Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sources of Hope

Late last year 13 year old Cori Baker disappeared. An 18 year old man has been charged with her disappearance and likely death. There have been searches throughout the Tulsa metro area. The searches have been struggling to find volunteers to expand the search. The family is understandably distraught over not knowing what happened and move toward closure.

The latest development in the search involves the use of a psychic medium to discern clues to what happened to Cori. After watching the press conference with the medium I am really concerned about how this case will proceed.

First, the medium reserved divulging information until the press conference. If this family's emotional well-being were at the forefront, I have to wonder why search teams were not coordinated with maps prior to the event. It appeared from the press conference that he was withholding all of the information he had for that time.

Second, the medium was allowed access to the suspect to "interview" him on what seems to be more than one occasion. The medium proceeded to share some of those conversations with the press. Knowing how protective District Attorney's office can be about details surrounding an active case, this makes me wonder if the case has not been tainted by this. The medium has compromised any case by allowing him to share information from the suspect.

My last concern is for how the press is portraying the role of this medium. The news sources I have heard reporting this have presented this individual as a source of hope for this family. They report that he has spoken to Cori and Cori has revealed where her body is located. The family now has hope hinging on the claims of this individual.

I have written on my opinion of ghost hunting. The paranormal is becoming a healthy business for television networks (thanks to the writers, "reality" shows are seeing another explosion). This includes the growth of personal and group services in paranormal experiences. This is going to continue to grow in the coming years. It is also going to cause some possible problems for the church.

The Old and New Testament call God's people to turn away from mediums and those who speak with the dead. It is not ever called demonic but it is considered to be outside the practice of those who wish to live within God's righteousness. But as the paranormal continues to grow, the church is going to have to find the response to these practices.

But the even greater issue behind this is, where is the church in ministering to this family? If their hope is hanging on the word of a person who is claiming to talk with their dead daughter then where is the healing that Christ offers. If we wait for that healing to be proclaimed at the memorial service, then we have missed the chance to minister to this family in their greatest time of need.