Bible X-Files, Part 3

Title: Bible X-Files, Part 3

Text: John 10:16, Galatians 1:8-9, 1 Thessalonians 5:21

Time: September 24th, 2011

 

Last time I gave a message concerning the possibility of the planet earth having been visited by space aliens in ancient and modern times. I concluded that it’s more likely that the so-called alien visitations are demonic deceptions than they are genuine extra-terrestrial encounters. From a thorough reading of the whole Bible, both Old Testament and New Testament, I conclude that there is enough evidence of demonic deception recorded in history that there is no reason to believe demonic deception has ceased in modern times today. On the contrary, the demonic deception recorded in the Bible leads us to believe that it has taken place throughout human history from ancient times to the present. It has taken different forms depending on the different cultural settings, but we’ve no reason to doubt that the Devil, that first and most deadly fallen angel, is any less active today than in the past. And if Satan is active today – which the entire Bible points to is the case – then his modern day deceptions would no doubt take the form that would deceive today’s world. I believe that the popular alien mythology is Satan’s modern day deception to fool people and lead them away from God. But having said that, I can’t help but wonder if perhaps there might possibly be something to at least some of the accounts and testimonies given today by so-called eye witnesses of alien or UFO encounters. Are there other intelligent beings in the universe somewhere, besides angels and demons in the spirit world, and besides the populations of heaven and hell, and besides, of course, God himself? Is there intelligent life somewhere we don’t know about? Or more simply, is there any life, however primitive, anywhere in the universe? And what if there was life somewhere, what impact would that have on our own lives on earth if we found out about it? What impact would the discovery of life beyond our planet have on the Christian faith? I found it interesting that the Roman Catholic church recently made a very public statement that Christianity would not necessarily be effected by any evidence for life beyond planet earth. The current Pope Benedict XVI, the former Joseph Ratzinger, is an intellectual who has written on a wide range of subjects related to faith and culture. It’s interesting that he thought it was important to reassure the faithful that extra-terrestrial life isn’t necessary anything to worry about as far as threatening Christianity. I basically agree with him, although I’d want to qualify my remarks and say, “The discovery of life beyond planet earth, in and of itself, wouldn’t necessarily pose any direct threat to biblical Christianity, but false interpretations of such a discovery might present challenges to the Christian faith.” Supposing we discovered life on other planets or aliens visited the planet earth in the future, I’m not so much worried about what this would mean to Christianity as much as what a misinterpretation of these events might mean. Let me outline my concerns.

 

First, the simple discovery of life outside earth or an alien visitation wouldn’t threaten the Christian faith. John 10:16, “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.” Now this saying of Jesus is usually interpreted as a reference to Christianity’s mission to the non-Jewish Gentiles. At first, Jesus, his disciples and early Christians brought the gospel to the Jews, but eventually the Gentiles near and far were included in the mission of the church. This is usually the standard meaning of this verse. But if – and at this point it’s a big “if” – life were found somewhere else in the universe, or if real aliens were to visit our planet – real aliens, as opposed to demonic deceptions – then this verse would take on a new and wider meaning. I can’t think of a single doctrine or any moral or ethical teaching of Christianity that would be contradicted if life were discovered outside planet earth. I think this is what the Roman Catholic church theologians were trying to say in a very public way in response to a growing interest in extra-terrestrial life in the popular culture. Our vision of God and his territory would definitely be larger than before. God’s love and concern for us wouldn’t change, although our understanding of our place within the universe and within God’s plan would change somewhat with the knowledge that we aren’t alone. It would make perfect sense that the Bible wouldn’t speak of extra-terrestrial life because it’s primarily for us and addresses our needs and our relationship with God. I can’t see how our understanding of God would change any if life were found outside of planet earth; God would still be God. Our world would still be fallen into sin with the need for the Savior Jesus Christ, regardless of anything beyond our borders. The moral and ethical standards taught in the Bible still apply. The basic architecture of spiritual reality would still be in place. For example, there would still be good and fallen angels, heaven and hell would still exist, man’s need for salvation still the same, his inability to save himself and his need to trust and obey God would remain, regardless of what happens beyond earth. Christians would still find meaning and purpose in the will of God, and they would still need to resist temptation or when they do fall into sin, confess, repent and turn back to God. We would still look forward to eternal life with God after this earthly life is over, and sinners would still need to fear God’s judgment and eternal separation in hell. Nothing would or could change these essential truths taught by Christianity. We would just have more to think about because of the expanded possibilities of extra-terrestrial life, but nothing that would flatly contradict our faith. So I totally agree with the current Pope’s assessment that were we to discover life beyond earth, this in and of itself would not be a threat to Christianity. But I’d want to qualify my remarks also.

 

Second, alien visitation would only pose a threat to Christianity if it brought a false interpretation of reality with it. Galatians 1:8-9, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned. As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned.”  I’ve already expressed great skepticism that there are any aliens in existence or that even if there are aliens they have visited our planet. I’ve already tried to show that the so-called Ancient Aliens theory can be better explained by demonic deception, or in other words, it isn’t aliens that visited our forefathers it’s demonic spirits, and it isn’t aliens who are visiting our planet today, it’s demons. So I won’t go into that again. But let’s suppose there really are aliens out there somewhere and they finally arrive visibly on planet earth. I’ve already said that simply the fact of aliens visiting earth doesn’t pose any threat to the Christian faith. The only problem I can see is if the extra-terrestrials bring with them a totally different worldview and begin teaching it to us on earth as fact. In other words, if aliens bring with them a system of belief that contradicts the Bible, for example, as to the nature of God or contradicting the essential truths of Christianity, such as, the fallen nature of man, the reality of sin, the need for salvation, the existence of heaven, and so forth. If aliens bring a totally different and incompatible worldview, that is a problem. Why is it a problem? Why would it be any different then, say, a Western Christian encountering an Eastern Hindu? Hinduism has an entirely different worldview from biblical Judaism or Christianity. Hinduism holds to a view of ultimate reality as an impersonal cosmic force, with reincarnation. Why would an alien visitation that brought a strange and different worldview be any different from meeting someone from a foreign culture? Because human nature as it is, we humans would give aliens greater credibility than another member of the human race who happens to be foreign. Aliens would probably be more persuasive in explaining their beliefs than a foreigner. It would be more impressive. Of course, if there really were aliens and they visit earth, they just might confirm the truths of Christianity and have similar sacred scriptures, doctrines and morality, since God is God of the heavens and earth. But since I’m talking about potential threats, let’s explore possible problems. The sad fact is, if we were visited by aliens, especially if they were a more advanced civilization than we are, most people would probably be attracted to whatever they taught, including spiritual and religious beliefs, right or wrong, for good or bad. They could lead many astray if they brought false teachings. This presents a potential threat. But there’s more.

 

Third, the discovery of extra-terrestrial life would only pose a threat to Christianity if its meaning were interpreted wrong. 1 Thessalonians 5:21, “Test everything. Hold on to the good.” Another potential problem could develop if we were to discover life in space is that we might misinterpret its meaning and come to the wrong conclusions about ultimate reality. We can see this tendency with scientists and researchers already. In the Search for Extra-terrestrial Life or SETI, individuals involved are already sounding like they are ready to reinterpret the worldview of the West if or when they find life beyond earth. And what they are already pushing for is a cosmic evolutionary worldview. The assumption of the SETI project is that since life “evolved” on earth, then it probably evolved elsewhere, meaning, there is probably already life somewhere in the universe. And if there’s life, there is probably also intelligent life. There are already famous scientists who hypothesize that life on planet earth probably came to earth from space in a meteorite. The move is already underway to eliminate God in explaining anything in our secular world. The great danger of any discovery of life beyond earth is that it would or could be used as propaganda for atheism or evolution. Or supposing real aliens were to visit earth or make some kind of contact. The assumption of many or most scientists on earth would be that these creatures evolved like we did only on a different planet – and that their very existence proves the theory of evolution. It doesn’t. From the biblical Christian viewpoint, any aliens would necessarily have to had their origins from God also, just like us. But probably there wouldn’t be aliens visiting earth, at least not soon, if ever, so most of our human speculation would have to revolve around supposedly discovering simple life on some planet or moon. Again, it’s impossible to know how life can travel from one place to another. Theoretically, life could travel off the planet earth somehow and reach another planet. For all we know, discovering life on a distant planet might just be merely finding evidence of our own planet’s life. So there is a lot of room for misinterpretation. My worry is that scientific discoveries of life somewhere might be misinterpreted to mean something it isn’t. I can imagine people jumping to conclusions before they think through things. As Christians we have to be careful not to buy into any popular or powerful beliefs that may come from such a discovery. I fear the world is primed and ready to jump on the latest scientific bandwagon that comes along, even if it means jumping to conclusions that aren’t warranted by the evidence.

 

So to summarize, there really isn’t much of an actual threat to the Christian faith coming from the possibility of discovering life outside of earth or from an alien visitation to earth. Our biggest danger is being deceived because there are unfortunately demon spirits as described in the Bible that work overtime trying to get us to hold the wrong beliefs and do the wrong things. These evil beings are fully capable of projecting into our minds and the minds of others illusions and lies. The whole alien mythology present today is largely this happening. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if demon spirits in the near future staged an impressive spectacle depicting aliens visiting our planet. It wouldn’t take much to convince a lot of people that an alien contact had occurred. There could be some sophisticated fake communication or some visual light show that seems pretty convincing. It probably would convince the many people who want to be convinced that aliens are real. But it’s interesting that of all the so-called alien encounters or UFO sightings, none of them are ever really very substantial or verifiable. Why is that? Could it be that in staging these teasingly interesting and mysterious “encounters” even demons have a limited ability to pull off a sustained con game. From the looks of things, about the only things these clever creatures can do is produce short momentary flashes of UFO sightings, or out-of-focus video or camera shots, or fuzzy, vague repressed memories of alien encounters, and so forth. Like the fake “alien autopsy” films, demons can pull off a deception for a little while and make a quick impression, but sustaining anything long-term is evidently difficult, which is why they don’t do it. As Christians we don’t have to fear the discovery of life outside earth or of alien visitations to earth. We don’t even have to fear the devil or demons, even though we should be aware of their activity and not be fooled by them. We don’t have to be taken in or tricked by their smoke and mirror games. We don’t have to allow ourselves to be fooled by holographic illusions. What we need to do is keep our head in the Bible and our heart in prayer because we will probably be tested and tempted in the future like never before. Our world is setting itself up for a grand illusion, whether by so-called aliens or some other means. As Christians we don’t have to follow the crowd and fall for lies. As long as we stay glued to God and God’s Word, we won’t be deceived. In fact, we can do more than not be fooled, we can actually help free others from deception – or keep others from being fooled in the first place.

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