Sunday, May 11, 2008

God is Imaginary: #8 Think about Near Death Experiences -- Revisited

By popular demand (okay, one comment), I'm going to give this one a more thorough treatment.

Think about Near Death Experiences.

It is my perception in my conversations with atheists that they are somewhat surprised by me (I haven't actually asked them, but I surmise it is the case.) They don't expect my rather intellectual brand of Christianity--a typical reaction just happened to me a few days ago. When he found out I believed in a recent, divine creation, he asked, "So do you reject ALL science?" When they bring up things such as the Miller-Urey experiment, they don't expect me to know more about the experiment than they do, and specifically why its results were not credible.

I have had a near death experience. I almost died, and Noumenon, being distracted from computer games for one of the few times in his life :-) noticed me just in time to get help. I saw a bright light and heard muffled voices. It was a surgical light and the people were doctors. I coughed the tracheal tube out and they shoved it back in which was not pleasant. Next thing I remember was waking up in the Children's Hospital in Columbus, near German Village. My room looked out towards the interstate and I could see the helicopters flying in. I think I had a meatball sandwich for my first meal (it's the only one I can remember anyway). My hospital gown didn't cover my buttocks. That's my near death experience.

Here is my difficulty with near death experiences. From a purely theological standpoint, it attributes some very strange characteristics to God. God is the all powerful, all knowing, always present Ruler of the Universe. And yet he seems to run a divine conveyor belt with inspection tables that shunt the people who haven't finished cooking back to earth. Why? If the purpose is to persuade people to believe, I direct you to Luke 16:31 "If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead." God has given all that is necessary. A near death experience (a) brings God's power into question and (b) serves no purpose.

So what do I think an actual death experience will be like? I expect to be called before the throne of God, and Satan will say to Him, "This man has been a sinner from womb to tomb. With every breath he breathed he luxuriated in sin. We have records of his breaking every one of Your laws minute by minute." Then the Father will turn to Christ, who will say, "I have searched the records, but there is not a sin among them. Never a stray thought. Never an unkind deed. Never a selfish wish. He has served you wholeheartedly." God will then say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." I will then pass to His right into heaven.

So what will heaven be like? My vision of Heaven is formed mainly by Isaiah 6:8 "Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" What do you get for the God who has everything? I think Mother's Day is an awfully fitting time to mention this, but in Heaven we will do for God what so many children did for their mother today. We'll burn His toast, spill juice on the carpet, and make a mess of the kitchen. And He will love it. And so will we. That's heaven.

Back to the Fifty Reasons.



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