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I support Ken Ham financially and believe the Bible as both literally true, but have no trouble reconciling NDE reports with the Bible.

In the April-June, 2014 issue of Answers from AIG and Ken Ham there is an article written by John MacArthur of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, denying the reality of NDE's. Ken Ham is the CEO of AIG, but the publisher is listed as Dale Mason, the EIC as Michael Matthews and the EE as Doug Rumminger.

I scanned the article. Could the group here get together to respond as a group and set the record straight? If I wasn't the charitable type I might wish John MacArthur to have a near death experience (the nearer the better) just so he would shut up and preach about things he actually knows something about.

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Give me time to read the article , and find and post the relevant information in a readable format ( hard to read the pictures for us old guys )

Garry

send the link if you have it
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Why Am I Here




One Look Dictionary
http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v9/n2/visits-to-heaven

The article on AIG's website, in printer friendly format.

No registration required to read it.
Hi dnix71


If I wasn't the charitable type I might wish John MacArthur to have a near death experience (the nearer the better) just so he would shut up and preach about things he actually knows something about.




'Live and let live' - people can believe what they want. Don't worry about it.

Cathy
I don't wish John MacArthur harm, but his article is one that makes me want to face-palm. Someone his age and education should know better.

Luke 16:31"But Abraham said, 'If they won't listen to Moses and the prophets, they won't listen even if someone rises from the dead.'"

The rich man who had died and was in Hell saw Lazarus and Abraham and begged Abraham to send someone to his five brothers so that none of them would go to Hell.

There is a branch of Christianity that whose creed is "solo scriptura." That is to say, if they can't find it in the Bible, it isn't so.

Roman Catholics and others had lots of extra-scriptural writings, as do the Jews with the Mishnah and the Gemara.

John McArthur is one of those who would not believe if a man returned from the dead. On one hand he is teaching that the Bible is literally true while at the same time teaching that only his interpretation of the Bible is correct.

The New Testament's oldest manuscripts are in common Greek, but Jesus' disciples were Jewish and not college educated, so they were speaking Aramaic among themselves. Between the original spoken language and Greek to English translations a lot can get mixed up. I have a degree in Journalism/Communications and know first-hand how easy it is to have an editor break the meaning of a story by simply changing one word.

Just 2 English words "heaven and love" have such varied meanings that their use in the Bible is bound to cause confusion about what was actually said.

If enough people say they died briefly and saw Heaven and Jesus and returned to finish their appointments here on earth then I'm inclined to believe them, even though I can't "prove it." I accept eyewitness testimony over much less important things every day.
I doubt NDERF wants to debate the Christian viewpoint, per se, but we can set up a forum if people need a place to discuss such things.

That might be preferrable to having Christian-oriented debate spread all over the various categories.
Hi dnix71

If enough people say they died briefly and saw Heaven and Jesus and returned to finish their appointments here on earth then I'm inclined to believe them, even though I can't "prove it." I accept eyewitness testimony over much less important things every day.


I like what you say here!

Cathy
As far as I remember, Christians are pretty negative towards NDEs. I'm not sure debating them is worth it though.
Jem

A couple of days ago I asked a friend of mind, who is a devout Catholic, what the stance of the Catholic Church is these days on NDEs. She said she wasn't aware of any stance at all. If there were an official line I'm think she would know as she's very actively practicing her religion.

A practicing Methodist told me that when he had a heart operation, Jesus put his hand on his shoulder and told him he would be alright.

That's all I know about it.

Cathy
If people hold very tightly on to biblical text, I think that they miss something. Some people are also afraid if things happen that are not written or explained in the bible, then the devil or some other malevolent things are at work. But I think those people are not really free to accept the unknown. Nowhere in the bible I saw anything about aircrafts, cars, guns, computers, sky scrapers etc...the bible talks about sheep and donkeys. Do we have to go back living with donkeys, and goats, and sheep because it is written in the bible? I like the biblical texts and stories, for the innate wisdom that they contain. I think that Gods word is a living flexible word, that can adapt to any situation, but once it has been written down, the flexibility is gone it is fixed. But God is a living God, He cannot be fixed in texts.
My opinion
Marguy,
You make really good, wise points, I think.
I believe there are a couple of vague incidents in the bible that seem to refer to nde's to me. I think one involves Paul and the other John...I'll have to look for them when I get a chance.
You are right ano 1, when Saul was persecuting the followers of Jesus, he had an incident and fell from his mount and got blind for a short while and he saw a light and heard the voice of Christ asking him why he was persecuting him. That was the moment of his converting from Saul to Paul. This is something that Paul himself talked about.
About John I know that he wrote the Apocalypse and had visions, but it is not clear if it was the authentic John who was a disciple of Jesus.
Marguy
Marguy, I think that was a different John. Jacob fell asleep, with his head on a rock for a pillow and saw a ladder reaching to heaven and angels were going up and down the ladder. There are many, many instances of Out of Body Experiences, After Death Communications in the old and new testaments, so there is no reason why NDEs should not be in the bible also.
I am a Christian...

It seems the debate is based on 100% dead...(not coming back)..DIE.

And..."near" death...(returnable)...NEARLY DIE.

The Bible clearly states...."it is appointed once for a man to die."

NDE are very acceptable.

Though not reincarnation theory
Cathy wrote: 'Live and let live' - people can believe what they want. Don't worry about it.

Cathy


It is because of people like him that I refuse to be " Programmed " by any " Church, Cult, Group or whatever they wish to call themselves "

I myself am very comfortable here amongst other people who don't feel a need to " ram their beliefs " down my throat ...

Life is nothing but a multitude of choices and the choices you make today, may affect the rest of your life,

so with that said

I choose

Not to waste my time reading something that is written by someone who wishes to Program other people to believe what he believes ..... It is his choice and his right to believe what he believes so more power to him...


my opinion and 2 cents doesn't always buy me a whole hell of a lot ,

but

Its my opinion

and

I am entitled to it

Garry
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Why Am I Here




One Look Dictionary
http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v9/n2/visits-to-heaven

The article on AIG's website, in printer friendly format.

No registration required to read it.


http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v9/n2/visits-to-heaven


I did notice that for someone who says to denie matial thing and focus on hevenly things

He has a lot of books for sae and you can subscribe to his magazine for only 24.95


Not trying to be sarcastic here but it just strikes me as funny that books that he could give away for free as eBooks or PDF's

he has to put a dollar figure on them if someone wishes to read them
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Why Am I Here




One Look Dictionary
Hello Highland,

Welcome to the forum! It's an interesting place. Have you read many NDEs? What are your favorites?
Hi Highland!

Welcome to our lively debates! Hope to hear from you again soon ;-)

Cathy
Hi there...as Im on my android and find long replies tedious I keep my posts short and focused.

With that said..
At 63 Im a U.S. flower child. Actually more rowdy in 1967 but as Jimi said.."experienced".
Did LSD etc. I realize the illusion of the drug experience and its "possible door" to perception.
Had an extremely brif obe while reading Lobsang Rampa in 1970.

At wk...will add later...
Floated through a wall and watched myself reading a book on astral projection.

1972. Studied in the local ashram with Hindu...I was brought up atheist btw.
1973 Changed to Nichuren Buddhism.
Became as light weight musician .got into the "party life" (cocaine...long way from mellow)...
Became reinterested in faith and an experience with an "intelligent single Creator" vs many gods or forces.
1984...mom died. 1985 went to Israel turning slowly toward Chritianity after years of investigation.
1989...dead mom visited my sister! Began to study nde..obe.

Now a follower of Christ yet believe that nde open the door to faith and "some" are real.
Hi High ;-)

Looking forward to hearing the rest later. I'm a baby-boomer too!

Cathy
Highland,
If you are interested, maybe you can post in our "Eastern Cafe" anything of value you learned in the ashram. Eastern traditions are very interesting, and we understand them so little in the West.
Hi High!

What a journey so far ...... !


Floated through a wall and watched myself reading a book on astral projection.

1972. Studied in the local ashram with Hindu...I was brought up atheist btw.
1973 Changed to Nichuren Buddhism.
Became as light weight musician .got into the "party life" (cocaine...long way from mellow)...
Became reinterested in faith and an experience with an "intelligent single Creator" vs many gods or forces.
1984...mom died. 1985 went to Israel turning slowly toward Chritianity after years of investigation.
1989...dead mom visited my sister! Began to study nde..obe.

Now a follower of Christ yet believe that nde open the door to faith and "some" are real.



Floated through a wall and watched myself reading a book on astral projection.
Hey, what a conundrum!

Looks to me like you are fumbling and tumbling through life and slowly finding the way ..... as I am ;-)

Cathy
Always felt compelled To seek God...

So glad to be not fumbling... :)

As for eastern religious/philosophy I will respectly pass.
Here's my contribution, I hope it is helpful.

Reading John MacArthur’s article on NDEs reminds me of the first time I heard someone who didn’t come out of my tradition tell of a spiritually transforming experience. I thought it was sacrilege. If it had been someone from my church telling the story it would have been fine, we told such stories often in my family. But this was a heretic.

I don’t remember the details of his story, but I do remember that it involved an angel, very bright light, and sense of overwhelming love. I remembered that “Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” (2 Cor. 11.14) and thought, because he wasn’t a member of my church, that that was what he had experienced. I said what he told me mocked God. I have regretted saying that for a long time now. That happened over forty years ago and the memory still haunts me. Because of what he said about love. Satan isn’t about love. Then I started looking into NDEs and was soon hearing and reading a lot of stories that sounded similar to what I had heard from that man and, deciding that they all couldn’t be lies, I started looking into them and the scriptures more deeply. Here is some of what I learned.

One of the big questions is, “Where do we go when we die?” The Bible isn’t very clear on that but there are some important hints. Jesus is the classic example of someone who died and then came back. What does the Bible say about where He went? Here are three clues:

There was a thief who was crucified near Jesus, “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23.43, emphasis added)
Peter tells us, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;” (1 Pet. 3.18-19 emphasis added)
After His resurrection Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene near His tomb, “Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father...” (John 20.17 emphasis added)

So the story is that Jesus died, was ‘quickened by the spirit’ and (1) went to paradise, (2) preached in a prison, then (3) came to Mary as a resurrected being. But had not, in the intervening time, ‘ascended to His Father.’ That would be His Father in Heaven. Where He hadn’t been.

For clarity I repeat; Jesus had been quickened by the Spirit and while in the Spirit visited at least two places, a paradise and a prison, but had not gone to Heaven.

Now we call many places ‘heaven’. The sky, the stars, being with our beloved, a hot bath, tropical islands, etc. etc. So when an nder says she has been to heaven that’s perfectly correct and in keeping with common usage of the word. But there is a Heaven that transcends all other heavens, and it is very possible that she didn’t go there. NDErs usually go to the spirit world but not, if the Bible is to be believed, the world (or Heaven) that comes after the resurrection. Usually. (I find it very unwise to speak in absolutes -- as soon as I do, bang! here comes an exception.) One thing I’ve learned from studying NDEs is that there is a lot of territory in the hereafter. Not just a whole universe, in fact, but multiple universes. I have yet to see a map that shows exactly where in all that space God’s throne is.

Now take note of this; “And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” (Mat. 27.52-53) That just might be a little freaky. Talk about dead men walking. But the question for us is where were their spirits while their bodies were in the grave? Since they are saints my vote is for some place like the paradise Jesus promised the thief on the cross. Then what about those who were in the prison Peter wrote about? “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished...” (Rev. 20.5 emphasis added) And who were these ‘rest of the dead’? Very likely the ones Peter was talking about when he referred to “the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing…” (1Pet. 3.19-20) That would mean they had been there for around 3,000 years. But then, time as we know it only exists in mortality, as many NDErs tell us from what they learned during their experiences. So there are still a lot of unknowns. And a lot of reasons for all of us not to jump to conclusions, although that seems to be what many debunkers do best.

In MacArthur’s article he also derides the experiencers for not exclusively waxing effusive over the glories of afterworld when they tell their stories. (If he had read more of the reports on nderf and other places he would soon see that there is a large percentage of experiencers who do exactly that.) He bases his belief that all those who visit eternal worlds speak of the glories and wonders they behold at great length and don’t say all that much about themselves. Relying on the Bible as his source he uses the accounts of Isaiah, Ezekiel and John as his evidence. He left one out.

“I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” (2 Cor. 12.2-4) So this guy was caught up to the third heaven. Impressive. Couldn’t tell if he was in or out of the body -- overwhelmed I guess. So anyway, this guy (who many, if not most, scholars think was Paul himself) was caught up into paradise. And heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Very cool! But where is the description of glory? Where is the long enumeration of the sights and sounds, the angels and cherubim, the chariots, pillars, smoke and stuff that show up in those other accounts? Sure, he can’t speak the words he heard, however according to MacArthur he should be running over with praise and adulation for the wonders of the place. But he doesn’t. Maybe he missed the memo, “No visiting Heaven without making a detailed write-up of all the glorious stuff you see.” Or maybe God and the apostles don’t feel the need to follow someone else’s rules.

Another point that MacArthur makes is that the Bible is the only place where anyone can get information about God and Heaven. That really is a logical knot to chew on, isn’t it? Because he’s not in the Bible, but he’s writing stuff that he thinks, apparently, is good religious advice that is coming from him, not the Bible -- except when he quotes directly, which is just a small portion of his writing. Hail sola scriptura.

So he insists that anything that anyone learns about Heaven and the afterlife must come from scripture. To quote him:

"The New Testament adds much to our understanding of heaven (and hell), but we are still not permitted to add our own subjective ideas and experience-based conclusions to what God has specifically revealed through His inerrant Word. Indeed, we are forbidden in all spiritual matters to go beyond what is written (1 Corinthians 4:6)."

One logical conclusion of that statement is that, as his own article breaks that rule, it should be forbidden or used as grounds to anathematize him. But that’s not our job, so let it pass.

MacArthur also says;

"In the Old Testament era, every attempt to communicate with the dead was deemed a sin on par with sacrificing infants to false gods (Deuteronomy 18:10–12). The Hebrew Scriptures say comparatively little about the disposition of souls after death, and the people of God were strictly forbidden to inquire further on their own. Necromancy was a major feature of Egyptian religion. It also dominated every religion known among the Canaanites. But under Moses’s law it was a sin punishable by death (Leviticus 20:27)."

Those citations are very strong, but apply only to pagan gods and practices. Here’s what Isaiah has to say on the matter: “And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?” (Isa. 8.19) (I quoted the KJV, the NIV which the link takes you to changes the meaning by the way it is translated.) Isaiah clearly agrees with Deuteronomy and Leviticus when it comes to the practices and gods of other people, but as I understand the scripture he then advises the Israelites that they should seek unto their God for any connection between the living and the dead. This is, after all, the whole point of Jesus’ mission, His death and resurrection. He died for the very purpose of bringing us into the presence of God after we die. Is it reasonable to think that we are “strictly forbidden to inquire further” about what is at the very core of our being on earth? What did Jesus Himself say?

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Mat. 7.7-11)

Far from forbidding inquiry to God Jesus commands it. And He tells us that our Father in heaven will gives us good things when we are willing to ask for them.

So to John MacArthur and his friends I say, “Thanks for sharing, however it seems that there’s more to the Bible than what you have seen so far. But don’t stop looking; there’s some great stuff in there.”

And to the man who, in 1970, told me of his experience with an angel, bright light and overwhelming love, I extend my sincere apology. God bless you, wherever you are.
I am no deep-thinking theologian, skilled debater or orator. I have no credentials in clever logic and reasoning.

But I’ve concluded that as a Christian, I face a couple of options: (1) force everything into a human interpretation of Scripture / teachings of Christ and then reject whatever doesn’t fit; or (2) accept that maybe – just maybe – human teachings based upon human interpretations of human-selected divinely-inspired Truth through the centuries might not provide a full and complete model of “the elephant”…

The second option doesn’t force me to deny my faith in Christ or undermine the greatness of His teachings -- nor does it force me to set aside critical thinking and accept everything that I read or hear.

As a principle, when we have many witnesses, we have to pay attention. In fact, that principle is one of the proofs that Christianity uses to show the life, death, and resurrection of Christ as true.

Faith aside for a moment - even common sense tells me that there has to be some truth behind so many accounts of experiences that agree in so many ways.
ccndr wrote: or (2) accept that maybe – just maybe – human teachings based upon human interpretations of human-selected divinely-inspired Truth through the centuries might not provide a full and complete model of “the elephant”…


Hi ccndr,
Good reflection. I agree.
If the Creator wanted us to just believe what we are told, then he wouldn't have given us the power to reflect by ourselves.
Holy scriptures are information, that has already been thought over and written down by other humans. And I'm convinced it was never thought to be read as a dictate, but as a help for life.

Greetings
Marguy
Good evening ccndr and Marguy


I agree:

maybe – just maybe – human teachings based upon human interpretations of human-selected divinely-inspired Truth through the centuries might not provide a full and complete model of “the elephant”…




Good reflection. I agree.
If the Creator wanted us to just believe what we are told, then he wouldn't have given us the power to reflect by ourselves.
Holy scriptures are information, that has already been thought over and written down by other humans. And I'm convinced it was never thought to be read as a dictate, but as a help for life.



Cathy
Ohh... I love this kind of conversation. Good stuff.

HNibs:
In MacArthur’s article he also derides the experiencers for not exclusively waxing effusive over the glories of afterworld when they tell their stories. (If he had read more of the reports on nderf and other places he would soon see that there is a large percentage of experiencers who do exactly that.) He bases his belief that all those who visit eternal worlds speak of the glories and wonders they behold at great length and don’t say all that much about themselves. Relying on the Bible as his source he uses the accounts of Isaiah, Ezekiel and John as his evidence. He left one out.

“I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” (2 Cor. 12.2-4) So this guy was caught up to the third heaven. Impressive. Couldn’t tell if he was in or out of the body -- overwhelmed I guess. So anyway, this guy (who many, if not most, scholars think was Paul himself) was caught up into paradise. And heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Very cool! But where is the description of glory? Where is the long enumeration of the sights and sounds, the angels and cherubim, the chariots, pillars, smoke and stuff that show up in those other accounts? Sure, he can’t speak the words he heard, however according to MacArthur he should be running over with praise and adulation for the wonders of the place. But he doesn’t. Maybe he missed the memo, “No visiting Heaven without making a detailed write-up of all the glorious stuff you see.” Or maybe God and the apostles don’t feel the need to follow someone else’s rules.


Interesting stuff, you have presented. A comment on this part.
I think that many of us were given an incredible amount of information while there. I know I have a memory of having known everything I wanted an answer to... but was not allowed to return with the information. I think this was done for good reason as it would be very difficult to exist on a day to day basis here with all that knowledge. I think it was largely taken from us out of love for us and to protect us.
ano1 said,
I think that many of us were given an incredible amount of information while there. I know I have a memory of having known everything I wanted an answer to... but was not allowed to return with the information. I think this was done for good reason as it would be very difficult to exist on a day to day basis here with all that knowledge. I think it was largely taken from us out of love for us and to protect us.

I'm thinking of getting a tee shirt that's says "I'm not wrong--I'm just touching a different part of the elephant". It took me a long time to admit that, while I've managed to learn some things, I'm actually blind to a lot more. Reading nde accounts and being able to share with experiencers like this is great. I try to be humble and listen, figuring that if I do that long enough I may someday actually know what the whole elephant really is.
I agree with you. :)
I have often said: "The more I know.... the more I realize I have yet to learn".


I don't think we will know too much on this side. But, I feel certain we will know all on the other side.
Hnibs...

Very nice post...I respectfully add "prison was hades"...2nd half of the Hebrew underworld.
Paradise the first half. Christ decended into hades.
And in most faiths for example Islam...Christianity...jins are real entities. (Evil spirits...)
Necromancy is forbidden for their "trickster" abilities to mislead. So why play with fire is the view.
Thanks to ano1 and highlander for their comments. In talking about anything definitions and semantics are slippery little devils and can hide, disguise, unveil or twist the meaning of what we are attempting to communicate.

What is 'hell'? From what I have studied I believe that the Greek 'hades', the Hebrew 'sheol' and the English 'hell' can all mean, and at certain times and places have meant, 'the place of departed spirits' without specifically referring to a place of punishment or misery. In the near-death experience the experiencers often tell us they were able to communicate mind to mind with no possibility for misunderstanding. That certainly doesn't hold true when back in mortality with all the limitations of language and 'separation' they have to deal with in recounting what they experienced and were taught.

After reading a number of ndes it seems evident that there is a wide variety of places in the spirit world, some of which are very pleasant and some definitely are not. Among the most important differences that create these appears to be the amount of love and light that are there.

Luke chapter 16 tells the story of two men who die, one going to a place of happiness, Abraham's bosom, and the other going to a place of torment. It says that there is great gulf between those places that cannot be crossed. But when Peter tells us that Christ taught the spirits in prison it seems to indicate that Jesus somehow bridged the chasm and there is, therefore, hope for those who had been tormented by the remembrance of their life experiences.

I am left, again, with a profound awe at the magnitude of the knowledge that is being poured out through these experiences, and believe that the possibility of knowing all things is definitely being offered. It is up to us to be willing to accept the light and love that is being extended. That also does bring up the potential for 'tricksters' to be involved. I have read quite a bit about mediums and believe that many of them are wonderful people who have done great service in comforting those who have lost loved ones. This is true in my own family. But there might be some truth to the old joke, 'Where do con men go when they die? ...to visit mediums.'

We still have a lot to learn...
Wonderful reading!! I wish I had more time to comment as well. Keep up the great posts!
Garry wrote:
Cathy wrote: 'Live and let live' - people can believe what they want. Don't worry about it.

Cathy


It is because of people like him that I refuse to be " Programmed " by any " Church, Cult, Group or whatever they wish to call themselves "

I myself am very comfortable here amongst other people who don't feel a need to " ram their beliefs " down my throat ...

Life is nothing but a multitude of choices and the choices you make today, may affect the rest of your life,

so with that said

I choose


Not to waste my time reading something that is written by someone who wishes to Program other people to believe what he believes ..... It is his choice and his right to believe what he believes so more power to him...


my opinion and 2 cents doesn't always buy me a whole hell of a lot ,

but

Its my opinion

and

I am entitled to it

Garry




Agree 100% with this! I view religion as mind control, because its aim is to keep its believers confined within rigid dogma and ritual. To belong to a religion is to lose the authentic life we are meant to live because you download another person/persons belief system. To be free of dogma and ritual is to breathe and think for yourself, I always encourage folk to question everything.

As for the bible, in my view it is a book to be read allegorically. To read it and believe it in a literal sense is to lose sight of its esoteric message. But this is what the System wants! The conditioning tentacles of the System have three main tentacles:-

Religion
Politics
Education(indoctrination)

And its worked so very well! Another off shoot of the three tentacles is division, even within the various religions on offer there are divisions within each religion and its believers. Keep folk distracted through religion and politics and keep folk from realising that we are all One.

As for heaven and hell, these are created by the mind, and we've all been to both places because they are the creations of the mind. This is one reason why people have negative NDE's, because it is a creation of the mind projected into the NDE - in my opinion! My NDE like experience was one of Beauty and Love, of Oneness.

Hell according to a catholic bishop was included as a tool of fear to keep the believers frightened and easy to control. Heck, I am of the opinion that Jesus is a fictional character and is really the Sun. Hell is actually based on a Norse Goddess, Hel being her name. A friend of mine, a lasped catholic believes she is going to hell when she transitions because she is an alcoholic! I have told her this is not true, but she has been traumatised by her catholic upbringing, sadly.

Here's an interesting video.

DR. RAY HAGINS: Religious Miseducation - Council Of Nicaea And The Christological Creation Of Jesus!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Gjazwwq954

My two favorite books in the bible are the Book of Ezekiel(OT) and the Gospel of John(NT)





I prefer the mystic writings of the Sufi Path, especially the poetry.
Priests and politicians are the Mafia of the Soul - Osho

Interested in the paranormal ? Then you'll really enjoy this ! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NgI3TLtnnI
Hi dnix71

This was noted in the article by John MacArthur: "What God has revealed in the Scripture is the only place to get a clear understanding of the heavenly kingdom."

IMO MacArthur cannot be familiar with the Bible since Jesus said: "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, Whom the Father will send in My Name, He shall teach you all things. So, based on JM's comment is he suggesting Jesus was a liar, or wrong?


revlenny,

"As for the bible, in my view it is a book to be read allegorically. To read it and believe it in a literal sense is to lose sight of its esoteric message."

Yes and no. The parables are such, but majority of the Old Testament is simply the history of the Jewish people and many other races/tribes, etc. So the history I do believe has much truth. A lot has been able to be verified through archeological findings.

New Testament....if those who wrote it were deeply spiritual I'm sure some is spot on. Yet so much was lost in translation, omitted by "the church", and manipulated in context by religious leaders, etc.

I do agree to take any book as 100% pure literal, and not mindfully consider any other translation or point of view, is foolish.

CathyK,

'Live and let live' - people can believe what they want. Don't worry about it.

Yup. Why I cannot go to church or watch TV church or listen to most people's point of view on "churchy matters". Had to let go of worrying about them being so narrow minded, or flat wrong!

Being a theologian's daughter I am quite familiar with scripture (although I don't read it often any more) and admit hearing someone misquote, twisting the facts, or be completely incorrect about something in the Bible irked me. So I had to stay away and do my own searching.
"My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today I've finished 2 bags of M&Ms and a chocolate cake. I feel better already! ~ Dave Barry :)
Wow, this is fun. Sevin, I'm intrigued by your religious background... It seems familiar.

I'm no theologian, or child of one. I'm not intellectually strong. I have no academic or scientific credentials. I'm just curious.

I was raised to be -- and am -- a Christian. Christianity is a religion. Religions are man-made. Religions are usually man-formed around human ideas formed around some kind of perceived supernatural revelation. Right?

Faith comes from within. It may have a supernatural source, or it may also be man-made, based in flawed reason and conditioning.

Personally, I am persuaded of Christ's claims for many reasons, too involved to detail (I'm sure you understand). Yet, I test and doubt most of what comes out of most Christian leaders. Everyone's output is colored and formed by their (1) inputs, (2) scope of perspective, (3) depth of reasoning capacity, and (4) intentions (among other factors). I regularly challenge my pastor on things said (nicely, of course).

I don’t have enough time left in my life to critique these guys. There are too many of them, and they are usually too invested in their positions and “wisdom” to be open to new ideas / information / revelation. For many, Divine revelation was completed with the closing of the Canon of Scriptures. For them, case closed.

Actually, I have little interest in debating or convincing anyone. Life is rich with great wonders and revelations. But we cannot pry someone’s eyes open. That comes from within, if it happens (2 Kings 6:15-17 is kind of fun). 2 Kings 6:15-17

I am also personally convinced of the reality and validity of NDE experiences in general. I believe that they are, for the vast majority of them, real and true from the experiencer point of view. Certainly, some of them could be hallucinations, dreams, chemical brain-farts – whatever. But I am persuaded (again, various reasons) that many of them are legitimate profound spiritual experiences. I think we can observe, draw conclusions, and learn. We can probably even make up a new NDE-based religion! (JK)

Many of these profound spiritual experiences don’t line up with my theological background. Who is wrong? Well – if I have to vote between (1) folks who take a hard position based in man-made ideas around man-made interpretations of human perceptions of divine experiences, or (2) thousands of folks who have personally “been there and done that” and are profoundly changed – I’m leaning towards the personal testimonies. I’m following essentially the same path of logic that Christian apologists use in showing the historical veracity of the story of Christ on earth.
Dear ccndr,

"chemical brain-farts"

OMG! That made me laugh out loud. :D

As for Christianity being a religion, I must humbly disagree. It's a lifestyle/spiritual belief that, unfortunately, many denominations twist and then claim as their own and no one else's. Christianity in itself is proclaimed by Catholic, Protestant, 7th day Adventist, Mormon, etc. as its faith. What I believe is...Christianity is a way of life spiritually. Not supposed to be a specific religion. Let me relate to same way conservatives are in politics. If you're GOP, independent, green, or such...you are still mostly conservative and that can bare many tags...but you still consider yourself conservative even though you disagree on many levels.

That said I have not found a church or church group that understands they aren't the "only way". There have to be many ways. As C. S. Lewis said....Christ said He was the way to salvation, but He didn't say there was only one way to get there (paraphrased). As believer myself I refuse to think those who have not read the Bible or knelt at an alter are going to hell. Christ likely revealed Himself in many forms I've no idea but am open to that. I think of the Native American Indians who, in my opinion, had the purest kind of faith since the ancient Hebrews and Jewish peoples. I've no doubt they are where they belong. They certainly were not the savages and heathens the idiots who killed them off in the name of religion and country thought they were. :evil:

Thanks for responding to my post. Hopefully those monitoring who have some VERY amazing insight will shed light with their views... :)
"My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today I've finished 2 bags of M&Ms and a chocolate cake. I feel better already! ~ Dave Barry :)
sevinufnine wrote: Being a theologian's daughter I am quite familiar with scripture (although I don't read it often any more) and admit hearing someone misquote, twisting the facts, or be completely incorrect about something in the Bible irked me. So I had to stay away and do my own searching.


Thanks for bringing up this interesting topic, sevinufine. I have not studied theology, but I have always been curious about the real history of people and things and about what really happens after death. Having been raised as a Christian, in a Catholic country, I soon became aware as a child that death and after death were taboo topics, and later made up my mind that established churches may want to manipulate people’s beliefs and/or keep them in check with fear-based expectations.

This led me to look for things that all world religions had in common, and I found that the so-called golden rule focusing on love rather than fear was shared by many. I loved hearing about Jesus and how He spoke to children and could not imagine Him sharing fear-based beliefs.

However, as I understand it, the first written records of the New Testament started to exist after having been handed down by word of mouth for a few decades, and I have an interesting story I would like to share about how word of mouth can work.

When I was just over 7 in the late ‘60s and my younger brother was six, I was at home with the flu one day, and the school was taking my younger brother and his class to the circus. We lived in centre of a small town, my father worked in an office not far from home, and the circus must have been on the outskirts, in an unbuilt area. There were no cell phones or computers in those days.

What happened was that, during the show, which had been arranged to take place in the morning for schoolchildren to attend, one of the stands where the audience was sitting collapsed. I can still remember the sheer fear I was in, when the first pieces of news started to filter in, with all the children who were attending the show.

My father later reported that, having heard of an accident at the circus, he had left the office and gone into the street, where he saw one woman yelling in dialect «I saw it! I saw it! I saw an elephant carrying a child on its trunk!» Can you imagine how that sort of word of mouth can impact people? We later found out that the only casualty had been a teacher who had hurt her leg.

Now this is just a personal experience that suggests why I personally like to find out things for myself.

I find NDE accounts are contributing a lot to our understanding of what might happen after death, and what life is really about, but the extent of what is unknown to us is so huge that I feel that each of us should go with what rings true to them individually and let go of what does not.
Hello from Italy - How I found out about NDERF - A Strange Experience
When posting Bible Verses there are two ways to do it as I have shown in the next line ( either way is fine ) a personal Choice )

Actually, I have little interest in debating or convincing anyone. Life is rich with great wonders and revelations. But we cannot pry someone’s eyes open. That comes from within, if it happens (2 Kings 6:15-17 is kind of fun). 2 Kings 6:15-17


Please note that 2 Kings 6:15-17 is written twice in the quoted text

the first occurrence is a link that will take you directly to a page of your choice and the 2nd occurrence if you just hover your mouse over it , will give you a popup box which shows you the main part of your verse ( verses ) with the option to click a link at the bottom and be taken right to the particular verse.

There is no ( Right Way ) or ( Wrong Way ) to do this Its just which ever way turns your crank , so to speak, but it is a feature that we have included here for people to use if they so desire , as it will keep your reader engaged in reading your post as opposed to your reader going off to another web page and getting lost in Never Never Land of the internet.

Here are some examples of how it works. Try it yourselves in a post somewhere

John 1:2

John 2:2-12

Genesis 2:14
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Why Am I Here




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Dnix, I'm sorry that this organization you support betrayed your trust.
I personally don't have the energy to attempt to set the record straight. People like this are generally so fixed in their ways that its pointless to try.
There's lots of info on the web and in bookstores around the world for those who truly want to understand NDE related phenomena.
I'm afraid that many leaders of evangelical groups have no other choice but to dismiss outright anything that isn't obviously biblical or irrefutable fact.
Personally I think it is because they have built their house on the sands of biblical literalism and not on the rock of simply trusting in God who is Love.
Matthew 7:24-27 . That's just my opinion of course but I think they are making the same mistake as the Pharisees and Saducees back in the day.
Dennis, I love your clarity.
Thanks Ano1.
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