Colton Burpo Hoax Debunked
The human spirit has a need to believe in something great. Each person puts their faith into something. For many people their faith lies in their religion. Some believe in science. Others believe in aliens. Without belief, humanity as a whole doesn’t feel complete. That’s why when we hear a near death experience that seems to validate our beliefs, we want to prove that they are true.
The only problem for Colton Burpo, who is the son of a preacher, is that his near death experience doesn’t follow Biblical principles. Why is that important? Because his story is being used as the emphasis of creating evidence for the Christian faith.
Does the Bible Support Burpo’s Visions?
The Bible itself, the holy book of the Christian faith, immediately disproves the visions of Colton Burpo. Many of the manifestations that Burpo describes are physical in nature. This is a popular concept because we like the idea of having a new body. The fact is that physical resurrection, according to the book of Revelation, doesn’t occur in heaven. It occurs here on Earth.
In John 5, Jesus tells the Jewish leaders something profound. “Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live,” he says, starting in verse 24. “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out – those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.”
Think about what that says from a spiritual standpoint. The dead, in their graves, will hear the voice of God. The Bible doesn’t describe an idea of going to heaven at death. At best, death is described as a great sleep.
The Physical Body Sleeps and The Spirit Does What?
Acts 7:59 describes the stoning of Stephen by the Sanhedrin in the man’s own words. “While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he fell on his knees and cried out, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ When he had said this, he fell asleep.
There are two important points here that prove Burpo’s idea of heaven is a hoax. First of all, the physical body goes to sleep. Burpo says that no one is old in heaven, but that would require a transformation of a physical body according to the descriptions that are offered. Instead of a transformation, sleep is offered. Stephen himself requests that God accept his spirit, which would eliminate the physical aspects of the vision.
Is it possible that Burpo had a true vision of Jesus and heaven? Anything is possible. No one knows what happened. What Christians and everyone else can look at is a passage in 2 Corinthians that Paul wrote. “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know – God knows. And I know that this man…was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell.”
Death is a question that we’ll all have answered for us one day. Although the Bible shows that Burpo’s vision is a hoax, there is nothing wrong with taking some comfort in this vision.