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Author Topic: Christian Criticism of Near Death Experiences  (Read 3676 times)
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Thoughtful Living
« on: March 26, 2007, 11:33:26 PM »

Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 7:59 am    Post subject: Christian Criticism of Near Death Experiences   

There's a lot of criticism of Near Death Experiences on the Internet by Christian web sites. The typical NDE doesn't echo church doctrine, so it is labeled as false. Sometimes individual experiencers are targeted with inaccurate, even slanderous attacks. As NDEs become more popular reading material the number of insults are growing. I decided to answer a couple of the main points of contention -- NDEs don't follow God's Biblical plan of salvation and NDEs don't recognize the forces of evil in the world.

The Bible is not God. There is not one verse in the Bible that was written by God, therefor the Bible is not the word of God. The Bible was written by men, and those men were not Gods.

However, it can be said that the Bible was inspired by God, because God created everything and therefor everything was inspired by Him. All events happen due to God's creation of the world, in Him we all have our being.

The Bible has thousands of verses. These verses were written down hundreds, even thousands of years apart. The first written have nothing to do with the last. But, as is well known, manipulators of the verse can take a few sentences here, and a few there, adding or changing the meaning of a word or two and produce a new church doctrine that is said to be Biblical. Everyone will then be expected to conform to it. The so-called "plan of salvation." I believe is one of these manufactured doctrines.

The doctrine goes: "Jesus was sacrificed for the sins of the world, and who ever believes this and accepts Jesus as their personal saviour will be saved. They will not die, but live eternally in Heaven." Once Jesus is accepted the saved will be saved forever. "Once saved, always saved." However. those that reject Jesus will be thrown into hell to burn, scream, be tortured, feel intense pain for eternity. Now that's what I call negative incentive.

Being saved is an act of faith, not works, you don't have to do anything. It is like a loyalty oath, a pledge of allegiance, a declaration of intent. The sad part is no mention of following the teachings of Jesus. I can understand why this doctrine came about. It is much, much easier to pledge your faith than it is to work at compassion, loving yourself and others. To grow spiritually by returning good, and forgiving those that despitefully use you. To not judge others, to heal the sick, feed the hungry, etc,

Christians will say that when one accepts Jesus as their saviour the spiritual growth comes with it and everyone will want to be kind and loving afterwards. This is true for a few, but I would not be writing this if it were true for the majority. Jesus' teachings of "love one another" should be the first thing taught and the last thing remembered in every sermon preached. All to many churches put the teachings of Jesus on the back burner, so that they fell off the stove. I have talked to Christians who never heard of the beatitudes taught by Jesus.

Now, is this salvation doctrine Biblical. No, in my opinion, it is not. For the reasons stated below.

There is no verse in the Bible that clearly states the salvation doctrine. John 3:16 says nothing about a "sacrifice for sins." Many of the other verses used to prove this doctrine do not either. There is verse about Jesus died for us, but mention nothing about sacrifice for sin. If this is the "heart" of Christianity wouldn't it be clearly stated many times. Why does one need to read a verse here, and another there, plus do some interpretation of words to come up with it.

Now, another strange thing is no one seemed, at the time of His crucifixation, to know that it was a sacrifice for the sins of the world. The Romans didn't know because they would have called it off. Human sacrifice was against Roman law. They would never have been part of a human sacrifice for the sins of the world. His disciples and friends didn't seem to know either. If they knew they were about to be relieved of all their sins, you would think they would be in a better mood. No one said anything about it and no one was happy.

If no one else knew, then it is time to ask God about it. God would be the only one to order the sacrifice. No one else was powerful enough. So here we have God ordering the sacrifice of His son to Himself for the sins of the world. Since sacrifices are designed to please God so He will grant favors. God must have been pleased with watching His son die cruelly on the cross. Pleased enough to grant immunity from the wages sin for those who believed in Jesus and accepted the whole scenario. If this seems a bit illogical, it is.

Christians also critize NDEers for not talking about demons, devils, and other things that go bump in the night. This is true that most NDEs are positive experiences, full of love and light. So, why spend your valuable time worrying about the dark side. If you keep your focus on God's unconditional love you will never have to deal with the negative. Stay on the positive path.

I can't speak for all Near Death Experiencers, but for me, the love teachings of Jesus are the same as that learned in the experience. A few experiencers asked about the Bible during their NDEs. I was one of them. I was told that the only thing I needed to know about the Bible could be found in I Corinthians 13. The love chapter written by Paul. So, Near Death Experiencers are not so bad, they believe in love one another. If you don't like them, just leave them alone. They have a right to their beliefs the same as you.


1 Corinthians 13

IF I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.

For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away.

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.

So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2007, 10:33:16 PM by Sam » Logged
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. -- George Carlin
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