Many years ago, a preacher went to South Carolina to hold a campmeeting revival. As he was walking through the small town where services would be held, he encountered a woman who went on and on, bragging about how they cast out demons by beating them with broomsticks.
Then, she saw his face emblazoned on a banner over his shoulder, advertising the revival that night, and ran away, embarrassed.
That’s what Fallen Angels & the Paranormal reminds me of — a documentary based on 20 years of research, with an underlying message that’s good, but one that is filled with questionable moments that might make you cringe one moment and laugh out loud in disbelief the next.
For starters — the idea that you can detect paranormal activity by using a “spirit box.” In the documentary, we see a P-SB7 spirit box and aura lenses being used to detect the presence of spirits tuned in to an electromagnetic frequency. Similar things have been used on shows like A&E’s Ghost Hunters.
That’s one step above the broomstick. Spiritual things must be spiritually — not electronically — discerned. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, and things that are carnally designed may detect something, but they’re not spirits. To see Pastor Enoch Derkyi, who is introduced to us as one “heavily trained” in exorcism, using a spirit box while “scanning for spirits” is troubling.
Nevertheless, Giannini is in the right place in wanting evil spirits gone, and in his statement at the outset of the documentary, he correctly warns people about pursuing paranormal entities if they are not spiritually prepared to do so. That preparation is to be born again, so that He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world.
Mindlessly throwing around the Name of Jesus comes with consequences, as seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, learned in Acts 19:11-20.
Give Giannini credit for not being afraid to introduce an atheist, Tom Buckland, who thinks the whole thing is rubbish. There are believers who might say this about these supposed spirit sightings while yet believing what the Bible says about evil spirits.
On the good side, we see Pastor Enoch leading a woman named Rita in prayer to receive Christ, at which point she declares that a demon just left her.
Giannini introduces several Scriptures that he claims are about casting out demons, which is a wild overstatement. For instance, 1 John 4:1-3 talks about “testing the spirits” — which has nothing to do with exorcism, but about discerning truth from falsehood. He makes several other claims he acknowledges will “ruffle some feathers.”
But the underlying message is what we approve here. We would caution anybody about being so fascinated with the paranormal that they lose sight of Jesus. Hebrews 12:1-2 tells us: “And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”
The Dove Take
Fascination with the paranormal can be dangerous and may lead to some strange claims, but Giannini means well and his underlying message is good.