Help restore belief in heaven and hell?


#1

(please read)

I was formerly agnostic about the existence of god and the afterlife, but for several weeks I have been obsessing about what happens after death. I been researching many articles/videos of what happens after death, some claim science don’t know and some claim that there is no afterlife and consciousness goes to oblivion ( nothingness). The thought of oblivion is terrifying, and im afraid cognitive neuroscience or neuroscience is going to confirm that. I know in earlier threads I stated I didn’t want to believe in hell, but the reason behind that is something I don’t wish to repeat. Because these pass couple days after learning about oblivion and neuroscience, im afraid nueroscience heading towards that direction, everything seems depressing. I want to have faith in god and Jesus, and believe there is a heaven and hell after death, but its so hard. can someone please help me restore my faith?

please don’t judge me.


#2

quote="AndrewAnime, post:1, topic:328806"

I was formerly agnostic about the existence of god and the afterlife, but for several weeks I have been obsessing about what happens after death. I been researching many articles/videos of what happens after death, some claim science don't know and some claim that there is no afterlife and consciousness goes to oblivion ( nothingness). The thought of oblivion is terrifying, and im afraid cognitive neuroscience or neuroscience is going to confirm that. I know in earlier threads I stated I didn't want to believe in hell, but the reason behind that is something I don't wish to repeat. Because these pass couple days after learning about oblivion and neuroscience, im afraid nueroscience heading towards that direction, everything seems depressing. I want to have faith in god and Jesus, and believe there is a heaven and hell after death, but its so hard. can someone please help me restore my faith?

please don't judge me.

[/quote]

Read the book Heaven is Real. It is about a 4 year old boy, who while in the hospital was taken to Heaven and then returned. The story and details in it are amazing.


#3

Andrew,

Given your OCD and scrupulosity issues, we cannot help you here. You simply must get help from a competent mental health professional AND your pastor.


#4

[quote="CatholicGeek1, post:2, topic:328806"]
The story and details in it are amazing.

[/quote]

And made up.


#5

[quote="devoutchristian, post:4, topic:328806"]
And made up.

[/quote]

Why do you think that? Have you read it?


#6

[quote="AndrewAnime, post:1, topic:328806"]
I want to have faith in god and Jesus, and believe there is a heaven and hell after death

[/quote]

Remember that science has never and will never contradict faith, since they answer two different questions (how, why). Consider the following parts which clearly show, without the least possibility of doubt, that there is an afterlife and specifically a heaven to which we are all called unto eternal joy:

Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.

And as concerning the dead that they rise again, have you not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spoke to him, saying: I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

"Look," he said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!"

There are also bodies in the heavens and bodies on the earth. The glory of the heavenly bodies is different from the glory of the earthly bodies. ...] Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever.

Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall all indeed rise again: but we shall not all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall rise again incorruptible: and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption; and this mortal must put on immortality.

And when this mortal hath put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory.

O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?

Know you not that the saints shall judge this world ? Know you not that we shall judge angels?

For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor might, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


#7

[quote="CatholicGeek1, post:5, topic:328806"]
Why do you think that? Have you read it?

[/quote]

Science works based on hypotheses elaborated by men based on the existing knowledge and technology. It is, strictly speaking, "made up", and accepted as long as a better explanation is not present.

The teaching of the immortal soul and of heaven and hell are not just attainable through reason, but also the matter of divine revelation - which proceeds from the Creator and therefore is not the work of human minds.


#8

[quote="CatholicGeek1, post:5, topic:328806"]
Why do you think that?

[/quote]

"there was one angel who looked like grandpa but grandpa had glasses" It would be difficult to come up with a less accurate theology. (and no that's not the only problem with his story)

[quote="CatholicGeek1, post:5, topic:328806"]
Have you read it?

[/quote]

Yes.


#9

quote="AndrewAnime, post:1, topic:328806"

...for several weeks I have been obsessing about what happens after death..... I want to have faith in god and Jesus, and believe there is a heaven and hell after death, but its so hard. can someone please help me restore my faith?

please don't judge me.

[/quote]

Dearest Andrew, you mentioned in another thread about your extreme suffering with obsessing and the extreme reactions you feel.

Please don't ignore the suffering you feel. Spiritual direction should come from a priest or other person who is trained to help you. Doctors and therapists are other professionals who understand your suffering and who you should turn to for help.

Answers that you find from people here will be about faith in general. We can not help with the struggles you have due to suffering with OCD. The answers given in a general manner may only fuel the pains you have.

This doesn't mean people don't want you to find answers, it means first trusting professionals to help you with your pains.

May God give you strength.


#10

I do not see how what you are saying shows that the book is made up.


#11

Sorry but I just finished reading it, he never said that his grandfather was an angel. Also he said that grandpa had glasses on Earth but not in Heaven.


#12

quote="AndrewAnime, post:1, topic:328806"

I was formerly agnostic about the existence of god and the afterlife, but for several weeks I have been obsessing about what happens after death. I been researching many articles/videos of what happens after death, some claim science don't know and some claim that there is no afterlife and consciousness goes to oblivion ( nothingness). The thought of oblivion is terrifying, and im afraid cognitive neuroscience or neuroscience is going to confirm that. I know in earlier threads I stated I didn't want to believe in hell, but the reason behind that is something I don't wish to repeat. Because these pass couple days after learning about oblivion and neuroscience, im afraid nueroscience heading towards that direction, everything seems depressing. I want to have faith in god and Jesus, and believe there is a heaven and hell after death, but its so hard. can someone please help me restore my faith?

please don't judge me.

[/quote]

No judging - these are good questions. First, as a person who follows science on a regular basis, I can conclude the following: (A) Science cannot study or examine the soul, or the invisible spirit part of our body. (B) Even if neuroscience discovered a change in brain activity a moment before death, I doubt they would connect it to a soul or afterlife, since neither can be studied by science. (C) If further research revealed that the change a moment before death was unusual, they would be limited to non-supernatural explanations, like "That's odd. We'll just list this as a chemical/electrical reaction that brains have the moment people are about to die." The end.

Jesus speaks about heaven in the Bible:

biblehub.com/john/14-2.htm

And Hell is a place.

biblehub.com/matthew/10-28.htm

A few words from Pope Benedict:

catholicnewsagency.com/news/what_the_pope_really_said_about_hell/

Peace,
Ed


#13

todayscatholicworld.com/bosco_hell.htm & fatima.ageofmary.com/hell/hell-exists-and-we-could-go-there/ speak on hell while I believe they are real some will say they are or could be just stories. This is where faith comes into play.


#14

Jesus said, “You have faith in God. Have faith in me too.” He spoke of Heaven and Hell many times.

Also, St. Faustina, when visiting Hell, found that most of the people there were those who didn’t believe in hell during life.

I pray that Our Lady will give you the grace to believe in Her Son and all that He preached.


#15

[quote="CatholicGeek1, post:10, topic:328806"]
I do not see how what you are saying shows that the book is made up.

[/quote]

Ok: put that book next to the Bible.

One of the two is made up.

That does not mean that it is false or wrong.

Just that one is the product of human minds coming up with ideas based on observations, experiments, inference, etc. Thus the results are potentially fallible. There can be flaws. The book can be valid today and nonsense tomorrow.

The other one is the work of the Spirit of Truth which the world cannot receive. Humans are merely the instrument that brought that knowledge together. The human mind did not elaborate those ideas or teachings - God did. When we learn about immortal souls, heaven and hell, Christ the Lord - those truths are timeless and infallible.

I am not discrediting the other one, nor I am advocating that "made up" is the best way to qualify it (since it's usually employed to mean false or erroneous). But the basic idea is still there.


#16

Listen to what some of these posters are saying about your OCD-like symptoms. I study neuroscience and my faith in God and belief in heaven and hell are not compromised. Your brain chemicals are contributing here and you are being led to wrong interpretations. Scrupulosity is an overused word here but simply put, it is a kind of brain intake that doesn't allow for discernment, or shades of gray, or things "outside the box". It's like a constant boot camp and brainwashing. Too much repetition and control issues. Don't let your brain be overtaxed. Talk to a good doctor and spiritual director.

There was a movie that came out about 10 years ago called, "What the Bleep?" It was about quantum physics. If you followed the philosophy of that movie with scrupulosity you would be lost. It was produced by a multi-millionaire cult leader in Oregon who "channels" a 30,000 year old entity named 'Ramtha'. What was she trying to say in that movie? A lot of nonsense about how traditional religion and behavior is not relevant in the present age. That lie is almost as old as the world.

In short, please be careful what you expose your sensitive and retentive mind to. Try to keep things simple and true. Don't try to establish your specialness by new or weird theories. You are built for good things; try to find out what good things your mind can attain without damage to your psyche and your faith.


#17

While I agree that the book is not infallible, it is simply a book based on the experiences of a child. That does not mean that it is made up.


#18

Eastern Christianity has some different (and in my experience, very helpful) ways of explaining what happens when we die. For instance, I read somewhere about the fire of Hell being understood to be God's burning love for His creation. The reason unrepentant sinners find themselves tormented after death is because they no longer have the capacity to respond to that love, and God, being eternally good and loving, never stops loving them. So suffering and torment are really just the natural consequences rejecting God's love. If you're interested in reading about the afterlife from the Russian Orthodox position I recommend a book called Eternal Mysteries Beyond the Grave.


#19

[quote="CatholicGeek1, post:17, topic:328806"]
While I agree that the book is not infallible, it is simply a book based on the experiences of a child. That does not mean that it is made up.

[/quote]

Oh my goodness. You are talking about the book "Heaven is Real"!

I thought we were discussing about the neuroscience material that had troubled our friend.

Wow. Sorry...

Indeed, a book based on such an experience (and I have read a few) is not "made up", since it reflects a testimony of something experienced. If what was experienced was a vision of the afterlife, the knowledge received was, in fact, from the Lord. I know, like I mentioned, a few such writings and they are all wonderful testimonies that corroborate the teachings of the Church on heaven.


#20

It’s been a few years since I read it so fair enough. In any case the concepts of physical looks still being relevant in Heaven, of miscarried children waiting for their parents to get there and name them, and all of the other absurdities in the book fly in the face of Catholic theology. Another thing, why didn’t the kid end up knowing that heresy and schism were normative impediments to salvation? You could say that God didn’t choose to reveal that, but he did (supposedly) tell the kid of the necessity for salvation of being a Christian in general, and in fact implied that that necessity was absolute, which is also contrary to Catholic teaching.


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