100 Answers in 100 Days

More questions answered on this blog:

Sharing answers to the various questions of faith I have faced, and which others have been challenged with also.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

#68: Are aliens real?

Images of little grey “Roswell” aliens can be found everywhere these days, and there are few people that don't know what I'm talking about. The first time I heard about aliens crash landing in Roswell, New Mexico, and the phenomenon of alien abductions would have been back when I was still in Primary School. Now days, according to one statistic I heard, at least 50% of Americans genuinely believe that these aliens are real. Amongst some of the theories I've heard, these aliens are responsible for life on the planet Earth, having visited it many billions of years ago, “seeding” the planet with biological matter which has now evolved into all the various creatures we know. Then there are other theories; that the aliens are really human beings, or what present human beings will evolve into, which are able to travel back in time from their present day to ours. So various people have some quite diverse ideas about who these alien creatures are. And of course, the possibility that they might be real is a challenge to the Christian faith, since the Bible is primarily about God and man, and seems somewhat silent as to how beings from another planet might fit into God's creation. How should Christians understand the alien phenomenon?

According to reports, probably the most compelling evidence that there is some truth to the alien phenomenon is the consistency between independent testimonies of people who claim to have been abducted by aliens. I've never seen an alien, or so much as a light flash across the sky, but the Bible contains a few passages which, at least according to one interpretation, may offer explanation as to what these creatures really are, and what their purpose may be. One of the chief Texts on this subject is found in Genesis 6...

When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. (Genesis 6:1-2)

According to a view which dates back several hundred years B.C, the term “sons of God” here refers to angels, as distinct from the “daughters of man”, which would be human women. This Bible passage, then, speaks of human abduction by an angelic race; something which we might today interpret as human abduction by an alien race. What's more, the nature of these abductions in Genesis 6 is that they “took [those women] as their wives”. It's interesting to correlate this with the sexual nature of alien abductions, as reported by many abductees. Wikipedia affirms...

The examination phase of the so-called "abduction narrative" is characterized by the performance of medical procedures and examinations by apparently alien beings against or irrespective to the will of the experiencer. Such procedures often focus on sex and reproductive biology. … Abductees of all ages and genders sometimes report being subjected to a "child presentation." As its name implies, the child presentation involves the abduction claimant being shown a "child." Often the children appear to be neither human, nor the same species as the abductors. Instead, the child will almost always share characteristics of both species. These children are labeled by experiencers as hybrids between humans and their abductors, usually Greys.

The Bible tells us that many of the angels rebelled against God, including Lucifer, (the Devil). This would appear to be an attempt by Lucifer and those fallen angels to corrupt the human race; and the present day alien phenomenon seems to be a renewed attempt at the same plot. Genesis 6 is where the story of Noah's flood begins, and in verse 4 of Genesis 6, it tells us that the offspring of this union between the “sons of God” and the “daughters of man” were called “Nephilim”. So for some theologians, this fits in well with other Biblical passages which speak of gigantic men with “twelve fingers and twelve toes”; supposedly full grown “Nephilim”. That the Nephilim were fearsome giants (Goliath probably being one of them), we have the proof text of Numbers 13:32-33...

So they brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying, The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height. And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them. (Numbers 13:32-33)

Many theologians suppose, then, that part of the reason that God sent the flood to wipe out mankind was because the human race was so polluted by these “hybrid” offspring. They do reappear after the flood, of course, which also suggests that their origin may not be human (since all humans except Noah’s family were destroyed, yet their ancestors, the “Nephilim” were present before the flood.) Perhaps if the same thing is happening these days, and we know that another global judgement is coming at the return of Christ, it may be that the re-introduction of hybrids into the human race is a catalyst for the coming judgement?

Admittedly not all theologians follow this interpretation. But even if we don’t agree with that interpretation, these aliens, if they are real, may well be demonic. And the Bible would support the idea that demons are real and do interact with mankind. They may in fact be the many gods and demigods which inspired the various religions and mythologies throughout man’s history. From the same Wikipedia article...

In The Demon-Haunted World astronomer Carl Sagan points out that the alien abduction experience is remarkably similar to tales of demon abduction common throughout history. "There is no spaceship in these stories. But most of the central elements of the alien abduction account are present, including sexually obsessive non-humans who live in the sky, walk through walls, communicate telepathically, and perform breeding experiments on the human species. Unless we believe that demons really exist, how can we understand so strange a belief system, embraced by the whole Western world (including those considered the wisest among us), reinforced by personal experience in every generation, and taught by Church and State? Is there any real alternative besides a shared delusion based on common brain wiring and chemistry?" (Sagan 1996 124)

For even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14)

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