Accounts of heavenly tourism have been popular at least since Dante's Paradiso. In recent years, supposedly real life accounts of visits to heaven have sold in the millions. The usual format is that someone has a near death experience and when they wake up they report on their trip to the divine realms. Now the boy behind The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven, Alex Malarkey, has issued an open letter recanting his heavenly drop-by, according to NPR.
At age 6, Malarkey was severely injured in an automobile accident in 2004. After being in coma for two months, he woke up and told his parents about visiting Jesus and the angels while he was unconscious here on the earth. His father, Kevin Malarkey, a Christian therapist in Ohio, wrote up Alex's account and it was published by Tyndale Press. Now Alex Malarkey says he made it all up.
Alex Malarkey's open letter:
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.
In response to the open letter, the publisher says that it is taking "the book and all ancillary products out of print."
Evidently motivated by his faith, Alex Malarkey decided to tell the truth. Good for him. Here's hoping that some miracle of biomedical science will enable him to walk free from his wheel chair and breathing apparatus someday soon.
I am a bad person. I can't resist noting: Malarkey, really?