UFOlogy: the world’s fastest-growing ‘scientific’ religion?
Many people wonder why we write about the UFO phenomenon. Isn’t it just a ‘side issue’? But in fact, it’s so important to oppose this particular belief, because ET belief is quickly becoming the world’s most scientifically acceptable false religion and a major stumbling block to Christianity. And although some of its adherents are serious followers, the reality is, that polls show that belief in UFOs is mainstream and held by the average ‘Joe’ in the street. For example, a CNN/Time Magazine poll in 1997, found, among other things that;
- 80% believe that the government is hiding the existence of extraterrestrial life forms
- 64% believe aliens have contacted humans
- 50% believe that aliens have abducted humans
- 93% have never been abducted
- 75% believe that a UFO crashed near Roswell
So, in one sense, the majority of the population believes that UFOs are real physical craft piloted by beings from other planets. Does that make them adherents in the religious sense? The purpose of this article is to sound a clarion call that such beliefs make people vulnerable to further and possibly deeper deception. This is why it is important to place all of our thinking on the Bible, and not be misled into thinking that because the universe is so big, that there must be extraterrestrial life on other planets. Our view that God did not create life on other planets has even made us relatively unpopular among Christian friends. However, as this issue affects the veracity of God’s Word, and is indeed, a salvation issue, we have been careful; drawing a strong,exegetical and historical picture from the Bible. Many are worried that real ET visitations might falsify the Bible if we are wrong. While such motives might be sincere, we should not be concerned that the Bible should be falsified as to its truth claims—particularly if we are claiming it is the very Word of God.
Unlike Buddhism, Islam, etc, extraterrestrial belief has a veneer of scientific credibility. Arguably, the world’s most famous scientist, physicist Stephen Hawking, has even stated that he believes aliens probably exist. And the world’s most famous atheistic evolutionist, Richard Dawkins, as anti-theistic as he is, has no problem with aliens theoretically seeding life on earth, provided that somewhere down the chain of creators, there’s a life form that arose via evolution. Antichristian scientist, and co-discoverer of the DNA molecule, Sir Francis Crick, similarly proposed that life came via panspermia (life seeded by aliens) as a possible explanation for the mind-boggling complexity of the coded information on DNA. As atheists, mainly due to their evolutionist beliefs, they claim there is no evidence for God. However, they have no problem resorting to ‘unseen’ aliens as our creators. Design, apparently is not the problem. It’s God being the designer that they have a problem with.
When people see an Unidentified Flying Object in the skies or come into contact with beings who claim to be from ‘a galaxy far, far away’, it has added credibility in the minds of the experiencers because so many scientists believe in alien life. In addition, science fiction, which is massively influential, creates futuristic worlds where highly technologically advanced aliens can overcome the laws of physics to visit the earth from star systems billions of light years away perhaps. As such, the majority of people, including most Christians tend to gravitate towards the idea that they have just seen or experienced something otherworldly.
Seemingly more credibility was added when NASA launched an ‘Astrobiology’ program, dedicated to studying “the origin, evolution, distribution and destiny of life—wherever it might exist”, it gives added traction to the idea that there actually is life out there. Why would SETI (The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute) be scanning the skies, using many millions of radio frequencies every second, for broadcasts from intelligent beings if they didn’t believe they actually exist? New Scientist (NS) recently reported that Seth Shostak (Director of SETI) was confident that within 24 years we would detect an alien civilization. He said,
“There are maybe 1021 Earth-like planets out there … Believing there aren’t ETs is believing in miracles.1”
NS said “He bet the audience that we’d find ET within our lifetime or else he’d buy us a cup of Starbucks.”
As we wrote in Prepare Ye the Way—the aliens are coming, the ET religion is not only a subset of the origins issue, it provides a complete replacement theology for Christianity. The Raelians are only one example of a cult that has evolutionism and UFOlogy at its core. They believe that the Elohim were our extraterrestrial creators, but don’t know where they came from. Were they likewise created, or did they evolve from mindless matter? And if they were created, who created their creators, and their creators’ creators? Although they think they have solved the origin of life issue—even advocating intelligent design—each creator race only moves the question back one step, to a different planet and no ultimate answer.
Doctrine of UFOlogical religion
- There is also a soteriological (doctrine of salvation) aspect to UFO religion. Our ‘space brothers’ are said to be older and more advanced both ethically and technologically. This is a bizarre claim given the brutal and sordid nature of some alleged abduction encounters. Often, ‘New Age’ religion is strongly intertwined with UFO beliefs. The ETs are going to save us from global warming, etc, and show us how to live in harmony with our planet. Earth as an organism figures in as well, a theme popularized by the film Avatar.
Part of ‘salvation’ in the ET religion often involves evolving to the level of our ET benefactors. Its origins are found in the satanic ‘you will be like God’ deception that emanates from the Garden of Eden. If the ET deception has the same source, we shouldn’t be surprised at the parallels.
Sometimes ETs also act as judges. Raelianism claims that there is a panel of judges who will get to decide who gets to be cloned again to eternal life, and who doesn’t. This is based on works, like all other false religions such as Islam, Mormonism, etc. But in the absence of an omniscient God, who decides what’s good enough? And what authority do mere men have to decide whether someone is good enough—are they themselves ‘good enough’ and by whose standard? This problem is common with the redemption aspect of most false religions.
- There is also an eschatological aspect. In some beliefs, the ETs will come and take away all the people who refuse to let ‘Mother Earth’ evolve, either destroying them or taking them to someplace else. For instance, New Age, ET channeller, Barbara Marciniak writes in her book Bringers of the Dawn: Teachings from the Pleiadians:
“The people who leave the planet during the time of Earth changes do not fit in here any longer, and they are stopping the harmony of Earth. When the time comes that perhaps 20 million people leave the planet at one time there will be a tremendous shift in consciousness for those who are remaining.”2
This is a not-so-subtle take on the Christian pre-millennial view, in which Christians are raptured, that is, taken away by Christ, before the time known as the Great Tribulation. There are also views that ET believers will be taken away by spaceships to a planet called Heaven, which in some iterations even features a golden city much like the New Jerusalem. Channeller Thelma Terrell, who also goes by the ‘spiritual’ name ‘Tuella’, writes:
“Our rescue ships will be able to come in close enough in the twinkling of an eye to set the lifting beams in operation in a moment. And over the globe where events warrant it, this will be the method of evacuation. Mankind will be lifted … by the beams from our smaller ships. …
“ … Earth changes will be the primary factor in mass evacuation of the planet. There is method and great organization in a detailed plan already near completion for the purpose of removing souls from this planet, in the event of catastrophic events making a rescue necessary … . The Great Evacuation will come upon the world very suddenly. The flash of emergency events will be as a lightning that flashes in the sky. So suddenly and quick in its happening that it is over almost before you are aware of its presence … .”
This is strikingly similar to 1 Corinthians 15:51-52. However, we should not be surprised. The enemy has always been a counterfeiter and we are warned that he masquerades as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). In others, the aliens will herald in the apocalypse. Some types of ET belief have alien/human hybrids as an integral part of end-times scenarios.
Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam’s link to UFOs
In Alien Intrusion: UFOs and the Evolution Connection (p. 298) we revealed that the founder of the ‘million man march’ and current leader of the Nation of Islam (NOL) was a former UFO contactee. As a young man, Louis Farrakhan, claims he was taken aboard a UFO where he met Master Elijah Muhammed (the former leader, then deceased). This was kept under wraps for years, probably due to credibility problems that such claims would have, but apparently not any more. Farrakhan and his followers apparently believe that Armageddon is coming and that the spaceships will return again someday. On reporting about a recent convention in Chicago where over 10,000 followers gathered, Fox News reported that belief in UFOs is:
“ … one of the group’s more misunderstood–and ridiculed–beliefs, something organizers took into account when planning the convention …. ‘There’s enough evidence that has been put before the world and public,’ Ishmael Muhammad, the religion’s national assistant minister, told The Associated Press. ‘There have been enough accounts and sightings and enough movies (documentaries) made, I don’t think you would find too many people that would call it crazy.’”3
Indeed, by embracing popular belief and incorporating it into their religion, NOL might increasingly be more attractive to many trying to fit UFOs and aliens into their religious worldview.
Sacraments and ‘holy places’
Some people get so involved in the ET phenomenon that they actually start ‘channeling’ supposed ‘space brothers’. Sometimes they claim that the aliens actually communicate through them. But how can a physical being be channeled? Some alien beings claim to have evolved beyond matter, to a spiritual existence. It seeks to provide an atheistic, evolutionary mechanism to justify that the aliens are, in fact, really spiritual beings, who can replace the ultimate spiritual being of man’s construction—God!.‘True believers’ point to crop circles as a major physical evidence of alien visitations. They claim that the designs are too complex to be man-made. Groups like Circlemakers amply disprove the claim that crop circles have to be created by beings with advanced technology (in fact, traditionally crop circles are easily made with planks and ropes). But this does not mean that even indisputably man-made circles aren’t relevant to the UFO phenomenon. People involved in the construction of crop circles often report strange phenomena surrounding these sites:
“Our crop formations are intended to function as temporary sacred sites in this landscape. While constructing crop formations in the fields we have experienced a series of aerial anomalies including: small balls of light, columns of light, and blinding flashes. All apparently targeting us and our crop formations. We are unsurprised at the numerous visitors who have reported a diverse assortment of anomalies associated with our artworks. These have included physiological effects, such as headache and nausea. Healing effects such as one report of a cure for acute osteoporosis. Physical effects such as camera and other electronic equipment failure. We are certain that our artworks are subject of paranormal forces and act to catalyze other paranormal events.” (emphasis added)4
Demonologists expect that when people dabble with the occult, even as a joke or a prank, evil spirits will usually jump at the opportunity to deceive and gain control over people. But Circlemakers may not be entirely innocent in this regard, as our book Alien Intrusion: UFOs and the Evolution Connection documents:
“A little-known fact about Circlemakers is that before they entered the lucrative commercial market, they called themselves Team Satan. This is a very bold name and might be suggestive of their intent. … Indeed satanic worship continues to be quite prolific in the world today, and many are drawn into it by its allure and mysticism. Have crop circles become modern shrines of occult worship? Most certainly, Team Satan is not ashamed to publicly draw attention to the ‘supernatural side’ of its work and, perhaps deliberately, draw more folk into the dark world of the occult using the curiosity factor” (p. 218).
What does the Bible say?
The Bible doesn’t specifically mention aliens or UFOs, and we shouldn’t expect it to. The Bible was written for all believers in all cultures, but it was written to specific people in specific cultures, so we should expect the text to conform to those cultures somewhat (though God’s word in every case also transcends that culture). Talk about little green men would be incomprehensible and nonsensical to the first-century Jew; it would be completely outside his worldview. But, although the Bible does not speak specifically about aliens, it is not silent about this issue.
First, the Bible is clear that God created. In fact, one of His core attributes is that He is the uncreated Creator. It is the vital difference between Him and the lifeless idols created by human hands (Isaiah 40–44). And His creation was anthropocentric, in that the goal of creation was to produce mankind in His image; to have eternal fellowship with Him and produce a bride for Christ. This goal was so important that even mankind’s sin didn’t cause Him to abandon us; instead the Second Person of the Trinity sacrificed Himself for us so that we could be brought back into a right relationship with Him.
Second, the Bible states that there are spiritual beings called angels, 1/3 of which rebelled against God. The leader of this rebellion is called Lucifer (literally meaning ‘being of light’) or Satan (‘accuser’). His primary trait is that he is a deceiver, and we can see this in that his first recorded act in Scripture is that he deceived Eve so that she sinned and persuaded Adam to rebel as well. His mission is to spite God, his creator, by taking down as many human beings as He can. Satan hates humans because we are made in the image of the Creator, who he hates, and because God loves us.
These angels can appear in a variety of forms; the ones who are obedient to God always appear as males, but not always like human males (see the angelic descriptions in Ezekiel and Revelation, for example). Many believe that at one point in time fallen angels cohabited with human women, producing the Nephilim. But these angels are confined in a special prison awaiting judgment, so this cannot be repeated (2 Peter 2:4–5).
Signs and wonders
The Bible indicates that the last days will be characterized by an intensifying of supernatural ‘signs and wonders’ designed to deceive the world (Matthew 12; Mark 13). (Lest anyone think that we’re advocating one eschatological view or another, the Bible seems to refer to the time where the Church exists on earth as the ‘last days’, which has lasted for nearly 2,000 years and counting, so we’re using ‘last days’ in the biblical sense, not the sense of any particular eschatological view.) Revelation is even clearer, saying that the false prophet will do signs and wonders to draw people to the beast, also known as the antichrist (Revelation 19).
The devil is a counterfeiter, so we should not be surprised that just as Jesus’ signs and wonders were designed to point people to Him and the truth of His teaching, the false signs and wonders also serve to deceive people into believing lies. When Paul refers to this in 1 Timothy 4, the context makes it clear that he is talking about a certain heresy making the rounds in the Asian churches, which seems to be a form of proto-Gnosticism. But ‘doctrines taught by demons’ also seems to apply especially well to the teachings, actually a whole alternate theology, taught by the alleged aliens.
A heads up
It is a mistake for Christians to be uninformed or to ignore the alien phenomenon. Belief in aliens is so prevalent that the church will be seen as irrelevant in this area if Christians can’t address the ‘reality’ for the culture on this topic. Its ‘scientific’ bent has an allure not readily found in other false religions. We regularly dialogue with people who morph Jesus into an advanced extraterrestrial; who’s advanced technological prowess gave him the ability to perform seeming miracles and even raise the dead. Such ideas are challenging traditional Christian belief. In most churches he visits, one of the authors [GB] regularly meets individuals who have seen something in the sky that they can’t explain, or even had an encounter with a being that claimed to be from another planet. Often they have never spoken to their pastors or others in the church about it for fear of ridicule. As such things escalate due to the ongoing conditioning of the culture we should heed the warning of Jesus in Matthew 24:24-25:
“For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible.”
- Exoplanet findings spark philosophical debate, www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2011/02/practical-and-religious-implic.html, 10 March, 2011. Return to text.
- Marciniak, B. Bringers of the Dawn: Teachings from the Pleiadians (Rochester, VT: Bear and Co, 1992), cited in Bates, G. Alien Intrusion, 2nd ed (Atlanta: Creation Book Publishers, 2010), p. 319. Return to text.
- Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam to Argue UFOs Are Real, www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/02/25/nation-islam-convention-include-talk-ufos/?test=latestnews, 10 March, 2011. Return to text.
- ‘Circlemakers’, www.circlemakers.org/press.html, 10 June 2003. Cited in Alien Intrusion, p. 216. Return to text.