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Surviving Death — A Christian View of That Show on Netflix

Pastor of Iglesia Conexiones, a baptist church in Jessup, MD. B.A. in Bible, B.S. English Ed., M.S. in Educational Leadership.

Jesse Krauß, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Jesse Krauß, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

A Bridge to The Occult (On Episdoe 1)

The first episode of the show "Surviving Death" explores near death experiences. Near death experiences are an interesting phenomenon that appears to indicate that there is more to life than what materialism assumes. In the episode, people who had these experiences are interviewed along with people who appear to be in a position to verify some parts of their experiences—that they were clincially dead, and that they appeared to know some things that they weren't supposed to know.

I think where this episode falls short is in exploring any alternative explanations to this phenomenon, if there are any. The episdoe appears to immediately assume that these experiences are real and valid, an assumption that acts as a bridge to the rest of what the show presents: the occult.

Inside The Occult (On Episodes 2 and 3)

Episdoes 2 and 3 follow mediums, their beliefs, their practices, and their followers. The episodes explore both the possibility that what the mediums accomplish is real and the possiblity that it isn't. Two counter-arguments are briefly presented: that some mediums are very good at reading people and getting information out of people, and that some mediums use the internet to find information about their clients.

What was surprising to this writer is that ectoplasm is not someting the Ghostbusters movies invented—it's actually a thing in the occult. It was also surprising to see that there are places where people can go to be trained as mediums. In other words, the system to which mediums belong is much more complex than this writer thought.

Of course, from a Christian perspective, none of these things have to be truly real to be entirely demonic. Supernatural manifestations do not need to take place for these practices to be forbidden (from a biblical point of view) and an instrument of Satan. Even though the people were singing not to worship the spirits of the dead, but to create vibrations, this is still a form of worship disguised with scientific language.

But is it all fake? The faith of the mediums' followers is not fake, and—according to some of the followers—sometimes the mediums do get some things rights. My overall impression of the Bible's description of the spirit world causes me to think that their error may be to assume that the mediums can always establish contact with spirits—if anything is real, it is more likely that the spirits respond not consistently, but sporadically.

Deceived by Spirits

The three remaining episodes of the show deal with what people perceive to be signs and messages sent to them by their deceased loved ones, manifestations of ghosts that try to communicate with humans, and memories from previous lives (which point to reincarnation).

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What does the Bible say about these things?

"Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:" (Ephesians 2:2, KJV)

"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;" (1 Timothy 4:1, KJV)

What the Bible says about these things is that there is in the air a spirit who is working on the children of disobedience. This spirit is known as the Devil, or Satan; and although we cannot perceive him through our senses, he is exherting his influence on those who do not obey the gospel of God concerning Jesus Christ.

There are also seducing spirits: these are spirits who decieve humans to prevent them from believing the gospel they have heard procalimed by Christians.

A Land of Darkness

The spiritual realm is a land of darkness—it is a confusing, disorienting, and dangerous place where humans shipwreck. Only the light of God's word can teach us how to tell the true nature of what is there.

"And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world." (1 John 4:3, KJV)

In other words, the truth is found only in Jesus Christ. Any spirit that fails to point you to Jesus Christ for comfort, hope, and revelation is not of God, but of the Devil—and you shouldn't pay attention to it.

© 2021 Marcelo Carcach


Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on February 22, 2021:

Thanks for sharing your analysis of the show. Your observations are revealing and your conclusion answers my curiosity about whether or not to watch it. I won't.

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