Bible literalists reject the near-death experience because
it does not agree with their literal interpretation of the
Bible. Concepts found in NDEs, such as
humanity of Jesus,
the temporary nature of hell,
are contradictions to the Bible literalists' interpretation
of the Bible, despite the fact that
these doctrines were orthodox
Christian doctrines before the organized Church was even
formed. However, this
website affirms again and again that these NDE concepts
actually do agree with the Bible, but only in a more deeper
and spiritual interpretation of it. The following information
is my own personal opinion about Bible literalism. Having
been a Bible literalist for many years, I feel I am qualified
to describe the very serious problems with having a Bible
Rev. Howard Storm's NDE,
he was able to ask Jesus and his guides questions about
the Bible. Here the excerpt:
the review was finished they asked: "Do
you want to ask any questions?" and I had
a million questions. I asked, for example, "What
about the Bible?"
responded: "What about it?"
if it was true, and they said it was. Asking
them why it was that when I tried to read it,
all I saw were contradictions, they took me
back to my life's review again something that
I had overlooked.
showed me, for the few times I had opened the
Bible, that I had read it with the idea of finding
contradictions and problems. I was trying to
prove to myself that it wasn't worth reading.
to them that the Bible wasn't clear to me. It
didn't make sense. They told me that it contained
spiritual truth, and that I had to read it spiritually
in order to understand it. It should be read
prayerfully. My friends informed me that it
was not like other books. They also told me,
and I later found out this was true, that when
you read it prayerfully, it talks to you. It
reveals itself to you. And you don't have to
work at it anymore.
Rev. Howard Storm's
revelation about the Bible is certainly amazing. It reveals
Bible is a book that is true and worthy of belief.
This is not to say that a literal interpretation
makes it infallible.
apparent contradictions found in the Bible arise
from not interpreting the Bible in a spiritual
manner. This implies that a literal interpretation
can lead to problems.
the Bible spiritually and prayerfully, the Holy
Spirit can guide the reader into spiritual truth.
From these facts,
another conclusion may be drawn. While there exists severe
problems with a literal interpretation (as you will discover
below), this does not mean the Bible is not worth studying.
We mustn't throw out the "baby" with the "bath
water." These problems of giving the Bible a literal
interpretation only show that it is the men who wrote the
Bible who are fallible, not the Spirit of God. It can then
be assumed that having these severe problems of literal
interpretation were meant to exist in the Bible - perhaps
because there exists a spiritual and/or symbolic meaning
behind the literal problems.
For example, the
Book of Revelation
has severe and catastrophic errors when interpreting it
literally. However, when interpreted spiritually, this account
may be spiritually true and not literally true. In fact,
the same symbols in Revelation can be found in the dream
symbolism of the Book of Daniel. This suggests the Book
of Revelation is actually a dream or series of dreams which
must be interpreted symbolically.
unlocked the symbolic and spiritual meaning of the Book
Jesus rebuked the
religious leaders of his day for taking a strictly literal,
conservative view of the Hebrew Bible. They created an entire
system of man-made rules and regulations around their literal
interpretation of scriptures. Because they rejected Jesus'
liberal interpretation of scripture, their theology was
in question, so they had Jesus killed. Today, there are
a large number of religious leaders and followers who are
making the same mistake. For the last two thousand years
of church history, literalism help fan the flames of Inquisitions,
crusades, and all kinds of disputes over man-made dogma,
such as: works versus faith, trinity versus oneness, eternal
security versus no security, baptism versus tongues, and
predestination versus free will, just to name a few.
My purpose in pointing out the
serious flaws of Bible literalism is to show that the gospel
of Christ is much simpler than many Christians believe.
The simple message of Jesus doesn't involve any interpretation
nor all the rules and traditions that go along with it.
The message of Jesus is love - unconditional love (Luke
10:25-28). The teachings
of Jesus is not about religious dogma. A close examination
of the Sermon on the Mount shows that the centerpiece of
Jesus' teachings was love for your neighbor and your enemy.
His gospel message is as simple and as profound as love.
Love is also the message of the vast majority of near-death
WORD OF CAUTION:
If you are a Bible literalist who believes all knowledge
of God is limited to the Bible, then you may find the rest
of the material on this web page extremely shocking and
disturbing. It is not my purpose to shock anyone or save
anyone's soul. My only purpose is to provide strong reasons
why a strict, literal interpretation of an infallible Bible
is wrong and dangerous. Believing in a literal, infallible,
God-limiting Bible creates major problems including the
rejection by many Christians of the Jesus of NDEs and NDEs
Some literalists have become so
extreme that they practically have elevated the Bible to
heights that border on
This is no trivial matter either. Multitudes of people throughout
history have been slaughtered for not believing in the orthodox
view of the Bible. The problem is that there are many serious
difficulties with believing in a literal interpretation
of the Bible. Here are some links to web pages that list
these serious difficulties:
The following Bible
verses have the greatest problems with them that I am aware
of. These problems are great enough that I believe most
rational people would conclude by these verses alone that
there are devastating problems with a literal interpretation
of the Bible.
intelligent people know,
the Bible is not a science book.
It is not a doctoral dissertation on the astrophysical origins
of the cosmos. But many people throughout history believed
it to be. Some believe the Bible to be perfect and without
error. After all, even the Bible itself suggests this to
be the case:
But at the time Paul wrote this,
scripture did not yet include the New Testament. Because
of this, people who limit divine revelation to the Bible,
should throw out the entire New Testament because it was
added into canon hundreds of years after the death of Christ.
idea of an errorless Bible does not fit the truth. The following
examples show beyond a shadow of a doubt that there are
sound reasons why an errorless Bible is itself an error.
Bible error #1:
The Earth was formed out of
water and by water.
"But they deliberately
forget that long ago by God's word the heavens
existed and the Earth was formed out of water
and by water." (2
above verse is in error because the geographical evidence
the Earth was formed from molten
lava. For those who
believe the Bible to be a greater authority than science,
need to choose which is the greater revelation of God: the
Bible or the universe. The Bible needed the help of fallible
men to be created. God did not need the help of men to create
The Earth is thousands
of years old.
"In the beginning,
God created the heavens and the Earth So God
created man in his own image And there was evening,
and there was morning the sixth day." (Genesis
verses of the Genesis creation are false. The Bible states
that Adam was created on the sixth day. It is derived that
approximately four thousand years transpired between Adam
and Jesus. This would mean
the universe is approximately
6,000 years old. But
this is impossible for a number of reasons. Perhaps the
simplest to understand is that the
light we see from stars have been
traveling for billions of years.
This proves the universe to be much older than 6,000 years;
in fact, it proves the universe is billions of years old.
Noah's ark contained
2 of all living creatures on Earth.
"You are to bring
into the ark two of all living creatures, male
and female, to keep them alive with you." (Genesis
containing two of all living creatures is a physical impossibility.
Noah's ark was 300 cubits by 50 cubits by 30 cubits in size
A cubit was approximately 18 inches, yielding a volume (if
perfectly rectangular, the most voluminous possible shape
of three unequal dimensions) of 1,518,750 cubic feet. Into
this volume, Noah supposedly fit two of each of the 22,100
species of animals on Earth plus the food to keep all of
them alive for a month. But it would be impossible to fit
such a tremendous amount of animals and food in such a relatively
tiny volume of that dimension. There are also other reasons
the flood and the ark story is
only are there errors in the Bible, there are also severe
contradictions. These contradictions exist because the Bible
was written by fallible men. The following verses are the
most problematic contradictions that I know of.
How are we saved?
We are saved by faith
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through
faith -- and this not from yourselves, it is
the gift of God - not by works, so that no one
can boast." (Ephesians
"And if by grace,
then it is no longer by works ..." (Romans
We are not saved by
"You see that a person is justified by what
he does and not by faith alone." (James
concepts cannot be true. Paul created a theology of salvation
The Jerusalem apostles, who came into conflict with Paul
on occasions, knew Jesus and his teachings much better than
Paul. They continued Jesus' teachings of salvation through
with faith playing a secondary role. The question to be
answered is, "Who do you trust more? Jesus or Paul?"
Nevertheless, NDE accounts generally show that
we are already saved!
Is God a sinner?
God is jealous:
"For the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous
Jealousy is a sin:
"The acts of the sinful nature are obvious ...
is a sin, and God is jealous, then the only conclusion we
can draw is that
God is a sinner.
The two scripture verses above flat out contradict each
other. This absurd conclusion makes God out to be less than
perfect. The same can also be said of the notion of a "God
of wrath" because
Jesus taught that wrath is a sin.
Has anyone ever seen God?
Nobody has seen God:
"No one has ever seen God ..." (John
Abram saw God: "When
Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared
to him and said, "I am God Almighty; walk
before me and be blameless." (Genesis
Jacob saw God:
"It is because I saw God face to face, and yet
my life was spared." (Genesis
The leaders of Israel
saw God: "But
God did not raise his hand against these leaders
of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate
and drank." (Exodus
are several Bible verses which state that nobody has ever
seen God. But there are also several Bible verses which
a large number of people who saw
Does God love or hate sinners?
God loves sinners:
"For God so loved the world that he gave his
one and only Son ..." (John
God hates sinners: "You
are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with
you the wicked cannot dwell. The arrogant cannot
stand in your presence; you hate all who do
The Bible is filled
with references to how God hates the wicked. The problem
with this is that the Bible also says that "no one
is righteous" and everyone is a sinner. The idea that
God hates this world of sinners is a contradiction to John
3:16. And even if God loves some people and hates others,
this would make God out to be a respecter of persons and
his love conditional.
In some parts of the Bible, an
incorrect portrayal of a love/hate relationship between
God and humanity is described. For example, in the beginning,
God was pleased to create man. Then, man fell from favor
with God. God expresses a regret in creating man to begin
with but God allows them to be fruitful and multiply. Then
one day, God decided to destroy everyone on Earth except
for relatively a few people. God's hatred for sin and sinners
leads God to actually destroy practically everyone and everything
on Earth. God then becomes a tribal deity to a small group
of Hebrews with God chooses only to save. But God commits
horrible atrocities upon them and their neighbors because
of their human failings. Later, Jesus came along teaching
how much God loves everyone unconditionally. God has Jesus
killed as a human sacrifice and a ransom to pay to someone
holding humanity hostage. The Christian Church teaches that
God is no respecter of persons despite the strong partiality
he has shown to Jews and those who accept the Jewish Messiah.
At the end of the Bible, God is shown having a vast multitude
of humanity cast headlong into the fire of hell to burn
in eternal damnation. These descriptions of God, when taken
literally, is certainly schizophrenic to say the least.
It demonstrates how an infallible Bible can lead to absurdities.
all the errors and contradictions in the Bible, there are
also a great number of Bible verses that are utterly ridiculous.
A ridiculous Bible means a ridiculous God if you take the
literal and infallible view. The following verses are some
of the most ridiculous verses I know of.
Bible verses concerning women:
Women are inferior
"A man is the image and glory of God; but the
woman is the glory of man." (1
Women are weaker than
"Husbands, in the same way be considerate as
you live with your wives, and treat them with
respect as the weaker partner" (1
Women should be silent
"As in all the congregations of the saints,
women should remain silent in the churches."
(1 Corinthians 14:34)
Women must not have
authority over men:
"I do not permit a woman to teach or to have
authority over a man." (1 Timothy 2:12-14)
Women are saved through
"But women will be saved through childbearing."
(1 Timothy 2:15)
Women must cut their
hair off if they don't cover it: "If
a woman does not cover her head, she should
have her hair cut off." (1 Corinthian 11:6)
be obvious to anyone that Paul is not expressing God's view
of women. Paul is obviously expressing his own bizarre bias
against women. The men who wrote the Bible often reflected
a degrading view of women, homosexuals,
among others. If these views actually represent the views
of God, then this falsely makes God a bigot and a respecter
of persons. For this reason, an infallible Bible cannot
verses concerning the nature of "God":
The sight of crap
turns God away: "Cover
up your excrement so that God will not turn
away from you." (Deuteronomy 12-14)
A burning bull carcass
is a pleasing odor to God: "The
priest is to burn all of the bull on the altar.
It is a burnt offering, an offering made by
fire, an aroma pleasing to the Lord." (Leviticus
God awoke like a man
from a drunken stupor:
Then the Lord awoke as from sleep, as a man
wakes from the stupor of wine. (Psalm 78:65)
A man struggled with
and overcame God:
"Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel,
because you have struggled with God and with
men and have overcome." (Genesis 32:24-28)
God searched the animal
kingdom for a partner for Adam:
"So the man gave names to all the livestock,
the birds of the air and all the beasts of the
field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found."
Abraham ate pancakes
"The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great
trees ... So Abraham hurried into the tent to
Sarah. "Quick," he said, "get three seahs of
fine flour and knead it and bake some bread."
... While they ate, he stood near them under
a tree." (Genesis 18:1-8)
God threatened to
force disobedient people into having adulterous
"This is what the Lord says: "Before your very
eyes I will take your wives and give them to
one who is close to you, and he will lie with
your wives in broad daylight." (2 Samuel 12:11)
God killed a man for
failing to get his brother's wife pregnant: "He
spilled his semen on the ground. What he did
was wicked in the Lord's sight; so he put him
to death also." (Genesis 38:9-10)
All Bible verses
that represent God as having ridiculous human-like flaws
are not only false, they are highly dishonoring to God.
For this reason, it is the idea of an infallible Bible that
Comparing the New Testament God
with the Old Testament God
Throughout history, people have
a great difference between the
personality of God in the Old Testament (OT) and the personality
of God in the New Testament (NT).
These differences are so striking that a Christian sect
the sect of Christian who developed the first version of
the New Testament, believed the God of the Old Testament
was a Satanic personality. A close comparison of the description
of God by Jesus and the description of God in the Old Testament
will demonstrate why they believed this.
God of Jesus:
"God is love." (1 John 4:16)
God of Moses: "Kill
all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept
with a man" (Num. 31:17)
God of Jesus:
"Whoever welcomes one of these little children
in my name welcomes me." (Mark 9:37)
God of Moses: "Put
to death men and women, children and infants"
(1 Sam. 15:2-3)
God of Jesus: "Love
does no harm to its neighbor" (Rom. 13:10)
God of Moses: "He
totally destroyed all who breathed, just as
the Lord, the God of Israel, had commanded."
God of Jesus:
"[The devil] was a murderer from the beginning."
God of Moses: "Slaughter
old men, young men and maidens, women and children"
God of Jesus:
"Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring
lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter
God of Moses: "Like
a lion I will devour them." (Hosea 13:8)
God of Jesus:
"Anyone who does not love his brother [is of
the devil]." (1 John 3:10)
God of Moses: "Go
back and forth killing your brother and friend
and neighbor" (Exod. 32:27)
God of Jesus:
"[The devil] is a liar and the father of lies."
God of Moses: "Put
a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets
of yours." (1 Kings 22:23)
God of Jesus:
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and
destroy." (John 10:10)
God of Moses: "Pursue,
kill and completely destroy them." (Jer. 50:21)
God of Jesus:
"He who does what is sinful is of the devil"
(1 John 3:8)
God of Moses: "Do
not leave alive anything that breathes" (Deut.
God of Jesus:
"God so loved the world.." (John 3:16)
God of Moses: "I
will wipe humankind ..from the face of the Earth."
God of Jesus:
"Love your enemies" (Luke 6:27-28)
God of Moses: "Treat
the Midianites as enemies and kill them." (Num.
God of Jesus:
"For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does
he tempt anyone" (James 1:13)
God of Moses: "[He]
tempted Abraham" (Gen. 22:1)
descriptions of God in the Old Testament with certain descriptions
of God of the New Testament is like comparing Jesus to Charles
Manson. As seen in the Bible verses above, some of the Old
Testament descriptions of God have a number of characteristics
that certainly appear to be satanic. Of course, most descriptions
of God in the Old Testament portray a Father of infinite
love. The ridiculous Bible verses portraying God as a satanic
figure only shows how some writers of the Old Testament
were merely creating God in their own image.
NDE accounts agree
with the teachings of Jesus about a God of unconditional
divine love. This love is merciful, non-judgmental, compassionate,
and unlimited in forgiveness.
The Bizarre Nature of Some Biblical
Descriptions of God
serious study of the Bible reveals that there are some descriptions
of God in the Bible that show God as having very serious
personality problems. These personality problems show how
some writers of the Bible, particularly the Old Testament,
viewed God more in human terms than divine. The following
verses show why.
OF WARNING: The
following Bible verses are graphic and incorrectly portray
a God that mass-murders innocent babies, dashes babies to
pieces, rips open pregnant women, has children become human
sacrifices, has wild animals devour children, has parents
cannibalize their children, orders the genocide entire nations,
causes abortions and orders people to kill their brothers
and neighbors, just to name a few. These verses have the
potential to cause serious psychological and emotional damage
to young children should they read them. I strongly recommend
that adults refrain from allowing children to read the following
Bible verses. This website is not responsible for any psychological
damage that may occur to children who reads the Bible. Viewer
discretion is strongly advised.
slaughtered innocent babies because of Pharaoh's stubbornness:
"At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in Egypt,
from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to
the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and
the firstborn of all the livestock as well. (Exod. 12:29)
had babies dashed to pieces and pregnant women ripped open:
"The people of Samaria must bear their guilt, because they
have rebelled against their God. They will fall by the sword;
their little ones will be dashed to the ground, their pregnant
women ripped open." (Hosea 13:16)
wanted children to be murdered as human sacrifices:
"I let them become defiled through their gifts - the sacrifice
of every firstborn - that I might fill them with horror
so they would know that I am the Lord. (Ezek. 20:26)
threatened to have innocent children be devoured by wild
animals: I will send
wild animals against you, and they will rob you of your
children, destroy your cattle and make you so few in number
that your roads will be deserted. (Lev. 26:22)
threatened to have children cannibalized:
"If in spite of this you still do not listen to me but continue
to be hostile toward me, then in my anger I will be hostile
toward you, and I myself will punish you for your sins seven
times over. You will eat the flesh of your sons and the
flesh of your daughters. (Lev. 26:27-29)
ordered the genocide of women, children and babies:
"Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything
that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men
and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels
and donkeys. (1 Sam. 15:2-3)
aborted fetuses and murdered children in answer to the prophet
Hosea's prayer: "Give
them, O Lord what will you give them? Give them wombs that
miscarry .... Ephraim is blighted, their root is withered,
they yield no fruit. Even if they bear children, I will
slay their cherished offspring." (Hosea 9:14-16)
murdered a baby because of David's adultery:
Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord."
Nathan replied, "The Lord has taken away your sin. You are
not going to die. But because by doing this you have made
the enemies of the Lord show utter contempt, the son born
to you will die." (2 Sam. 12:13-14)
ordered people to kill their brothers, friends and neighbors:
Then he said to them, "This is what the Lord, the God of
Israel, says: 'Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back
and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each
killing his brother and friend and neighbor.'" (Exod. 32:27)
who accuse me of taking these Bible verses
out of context,
must state the context which justifies
"God" to slaughter a
multitude of innocent babies and children.
Such obviously false portrayals of God is highly dishonoring
to God. The murder of children at Columbine caused a tremendous
national outcry for justice. The slaughter of 50 grade school
children in England several years ago caused a worldwide
outcry. Shouldn't the horrible atrocities attributed to
so-called "God" cause the same reaction? Shouldn't
we abandon the idea of believing in an infallible Biblical
interpretation of scripture?
Gospel of Blood Versus the Gospel of Love
The early followers of Jesus believed
that the traditional Jewish sacrifices were no longer necessary
so they proclaimed that Jesus was the sacrifice to end all
sacrifices. They believed that the murder of Jesus was a
ransom which God paid to free humanity held hostage by Satan.
This made good sense in those days; but now, thousands of
years later, it's pure nonsense to most people. Jesus himself
was against such sacrifices (Mark
12:6-7). Suppose you
were God and you had your son tortured and killed as a human
sacrifice in order to be pleased and satisfied. Would you
really be pleased with this? Or suppose you required people
to cut the throats of thousands of innocent animals and
let them bleed to death in order to be satisfied? Would
you be satisfied with your behavior? Wouldn't you instead
There are many reasons
why the death of Jesus resulted in a greater good; but the
idea of appeasing an angry God to release hostages through
a human sacrifice of innocent people and animals should
be seen to be utterly ridiculous to everyone.
But isn't Christianity based on animal and human sacrifice?
It depends on which brand of Christianity you are referring
to. If you are referring to literalist fundamental Christianity,
then the answer is "yes." The early orthodox Church
of Rome held a distorted view of salvation by continuing
to teach the false Hebrew concept that God craves the blood
of human sacrifice. Because of this, the Church of Rome
felt obligated to kill those who didn't accept this interpretation.
This doctrine of salvation, by human sacrifice, is believed
to this day by a majority of Christians.
Why did God need animal and human sacrifices as described
in the Old Testament?
Some writers of the Hebrew Bible believed that God was a
tribal deity - a national god. Cults that were based on
animal and human sacrifices existed throughout the world
at that time as it did in early Hebrew culture. At the center
of these ancient cults was the idea of the blood sacrifice
to angry gods - the innocent for the guilty. They did this
because they thought it would appease them. Scholars of
ancient religions have discovered that the early Hebrews
incorporated many of their religious concepts from the tribal
cults living around them. A God of infinite love, mercy
and forgiveness was completely unheard of in those days.
Today, the idea that
God needs animal or human sacrifices
to forgive people is
repulsive to the intelligent mind and compassionate heart.
Perhaps one of the reasons why Jesus came to the Earth was
to stop the barbaric ritualistic slaughter of thousands
of animals. It is barbaric and incredibly unjust to punish
the innocent for the guilty. Jesus revealed that God is
not interested in sacrifices.
Didn't Jesus have himself tortured and killed to pay a ransom
to free hostages?
If you take a literal interpretation of an infallible Bible
then the answer is "yes." But common sense should
tell us that appeasing a God who demands blood sacrifices
is hardly worth worshipping.
The religious concept of humanity
being held hostage by someone who desires a ransom in the
form of the blood of a human sacrifice doesn't make any
sense either. Who is holding us hostage? God? Satan?
Who held the world hostage and
threatened the world with eternal torture unless a ransom
of blood be paid? Such
behavior would be very twisted for a God of infinite forgiveness,
mercy and love. But, suppose it was God holding everyone
hostage. This would lead to the absurd situation where God
turned Jesus over to the devil so that the devil could kill
Jesus in order for God to have a ransom to Himself. After
all, the Bible does say that God gave Jesus over to evil
men to have him killed:
man was handed over to you by God's set purpose
and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of
wicked men, put him to death by nailing him
to the cross." (Acts 2:23-24)
If the "gospel
of blood" is true, then God had Jesus killed only to
satisfy Himself. But if this is the case, why couldn't God
just forgive everyone and forget?
Let's suppose it
was a devil holding the world hostage. This is not any better.
It would lead to another absurd situation where God turned
Jesus over to the devil to be killed in order to pay the
devil's ransom and set people free. But no matter who held
humanity hostage or who paid the ransom, it all failed miserably
because a literal interpretation of the Bible describes
God throwing the vast majority of humanity into hell. Isn't
such a view of God highly dishonoring? For this reason,
the God who appears in NDEs is closer to the God revealed
by Jesus than the "God" defined by literalists.
If people don't know about this ransom will God have them
burn forever in hell?
Yes, according to literalists. This has always been a thorny
problem for literalists to explain. How does one justify
a God of love throwing the vast majority of the human race
into eternal torment when they were never given an opportunity
by God Himself to hear the gospel?
Suppose God does
not hold such people accountable and allows them into heaven.
Then this would create another absurd situation where it
would be better to never know the gospel and be guaranteed
a place in heaven, than to know the gospel and face the
possibility of going to hell. It would be very bizarre if
this was God's plan of redemption. It would also be very
bizarre for people to believe that this plan of redemption
The concept that
God loves and saves only those who know about and gives
mental and verbal assent to God is extremely ludicrous at
best and dangerous at worst. Its corresponding concept that
God hates and damns those who do not know about or give
mental and verbal assent to God is also extremely ludicrous
at best and dangerous at worst. Even if we assume that God
loves everyone, including those whom "God" has
thrown into hell, then this would be a very strange way
for God to express his love for everyone. It is also a very
strange thing for people to believe. Such absurdities lead
to erroneous ideas of God demanding people to "love
me or I will fry you."
If it is God's will
that everyone go to heaven (1 Tim. 2:3-4) and nobody can
thwart God's will (Job 42:2, Dan 4:35), but everyone does
not go to heaven (Rev. 21:8), then the literalist has to
explain why God isn't powerful enough to save everyone.
If God isn't powerful enough to save everyone, then this
contradicts other Bible verses that state God is all powerful
and wills to save everyone. This contradiction cannot be
explained using a literal interpretation of these scriptures.
be common sense that a God of infinite love would never
allow even one soul to be eternally tormented in hell. The
twisted dogma of eternal damnation was derived from a literal
interpretation of the highly symbolic parables of Jesus
and the dream symbolism of the
Book of Revelation
For this reason, a literal interpretation of an infallible
Bible has to be wrong - even dangerous. A serious study
of NDE reports clearly reveal that
scriptures should be interpreted
in a spiritual manner
rather than a literal interpretation.
Didn't Jesus want to die? He said he laid down his life
on his own. He said no one takes it from him. It sounds
like Jesus committed suicide.
Jesus voluntarily had himself
however, wiggle around this issue and generally do not consider
it suicide. Some literalists describe Jesus' work on the
cross by using the allegory of a soldier falling on a grenade
to save his buddies. But this analogy falls short because
according to this analogy, it would be God who threw the
grenade in the first place. And this is not the only problem
literalists face. Many literalists limit God to Jesus. The
analogy would then mean that it was Jesus who threw the
grenade at people and fell on it to save them. It would
also mean that Jesus was the one who slaughtered all the
innocent children in the Old Testament. Such absurdities
prove an infallible Bible to be ridiculous.
Then why would God want Jesus to take his own life then?
Central to Christian doctrine is the human sacrifice of
Jesus. The gospels state that Jesus believed his mission
from God was to go to the cross. It states that Jesus volunteered
to be a human sacrifice to pay a ransom to free humanity
from being hostages to Satan. In Jesus' day, it was believed
that animal sacrifices were necessary for the forgiveness
of sins. This made good sense to first century people, but
to the modern mind it seems utterly ridiculous. The idea
that God would need human and animal sacrifices to be appeased
is repulsive and barbaric to many people. Also, killing
the innocent for the transgressions of the guilty seems
incredibly unjust. However, a much deeper spiritual interpretation
of these crude symbols can be found. There are more realistic
and spiritual reasons why Jesus wanted to die and have himself
killed. The "hostage and ransom" theme surrounding
Christ's execution is also a powerful archetype. The following
list contains the important reasons gleaned from near-death
accounts, the Bible, and mystical teachings of Christianity:
The human sacrifice of Jesus was a sublime way to symbolize
and emphasize the major point of Jesus' teachings which
is to practice unconditional love through self-sacrifice,
self-deprecation, and self-denial by crucifying your lower
beastly nature of humanity: self-gratification, self-indulgence,
self-centeredness, self-righteousness, self-importance,
self-condemnation, selfishness, and humanity's constant
clamoring for SELF (i.e., the ego, the "false god",
Through the human sacrifice of Jesus, his teachings proliferated
drew worldwide attention. The incredible injustice of his
execution combined with his life-changing teachings made
Jesus one of the greatest martyrs the world has ever known.
Through his sacrifice, Jesus demonstrated that his testimony
is highly credible because of his willingness to die such
an extremely horrible execution for the sake of his testimony
and teachings. A liar would not suffer this much and die
for the sake of a lie. A lunatic would not be able to say
the profound that Jesus said; nor would a lunatic be as
stable as Jesus was. The only option left for us is that
Jesus was who he said he was. There is no other option.
Through his life and death, Jesus fulfilled a large number
of Hebrew prophecies which drew a large number of Jews to
his cause to build the foundation of his church.
Through his death, Jesus was able to return to heaven in
order to continue his ministry at a later time. His return
to Earth from heaven would satisfy a large number of prophecies
demonstrating him to be the Hebrew Messiah and a great teacher
for the world. Should his return be spiritual instead of
literal, it may represent the so-called "Christ Consciousness"
ruling the collective consciousness of humanity.
Through his death, Jesus was able to visit his disciples
in spirit. Their testimony of Jesus' ability to overcome
death provided the world with strong circumstantial evidence
for life after death. His visitations with his disciples
in spirit are remarkably similar to modern reports of after-death
Through his death, Jesus was better able to serve humanity
through the outpouring ministry of the Christ Consciousness
(i.e., Holy Spirit) which Jesus taught about and manifested
in his life. The outpouring of the Christ Consciousness
resulted in the spreading of his teachings throughout the
In a sense, the bloody horror of what happened to Jesus
had a similar affect as the bloody horror of the September
11 terrorist attacks. It was seared into the very global
consciousness of the world - especially Americans. Like
the Phoenix rising from the ashes, it inspired a chain-reaction
of God-like actions from heroes demonstrating what is best
within humanity. It also brought to Americans a unity of
heart and mind unknown since Pearl Harbor and demonstrated
how such a wonderful good can overcome a horrible tragedy.
The same can probably be said about the horror of having
such a beautiful person as Jesus be unjustly slaughtered.
once stated that Jesus also came to stop the age-old practice
of slaughtering innocent animals as scapegoats for human
beings in the name of God. I certainly have to agree with
Mr. Yensen. Killing animals for nourishment is one thing,
but killing them for the purpose of removing the guilt of
people's misdeeds is infantile and abhorrent in my opinion.
Spiritually mature people pay their own debts and seek the
forgiveness of those they offended. Blaming a devil for
your shortcomings and having an innocent one killed to pay
your debts is for the spiritually immature.
Betty Eadie mentioned the following as a reason for Jesus'
death: "Life on Earth is our opportunity to learn unconditional
love as Jesus taught it, to serve and sacrifice personal
welfare in behalf of others. Part of Jesus' mission was
to die for us ... ours is to live as he did." (Betty
sure there are other reasons for the human sacrifice of
Jesus. It is very easy for the horror of the tragedy to
be so strong as to "blind" us from the subtler
and deeper ramifications of Christ's crucifixion. For thousands
of years, the human sacrifice motif has dominated the more
spiritual reasons for Christ's death in a manner that has
helped to proliferate these same spiritual influences.