NDE’S, Heaven and Hell Visitations, Faith Healing, Exorcisms, Miracles, and more

Hello, I am coming here to hopefully find out the meaning of life. I used to be a Christian and believe I god but I only became a Christian after watching videos on YouTube with millions of views of people dying and seeing heaven, which cannot ever be confirmed because there is no way to tell if they are lying or it is a hallucination caused by the brain. I also saw other NDE’s that were not like this. And I also found out that many people never even have an NDE and that NDE’s are caused by a chemical in a brain that has the same effect as when healthy alive people were given it, it was exactly the same thing. For example, a British woman has a rare heart defect were it stops if she stands up too fast and in one year she died 36 times. What happens when she died, not what the Bible says: ‘I get asked it quite a lot, but there is definitely no bright light. Everything just goes black.” I found out later when my prayers don’t work, when I read the Bible and found out it contradicts facts of reality (science), that it contradicts history and itself. I am wishing for life after death and that heaven is real, but it is unknowable and when I die I cannot come back, so I am hoping the Bible might still be true even though it is not. I am wishing that I could fulfill the desires of my heart that are not possible on earth, that I know that the true meaning of life is that I am part of a special creation of people that were designed by God to love one another and do righteous works, that it is not a coincidence that I am this person in this time and in this place. Unfortunately coincidences happen all the time so the fact that there is even life might be a coincidence, as well as there supposedly being intelligent design as seen in science, which has not been and cannot be confirmed. I am hoping that these visitations of heaven are true even though it can only be true if the Bible is 100% literarily true, as it has to be in order to be true or else the Bible is false and there is no life after death. If there is no life after death, then I am scared and I will have to find a way to live forever because I am scared of death and what happens to me after death, if I never get to enjoy life, breathe fresh air, learn about the world etc. Is the Bible true? Not always. For example, the fact that there is a absolutely no archeological evidence for the exodus as well as the fact that God is wrong when he says the cure of leporsy is the blood of birds, the fact that Jesus says to cure diseases and rise people from the dead, even though this is impossible. This is proof that God is not all knowing or omnibenevolent, unless he did not intend for it to be taken literally. The Bible not only has many scientific errors and contradictions but also is wrong about history. Historians have discovered that the Bible names the wrong people for some of the events that take place. Take a look at this: http://childrenshealthcare.org/?page_id=132. This is what the Bible causes, these parents, who didn’t mean for harm, caused their children to die by not taking them to hospitals. They listened to the Bible, which says to lay hands on they sick instead of the hospital and to walk by faith and not by sight. These parents listened to the Bible by walking in faith and not by sight and as a result their children died. This shows us that the Bible might cause harm and is not a book written by God, unless it was not meant to be taken literally. It is now known by science that prayer is just psychological, that it doesn’t actually work, and that people have died from prayers that the Bible and Jesus say would always work and would work 100% always when you ask in his name. This is a problem for Jesus since he is said to be sinless, unless he told these people things that they couldn’t understand and written the book in their understanding, but there is no evidence either way. It is also known now that religions and spiritual beliefs including these religious books are a byproduct of evolution. Thus, it is possible that no God is needed to explain these books and beliefs. This book may not be divinely inspired, rather it might just be a cultural work. With all that is known about the science, the Bible not only fails to help in any way but now we have to come up with explanations none of much make sense and in some cases is even more wild than the Bible’s explanation. The Bible tells us that all diseases are caused by demons that must be cast out through exorcism, prayer, and fasting. I used to believe in this and went to an exorcist for help with my spiritual problems. He didn’t help me and was terrible toward me and I know now he’s a false prophet. I doubt God is love because I also notified a pattern where Christian nations are not the most people. I have seen many nasty and hate filled Christians on YouTube. I tried to contact this website for help but they never answered so that’s why I’m on here. If there are any theologians from BioLogos, please explain this stuff. And I disagree that science can’t prove God. With experiments on NDE’s if they match the Bible then the Bible is true. If these experiences happen to all people of all cultures and religions, where they see Jesus or heaven or hell, if these people had died with no brain function and it would be scientifically impossible for them to have any experience, then this is scientific evidence that God is real and the Bible is true. The Bible has many testable hypotheses of which a miserable amount have been easily falsified.
I hope that I am wrong about the Bible. Maybe God is real and the afterlife is real and I can fulfill the desires of my heart and live forever. I say this because my mother had three experiences that I could only describe as scientifically inexplicable. The first was when her parents died. She told me about a few dreams she had of them. When they were alive, their lives were not good. They and my mother lived in terrible poverty, and her father was in poor health, but in the dreams they were young and happy. In one of the dreams my mom was like in a bus and they were pushing the wheels. Soon after that my mom was in a bus with people for vacation to Niagara when the bus almost fell off a cliff. It appeared to her like they were watching her on Earth. She also had other dreams where they had a wonderful existence after they died and came to her in her dreams. The next two incidents witnessed by my mother occurred a few years apart but they were very similar. The first was a man in his 50s who saw her for care. He was awaiting surgery on his pancreas. Unbeknownst to her the man died due to unknown reasons. That night in her sleep, she had a dream, and the man was in her dream! The man thanked her for taking care of him and not only that but he was very happy and looked young! The man was out of bed in this room and outside the room was a beautiful scene with flowers! The man told her to “look how beautiful it is!” for it was beautiful were he was! The second event happened a few years later. This time it was a woman in her 80s who had an illness. My mom was by her when she died. She told me later that she could never forget this moment ever. This woman took her last breaths and then died. As she died her body did some sort of motion and her mouth was open with her eyes open. Then some sort of mist like smoke or fog came out of her mouth and as it came out it also spun around! This smoke left her body and it came up to a corner of the room where she died, and then either disappeared or went through the wall! My mom did not have a dream about that woman and I don’t know where she is now, but that appeared to be her soul coming out of her body! All these incidents happened a long time before, at least a few years before I was born, and now I’m a young adult. If God didn’t want us to take the Bible literally then they should have been indications such as (these people thought I meant/said) etc. These stories are true and all the only evidence that God and life after death could be real. These are terrible because he can now make the person go back to life and interview them what they see. It’s an observational study. If we take many thousands or even millions of interviews like this across all religions and cultures and atheists too then we can scientifically prove that there is life after death and that God is real.

Hi, Rafal. Welcome to the forum.

It sounds like you are alternately letting go of, but then also still reaching out for a lot of hope for real life with the God of the Bible. What a journey!

Your post deserves a lot more attention than this short first response that I will give it here; but I will at least respond to one or two of your repeated points.

You seem convinced that only documented recountings of NDEs or other similar experiences can count as a legitimate support for what (you also presume) the Bible says should happen the moment we die. There are many different Christian traditions for how after-death experiences happen (and when). I’m not so sure as you that there is just one of those that can claim it is the one true account of what happens the moment we die.

But secondly, what makes you so convinced that there is only one way for the Bible to be true - and that this must be in the modern “scientific” way? You are not alone in thinking so, to be sure. There are a lot of American Christians who uncritically took that bait when modern skeptics first suggested it. It first presumes that there could only be one correct way to understand the Bible, and then wants to pretend that the Bible has been disproven when that “one way” leads to contradiction.

There are many other Christians here (and across the world) though who don’t take their cues from this modern presumption, but instead want to delve into what the text actually teaches. There are things to know about the world (and beyond) that are important and that are not measurable in some scientific sense.

There is much more to write, but we may have to be satisfied with shorter exchanges going forward since some of us here do not typically have the time to frequently write such long posts. But maybe others can chime in with more helpful thoughts than what I am able to provide.

Blessings on your search, and may God honor your quest to know more, and may the Spirit of Christ light that path for you.

-Merv

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I don’t understand what you mean. Becuase I learned that Bible has to be literally true. I don’t see any indication in the text that the Bible is not supposed to be taken literally. “Traditions” do not count only scientific evidence. If God does not have an indication in the text then he may not be omnibenevolent/all-knowing. The Bible says after you die is “the judgement”. On those YouTube videos the people saw the judgement.

There are plenty of indications all over the Bible that to understand, you must get below the surface “literal” readings. To stay there will eventually lead to the very confusion that you are already experiencing - long before you ever get to any science. The Bible itself becomes a morass of self-contradiction if one attempts to study it at only the literal level.

Ecclesiastes 3:19 includes this:

The fate of humans and the fate of animals is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and humans have no advantage over the animals; for all is vanity.

So do you just accept that teaching at its face value then?

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Hi @Rafal.

It’s good you’re reaching out and this forum can be helpful to discuss issues to do with science and faith, but it seems to me that at the stage you’re at, there might be too many diverse voices on here to prove helpful to you at this point. My suggestion to you is to find some trusted biblical scholars to read and listen to in order to help you lay some basic foundations as you work through things, and then use this forum to ask questions about specific topics (e.g. evolution, the exodus etc).

May I suggest scholars like John Walton, Tremper Longman III, John Goldingay, and N.T. Wright to you? I think you might find them helpful in some of the issues you need to think through. Indeed, the BioLogos website will have a number of scholars featured that you could search for online.

In fact, you’d probably find the ‘Ask N.T. Wright Anything’ podcast quite a helpful thing to listen to because it covers so many different topics.

I hope you find answers!

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Actually… My wife twisted my arm, as an unbeliever with many blocks, to read Ecclesiastes. Absolutely, that verse especially, but most of the book, rang true for me, at the time. Shockingly so. (It absolutely aligns with a biological / ecological understanding of human existence.) And yes it still resonated once the interwebs revealed the many uses of the word ‘hevel’ in Ecclesiastes might better be translated as ‘meaninglessness’ rather than ‘vanity’.

And then at the last moment, the author gets to the point, Chapter 12. It’s like, PS, it’s actually not meaningless, ahem, God exists. :bulb:

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It is a great book - and one of my favorites. And you are absolutely right. You have to read on - even to the end of the book to get more context. I would even go further and say one needs to take in the whole of scriptures if they want to appreciate how these parts fit together - if they even fit well at all. I can’t remember which church father said it (later quoted by Chesterton I believe) [my memory was off … it came from Rene Gerard] in noting that the Bible is “a text in travail with itself”. As a life long reader of scriptures, I really, really appreciate the profound truth of that observation!

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Literal? Then Jesus is a sheep. And a door.

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The last judgement is part of the Christian faith. But who gets their faith from youtube videos?

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Thanks for your thoughts

Maybe the same ones who get their creationist argumrnts against science?

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Your meaning of life is whatever you make it. So what do you say it is? Say it and you’ve found it. Keep asking yourself what it is in the light of experience, as time goes by, even the time of day. You will find that it changes. Other people’s Youtube stories aren’t yours.

A lamb and a lion, and more.

I think I should have phrased mg question better. Who told you that the Bible doesn’t need to be interpreted literally? You didn’t tell me a reason you just gave me an example. As I said why is there no indication such as “they said about me (god)” or “they believe I said”. And I do not take it as fact evidence since that verse means no life after death which I don’t want to be true.

The Bible does. Because to do so often leads to absurd conclusions (at least when using ‘literal’ as you and other modern, science-minded people often use it). There is actually a better meaning for the word “literal” that I understand scholars and theologians through history have used: meaning something more like “what does this passage literally teach?” - which is a more robust use of that concept than what we usually caricature it as.

And I do take some (many) parts of scriptures literally - maybe even most of them (in the deeper sense of “literal”). It makes no sense to try to speak of “the Bible” as if it is one monolithic book - either all “literal” or “not”. It’s actually a library. So we can’t really speak of “how should we read the bible” any more than you could insist there is only one way to understand every book in your public library. You need to know what book you are talking about (and probably even - what passage in that book) before we can productively discuss how something should be read.

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I needs a literalist anser

Hello @Rafal,
Welcome!
“The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls…” In 1990/91 I lived in Vienna, Austria, where there was one particular subway station with THOUSANDS of little squares of paper pasted all over the walls. Anyone could, and did, paste their poetry, philosophy, profanity, prophecy or the like to the walls. It was a completely unedited, unfiltered, open-air space for anything anyone wanted to post — much like YouTube is today but with a much tinier audience. Before I even consider, if I have anything of value to say about your state questions, I want to address your unstated question. “Is YouTube a good place to get reliable information about the Christian faith?” My answer is, “Sometimes, but only with great caution and discernment.” Like those thousands of tiny squares all over the subway station in Vienna, you are confronted by millions of videos in YouTube, and none of them vetted by the platform.
Judging from the variety of questions you pose, I don’t think YouTube has done much for you but bring you uncertainty about the Bible’s contents and more worry about your faith in what you understand the Bible to contain.
Please, step away from YouTube. Turn off the computer and go read a Bible for a good chunk of time. Admitedly, some parts will be less helpful. Skip those for now, if you need to . But read a lot, spending more time there than on YouTube. Take notes, even in the margins. Read it for what it says. And then ask yourself how it addresses your questions as you go. You won’t get all the answers you seek right a way, but you will get better ones from the start, than you have been getting on YouTube.
We’ll see you around,
Kendel

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I don’t think so.

Science only exists because of the mathematical space time structure of the physical universe. As a consequence it can only demonstrate things which are a part of that structure. That is certainly not the sort of God or afterlife that I believe in. Any so called god which is a part of the space-time structure is what I would call an alien. And an “afterlife” of that nature is more like what you would find in science fiction novels like “To Where Your Scattered Bodies Go” by Phillip Jose Farmer (made into a TV series called “Riverworld”).

Anyway, this sort of thing is contrary to the very reasons I believe in a God or afterlife and thus would defeat the point of believing for me. It would turn the Bible into a science fiction novel, and I don’t know how well it would compete with my favorites in that genre.

Hi Rafal,
You clearly came to the BioLogos Forum to find help and some resolution to your questions. I read the earlier responses, and I encourage you to pay attention to Mervin Bitikofer regarding the interpretations of the Bible. Personally, my first big project was to realize that The Bible is so unique that ONLY GOD could write it. We can all agree that the Bible is not a science book, but once you realize that He totally inspires it, the science explains how He did what His Word said He did. Hopefully, I can shed some light on the scientific connections between the Bible and God’s Word of truth.

My ground rule question is, If the Bible is true, then how did He do it scientifically? The Nobel laureates provide the well tested and proven foundational answers. Their religious convictions are independent of their scientific achievements so that we can look at science secularly
.
Albert Einstein was working on explaining Lawrentz permutations when he developed his theories of relativity. Einstein’s math teacher Hermann Minkowski explained the relativity theory in a four-dimensional manifold currently known as Minkowski spacetime. Scientific mathematicians have calculated the duration of spacetime back to the beginning at the Initial Singularity, which is well documented in publications like Brittanica or Wikipedia. Nobel laureate Max Planck came to the realization that energy comes in “packets” he identified as Quanta. Quanta is the smallest energy unit that can be scientifically identified in the context leading to “stuff.” The Initial Singularity exponentially expanded in what scientists identify as the Planck epoch (nicknamed the Big Bang), and our universe was born as space opened and time began. Thus, in the first twenty minutes of being, the homogeneous electromagnetic field filled our universe.

At this point, there is a foundational decision for everyone to decide. Do you believe that the Initial Singularity came from the mind and will of the Creator, or do you choose to connect with String theory, black and white holes, or other equally unprovable theories? I chose the Bible because I understand it as the eyewitness account of what the Creator did in creation. John 1: 1-3 explains his role in creation. God’s Word spoke the Initial Singularity into place. Once you accept the absolute continuity and authority of the Creator, you will find that everything else falls into its place.
Then continuing with the electromagnetic field in place, science principles can begin to operate, or as many scientists say, evolve. To me, that means to change and develop from the initial materials. So, scientists and many other Nobel researchers developed the widely accepted *Standard Model of Elementary Particles. James Clerk Maxwell’s work led to the discoveries that established the scientific realization that all Standard Model particles have a wave, particle, and spin characteristic. All particles are scientifically explained as “excitations or disturbances” in the electromagnetic field. So, with this scientific framework, we can understand the Creation as a two-step process initiating in the mind of God and proceeding with the “voiced” instructions of creation by “exciting or disturbing” the electromagnetic field with His Word. Theologically the Latin term *ex nihilo means creation from nothing. I qualify this as the creation from nothing physical, which describes the delivery of the Initial Singularity.*The second step of creation for our physical Universe, in Latin, is called *de novo *creation which means “new beginning.” Here is the key to understanding my scientific view. The Word of the Creator spoken into the electromagnetic field can instruct material things into place. The "Let there be statements " the Creator spoke in Genesis effectively record the fundamental instructions of the creation process. I am confident that ONLY GOD can speak the instructions for creation.

I think a good example of the Language of the Creator is the six-billion letters of code in our DNA. I suspect that my DNA name is written in God’s *Book of Life. I also suspect that the new name written on a white stone in the book of Revelation may refer to my new name written in The Lamb’s Book of Life. Although these ideas are personal speculation, the scientific implication sees God’s Word producing the necessary “excitations or disturbances” for the extremely complex instructions found in DNA /RNA processes with precice quality control limitations. Think about it, there is a DNA copy in the nucleus of almost all of the 30 to 100 trillion cells of your body. ONLY GOD can pronounce our DNA names and we are unique among all humankind.

Rafal, this is a lot to wrap your head around. My only goal is to give a scientific explanation of Creation and show that it is consistent with the Bible. I also encourage you to follow Kendel’s advice to read your Bible carefully. The little book of John explains many strategic principles you need to understand. I cannot make up your mind, but the Holy Spirit can and will help you understand God’s Word. Think on it, and keep looking into His truth.

Blessings,

Bill

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