Work of the devil” say some Christians about the near-death experiences. This site is for those who live in a Christian tradition and have problems with near-death experiences, who believe to see fundamental contradictions between reports of near-death experiences and their own doctrine of faith.
Some Christian faiths welcome the near-death experiences and use them even for their own purposes for example with evangelizing and proselytizing, examples can easily be found on YouTube.
Other Christian faiths strictly reject near-death experiences. They call them “Hallucinations caused by the devil to divert people from faith”.
[from here: Unrevised machine-made translation without garantee of correctness]
That is already surprising, because people who have been through a near-death experience, live then typically intense, positive, believe more in God and an immortal soul and are very religious. This is shown by numerous statistics listed for example by Pim van Lommel in Chapter 4 “change through near-death experiences” in his book “Consciousness Beyond Life, The Science of the Near-Death Experience” and by Kenneth Ring’s book “Lessons from the light”. So what would the devil, if he exists, want to achieve with this so-called “hallucinations”? When faiths tell their followers, who have had a near-death experience, this is a work of the devil and you must refrain from, they trigger anyway, deep feelings of guilt for these people and force them to the displacement and the silence.
Possible reasons for the condemnation
Unfortunately the religiosity of Near Death Experiencers but rather is a deep personal religiosity, they engage less in organized communities and leave the Church binding part. The mind of course. In addition, the most near-death experiences are positive, people and even atheists get “Inside the sky”, as if finally everyone in the sky comes and so that people lose the fear of death and fear in particular also prior to the final judgment, and the eternal punishment of hell. This upsets even more.
I was wondering here: does a true religion really need the principle of threatening of hell torments, so the education through carrots and sticks? Not perhaps would be out a religion from the heart, a religion out of love for God and love for people out, much more meaningful?
The near-death experience of the Apostle Paul
Most are Evangelical faiths, so beliefs that closely and literally interpret the Bible. I personally think such an interpretation wrong, but would like to try to respond to this level:
How do these faiths now justify their interpretation? I recently read in an evangelical pamphlet, Jesus got themselves banned that you talk to the dead. This is a lie. I’ve read the Bible, the old and the New Testament, and none of it is in the New Testament. Rather, Paul describes in 2. Corinthians a near-death experience most likely of his own.
II Corinthians 12.2-4: (2) I have knowledge of a man in Christ, fourteen years back (if he was in the body, or out of the body, I am not able to say, but God only), who was taken up to the third heaven. (3) And I have knowledge of such a man (if he was in the body, or out of the body, I am not able to say, but God only), (4) How he was taken up into Paradise, and words came to his ears which may not be said, and which man is not able to say.
In verse 5-7, Paul explains that he does not want to brag with this revelation. So is this man, which he reported, he himself, and it is a rhetorical means that he first distinguished describes this as the experience of other people, not to fall with the door in the House. Paul was apparently uncertain how the Corinthians would take that, that he was outside his body, and he therefore sent withdrew from the affair (Luther-translation “whether he has been in the body or out of the body, I don’t; know) God knows it”, to describe his except physical experience.
So when Paul, the most important Apostles in the spread of Christianity, had themselves a such experience and describes this as a revelation from God, then it may have been hardly a “Devil’s work”.
And in Matthew 17, 2-3 Jesus speaks with Moses and Elijah, who no doubt are both in the realm of the dead or afterlife.
Most Christian skeptics of NDE quote the old testament, namely 3. Moses 19.31: “Do not go after those who make use of spirits, or wonder-workers; do not go in their ways or become unclean through them.” According to Jewish tradition, one is contaminated only by touching a dead body, which is similar to the “impure days” of women. This is none of the ten commandments, but a law spoken by Moses. A chapter further, namely 3. Moses 20,27 there is the sentence that you must stone to death everyone “who makes use of spirits, or who is a wonder-worker”. This has led to the numerous witch hunts and the stakes in the middle ages. How many time should we still take the Bible literally? I think we should finally leave this story in the past and not again stir up. This is not the message of Christianity.
It’s true: not everything that supposedly comes from the beyond, must be taken at face value. Everywhere, where people report there is also self-serving motivations and mistakes. It makes sense to compare reports of esoteric media with each other and with NDE reports to form an opinion. But one can not go so far to close completely from this part of our tangible world and to limit oneselve, his range of knowledge and his development possibility.
The religions have a divine cause. But their books were written by people, their interpretations, dogmas and ideologies were created by people and have therefore their errors and mistakes. And even if an evangelical Christian is referring to that themselves have revealed him Jesus or God himself, and also if a Pentecostal relies on it with the tongue of the Saints to be able to talk, spirit may not follow, that his ideology or the ideology of his faith therefore in all parts, including views on afterlife and survival or of judgment between heaven and hell that is true, or even the only true ideology must be.
For the above mentioned faiths, now however is a high level of motivation, near-death experiences that now yes do not match their ideology, to dismiss as “Devil’s work”. Thus they protect its cohesion and the continued existence of their ideology and avoid also any occasion to question them.
Often Near Death Experiencers report about the experienced feeling that a certain place in the hereafter very familiar and familiar or that this is their real home. If this is right now, then these people should have been there already once, and this is possible only before her birth. This supports the hypothesis of the “pre-existence” of the soul, so a prenatal existence (not synonymous with “reincarnation”). The doctrine of the pre-existence of soul and spirit was in early Christianity by the Church father of Origen (185-254 n. BC) represented, but 553 in the 2. Council of Constantinople discarded, i.e. declared invalid by vote of bishops, so people.
The indescriptable and the parable of the elephant
What the near-death experiences teach us: the human mind is, as long as he is bound to the body, too small to encompass the knowledge of the afterlife. Many near-death experience wrestling with words, and say they could put what they have experienced, hardly into words, because there are no words for this. So, our whole religious philosophies, which are written in human language, never the whole truth about God, our determination and the hereafter can play.
Here, the parable of the elephant is attached, which originates from South Asia and is told in different versions in Buddhism, but also in Islam:
A King ordered his servant to show an elephant six blind men. Then he asked the blind, what is an elephant. One had that had touched the leg of the elephant and said that an elephant is a pillar, another had handled the trunk and said it was similar to a branch, another had one who feels the ear and said it was a fan, another had handled the belly and said it was like a grain store, one had the bumper number touch and said , which was keyed as a plow blade, who had last tip of the tail and said that an elephant is a brush. None of these blind people could see what really is an elephant. As long as we cannot even look in the beyond, and as long as huge pieces of our own soul are hidden (“subconscious mind”), so long must we be careful with the sentencing of different philosophical and religious beliefs.
Let us keep not only our eyes and ears open, but also our spirit, and we are open to new and different, it must be not automatically wrong!