UNCOVERING THE PAST
Apparently, a student and two of her close friends had come to a Christian Union meeting I had organised at a school where I was teaching in Malawi, at which I had an invited guest to share about his Near Death Experience (NDE). I cannot remember who the speaker was, I have known many such people who have met with Jesus in the afterlife and who have much to teach and encourage us. Absolutely unknown to me until our Skype chat, the one girl’s Lutheran pastor insisted she be baptised AGAIN because she had attended that meeting!! Quite where he found scripture for that I have no idea, but she dutifully went ahead. Sadly, the confusion in her has apparently remained over the years and she no longer attends any church regularly.
I had a sideways thought on hearing this — what can the Lutherans think when one of their trusted ordained ministers has an NDE? This is being reported of course more and more commonly across the denominations, especially because the reality of what the minister experienced was not related closely to his denominational expectations!! It never is, mainly because modern denominations have strayed far from the scriptures and the teachings of the early church respecting the afterlife. The scriptures and the early church portray accurately what really happens. This ignorance in modern churches was one stimulus for me to write “Living Beyond: Making Sense of Near Death Experiences”.
The Lutherans are a case in point. I live on the Sunshine Coast in Australia, and a local Lutheran minister ironically had an NDE that he reported joyfully in the media, and then later filled the significant Empire Theatre in Toowoomba to tell his story. His name is Dirk Willner and he is currently pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Ashmore, Brisbane. You can read his account as given to the NDERF research website:
Or you may like to view a URL of his detailed talk at the Empire Theatre in 2005. Try these ones:
So what do the churches do apart from scratch their heads when one of their ministers has an NDE? Some I have been told have tried using various techniques to push the truth under the carpet, but modern history regarding churches pushing information under the carpet is discouraging this.
Thankfully, some churches are going back to the scriptures and are even inviting returned NDErs to tell others what they experienced during uplifting church services.
Greg Alvord, a friend and colleague with whom I was privileged to teach at Marlborough High School in the late 1970s — told me that an NDEr had spoken fairly recently at their church in Florida.
It is high time that many other churches followed suit!!!!
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