In 2004, Alex Malarkey, 6 years old would be in a traffic accident that would change his life. He would suffer severe injuries to his spine, neck and even brain trauma. After it was said it done, he became a quadriplegic. However, Malarkey said that he saw angels catching his father in mid-flight as he was ejected from the vehicle. He went to heaven and met Jesus as well as Satan. His account was so powerful that it was published in 2010 by Christian publisher, Tyndale House in the book, “The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven.”
The book became an instant hit selling over 1 million copies and was on the best-selling list. Many people described being moved by the boy’s story. It increased their faith. The audience of this book is mostly Evangelical Protestants and some curious readers looking to read on what is now coined as “Heaven Tourism” stories.
This is not the first time a book of this nature has ever been written. Many people claim to have died and “gone to heaven.” They recall vivid images of watching themselves on operating rooms aas well as their travels to other dimensions and even heaven. Malarkey’s story touched even more because it came from a young boy. However, there is a problem. The story is a lie.
Alex Malarkey wrote an open letter to Christian stores stating that he never died nor went to heaven. The letter was posted on the blog, pulpitandpen.org blog.
“An Open Letter to Lifeway and Other Sellers, Buyers, and Marketers of Heaven Tourism, by the Boy Who Did Not Come Back From Heaven.”
Please forgive the brevity, but because of my limitations I have to keep this short.
I did not die. I did not go to Heaven.
I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention. When I made the claims that I did, I had never read the Bible. People have profited from lies, and continue to. They should read the Bible, which is enough. The Bible is the only source of truth.
Anything written by man cannot be infallible.
It is only through repentance of your sins and a belief in Jesus as the Son of God, who died for your sins (even though he committed none of his own) so that you can be forgiven may you learn of Heaven outside of what is written in the Bible…not by reading a work of man. I want the whole world to know that the Bible is sufficient. Those who market these materials must be called to repent and hold the Bible as enough.
Immediately, bookstores stopped selling the book and have pulled it off their shelves. A spokesperson for Tyndale House stated that the book will no longer be produced. The family of the boy claimed that they have complained about the book as having inaccuracies and exaggerated claims.
Every time I heard of these death experiences that result in a person meeting God or getting a tour of heaven, I am extremely skeptical. While I am not saying that these events may not happen -I was not there – what I am saying is that there are psychological explanations for these events. In many cases, the stories and things told to these people who have “died” contradicts revelation. Jesus already gave us what we needed. We have Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the Magisterium of the Church to guide us. There is no need to go and buy these books regarding people who claimed to have died and gone to heaven unless you are reading them as you would read a novel or something as entertainment.
Because of this retraction, many atheists and others are now collectively attacking all Christians believe all to be liars. This is unfortunate indeed. This is why the Catholic Church is not quick to approve alleged stories of apparitions or other events. She investigates thoroughly each claim made. Even if she does approve of an apparition or event, she reminds the flock that these apparitions are not necessary and should point us to what has been revealed in the Sacred Deposit.
66 “The Christian economy, therefore, since it is the new and definitive Covenant, will never pass away; and no new public revelation is to be expected before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Yet even if Revelation is already complete, it has not been made completely explicit; it remains for Christian faith gradually to grasp its full significance over the course of the centuries.
67 Throughout the ages, there have been so-called “private” revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ’s definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the Magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church.
Christian faith cannot accept “revelations” that claim to surpass or correct the Revelation of which Christ is the fulfillment, as is the case in certain non-Christian religions and also in certain recent sects which base themselves on such “revelations.”
– Catechism of the Catholic Church
Please be careful with whatever you encounter out there in God’s, Mary’s or the Church’s name. There is not need to go flock to view sites where people claim to have seen Mary or to anyone who claims to have the stigmata or any other supernatural gift.