do near death experiences of other religions exist?

Discussion in 'Christianity & Other Religions' started by questdriven, Nov 22, 2015.

  1. questdriven

    questdriven resident geek Staff Member Moderator

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    From what I've seen not everyone considers NDEs valid, I've heard things such as some of them contradict each other, etc.
    So it occurred to me to ask...do NDEs involving other religions exist? I mean, I've heard of some where people converted to Christianity. But what I mean is, do NDEs exist where people of another religion experience what that religion teaches, and/or where people convert to another religion as a result of a NDE?
     
  2. Christ_empowered

    Christ_empowered Member

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  3. KevinK

    KevinK Member

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    I've studied a lot of NDEs, having had an OBE myself. I can give you my impressions, but can't claim complete objectivity as I am pretty biased towards Christianity (i.e. I'm less likely to study the ones that contradict Christianity).

    Yes, there are NDEs that seem to support other religions. However, most of the ones I've seen point towards Christianity, and away from these alternate belief systems. Now, again maybe that's because of my inherent bias, but that's what I have to report. As an example, an NDE from a former Buddhist monk showed the historical Buddha to be suffering in Hell (he was an atheist, though not all Buddhists are).

    I haven't personally read of any actual conversion away from Chistianity (and many towards), but again I'm sure they exist and this is a reflection of my study bias.

    Actually, the greatest major contradiction I've seen has to do with differing cosmological views: the traditional, somewhat judgmental Biblical universe vs. the non-judgmental "New Age" universe. Typical in the New Age NDEs is stressing learning over judgmentalism, the absence of Hell altogether, the existence of reincarnation, and a kind, gentle Jesus. The personality difference with Jesus is especially striking- in more traditional NDEs (called "visions" in the past) Jesus is loving but stern and righteous. The New Age NDE has a non-judgmental "life review", and the possiblity of trying it again; the traditional NDE has a singular judgment and disposition, and only two possible destinations (Purgatory does not seem to exist).

    A theory exists that the entire New Age universe is a deliberate deception of Satan himself. If so, it is a very complex and sophisticated illusion, and the most masterful lie ever to be imposed on Mankind. It would take a full effort by the Master Deceiver himself to pull off something this big.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2015
  4. smaller

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    Yes, people of other religions or even atheists have NDE's. And they usually see things that relate to their own understandings. They almost ALL, to the person, invariably return with a quest to love. I would say this is the commonality factor of the majority. Not all, but most.

    I had 2 NDE's as a child, lifted out of my body, because of near death sickness, looking down at my clay container. I knew that I could fly away, and never return. So I seem to relate well to people that have had them. I had one as an adult, brought on by severe stresses, financial and heavy hard labor, working, nonstop 20 hours a day, 7 days a week, for a long period of time, everything going backwards and down the toilet so to speak, so much so that I cried in the deepest darkness of despair beyond all imaginations, beyond all hope, because I not only felt, but was in fact cursed by God, after I was born again, I thought wrongly, without cause, but I was, deeply cursed to despair, much as Job may have felt, and was again, lifted out and up, cleaned, relieved, refreshed, and then put back into this vile flesh covering. And God in Christ then took me THROUGH the problems and they were ALL resolved, beyond what I could have ever imagined. I will speak as Job did, from this body of dust and ashes, knowing it for what it is, deserving of what I did experience, which was not prior apparent to me. Ref. Rev. 12:16

    And I admit that these experiences, particularly the last one, dramatically changed the way I read the scriptures, with an entire BENT to His LOVE, because I drank, deeply at His Well of LIFE, in Christ. And I hate my container and restrainer, and will purposefully bust it open at every opportunity, that He may bring His Flood ever deeper upon me, which is HIS GLORIOUS ETERNAL MERCY in Christ Jesus.
     
  5. JohnDB

    JohnDB Staff Member Moderator

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    I know what my Grandfather said on his deathbed... That it was beautiful beyond words.... And he knew a lot of them.
     
  6. Christ_empowered

    Christ_empowered Member

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    I had hallucinations that I was dying and going to Hell before I was hospitalized and given (heavy, involuntary) shock at age 23. Basically, I had these visions...that Satan had fooled me, ruined my life, and now he was moving for the kill. Terrifying. Apparently, while I was in the hospital, I had the same hallucinations.

    On the plus side...I survived the hospital (miracle) and made moves towards Christ, as best I could, once I got back home.
     
  7. questdriven

    questdriven resident geek Staff Member Moderator

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    That reminds me...
    My dad had some experiences while in the hospital, early on in the first couple (or few) years of his disability. He says he saw Satan. One time he says he saw an angel that was about to take him to heaven but he said he didn't want to go yet and the angel left.
    Whenever I talked to him about it he told me he thinks it was all just hallucinations because he was taking so many medications at the time.
     
  8. Christ_empowered

    Christ_empowered Member

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    I think a lot of "mental illness" has a strong spiritual component.
     
  9. smaller

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    As believers we are to employ spiritual defense weapons, assuredly. Eph 6 is well advised to all who believe.
     
  10. smaller

    smaller Member

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    I have a very large family. A lot of elderly. A lot of deaths. MANY had spiritual accounts of various natures prior to their deaths. Some on meds. Many, not. There are more accounts that never met print, than do.
     
  11. Malachi

    Malachi Member

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    You are absolutely right. All issues are ultimately spiritual issues, or affected by the invisible spirit realm. Secularism does not have the answers.
     
  12. Christ_empowered

    Christ_empowered Member

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    Back to the original question...have any of you heard of a NDE that involved a false religion? An older friend of mine, her grand daughter OD'd and thought she heard her (deceased) grandfather calling her to come to him. I think that was Satanic, personally.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016
  13. turnorburn

    turnorburn Member

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    That's what's known as a familiar spirit "an evil spirit impersonating someone" its definitely satanic..

    Isaiah 8:19 And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?
     
  14. AGustOfWind

    AGustOfWind Member

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    Is it possible? Yes.
    Is it of God? Debateable, overly so.

    Now, when calling something "Satanic" you need to figure out what actually defines something as satanic, pastors and preachers have called Pokemon "satanic" before.

    A thing to note is that, maybe God is using these out of body experiences to open a person's mind to spirituality, and make it so when the time comes for them to come to God (if they do at all) it'll be easier (not sure if I worded that very well, but I digress...)

    Lastly, what is "false"?
    Define "false" in this context.
     
  15. Angel

    Angel Member

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    Agreed.
     
  16. KevinK

    KevinK Member

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    Not to derail, but honest question: how open to discussing NDEs are any of the forum members here? I notice they really aren't mentioned very much here. Are they considered an annoyance, or worse? I've avoided bringing them up, but mainly because no-one else seems to. I've no burning desire to, but could in some depth given the number I've studied. Don't wish to go against the grain, however.
     
  17. turnorburn

    turnorburn Member

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  18. KevinK

    KevinK Member

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    Ahh, yes thank you. I've actually read most of those, but a long time ago already. Probably worth skimming through again. Yes, some of those will get you thinking.
     
  19. turnorburn

    turnorburn Member

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    Yes Kevin there are some testimonies from some well knowns "Voltaire" was one.. died without knowing Jesus and his exit from this life was.. well.. you'd have to read it...
     
  20. Runner

    Runner Member

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    I can say on the basis of extensive personal experience with IANDS (International Association for Near Death Studies), the "NDE community" is as unwelcoming toward Christians as many hardline Christian communities tend to be toward NDE experiencers. The hardline Christian communities tend to put NDEs in the "Satanic deception" category (or at least the "to be feared" category) - which, after studying them for more than 30 years, I believe is utter nonsense. Thanks to some of the early NDE researchers, notably Ken Ring, the NDE community very early veered off in a distinctly New Age direction, and thus the "judgmental" aspect of Christianity sticks in their craw in a big way. At least when I was active, IANDS was little more than a New Age cult. They were infinitely more accepting of Buddhism.

    The fact is, as I'm sure you know, NDEs are all over the map in terms of content. Virtually all of the elaborate, content-laden ones - definitely including the explicitly "Christian" ones - are highly suspect; I attach no value to any of them in terms of theological content. The primary value of NDEs, as I see it, is that (1) they may well be evidence for the survival of consciousness after bodily death (which Christians already believe, but confirming evidence is always nice); (2) the core phenomenon as described by Raymond Moody and others meshes almost unbelievably well with Christian theology even if it isn't explicitly Christian; and (3) NDEs do almost always have a transforming effect on the experiencer (not always a positive one, but often there is a heightened spirituality).

    To me, the most convincing argument for NDEs being something truly out of the ordinary is the consistent appearance of deceased friends and relatives. Often these are remote friends and relatives, not at all the people a dying brain might have been expected to invent. Sometimes the experiencer didn't even know the individual had died. I myself have had a number of After Death Communications from friends and relatives, and they were in this same vein - i.e., not who I necessarily would have "expected" to communicate. To anyone who has had an NDE or After Death Communication, or even who has studied them extensively, the notion that these are evil spirits masquerading as deceased friends and relatives is simply silly. (On the other hand, inviting spirits into one's life through Ouija boards, séances and whatnot may indeed open doors you don't want to open.)

    In short, in my opinion the hostility toward NDEs within many Christian communities is based largely on ignorance of the phenomenon and the general fear of anything and everything that might be described as paranormal. The hostility toward Christianity within much of the NDE community is a reflection of the overall hostility toward Christianity within our society and the desire to preserve the NDE community as a safe haven for New Age beliefs; I find this very odd because, as I have said, the core phenomenon seems to me to mesh nicely with Christianity.

    You probably know that Dr. Michael Sabom, one of the early researchers (the famed Pam Reynolds case was "his"), is a fundamentalist Christian. He seemed to struggle with the importance and convincing nature of the scientific work he was doing versus his hardline beliefs. At the end of one of his books, as I recall, he felt obligated to include the standard disclaimer about "testing the spirits." If someone in the midst of a genuine Near Death Experience who was greeted by overwhelming feelings of love and comfort from her deceased grandmother felt the necessity to "test the spirit," I would find this quite bizarre.

    One problem with NDEs is that the term has come to embrace many situations in which the experiencer was not near death at all. She simply experienced something that was "NDE-like," and the NDE community seems to accept these people pretty uncritically. Here, I'd be concerned about (1) possible mental illness, or (2) an affirmative attempt to induce the experience, which might actually invite spirits you don't want to meet. Alas, Raymond Moody has somewhat gone this route with his promotion of the use of a psychomanteum to induce contact.
     

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