They are not dead! they have but passed
Beyond the mists that blind us here
Into the new and larger life
Of that serener sphere.
They have but dropped their robe of clay
To put their shining raiment on;
They have not wandered far away—
They are not “lost” or “gone.”
Mark 12 26-27 Now about the dead rising—have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the account of the burning bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!”
Twice this week I’ve been counseled by Christians cautioning me against “consulting with the dead”. One began flinging Bible verses at me, mainly from Deuteronomy (I’m not a big fan of Deuteronomy). When I told her that we are not Jews and that Paul said that if you try to justify yourself by following the Law, you are cutting yourself off from the grace of Christ (Galatians 5:4), she told me that what was a sin ever is always a sin. When I asked her about eating shellfish or wearing clothing of two different materials, both prohibited in her precious Law, she said obviously it’s the moral part of the Law that we have to follow, not “traditions of men”. I guess she has the ability to discern between the two because I don’t see that spelled out in the book of Deuteronomy.
The other was a guy I am doing some bartering with. Great guy. He came over to do some work and I’m going to do some consulting with him. I had already spent a few hours with him before. He looked up our business online which led him to my Facebook page. So, he knew I was doing some volunteer work. He thought it was so cool that I’m working with Helping Parents Heal, but when I mentioned the SoulPhone, his face went stone cold serious and he said “We’re not supposed to consult with the dead.” I said “I get that a lot.” and changed the subject.
This is one of the reasons I don’t identify with Christianity anymore. First of all, most Christians don’t know their Bibles very well. I pointed out to the woman who was trying to beat me up with Bible verses that Jesus told basically told us there are no dead (Mark 12:26). Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus on the mountaintop in front of the disciples. If they were “dead” or even “sleeping”, how did they pull that one off? Paul consulted with the risen Jesus on the Road to Damascus. Jesus was murdered before. Dead guy. The Bible is a good collections of works, a progressive revelation of man coming to understand who he is and who God is. It’s clear that God changes from the God of the Old Testament to the God of the New Testament. But, we know it’s man’s view of God that changed.
It’s silly superstition and a purity code of the Jews from several thousand years ago that convinces people we are not supposed to talk to someone simply because they have dropped their robe of clay. That bond is still there. Their spirit is still alive. You’re not going to forbid me to “consult” with my loved ones. God would never command such a thing.
Christianity is stuck in a worldview from two thousand years ago. They closed the book on their canon never to revisit it. When we look at the progress from the Hebrew scriptures to the last book penned that made it into the canon, we can see an arc. If we look at the gospels excluded from the canon, we see even greater wisdom. Imagine what the Bible would look like now if we allowed that arc to continue. Imagine if two thousand years of mankind’s evolution were allowed to shape the Bible. For example, at the time the Bible was written many believe the dead were dead. The dead “know nothing”. The dead, at best, were asleep- oblivious to our world. We now know from NDEs, after death communications, medium readings, etc. that the dead are far from asleep. They don’t fall asleep. If anything they fall awake. The dead tell us they feel more alive the moment they step out of their bodies than they ever did in their bodies. Everything seems more real. It’s this world that feels like a dream.
Put simply, there are no dead. There are people in physical bodies and people in “glorified” bodies (as Paul called them).