Life after death?

(Shawn T Murphy) #21

Dear Robin,
There are plenty of medical and scientific data on the afterlife and reincarnation. There are also many firsthand reports of various afterlife’s. Very little actually comes from religious belief.

(Robin) #22

Shawn the only dr I ever talked about re an aspect of this issue said no one comes back from the dead so we do not know.

Biblical teaching does show belief in an afterlife…eternal that is. “Once to die and then the judgment”…the concept of reincarnation is not what is meant by “once to die and then the jjudgment”…It also is not what is meant by “the resurrection of the dead” or by Jesus’ resurrection.

People who claim “firsthand reports of various afterlifes” are either delusional or they have confused some sort of medical effect for an actual experience or they have been talking with demonic beings who lied to them — remember, Jesus said that lying is the Satan’s native tongue.

It is also possible that some recount experiences for financial gain…

Any account that contradicts or adds to Scripture is a false account …and should be viewed that way.

We have discussed this before, Shawn. It is good to be curious about peoples’ personal stories. But it is always best to steer them toward what is taught in the biblical text

(Shawn T Murphy) #23

Why does 1 John 4 tell us how to talk to spirits and how to recognize if they come from God? Scripture tells us how to get first hand reports from the spirits of God. Life After Life has 12 such experiences and the non-profit selling this book is not doing so for financial gain.

(Mervin Bitikofer) #24

If you read the passage, you see a recognition that false prophets exist (those are people, Shawn, not mediums channeling disembodied spirits). Just because the word “spirit” is mentioned doesn’t mean “ghost”. Our conversation right here and now has certain kinds of spirit about it, and when people meet and converse (especially in the Lord’s name) there is very likely a spirit (not a ghost) present. Flesh and blood people use their minds and mouths to discern and share the will of God. And we are called to be discerning listeners to all such sharing offered. Just as I am being critically discerning right now of what you offer. The rare (probably only!) time in Jewish scriptures that there seemed to be actual “channeling” happening (in your favorite sense of that activity) was when Saul was secretly consulting the medium, trying to reach the departed Samuel. That didn’t turn out so well. Trusting all these mystical communications you’re enthralled by from “the beyond” was a no-no then, just as it would have been in John’s time, and remains so now.

(Shawn T Murphy) #25

Mervin, How do you define prophet then?

(Randy) #26

[quote=“Reggie_O_Donoghue, post:5, topic:40093”]
Do read this however:

I would appreciate your reading of this discussion of Lanza and his apparent misunderstanding of quantum theory. Thanks for your discussion and making me think.

"He is making two key mistakes here. The first is the confusion of “observer” with “consciousness” (actually his entire premise rests upon this fallacy). He states that when the physicist is looking light will go through the two slits as particles, making two clumps of light on the other side. If the physicist is not looking, however, the light will pass through as a wave and make an interference pattern.

This is wrong. The results of the experiment depend not at all on the presence or absence of an observer or a consciousness. What matters is whether or not there is a detector in each slit, detecting the presence of the photon as it passes through the slit. In other words, if the photon has to interact with any particle of matter, then the probability wave must collapse and it behaves like a particle. If the photon is not detected, however, then it continues to travel as a wave until it hits the film or photon detector on the other side of the slit, at which point the wave function collapses.

The only thing that matters is whether or not the photons are detected or interacted with in any way prior to or after passing through the slits. This has absolutely nothing to do with consciousness or an observer. This is the common misunderstanding of the quantum gurus.

Lanza’s second mistake is to extrapolate from quantum experiments, in which conditions are very carefully controlled, to macroscopic conditions. He actually makes the analogy to your kitchen, as if your kitchen is not really there unless you are there to observe your kitchen. Nothing in quantum mechanism justifies such a macroscopic extrapolation. Particles interacting with each other collapse all the wave forms and once you get up to something like a kitchen all the quantum weirdness disappears and essentially classical physics predominates (there may be some really subtle effects around the edges, but the kitchen certainly does not disappear).

Lanza has a fundamental misunderstanding of quantum mechanics and the details and implications of experiments like the double-slit experiment. This alone obliterates his entire notion of biocentrism."

Emphasis added.

(Mervin Bitikofer) #27

A person who is speaking a word from God. Or purports to speak a word from God, in the case of false prophets.

(Shawn T Murphy) #28

How about? “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” (John 16:13) The Spirit of Truth speaks though people and for me the prophet is the Spirit of Truth, not the person. This was demonstrated at Pentecost and this is how were are to test the spirits.

This is why Joshua was always in the tent with Moses. God spoke through Joshua. Spirits of God spoke through all the Prophets.

(Mervin Bitikofer) #29

Yep – very good. The living Spirit of God (not a disembodied ghost) speaks to and through attentive people (not disembodied ghosts).

(Shawn T Murphy) #30

Dear Mervin, When Have you experienced this in recent history?

(Mervin Bitikofer) #31

I experience it on a daily basis. Whenever I’m interacting or fellowshipping with others, and they speak words of truth, wisdom, challenge, conviction, encouragement, comfort, (maybe even of affliction) … I believe that is ultimately sourced from God. All truth is God’s truth. I experience this at work, at church, at home … even right here in this forum. Not everything spoken and written is truth, of course, - not by a long shot. That’s where discernment and “testing the spirits” comes in. And nor is it true that all “proper” believers are prophetic in all they say, or that all non-believers are not (or are false prophets). I think God speaks through a great diversity of folks. There are atheists here whom I highly respect as sometimes sharing a sharply prophetic word with us here - even if they would not claim that for themselves. Even you, Shawn, (and I hope myself too) may have bits of wisdom that shine through at times despite ourselves. But one thing I feel compelled to labor against is when we mix it up with nonsense. God is a god of truth, and I think it safe to say that when we are found to be promoting falsehood, then (by definition) we are not aligned with God’s word and are (at best) straying foolishly ourselves or even (at worst) being false prophets and leading others astray. God gave us minds and each other (along with many great tools like science) to help us be critical discerners and testers seeking out truth.

(Shawn T Murphy) #32

Dear Mervin,
Yes, I agree that God works in this way through the people around us. But this does not fulfill the promise of Jesus to explain everything and especially to insure that His Word does not die. It is only logical for me that part of God’s plan includes sending Spirits of Truth to clarify the Word with the changes in language at a minimum. We saw this with Calvin, Luther and Zwingli who removed dogma from medieval times.

Going back in history it started with the Yahweist who wrote the first bible and then with with all the prophetic books. My question to you was where are these prophets in modern times? You are quick to declare false prophets, but where are the true prophets Jesus promised?

(Mervin Bitikofer) #33

Listen to the implication of the sentence you just wrote there: Is it, then, incumbent on a single would-be prophet (even if they are a true prophet) to single-handedly reveal everything? No - it most certainly is not.

…and introduced some new ones of their own I’ll dare say.

I declared that there are false prophets. I didn’t identify who all they may be. While “prophetic greatness” or significance is easy to attribute in retrospect (the Bible does a simple enough job identifying which is which among its own ranks), it would not have been obvious to their contemporaries at the time. Remember that kings had multiple prophets they consulted with … and often the people now identified as the true prophets among those were not at all their favorites to listen to at the time (think Jeremiah). But it is a mistake to think that the only real prophecy that exists must be of the famous kind that gets written up and affirmed in the Bible. Otherwise Paul would not list prophecy as one of the gifts to be valued (1 Corinthians 12). And now that I re-read that passage more closely again, I notice that “utterance of wisdom” and “utterance of knowledge” have their own distinct listings distinct from the gift of prophecy. So I’ve probably played a little fast and loose here by conflating all those things together (as I did when I say I experience all this daily). I’m sure you could probably rightly defend that “prophecy” (on this reading) ought to be recognized as a more formally and explicitly declared “this is the word of God” kind of utterance. So in that sense it would not be a common daily occurrence (though one hopes it is at least weekly in church!). And by definition that would preclude atheists from doing this (at least intentionally). Still; Paul obviously expects that prophecy will not be absent from the body of believers. While some might find good reason to be sticklers about these definitional demarcations, I’m not much disturbed by such boundaries since, again, I see them all under the rubric of “all truth is God’s truth.” It might be useful to acknowledge that truth can be given in timely manners or in an inappropriate time or way that prevents any good fruit from it. I suppose “prophecy” would be truth, but more than that: truth when and where it’s needed. So that could be one distinction I suppose. But nowhere is there a hint that this ought to include the use of mediums or consulting with spirits of the dead. Paul does casually mention “praying for the dead”, but certainly not praying to them or trying to solicit knowledge from them in any way.

(Mitchell W McKain) #34

In modern science! :grin:

(Shawn T Murphy) #35

Sorry Mitchell, I have not found any modern scientist that fulfills the promise of John 16:13 - “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”

(Mervin Bitikofer) #36

But in all fairness, Shawn, nor does any prophet fulfill that (whatever ‘all truth’ is taken to mean). Prophecy is not an “all-or-nothing” business. Nor is anything else of human endeavor. Jesus himself didn’t even reveal everything to his disciples (or any of us). I think that passage can be understood to mean … “guiding us into all necessary spiritual truth”.

(Shawn T Murphy) #37

So you deny Jesus’ promise from the Bible which I quoted? Jesus could not teach everything because the people were mostly simple and the learned Pharisees were deeply rooted in their beliefs and traditions. This is why He promised to send those who would explain everything. I have studied two who fulfilled this promise, besides the Bible writers and Plato. All four are bodies of knowledge of similar magnitudes.

(Mitchell W McKain) #38

Sorry Shawn but you are not the fulfillment of that promise. Modern scientists have guided us into more truth than all the prophets of the Bible by a very large factor. I am not so sure than anybody from the time of Jesus looking at what science has brought to us would not think that his promise has indeed been fulfilled by this.

This is not to say that science can bring us to all truth. I don’t believe that. But what it does bring us sure beats out all the people in history claiming to speak for God.

(Mervin Bitikofer) #39

No. What I deny is that the “did everything get revealed” expectation is a legitimate bar to require of prophecy. There are lots of promises in the Bible that are not yet fully fulfilled. We have faith in God’s ultimate faithfulness. But we still are often obliged to wait.

If you are entertaining the idea that all knowledge is already disclosed to some special individuals, my advice is to run away from such a group and don’t look back.

(Shawn T Murphy) #40

No, I am implying that this was accomplished in the second and third century AD, and then destroyed in the sixth century by the pagan, medieval roman empire. Origen fulfilled this promise - eliminating the errors in the multiple OT versions, reconciling Christianity with Judaism and Platonism (science) and publishing over 6,000 works in his 50 years of teaching. The scope of his life’s work covered every topic needed to understand God and His spiritual world, including His reason for creation.