Skip to comments.(Protestant) Minister Who Had Near-Death Episode Believes In Purgatory
Posted on 03/08/2006 7:22:57 PM PST by churchillbuff
Howard Storm, a former atheist whose brush with death turned him into a Protestant minister, says that he now believes in purgatory.
"It only makes sense," he says, "but I have trouble discussing this with my fellow ministers."
Featured here a couple months ago and also on MSNBC during Easter Week -- where he told his incredible story to a national audience -- Reverend Storm, considered by experts as one of the most convincing near-death cases, recounted his "dying" in Paris in 1985 from a perforated duodenum and after leaving his body finding himself with a group of hideous beings who attacked him as they led him to a foggy zone that descended toward "hell."
Storm says he was saved by Jesus after desperately pleading to God. After an extensive hospitalization he recovered -- and learned that a nun who had once been a student of his had been praying for him for years.
Storm credits that with saving him; after the episode he left his job as an professor at Northern Kentucky University and entered a seminary, becoming a minister.
He is now with the Zion United Church of Christ in Norwood, Ohio (near Cincinnati), and while some churches in that denomination can be ultra-liberal, he openly preaches against abortion and the New Age.
Still, we try to be careful with these cases, and we always issue the disclaimer that we can't endorse every view of such experiencers -- some of whom tend at times to put their own (and sometimes a nearly New Age) spin on what occurred. Like any form of mysticism, it is to be carefully discerned.
This is true in the case of Reverend Storm -- who himself acknowledges that some of his views have shifted since he became an active Christian ( including a few expressed in a book which was written before his faith was fully formed). These episodes are told through the filter of a person's framework.
But he is a man who exudes love (the single most important element of Christianity); many believe his experience was real; and he says he now believes not only in heaven and hell but also a state in-between where souls are "purged."
After his horrifying brush with death the concept of purgation was explained to him by a priest, says Reverend Storm, and "just rang so clear to me in my experience."
He says that when he "died" he was taken through a "foggy" region strikingly similar to what has been described in mystical literature [see An Unpublished Manuscript on Purgatory] -- and also similar to descriptions by modern visionaries who have told of a great "gray" area between hell and heaven.
Although a devout Protestant, Storm says that he considers Catholicism "the Mother Church" and is even interested in the Catholic apparition site of Medjugorje. He says God doesn't want division and that the main reason why he was on the road to hell was lack of love, pride, and disbelief.
I believe he was in the church Building Committee meeting.....
For 1500 years no Christian had a problem believing in this example of the great mercy of Our Lord.
"He says God doesn't want division and that the main reason why he was on the road to hell was lack of love, pride, and disbelief"
"He says God doesn't want division and that the main reason why he was on the road to hell was lack of love, pride, and disbelief."
So saith the gospel of Howard Storm.
I've heard of him before, read his account. It's fascinating and sobering. Not the usual NDE, with the white lights and angelic-like beings, where everyone goes to heaven because they lived 'right' or even if they didn't, but more like a possibility for those who aren't on the side of good.
"My Descent into Death" is a fantastic book and has converted many to come home to Christ.
Uh, Mr. Storm. Acording to the Holy Scripture, YAHWEH, GOD MOST HIGH is the Head of the Church, whether Catholic, Episcopalian, Methodists, Presbyterian, etc.
This means that HE ALONE is to behonored & exalted above churches or denominations & divisions.
That is mischaracterized. It is NOT approved by the Catholic Church or the local bishop and is very controversial. I am not saying Medjugorje is in all respects an illusion or a hoax, but he would do better to investigate Fatima, Lourdes, etc.
Idolatry... man's oldest and favorite sin.
paging Art Bell...!
Depending on which divinity school he went to that might not have been much of change.
I do as well. There is No Other NAME by which we are Saved.
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