Anybody seen this number one bestseller (literally, leading the top of the bestseller list) called:
"Heaven is For Real!"
Preacher's son goes under in surgery and then describes heaven?
Saw a coworker was giving it to her son to read ... so sad :(
This story was on ABC Nightly News a few months back. All I could think about was how much this innocent little boy was encouraged to 'remember' things that really didn't happen....
like the way dream therapies sometimes go off the deep end and people start re-thinking their childhood experiences. See http://faculty.washington.edu/eloftus/Articles/mazz.htm
It also seems similar to 'leading the witness' in court proceedings... leading a child to say what you want them to cannot be very difficult. I have a hard time believing this boy wasn't 'prompted'. And a parent who wants to be involved in a book deal and lecture circuit with their child is just a publicity hound, in my opinion. I wish Christians didn't automatically assume everybody wants to be involved in their 'wishful thinking' vacation from reality! What next, a cheesy made-for-tv movie?
In fact, a made for tv movie seems almost CERTAIN to be in the offing. Hallmark channel here they go ...
Everything you mentioned above seems like good enough evidence to question (and for us, rule-out) these supposed "revelations." Additionally, the fact that his father is preacher seems to be the nail in the coffin in my opinion. It would be at least considerably more intriguing if the child were born to say (gasp) atheist parents! In this case they might be able to convince us to listen to their story as it was something that would not be promoted by his upbringing. Doesn't seal a verdit however; just like many children find out santa claus isn't real from mates at school, it is entirely likely for a child to hear other children who are brought up religiously speak on the cartoonish, Looney-Tunes imagery of "heaven" with its wings and harps and clouds. I wonder how many meterologists are insulted by this child's rendition of a cloudy afterlife ;)
For me, the truth is that saturating a vulnerable brain of a toddler with this propaganda is tantamount to child abuse, and that's what makes it most disturbing :(
Thank you for the link!
I agree...if this child was living in an atheist household THAT would be news... a miracle, even. Ha
Children have vivid imaginations and we shouldn't downplay the importance of creative thinking and the love of a good story. The Bible has some good stories...they aren't true stories based on facts...they are good stories in the same fashion that fable are good stories with interesting moral dilemmas that get worked out in the end and 'teach a lesson'. I have no problem reading fairy tales to kids and having them learn important lessons of life...in fact, I encourage parents to introduce their kids to all sorts of books, fiction and non.
Teaching that heaven is a real place bothers me. It is giving false hope. It is fiction. I also would put it in the realm of 'propaganda' because it is misleading. It is promoting an afterlife. How can anybody know the afterlife? And this whole idea of coming back from the afterlife is just spooky talk. I would rather be completely honest and admit that I don't know what happens after death but I'm 99% sure there's no afterlife and leave the discussion there. There is no scientific proof of an afterlife....let biology teach us about life and leave the description of death as 'the end'. Stories have a beginning and an end and many chapters. Death is the last chapter. Kids respect honesty. I intend to remain honest with my kids!
Yes yes and yes!
In addition to the many other points that add so much suspicion to this so-called "revelation," I can't help but remember how easy it is to get a child to follow a line of reasoning. Ever been with your child or someone else's and asked them, "do you wanna (blank)?" or something to that effect? Especially if it were something they did not know, but felt they should have, they will often go along with the narrative without admitting ignorance. "What did you see in heaven son? Angels and clouds and jesus and your sister?" Eesh. I remember when my brothers were real young (before they spoke any real English), we would ask them if they wanted to go take a nap (something they hated) but did it in a very exciting, encouraging tone of voice and they would nod along in happiness until they landed in the middle of their crib ... crying ensued. Children can be easily led and therefore misled.
This discussion isn't just about this sort of child-abuse I suppose, but is related to the studies done about NDE (near death experiences). Y'all should check out the book "DMT: The Spirit Molecule" by Rick Strassman, a man who did very important research with the "drug" DMT, which is produced naturally in the pineal gland of our brains. His subjects often experienced what can only be comparable to a NDE as many have in surgery etc. It is hypothesized that somehow during the times we are waving so long to life, the chemical is released in high, metabolizable doses, creating the affect of shooting off out of this world and into another. This hypothesis eventually be found incorrect, but it sounds much more likely than what we must accept in the world of religion.
There has also been a movie produced about this subject, and you should demand that it comes to your city to play! You can go here to do so:
I will check that study and website out later but I have no problem accepting scientific explanations about what the human brain is doing in 'near-death' experiences. There are chemical explanations that would make a lot more sense to me than these unfounded supernatural beliefs in heaven (and hell). And when a child is in the hospital recovering from an illness, I'm sure their little brains are firing off all kinds of chemical-induced dreams. Dreams are vivid. No question about it. They can appear disturbingly real at times...and can even provide comforting sensations like being with loved ones that have died. But that doesn't mean they are depicting real events or places...like heaven.
Actually what I find interesting is that when you hear about an atheist (any atheist) who happens to have a near death experience and comes back from it with a belief in 'God' is hailed as a miracle. But if a Christian has a near death and comes back from it realizing there is no God, he is considered brain damaged.