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Proof of heaven popular, except with the church
They claim that they’ve glimpsed heaven but survivors of near-death experiences face a surprising skeptic: the church.
May 19th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

Proof of heaven popular, except with the church

By John Blake, CNN

“God, help me!”

Eben Alexander shouted and flailed as hospital orderlies tried to hold him in place. But no one could stop his violent seizures, and the 54-year-old neurosurgeon went limp as his horrified wife looked on.

That moment could have been the end. But Alexander says it was just the beginning. He found himself soaring toward a brilliant white light tinged with gold into “the strangest, most beautiful world I’d ever seen.”

Alexander calls that world heaven, and he describes his journey in “Proof of Heaven,” which has been on The New York Times bestseller list for 27 weeks. Alexander says he used to be an indifferent churchgoer who ignored stories about the afterlife. But now he knows there’s truth to those stories, and there’s no reason to fear death.

“Not one bit,” he said. “It’s a transition; it’s not the end of anything. We will be with our loved ones again.”

Heaven used to be a mystery, a place glimpsed only by mystics and prophets. But popular culture is filled with firsthand accounts from all sorts of people who claim that they, too, have proofs of heaven after undergoing near-death experiences.

Yet the popularity of these stories raises another question: Why doesn’t the church talk about heaven anymore?

Preachers used to rhapsodize about celestial streets of gold while congregations sang joyful hymns like “I’ll Fly Away” and “When the Roll is Called up Yonder.” But the most passionate accounts of heaven now come from people outside the church or on its margins.

Most seminaries don’t teach courses on heaven; few big-name pastors devote much energy to preaching or writing about the subject; many ordinary pastors avoid the topic altogether out of embarrassment, indifference or fear, scholars and pastors say.

“People say that the only time they hear about heaven is when they go to a funeral,” said Gary Scott Smith, author of “Heaven in the American Imagination” and a history professor at Grove City College in Pennsylvania.

Talk of heaven shouldn’t wait, though, because it answers a universal question: what happens when we die, says the Rev. John Price, author of “Revealing Heaven,” which offers a Christian perspective of near-death experiences.

“Ever since people started dying, people have wondered, where did they go? Where are they now? Is this what happens to me?” said Price, a retired pastor and hospital chaplain.

A little girl’s revelation

Price didn’t always think heaven was so important. He scoffed at reports of near-death experiences because he thought they reduced religion to ghost stories. Besides, he was too busy helping grieving families to speculate about the afterlife.

His attitude changed, though, after a young woman visited his Episcopal church one Sunday with her 3-year-old daughter.

Price had last seen the mother three years earlier. She had brought her then-7-week-old daughter to the church for baptism. Price hadn't heard from her since. But when she reappeared, she told Price an amazing story.

She had been feeding her daughter a week after the baptism when milk dribbled out of the infant's mouth and her eyes rolled back into her head. The woman rushed her daughter to the emergency room, where she was resuscitated and treated for a severe upper respiratory infection.

Three years later, the mother was driving past the same hospital with her daughter when the girl said, “Look, Mom, that’s where Jesus brought me back to you.”

“The mother nearly wrecked her car,” Price said. “She never told her baby about God, Jesus, her near-death experience, nothing. All that happened when the girl was 8 weeks old. How could she remember that?”

When Price started hearing similar experiences from other parishioners, he felt like a fraud. He realized that he didn’t believe in heaven, even though it was part of traditional Christian doctrine.

He started sharing near-death stories he heard with grieving families and dejected hospital workers who had lost patients. He told them dying people had glimpsed a wonderful world beyond this life.

The stories helped people, Price said, and those who've had similar experiences of heaven should “shout them from the rooftops.”

“I’ve gone around to many churches to talk about this, and the venue they give me is just stuffed,” he said. “People are really hungry for it.”

Why pastors are afraid of heaven

Many pastors, though, don’t want to touch the subject because it’s too dangerous, says Lisa Miller, author of “Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination with the Afterlife.”

Miller cites the experience of Rob Bell, one of the nation’s most popular evangelical pastors.

John Price ignored heaven until he met a woman with an amazing story.

Bell ignited a firestorm two years ago when he challenged the teaching that only Christians go to heaven in “Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived.”

The book angered many members of Bell’s church as well as many in the evangelical establishment. He subsequently resigned.

“Farewell, Rob Bell,” one prominent evangelical tweeted.

“It’s a tough topic for a pastor,” said Miller, a former religion columnist for the Washington Post. “If you get too literal, you can risk sounding too silly. If you don’t talk about it, you’re evading one of the most important questions about theology and why people come to church.”

If pastors do talk about stories of near-death experiences, they can also be seen as implying that conservative doctrine – only those who confess their faith in Jesus get to heaven, while others suffer eternal damnation – is wrong, scholars and pastors say.

Many of those who share near-death stories aren’t conservative Christians but claim that they, too, have been welcomed by God to heaven.

“Conservative Christians aren’t the only ones going to heaven," said Price, "and that makes them mad."

There was a time, though, when the church talked a lot more about the afterlife.

Puritan pastors in the 17th and 18th centuries often preached about heaven, depicting it as an austere, no fuss-place where people could commune with God.

African-American slaves sang spirituals about heaven like “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” They often depicted it as a place of ultimate payback: Slaves would escape their humiliation and, in some cases, rule over their former masters.

America’s fixation with heaven may have peaked around the Civil War. The third most popular book in 18th century America – behind the Bible and “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” – was "Gates Ajar," written in the wake of the war, Miller says.

The 1868 novel was “The Da Vinci Code” of its day, Miller says. It revolved around a grieving woman who lost her brother in the Civil War. A sympathetic aunt assures her that her brother is waiting in heaven, a bucolic paradise where people eat sumptuous meals, dogs sun themselves on porches and people laugh with their loved ones.

“This was a vision of heaven that was so appealing to hundreds of thousands of people who had lost people in the Civil War,” Miller said.

Americans needed heaven because life was so hard: People didn’t live long, infant mortality was high, and daily life was filled with hard labor.

“People were having 12 kids, and they would outlive 11 of them,” said Smith, author of "Heaven in the American Imagination." “Death was ever-present.”

The church eventually stopped talking about heaven, though, for a variety of reasons: the rise of science; the emergence of the Social Gospel, a theology that encouraged churches to create heaven on Earth by fighting for social justice; and the growing affluence of Americans. (After all, who needs heaven when you have a flat-screen TV, a smartphone and endless diversions?)

But then a voice outside the church rekindled Americans' interest in the afterlife. A curious 23-year-old medical student would help make heaven cool again.

The father of near-death experiences

Raymond Moody had been interested in the afterlife long before it was fashionable.

He was raised in a small Georgia town during World War II where death always seemed just around the corner. He constantly heard stories about soldiers who never returned from war. His father was a surgeon who told him stories of bringing back patients from the brink of death. In college, he was enthralled when he read one of the oldest accounts of a near-death experience, a soldier’s story told by Socrates in Plato’s “Republic.”

His fascination with the afterlife was sealed one day when he heard a speaker who would change his life.

The speaker was George Ritchie, a psychiatrist. Moody would say later of Ritchie, “He had that look of someone who had just finished a long session of meditation and didn’t have a care in the world.”

Moody sat in the back of a fraternity room as Ritchie told his story.

It was December 1943, and Ritchie was in basic training with the U.S. Army at Camp Barkeley, Texas. He contracted pneumonia and was placed in the hospital infirmary, where his temperature spiked to 107. The medical staff piled blankets on top of Ritchie’s shivering body, but he was eventually pronounced dead.

“I could hear the doctor give the order to prep me for the morgue, which was puzzling, because I had the sensation of still being alive,” Ritchie said.

He even remembers rising from a hospital gurney to talk to the hospital staff. But the doctors and nurses walked right through him when he approached them.

He then saw his lifeless body in a room and began weeping when he realized he was dead. Suddenly, the room brightened “until it seemed as though a million welding torches were going off around me.”

He says he was commanded to stand because he was being ushered into the presence of the Son of God. There, he saw every minute detail of his life flash by, including his C-section birth. He then heard a voice that asked, “What have you done with your life?"

After hearing Ritchie’s story, Moody decided what he was going to do with his life: investigate the afterlife.

Raymond Moody revived interest in heaven by studying near-death experiences.

He started collecting stories of people who had been pronounced clinically dead but were later revived. He noticed that the stories all shared certain details: traveling through a tunnel, greeting family and friends who had died, and meeting a luminous being that gave them a detailed review of their life and asked them whether they had spent their life loving others.

Moody called his stories “near-death experiences,” and in 1977 he published a study of them in a book, “Life after Life.” His book has sold an estimated 13 million copies.

Today, he is a psychiatrist who calls himself “an astronaut of inner space.” He is considered the father of the near-death-experience phenomenon.

He says science, not religion, resurrected the afterlife. Advances in cardiopulmonary resuscitation meant that patients who would have died were revived, and many had stories to share.

“Now that we have these means for snatching people back from the edge, these stories are becoming more amazing,” said Moody, who has written a new book, “Paranormal: My Life in Pursuit of the Afterlife.”

“A lot of medical doctors know about this from their patients, but they’re just afraid to talk about it in public.”

Ritchie’s story was told through a Christian perspective. But Moody says stories about heaven transcend religion. He's collected them from Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and atheists.

“A lot of people talk about encountering a being of light,” he said. “Christians call it Christ. Jewish people say it’s an angel. I’ve gone to different continents, and you can hear the same thing in China, India and Japan about meeting a being of complete love and compassion.”

It’s not just what people see in the afterlife that makes these stories so powerful, he says. It’s how they live their lives once they survive a near-death experience.

Many people are never the same, Moody says. They abandon careers that were focused on money or power for more altruistic pursuits.

“Whatever they had been chasing, whether it's power, money or fame, their experience teaches them that what this (life) is all about is teaching us to love,” Moody said.

Under 'the gaze of a God'

Alexander, the author of “Proof of Heaven,” seems to fit Moody's description. He’s a neurosurgeon, but he spends much of time now speaking about his experience instead of practicing medicine.

He'd heard strange stories over the years of revived heart attack patients traveling to wonderful landscapes, talking to dead relatives and even meeting God. But he never believed those stories. He was a man of science, an Episcopalian who attended church only on Easter and Christmas.

That changed one November morning in 2008 when he was awakened in his Lynchburg, Virginia, home by a bolt of pain shooting down his spine. He was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, a disease so rare, he says, it afflicts only one in 10 million adults.

After his violent seizures, he lapsed into a coma — and there was little hope for his survival. But he awakened a week later with restored health and a story to tell.

He says what he experienced was “too beautiful for words.” The heaven he describes is not some disembodied hereafter. It’s a physical place filled with achingly beautiful music, waterfalls, lush fields, laughing children and running dogs.

In his book, he describes encountering a transcendent being he alternately calls “the Creator” or “Om.” He says he never saw the being's face or heard its voice; its thoughts were somehow spoken to him.

“It understood humans, and it possessed the qualities we possess, only in infinitely greater measure. It knew me deeply and overflowed with qualities that all my life I’ve always associated with human beings and human beings alone: warmth, compassion, pathos … even irony and humor.”

Holly Alexander says her husband couldn’t forget the experience.

“He was driven to write 12 hours a day for three years,” she said. “It began as a diary. Then he thought he would write a medical paper; then he realized that medical science could not explain it all.”

“Proof of Heaven” debuted at the top of The New York Times bestseller list and has sold 1.6 million copies, according to its publisher.

Alexander says he didn’t know how to deal with his otherworldly journey at first.

“I was my own worst skeptic,” he said. “I spent an immense amount of time trying to come up with ways my brain might have done this.”

Conventional medical science says consciousness is rooted in the brain, Alexander says. His medical records indicated that his neocortex — the part of the brain that controls thought, emotion and language — had ceased functioning while he was in a coma.

Alexander says his neocortex was “offline” and his brain “wasn’t working at all” during his coma. Yet he says he reasoned, experienced emotions, embarked on a journey — and saw heaven.

“Those implications are tremendous beyond description,” Alexander wrote. “My experience showed me that the death of the body and the brain are not the end of consciousness; that human experience continues beyond the grave. More important, it continues under the gaze of a God who loves and cares about each one of us.”

Skeptics say Alexander’s experience can be explained by science, not the supernatural.

They cite experiments where neurologists in Switzerland induced out-of-body experiences in a woman suffering from epilepsy through electrical stimulation of the right side of her brain.

Michael Shermer, founder and publisher of Skeptic magazine, says the U.S. Navy also conducted studies with pilots that reproduced near-death experiences. Pilots would often black out temporarily when their brains were deprived of oxygen during training, he says.

These pilots didn’t go to heaven, but they often reported seeing a bright light at the end of a tunnel, a floating sensation and euphoria when they returned to consciousness, Shermer says.

“Whatever experiences these people have is actually in their brain. It’s not out there in heaven,” Shermer said.

Some people who claim to see heaven after dying didn’t really die, says Shermer, author of “Why People Believe Weird Things.”

“They’re called near-death experiences for a reason: They’re near death but not dead,” Shermer said. “In that fuzzy state, it’s not dissimilar to being asleep and awakened where people have all sorts of transitory experiences that seem very real.”

The boy who saw Jesus

Skeptics may scoff at a story like Alexander’s, but their popularity has made a believer out of another group: the evangelical publishing industry.

While the church may be reluctant to talk about heaven, publishers have become true believers. The sales figures for books on heaven are divine: Don Piper’s “90 Minutes in Heaven” has sold 5 million copies. And “Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back” is the latest publishing juggernaut.

Colton Burpo says he saw heaven and describes the color of Jesus' eyes.

“Heaven is for Real” has been on The New York Times bestseller list for 126 consecutive weeks and sold 8 million copies, according to its publisher.

The story is told from the perspective of Colton Burpo, who was just 4 when he slipped into unconsciousness while undergoing emergency surgery for a burst appendix.

Colton says he floated above his body during the operation and soared to heaven, where he met Jesus. Todd Burpo, Colton’s father, says he was skeptical about his son’s story until his son described meeting a great-grandfather and a miscarried baby sister — something no one had ever told him about.

Todd Burpo is a pastor, but he says he avoided preaching about heaven because he didn’t know enough about the subject.

“It’s pretty awkward,” he said. “Here I am the pastor, but I’m not the teacher on the subject. My son is teaching me.”

Colton is now 13 and says he still remembers meeting Jesus in heaven.

“He had brown hair, a brown beard to match and a smile brighter than any smile I’ve ever seen,’’ he said. “His eyes were sea-blue, and they were just, wow.”

Colton says he’s surprised by the success of his book, which has been translated into 35 languages. There’s talk of a movie, too.

“It’s totally a God thing,” he said.

Alexander, author of “Proof of Heaven,” seems to have the same attitude: His new life is a gift. He’s already writing another book on his experience.

“Once I realized what my journey was telling me," he said, "I knew I had to tell the story.”

He now attends church but says his faith is not dogmatic.

“I realized very strongly that God loves all of God’s children,” he said. “Any religion that claims to be the true one and the rest of them are wrong is wrong.”

Central to his story is something he says he heard in heaven.

During his journey, he says he was accompanied by an angelic being who gave him a three-part message to share on his return.

When he heard the message, he says it went through him “like a wind” because he instantly knew it was true.

It’s the message he takes today to those who wonder who, or what, they will encounter after death.

The angel told him:

“You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever.”

“You have nothing to fear.”

“There is nothing you can do wrong."

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Art • Belief • Bible • Books • Christianity • Culture & Science • Evangelical • Faith • God • Heaven • History

soundoff (4,945 Responses)
  1. JW

    How come no one ever sees hell?

    Everyone, no matter what their religious conviction, sees Heaven. No one ever sees hell.

    June 9, 2013 at 8:59 am |
    • Well

      For one thing those of us who have had visions of the lower astral are perfectly convinced that no one would believe them. But if you research it you'll find lots of people have seen or had visions of "hell".

      June 9, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • Science

      About 52,800,000 results (0.25 seconds) .............from Google this time LL

      Showing results for science wins god loses

      With his speech, valedictorian brings God to graduation – CNN ...

      religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/06/06/hear-what...said.../comment-page-38/

      3 days ago – https://www.facebook.com/ScienceWinsGodLoses ... Science likes war with its unlimited budgets and no rules and he who owns the gold rules.

      June 9, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • Science

      Science wins over creationism in South Korea

      Government asks publishers to retain examples of evolution in science textbooks.

      http://www.nature.com/news/science-wins-over-creationism-in-south-korea-1.11377

      June 9, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
    • AaaaCccc

      Some have

      June 11, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Jason

      Not true. There are several NDE based on hellish experiences. 'Beyond the Darkness" comes to mind quickly but there are many many more. They just don't make the best seller list because, well, who really wants to read about that. Heaven is much, much, much easier to digest.

      June 11, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • seaann

      Jesus went to hell.( Acts 2:31)
      Hell is the common grave of mankind. Every person that dies goes to hell.

      “Men, brothers, it is allowable to speak with freeness of speech to YOU concerning the family head David, that he both deceased and was buried and his tomb is among us to this day. 30 Therefore, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath that he would seat one from the fruitage of his loins upon his throne, 31 he saw beforehand and spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was he forsaken in Ha′des nor did his flesh see corruption. 32 This Jesus God resurrected, of which fact we are all witnesses

      That is another lie taught by the church. The bible does not support that.
      It does speak of Gehenna ( everlasting destruction) which means that person would not live again. 28 And do not become fearful of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; but rather be in fear of him that can destroy both soul and body in Ge·hen′na Matthew 10:28 Only the True God, has that power. Psalms 83:18

      June 11, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
    • zouba

      i am from different faith, no one sees heaven nor hell, those experiences some people goes through, in my opinion are just like dreams, in my faith we know that you do not go from the death bed to heaven or hell, there is steps in between.

      June 11, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
  2. Thomas Buckley

    So I assume the individuals who are transformed by these wonderful life changing experiences donate the proceeds generated by their best sellers to some altruistic cause – right? Wrong.

    June 9, 2013 at 8:33 am |
    • Well

      The people who have experiences generally don't want anybody to know.

      June 9, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
  3. Science

    NO heaven or red horn-y beast .

    Destiny & DNA......................World Science Festival

    http://new.livestream.com/accounts/4044190/events/2110223

    Professor Richard Dawkins – "What if you're wrong?"

    The Light...is...Science Wins God Loses | Facebook................from the little blue box.........think outside the box.

    https://www.facebook.com/ScienceWinsGodLoses

    "Creationists make it sound like a ‘theory’ is something you ... are all over it. ... that says I must submit to him or suffer agonizing punishment for all time?

    8,000,000 yesterday, today numbers are 27,200,000 results Any time Bing

    The e word wins all the time creationists ..........no god(s) made US............get over IT

    Make sure to highlight above phrase..............then click on the little blue box and search with Bing.

    Think out side the box and have fun .

    AND 3 BILLION year old what ?

    Three-Billion-Year-Old Microfossils Include Plankton

    June 6, 2013 — Spindle-shaped inclusions in three-billion-year-old rocks are microfossils of plankton that probably inhabited the oceans around the globe during that time, according to an international team of researchers.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130606155123.htm

    http://www.discovertheforest.org/

    June 9, 2013 at 8:07 am |
    • Bill

      Not a very clever response. He didn't answer the question.

      June 12, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
  4. Disciple

    •Abraham's bosom is not heaven (Hebrews 11:8-10, 16)
    •People in hell can't talk to those in heaven (Isaiah 65: 17)
    •The dead are in their graves (Job 17:13; John 5:28, 29). The rich man was in bodily form with eyes, a tongue, etc., yet we know that the body does not go to hell at death. It is very obvious that the body remains in the grave, as the Bible says. If you'd like to know more about what happens after you die visit The Truth About Death website.
    •Men are rewarded at Christ's second coming, not at death (Revelation 22:11, 12)
    •The lost are punished in hell at the end of the world, not when they die (Matthew 13:40-42). The point of the story is found in verse 31 of Luke 16. Parables cannot be taken literally. If we took parables literally, then we must believe that trees talk! (See this parable in Judges 9:8-15).

    June 8, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
  5. LIGHT

    The world now is ruling by the antichrist but no one wants to believe.

    Especially US is completely under the antichrist control because he is ruling the world thru it.

    CNN is one of his official channels which through he can control the brains and concepts of people.

    He planned for the 9/11 attacks and they said Muslims did it, and as usual people believe whatever they are saying.

    See now how he can play with your brains and eyes using numbers,letters and words to know what is going on and what CNN is:

    Take a look on the CNN logo and read it upside and down you will get............. MD.......it means (M)onth and (D)ay.

    Read it from left to right you will get.............. 911.

    Read it from right to left and be ready for the shoke as you will get...............WTC......... read the T upside down.

    Please tell those who are sleeping to awake before it is too late.

    June 8, 2013 at 8:34 am |
    • Science

      The Light...is...Science Wins God Loses | Facebook................from the little blue box.........think outside the box.

      https://www.facebook.com/ScienceWinsGodLoses

      "Creationists make it sound like a ‘theory’ is something you ... are all over it. ... that says I must submit to him or suffer agonizing punishment for all time?

      8,000,000 results Any time

      June 8, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
  6. AlBratt

    tthe church does not like to admit that heaven does not exist and never has existed

    June 7, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
    • Invisible friends

      Well yesterday I found my spirit guide's date of birth and death records. I was pretty excited but nobody (especially you) will ever care or believe me. It's a quiet victory making me one happy little nutcase. Cheers!

      June 8, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
  7. mlg4035

    Even the Pope says atheists go to heaven.
    Live your life well, be kind to others, try to do no evil. That's all we need to do.
    The rest is just fluff....

    June 7, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • Bill

      The Pope did NOT say this. Trust me... If you want it to mean that, that's fine, but that is NOT what he said.

      June 12, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
  8. Rachel

    As children of God, the wonderful promise to believers is eternal life in heaven! That is a great promise to all who believe in Christ Jesus.

    June 7, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • Gutsy333

      I MEAN NO OFFENSE, BUT IN REALITY, THE HUMAN BRAIN IS SO POWERFUL THAT THE EXPERIENCES DESCRIBED BY NEAR-DEATH HALLUCINATIONS OF A WONDERFUL HEAVEN CAN BE CREATED BY THE HUMAN MIND THAT HAS BEEN PRE-CONDITIONDED BY A DOGMA, BE IT CHRISTIAN, MUSLIM OR MORMON. THOSE EMOTIONAL , FEELING CREATED FANTASIES ARE NOT RELIABLE AND THEY PROVE NOTHING. WORSE THEY CAN BE INVENTED. PARENTS CAN SEMI FORCE OR MAKE THEIR CHILDREN LIE IN PUBLIC. :( IKNOW, I USED TO BE CHRISTIAN, I FELT SO RELIEVED AFTER I CONFESSED, THE TROUBLE WAS AFTER A BRIEF EMOTIONAL "HIGH", AWFUL FEELINGS RETURNED; I FELT AWFULLY GUILTY, THEN. CONFESSING BECAME LIKE A DRUG, THE MORE I CONFESSED, THE SOONER I NEEDED TO CONFESS AGAIN. IT WAS A MAD ROLLER CATHOLIC ROLLER-COASTER.

      June 7, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • Science

      You know Rachel...............share with your bosom buddy chad OK ........remember no god(s) needed !

      Destiny & DNA......................World Science Festival

      http://new.livestream.com/accounts/4044190/events/2110223

      June 7, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
  9. LIGHT

    The antichrist is playing with words,letters and numbers in a very high profissional way .

    I will send a small surprise for you all.

    Take a look on the CNN logo and concentrate very well,you can read it as.................. 911!!!

    June 6, 2013 at 1:57 am |
    • Science

      Is that you chad/Austin ?

      Hey LIGHT.........the truth.......so you know NO fairy in the sky NEEDED !

      Life On Earth Shockingly Comes from out of This World

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130605144326.htm

      June 6, 2013 at 6:54 am |
    • Science

      No bible needed !

      Oldest Primate Fossil Skeleton Found In China

      Seth Borenstein, Associated Press | Jun. 5, 2013, 2:14 PM

      Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/oldest-primate-fossil-skeleton-found-in-china-2013-6#ixzz2VS35T5QS

      June 6, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • mlg4035

      Dude: You're trying too hard...

      June 7, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • Pole dancing for Jesus

      try switching that light on especially before you post

      June 7, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
  10. GOOD NEWS

    Heaven is absolutely Real.

    Here are the absolute Proofs:

    http://www.holy-19-harvest.com
    UNIVERSAL MAGNIFICENT MIRACLES

    June 5, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • Science

      Hey GOOD NEWS

      No god(s) needed..........but physics is required.............and it works every time.

      Quantum Teleportation Between Atomic Systems Over Long Distances

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130606140844.htm

      June 7, 2013 at 9:29 am |
    • Gutsy333

      SURE , WHAT YOU CLAIM IS REAL IN LA LA LAND :) IF YOUR DOGMA IS REAL, SO ARE THE ISLAMIC, CHINESE AND OTHER DOGMAS. IS YOUR GOD, ODIN? H A HA HA, IF YOUR JESUS WAS REAL, HOW COME HE DIED AND BLED?

      I KNOW, YOU WILL SAY HIS SPIRIT TOOK HUMAN FORM AFTER HE AND HIS FATHER AGREED,GEE HOW CAN YOU PROVE THAT HAPPENED AT ALL? PLUS THE MOST ANCIENT HUMAN BONES WERE FOUND IN CHINA. IS YOUR GOD CHINESE? HAHHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHA ACTUALLY, THE ISRAEL RACE APPEARED MUCH LATER THAN THE EGYPTIAN ONE, EGYPT GAVE BIRTH TO THE MOST ANCIENT HUMAN RACE. AM I EGYPTIAN? NO. SO LET'S BE FAIR.I AM NOT AGAINST ISRAEL EITHER. I AM PARTLY JEWISH, SPANISH, AFRICAN, ILLYRIAN, ASIAN, ITALIAN.

      June 7, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
  11. faith

    ain't ur fault chad

    1 Corinthians 15:6, “and then he appeared to more than 500 of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.”
    some say this can't be true cause nobody could/would challenge paul in the first place to show his hand. (that fails.) also, this is not an eyewitness account, they insist. it is hearsay. we must rely on paul alone in this instance. we r told that we cannot expect that he would be truthful. everyone lies. if we pretend that paul would not deceive us, we must therefore extend the same consideration to Mohamed.
    these r the best arguments nazis have to deny that 500 people actually saw the risen christ.
    the flaws in their analysis r numerous and manifest. in fact, they r glaring. but, nazis cannot or will not even look 4 them. sadly, these morons have no interest in discovering truth. they r 2 afraid to review their arguments 4 fear they might be forced 2 c their limitations and errors. merely confronting themselves like this proves they r not gods, at least to themselves. this is the key to explain y they never learn.

    June 4, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
    • Science

      Hey faith............chadie too !

      The pesky meteorites/chondrites = life .........................not the nasty bible. and Adam and his bone.

      No horn-y red beast needed.......no heaven either..........but they (meteorites) where hot when they where coming in.

      Life-Producing Phosphorus Carried to Earth by Meteorites

      June 4, 2013 — Scientists may not know for certain whether life exists in outer space, but new research from a team of scientists led by a University of South Florida astrobiologist now shows that one key element that produced life on Earth was carried here on meteorites.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130604153520.htm

      June 5, 2013 at 6:18 am |
    • faith

      i have never read the garbage u reference. not once. keep up the great work

      June 5, 2013 at 8:23 am |
    • Science

      The truth.............below .............no fairy in the sky needed !

      The Christian Be Nice article Chad Austin has been tagged/pegged !

      Hey chad the game of life aye ...............and you suck at it !

      Hey faithy...the troll.....all creationists...........chadie too ...............COMEDY GOLD link at bottom of post !!! The pesky meteorites/chondrites = life .........................not the nasty bible. and Adam and his bone. No horn-y red beast needed.......no heaven either..........but they (meteorites) where hot when they where coming in. Life-Producing Phosphorus Carried to Earth by Meteorites June 4, 2013 — Scientists may not know for certain whether life exists in outer space, but new research from a team of scientists led by a University of South Florida astrobiologist now shows that one key element that produced life on Earth was carried here on meteorites. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130604153520.htm http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/23/heaven-for-atheists-pope-sparks-debate/#comments

      Your request was successfully submitted.

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      Bing Webmaster Tools

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/09/my-take-a-word-to-christians-be-nice/comment-page-44/#comment-2399227

      June 5, 2013 at 9:38 am |
    • faith

      thanks bill ni. i'll never look. appreciate u

      June 5, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Science

      Hey faithy I will tell you again I am NOT Bill Nye

      Life On Earth Shockingly Comes from out of This World.................NOT the nasty bible faithy !

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130605144326.htm

      June 5, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • Gutsy333

      i AGREE :) IN A WAY, WE NEED TO THAN AL QUAIDA. ALTHOUGH IT SOUNDS GROSS AND I WAS OUTRAGED FOR THE ATTACK IN NEW YORK, SEPT.11; HOWEVER THE MUSLIM TERRORISTS MADE US ANALYZE WHY WOULD THEY BOMB US SO HORRIFICALLY. BITTER AS THE SEPT 11 :LESSON" WAS, IT SHOWED THAT OUR COUNTRY IS NOT FULL -PROOF TO FOREIGN TERRORISM. PLUS IT MADE ME THINK OF THE THOUSANDS OF INNOCENTS OUR BOMBS HAVE KILLED ABROAD. SUCH REVISIONISM IS LEADING OUR LEADERS TO SEEK PEACE; WE CAN THEN SAVE BILLIONS IN WAR COSTS AND MILLIONS OF SOLDIER LIVES :)))))))))

      SAME WITH THE IRS TAXPAYER WASTES. THANKS TO THE INVESTIGATION, NOW THE I.R.S. IS BEING REMODELED AND WILL FUNCTION BETTER AND HONESTLY. :)

      June 7, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • Science

      9-18 of 27,000,000 results Any time ................you know faithy ................be what ?

      My take: A word to Christians – Be nice – CNN Belief Blog ...

      religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/09/my-take-a-word-to-christians-be-nice

      Feb 09, 2013 · ... who have been made in God's likeness. ... are all over it. ... Evolution WINS hands down...time for the horn-y red devil to get the hell out of the way......

      http://www.bing.com/search?q=The+e+word+wins+all+the+time+creationists+..........no+god(s)+made+US............get+over+IT&pc=HPNTDF&src=IE-SearchBox&first=9&FORM=PERE

      June 10, 2013 at 8:37 am |
  12. DWN

    Proof of Heaven doesn't come from near death experiences! People who need such proof lack faith and can be easily tricked! Christians are supposed to be the people of the book! Its the word of Jesus who died and was resurrected. We have his word! Satan can fake heaven in near death experiences, drug elated experiences, occult experiences, or even misguided religious experiences. Satan can fake angelic encounters! Satan can do miracles. People of the book know better than buying books about Satan's counterfeits.

    June 4, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • DWN

      ...and what's this "THE CHUCH" nonsense? You quote a catholic priest! Catholic is counterfeit Christian so how can that be "THE CHURCH?"

      June 4, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Gutsy333

      OH?....WHY WOULD THE FANATIC CLAIMS OF AN ORDINARY DOGMATIC PROPHET MAKE THEM TRUE? ACTUALLY, IF HE EXISTED AT ALL, HE WAS DRUGGED.

      June 7, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • mlg4035

      EVERYBODY says the other guy's God is "counterfeit". It's the oldest trick in the religious charlatan's repertoire.

      June 7, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
  13. Science

    So RB.....chadie too..........truth is best told to children is it not ?

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/31/southern-baptists-to-urge-churches-and-members-to-cut-boy-scout-ties/comment-page-150/#comment-2397535

    June 4, 2013 at 12:29 pm |

    No horn-y red beast..........or heaven that is the truth.

    June 4, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
  14. Science

    Dear Mr. and Mrs. Troll...... .........chad/Rachel ...............trolling does not work in the sand............will not catch fish that

    way

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/14/vatican-swaps-old-masters-for-modernity-with-venice-biennale-debut/?replytocom=2343268#respond

    Chomp on that bone...................creationists/ID believers. chadie too..................evolution at its best the old croc.

    Time for the horn-y beast to get the hell out of the bedVroooom !!!

    Fourteen Closely Related Crocodiles Existed Around 5 Million Years Ago

    May 21, 2013 — Today, the most diverse species of crocodile are found in northern South America and Southeast Asia: As many as six species of alligator and four true crocodiles exist, although no more than two or three ever live alongside one another at the same time. It was a different story nine to about five million years ago, however, when a total of 14 different crocodile species existed and at least seven of them occupied the same area at the same time, as an international team headed by paleontologists Marcelo Sánchez and Torsten Scheyer from the University of Zurich is now able to reveal.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130521121323.htm

    AND

    Hey faithy seems like you have not been weaned yet sort of like chadie .............reminds me of a 5 year old ?

    Monkey Teeth Help Reveal Neanderthal Weaning

    May 24, 2013 — Most modern human mothers wean their babies much earlier than our closest primate relatives. But what about our extinct relatives, the Neanderthals?

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130524104828.htm

    Current search on Bing chadie ..........bookmark update chad........3rd one from top of page.

    RDFRS: When Christians become a 'hated minority'

    http://www.richarddawkins.net/.../5/5/when-christians-become-a-hated-minority

    11,000,000 results Any time

    AND

    Scientists Find Oldest Dinosaur – Or Closest Relative Yet

    Dec. 5, 2012 — Researchers have discovered what may be the earliest dinosaur, a creature the size of a Labrador retriever, but with a five foot-long tail, that walked the Earth about 10 million years before more familiar dinosaurs like the small, swift-footed Eoraptor and Herrerasaurus.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121205084421.htm

    Game over .................god(s) did NOT create US !

    NO red horn-y devil either........ NEVER has been one.!

    The DINOSAUR ?...............Chomp Chomp !...Evolution WINS hands down...time for the horn-y red devil to get the

    HELL out of the way.....................Stem Cell research !

    Allosaurus Fed More Like a Falcon Than a Crocodile: Engineering, Anatomy Work Reveals Differences in Dinosaur Feeding Styles

    May 21, 2013 — The mighty T. rex may have thrashed its massive head from side to side to dismember prey, but a new study shows that its smaller cousin Allosaurus was a more dexterous hunter and tugged at prey more like a modern-day falcon.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130521152638.htm

    PLUS

    COMEDY GOLD................it is THE PEARLY GATES !.............what a JOKE !

    Heaven for atheists? Pope sparks debate

    By Dan Merica, CNN

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/23/heaven-for-atheists-pope-sparks-debate/comment-page-18/#respond

    Splat Chad

    June 4, 2013 at 9:46 am |
    • whaaaaat

      shame Chad I feel sorry for u

      June 12, 2013 at 9:37 am |
  15. GOOD NEWS

    Heaven is for all Good People,

    who shall work for the Good Deeds:

    http://www.holy-19-harvest.com
    UNIVERSAL MAGNIFICENT MIRACLES

    June 4, 2013 at 5:22 am |
    • Science

      GOOD NEWS ..............have you been weaned yet ?

      Hey faithy seems like you have not been weaned yet sort of like chadie .............reminds me of a 5 year old ?

      Monkey Teeth Help Reveal Neanderthal Weaning

      May 24, 2013 — Most modern human mothers wean their babies much earlier than our closest primate relatives. But what about our extinct relatives, the Neanderthals?

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130524104828.htm

      Current search on Bing chadie ..........bookmark update chad........3rd one from top of page.

      RDFRS: When Christians become a 'hated minority'

      http://www.richarddawkins.net/.../5/5/when-christians-become-a-hated-minority

      11,000,000 results Any time

      AND

      Scientists Find Oldest Dinosaur – Or Closest Relative Yet

      Dec. 5, 2012 — Researchers have discovered what may be the earliest dinosaur, a creature the size of a Labrador retriever, but with a five foot-long tail, that walked the Earth about 10 million years before more familiar dinosaurs like the small, swift-footed Eoraptor and Herrerasaurus.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121205084421.htm

      Splat Chad

      June 4, 2013 at 7:03 am |
    • Gutsy333

      NOPE, I HAVE MET WONDERFUL AND KIND STRANGERS WHO ARE AGNOSTIC OR
      ATHEIST. HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THAT, MR. RELIGIOUS? HEY, I ONCE WAS A CHRISTIAN, FORTUNATELY FOR ME, I SLOWLY DISCOVERED THE FALSITY IN YOUR DOGMA, (LIKE THE VEILED ECONOMIC AND SOCIOPOLITICAL LINKS BETWEEN THE CHURCH AND CONSERVATIVE TYRANNICAL REGIMES. THE THIRD WORLD IS FULL OF THEM. POOR NATIVES GET HARDLY ENOUGH FOOD, WHILE THEIR BISHOPS WEAR FANCY GOLDEN CROWNS AND AMULETS. REAL CHARITY WOULD BE IF PRIESTS SHARED THEIR MONEY WITH POOR PARISHIONERS. HOW CAN THE VATICAN BE THE RICHEST ORGANIZATION ON EARTH, WHILE MILLIONS OF KIDS AND ADULTS STARVE IN THE THIRD WORLD, OR DIE DUE TO LACK OF MEDICAL FREE SERVICES?

      June 7, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
  16. Pat L

    “Conservative Christians aren’t the only ones going to heaven," said Price, "and that makes them mad."

    This makes me sad. If Christianity stood for love, forgiveness, etc., shouldn't they be thrilled that other people were going to heaven too? Instead, they are mad that God let somebody else in? That is so pathetic. What is the use of Christianity if it produces this kind of person.

    June 4, 2013 at 12:23 am |
    • Susan

      That's assuming that kind of person exists outside of Price's opinion.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:53 am |
    • davidi85

      Why do so many people blanket every christian with the misguiding s of a few. The only one who has any say who earns eternal life is god the father. And Christianity does not "produce" people like the one you mentioned. The world does. Please don't separate yourself from the father because of some misguided people. Study the Bible with an open heart, and make your own judgement. And to rain on this "mad " persons parade, the Bible does say those who have gods laws written on there heart are worthy, but a relationship with Christ offers allot more from this life. And to know the word, but not accept Christ, is worse than never hearing the word.

      June 4, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
  17. JKNBT

    I was taken up to the third heaven in a clear seeing vision several years ago. It is celadon green up there....the center chambers are radiant emerald green. I saw one who sits on the throne and was taken behind the veil. What I saw after that is not lawful to describe. I saw the New Jerusalem, a city of the most beautiful crystal, all with this soft green light effusing through it.

    I didn't have to die. It happened when I was alone in prayer in the room I reserve for prayer. I am still coming to terms with the enormous truths and teachings in that vision.

    and no, you naysayers and mockers, there were no drugs or hallucinations involved. I was fully conscious and completely aware of my surroundings during the vision. It took about 10 minutes. I am praying for another heavenly visit.

    June 3, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
  18. akmac65

    The only "blue-eyed Jesus" was in paintings in Europe in the Middle Ages and since then. The boy was repeating things he had seen before, not in heaven.

    June 3, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
  19. Jason

    So why is it that when people experience a life after a physical death they automatically jump to the conclusion that they are in "Heaven"? Perhaps "Heaven" is a place within that realm. Just like the Vatican is a place on Earth. I have read just about every NDE book out there and I have serious doubt that life after a physical death equals Heaven. I think the life experience is just that...a life experience. And just because you realize you are still alive after you are physically dead does not mean you experienced Heaven. I means you experienced life in a different place.

    June 3, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
  20. Science

    Hey creationists ........chadie too............evukoyion wins time for the fairy in the sky and the horn-y beast to get the

    hell out of the bedVroooom !

    New Species of Marine Fish from 408 Million Years Ago Discovered in Teruel

    June 3, 2013 — Researchers from the University of Valencia and the Natural History Museum of Berlin have studied the fossilised remains of scales and bones found in Teruel and the south of Zaragoza, ascertaining that they belong to a new fish species called Machaeracanthus goujeti that lived in that area of the peninsula during the Devonian period. The fossils are part of the collection housed in the Palaeontology Museum of Zaragoza.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130603133432.htm

    June 3, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.