The Watering Hole, Monday, April 14th, 2014: For Reals?

“Believe it or Not: ‘Heaven is for Real’ a Community Conversation-Starter.” This intriguing headline in the local Southeast-Brewster Patch e-newspaper caught my eye yesterday. (I’ll get back to that later.) Until I read the article, I was unaware of both the book, and now a movie, based on a supposedly true story relating a young boy’s experience during emergency surgery. The boy just happens to be the son of a pastor.

[DISCLAIMER: My mind’s personal jury is still out on the issue of near-death experiences and the like. There’s so much uncharted territory in the human brain, there could be a section that might be labeled “Here there be visions.”]

From an article in the Christian Post:

Heaven Is For Real opens in theaters on April 16 and tells the story of the Burpo family, whose son Colton experienced a vision where he traveled to heaven and met Jesus when he was just 4 years old. [Wait – he met Jesus when Jesus was 4 years old? Damn, I wish people knew how to write clearly!]

The details Colton shared with his father about heaven include the fact that people do not age there. Todd Burpo decided to break this down from a theological standpoint.

“Adam and Eve were created to never die and once they sinned the punishment for sin was death so they started aging,” he explained. “We know in heaven there is no sin [we DO?] so if you go to a place where there is no sin, why would the consequence of sin be there?”

If you scroll down past the crap-ads, there’s a video and other related links (if you’re interested.) Fun comments after the article, too. For instance:

ArmoftheLORD 3:45 PM on April 11, 2014
If you want to learn about heaven or Noah learn how to read the bible for your sake. The bible interprets itself and therefore not subject to anyones subjective flight of fantasy. Jesus does not ride a rainbow horse.”

Tammy Roesch 7:46 AM on April 12, 2014
ArmoftheLORD – Excellent post! This story is so contrary to the Bible….but sadly….many people fall for the unbiblical things it teaches, because that is what they want to believe…rather than studying the Bible for themselves and finding out the truth….

ArmoftheLORD 10:21 AM on April 10, 2014
garbage in garbage out. The bible is the final authority on the life after life afterlife not Tod Burpo

Bob Wierdsma (Moderator) 6:08 PM on April 10, 2014
ArmoftheLORD – Of course. But Jesus still is the way which Todd confirmed

[“Of course.” Really? Amazing how they’re so SURE of their “facts.”]

From Wikipedia regarding the original book, “Colton also claimed that he personally met Jesus riding a rainbow-colored horse and sat in Jesus’ lap, while the angels sang songs to him. He also says he saw Mary kneeling before the throne of God and at other times standing beside Jesus.” Wiki mentions a bit more in their section about the upcoming film: “He talked about looking down to see the doctor operating and his dad praying in the waiting room. The family didn’t know what to believe. In Heaven, Colton says he met his miscarried sister whom no one had ever told him about and his great-grandfather who died 30 years before Colton was born. He shared supposedly impossible-to-know details about each. Colton went on to describe the horse that only Jesus could ride, about how “reaaally big” God and His chair are, and how the Holy Spirit “shoots down power” from heaven to help people.”

Now back to the Southeast-Brewster Patch:

“[The movie] tells the story of Burpo’s son, Colton, who said he left his body during an emergency appendectomy around age 4 and visited Heaven. His parents, Todd and Sonja, believed the story after Colton described details about his great-grandfather and miscarried sister about whom he didn’t know…

Besides meeting family members who had passed, talking with angels and seeing Jesus ride a multicolored horse, Colton shared this about the community in Heaven:

“It’s a lot like Earth in many ways, but everybody there would help you out just because they wanted to help you out and not because of their own interests,” he said. “So that’s a pretty good community.”

My favorite comment after this article, with all of its misspellings, etc.:

Joe Rubalcava April 13, 2014 at 04:59 PM

“J Michael you do not understand God word very well. I Not trying to be critical just want to enlighten you and some of the orthers. God created every one, but all are not his children. To be a child of God in the old Testament you had to except God by faith. Since Jesus Christ in the new Testament, you must except Jesus Christ as you Lord and Savior, to be come a child of God, just not his creation. The only way to have the Holy Spirit with in you , is to except Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, read John 17 : 6 – 8 1 Corinthians 2: 9- 16 the Holy Spirit is your helper to gives you the knowledge of God word. With out the Holy Spirit in you, yo can read the Bible but you will not get much of any true understanding of what you read. Michael you were right when you said God has unconditional love of everyone all the way to you death bed, but if you do not except his free gift to except him as you Lord an savior and die in that state he will not except you at that point and you will suffer eternal separation from him. Those who did except his free gift and excepted him as Lord and savior will have everlasting life with him. God said he hopes no one would parish, and that why he gives you all the way until right before you death to except him, but he will not force anyone to except him, he give you the free will to do it or not, and if you don’t you will not at that point be excepted by him. You made a comment that God does’ t need a middleman, and your right, but he does use them. The Holy Spirit to teach you and give you understanding if you ask him, once you have excepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and earthly men as pastors and priest and just some ordinary every day people who believe in God, to keep reminding you why you need to turn to God and except Jesus Christ. I hope this might be able to give some clarity to what some may not understand about God’s ways and word.”

(In an aside: On the sidebar on The Christian Post website, I discovered that there is an annual “State of the Bible Survey” – who knew? I have no idea who The American Bible Society spoke to in their latest “State of the Bible Survey”, but one ‘statistic’, if accurate, could be scary: “56% of America remains Pro-Bible.* *People who believe the Bible is the actual or inspired Word of God with no errors.”)

This is our daily open thread–what’s on YOUR mind?

52 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Monday, April 14th, 2014: For Reals?

  1. “To be a child of God in the old Testament you had to except God by faith.”

    Humorous typo aside, technically speaking, the only “children of God” in the OT are those born into one of the 12 tribes. Everyone else is going to hell because they did not have the foresight to be born into the correct (heaven-bound) bloodline. By the text.

    And I have yet to have explained to me how this God can have “unconditional” love, yet place a long (LONG) list of conditions on that love…. doesn’t a single condition (say, a demand for reciprocation) immediately end any concept of “unconditional”? Is there a differing definition of “unconditional” that I am unaware of?

    • ~”Humorous typo aside, technically speaking, the only “children of God” in the OT are those born into one of the 12 tribes. Everyone else is going to hell because they did not have the foresight to be born into the correct (heaven-bound) bloodline.”~

      but…but…but that was the OLD Testament, baby JESUS trumps everything!..

      • ….everything except the ten commandments (which are SO old testament)… oh, and any other parts of the OT that appeal to the (below) average modern xtian.

        And didn’t baby J say soemthing to the effect of, “I ain’t here to make new law, I’m livin’ out the same old law of god, I’m just interpreting it a little saner than the rest of you nitwits…” or something like that. Actually, what is printed in the new testament on that is a bit of confusing doublespeak, but whatcha gonna do?

      • I plead biblical ignorance (and take pride in said plea), but from somewhere deep down in the dregs of whatever, a couple of Qs pops up from deep within the fog: does the OT mention Heaven? Is heaven available to people of the Jewish faith?

        Far as the concept of Heaven is concerned, near as I can tell it’s the place where each and all the hyper-Christer assholes figure they’ll end up. If it should happen that somehow I wind up in that particular heaven and have to spend eternity with them, go ahead and rename ‘heaven’ as HELL.

        • From my own understanding, Christians and Jews have very different ideas of what Heaven is.

          You know about the Christian version of Heaven, the one where the streets are paved with gold, because back in those days no one had heard of platinum.

          Jews look toward the day when there will be “Heaven on Earth,” which basically means we all live together in Peace and Harmony. It’s not some afterlife where you’ll meet up with your loved ones, who may or may not still lack the body parts you remember them missing.

          • Yeah, thanks, I think that’s what I was reaching for, that concept of “Heaven on Earth.” For some reason, that’s something which is completely alien to far too many whose embedded hatreds disallow any form of graciousness, or of caring for the fate of others. As the Kansas gunman said yesterday after shooting up that pair of Jewish facilities south of Kansas City, “Heil Hitler.”

      • Yes. The chrisitians, by virtue of the requirement: “accept Jesus as the son of god as the only way to get to heaven”. A Jew is, obviously, not a christian. Therefore Jews cannot get to christian heaven and are doomed to eternity in chrisitan hell, chillin’ with Satan, as it were, becasue they are Jews. The point that the OT makes sucha bru-ha-ha over the 12 tribes and all that is just “stuff to ignore” (basically, as I was taught in catholic concentration camp many years ago).

  2. “It’s a lot like Earth in many ways, but everybody there would help you out just because they wanted to help you out and not because of their own interests,” he said. “So that’s a pretty good community.”

    What?? Help others?? Just because helping others is good?? WOW!! Stated another way, there clearly are NO REPUBLICANS IN HEAVEN! But I think I already pretty much knew that.

    That whole pile of nonsensical Burpo-crapola (sounds about right) reminds me of a line oft-spoken by a non-theist college buddy some fifty-plus years ago: “If only we could figure out how to get rid of FAITH, the world automatically become a far better place.” I have yet to find a single rational argument against that proposition, and sincerely doubt that one exists.

  3. Tin Cup must have been his favorite movie…

    Bubba Watson celebrated Masters win at Waffle House

    After winning his second green jacket at the Masters on Sunday, Bubba Watson held a celebratory dinner suitable for a guy who goes by the nickname Bubba.

    He went to a Waffle House.

    “A small-town guy named Bubba has two green jackets,” he told reporters after winning Sunday. “It’s pretty wild.”

    • Until just now I’d never even heard of Bubba Watson. I have heard of (and never cared for either or) the Masters and ‘green jackets’ before, but add “Bubba” to that and . . . well, suffice to say it’s no wonder that golf has zero appeal.

    • Happy Gilmore taught me about that green jacket. Absolutley the best Adam Sandler movie by far (in my opinion). Otherwise I wouldn’t have a clue.

      Might I say that I respect Mr. Bubba for sticking to what he likes, not some pretentious show (mind you, for all I know the guy’s a jerk otherwise…).

      • Tin Cup wasn’t about The Masters, but the US Open. The common thread between the movie and Bubba Watson is the Waffle House.

  4. “At least 71 people were killed when an explosion ripped through a crowded bus station. Officials blamed the militant Islamist group Boko Haram.”

    Geeze, that’s enough to make you turn a whiter shade of pale.

  5. CBO: Obamacare will have lower premiums, insure more, and cost government less than projected

    That whole “Obamacare is doomed to fail” line from Republicans is getting harder and harder to defend by the day. A new report from the Congressional Budget Office makes their protestations sound even more ridiculous. The top line finding:

    Relative to their previous projections made in February 2014, CBO and JCT now estimate that the ACA’s coverage provisions will result in lower net costs to the federal government: The agencies currently project a net cost of $36 billion for 2014, $5 billion less than the previous projection for the year; and $1,383 billion for the 2015–2024 period, $104 billion less than the previous projections.

    Run on Obamacare and corporate accountability, (no underinsured disasters), and the Republicans won’t know what hit them. And after it hits them, they still won’t know, because they’re Republicans!

  6. ArmoftheLord? Seriously? Can I log in as DickO’TheLord?
    Gotsta wonder if four year old Jesus threw major tantrums…

    • I would say that: yes, the guy thinks he’s serious; sure you could log in as such, and they would swiftly and forcefully remove you from their site, and send in virtual nanobot custodians to scrub the parts of thier intertubes that you trod upon, followed by a special video of your avatar being stoned to death by an angry (but somehow loving) mob, telling themselves that they are stoning the sin and not the sinner (kind of like beating the devil out of someone, I suppose)…. o.k., maybe they wouldn’t go all that far…..

      Speaking theologically (for which I am ill-suited and little informed — but I sure THINK I know something…. :)….), 4 year old Jesus would certainly have thrown tantrums, just as any other 4 year old.

      Within the mythology itself is the absolute requirement and specification that he was human — not superhuman, not human plus… plain old human (fully actualized, though). This was necessary so that he could be an example (how can he be an actual example to live by and strive to be if you can never be like him because he wasn’t human?). It was stated as plainly as could be stated. Therefore within the mythology he had to become human, and there are nuances that indicate this or indicate that we was a “really-real human” throughout the mythology to support this (such as the doubt at the end on the cross because to fit the plot he had to be human — if he had no doubt then he could not have faith, etc.).

      And human children throw tantrums of some kind at some point in that early childhood. Or so I assume.

      • I agree. As a child I argued that Jesus did in fact sin, because he ditched his folks and went off to argue in the temple when he was 12. They were worried and looked for him everywhere until they finally found him. My parents sure would have called that a sin.

  7. Get your popcorn…

    Wisconsin Republicans will vote next month on whether they support allowing the state to secede from the United States of America.

    Wouldn’t that pretty much end Scott Walker running for president? Yeah, there is an upside.

    • Wouldn’t they be totally surrounded by the country they seceded from? The Independent City State of Wisconsin?

      I’ll bet there’s a guy in a “patriot” costume somewhere in Wisconsisn with a sign that reads similar to: “Wisconsin must secede! And Keep your hands off my medicare!”

    • Courtesy of TS Eliot just short of 100 years ago, the most able “voice” of today’s GOP ever written:

      We are the hollow men
      We are the stuffed men
      Leaning together
      Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
      Our dried voices, when
      We whisper together
      Are quiet and meaningless
      As wind in dry grass
      Or rats’ feet over broken glass
      In our dry cellar.

      How’d Eliot know?

  8. It’s clearly Springtime in the Rockies. Saturday it was in the seventies here, this morning there was close to a foot of snow with temp in the twenties. Tomorrow, the sixties are on tap, more snow likely in a couple of days, then back come the seventies until the gods get pissed again.

    Maybe it’s just me and old age, but I’m thinking weather patterns are getting screwier with every passing year. Good thing, though. Inhofe says snow and cold proves there’s no such thing as human caused climate change.


  9. House, now I see what your statement meant:

    Pastor Hagee: ‘Blood Moon’ Eclipse On Tuesday Means End Of The World By 2015

    I’m always curious why they pull a time frame out of their as*.
    Why wouldn’t the world end at the very time of the ‘Blood Moon’?

  10. Taxes are due tomorrow, but the IRS is overdue on its Windows XP upgrades. Even though Microsoft ended support for XP last week, about 53 percent of the agency’s 110,000 Windows-based computers are still running the outdated operating system.

    The IRS will have to pay Microsoft so its computers can continue receiving security patches until they can be upgraded. By some estimates, this will cost the IRS $11.6 million per year. Investigate that, Issa.

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