May 26, 2015
I have been reading several books describing different individuals’ near death experiences (“NDE’s”). It is interesting to get this somewhat “firsthand” account of what people see, hear, and feel while clinically dead, and to consider how it corresponds with our own spiritual experiences.
Some readers are put off by NDE‑ers’ descriptions of heaven, God, spiritual beings using different names and terms than what our own theology would employ. I don’t see this as a discrepancy in what each NDE‑er actually sees, but simply the use of spiritual terms familiar to the individual. NDE‑ers universally describe their experiences as being very vivid and meaningful; but, as the conscious mind struggles to articulate it, it must rely on familiar terms to describe an event that is beyond its understanding.
The similarity of the varied NDE experiences is one of their compelling characteristics. In Moody’s “Life After Life”, he summarizes the commonalities that exist in the greater number of these accounts. This particular book is interesting for a number of reasons: it was written decades prior to the advent of the internet, so special-interest subjects like this would not be broadly available on a “social media” level that might influence the respondents’ commentary or beliefs. Also, the individuals involved hadn’t made personal “causes” out of their respective NDE experiences as far as trying to convince others; most of them preferred to keep the matter private to avoid ugly disagreements with family or friends.
These accounts provide me with a rough framework for visualizing the heavenly realms while I am in communion with God. The details of any individual’s specific NDE experience really don’t interfere with my spiritual experience. I instead utilize the general concept of that spiritual realm as a device to separate me from focusing on this physical world and redirecting my attention to the larger reality of the Kingdom of God.
A routine reacquainting oneself to the reality of heaven is a key component of keeping our faith alive. It keeps the Christian looking ahead as he maintains his awareness of his future, and fuels his passion for carrying out his God-given assignment in this world. Individual accounts will be imperfect, but can be a useful tool for redirecting one’s focus away from temporary minutiae and onto the greater reality.
May 19, 2015
The first mystery to becoming Born Again is to take the bible as your own. You categorically declare the world’s “knowledge” to be false – even if it speaks of something that actually exists – because its “realities” are not enduring. When one is seeking eternal life, the world’s answers to life are, at best, incomplete.
The academic mindset – possessed by those who believe that they “think” when they’re merely collecting others’ thoughts – are, in the main, trapped into comparing all new ideas with this “idol” of their school experience. They are forever unable to think outside that box, even when it produces failure – for they are hypnotized by that experience into believing the comments of certain “categories” of people – rather than evaluating an idea on its own merits.
Viewing the Born Again experience through this new prism, the Word becomes the focal point. You read it, and when you get to a point where you’re stymied, you ask YHWH Adonai, in the name of Jesus, for the holy spirit to make clear what you are reviewing. This places one’s spirit at the head, with the intellect assuming its proper role as “servant”.
Some might say, “You could believe anything by that approach. What are you using as evidence?”
Faith does require action first. But when that faith is applied to a real dynamic, the evidence comes to light in the course of its application. The reality of God is evident, but he requires that we have a hunger for his reality and invest our lives and our thoughts into his word as the initial step.
May 19, 2015
Do you desire more than just an intellectual and physical existence?
Some would say, “That’s all there is.” But that’s sidestepping the question:
Do you *want* more than an intellectual and physical existence?
This mental and physical world is too bland and monochromatic to satisfy the human will.
Life is fueled by our passions for those things that let us see – and move – beyond present-moment obstacles and limitations.
To “rule-out” spiritual considerations is to rule-out life. There would be no reason for living if all it offered was for us to merely manage the objects and people we find before us until we expire.
We “know” we’re designed for more than this, though not consciously. We feel it. We can sense that something isn’t quite right with the temporaryness and limitation of life. That area of awareness is “spiritual”. It will never be physically proven because it’s not physical. There will always be an inner conflict when we deny its existence because it’s always there.
Until we’re willing to factor in “spiritual energy” as a component of life, we will be repelling a living part of ourselves that can never be satisfied by this dead existence.