Friday, November 19, 2010

early Sunday Faith Blog........I just couldn't wait to post it!!

DID YOU SEE THIS?   A little boy, during surgery, went to heaven and met the little sister who his mother had miscarried, only he'd never been told she'd miscarried.  He recognizes pictures of his great grandfather he never knew because he met him "up there" and the pictures of his great grandfather he recognizes are not him as an old man but as a young man.  He says there are no old people in heaven.  He's told his father, since his recovery, of things his father used to do with his beloved grandfather which the boy could have never known.  Here's the lead in paragraph for the article:

Well he’s 7 years old now and it took a couple of years for his parents to really understand what happened, but when Colton Burpo was four years he was having surgery in the hospital for a burst appendix. While he was in surgery he apparently had some sort of out of body experience and could see what his parents were doing. He witnessed that his dad was praying and his mom on her cellphone. Both parents say they have no clue how he knew that, but that it’s absolutely true. And the story just gets more interesting from there. 
PLEASE don't just read my post...the article's life-changing and the video there of the child talking with his (earthly!) father will give you goose bumps.
This is astonishing and I hope you take the time to see it.  I just might leave it up through Saturday, too.   People need to see this.  I can hardly believe open, so clear, so convincing........praise God!



sue said...

Z - I tend to believe stories like this. Have you ever heard of Intra Muros - a small book about a woman who was very ill. Her deceased brother came from heaven and took her there. Some of the description of heaven is very interesting. But then he had to take her back home because it wasn't her time.

Anonymous said...

I've heard many stories like this and I think there's definitely something to them, that is, something definitely happened and the person was somewhere else. Heaven? When the person describes God and Jesus I'm sure that's not where he was, he was definitely in some other spiritual dimension but it was counterfeit. EVERY story I've heard turns out to reveal some detail that makes it clear it was not God's heaven. We don't go there unless we have believed in Christ during this life and we don't go there in any case until our life is finally over -- one life and then the Judgment as scripture says. But demons are very clever and more and more people are having encounters with them these days. Their aim is to mislead people away from the true God. A false experience of Heaven would certainly do that.


Anonymous said...

Good Grief Faith....not too cynical are you?

Thanks for posting this came at the right time.

Z said...

sue, isn't that something? I hadn't heard of that book, no.

Faith, most of us are aware of demons and we must be careful. This story is doing nothing to lead anyone away, just to bring them closer, solidify what we are privileged to know.
I don't believe there is anything there about someone having been to Heaven without having believed in Christ?

Imp, it is reassuring, especially after your loss, thanks for saying that...there's a purpose to everything.

cube said...

It's an interesting story, but I'm a skeptic by nature. I need more evidence before I believe.

I would've shown the boy a photo of a stranger just to see if he really did recognize his grandfather as a young man.

Faith said...

Sigh. I don't write this stuff just to be difficult or cynical. I honestly believe I have the gift of discerning of spirits and that I have to use it for the sake of those who don't have it. I suppose that sounds like "pride" to some but I have to just live with that I guess. I know that when someone gets enamored of a story like this, to come along and say it's a counterfeit must be felt as insulting but I don't see how that can be helped, much as I would wish to avoid it.

I can see there's no point in continuing to discuss it here but I'm going to try to get some information up about these things at my own blogs at least later today, try to cover more than just this one story.

But briefly, yes this kind of story CAN lead people away from the true God. It can give a false picture of God and Jesus and mislead that way, even mislead Christians, but it can certainly mislead NONChristians by focusing them on a false "heaven" that they can fuzzily think they too will some day enter and keep them from Jesus Christ.

Oh well. Have a happy day, all.

Anonymous said...

I believe it, and have no doubts about it. I know experiences from my own family which substantiate it for me.

Furthermore, if you read books about life after death, you'll find there have been many, many people who have had the same experience.

Most of them see a bright light, and feel such love in this place, they don't want to go back. They are made aware they must go back.

Faith, I didn't know you'd been to heaven and have the expertise to know what exactly heaven is like.

Personally, outside the movies, I've never seen a demon. I've seen some humans who are demon-like, (Hitler, Stalin), but an actual demon? Uh Uh.

I doubt very much, that this boy, when he was four years old, an innocent, had done anything which would warrant a counterfeit pose to lure him away from the true God.
And maybe Jesus would appear for such a little one.

The people who have had this out of body experience are no longer afraid to die, and their faith is stronger than before.

To dismiss this is to dismiss something very meaningful, and for me, I embrace it. It's a wonderful thing this little boy experienced, and he'll never forget it.


Susannah said...

Fascinating story, Z! SO interesting that you put this up today, b/c I posted a 'mysterious' post today too. God's mysteries are overwhelming to our finite brains. We can never take in all of His glory. Wow.

sue said...

Z - I've had several 'religious experiences.' My first reaction was to share them with someone - mostly my family. But I found that they would not or could not understand or believe them.

In time, I've come to see that these things are meant to be for the person they happen to. Maybe to strengthen their faith. Or a gift. I don't know. But I understand now that what happened to me was for me alone.

Z said...

Sue, I can't tell you how much I agree with you.
I've had the exact same thought and have become pretty careful and pretty good about what I tell and what I don't tell ;particularly to nonbelievers who'd think I was a fruitcake if I did tell them.

What's compelling is this boy's story is so typical of others who've had out of body/surgical/death experiences...nobody tells it different; I think there's a lot to be said for that.

Faith, who feels insulted? I feel like this is a happy story and nobody's been led astray by believe Heaven is just what we've been promised in Scripture is a pretty good thing, and further your discussion, I hope people do find enriching information at your blog.

sue said...

Z - I've never told anything to nonbelievers. It's the believers that found it hard to accept what I told them. I think that may come from their wondering why they didn't experience something similar.

beamish said...

I'm not sure he was in Faith's Heaven either.

No mention of people begging God to pull their loved ones out of Hell's eternal lake of fire and getting punked for it.

Z said...

Sue, obviously, I don't share with nonbelievers because, as I said, they'd think I was a whack....but my desire is to share with them because some of the things I've had happened or heard have happened to others are SO faith-building that it's a temptation...But, I don't.
Yes, even with believers, I know very very few people I'd share things with and, some things, not at all. EVER.

Beamish, you said;

I'm not sure he was in Faith's Heaven either.

No mention of people begging God to pull their loved ones out of Hell's eternal lake of fire and getting punked for it.

Z: I think you know better than that.

beamish said...


Sorry for the theo-squabbling.

My visions of Heaven are hard to square with theological extremes.

Someone's going to portray Heaven as an exclusive retirement resort that doesn't let the wrong kind of people in, and I'll just have to say they apparently do (and roll my eyes)

Ducky's here said...

Beamish, you're in the Muslim section.

Z said...

beamish, by "know better than that", I didn't mind theo-squabbling (good term, by the way).
Explain what you mean about 'wrong kind of people' 'exclusive', etc., please?

Ducky, that's actually kind of funny!
Are you drinking? (smile)

beamish said...

Beamish, you're in the Muslim section.

Eating a bacon double cheeseburger, hopefully with my little sister.

beamish said...

beamish, by "know better than that", I didn't mind theo-squabbling (good term, by the way).
Explain what you mean about 'wrong kind of people' 'exclusive', etc., please?

Matthew 7... the whole thing.

Z said...

sounds like you don't believe Matthew 7? Am I misreading you?

beamish said...

The irony is I believe it whole-heartedly.

And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes

Z said...

beautiful stuff. xxx

beamish said...

THE theist is a man firmly persuaded of the existence of a Supreme Being as good as He is powerful, who has formed all beings with extension, vegetating, sentient and reflecting; who perpetuates their species, who punishes crimes without cruelty, and rewards virtuous actions with kindness.The theist does not know how God punishes, how he protects, how he pardons, for he is not reckless enough to flatter himself that he knows how God acts, but he knows that God acts and that He is just. Difficulties against Providence do not shake him in his faith, because they are merely great difficulties, and not proofs. He submits to this Providence, although he perceives but a few effects and a few signs of this Providence: and, judging of the things he does not see by the things he sees, he considers that this Providence reaches all places and all centuries.

Reconciled in this principle with the rest of the universe, he does not embrace any of the sects, all of which contradict each other; his religion is the most ancient and the most widespread; for the simple worship of a God has preceded all the systems of the world. He speaks a language that all peoples understand, while they do not understand one another. He has brothers from Pekin to Cayenne, and he counts all wise men as his brethren. He believes that religion does not consist either in the opinions of an unintelligible metaphysic, or in vain display, but in worship and justice. The doing of good, there is his service; being submissive to God, there is his doctrine. The Mahometan cries to him--" Have a care if you do not make the pilgrimage to Mecca !" " Woe unto you," says a Recollet, " if you do not make a journey to Notre-Dame de Lorette! "He laughs at Lorette and at Mecca; but he succours the needy and defends the oppressed.
- Voltaire, "Theist"

Z said...

very interesting...
I thought Voltaire was a Christian but it appears not.
As one myself, it feels "Jesus-less"...
if it wasn't for that, I'd agree with a lot of that. (not that it matters that I agree!)

sue said...

beamish -

'For He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes'

That's one of my favorites.

beamish said...


You would be correct. Voltaire was a Deist. Candide is his satire of Liebniz. You can wring an ocean of sarcasm out of Voltaire, but he meant well.

Voltaire loved God. Didn't much give a crap for religion.

Z said...

"Voltaire loved God. Didn't much give a crap for religion."

Who can argue? except that he leaves the Jesus part out :-)

beamish said...

Voltaire's convictions can be summed up as "no, we don't live in the best of all possible worlds."

Much of Voltaire today reads as "well, duh" because we are now actually living in a world better than his (at least, there's more free republics and less theocratically-sanctioned bloodline monarchies these days...)

beamish said...

[27] When we came to Socrates, I recognized him very quickly by his flat nose. " Well," I said to him, " here you are then among the number of the Almighty's confidants! All the inhabitants of Europe, except the Turks and the Tartars of the Crimea, who know nothing, pronounce your name with respect. It is revered, loved, this great name, to the point that people have wanted to know those of your persecutors. Melitus and Anitus are known because of you, just as Ravaillac is known because of Henry IV.; but I know only this name of Anitus. I do not know precisely who was the scoundrel who calumniated you, and who succeeded in having you condemned to take hemlock."

[28] "Since my adventure," replied Socrates, " I have never thought about that man; but seeing that you make me remember it, I have much pity for him. He was a wicked priest who secretly conducted a business in hides, a trade reputed shameful among us. He sent his two children to my school. The other disciples taunted them with having a father who was a currier; they were obliged to leave. The irritated father had no rest until he had stirred up all the priests and all the sophists against me. They persuaded the counsel of the five hundred that I was an impious fellow who did not believe that the Moon, Mercury and Mars were gods. Indeed, I used to think, as I think now that there is only one God, master of all nature. The judges handed me over to the poisoner of the republic; he cut short my life by a few days: I died peacefully at the age of seventy; and since that time I pass a happy life withh all these great men whom you see, and of whom I am the least."

[29] After enjoying some time in conversation with Socrates, he went forward with my guide into a grove situated above the thickets where all the sages of antiquity seemed to be tasting sweet repose.

[30] I saw a man of gentle, simple countenance, who seemed to me to be about thirty-five years old. From afar he cast compassionate glances on these piles of whitened bones, across which I had had to pass to reach the sages' abode. I was astonished to find his feet swollen and bleeding, his hands likewise, his side pierced, and his ribs flayed with whip cuts. " Good Heavens! " I said to him, " is it possible for a just man, a sage, to be in this state? I have just seen one who was treated in a very hateful way, but there is no comparison between his torture and yours. Wicked priests and wicked judges poisoned him; is it by priests anhd judges that you have been so cruelly assassinated? "

[31] He answered with much courtesy--"Yes."

[32] "And who were these monsters? "

[33] "They were hypocrites."

[34] "Ah! that says everything; I understand by this single word that they must have condemned you to death. Had you then proved to them, as Socrates did, that the Moon was not a goddess, and that Mercury was not a god? "

[35] "No, these planets were not in question. My compatriots did not know at all what a planet is; they were all arrogant ignoramuses. Their superstitions were quite different from those of the Greeks."

[36] "You wanted to teach them a new religion, then? "

[37] "Not at all; I said to them simply--' Love God with all your heart and your fellow-creature as yourself, for that is man's whole duty.' Judge if this precept is not as old as the universe; judge if I brought them a new religion. I did not stop telling them that I had come not to destroy the law butt to fulfill it; I had observed all their rites; circumcised as they all were, baptized as were the most zealous among them, like them I paid the Corban; I observed the Passover as they did, eating standing up a lamb cooked with lettuces. I and my friends went to pray in the temple; my friends even frequented this temple after my death; in a word, I fulfilled all their laws without a single exception."

beamish said...


[38] "What! these wretches could not even reproach you with serving from their laws? "

[39] "No, without a doubt."

[40] "Why then did they put you in the condition in which I now see you? "

[41] "What do you expect me to say! they were very arrogant and selfish. They saw that I knew them; they knew that I was making the citizens acquainted with them; they were the stronger; they took away my life: and people like them will always do as much, if they can, to whoever does them too much justice.'' . . .

[42] " You therefore contributed in no way by your speeches, badly reported, badly interpreted, to these frightful piles of bones which I saw on my road in coming to consult you? "

[43] "It is with horror only that I have seen those who have made themselves guilty of these murders."

[44] " And these monuments of power and wealth, of pride and avarice, these treasures, these ornaments, these signs of grandeur, which I have seen piled up on the road while I was seeking wisdom, do they come from you? "

[45] "That is impossible; I and my people lived in poverty and meanness: my grandeur was in virtue only."

[46] I was about to beg him to be so good as to tell me just who he was. My guide warned me to do nothing of the sort. He told me that I was not made to understand these sublime mysteries. Only did I conjure him to tell me in what true religion consisted. [47] "Have I not already told you? Love God and your fellow-creature as yourself."

[48] " What! if one loves God, one can eat meat on Friday? "

[49] "I always ate what was given me; for I was too poor to give anyone food."

[50] " In loving God, in being just, should one not be rather cautious not to confide all the adventures of one's life to an unknown man?"

[51] "That was always my practice."

[52] " Can I not, by doing good, dispense with making a pilgrimage to St. James of Compostella? "

[53] "I have never been in that country."

[54] " Is it necessary for me to imprison myself in a retreat with fools? "

[55] "As for me, I always made little journeys from town to town.''

[56]" Is it necessary for me to take sides either for the Greek Church or the Latin? "

[57] "When I was in the world I never made any difference between the Jew and the Samaritan."

[58] "Well, if that is so, I take you for my only master." Then he made me a sign with his head which filled me with consolation. The vision disappeared, and a clear conscience stayed with me.

- from Voltaire, "Religion"

beamish said...

Then again, maybe Socrates is burning in h-e-dubble-hockey sticks for being a heretic.

beamish said...

I snipped the first half of Voltaire's "Religion" for brevity, but it starts as a vision of piles of rotting corpses and the treasures stolen from them stretching through a desolate wasteland of history, representing the horrors of war and persecutions done in the name of a religion, and concluding that the destructions done in the name of Christianity have nothing to do with the actual Jesus whatsoever.

Voltaire was a Protestant before the Protest.

beamish said...

[So, if Voltaire isn't a Christian, then neither am I.]

MK said...

Good story Z, thanks for posting.

Always On Watch said...

Have you ever read the book 90 Minutes in Heaven? Here is a review of the book. You might find the book quite interesting.

I don't typically read such books, but I did read that one, which I chanced upon in the public library a couple of years back.

Brooke said...

That's quite a story!

I was going to make a more detailed comment, but I've honestly had too good a time reading this thread!

Z said...

beamish, as far as you know, does he ever actually mention the name "Jesus" in any of his writings? Obviously, he's on him in that "grove situated above the thickets" (Gesthemane?)
It almost sounds like Voltaire feels the weight of the guilt of those who condemned Christ and can't bring himself to discuss him directly as if he's (Voltaire) not if turning off Christianity because of those people whom Christianity is comprised of....
yes, maybe a PROTESTant before Protestants.
He didn't write much, I gather, which brought people TO faith, huh?

beamish said...


Voltaire didn't have much use for "faith" in the theological sense. To him, a Creator God was manifestly evident in the universe. He didn't "believe" the universe was created by God, rather he "knew" the universe was created by God. To him, it was an inarguable fact of nature.

As far as "leading people to faith" no, Voltaire was not there, nor was he much interested in being there.

He proposed mere acknowledgement of the fact of God's existence without the claptrap and baggage of religious rituals and pilgrimages and superstitions.

He glommed onto "the Golden Rule" - love God and love your neighbor as yourself - that which Jesus said were the greatest of the commandments - and finds that theme is rather universal.

I happen to believe Voltaire, warts and all, understood Christianity far better than the Christians he criticized.

He looked into Jesus and loved what he found. I don't know if that bridges into Voltaire being a Christian, as he'd scorn any human pretentious enough to think they were qualified to make that distinction.

Voltaire's "Heaven" had the Roman king Numa Pompilius, the Egyptian Pythagoras, the Greek Socrates, and the Christian Jesus all in the same place, there by their adherence basically to the "Golden Rule," which of course was a theme that ran through all of them.

Here's where I get edgy. If say Socrates or Voltaire's not in Heaven, and my sister who is a convert to Islam doesn't make it into Heaven, and I do, I'm not sure I could call the place Heaven.

And so, if Voltaire's not welcome there, I'm not sure I'd wanna go.

beamish said...

Not that Voltaire had anything nice to say about Islam... but an Islam society could not produce a Voltaire.


Z said...

beamish, Voltaire started out not liking islam but later compared it positively to the CHristians' inquisition, etc.......sadly.

NOBODY should ever speak for another's Christianity or lack of it. THAT is something we totally agree on.

And when I meant he didn't bring people TO Christ, I certainly didn't mean with a tin cup on a box on a corner in the Champs Elysee! I meant at least mentioning CHrist in relation to everything else Voltaire discussed...who the heck else could he be alluding to when he talks about the man with a gash in his side?

Re not wanting to be in a club where you could join?
You know better than that.
Sometimes you amaze me; you are a Scripture reader and believer, then you say things so far off the Word (In my humble opinion). Obviously, you have every right, but...well, this gets into theo-BICKERING :-)

I do think Voltaire probably understood the LOVE part of the Truth that surpasses all understanding...but I balk personally at 'accepting' that and not accepting the Truths which ARE beyond our you and I might make Heaven but your sis won't.

Z said...

by the way...I just wanted to add that NOBODY knows what's deeeeeep down in your sis's heart, even possibly clothed in a burqa...but one entity.

Z said...

i'm lovin' this conversation, thanks.xx

beamish said...

I like to turn my worldviews upside down and see what falls out.


Voltaire's sarcasm is probably what draws me to be fond of him.

I didn't say I totally agreed with him.

I think he's dead wrong on the free will vs. determinism plank. I believe in free will. Voltaire was a determinist.

I think it odd for a Deist, one who believes God created the universe only to not ever (or at least rarely ever) intervene in it directly to believe that there is no free will. What's the purpose of leaving the world to its own devices if men are only going to do and act in ways God pre-ordained / designed them to do? To me it seems like some strange effort to blame it all on a God that walked away. God would even be responsible for you debating whether there is a distinction between free will and determinism to debate about in the first place.

I'd love to sit in a room at listen to Voltaire and Kierkegaard banter over beer.

That's a Heaven to me.

Z said...

that free will thing is baffling, Beamish.......
I do believe God has everything in hand and I even believe in election, believe it or I understand WHY it's so...? NO WAY.
But, I guess if I could figure God out, I'd be GOD :=) (i'm not !!) will.......I think the HOly Spirit's got a lot to do with that but there isn't space to say why......

i love how you love your sister.

Craig and Heather said...

that free will thing is baffling, Beamish.......
I do believe God has everything in hand and I even believe in election, believe it or I understand WHY it's so...? NO WAY.

Hope it's okay to butt in by saying your thought is about where I land concerning free will/election.
God is sovereign. Man is sinful and yet responsible for his choices. Both positions can be supported from scripture and there's plenty of evidence to support the position that it is none of our business to try to figure that out. I often find myself returning to Hebrews 2:2-3

For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?

I'm left with nothing to say but "Please Jesus cover me because I'll never make it otherwise".


beamish said...

I do love my sister very much. I take no comfort in knowing her CHOICE to convert to Islam is in rejection of Christianity and contradicts the "entrance requirements" for Heaven.

Plainly stated, I'm going to the Muslim conception of Hell and she's going to the Christian conception of Hell, and our Heavens aren't the same place. And either one or both of us are WRONG.

It's a regular Pascal's Casino. Makes you want to hit the Roulette wheel and bet on every number and color.

I have trouble grasping the idea of being in Heaven eternally and never seeing my sister again because I found salvation and she rejected it. Of course, she doesn't see it that way. I'm the infidel to her beliefs.

I just don't see the comfort in being RIGHT in this scenario.

"God, don't get me wrong. Eternal life in Heaven's been a blast. I just spent the last 2 million years reading every book humanity ever printed, and I still feel like I just got here. But here's the thing. My sister's down there in Hell, weeping and gnashing her teeth in fiery torment. Way not cool, yo..."

I don't know if God, in His Infinite Wisdom, can come up with a satisfactory response to that. Gold so common they pave the streets with it will only go so far. Does God grant pardons out of Hell?

Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And he said also to the people, When ye see a cloud rise out of the west, straightway ye say, There cometh a shower; and so it is. And when ye see the south wind blow, ye say, There will be heat; and it cometh to pass. Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time? Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right? When thou goest with thine adversary to the magistrate, as thou art in the way, give diligence that thou mayest be delivered from him; lest he hale thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison. I tell thee, thou shalt not depart thence, till thou hast paid the very last mite. - Luke 12:51-59


Z said...

H...absolutely, great prayer there, isn't it."Please Jesus...cover me........"
We can't make it on our own, that is FOR SURE.

Beamish, I hurt for you with those thoughts about eternity. It gives no pleasure to think of you playing harps while Sis is 'down there', I know......But, I'm not sure that, up there, we'll miss people, even those we loved here who weren't believers.
Man, I sound like a fruitcake postulating on what Heaven's like even to myself! So, I'll stop.

After Mr. Z died, I asked Pastor's wife if I could have an "invitation only" funeral because there was someone my husband had a real problem with and I figured that, if he could, he'd send bolts of lightning at me if he saw this person there !(Smile); she said "But, Z, he's up there now, he has no hate, no animosity..he's free of that." It really opened my eyes.

Funny....for believers, this is the only hell we'll know, here on earth......for nonbelievers, this is the only heaven.

I don't know about God granting pardons, Beamish; I just know that only HE can weigh our hearts, even your sister's, and what He says goes.........some believe that once you have salvation, you never lose it; cling to that...your sister was a believer once, right?
I'm on the fence about this least it could give you some comfort!?

I hate thinking of Heaven as streets paved of Gold because we're primed to think that gold is such an earthly thing and a product of greed, in a way.

beamish said...

There's the sharp corner on it though. How can anyone be made happy about loved ones that don't make it to Heaven with them?

In all my theological wanderings, that's one question that keeps me wondering, and wandering.

beamish said...

I hate thinking of Heaven as streets paved of Gold because we're primed to think that gold is such an earthly thing and a product of greed, in a way.

Nah.. it's dirt to walk on. That conception of Heaven is not one of excess and greed, but rather a rejection of it. Gold is worthless enough to trample on in Heaven. It's not like you need it to buy anything in a place where need and desire allegedly cannot exist.

sue said...

beamish -

'Gold is worthless enough to trample on in Heaven'

There is a worthwhile statement, and the rest of what you said in that last comment.

sue said...

'How can anyone be made happy about loved ones that don't make it to Heaven'

Someone told me that in Heaven you don't remember those that aren't there.

Z said...

"How can anyone be made happy about loved ones that don't make it to Heaven with them?"

I don't know....obviously, you can't. I'm pretty sure happy isn't what God wants, anyway.
Another platitude is "God's more interested in our holiness than happiness" least here on earth, maybe it's the same up there :-)
And we each have our own ride, don't we.

"Gold is worthless enough to trample on in Heaven." Then they ought not call it GOLD because of the earthly connotations! :-)

Z said...

Sue, yes, I think it's a very worthwhile, fascinating concept, too. I never thought of it that way.

beamish said...

Someone told me that in Heaven you don't remember those that aren't there.

Well, I can't wrap my head around the idea that the passing of time is meaningless in the Eternal. And being without memories of my mortal existence and the people missing in Heaven just doesn't really even seem like "me" going to Heaven. I'm to be changed so radically in Heaven that my connections, my attachments, my identity, my ego, and my persona are all totally annihilated?

It's bad enough I have to give up my sinful nature. I gotta forget who I am too?

Well, if I weren't in Voltairean sarcasm mode, I'd probably smooth out the sentiment there. But really?

Where's the comfort in believing "Ah, it's okay, God'll brainwash those nagging questions of purpose away."

If Satan could spark a rebellion in Heaven, I'd at least want to hope to spark up a cigarette. With my sister.

I need to get off this topic soon. I'm starting to feel the allure of agnosticism again.

Z said...

beamish, you HAVE read the Bible, right? :-)

lovely that I have you come here and turn back to agnosticism, THAT makes me feel great (Sarcasm here, BIG TIME!!) xxx

Craig and Heather said...


We can't make it on our own, that is FOR SURE.

It is the prayer that I have to return regularly.

I have had the thought that perhaps hell is eternally being in God's presence without any sort of protection from His holiness. Haven't determined whether that is biblically supported, yet. But it would be excruciating, I think.

With 5 children, I have, at times, asked God why He would give me such responsibility to love (it's commanded, you know) and attach myself to people in this life with no guarantees about where they will end up. Trusting that God will only do what is right can be so, so hard.

It was also pretty difficult for me to honestly face the reality that for most of my life, I wanted "heaven", or rather, to not be punished in hell...but it didn't really matter to me if Jesus was there. It was a terrifying revelation, since it appears everything is oriented around Christ and it would be impossible to get away from His presence. Thankfully, He didn't leave me wallowing in that puddle.

I'm starting to feel the allure of agnosticism again.



beamish said...

I'm a militant agnostic. I don't know and you don't either.


Just kidding.

Theological safaris have always interested and intrigued me. I've dabbled and explored in just about any theological / metaphysical system you can think of.

Everything I've studied and participated in has left its mark on me and my perspective upon Christianity, even the things I've studied and participated in that are decidedly hostile to Christianity.

I'd bust out with some of my Taoist / Buddhist influences, but I've confused everyone and myself enough. Heh.

beamish said...

I have had the thought that perhaps hell is eternally being in God's presence without any sort of protection from His holiness.

I put faith in the opposite. Hell is the only place you could go to escape God's presence and holiness. Obviously this makes Hell undesireable.

But is God's presence "Heaven enough" to forget loved ones that never arrive there?

I'm not sure I want to give up my mortality to find out.

Ah the paradoxes continue...

Craig and Heather said...

Everything I've studied and participated in has left its mark on me and my perspective upon Christianity, even the things I've studied and participated in that are decidedly hostile to Christianity.

This is probably true for all of us, to some degree. Obviously, we can't erase what's already there, but I would guess this is one reason Christians are instructed to break with the "old" when we are made new in Christ. The competing views can create a lot of extra noise and makes the battle that much harder.

As the idiot who's frequently unrestrained "need to know" constantly gets her in trouble, I think I can say that with confidence ;)

In prayer for you, Beamish.


Craig and Heather said...

But is God's presence "Heaven enough" to forget loved ones that never arrive there?

God loves them too. That's what the cross is about.

The only thing I know to do with this sort of question lay it at Christ's feet and beg Him for mercy and peace as I wait. Easier said than done, sometimes. Particularly for one who hates to feel out of control.
But when I don't, it tears me apart until I can't even think rationally.


Always On Watch said...

Beamish said: But is God's presence "Heaven enough" to forget loved ones that never arrive there?

My mother used to have that concern too. She used to say, "I'm going to be one miserable cuss if my family isn't with me in heaven."

I think that God does something to make the situation of the missing family members right.

Remember that God makes the rules on this, so He can do anything He pleases. And He loves us so much that He will see to it that we're happy in heaven. Perhaps, just perhaps, once we cross the threshold into eternity, we understand God's justice (It's "glass darkly" here in this life) and find a peace with God's justice in the next life.

I try not to worry too much about what God does with our eternity. What can I do to change God, anyway. Furthermore, I'm His creature and must trust Him to make those eternal decisions.

As for fun in heaven as compared to fun in this life, we'll have more fun than we can imagine, I think. The pleasures we experience in this life are as nothing compared to what our Father has in store for us later.

Thus ends my theological comments for the day. Maybe.

Susannah said...

Wow. Great discussion here.

Beam, I don't have the answers to your questions. One thing of which I am exquisitely convinced ~ God is merciful.

I don't know your sister's story...your love for her & your conflict about her choices is poignantly clear.

I can't answer your questions, (& neither can Voltaire, Buddha, or Nietzsche or Sartre, really). But I think Heather's right - it comes down to trusting (or not) God's wisdom; & ultimately His mercy.

I will join you in placing your sister - and you - at the feet of Jesus. And I am certain that He is more than enough to cover you both.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe that we are stripped of our personality and memories. I don't recall a Scripture verse that says we are, or alludes to that. I might be wrong, though.
As far as unanswered questions and painful memories, I HAVE to have faith that God knows those answers, even when I don't...because if He didn't...I couldn't trust Him with anything.

I do think I'll remember family and loved ones. I do think I'll have memories. I do think I'll be me. Why else would he have created me to be unique?

I also think we'll have the big picture view of things like he does, which will answer a lot of questions that nag us here on earth.

We'll see clearly. Completely clearly.

But most of all...I'm no longer waiting for heaven to be happy and alive. And for me that's the biggest thing of all.

Z said...

it's a mystery and it's going to remain so, but every single Christian I know who's had a death experience and come back and related what happened said he/she saw loved ones inside the 'gates'...that particularly those who brought that person to the Lord was there, relatives, dear friends, etc.
Still, I don't believe we go up there and feel bad for those who aren't there any more than we go up there and continue to carry grudges against anyone. That's not heaven.

beamish said...

Beautiful souls, all of you.

There's another disagreement with Voltaire.

He didn't believe in souls.

Susannah said...

Well, thanks, Beam. Back atcha.

(btw, I meant what I said. I'm putting your name + 'sis' on my bathroom mirror. Will pray for your each time I see it.)

beamish said...

Maybe I'm a wuss, but I rather like the concept of Heaven in the movie "What Dreams May Come" - one of the few movies I've ever seen that make ME bawl like a baby when I watch it.

Yes, I know it's a hodge-podge of theosophy and Buddhism and new agey stuff, but it's simply awe-inspiring.

beamish said...

Thanks, Susannah. Couldn't hurt, and might even help.

I've not seen my sister in over 3 years. I haven't spoken to her in nearly a year. (She lives in Egypt)

I'm hoping one day she'll take some time off from praying to a meteorite in Mecca five times a day and return an email.

Z said...

I hope so, too, Beamish...
and I'm still praying.