Unanswered: Is Paranormal the New Normal?

  

Fascination with the paranormal is not something that’s on the fringes of society, says Dr. Jeremiah Johnston. Instead, dabbling in the darkness has become a cultural phenomenon evidenced in things like scary movies, psychic consultations and witchcraft.

            “Human beings are spiritual beings,” Johnston says. “We hunger for the spiritual, but when we’ve sent God out the door, we mock the Christian faith. We buy into the lies and become entrapped and confused.”

            Johnston illustrates the prevailing confusion by pointing out that some psychics and others working in the paranormal industry claim to be Christians. “The paranormal is a slippery slope,” Johnston says. “Once you open the door to the spirit world, it will only affect your life negatively.”

            Johnston says that Christians must compare what they see in the world with the truth of God’s Word. He gives these points:

  1. We need to recognize that the paranormal is attractive and has become normal in our society.
  2. It preaches a false gospel, makes promises it can’t keep, and will always bring the participant into bondage and confusion.
  3. Only Jesus Christ can set us free. Only in Him can each of us experience lasting peace and can know the truth.

Believers are instructed in I John 4:1 to “not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” Also, they are instructed in I Timothy 4:7: “Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.”

Johnston warns that the things God forbids can seem appealing. “How do we respond to the fascination – and even attraction – with the paranormal world around us?” he asks.

Johnston reminds listeners that Satan masquerades as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14), and that we are to be sober-minded since “the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (I Peter 5:8).

He answers a question from Jaden through AskJJJ.com about doubting one’s salvation. Johnston reminds him that when believers have thoughts that don’t align with the Bible, we can “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

 

What Christians must understand about Suicide and Mental Health

 

Radio show host, Dr. Jeremiah Johnston, opens the show with a question for
listeners: “What is the most important apologetics question of our time?”

He says, “The Church has an amazing opportunity right now. If the Church can articulate an answer to this question in a biblically powerful way, this could be the key to unlocking a serious revival in our Church.”

Many people in the Church struggle with mental illness either personally or through the connection of a loved one. The number one question that Christian Thinkers Society receives revolves around suicide and mental health.

“I want to equip you and you minister to people who are hurting,” Johnston says. He says that, 1) Christians should stop the silence surrounding mental illness, 2) we must stop the shame and exclusion, and 3) we need to understand mental illness and be present.

Johnston gives examples of Christians who have struggled with mental illness in history and today. Yet, most pastors rarely, if ever, address mental health. “Mental illness is no one’s fault,” he says. He draws parallels between common physical infirmities and mental ones.

“Do you know the Bible has a lot to say about mental health, right thinking, loving God, and training our mind?” Johnston asks.

Mark 2:17 “On hearing this, Jesus said to them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’”

Matthew 22:37 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and will all your soul and with all your mind.”

2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”

Psalm 55:22 “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”

Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Johnston advises Christians with these thoughts: 1) Every family struggles, 2) make a commitment to love instead of judge, condemn, and misunderstand, 3) build support groups for every age level for addressing mental health disorders, and 4) encourage the mentally ill in our church communities to serve.

Selma asks through AskJJJ.com if it is alright for a Christian to a person end his or her life. Johnston tells her that God is the controller of all life. “It is terrible to watch people we know and love suffer,” he says. “But when people suffer, you never know how God is using the suffering to win other people to Jesus Christ.”

 

Unanswered: Body of Proof – Evidence for the Resurrection

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the central point of Christianity, and has been since the earliest days of the faith. Followers of Christianity do not have to take the bodily resurrection of Jesus on faith alone, says Dr. Jeremiah Johnston.

 “The claim that Jesus was truly resurrected assumed a heavy burden of proof. What persuaded Jesus’ followers to speak of Jesus’ resurrection was their conviction that Jesus had died, had been buried in a known place, and had exited that place,” he says. “These factors, in combination with His appearances, convinced His followers that Jesus was indeed the bodily resurrected messiah.”
Early believers had little to gain in their society and everything to lose for believing in the risen Lord. Jesus was a pariah in both Roman and Jewish cultures. Yet, His resurrection gave proof that He was Lord, and that followers of Christ could experience eternal life as well. John 14:19: “Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.”
  Johnston says, “I have great news for you today. Jesus Christ rose from the dead and He lives, and there are great evidences for that belief.”
 He advises that 1) we must recover a resurrection-centric faith, 2) we should refresh our minds with evidence of the resurrection, and 3) we should recommit to live the mission of the resurrection.
“No matter what life throws at you, the resurrection promises that God is a God of new beginnings,” Johnston says. “The resurrection changes everything.”
The fact that Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to disciples and followers changed the course of history, and Christianity continues to influence the world for good. The hope that is found through Jesus is the basis for the Gospel. Paul writes, “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (I Corinthians 15:14). He goes on to say, “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (I Corinthians 15:20).
“Wherever you’re at, I pray this program equips you with evidence for the faith,” says Johnston. “Let the power of the resurrection fuel you this Christmas season to be bold for your faith.”