Recently, I’ve been hearing on radio, TV, and various ministries the latest in “Near Death Experiences” (NDEs) claimed by several individuals. Normally I would not take notice – but why all of the hub-bub just in the past week I wondered?
This stuff is nothing new to me, I have heard it from others before firsthand. Some professing a Christian testimony say they had an odd out of body experience (OBE) but most do not know the Lord Jesus as their Savior seen by their lack of evidence and specifically mentioned – no condemnation! I have heard and read about this deception, and to the individuals experiencing it is on a grand scale whether or not it just an experience or exploitation of a current popular trend is up to you to figure out. I am no believer in coincidences and the similarities of those broadcasting their experiences are strikingly similar.
Many of these individuals are getting the ear of the media, whether American Family Radio (AFR) introducing Captain Dale Black on October 24, 2012 (linked here) with his book, Flight to Heaven published by Bethany House wherein Black claims a Christian testimony, or on the other pole of this NDE stuff, last night October 26th with the TV show 20/20 introducing neurosurgeon, Dr. Eben Alexander and his book “Proof of Heaven – who denies Jesus. I take great exception to what both of these men present.
Dr. David Cloud made the following observation regarding Alexander this week,
“It sounds like Alexander found The Shack heaven where “God” doesn’t judge or put obligations on people. Alexander is a big promoter of The Monroe Institute’s (TMI) New Age meditative practices. These include yoga, out-of-body experiences, Reiki, and Kundalini. TMI is linked as a “friend” to the occultic Edgar Cayce Association. (Friday Church News Notes, October 26, 2012, Volume 13, Issue 43)
It is more mysticism, hocus-pocus, and a step beyond into divination, necromancy – even witchcraft! As many reports include things such as a bright white light that did not hurt their eyes as with Captain Black (heard him talk of it on AFR myself) “…stunning beautiful light brighter than the sun…”to Dr. Alexander with the same sort of thing seeing loved ones again, “flocks of transparent, shimmering beings.”
The dangers here are grave, and in spite of AFR attaching a disclaimer following Captain Black’s interview that it does not necessarily represent them is no excuse for doing it anyway. For the Christian, this disclaimer is like allowing the Devil on the air to convince everyone that Hell is not a real place, and then say “well that doesn’t necessarily represent us!” It is hypocrisy allowing these false teachings to be aired and deceive those who are more naïve! Someone will answer for this and I pray they repent before more are hurt. I expect the world to do the Devil’s work but hearing it on what is supposed to be Christian Radio – wow! That is really bad! Note: AFR is a part of American Family Association (AFA) of Don Wildmon, for more on AFA and Wildmon more history linked here on our Biblical Discernment Ministry site.
So am I off the track here with Captain Black?
No, even the reviews on Amazon.com have something to say about Black’s book Flight to Heaven. One quote is taken from pages 97-98 supporting what I heard on AFR,
“Captain Black describes his recalling of Heaven in a manner not unlike a trance or eastern meditation. He says, “These are not memories I could summon or command. They bypassed my conscious brain. If I thought too much, they resisted revealing themselves. I had to let my brain relax and allow my heart to take over.”
On the radio show, Black makes a point to mention, “…he found he had a new powerful capacity to discern…” and “…had these things specially imparted to his heart…” In addition he mentions as part of his flight to Heaven a narrow pathway of light through darkness but made it a point that it is was not a tunnel. (Not to be compared to others in the NDE group I suppose?) He continues to describe other bright spheres of light flying around him, two angelic masculine beings flying alongside of him, then seeing an astonishing golden/sacred city. In the midst of his sacred city description about the lights, colors and atmosphere Black throws in a real zinger, “Somehow I knew life and love was in the light, it was like they’re one..?” (at 16:24 minutes in the AFR audio linked earlier). I disagree in the strongest terms this is something credible for anyone, Captain Black is not discerning but sharing an experience based upon personal memories from better than 40 years ago. Add as evidence his own bio and story on his website, they show him to be a person of a variety of religious thought from training in a Nazarene school to wacky of hypercharismaticism. Black’s site openly mentions his friendship with Kenneth Copeland, Jack Hayford, Jan and Paul Crouch of TBN. Dare I mention TBN’s notoriety and scandal that our site has warned about previously?
There is much more that can be said in condemnation of this topic, even more so of anyone claiming an NDE who also professes to be a serious believer in Jesus Christ – one who follows the Bible adhering to the 5 Solas of scripture. Sola Scriptura – Scripture Alone, Solus Christus – Christ Alone, Sola Gratia – Grace Alone, Sola Fide – Faith Alone, and Soli Deo Gloria – The Glory of God Alone. I have to be this exacting because too many Christians are believing the Bible plus or minus this or that – include in that list NDEs and OBEs. In these perilous days the doctrines of these demons are promoting a false gospel of no condemnation for anyone outside of Christ Jesus! I cannot state it strongly enough, those involved with AFR and AFA have much to answer for, as will Captain Black.
Back in the mid-1980s I still recall a lady who may have been well meaning being allowed to share at the church I was attending – complete with the bright white light and shimmering beings and one who she believed to be the Lord Jesus! Fortunately, the pastor found a way to stop her at this point and profusely apologized explaining while there is much we do not understand while on this Earth, what we do know is we can only put our trust and faith in the written Word of God found in the Bible alone.
Too many today are caught up in experiential Christianity embracing a hodge-podge of feelings and experiences. Confusing what is really sorcery and divination as seen through the lenses of scriptures with some warm fuzzy feelings of love and unconditional acceptance into a heaven. Oh how I wish other Christians would awaken to the truth and stand with me! Step back from the current trends being called Christian; step back from the music with the worldly rock beat, and look how far you have departed from what the scriptures teach and the principles of NOT conforming to the world and being separated from it!
Though they will not like it, I’m presenting a scriptural context from God’s Word of what these men and women are promoting with their NDE – Near Death Experiences and OBEs – Out of Body Experiences.
Acts 8:9-19 “But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they [their] hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.“
And the point and prayer for those caught up in NDE and OBE:
Acts 8:20-24 “But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and [in] the bond of iniquity. Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.”
As the Apostle Peter told Simon the sorcerer, I now tell you. You would have us buy your books, invite you to come speak at our churches, and etc.! Read the Bible and heed it before it is too late for you! What NDEs promote is NO DIFFERENT than sorcery; that is if you believe your Bibles! If you have been a promoter of such things, for the sakes of those who hear you come out and recant it, deny it and warn others of the great danger of falling for it!