If “Chariots of the Gods” is True, We’re in Big Trouble!

Title: If “Chariots of the Gods” is True, We’re in Big Trouble!
Text: Psalm 90:2, Hebrews 9:27, Romans 12:2
Time: October 6th, 2012

I’ve already talked a lot about the current UFO craze and the recent flurry of special documentaries on TV concerning extra-terrestrials. Almost all the major networks have run at least one special on UFOs recently; and a few have even presented more than one; and one network, the History Channel, is running a series on them. Of all the people whose name surfaces in relation to extra-terrestrials, one man’s comes up again and again – Eric Von Daniken. He’s the widely popular author of the best-selling book, Chariots of the Gods. His basic premise is that extra-terrestrials visited the earth in ancient times and influenced human culture. According to him the origins of the world’s major religions can be traced back to – you guessed it – extra-terrestrials. Now Von Daniken’s book came out about forty years ago and has sold an estimated sixty million copies worldwide. So he and his ideas have been around for quite a while. But a new generation of UFOlogists, as they are called, is promoting his same ideas now. These are the concepts explained in the History Channel’s series Ancient Aliens. Through the use of clever editing, stunning videography, special effects and expert interviews, the basic ideas of Von Daniken’s Chariots of the Gods are presented to a younger generation of viewers. The people interviewed and who comment throughout the documentary series are, what we might call, UFO evangelists. Meaning, they are not only convinced that our planet has been visited by aliens, they want everyone else to believe it too! They’re enthused, inspired and motivated to share the “good news” of extra-terrestrial visitation and intervention to citizens of the planet earth. But if we stop and think about what they are actually promoting, we quickly realize that there really isn’t anything good about the so-called news they are presenting. They are essentially trying to say that what, for example, Christianity teaches about belief in God is all wrong; God or gods are really extra-terrestrials or aliens. Supernatural miracles, as recorded in the Bible, for instance, aren’t really powerful acts of God; they are really advanced alien technology that we human interpret as spiritual. And so forth. In other words, the project is really an attempt to debunk Christianity and the Bible in order to preach the “gospel” of extra-terrestrials. But there’s nothing good about the so-called “good news” of ancient aliens. I’d like to explain why it’s not good news, but instead, it would be bad news. Because it would return us to square one in our search for the answers to the really big questions of life and existence. On the surface, an extra-terrestrial explanation might seem like an advancement in understanding who we are, where we came from and where we are going – but upon closer examination, it actually sets us back in answering these and other big questions. Let me explain.

First, if the extra-terrestrial visitation theory is true, then we know nothing about who or what is ultimate. Psalm 90:2, “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” The Jewish-Christian answer to the ultimate question is God. God is ultimate. Everything begins and ends with him. There is no reality beyond God. God is the ultimate explanation for reality and existence. Because God exists, we exist. There is no god beyond God; there is nothing beyond God. God is ultimate. The Bible teaches this in both the Jewish Old Testament and the Christian New Testament. This is what the Christian church affirms, for example, in the Apostles’ Creed, “I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.” This truth answers the question, “What is ultimate?” It provides the foundation for everything else that follows as far as questions about existence, life and death. But if the extra-terrestrial visitation theory – or as it’s sometimes called, the ancient astronaut theory – is true, then we really don’t know what is ultimate after all. Why? Because aliens don’t provide an answer to the question of what is ultimate. At best, they just push the question further back, which doesn’t help us at all. For example, if we’ve really been visited by extra-terrestrial travelers in the past, and if they were influential in the founding of the major world religions, and if they are the God or gods that we’ve always believed in, then if, in other words, they are our gods, then who or what is their God? Do you see how the extra-terrestrial visitation theory leaves us with no answer to the ultimate question of, “What is ultimate?” It just pushes it back further and leaves us with no answer to what is ultimate. If they are the gods, then who is their God? And what do we know about him? According to the Bible, the God described in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is the true and living God. If we take that truth away, then we are really left in the dark about what is ultimate. All we are left with is the mysterious visitations of space aliens, which really helps us in no way answer the big questions of life. Sure, it may tells us something about our past, but we don’t need information merely about our past, we want information about all past history. We want to know what is ultimate. We want to know the history of all reality, or at least, what is behind all of existence, like what the Bible tells us. So we see that it doesn’t make any sense for Eric Von Daniken and company to get all excited about their new theory of ancient aliens because when we stop and think about it we realize that if true the theory would not be a step forward in knowledge about ultimate reality, it would be a step backwards. We would be left in complete darkness and lost in the cosmos. This is not the solution.

Second, if the extra-terrestrial visitation theory is true, then we know nothing about what happens beyond this life after we die. Hebrews 9:27, “It is appointed unto man once to die, and after that the judgment.” According to the Bible and what Christianity teaches, after we die we will meet God Almighty face-to-face at the Final Judgment. Those who have been forgiven and saved through the sacrificial death of Christ and by their faith will be granted eternal heavenly existence; those who refused Christ’s salvation will face eternal damnation in hell. There is definitely life after death and our eternal destiny is determined how we decide in our present life. But according to the ancient alien theory the so-called extra-terrestrials who visited our planet in the past inspired all the biblical teachings on heaven and hell, salvation and damnation. Men interpreted alien encounters as experiences with God or gods, then these same men wrote out of their own imaginations the myths and legends that are recorded in the sacred writings found in all world religions. So then, according to Von Daniken and friends, religion is all man-made, although it is inspired by real life extra-terrestrial encounters. This is nothing less than a total debunking of all religion, including our own, Christianity. It undermines the truthfulness of the Bible and all the truths that it teaches. For example, on the question of life after death, alien visitations really give us nothing to go on in respect to this. Presumably, these ancient aliens also die at some point, so they are in no better position to answer questions about life after death than we humans are. The whole point of God revealing himself in the Bible is to give us information about life and death that we can’t or couldn’t figure out on our own. The whole idea of divine revelation is to reveal important truths, truths that we need to find meaning and purpose in life, and give man clear answers to deep and profound questions. But if the extra-terrestrial theory is correct, we are back to square one again, stumbling, bumbling in the dark like our ancestors did, not knowing ultimate truth, not knowing what comes after death, and other ultimate questions. Von Daniken buys into the basic evolutionary cosmology of modern thinking, so presumably these visiting aliens would have evolved somewhere else in the cosmos. But if so, how did they evolve? And if so, how does that help us answer questions about life after death? It doesn’t. In fact, according to evolution, strictly materialistic and natural evolution, there is no life after death. Is that what ancient alien theory would say also? It would seem to follow. But if this is so, then we really aren’t making any progress in answering ultimate questions of existence, because our ancestors at least held out the hope that there was life beyond death. So if the alien theory also teaches materialistic evolution, then it offers humanity no hope beyond the grave. It leaves us with no ultimate answers to why we exist at all and what is our purpose in life.

Third, if the extra-terrestrial visitation theory is true, then we know nothing about God’s existence or God’s will. Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” According to the Bible we not only can know God but we can also know God’s will. But if the ancient alien theory of Eric Von Daniken is true, then much or most of the Bible is simply a man-made reaction to extra-terrestrial visitation long ago. Therefore, it can’t be trusted to give us a true and accurate understanding of God’s will. And anyway, the God or the gods are really alien travelers who visit our planet, not the God the Bible describes; so then, there wouldn’t be any divine will coming from God, but rather, possibly, the will of the ancient aliens. And so we can see how the debunking process begins with God and works its way through the Bible and eventually to all Christian truth, eventually leaving nothing reliable. If the extra-terrestrial visitation theory is true, then we know nothing about the will of the one and true God of reality, because the sacred texts, such as the Bible, wouldn’t be reliable. At best, it would be a mixture of truth and legends, history and myths – extra-terrestrial encounters confused with divine or spiritual experiences. We wouldn’t know what to believe about much of anything. So how Von Daniken and others can actually get excited about the ancient alien theory is puzzling. What is there to get excited about? It’s as if to say, “Surprise! Do you know all that we know about God and God’s will found in the Bible? Guess what? It’s not true. It can all be explained by ancient aliens visiting the earth thousands of years ago and man interpreting these encounters in terms of religion.” That’s good news? That would be pitiful and awful news, because it would mean that mankind hasn’t made any progress in the past thousands of years as far as learning about and knowing God. It would mean that all we’ve learned and believed about God were a lie. It would mean the biggest questions of life still remain unanswered – if Von Daniken is correct. Well, thankfully, he and his fellow UFO enthusiasts are wrong. Fortunately, we can refute their wild speculations and fanciful theories. It’s not that the Bible contains the myths, fables and legends, it’s that the ancient alien theory is the modern myth, fable and legend all rolled into one.

I’ve argued before that the modern day myth of ancient aliens is actually a contemporary New Age religion for many people. It tries to answer all the big questions that religion, Christianity for example, answers; yet, it fails to truly answer the questions. It leads souls into deeper darkness and despair. Instead of turning people towards the one true God of the Bible, Von Daniken attempts to point them to so-called ancient aliens. But what results when we turn our attention to these so-called extra-terrestrials, as contemporary alien mythology describes? We find that there are no answers to the big questions of life to be found there. Most of the time, following the alien mythology, all the really big questions are left unanswered. But when UFO enthusiasts do attach answers to the basic alien mythology, they inevitably steer people in the direction of something like the popular New Age movement. Oddly enough, reincarnation usually comes up in some form in connection with UFOs and space aliens. And there are many other strange and far out beliefs that pop up in connection with the mythology of extra-terrestrial visitations and encounters. Where does that leave us? Confused and just as in darkness as primitive mankind was before the light of the Jewish and Christian revelation. Do we really want to embrace a belief system that takes us backwards instead of forwards in wisdom and knowledge? Ancient paganism used to ignorantly believe in many gods; fortunately God revealed to the Jews the truth of monotheism, or the belief in the one, true God – and the revelation that came with that understanding. Next God used Christians to teach the world about salvation found in Jesus Christ – and all the blessings that have followed this revelation. We experience the blessings of modern life, the advancements, the breakthroughs, in part because of the revelation of Christianity in the Western World. Do we really want to go backwards back into ancient paganism and return to a belief in the gods or aliens or extra-terrestrials or whatever you want to call them? The legends and myths and fables about the different gods where just that, not real. There is only one reality, ultimately, and that’s the one, true and living God Almighty. The Bible explains all this clearly. Why go back into the darkness of paganism with its confusion and despair? That’s what we do if we take seriously the Von Daniken alien myth. We have nothing to gain and everything to lose in buying into the current UFO fad. Let’s hold to our sure and solid Christian faith, and let the passing fads come and go. Why get caught up into something that will ultimately fail and drag us down with it? Jesus said he was the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). Let’s believe it.

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One Response to “If “Chariots of the Gods” is True, We’re in Big Trouble!”

  1. If “Chariots of the Gods” is True, We’re in Big Trouble! | ChristianBookBarn.com Says:

    […] Recommended Article FROM https://jeffshort.wordpress.com/2012/10/13/if-chariots-of-the-gods-is-true-were-in-big-trouble/ […]

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