Monday, April 21, 2014

Heaven is For Real

The movie "Heaven is For Real" has been generating some buzz lately, both from Christians who are looking to the story as proof of the truth of the Bible, and from atheists seeking to discount the story.

Someone asked me if I believe that the little boy's experience was real. The best answer I can provide is "I don't know, and it doesn't really matter." It is not likely to convince anyone who has already decided to reject God in order to deny his moral authority over his life. But from my viewpoint, even if we knew that his experience was the result of brain chemistry caused by his near-death condition, that doesn't disprove the reality of heaven.

I tend to look at most accounts of "near death experiences" with some degree of skepticism. With a few exceptions in the times of the Bible, heaven is only experienced after death, and death is a one-way street. If you are not dead, you are not experiencing heaven, and if you come back to life in this world, you were not dead. I've heard people say "I was dead for 8 minutes before I was resuscitated." If you are walking around telling this story, you were not dead. Hebrews 9:27 says that you die once, and after that comes judgement.

There are complicating factors in "Heaven is For Real". How did the boy know facts about the baby that his parents had lost? I can't answer that question. Maybe in that moment, God revealed it to him. Maybe someone had told him. Or maybe it was a remarkable case of intuition. On the other side of the scale, why did he describe Jesus as looking like Kenny Loggins? Maybe that's how Jesus chose to reveal himself, or maybe it was a projection of his own subconscious preconceptions of what Jesus would look like.

Regardless of what I think of this movie and the events behind it, I believe that heaven is real, not because someone saw it and reported back to me about it, but because I know the God who reigns there. The reality which can not be denied is that He has transformed me into a new creation. I have not seen heaven, but I know that it is real like I know the force of gravity. Attempts to prove it empirically are doomed to fail. That is why it requires faith. Not a leap of faith into darkness, but a confident step onto the solid ground of God's love, proven to us on the cross.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Obamacare succeeds in keeping uninsured rate level

Today Gallop released the results of a huge poll to measure the results of the full implementation of the Obamacare law. Read about it here. It found that the White House claim that they have enrolled 7.1 million people is a bit off. The true number is roughly 3.5 million, or less than half of what they claimed. This is not an aberration for the Obama administration, which routinely announces positive job reports with great fanfare, only to quietly revise them downwards a couple of months later. Signing up 3.5 million people is not a great accomplishment when they started off by kicking 5 million people out of their existing coverage with the individual mandate.

So how did they get the number so wrong? After all, they run the web site.

Maybe they were counting all of their dead voters and the fictional people they registered via ACORN.

But the key line in this story is buried about half way down, and twisted to sound like a positive for BO.

But Gallup's numbers do show an improving trend. The share of Americans without coverage is at its lowest since late 2008, before Obama took office, the survey found. That's independent validation for the White House, and shows the country at least is not suffering from a net loss of insurance coverage due to cancellations. 

Let me get this straight. The big win for Obamacare is that the uninsured rate is the same as it was under Bush? We've wrecked the medical system and imposed a bunch of authoritarian mandates enforced by the IRS against hundreds of millions of Americans, but that is justified by the fact that the same number of people are still uninsured?

Wasn't Obamacare sold on the promise of ushering us to the promised land of universal coverage? They told us that the law would cover all of the 43 million uninsured people languishing in the gutter, but now they claim victory when they say that 7.1 million people have signed up, and the real number is half of that. Do you remember all of the Facebook lemmings posting drivel like "No one should die because they can't afford health care, or go broke because they get sick. If you agree, post this as your status today." Those sycophants are still defending Obamacare today, in spite of the fact that it has (predictably) failed to achieve it's stated utopian objective.

Last week when Obama made his decree in the Rose Garden that the debate on Obamacare is over and that history does not look favorably on people who stand in the way of American progress, he was employing the language of tyrants, proclaiming false propaganda to be true and forbidding dissent. No, Mr. President, the debate is not over. You don't get to declare the debate to be over. The American people get to decide if what you have done to us is "progress". We'll let you know in November. I think that is what you fear most.