Southern Baptists declare afterlife books and movies to be “antithetical to Scripture.”
While choosing not to name any book or movie in particular, following the huge success of books and movies like Heaven is For Real, 90 Minutes in Heaven, and 23 Minutes in Hell, the messengers to the 2014 Southern Baptist Convention addressed the issue through a resolution which states these accounts cannot be corroborated, are self contradictory and are antithetical to Scripture.
The resolution can be read below.
ON THE SUFFICIENCY OF SCRIPTURE REGARDING THE AFTERLIFE
WHEREAS, There have been numerous books and movies purporting to explain or describe the afterlife experience; and
WHEREAS, These books and movies have had a considerable impact as seen in the best seller lists and high box office receipts; and
WHEREAS, Many of these books and movies have sought to describe heaven from a subjective, experiential source, mainly via personal testimonies that cannot be corroborated; and
WHEREAS, Many of these are not unified and contain details that are antithetical to Scripture; and
WHEREAS, Many devout and well-meaning people allow these to become their source and basis for an understanding of the afterlife rather than scriptural truth; and
WHEREAS, Though the Scriptures include explicit accounts of persons raised from the dead, such as Jairus’ daughter, the widow of Nain’s son, and Lazarus, in God’s perfect revelatory wisdom, He has not given us any report of their individual experience in the afterlife (Deuteronomy 29:29; Mark 5:21–43; Luke 7:11–17; John 11:35–44); and
WHEREAS, The Apostle Paul wrote about “a man in Christ” who was caught up “into the third heaven” who “heard inexpressible words” that “a man is not allowed to speak” (2 Corinthians 12:1–4); and
WHEREAS, The doctrines of the afterlife are critical to a full understanding of salvation and repentance (Luke 16:29–31; John 3:16–18); now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, June 10–11, 2014, reaffirm the sufficiency of biblical revelation over subjective experiential explanations to guide one’s understanding of the truth about heaven and hell.
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