Ever wonder what heaven is really like? Whether you were mentally preparing for your earthy exit or just a fan of a page tuner, you might have picked up The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven.
The book, written in 2010, by 6-year old Alex Malarky and his father Kevin, follows the story about how Alex visited heaven while in a coma after a car accident. But (shockingly!) it appears that this book, which was marketed as a "supernatural encounter that will give you new insights on Heaven, angels, and hearing the voice of God," was just fiction.
Five years after its release, the book's publisher Tyndale House is pulling The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven from shelves because the boy, in fact, never went to heaven.
Alex, who is now a teenager, wrote his confession in an open letter to retailer LifeWay and others who sell Christian books and other religious items.
"I did not die. I did not go to Heaven," Alex wrote. "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."
Alex added that people can learn of heaven outside the Bible through repentance. "Those who market these materials must be called to repent and hold the Bible as enough, " he concluded.
The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven was controversial among orthodox Christians, as it became part of the genre "heavenly tourism." The books was also controversial for the Malarkey's. Alex's mother Beth has spoken out against the book and the movie, even writing a blog post claiming that Alex was being used.
"Alex's name and identity are being used against his wishes (I have spoken before and posted about it that Alex has tried to publicly speak out against the book), on something that he is opposed to and knows to be in error according to the Bible," she wrote.
We can't judge Alex too harshly since he was six at the time he wrote his memoir and six-year-olds believe a lot of things. But we are intrigued about the other books featured in this "heavenly tourism" genre. Will there be a Yelp-style website coming out soon about Heaven hotels? Perhaps brochures? We are very curious as to what turn the Heaven Industrial Complex will take.
Photo Credit: Nicolas Raymond/Flickr