It is no contradiction to my Christian beliefs to say that I believe in ghosts. I have seen many ghosts. In fact, I see them all the time.
The trait that defines a ghost is a doom so terrifying, you would pray to God that this curse never, ever befall another human being.
You see, I am pained to tell you that a ghost is one who lives in the perpetual gloom of acedia. And acedia is by far the most ghastly of the seven deadly sins.
Acedia is widely misunderstood as sloth or laziness. This could not be more incorrect. In fact, many ghosts have highly distinguished themselves by being extremely busy all the time.
Acedia means sadness.
Sadness at being called to a state of nobility that requires great courage. And sadness at seeing oneself turn away from that high calling in despair. Ghosts, you see, have lost the courage to be.
I was introduced to a sad young Sunday School teacher. Since childhood, she has been taught that summoning up her bravery to respond to God’s call to become a pastor would be a sin. She risks a lifetime as a ghost. I observe a wife repeatedly accepting that God will punish her for being the person she really is — she is becoming a ghost. I see a fearful teenage girl rejecting, even attacking, the person she suspects she is inside — that girl is birthing a ghost.
And ghost women tend to marry ghost men. Men trapped in a shadowy realm of harsh roles and stereotypes and demanding expectations.
C.S. Lewis said our whole world is a shadowland. But the saddest, dreariest ghetto of shadowland is populated by ghosts sagging with acedia. Ghosts whose God-given purpose has been sucked away by hierarchical rules and deception. Perhaps you know someone — a mother? a sister? who now lives — or died — wearing rags in this forlorn place? Perhaps even you yourself consumed garbage in this bitter ghetto for a time? Perhaps you are still struggling to leave?
For over a decade, CBE has stood as a haven of refuge for souls who are being undermined. We accept the reproach and attack that can fall upon those who penetrate this ghetto of shadowland with Christ’s message of identity and liberation. We must. Jesus calls us — every time we see a ghost — to carry scriptural hope to women and men who have lost the courage to be.
I am writing because I believe you are a person who won’t settle for acedia in yourself — or others. At CBE we share your vision of biblical equality.
We are dedicated to proclaiming this liberating message. Help us inject the light of scriptural truth into shadowy veins and command ghosts, in the name of Jesus Christ, to become real. Please send a gift that will give others — perhaps someone you know or love — the courage to be.