“When a neurosurgeon found himself in a coma, he experienced things he never thought possible—a journey to the afterlife,” reads the essay. Newsweek/DailyBeast shares this doctor’s story as the main cover feature on its latest issue. The man, a Christian and a neurosurgeon, relates his near-death experience and how it changed his outlook. In one part of the essay, he says he encountered a woman during this experience, in a place presumed to be heaven, who told him, “There is nothing you can do wrong” — which became a point of contention for some Christian readers.
The doctor, Eben Alexander, writes:
Without using any words, she spoke to me. The message went through me like a wind, and I instantly understood that it was true. I knew so in the same way that I knew that the world around us was real—was not some fantasy, passing and insubstantial.
The message had three parts, and if I had to translate them into earthly language, I’d say they ran something like this:
“You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever.”
“You have nothing to fear.”
“There is nothing you can do wrong.”
The message flooded me with a vast and crazy sensation of relief. It was like being handed the rules to a game I’d been playing all my life without ever fully understanding it.
“We will show you many things here,” the woman said, again, without actually using these words but by driving their conceptual essence directly into me. “But eventually, you will go back.”
There are many reactions to the essay, with at least on atheist saying the doctor’s story leaves him open to the possibility that there is life after death.
There were a couple of other commenters, however, who stood out for their skepticism of what they believe the doctor may be relating to readers, perhaps unwittingly:
ScottRoy – “Dr. Alexander mentions what lay at the heart of his journey and the woman that accompanied him said (along with other things), “that you can do no wrong”. He also said something about getting the rules to life. We have been given the rules and we have rejected them. Who can say, ” I have cleansed my hear; I am pure and free from sin”? No one, for all have sinned. God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful we are. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. Jesus did not die because we can do no wrong but because we are sinners.”
SmartLawyer – “Do not be deceived as this well meaning doctor was. Nothing in his experience conforms with scriptural authority. “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light” 2 cor. 11:14. What the good doctor experienced may have been “spiritual”, but it wasn’t benign and it wasn’t of God. Note how the doctor claims that his journey was “the same thing that Einstein and Jesus spoke of”, yet he fails to give any examples. So let me: in the story of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19), Jesus himself confirms that there is no crossing over from the spiritual realm back to this one to “warn” or “enlighten” anyone. Furthermore, the “teaching” that the doctor received that ” you can do no wrong” is in direct and explicit contradiction to the entire Bible, which is in essence a story of God’s redemption of man from sin. Of course we can do wrong, and the penalty for this wrong -sin- is death. God gave us the remedy for this by giving his only son Jesus as a sacrifice for sin so that no one may perish. If, as the doctor alleges, “you can do no wrong”, then why did Jesus go to the cross? Why was it necessary for him to suffer, if not for our sins? The message being conveyed here is a deception put forth for the purpose of putting the salvation at risk of whoever hears it. We all don’t just “go to heaven”. Some people go to hell, and that hell is a real place. We can do wrong, and we do so everyday. We need to repent, accept Gods free offer of salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ, and then feel safe and secure in our salvation, which is by grace through faith in Jesus alone. Do not be misled. Read the bible yourself. Romans 10:9, say it with me:”if you declare with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Don’t make the same mistake this doctor has! Test all things!”
- Newsweek panders to the deluded again (freethoughtblogs.com)
- Heaven is Real, Says Magazine That Doesn’t Employ Fact-Checkers (patheos.com)