Skip to comments.Charlotte-born doctor talks about time in heaven
Posted on 03/30/2013 8:04:20 PM PDT by boatbums
Last Friday night (March 22), March Madness was in its televised glory. And Taylor Swift was singing and strumming at Time Warner Cable Arena.
Despite such competition, Christ Episcopal Church managed to draw 1,100 people.
The attraction: A doctor describing his time in heaven.
Not just any doctor. Sitting on stage, answering questions from the Rev. Chip Edens, the churchs rector, was Dr. Eben Alexander. Hes a Charlotte native who wrote Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeons Journey into the Afterlife. His book is such a mega-seller that he has talked to Oprah and Universal Pictures won a bidding war to turn it into a (probably 3-D) movie.
Read more here: http://funkonfaith.blogspot.com/2013/03/charlotte-born-doctor-talks-about-time.html#storylink=cpy
(Excerpt) Read more at funkonfaith.blogspot.com ...
This doctor, who now says he is a Christian, and who attends an Episcopal church in Virginia, told the crowd that his experience convinced him of the following: reincarnation makes sense, but hell doesnt; scientists know less than they think they do, but theres no contradiction between science and religion; and God loves all of his creatures Christians, Jews, atheists, big-time sinners, etc.
I realize that Christ came to show us the eternity of all of our souls, he said. Its all about understanding that gift of love. This talk about coming back to life someday in physical bodies doesnt really make any sense. Its all about souls being eternal. Easter is just a confirmation of the real miracle of Jesus coming back. But he was doing that as a gift and showing us what we all have: eternal life.
We can KNOW from Scripture that some of what this man purports he learned by his experience is not in line with what God says. Reading this account helps me to understand that, anytime someone makes claims about their personal experiences as they relate to Christianity, it should be taken with a grain of salt and measured by the one, divinely-revealed and authoritative source we have - the Holy Bible.
Hell is one of the few things that made sense to me back when none of the rest of it did. What kind of loving God would force people to abide His Presence for eternity when they want nothing to do with Him?
I have not read his book, but I see the comments made here. I also see your comments. I agree with you...
“...anytime someone makes claims about their personal experiences as they relate to Christianity, it should be taken with a grain of salt and measured by the one, divinely-revealed and authoritative source we have - the Holy Bible.”
This said, with or without the grain of salt...God does not contradict Himself...never has, never will.
New Heavens and New Earth. The souls of the saved are resurrected with new bodies (etc, etc). Humans were meant to be corporal.
I wonder how the doctor would explain all the passages in the Old and New Testaments that speak of a bodily resurrection? Jesus returned with a glorified body and we, Scripture, says will also have bodies like unto his.
Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. (Philippians 3:21)
The resurrection, and the associated new, glorified body for each resurrected person, is central to Christianity. As Paul wrote, without the resurrection our faith is nothing. Happy Easter.
I recall seeing reports of this man’s claimed experience a while back. He seems to still have major problems with personal ego, because there’s an awful lot of “I think” in there. I don’t doubt that he had some sort of experience that seemed spiritual in nature, which is surprising enough given his state of disbelief prior, but what he describes strikes a false note.
Not only that, but the doctrine of reincarnation - with its need for souls to transform from life to life in never-ending cycles until Nirvana is attained or self-salvation - is totally foreign to the Bible. Scripture says, "And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him." (Hebrews 9:27,28)
Ideas like those of this doctor only serve to placate people into a false sense of security where "everything's cool, it'll all work out in the end" and "Don't worry, be happy!". Thoughts like these can only come from the father of lies and proves that we can't allow emotion to guide us in the truths we must believe.
Nice to hear from you, Legatus. Hope all's well with the family. Have a Happy Easter/Resurrection Sunday!
All’s well here, and the grits are still good. Happy Easter/Resurrection Sunday to you too.
I believe in heaven but I don’t think we can travel there back and forth like we can to Florida
It did to me, as well. I don't recall how long ago this "experience" happened to him, but he sure needs to take some time to absorb it all in relation to what the Bible says - seeing as he identifies as a Christian - and sort it all out before he presumes to write a book, make a movie and go on a speaking tour to churches and Oprah. He may have good intentions, but, from what he is saying, he is spreading a false gospel and aiding and abetting the enemy of our souls. Notice how some of his thoughts are almost close to being Scriptural but the gist perverts the truth. Yes, God loves ALL his creation and He is no respecter of persons, but it doesn't mean everyone will be with Him in heaven for eternity.
I can understand how someone could feel elated over coming close to dying and then being given a second chance - especially if he was not a believer before the event - and wanting to tell everyone they meet about it. But we should never forget that Satan can transform himself into an "angel of light" and his ministers into "ministers of righteousness". Counterfeiters succeed because their work is nearly identical to the real thing and those who do not examine it closely can be fooled. This doctor should have taken the time and effort to examine his experience in light of what the Bible and orthodox Christianity has taught about such things. I pray that no one is taken in by the errors he is talking about.
I have read hundreds of near death experiences and I don’t know of any that completely reflected a strict Orthodox Christian worldview. There were usually heresies in there somewhere, most commonly pre-mortal existence, re-incarnation, and the ability to alter your afterlife condition...i.e. get out of Hell. And yes, many NDE’s report the existence of Hell, most notably Howard Storm’s in his book “My Descent into Death.”
At least the Doctor is no longer an Atheist, that is a start.
Absolutely...I've heard these stories time and again and they always end up opposing what God says. Just enough truth in them, or perceived truth to bait and switch.
This guy lost it the moment he said it's his 'experience' was what convinced him that reincarnation makes sense...hogwash on the rest of it as well.
He's doing what so many Christians are today...mixing pagan mumbo-jumbo with Christianity..and unfortunatley because so many Christians do not know what God has to say about these things, they swallow it hook line and sinker....and are then ‘set up’ for whatever further deceptions the enemy of mens souls wants to take them....and he will surely do so.
We indeed live in a society, (Christian and not), ‘who hear with their eyes and and see with their feelings’.....
The internet is chocked full of this stuff, and those promoting it are making lots of money off those ignorant of Gods word...and even those who are Christian can be coerced because they haven't a clue of the whiles of the enemy of men's souls, nor his power.
Jesus taught us to be aware of the devils antics and how he plays his game. He also warned us these things would come.....
I'm also going to say that too many Christians depend too much on what their Pastor teaches, and seldom inquire of the Lord what their Pastors are teaching from the pulpits. It's all so easily accepted....especially if it makes them feel good.
In case you didn't know, DMT is a psychoactive chemical produced naturally within the brain that is released while dreaming in small amounts. During death, large amounts are released. Every living thing produces it and it is called "the spirit molecule".
Those who have a clear conscience will experience paradise that feels eternal: “heaven”.
The evil will be tormented for what feels like eternity: “hell”.
However, what goes on beyond our perceivable physical world to make it happen is beyond my pay grade at this late hour...
It should be comforting. I saw something that went on for a couple of weeks before my Grandmother died that was quite insightful. They always tell you that people who are close to death talk about “seeing” people who died years before on the other side.
Well, this was “more” than that. Once she awoke reporting that she had seen my Uncle (he died of cancer in the 80’s when he was 45); BUT she also wanted to know why they had lost “both their boys” as she had been told my Dad would be there as well. My Dad was standing in the room...we all had a little chuckle about Grandma being confused. A couple of months after she died, my Dad became ill & was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer....he joined his Mother after a 10 week illness.
A couple of days after the first incident, one of her lifelong friends died. The decision was made not to tell her; she would not be able to attend the funeral after all...no use causing upset. A few hours after the friend passed, Grandma said “Say, I just saw “Dorothy”...she told me that everything is wonderful over there...and she is waiting there to greet me when I decide to go.” I guess Dorothy decided that if we weren’t going to tell Grandma...she would do it herself.
The moral of story A., I guess is that if someone who is dying thinks they will see you soon, you should go to the Doctor. Can you just imagine that appt? “My dying Mother was told by someone in Heaven that I would be there soon...might want to do a full work-up!” LOL!
They refuse, boatbums, because should they realize their error they would then “feel” foolish and a whole host of other “feelings”....especially when they realize they’ve in turn drawn others into the deceptions, and oftentimes away from Christ Jesus,..... so it can be emotionally overwhelming to them..... It’s easier to just keep going and falsely “belief” what they imagine they see...and that justify it as so, for in their mind if it wasn’t from God he’d have intervened to stop it.
I will also say that believing in this “stuff” will lead peoeple to seeking “experiencings” over that of faith. I have know people who go this root ...they eventually start questioning Gods Word...then they go so far as denying it...and we know where that path then leads them.
This doctor is not a theologian or a pastor. To expect him to be is missing the whole point.
His point is that he died while he was in the hospital and hooked up to equipment that measured his brain waves. He had an NDE when his brain activity was zero - total zero - and he should know because his life’s work was studying neurosurgery. His brain was completely flatlined and yet he is experiencing this vision or dream or experience or whatever it was.
I’m sure God didn’t choose him for this revelation because He was impressed with his theology. Quite the opposite. God chose him because he was a doctor who understood that if you experience death and can prove that the brain was not at work while this was happening then how can you explain his experience other than being God’s miracle?
Like most new or mostly unchurched believers, this man isn’t fit to be preaching a theological message but he is fit to explain that there is an afterlife and, to many unbelievers, THAT is an important message.
Yes, by all means carefully examine all NDE claims and do not have an uncritical belief in what the man says based on what he says happened to him but do not overlook that he can offer scientific proof that he was experiencing an event while his brain had totally ceased activity and if his brain was not, in any way, participating in his experience then how can this be explained other than the hand of God?
It’s an important discovery and confirms what many of us hope in. Just don’t buy the whole package of theology that comes with it because he probably hasn’t even had time to sort all that out or for the Holy Spirit to impress upon him God’s revelations.
I’m guessing the Apostle Paul didn’t have it all figured out by the time he got to Damascus either. Despite his personal revelation, it probably took years of intense prayer and meditation for Paul to understand the gospel of salvation that he was called to preach. If God allowed time for Paul to understand the theology, I’m willing to allow this doctor to sort it out too. It doesn’t negate the experience he had.
His expertise is certainly valuable in adding to the discussion of what happens to our soul and spirit after death. That something DOES happen is inescapable. Unfortunately, most people don't come back so it is really rare when it happens.
That is a nice theory but incomplete. People report leaving their bodies, watching their doctor operate on them when they should be unconscious, and accurately reporting on not only the goings on in the operating room from a view looking down, but also things in other rooms. That can’t be explained by DMT.
Howard Storm’s experience started out in Hell (he was an Athiest) where he was attacked by evil creatures that he says used to be people and in desperation, after fighting the things tooth and nail, he called out to Christ. This terrified the creatures and they left. Then he met Christ and after that had quite an elaborate and detailed experience. Afterward, because the experience changed him so much (Athiest to Believer) he had marital problems with his still Atheist wife and they ultimately divorced, and he fell away from his still Atheist friends. He eventually became a minister and married again to a devout Christian woman. It is hard to believe that was all caused by a drug trip.
The best book I have read regarding NDE’s is “Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences.” The authors list 9 lines of evidence that they believe prove consciousness separate from the body.
Great story about your Granny. I bet that comforted her beyond measure...how much better would THAT be than to be on the receiving end of a telegram.
I know with my Grandma, you could tell she was completely somewhere else increasingly for the last couple of weeks. In fact, I think she was annoyed when she would completely awaken & see us standing around. “Oh for Pete’s sake..I’m back HERE again!”
look on youtube for “jesse duplantis visits heaven” — your eyes will open wide with amazement! Not in belief, but at the utter gall of such a guy and that the people believe him...
the book “heaven is for real” is a work of fiction. NDE’s occur, but that one was clearly fiction
You sound like a Muslim when you say stuff like,” it should be taken with a grain of salt and measured by the one, divinely-revealed and authoritative source we have - the Holy Bible.”
Which divinely written and revealed version are you using? The King James version? The bible you are referring to ... is it the collection of 66 books or the complete collected works to date, or the original old testament bible we took from the Jews?
The official parts of the bible weren’t even decided until 367 years after the death of Christ. Attaching mysticism to the bible is narrow minded in my opinion. I think the magic lies in the stories that were recorded, not the manner and details of the collection.
They are the new Pharasies. If you donot accept their understanding of the “word” you are a heretic.
God gave us brains. It’s a shame that we have folks that don’t use them.
“My theory is that it can be explained in our physical world as a DMT-based psychedelic experience”
The problem with your theory is it does not stand up to facts. In the case of the good Dr....he was braindead...no brainwaves at any level. You cannot have the kind of experience your hypothesizing on without brainwave activity.
Second, as one who has experienced NDE I can tell you with certainty it is not hallucination. I have hallucinated with LSD, etc. when younger. There is a huge difference. If you believe that the NDE is a hallucination, then you need to contemplate your entire existence as a hallucination...seriously. It is that real.
I find non Christians have a difficult time with believing that God actually does exist and is alive right now. God does communicate with those who are with him regularly. We do not have to die to speak with God or indeed to hear from Him.
Like a muslim? You can't be serious.As a christian I will check most anything I hear or read against God's word.
Vermont Lt..."They are the new Pharasies. If you donot accept their understanding of the word you are a heretic.
"The new Pharasies"? As I understand it their biggest problem was nullifying the word with their traditions.
"God gave us brains. Its a shame that we have folks that dont use them."
You sure got that right!
People have reported the exact same experiences when taking DMT. In fact, I personally witnessed some experiments where experienced people could "see" very specific things across space and time. Even things that lie within others minds as memories. I was a complete atheist/realist until I saw that before my eyes.
Unfortunately you will likely never see a published scientific report on it. Why? Even though DMT is a chemical already produced inside your brain and every living creature has it inside them, actually isolating/possessing that chemical is a serious felony.
"He eventually became a minister and married again to a devout Christian woman. It is hard to believe that was all caused by a drug trip."
Your PERCEPTION of reality is entirely dependent on the chemicals that flow through your brain. What we consider reality is essentially a "hallucination" that remains consistent for most of our lives and is unique to each brain. When you slightly alter the brain chemistry, even for a few minutes, it can lead to some of the most profound life realizations. The experience can happen in a dream, NDE, during physical trauma or when taking psychoactive drugs.
I had a childhood friend who was probably the worst of the worst- wife beating alcoholic turned homeless crackhead. One night he 'scored' some psychoactive mushrooms(similar to DMT). Instead of getting doped into oblivion as usual, he said he felt God show him the mistakes he made in his life and how to turn his life around. He now goes to church every week, is an electrician and married a devout woman. There are some studies done where mushrooms are legal that show they can be very effective in treating addiction.
The problem with your theory is it does not stand up to facts. In the case of the good Dr....he was braindead...no brainwaves at any level. You cannot have the kind of experience your hypothesizing on without brainwave activity.
There are very few "facts" when it comes to the brain and dream/spirit world. Perhaps his entire experience occurred before the brain activity shut down? As I stated before, DMT completely alters perception of time. What seems like an entire day's experience "over there" could only require a few minutes of brain activity "here".
"Second,as one who has experienced NDE I can tell you with certainty it is not hallucination. I have hallucinated with LSD,etc. when younger. There is a huge difference. If you believe that the NDE is a hallucination, then you need to contemplate your entire existence as a hallucination...seriously. It is that real."
Read my 3rd paragraph above. Reality/existence in a way is a "hallucination". We accept it because it remains essentially consistent since birth. A filtered, processed interpretation of reality that supposedly entirely stems from your 5 senses. Now, think about when you (or other people) have a dream how absolutely "real" it can feel. That alone proves your mind doesn't need those 5 senses to generate what we call "reality". It can generate a complete "reality" on its own through chemicals and electricity.
The question becomes: how much of reality is from your 5 senses and how much is a "hallucination" entirely generated within your mind. IMO, it is a blend and there is far more out there that we can't "see" at all.
While all psychedelic drugs can alter perception and let you see beyond your baseline interpretation of "reality", the man-made LSD seems to be the least "visionary" and most dangerous one. I personally have never seen or heard of any good results from LSD.
The excesses of the hippies have done untold damage to our perception and understanding of these brain chemicals. Anytime people hear about these natural psychoactive chemicals, they automatically associate them with idiots who abuse them for fun.
Look, I don’t want to get into a “thing” here. But Muslims are always quoting book and verse.
And which Gods word are you using? Aramaic, Grrek, Latin, old English, or Modern English?
The problem is were are too far removed from the original “word” and the process is so politicized to trust.
And that is the end of my side of the argument.
Sounds like Remote Viewing, a psychic spy program the US government had for over 20-years. The Scots called it “Second Sight,” and the American Indian used to find game. . .and the Soviets apparently developed their own RV program, too.
Lots of hooey out there, for sure, but some is interesting, such as “Reading the Enemy’s Mind” by Paul H Smith.
Many RV people are devout Christians, though the “father” of RV (Ingo Swann) was basically a “use the force” kind of guy.
Anyone who denies the existence of a Hell, is in fact, commiting calumny against Jesus Christ and his death and resurrection.
Why would a loving God send his son into the world to save us from our sins, if there was not a counter force known as Satan and the eternal damnation of those who follow Satan?
Asside from the obvious cases of an instantly and totally dead body (nuked, blown to bits, crushed; where recovery would be impossible), you’re not dead until the blood is dead. Oxygen deprivation causes hallucinations; you’re in dreamland. Drugged, if you will. There is no record of Lazarus (4 days dead) telling of his ‘death experience’.
These stories just encourage non-christians and ‘christian’ people that are ‘serving two masters’ (and not realizing that they are trying to do just that), to go on living a sinful lifestyle, thinking that they are ‘good to go’.
Well then that would also include the above statement, which makes the statement itself a hallucination unique to your brain. In other words, if your hypothesis it true there is no way to know that it is true because Reason itself is hallucination.
I would love to address your other points but in order to do that I have appeal to Reason. If Reason is a hallucination then everything I say everything you say is totally meaningless.
But there's a difference between what one may experience and how one interprets it. Remember in the Book of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar was the one who had the dream, but he had no clue what it meant and needed Daniel to interpret for him.
Looks to me like this guy has not/needs to, use the Bible and other Biblically-grounded/mature Christians to help him understand what happened to him.
Your own perception of giving/receiving a statement is unique to your brain, not the meaning you are trying to convey. Society teaches us methods of interaction from birth- language, reason, images, etc.
We learn these methods to have a common system of interaction. For example, you are taught how to write/read the word “apple” and link it to an image/object. Your perception of “apple” always stays constant and the method you use to express “apple” remains constant. However, when you express “apple” to another brain or another brain sees an “apple”, that brain's internal perception is entirely different from yours. You don't realize it because everyone is taught to express their perception in a standardized way.
You can also think about it in terms of colors. We are taught which color is which from a young age but there is no way to know how each brain perceives color. Your internal perception of “red” may be entirely different from another brain's perception. And when the other brain goes to express “red” to you with a paintbrush, it picks that common color that you both were taught to associate as “red”.
Even though we have a common system of interaction that makes it seem like we see reality the same way, the internal perception of that reality is entirely different for each person. It doesn't make a difference for most things we encounter every day but when you start exploring “outside the box”, those differences in perception mean everything.
Not really. We can evaluate these so called "outside the box" experiences, compare and contrast them, and then draw conclusions about them. Firstly, if nobody ever reported these experiences then there would be no phenomenon called "near death experiences." If only a few people had them and they were extremely rare, and especially if each reported experience was not anything like the others, then they could be simply dismissed as hallucinations, illusion, reaction to lack of oxygen, etc.
But millions of people have them, and they are a phenomenon that is commanding attention in large part because they are so similar in important aspects across boundaries of culture, age, gender, and time, and most importantly, across the conditions of each experience. Some experiencers truly are in a state of being brain and heart dead, others simply close to it, and others only in a state being threatened with death. There all also many that can replicate the out of body portion of the experience simply through meditation, breathing exercises etc.
The out of body aspects of near death experiences, and the ability to leave the area, and accurately report on things that could not have been viewed while lying unconscious on the operating table, is one of the most compelling arguments in favor of the idea the consciousness can exist outside the body. You say this can be replicated with DMT. Are you saying the DMT allows the soul (ego consciousness) to leave the body? If so, then you have not done anything to debunk the afterlife, you have only shown the means by a soul might extricate itself from the body.
But it appears you do not believe in the existence of a soul that leaves the body after death and continues on in another existence. If that is the case, then how does the DMT give people knowledge that they could not have obtained while lying on the operating table?
“Clearly fiction”, huh? And you know this how?
I'm not a Muslim, I am a Christian. But just for the sake of argument, let's pretend I am one. If someone came and preached at my local mosque, invited by my Imam, and he claimed he died and visited Paradise with Mohammad by his side before he came back to life again, should I measure what he claims he saw and learned there by what the Koran says? The Koran IS considered Islam's sacred writings. If he said that Mohammad introduced him to Jesus Christ and told him that Jesus WAS the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity and that faith in Jesus Christ was the only way someone could go to Paradise when they died, would it be unreasonable for other Muslims to question whether or not this guy's testimony was really the truth? Would they be sounding like a "Christian" because they took what he said with a grain of salt? I realize this is only a hypothetical seeing as many Muslims wouldn't stand for someone to preach like an "infidel" in their mosque - at least not for very long.
It really doesn't matter what "version" of the Bible Christians use to determine what is or isn't taught there, it IS divinely-inspired revelation and we have the right and obligation to be able to discern truth from error. What you call mere "manners and details of the collection" are what makes up the rule of faith for a Christian. If someone claims to BE a Christian and they speak about an experience they had that they expect others will accept, then it's perfectly reasonable to use the word of God to decide if what the person claims is based on truth or not. There IS a spirit world out there and deception is their main focus. In order to not fall into deception, the hearers should have some kind of objective authority by which to judge. That is why we have the Bible - so that we can know all that God desires we know about Him and His plan for mankind.
I agree. I think a good way to look at it is the unbelievers need to see to believe (seeing is believing, the saying goes). But Christians know that it is the other way around, believing is seeing. In the book of Hebrews 11:6, the writer says that:
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
God rewards those who come to Him in faith, not needing to see first before believing in Him. It is only then that God rewards that faith with more than enough evidence to satisfy those who diligently seek Him. I KNOW that it is true - I have seen way too much proof to ever be able to turn my back on God or cast away my faith.
"Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:10,11)
The problem with your assertions is they require no contemplation. In other words, while you pretend to know where thought comes from and therefore that it can be manipulated...you don’t and you cannot.
The fact that you can put a sentence together at all is evidence of God and His creation. Chemicals...electricity...etc. cannot explain it because they are simply the results of thoughts not the beginning.
I have both hallucinated on psychedlic drugs and had a NDE...they are not the same thing in any sense of the word.
Additionally, if you read about the nuero-surgeons testimony...he was brain dead, there was zero brain wave activity going on while he had his experience.
I know in my own experience I “saw” music while tripping on LSD but that is nothing like the reality of NDE or the Holy Spirit. If you really think what you wrote, you should be contemplating your entire history and existence as being some form of hallucination, because it would be.
read it, the description he gives does not gel with scripture.
How about a few examples of those things not "gelling with Scripture"?