How can a Christian believe in ghosts?

My understanding of the bible is this:

When a person dies; His or her soul lies in rest untill judgment day arrives. So if you’re a Christian, how could you believe that someone’s soul is wondering about a decrepid old house wreaking havoc on the people who occupy it?

Also, (assuming my understanding of the bible is correct) wouldn’t this discredit one’s faith in God?

To me, the whole thing about believening God is you got to have faith. What makes ones faith so significant, is that it requires a strong will and discipline. Or better yet, the will to believe in something with the absence of proof. Especially when ones stance in God is unwaivering even when they got the whole scientific community that idicates otherwise.

So if you say to yourself: “Yeah, I believe these ghost stories I hear or I believe I saw a ghost myself” what you’re also saying is:

1.) I don’t believe in the bible as the true word of God.

2.) My faith in God alone is not enough, I need proof that God exist in order to justify my belief in Him. By this I mean, believing in ghost or thinking you saw one yourself gives you back up data or proof that God exist. -Because if you can believe in a supenatural phenomena as ghost; by default, that must mean God exist as well.

(I hope this makes sense)

I’m a Christian and I don’t believe in ghosts. I believe if people see “spectral images” there are only three possible explanations: hallucination, a natural phenomena that is being inaccurately interpreted, or some sort of message from the divine.

I’m not saying you can’t come up with a cogent theological argument as to why a Christian could believe in ghosts, but I wouldn’t buy it ;).

Even in the Bible there were “spirits” that possessed people. Not ghosts of the dead, necessarily, but definitely ghostly presences among the living.

I agree.

To elaborate on the third point: I’ve always thought, “If I believe that God is all-powerful, I must believe it would be possible for Him to recreate any supernatural phenomena, from levitating objects to producing spectres to creating sounds or sensations from nowhere only perceptible to those He chooses.”

Furthermore, it has always been my personal interpretation of the Bible that Satan, while not all-powerful, also has some of these powers.

In short, as a Christian, I believe exactly as Martin Hyde does.

I believe this is the standard answer of Christian theologians. My experience with Christians is the vast majority have little clue what the Bible actually says. Thus they don’t realize the idea of ghosts haunting old mansions is incompatible with Christianity.

Is the Bible really super clear on what happens between death and final judgment? My understanding is that most of what we talk about limbo, purgatory, etc. is apocryphal or otherwise extra-Biblical.

Saul had the shade of Samuel conjured up by (what we would call) a channeler in the Old Testament.

Or maybe they could be time travellers from the future.

I saw a ghost when I was 13 years old and I’m also a Christian (of sorts). I believe that Jesus is the Son of God and my Saviour.

But I don’t necessarily believe that everything in the Bible is the word of God, because if it were then God would have to be incoherent. There are just to many inconsistencies in the Bible. So much so that if I were to decide whether or not I believed in God based on what is written in the Bible I would not believe. The reason I do believe is the four Gospels have a ring of truth to them. When I read them I believe.

So to me at least it is quite possible that both ghosts and God (and of evolution) co-exist. On the other hand I have been living right accross the road from the biggest cemetery in the southern hemisphere for the past year and a half, and so far nothing has gone boo in the night.

Just a few years ago I found myself with the same convoluted thinking. Trying to pick & choose out of the Bible almost drove me nuts. Then, my “God” given sense of reason & logic kicked in: Either the Bible is (entirely) the word of God, or it is (entirely) not the word of God. Would an almighty creator allow himself to be represented in a half-assed way? Half the word of God, half just bullshit?

While I do believe there is some sort of creator, I’ve decided the Bible is just a collection of fairy tales. And even when I was a Christian, I didn’t believe in spooks.

I’ll throw my two cents in.

God is NOT a micro-manager. You didn’t bang your shin because God wanted it.

Remember the greatest gift God gave us is free-will. That means we bear the consequences (and responsibilities) for our actions.

People wrote down the Bible (and other holy books). People are fallible. You figure out the rest.

I don’t think the Bible is that clear-cut on the various Afterlife possibilities. There is nothing to rule out that Sheol/Hades & Paradise may not overlap into our realities. I was checking out the Q&A section of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and, as theologically conservative as it is, it did not take a clear stand against the possibility of ghosts.

Theologically, I’m a staunch Bible=God’s Word/Nicene Creed comes close conservative Christian. I don’t “believe” in ghosts, reincarnation, extraterrestrial visitors, etc. BUT I don’t necessarily disbelieve in them either.

Speaking as a Christian and as someone who sometimes believes in ghosts (not at nighttime, though, brrrr) -

If you believe that ghosts are some kind of imprinted ‘recording’ of a violent (or otherwise) event, then it’s possible to believe that ghosts exist, but also that people go to heaven when they die.

But yeah, this is an interesting one. Would a (fundie) Christian, faced with a ghost, consider it the work of the devil? What if it was a ghost of their much-loved departed granddad? Probably then they’d think it was an angel.

At any rate, IMHO it is to be easier for a Christian, than for an Atheist, to believe in ghosts, because it can be more easily manipulated into the existing belief system.

Catholics - who are Christians, I might add - do not believe that “When a person dies; His or her soul lies in rest untill judgment day arrives.”

We believe that some of the faithful are us: pilgrims on earth. Others have died and are being purified - Purgatory. Others are in heaven, contemplating 'in full light, God himself triune and one, exactly as he is."


From the way they’re referred to, “unclean spirits” as cast out by Jesus, it usually sounds like mental illness.

Yep, and I always wonder why with everything else going on, a soul would want to come hang around its old “haunts”. And if they can move things, why don’t they go ahead and speak too, and tell us what’s up with the afterlife. :rolleyes:

Well, there are ghosts in the Bible. And also zombies!