White Horse E-News - 04-18-2014
Heaven is for Real movie controversy. WHM on front lines
On Wednesday, April 16, the movie "Heaven is for Real" -- centered around a 4-year-old boy who had a near-death experience and supposedly talked to deceased relatives in heaven -- hit theaters nationwide. The next day, Thursday, White Horse Media countered with our own press release titled, "Easter Deception? Movie 'Heaven is for Real' NOT TRUE. Unbiblical (copied below also)," sent to national media via ChristianNewsWire.com. Responses have been swift, both positive and negative. Believe me, this controversy is intense.
First I was warmly invited by the former director of Church Executive Magazine to answer key questions for an influential article on the east coast (when it is published, I'll send it to you). Others have challenged my view. In the interest of alerting you to the kind of subtle reasoning that will surely be used against us in the days ahead, I have decided to copy below one such response from a well-known author and film critic supporting the movie. Read it carefully. Notice his appeal to "numerous highly respected medical researchers, physicians, biblical scholars, and scientists" to buttress his point about the validity of near-death experiences. This reminds me of what must have happened in the days of Noah. "A worldwide flood is impossible! Our scientists have proven that!" must have been declared many times to those convicted to enter the ark. If you are confused about these issues, please read my article series "Death Discussions." If you want a free pdf of my book, Solving the Mystery of Death, email me with the subject line stating, "Free Death PDF," and I will send it to you.
Truly, the battle is on. We must avoid "science falsely so called" (1 Tim. 6:20) and stick with Scripture. Soon the final crisis will hit, and those who are unclean about the state of the dead and communication with dead people will be sitting ducks for strong spiritualistic delusions from "spirits of devils" (read Rev. 16:14). If you wish to support White Horse Media's urgent, unique, ongoing efforts to engage national media, secure interviews with thought leaders, and teach Bible truth, click here. To join the discussion, join my Facebook page.
Steve Wohlberg, Director, White Horse Media
Easter Deception? Movie 'Heaven is for Real' NOT TRUE. Unbiblical.
Contact: Steve Wohlberg, White Horse Media, 559-977-9744; email@example.com
MEDIA ADVISORY, April 17 /Christian Newswire/--The real-life story behind 'Heaven is for Real' seems so encouraging. 4-year-old Colton Burpo, during emergency surgery in 2003, has a near-death experience, exits his body, visits heaven, sees Jesus, angels, and deceased relatives (including a dead sister), and lives to tell about it. His father, Pastor Todd Burpo, turned his family's drama into a New York Times bestseller in 2008. Widely considered by Christians as an evangelistic opportunity, the film version hit theaters April 16, four days before Easter.
"There's one major problem," counters Bible expert, television producer, and author of 30+ books, Steve Wohlberg. "Neither the Old or New Testaments teach anywhere that our dead relatives are floating around in heaven waiting to talk to us. Instead, they 'sleep' (1 Cor. 15:51) quietly in their graves awaiting 'the resurrection at the last day' (John 11:25)."
Consider these biblical facts: In John 14:1-3, Jesus plainly informed His followers that they would not be with Him until He "comes again." In 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, Paul also encouraged Christians that they would not "be with the Lord forever" until He returns to raise the dead. Not only that, but the notion of dialoguing with the deceased is a practice strictly forbidden in Scripture (see Duet. 18:11). It's called "necromancy," and is connected to mediums and spiritists. But this happened to a 4-year-old child! you may be thinking. Read Mark 9:14-29. Unfortunately, our enemy aims dark arrows at children too.
Steve Wohlberg is the Speaker/Director of White Horse Media (Newport, WA) and the host of His Voice Today radio and television broadcasts. Widely regarded by media as an apocalyptic expert, he has been featured in three History Channel documentaries (Secrets of the Seven Seals; Strange Rituals: Apocalypse; Armageddon Battle Plan), and has spoken by special invitation inside the Pentagon and U.S. Senate. His enlightening books, Solving the Mystery of Death (Remnant Publications), and Demons in Disguise: The Dangers of Talking to the Dead, explore these subjects fully. His website is www.HisVoiceToday.com.
A committed husband and father of two young children, Mr. Wohlberg welcomes all opportunities to discuss this sensitive issue. To schedule an interview, he may be contacted at 559-977-9744 (mobile) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The major movie, Heaven Is For Real, will be releasing in movie theaters worldwide on Easter weekend. Since I've authored a book on Heaven and was the senior producer of two network TV Heaven documentaries, Sony Columbia TriStar Pictures asked me to do a pre-release movie review on this family movie.
Here's my review and I hope you'll go see the movie with your family and friends:
Heaven Is For Real
Review Statement By David W. Balsiger, LHD
Having researched and written probably the most authoritative Heaven book of the 21stCentury-The Evidence for Heaven-and produced two major TV documentaries on Heaven, I can testify that Colton Burpo's experience in which he visited Heaven is 100 percent plausible with similar descriptive details that are told by others who have made the same celestial journey.
Heaven has been a topic of discussion, debate, belief, and non-belief since ancient times. However, during the past 25 years, numerous highly respected medical researchers, physicians, biblical scholars, and scientists have concluded through the study of Near Death Experiences (NDEs), that it can now be said with certainty that our mind, memory, personality, and soul will survive physical death. It is during these and similar experiences that the fortunate few like Colton Burpo get to learn about Heaven and come back to tell us about their unforgettable experience.
Numerous people of all ages have experienced Heaven during NDE's, life threatening situations, and deep meditative states. All their Heaven descriptions tell a rather similar story to what four-year-old Colton told, including information that he had no way of knowing as a small child. The 20 or more "Heaven experience reference points" mentioned by Colton in the movie and book are the same or very similar to those remembered by all who have experienced Heaven.
Also, a Heaven visit alters one's perspective on life and death forever. Colton referred to peaceful experiences, that everything is going to be okay, you don't have to be afraid of death, and that you are surrounded by overwhelming love.
This is a beautiful family film that follows the Burpo family through the mystery of sorting out their son's real life heavenly experience. It is not a fictional drama, but an accurate dramatic recreation of what Heaven is like by those who have seen it and returned to tell us about this final frontier-a place they say is as real as Earth!
Whether you are a believer, a seeker, a skeptic, or an atheist, this film will provide meaningful food for thought for you and your loved ones. Examine the facts. Review the biblical findings. Hear Colton's testimony. View the scientific evidence. Decide for yourself if Heaven is your final destiny!
David W. Balsiger, LHD
Author-The Evidence of Heaven
Book Published By Bridge-Logos
TV Producer-The Search for Heaven
and The Evidence for Heaven
TV Films Released By Grizzly Adams Productions
David W. Balsiger, LHD
Balsiger Media Enterprises