NDE support for new claims about hell E-mail


New claim about hell made by Evangelical minister Rob Bell in Love Wins and featured on the cover of Time Magazine with the title: “what if there is no hell?” is supported by the scientific study of near-death experiences.

About 15 percent of people who come close to death experience distressing experiences and hereof approximately 5 percent have hell-like experiences that are described as “hellish.” With mounting scientific support near-death experiences cannot be reduced to hallucinations, and therefore, these can be interpreted as real experiences of hell.


However, the study of these experiences reveals that our dogmatic interpretation of hell as Bell suggests is wrong. “If you want to settle the debate about hell – why not use science and the empirical research of experiences of hell from near-death experiences – people who have actually been there?” asks expert on near-death experiences and author Rene Jorgensen.


The study of near-death experiences concludes that hell is not a literal place but closer to what Pope John II suggested in 1999 that hell is the separation from God. Also as Rob Bell suggests in his book, the study of real experiences of hell reveals that hell is not eternal damnation as a punishment by an angry God but instead a consequence of our separation from God.  


While Rene Jorgensen has found that 80 percent of people who have near-death experiences say that their experience is an experience of “God,” in thousands of cases of near-death experiences there is no evidence what so ever to support the idea that God is angry.


Even with distressing life-reviews and hell-like experiences, a majority of people who have these experiences say that God, or ‘the Light,’ has a powerful element of truth this is described as non-judgmental. Rather than using judgment or justice, people explain that God teaches them with love and compassion like a compassionate grandparent. The focus is on learning and love -- not on punishment.   


It was the condemnation of Gandhi to hell by a Christian that made Rob Bell question the traditional interpretation of his Evangelical faith, and here the research of near-death experiences can also lead support through the study of cross-cultural experiences.


While some Christians who have near-death experiences will have an experience beyond death with Christian characteristics, we find in other cultures that these characteristic change according to cultural and religious background. E.g. a Buddhist will have a near-death experience with Buddhist characteristics and a Hindu one with Hindi characteristics.


This means that heaven is indeed accessible for our neighbor and the idea of a ‘one true faith’ that religious fundamentalism rests upon can be proven wrong by real experiences of heaven that happen universally across cultures and religions.    


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