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I guess I am skeptical of this story since it involves a protty...Video at the link...

http://www.parentdish.com/2011/03/21/boy...nk3|206830

Boy Says He Has Been to Heaven, Where Everyone Has Wings


Todd and Sonja Burpo may have believed an angel was looking over their 4-year-old son, who survived a life-threatening burst appendix.

Colton Burpo, now 11, says it's true.

"A few angels, they came, picked me up and I was looking right at Jesus," Colton, from the small town of Imperial, Neb., tells "Today."

After 17 days in the hospital, the boy started to talk about things he could not have known about, "Today" reports, including a miscarriage suffered by his mother, prayers his father made during Colton's surgery and meeting "Pop," his great-grandfather.

"I was just sitting by the Holy Spirit, and then this guy comes up to me and says, 'are you Todd's son?' I said yes. He says, 'Well, I'm his grandfather," Colton tells "Today." "... Pop, he was very big, huge wings, he had curly hair, big smile and he was really nice."

The experience led Todd Burpo, a pastor, to write the New York Times best-selling nonfiction book "Heaven is for Real."

"He could tell me where I was while he was in surgery," Todd Burpo tells "Today." "The surgeons couldn't tell me that. The nurses couldn't. My wife couldn't tell me where I was praying but he could tell me."

Sonja Burpo says her son told her angels sang to him.

"There's a lot of colors, there are a lot of people and a lot of animals," Colton says, describing Heaven.

He also says everyone in Heaven has wings -- his were a bit smaller than other's, and that no one there is old.

"I like that part," Todd Burpo says.

Todd Burpo says Colton's story has inspired so many people because of "hope, healing -- they know what they have to look forward to," he tells "Today."
Perhaps he was baptized as an infant...which some Protestant denominations (I believe the Methodists are one such) still do.   Shrug
I'm skeptical as well, but for what it's worth I did meet this kid several weeks ago at a local book shop where he was doing a signing (he's from Western Nebraska which is where I live) and he seemed sincere. I had an interesting exchange with him though. Someone had told me that he met Jesus' cousin (John the Baptist) when he went to heaven so I asked him about it. I then asked him if he happened to meet Jesus' mother. He kind of hesitated, looked at his dad and then said "umm....I don't really remember if I did or not." His dad then politely asked for the next person in line. I carry a small finger rosary with me that is about the size of a quarter and can go around your finger. While I was talking to Colten I had it on my left index finger and was spinning it with my thumb. He didn't take any notice of it but his Dad did. When I asked about Jesus' mother his dad nervously swallowed and then hurried me on after Colten said he couldn't remember. It was odd to me because up until then the conversation was very relaxed and organic. As soon as I asked about Mary though things came to a grinding halt.

I left with the impression that one of two things happened with this boy. The first option is that he didn't really go to heaven and his dad just kind of led him through giving these supposedly supernatural answers and wrote them down later in story form to sell. The second is that he did and saw Jesus and of course Mary but his minister dad edited out that part of the story. That would at least explain the weird vibe I got as soon as I asked about Jesus' mother. Anyways I'm not really sure either way but I thought some might find my encounter a little interesting. If someone has actually read the book and could confirm or deny if Mary makes any appearance I would appreciate it.
The whole story seems ridiculous to me. The boy's description of Heaven seems to fit with how one would generally expect a child of his age to imagine Heaven. Also, it seems like the boy could have easily picked up many of the facts that he supposedly "couldn't have known" without his parents knowing about it. Another thing to keep in mind that the boy's father is a Methodist minister who used this experience to write a book.

Lastly, if this were authentic, wouldn't someone have told the boy about the need to convert to Catholicism? As it is, this whole story will only encourage people to continue as or become Protestants.  

(03-21-2011, 08:48 PM)MeanGene Wrote: [ -> ]I left with the impression that one of two things happened with this boy. The first option is that he didn't really go to heaven and his dad just kind of led him through giving these supposedly supernatural answers and wrote them down later in story form to sell. The second is that he did and saw Jesus and of course Mary but his minister dad edited out that part of the story. That would at least explain the weird vibe I got as soon as I asked about Jesus' mother. Anyways I'm not really sure either way but I thought some might find my encounter a little interesting. If someone has actually read the book and could confirm or deny if Mary makes any appearance I would appreciate it.
Well, supposing the boy really did visit Heaven, it does not seem very likely that his father would edit out anything that supported Catholicism. If I were in that situation, I would take it as a sign that I should convert. So, I would lean toward your first suggestion that the father was leading the boy through his answers. Although, I suppose it is also possible the father was just spooked by the sight of a Papist.
From “Heaven is For Real” – A Review:

Quote:As the next several years unfold, Colton relates to his parents how he saw his long deceased grandfather there (ending long speculation on whether or not he ever became a Christian), his miscarried older sister he presumably knew nothing about until he saw her there and wrestled with why she had no name (but whom later he has a very emotional sense of missing), Jesus, Jesus’ horse, lots of other children and animals and even (inserted with special reference by Todd for his Catholic friends) the Virgin Mary, assorted animals and lots of people with wings.
(03-21-2011, 08:48 PM)MeanGene Wrote: [ -> ]I then asked him if he happened to meet Jesus' mother. He kind of hesitated, looked at his dad and then said "umm....I don't really remember if I did or not." His dad then politely asked for the next person in line. I carry a small finger rosary with me that is about the size of a quarter and can go around your finger. While I was talking to Colten I had it on my left index finger and was spinning it with my thumb. He didn't take any notice of it but his Dad did. When I asked about Jesus' mother his dad nervously swallowed and then hurried me on after Colten said he couldn't remember.

That's bizarre. I read the book and it specifically mentioned him meeting the Virgin Mary and how much she loved Jesus. They made a point to mention it in the book. So they either lied in the book, or lied at the book signing. Either way, it casts doubt on their credibility.
(03-21-2011, 09:35 PM)Kopp Wrote: [ -> ]
(03-21-2011, 08:48 PM)MeanGene Wrote: [ -> ]I then asked him if he happened to meet Jesus' mother. He kind of hesitated, looked at his dad and then said "umm....I don't really remember if I did or not." His dad then politely asked for the next person in line. I carry a small finger rosary with me that is about the size of a quarter and can go around your finger. While I was talking to Colten I had it on my left index finger and was spinning it with my thumb. He didn't take any notice of it but his Dad did. When I asked about Jesus' mother his dad nervously swallowed and then hurried me on after Colten said he couldn't remember.

That's bizarre. I read the book and it specifically mentioned him meeting the Virgin Mary and how much she loved Jesus. They made a point to mention it in the book. So they either lied in the book, or lied at the book signing. Either way, it casts doubt on their credibility.

Maybe they were both tired or jaded. At the signing they were both kind of giving stock answers to everyone as you came up in the line. It was late and I was one of the last people in line. I didn't have a book to sign because I actually had shown up at the book store to actually look for an old book and had no idea about the signing or even what the book was about. I talked to several people in the line and my interest was peeked when I realized that the kid was Methodist. So I waited for the line to die down and went up towards the end and asked about Mary. Because I didn't have a book to sign and wasn't relating some vague story about how the book touched my life like everyone else there, it is possible that they were just gave the I don't remember answer so they could leave.

Regardless, I find it hard to believe that it is real. The book just sounds too much like your typical feel good drivel. My guess is the kid related some vague incident after the surgery about Jesus to his dad who then sort of talked his son (and himself) into believing that Colten had really gone to heaven.  The thing is that it could be entirely fake and Colten still might have vivid memories about the event because of how often it has been drilled into him. I remember reading a story once about a nanny who was watching a family's 3 year old son. The nanny reported to the police that a man in dark clothes and sun glasses snatched up the boy and ran off with him. They found the boy several hours later several blocks away. He was fine but they never did find the man in dark clothes. The boy grow up with memories of a man in black with sun glasses grabbing him off the front lawn, and would often recount the event to his parents. Well years later the nanny returned and confessed that there had been no such man, and in fact she had just let the boy wander off when she wasn't paying attention. She paniced and created the story about the man so she wouldn't get fired for negligence.

I used to be really into cold reading and other phony psychic tricks. I used to put on shows where I would give impromptu readings to a roomfull of people and tell them details about their lives in such a way that it appeared I was Psychic. At the end I would always explain how bogus it all is and the people would get a good laugh about how gullible they were. Believe me when I say that you can convince anyone of anything if you know how to sell it. Televangelist do that type of stuff all the time.
I don't believe it. It sounds like sentimental kid's stuff. Why would everyone have wings? Why would the boy's wings be smaller than everyone else? (How Freudian!) Why was his miscarried sister there, since I doubt she'd been baptized in any fashion? But assuming she was, were her wings as big as everyone else's or do they give the smallest wings to unborn babies? Is there wing hierarchy? And why didn't she have a name? Even if the family didn't have a name for her, she would still have one in Heaven, right? And what the heck were the animals doing there? 
I would imagine the Judgment would have been involved if he died?
(03-21-2011, 08:14 PM)Underdog Wrote: [ -> ]Perhaps he was baptized as an infant...which some Protestant denominations (I believe the Methodists are one such) still do.   Shrug

All non-anabaptist mainline prot sects baptise infants, Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Reformed, Episcopalian/Anglican and most Congregationalists.
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