“Long ago in a galaxy far, far away…”Star Wars
Science fiction has been purposefully woven into the fabric of popular culture. Beginning at the turn of the 20th century with H.G. Wells, who is regarded as the pioneer of science fiction, and leading to the multi-million dollar sci-fi blockbusters of today, the fascination with UFOs and extraterrestrial life on other planets has become mainstream.
The growing sci-fi subculture gained significant traction in the 1980s, as cult-like Trekkies fell in love with Captain Kirk, and Steven Spielberg produced instant classics like E.T. and the Star Wars saga. Long running shows like the X-Files also gained significant notoriety in pop culture, but that was only the beginning.
The sci-fi genre has accounted for some of the highest grossing films in the last 20 years, where alien invasion plot lines abound. The Marvel and DC Comic series alone have dominated the box office over the past decade, and prime time shows like the History Channel’s Ancient Aliens have surged in popularity. Today, Ufology — or the belief in extraterrestrials — is one of the fastest growing religious belief systems in the U.S.
In other words, the mainstream belief in intelligent alien life is beginning to replace the orthodox belief in the God of the Bible and the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In her book, American Cosmic , author and historian of religion, Professor D. W. Pasulka, reports that over 50% adult Americans and over 80% of young Americans believe in ufos or in extraterrestrial life.
“The new technological infrastructure has birthed several new forms of religion, including religions based on film and fiction. Pasulka reveals how ufo belief is the religion of the technological age. This belief is bolstered by the potential reality of the discovery of life on other planets, made real by NASA’s periodic press releases supporting this belief.”[Preface to American Cosmic by D.W. Pasulka] https://www.americancosmic.com/preface/
It has been reported that there are well over 100 UFO sitings around the world on any given day, and author and Christian apologist Gary Bates with Creation Ministries International [CMI] says that the UFO phenomenon is not going way anytime soon. Consider the following based on a 1997 CNN/Time Magazine poll.
- 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
As Bible-believing Christians, what are we to make with this growing obsessions with alien life and the undeniable testimony of UFO sightings all over the world? Is there a Biblical response to the Ancient Alien phenomenon and Ufology?
THE ALIEN — EVOLUTION CONNECTION
The first truth that must be established is the direct connection between the belief in naturalistic evolution and extraterrestrial life on other planets. When holding to an evolutionary worldview, it is not only possible that life has evolved over billions of years in distant galaxies and on other planets far, far away — it is probable. Most believers in alien life forms would propose that these interstellar, extraterrestrial counterparts are much older and therefore much more highly evolved than humans.
If these “ancient aliens” are intellectually and technologically superior to us humans, then chances are they are the ones responsible for life on earth and also the ones capable of leading mankind to the next stage of evolutionary transcendence — even eternal life. This belief system makes ancient aliens both our creators and saviors, effectively replacing the Lord Jesus Christ.
H.G. Wells, who wrote The Time Machine (1895) and The War of the Worlds (1898), among other science fiction works, was a staunch evolutionists who believed that evolution held the key to the meaning of life. His fascination with alien life was evident throughout his writings.
“Darwinism destroyed the dogma of the Fall upon which the whole intellectual fabric of Christianity rests. For without a Fall there is no redemption, and the whole theory and meaning of the Pauline system is vain.”Mackenzie, N. and Mackenzie, J., H.G. Wells: A Biography, Simon and Schuster, New York, p. 169, 1973.
The evolution-alien connection is nothing new in scientific circles. When atheist scientists James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the double helix structure of DNA in the early 1950s, they were both overwhelmed with the complexity of life and the intelligent language of the genetic code. Crick admittedly struggled with providing an answer to the origin of such complex life, and so instead of allowing for the possibility of a Creator God, he did what only a rational scientist would do — he gave credit to the aliens.
Crick chose to embrace the fantastical idea of panspermia to explain how life first appeared on earth. This comes from the Greek words pas/pan (all) and sperma (seed), meaning that the seeds of life are all through the universe. In his book, Life Itself, Crick made the case for the evolution-alien connection saying that some form of primordial life was “shipped to the earth billions of years ago in spaceships” — by supposedly ‘more evolved’ (therefore advanced) alien beings.
Furthermore, one of the most renown new atheists of our day, Richard Dawkins, echoed Francis Crick when pressed by Ben Stein in the 2008 documentary Expelled. Like Watson and Crick, Dawkins and other evolutionary atheists must resort to making the aliens our gods, while willfully rejecting the One True Creator God of the Bible.
“It could be that at some earlier time, somewhere in the Universe, a civilization evolved by, probably, some kind of Darwinian means, to a very, very high level of technology, and designed a form of life that they seeded onto, perhaps, this planet. Now that is a possibility, and an intriguing possibility. And I suppose it’s possible that you might find evidence for that, if you look at the details of our chemistry, molecular biology, you might find a signature of some kind of designer. And that designer could well be a higher intelligence from elsewhere in the Universe.”[Richard Dawkins — Expelled (Stein and Miller, 2008)]
WORSHIPPING THE CREATION
At the core of the evolution-extraterrestrial religious system is the refusal to worship the Creator and to exchange the glory of the Immortal God for the worship of mortal man and more evolved aliens. There is always a supernatural element behind these scientific belief systems. The Apostle Paul prophetically explains how mortal man willfully suppresses the truth in wickedness in order to deny the Creator.
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.20For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.”[Romans 1:18-23]
I believe that many UFO sightings and “alien abductions” should be regarded as real experiences and should not be blindly rejected as non-events. The church must acknowledge that there are people sitting in their congregations every Sunday that have either seen a UFO or have had an encounter with some alien being. Christians must get ahead of this growing phenomenon and show that these things can be explained from a Biblical worldview. Furthermore, there are serious theological and eschatological implications behind the belief in alien life and man’s desire to ascend to the next phase of evolutionary enlightenment.
In part 2 of this installment, I will further develop the Biblical response to alien encounters and UFO sightings, specifically in regards to how the devil and his demons are using the alien phenomena as one of the greatest tools of deception in the last days.