Athiest Claims to See Hell

Can a changed life provide evidence that
a proported event has happened?

In the case below, this college professor on his death-bed experiences some of the pains of what he says was hell.  The change in his life shows that SOMETHING happened. What would a scientist say to these claims? How would the scientist explain this experience?

Part One

Part Two

It’s science week. How do we approach this from a scientific perspective? A scientist sets up the observation. Looks at the evidence. Considers the laws at work, and looks for the best explanation. Then the scientist tests their theory.

Looking at the Evidence

We have watched the videos. The man says he was an athiest. He got sick and died/almost died. During this time he had a horrifying experience which he called hell. His experience in “hell” changed when he called out,

“Jesus, please help me!”  

Then positive things happened, resulting in his coming back to this life and being healed by the doctors.

Considering the Laws at Work
& Looking for the Best Explanation

This is an issue in the mental-psychological realm

Either he saw something. (Truth-teller)

Or thought he saw something. (Self-deceived/delusional)

Or did not see anything, but said he saw something. (Liar)

From the change in his life we can probably rule out the Liar option, since many years passed between the experience and the recording, yet he did not change his story. It appears he obviously believes in his own story. So either he is delusional or telling the truth.

How can science help us know if he is telling the truth or not? Do we need to determine our boundaries?

Reductive Naturalism

…would say that the answer has to lie in the physical world. It could not be true that he experienced something in the supernatural. It was in his mind, and something he saw flipped his view of reality. So he would be delusional, somehow. They would run a battery of tests to find out what kind of psychological problems he has. Simple.

A Theistic Explanation

…would not automatically reduce the possibilities to physical world, so the option of super-nature is still on the table. He might have seen something, and that something might be supernatural.

Testing the Theory

How can we test if he is telling the truth about what he said?

We could test for delusional psychology. Test how he interacts outside of this recording. Is his lifestyle consistent with his profession of faith in God? (Or does he speak on contrary topics elsewhere, for example). We’d need to check his life. To see if he is a habitual liar, or if his actions reflect someone who is not in touch with reality.

If his lifestyle is consistent with his profession of faith in God, we could test if he speaks in accordance with theistic laws.

When I listened to him, I was keenly aware of each point he said, and compared it with what the Bible says. Why the Bible? Because through other reasoning I have come to the confidence in the reliability of the Bible in matters of supernature.

I measured his words against the Bible. It didn’t seem to contradict…

It seems simplistic, because by the same measure we would also have to say that those who see aliens could possibly be telling the truth. And those who are in non-Christian religions who have similar experiences have to be taken at face-value.

I am prepared to consider their cases in the same way. And in the same way, I would measure their words against the Bible’s presentation of the supernatural/natural world connection.

Case in point–

 “The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven”

This best seller about a boy who “saw heaven” had a lot of rubbish, inaccurate according to the Bible. It came out later that the boy and his father were lying. The boy fessed up, but the father keeps reaping the royalties.

Afterlife Travelogues

Unfortunately, the “afterlife travelogue” presented above is firstly questionable because it has dangerous implications. If we believe he went to actual hell, he would be disproving the existence of hell.

What I mean is, we understand hell, and the power of the name of Jesus, from Scripture.

The Bible says,“man is destined to die once and after that to face judgment.” Heb 9:27

If his experience was actually hell,
one man’s experience would be disproving the book of Hebrews.

And if he disproves Hebrews, all of Scripture is suspect. And if Scripture is suspect, his being saved by the name of Jesus is suspect. Meaning that if he were actually in the hell Christ spoke of, he was not where he thought he was, and he could not have been rescued by the one he thought rescued him. It’s self-contradicting.

Experience must bow to Scripture. If your experience tells you something contrary to the Bible, your INTERPRETATION of your experience is wrong.

It [the afterlife-story phenomena] is not harmless. It denigrates the authority and sufficiency of Scripture. It confounds faith with superstition. It subtly elevates human experience to a higher level than the Word of God. It purports to reveal things about God and the heavenly realm that are not taught in Scripture. And it repeatedly insinuates that the testimony of someone who has been mystically enlightened can be a more effective stimulant to faith than Scripture alone…

Thus says John MacArthur. He continues…

This is just one example of a large and growing subgenre of afterlife travelogues popular today—a genre that includes at least two mega-best-selling titles from evangelical publishers. The authors of these stories—and evi­dently millions of readers as well—regard these testimonies as authori­tative, reliable, and full of superior insights that can take readers to a higher level of understanding and enlightenment beyond what we can get from the Bible.

In other words, all of these books take a similarly protognostic stance on heaven and the afterlife. All of them are dan­gerous and misleading. That includes the ones that seem fairly benign as well as the ones that are clearly steeped in occult superstition. All of them stand as reminders to us that Scripture and Scripture alone is the only safe place for Christians to learn anything about the immortality of human souls, what happens to a person after death, what heaven is like, what awaits the unrighteous in hell, and what we can expect in the judgment to come.

Conclusions

So my final conclusion (after testing his life/mental state) might be that he saw something. Maybe a dream or something dream-like. But he did see something.

But he did not go to hell.

Because his life changed drastically, 180*, I know a frightening experience happened to him. He had a supernatural, near-death experience that shook his foundations. But according to Scripture, he did not die and he did not go to hell. He got a chance to make things right. Good for him.

Comments: What do you think?

Hollow and Deceptive American Way

superman3 Hollow and Deceptive American Way

June 4, 2013 at 12:13am

by Darlene N. Bocek

I have lived in Turkey for more than a fifteen years, and just get back to America every-so-often. Because of this, I get a sampling of the changes that other Americans are experiencing even more slowly. For me, the changes are sharp, because I wasn’t a part of the whole societal change.  For people living in America, the changes might not be as noticeable.

I have noticed a general pattern of the church giving way to the world, bending to these ideas, and forsaking Biblical Christianity.

firecracker-801902_1920Here are the principles of this world to beware of:

Moral Relativism

The belief system that claims that individuals determine personal morals and there is no absolute morality to refer to.  A particular culture, social location, or political climate dictates what is moral about a certain situation. “It may be wrong for you, but it’s right for me.” This belief is inconsistent with Biblical Christianity.  It is also illogical.  God is the definition of morality, The Bible is the revealed plumbline.

Narcissistic Hedonism

In this belief system, pleasing oneself is the highest pursuit, and personal fulfillment takes priority over any other standard of life.  “I did it my way.” This belief is inconsistent with Biblical Christianity. Pleasing God and enjoying Him is the highest pursuit.

Autonomous Individualism

“I can do what I want.” This is belief system that considers the individual the ultimate authority. “There is no objective truth or value before which one’s will, one’s liberty, must yield in obedience.” This belief is inconsistent withBiblical Christianity. God is the only one worthy of worship, He is the Truth to whom we submit.

Reductive Naturalism

“Prove it.” Only those things that can be proven empirically, through experience or science, are true. Knowledge is limited to the natural world, and if it cannot be put to a scientific test to be proven or disproven, it cannot exist or be true.  This belief is inconsistent with Biblical Christianity.  Without faith it is impossible to please God, and God is spirit, by definition not bound to empirical proofs.


The four philosophical approaches to life listed above reflect the American way of life. None of them are based on Scriptural teaching, and a person cannot reasonably believe in both Biblical Christianity and any of those ideologies.

Biblical Christianity

Who is God?  A Creator-God made the world, for His own glory.  “God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal and unchangeable in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.”  He is the source of truth, goodness, and right.

What is Man? 

The purpose of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Man’s sinfulness, which is abhorrent to God, separates all sinners eternally from Him, and leads them to hate God and hate the righteousness he represents. (See this passage).  All people are called to repentance, but only some people are effectively called to be children of God.  The blood of Christ is the means by which these people are forgiven of their sins, justified by their faith in that sacrifice.

How We Know Right from Wrong

While general revelation both in nature and in conscience reveals to mankind that there is a God, it is insufficient to relay details of this salvation.  These details can be found only and exclusively through God’s written Word in The Bible.  All of those whose sins have been forgiven by faith in the blood of Christ will produce fruit of godliness that proves their faith.

While the Bible does not teach them, it refers to the general overview of them all, as referred to in Judges 17 and 21:  “And everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”  The context of these verses show consequences due to divine displeasure at those who follow their own dictates instead of the ones God has revealed to man.

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.” Colossians 2:8

ACTION POINT: Do you object to my criticism of any of these ideas? Do you have examples of how you’ve seen them? Please share your ideas with other readers by COMMENTING below…