The UFO phenomenon—growing and not going away!
Is it the next great challenge for the church?
Published: 15 August 2009 (GMT+10)
Gavin C. from the UK sent an insightful email to CMI’s resident “UFOlogist”, Gary Bates. Gary’s reply is below Gavin’s original email.
Thanks once again for your book Alien Intrusion. I’ve been reading quite a lot recently, I’ve gone through Tim[othy] Good’s books, now I’m comparing it with what Missler & Eastman have said [in their book Alien Encounters]. Also just been watching the European Exopolitics 2009 in Spain on line, Dr. Steven Greer is channeling aliens and encouraging everyone else to do so, the worrying thing is that they’re answering, and he briefs the president on such issues? [website withheld per our feedback rules].
I just get the feeling that there is a paradigm shift happening right now in our culture, real fast, and it’s taking the church by surprise, how this all ties in with end time prophesy I’m still processing, but it’s kind of scary. It certainly strikes me that if Christians aren’t really founded firm on the Word with a creation world view then they will be hoodwinked by the ETH,1 that these entities are here to “help us up to the next rung of our evolutionary development”, even claiming to be our creators. Will this be the great falling away?
Dear Mr C/Dear Gavin,
Thanks for your email. It is interesting to receive these thoughts from you at this time. Of course, I am involved in this type of specialist research but it is actually only a very small part of what I do. Like my colleagues I mainly focus on the wider creation/evolution issue. However, there is an ever-increasing amount of articles from established scientists and even politicians giving the UFO-believers’ cause some seeming validity. The mere fact that politicians are actually holding such an exopolitics conference should give us cause for concern in itself. And I have recently had an increasingly strong sense, almost one of foreboding, that this is an impending paradigm shift that will very likely be a major issue in the future. That’s why I make the point about the timing of your email. My concern is that the church is still not equipped to deal with the creation/evolution problem yet, and the UFO phenomenon, which is a subset of this, is an issue majorly shunned/avoided by the wider church. This is despite the fact that a belief in extraterrestrial life is overwhelmingly accepted by the majority of the population, Christians included.
One only need look at the Roswell Festival held each year, where I have just been. The town’s population doubles in size over the “crash anniversary” weekend, yet not a single church in town makes an effort to reach out to the tens of thousands that are there. In fact, they openly distance themselves from it. And as we know, many sections of the church openly embrace evolution so they won’t have any problem believing that life evolved on other planets anyway.
The following areas that will likely continue to be promoted as a challenge to Christianity are:
That the complexity of life—that is, the vast amounts of information on the DNA molecule of all creatures—means it has been designed by aliens. We can now map the majority of the information on the human genome, and when one sees it laid out on sheets of paper, for example, its immensity is breathtaking. It’s hard to see how any reasonable thinking person could believe this has come about by chance. Therefore the idea of older, more evolved (therefore smarter) aliens being our creators can help evolutionists explain the origin of life (one of the biggest stumbling blocks to biological evolution). It gets them off the hook by merely transferring the argument to outer space where we can’t test it. It’s ironic that they will criticize Christians for believing in an unseen God as Creator, but they are more than happy to resort to their own unseen forces—as long as these do not involve God.
But at the same time it is already a “given” for them that more complex, “higher” forms of life must have evolved “out there”, since they allegedly evolved on Earth.
BTW when I use the word “life” for the purposes of this email, let me please define that as sentient and intelligent moral-decision-capable life, of the order of human beings. I don’t believe that bacteria or some simple lifeforms on other planets would necessarily invalidate the Bible, though it would strike me as being inconsistent with the way we’ve understood the universe to be created so far. One only has to look at the interdependency and interconnectedness of the whole biosphere of Earth, which was ultimately made for human beings. Seeing bunny rabbits hopping around on some distant planet in the Pleiades system just wouldn’t seem to make sense and would be pointless (I don’t see how this would glorify the Creator). But the abundance of life on Earth does glorify Him for it is written in Isaiah 45:18:
“For this is what the LORD says—he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited—he says: “I am the LORD, and there is no other” (emphasis mine).
Secondly, this evolution of life on other planets, which is being promoted as fact without any substantive evidence, is a real hiccup for many Christians. Even non-evolutionist Christians, by and large, don’t deal with this correctly. In my experience, most Christians believe in life on other planets (or at least that there could be life out there) and this plays right into the hands of UFO-believing evolutionists. For one thing, if Christians take the line that God could have created life on other planets, then it gives cause for ridicule of the Bible because it is silent about such things. More significantly, as evolutionary physicist Paul Davies has pointed out (correctly by the way, if we say God created life out there):
“Christianity, in particular, has difficulties with regard to the very special role that Jesus Christ plays. If they wish to retain Jesus Christ as the saviour, is he the saviour of mankind only, or of all sentient beings throughout the universe? Or will each community have its own saviour? Doesn’t it all start to become a little ludicrous?”2
There are two areas to be dissected here.
- Evolutionists believe that life must have evolved elsewhere in their massive (and old) universe, and that Christians are arrogant to presume that Earth is the only place in the entire universe that contains life. As I wrote in another article on our site:
- Life evolved on the earth
- The universe is an enormous place
- Life must have evolved elsewhere
- The universe is an enormous place (we cannot be the only ones)
- Aliens must exist [if they evolved here, why not elsewhere, as the conditions must be right on one of the many billions of Earth-like planets they presume to exist.] (science fiction can’t be all wrong!)
- If aliens exist they must have evolved
- It ‘proves’ that life must have evolved on the earth also”
Secondly, many Christians struggle with why God would have made the universe so big if it’s just for human beings. This is the number one question I constantly receive on the subject. But this is known as an anthropomorphic argument, because it projects our limited human understanding and human attributes to a non-human Creator who is outside of our time and space. It’s like saying, “If it were me I wouldn’t have made it so big.” There are some passages that remind us not to do this, such as Job 11:7–9 where God speaks to Job and says:
“Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens—what can you do? They are deeper than the depths of the grave— what can you know? Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea.”
Of course, the universe was created not just for us, but for God’s glory. The Scriptures tell us so numerous times, such as in Psalm 19:1, which says:
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”
In addition, Scripture reminds us that creating such a universe is not hard for God.
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no-one [no human] can fathom” (Isaiah 40:28)—[addition mine].
In short, if God is the one who made the universe anyway, then logically how can it be too big for Him to have made?
I’ve also heard many Christians say “Well, God could have made aliens”, or “might have”, “would have” etc. Some of them, with good intentions, invoke aliens “out there” just in case we really do get visited some day. But this also tends to project our fallible human reasoning and purposes onto God. Surely it’s about what He said He did, not what He might have done based on our limited understanding of the universe? Surely it is reasonable to assume that God’s very own Word would not be silent on such a possibility (of an alien visitation), which would be an Earth-shattering, paradigm-altering event if it were to happen? So when Christians believe that God created life out there, the evolutionists, reasonably enough, cannot understand why a god would make other beings and not tell us about it, just like Paul Davies alluded to earlier. After all, the whole purpose of the Creation was to bring about a bride for Christ—His church, the redeemed from many nations, Adam’s seed justified through the last Adam. ET cannot be part of the wedding ceremony because he is not a human being. BTW, I’m not sure if you’ve read Did God create life on other planets? but it deals with this specific issue and most of the arguments.
Christians should not be frightened to stand on God’s Word and should not be worried that it can be falsified somehow. Of course, one has to be careful about what areas one chooses to make a stand or make predictions on (I don’t mean as in prophecy). For example, although it may be possible, one cannot dogmatically say that the UFO phenomenon will play a part in the Bible’s end time reckoning. One simply cannot know for sure because it hasn’t yet happened (it’s the future).
Now, I have heard some argue that because the Bible is silent about aliens it does not mean that aliens don’t exist. After all, the Bible doesn’t mention motor cars or us putting man on the moon, so if you had stuck the Bible’s reputation on those things not coming to pass then you would have egg on your face. However, these are not salvation-related issues, but I believe that the idea that God created sentient and intelligent moral-decision-capable life on other planets is a salvation issue because it would invalidate the gospel’s big picture, which is the purpose of the entire gamut of Scripture to start with. (Again, see Did God create life on other planets? )
“The interest in the search for extraterrestrial life is huge—mainly fuelled by the enormous popularity of science fiction and its depiction of advanced alien life on other planets. Many evolutionists are acutely aware of this. In fact, in the minds of many young people, the idea of alien life ‘proves’ the theory of evolution itself. It has almost become a circular self-serving hypothesis!
Because of evolutionary teaching, many people now believe:
The majority of these channeled messages seem to be focused on environmental issues. It links human evolution with the state (or evolution) of the planet. In the current political global warming climate (pardon the pun) there are many eager and willing ears to hear this, and to those with a global warming agenda it just adds another string to their bow. “Hey even the aliens are on our side trying to help us.” Bizarrely, this aliens/environment link only reinforces the idea that aliens are real. The UFO phenomenon has been around for as long as mankind has had writings. The morphing of these phenomena into the cultural understanding of the day is nothing new and has been going on for hundreds of years. For example, it once took the form of fairies or elves. This is deemed ridiculous by the standards of today’s more “enlightened culture”. But no one seems to have a problem with the idea that some unknown and unseen gray alien beings can travel millions or billions of light years, defy the very laws of physics that govern our universe and then walk through walls to abduct a specially pre-chosen human being in the middle of the night to convey such messages. To cultures past UFOs often appeared as airships or even flying canoes etc. This is because the phenomena are specifically designed to deceive by the evil one—the great deceiver himself.
Aliens—a subset of evolutionism
As mentioned, the UFO phenomenon is a subset of a bigger issue—the origins issue. One can cherry-pick the issues one wishes to deal with, and this includes other issues such as abortion, euthanasia, animal rights or whatever. But one would only be dealing with the symptoms of the underlying problem.
So, by just discussing the nature of UFOs or the relevance of the messages being channeled by alleged aliens, one only gets into circular arguments that go round and round. It is the underlying philosophy of such beliefs that needs to be confronted while at the same time one deals with the individual issues. If we remove the foundation of evolution, then there is no way that aliens can exist out there in the first place. Once this foundation is demolished we can then use the Bible to explain, and deal with, the nature of the individual issues. This again highlights why it is dangerous for Christians to invoke life (as defined above) on other planets.
Thanks for opening up this discussion.
- The “Extraterrestrial Hypothesis” or the idea that real physical aliens are traveling to Earth in real physical craft. As opposed to the “Interdimensional Hypothesis”, which speculates that more advanced and highly evolved beings are visiting us from other dimensions or even other universes, and do not have to travel to Earth by traversing space in our universe. Return to text.
- Paul Davies, Radio interview quoted in R. Stannard, Science and Wonders: Conversations About Science and Belief, Faber and Faber Limited, London. Return to text.