin of life or human souls, the first resource to check is God’s Word.

Yes! That’s where we can learn The Truth about ghosts. And what is that? Here’s another excerpt:

Even new students of the Bible quickly notice that it never portrays souls as lingering after death. (The immediate destination of heaven or hell rules out that idea [references omitted].) Yet Scripture bluntly affirms the existence of immaterial intelligences. Mark 5:2–15 details Jesus’s encounter with a man indwelt by a multitude of unclean spirits. Christ ordered them out but permitted them to enter a herd of swine. In Samaria, Philip preached and “unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed”. Later, Acts 19:14–17 tells of a man inhabited by a demon. The sons of Sceva tried to exorcise it, but the man attacked them. However, these aren’t ghosts; they’re demons — fallen angels — governed by Satan.

Not ghosts, but demons. Then they quote a bible scholar who says:

Demons are not humans; neither are they God. But they are superhuman with superior intelligence and experience and powers. To deny the existence of demons is not skepticism; it only displays ignorance. To be unrealistic about their power is foolhardy.

We don’t want to be foolhardy. On with the article:

Interestingly, the Bible records one occasion when the living appeared to contact the dead. King Saul donned a disguise and visited a medium to summon the dead prophet Samuel. An apparition that looked like Samuel appeared to the witch — causing her to cry out in fright.

AIG explains that one away. They say it wasn’t a real ghost. Then they tell us:

No evidence has produced a single fact that should sway a Christian into believing that the spirits of deceased people can loiter on earth. In light of the Bible, the only conclusion is that ghost sightings are either the figments of overactive imaginations, or else they are demons.

And now we come to the end, where AIG gives us this solemn warning:

Coming to a wrong conclusion about the afterlife has eternal consequences, and the wrong choice on this side of the grave can condemn a soul to eternal agony on the other side.

So there you are. There are no ghosts — only demons. We are grateful to AIG for this timely information.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

31 responses to “Answers in Genesis: Are Ghosts Real?

  1. In light of the Bible, the only conclusion is that ghost sightings are either the figments of overactive imaginations, or else they are demons.

    And the motivation for the demons to appear as ghosts? “Getting people to believe in ghosts automatically forces them to reject key Bible verses”

    People other then Ham read their bible so closely so as to know those verses? Really? Besides, seeing a ghost would make me more apt to believe in the supernatural, and therefore be more likely to belief in god. I can’t imagine how seeing a ghost would make me reject a belief in god that I might have already had.

    Ham’s logic here is lacking. That, or demons have adopted a spectacularly unsuccessful strategy.

  2. I wish they had pushed just a little hard on this front, they would have reached the conclusion about gods not existing but that would mean throwing the bible out the window. My bad!

  3. Ham’s logic is an oxymoron.

  4. Off-topic, but this one will soon have the Creationists up in arms, ghosts and all:

    Chemists show life on Earth was not a fluke

  5. Does AIG have any idea how much irony they produce?

  6. Charles Deetz ;)

    Lets let Hambo have his conclusion that ghosts are from our imaginations or are demons. That pretty much covers the bases anyway, except for the random angel.

    I find it more interesting to ponder the fact that we use our imagination to come to see ghosts. Our brain fills in the gaps of shadows and noises and comes up with a person that isn’t there. The metaphor that leads to is someone thousands of years ago taking the bits of our world and filling in the gaps of how it was created and assuming a human-like god did it.

  7. And those guys wrote an article where they claimed that the bible was the antidote to superstition!

  8. In future posts, Ken Ham will tell us that vampires are either our imagination or major league shortstops and werewolves are our imagination or really hairy demons. Illuminating, this was.

    Sadly, there is a population whose opinion on this ‘subject matter’ was actually changed by this steaming pile.

  9. Doctor Stochastic

    Those that remove socks are real. The ghost in the washing machine.

  10. I don’t have Ken Ham’s faith in biblical infallibility, but I gotta admit he’s probably right that ghosts don’t exist. Considering all the chickens and turkeys I slaughtered for meals growing up on a farm, I should have been haunted all my life by poultrygeists. Never been troubled by them in the slightest.

  11. Stephen Kennedy

    How can I tell a ghost from a demon? It appears my immortal soul’s fate rests on not mistaking a demon for a ghost. Maybe somebody will invent a device that can tell which apparition is a ghost and which are demons. Will not believing that demons or ghosts exist save me or will I be sent to the lake of fire?

  12. Stephen Kennedy ponders

    Will not believing that demons or ghosts exist save me or will I be sent to the lake of fire?

    Hambo’s advice on this: to increase your chances of salvation, make a few massive donations to AiG…

  13. Retired Prof says: “poultrygeists”

    Not bad.

  14. Tweet this: To rid oneself of the birden of poultrygeists requires an eggsorcism. 😛

  15. Con-Tester, perhaps you and Retired Prof, being birds of a feather and all that, should get a room nest somewhere, so the two of you can chirp and flutter and crow about your puns. Oh wait — this is your nest. Very well then, carry on.

  16. Thanks, but having pecked this place to perch, I’m a mere fledgling here so please say if my talonts are fowl.

  17. Con-Tester, I’m not squawking, so don’t get soar. Rather, I’m egging you on.

  18. Okay, but we wouldn’t want anyone to owl about being goosed beakause they might then try to quill these exchanges instead of ducking them, and I don’t much like being storked or pigeonholed, either.

  19. I don’t think I can swallow any more puns. SC, you should develop a cardinal rule about this before it gets too emutional and your readers take flight.

  20. Mark Germano says: “I don’t think I can swallow any more puns.”

    I know how you feel. This started as a lark. I have no egrets, and I don’t want anyone to think I’m chicken, but it’s starling to get cuckoo. You may continue to grouse around, but don’t try to gull me. I say: Stork you!

  21. What about Matthew 27: 51-53?

  22. KeithB cites Matthew 27: 51-53. Let me give our readers the passages:

    50. Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

    51. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

    52. And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,

    53. And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

  23. Sounds more like zombies than ghosts, don’t you think?

  24. H.K. Fauskanger says: “Sounds more like zombies than ghosts, don’t you think?”

    I wish you hadn’t mentioned zombies. Now I’m going to be hungry and I’ll probably eat too much.

  25. A brain sandwich, maybe? You could do a lot worse. 😉

  26. “Of course, either a thing exists or it doesn’t.”
    Dunno. I have always suspected that Ol’ Hambo was somewhere in between.

  27. Mark Germano

    Zombies are either figments of the imagination or really hungry and anti-social demons. In light of the bible, that is.

  28. Mark Germano says: “Zombies are either figments of the imagination or really hungry and anti-social demons.”

    It’s very unfair of you to demonize zombies. They just have a different lifestyle.

  29. The AiG article touches only briefly the one passage in the Bible that unambiguously has to do with an appearance of a dead person, the story of the late prophet Samuel being conjured up by the witch of Endor (1 Samuel, chapter 28). The writer can’t make up his mind about whether this was “really” Samuel or just a demon impersonating him.

    Ghost or demon, this is how the apparition is described (verse 14): “… an old man cometh up, and he is covered with a mantle.”

    So there you have it, straight from the Word of God: Samuel had a ghostly MANTLE on! So much for the writers’s bold attempt at logical reasoning: “Most reports of ghost sightings include details that defy logic. For instance, most alleged apparitions are clothed. But if a ghost is the spirit of a dead person, shouldn’t a spirit appear unclothed after shedding his earthly body and its garments …”

    Nope! Samuel didn’t! Who cares if it defies logic when THE BIBLE SAYS SO? Not Answers in Genesis, I’m sure!

  30. Don’t want to go all Bible on you, but you might like to check out Luke 24:36 – 43, for Jesus’ own take on ghosts. Key verse is v.39, the others are there for context.

    what really chaps my butt is how easily these jokers throw around threats of damnation on those who disagree with their interpretations of the Bible. Maybe the aught to re-read (or maybe read for the first time) what the Bible has to say about humility. A creationist does not a theologian make.

  31. A pun-war broke out, and I missed it! 😦

    I would have loved to contribute, but I guess it’s true what they say, …

    The Early Bird gets the Term.