The story of a young boys trip to heaven hits movie screens this weekend. Heaven Is for Real is the alleged true story of four-year old Colton Burpo who slips from consciousness during emergency surgery and enters heaven.
Following his recovery, Colton said he met his miscarried sister, whom no one had told him about, and his great grandfather who died 30 years before he was born, then shared details about each that his parents claim was impossible to know.
According to The Blaze, Todd Burpo, Colton’s father and a small town Nebraska pastor, says not everyone is receiving well the message the family hopes will encourage others.
“The atheists, you’re like, I expect that from them, but when you see a person who claims to be a Christian attacking you’re like, ‘This is awful,’” he said.
Burpo contends his son’s story has been consistent and that residents of Imperial, Nebraska can support Colton’s claims.
“Well, with me, my main response is, ‘OK you can believe what you want to. That’s not going to stop me from sharing what I saw,’” Todd Burpo told The Blaze. “I am decently easygoing. It takes a lot to rattle my cage, so I take the pacifist approach.”
Steve Wohlberg, a Bible expert, television producer and author, is one such critic.
"Neither the Old or New Testaments teach anywhere that our dead relatives are floating around in heaven waiting to talk to us,” said Wohlberg. “Instead, they 'sleep' (1 Cor. 15:51) quietly in their graves awaiting 'the resurrection at the last day' (John 11:25)."
Heaven is for Real earned 4 out of 5 stars from Faith Driven Consumer, a group monitoring the ongoing Year of The Bible Movie initiative tracking the commercial viability of major Hollywood films courting faith audiences.
"Heaven is for Real is going to capture the imagination of Faith Driven Consumers, who will likely enjoy this film and urge their friends and family to go see it. The movie is highly accessible for both faith and non-faith audiences alike -- it has a strong message about heaven and the person of Jesus Christ without being too preachy. It is hopeful, entertaining, inspirational, and unique," said Chris Stone, Certified Brand Strategist and Founder of Faith Driven Consumer.