I read “The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven” a year or so ago. I thought it was a very interesting piece of work. I noted that there were a lot of very interesting ideas in there, not all of them were the sort of thing that aligned with mainstream Christianity and the Bible.

I don’t want to try and quote anything, because I also read “Heaven is for Real” in that same period, and I don’t want to mix them up in my head.

But what was in the book is not necessarily my point right now. What’s on my mind is that Alex Malarkey, the boy who died and supposedly went to heaven, is now saying it didn’t happen. The book is being pulled from shelves, and the franchise is basically being killed.

(And I swear, if I hear one person say anything about “Well, what did you expect, their last name is Malarkey! Hur hur hur.” I WILL do my best to punch them. If that is the best point you have, go away.)

People from all corners of the internet (including some pretty rotten ones and some pretty high-and-mighty ones, I might add) are coming out of the woodwork to decry the book and basically say “See! We TOLD you so!” Some of these people are those who don’t believe in an afterlife. Others are preachers and pastors who have looked down on the book the whole time . . .

But here’s the thing – these preachers and pastors didn’t like the book and Alex’s story because it DIDN’T FOLLOW THEIR TEACHINGS. It didn’t STRICTLY adhere to Biblical teachings, and so it was an abomination. It was something to be squelched, and destroyed.

Hmm . . . to me, that smacks of job security. We can’t have stories, not even from innocent children, running around that go against what we teach, because God forbid we have to take a step back and ask ourselves if everything we know is wrong.

Let’s think about this. The kid was 6 years old when he was nearly killed in an accident. The accident was very real, as were his injuries. I realize 6 year olds can have amazing imaginations, but why would a boy make up the things he talked about? Why? To get attention? As if he wasn’t getting a ton as it was!

His dad helped put the story into a written book, and it went nuts! Bestseller, the whole nine yards.

Well, now Alex lives with his mom, who divorced his dad. His mom has apparently spoken out against the book in the past, also quoting that there are things in it that don’t align with the Bible.

So Alex is saying he made the whole thing up.

Sorry, but something stinks about the whole situation to me.

Maybe it is true, that he made it up and his dad helped. But there are so many wrinkles and layers here that it’s hard to know where to begin.

Is this story and everything that goes with it being killed because it was a lie? Or is it because religious zealotry got to a mother who felt that towing the line was more important than believing in a true spiritual experience? Or is it because there was a dispute over the financial gain coming from the book, and the kid’s story is the lamb being sacrificed at the altar of greed and prettiness?

There’s an awful lot going on here, and I think the whole thing is suspect.

I think the most important thing is that we use our brains and our hearts, and we send hope into the world that if this story and others like it ARE true, that they are allowed to perpetuate and continue bringing hope to people.

Because my biggest fear is of the religious zealots who would rather hope be snatched away from people than for it to come in any package that isn’t theirs.

Thoughts?