Spiritual Warfare & The Paranormal: Reconciling ET Life with The Christian Worldview
Updated: Jan 30
Video from Closer to Truth
"Whether extra-terrestrial intelligences exist has profound implications for human religion. We are either alone or not alone in the universe, but no matter the ultimate answer, theists and atheists will each mold that answer, alone or not alone, to fit their opposing worldviews. Featuring interviews with Steven Dick, Russell Stannard, Paul Davies, Robin Collins, and Douglas Vakoch." from the video introduction
"..the search for extraterrestrial life .. offers a meeting ground not only for physical, biological and social scientists, but also for artists, philosophers, [and] theologians ... The effort encourages people from very different intellectual traditions to talk to one another, and may set the stage for .. the unification of knowledge.." 1999 NASA report on the 'Societal Implications of Astrobiology' quote from Free Inquiry, Summer 2000, p. 32
Many Christians are disturbed by the possibility that human beings are not "Central to God" as we now believe.
I am personally not disturbed but lets go through some of the concerns that others may have.
As the video above points out we are either alone in the universe or we are not!
If there is extraterrestrial intelligent life, which at this time there is NO concrete proof of, will it discount God and our relationship with Him?
If We Are Alone?
The search for extraterrestrial life is both a scientific and a metaphysical quest.
Christians believe and Christian Doctrine supports that humans are the only embodied creatures (angels & demons are not embodied) in creation made in God's image. Atheists have stated that once we detect evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence, that evidence will be inconsistent with the existence of God and organized religion. Many people opposed to organized religion look forward to this event and some are fearful they will weaponize this against organized religion. Which is a possibility.
The recent discoveries of the James Webb Space Telescope concerning the overwhelming enormity of the cosmos has lead some to say this disproves God on that basis alone. Yet this view can be debated to the other extreme. Photos from James Webb Telescope also invokes a sense of cosmic wonder which requires reflection upon the beauty and design of the heavens which could lead many to conclude that there is a Designer of the cosmos.
Atheists look at creation and do not see a creator while Christians look and see a creator.
This is a question of worldviews.
C.S. Lewis said this in a 1963 essay "The Seeing Eye"
"..Space-travel really has nothing to do with the matter. To some, God is discoverable everywhere; to others, nowhere. Those who do not find Him on earth are unlikely to find Him in space. (Hang it all, we’re in space already; every year we go a huge circular tour in space.) But send a saint up in a spaceship and he’ll find God in space as he found God on earth. Much depends on the seeing eye."
Are We Special?
Many think that the Copernican revolution removed mankind from the center of creation thus making a fool of organized religion. Poof and God is no more!
This however in logical terms is also poor argumentation. Spatial location has not been demonstrated to be fundamental doctrine of the Bible. It is supposed by many but not supported by scripture.
Another often overlooked fact is scientific descriptions or extrapolations of the cosmos are in principle incapable of disproving design, significance, or purpose.
C.S Lewis said in his book "The Discarded Image", 'the insignificance (by cosmic standards) of the Earth became as much a common-place to the medieval, as to the modern, thinker; it was part of the moralists' stock-in-trade, used, as Cicero uses it, to mortify human ambition."
We must be willing to admit that much of how we boast about there being no God is our pride and arrogance at work.
The claim that God revealed himself to humanity through Jesus does not elevate mankind in any way. We are a mess, look around you. We must have a savior as history has shown us we always self-destruct.
Are Aliens Part of God's Plan, Too? Finding E.T. Could Change Religion Forever
ORLANDO, Fla. October 2011 — The discovery of intelligent aliens would be mind-blowing in many respects, but it could present a special dilemma for the world's religions, theologians pondering interstellar travel concepts said Saturday (Oct. 1).
Christians, in particular, might take the news hardest, because the Christian belief system does not easily allow for other intelligent beings in the universe, Christian thinkers said at the 100 Year Starship Symposium, a meeting sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to discuss issues surrounding traveling to other stars.
In other words, "Did Jesus die for Klingons too?" as philosophy professor Christian Weidemannof Germany's Ruhr-University Bochum titled his talk at a panel on the philosophical and religious considerations of visiting other worlds.
"According to Christianity, an historic event some 2,000 years ago was supposed to save the whole of creation," Weidemann said. "You can grasp the conflict." [10 Alien Encounters Debunked]
Here's how the debate goes: If the whole of creation includes 125 billion galaxies with hundreds of billions of stars in each, as astronomers think, then what if some of these stars have planets with advanced civilizations, too? Why would Jesus Christ have come to Earth, of all the inhabited planets in the universe, to save Earthlings and abandon the rest of God's creatures?.." from the article: Are Aliens Part of God's Plan, Too? Finding E.T. Could Change Religion Forever
If We Are Not Alone!
Right now the world in general is obsessed with UFO's and extraterrestrial life. It is now a mainstream discussion. Yet we must realize that many people Christians and otherwise do not regard this as a life altering concern. They are concerned with survival, keeping their job etc.
If God does not exist we still ask the question are we alone or not in the universe?
In a world that is deconstructing away from God many have elevated aliens to a godlike status and have started their own religions based around those Aliens or entities.
Will you as a Christian be fearful should extraterrestrial life be found?
Atheists will argue for or against alien life on assumptions based in naturalistic evolution, As Christians we are free to argue from other ideas. Would it not be a strange thing that a God so creative not create more intelligent creatures to keep him company?
For some non-Christians belief in aliens may ultimately be a failure to trust God. For Christians, Jesus is the ultimate source of salvation, who rescues us from ourselves.
We all recognize we need to be saved from ourselves. Some people have chosen to switch from God by putting their faith in aliens.
So if there is sentient extraterrestrial life does exist would they believe in God? Will aliens have restless souls and are they looking for us for the same reasons we are looking for them?
My point of view is extraterrestrial life or intelligent life other than humans is just one more example of Gods creation and is not a threat to Christianity or religion in general.
The Bible Shows Extraterrestrial Life Exists
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. (Psalm 8:1 NIV)
The Bible clearly teaches that "extra - terrestrials" in the form of angelic beings from heaven are active on our planet.
Many discount that as myth.
As I have said before the Bible is a guide of sorts indicating entities other than humans.
Some are offended by calling entities angels or demons and prefer to rename them as a type of alien etc. This of course is semantics.
I believe that exorcists should be part of those researching "The Phenomenon", along with all the other disciplines.
Steven J. Dick
"As we stand 011 the threshold of the new millennium, we may conjecture that 1,000 years from now ,ve will have had our answer to this age-old question. Humanity 3,000 will know whether or not it is alone in the universe, at least within our galaxy')"
"What is more important about the coming millennium than the date of its beginning is that it provides a time for reflection, for us to look back and see where we stand on a grandiose scale, and to look forward to see where we may be going. It is in that spirit I propose to make my remarks today." -STEVEN J. DICK
Read his lecture below
Extraterrestrial Life and Our Worldview at the Turn of the Millineum by Steven J. Dick (PDF link)
"Paul Davies, an astrobiologist at Arizona State University in Tempe was one of the first to suggest that the world’s religions would not cope with the discovery of ET. And he still believes such a find would pose theological problems for Christians.
“They believe that Jesus came down to earth to save humankind – not dolphins, Neanderthals or extraterrestrials,” he said in response to the survey results. “To make sense of this, either you need multiple incarnations [of Jesus on other planets] or a reason why this planet and this species was singled out for special attention.” from the article: Religion could survive discovery of ET, survey suggests
Points to the works of Donald Hoffman for guidance.
"The actual [visual] content that we try to communicate [to extraterrestrials] I would say is almost surely not going to be received in the way we intended it," Hoffman says. "We don't even understand the perceptual world of an ant, and we've been living with them a long time." from the essay: Images and Interstellar Messages by Donald Hoffman
So we must all work together to untangle and understand this great mystery and not threatened by what we discover!