It can be frustrating to watch TV when so much of what’s on has the not-so-thinly veiled agenda of disproving God’s existence. The Bible and Christianity are the favorite targets, even though Islam and other religions (even Judaism) get a free pass. Ironically, most networks have made countless attempts at disproving God’s Word, while at the same time airing just as many series speculating on the existence of UFOs.
Let’s face it; the History Channel does not have convictions; they are interested in ratings, which equal money. That’s why they aired a miniseries on the Bible, followed it up with a show attempting to disprove the Bible, and now continue to air programs about flying saucers. The Discovery Channel hyped a new program called Curiosity, an ambitious assembling of brilliant atheist minds from all over the scientific community to discuss serious issues, the first episode being “Did God Create the Universe?” How wonderful to have scientists coming together to finally debunk the ridiculous myth of the Christian God! The follow-up episode of Curiosity was “Would We Survive an Alien Invasion?”
It is much easier for me to believe every single thing in the Bible than to believe that bug-eyed creatures from another galaxy zipped across the universe in flying saucers, for no apparent purpose other than to hide themselves in our trees at night. Some things take greater faith to believe in than the Word of God, yet the public swallows them up en masse.
If people don’t have God, they have an emptiness inside that they try to fill with other things. Psalm 42:2: My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? The quest to discover what supernatural things exist beyond man’s understanding drives them to have faith in aliens, or ghosts, or the Bermuda Triangle. In ancient times, people replaced God with idols; today, they replace Him with “paranormal” phenomenon. They back this up with reports of eyewitness accounts, even though I would imagine the testimonies of God answering prayers and doing miraculous interventions in people’s lives far outnumber UFO or Loch Ness monster sightings.
The curiosity over whether intelligent life exists on other planets is relatively new. Great men of God from the past had no concept of such a question. If I were to ask Wigglesworth, Wesley, or Spurgeon their thoughts on alien life, they would likely stare at me with incredulity. With such pressing issues such as winning the lost and building the kingdom of God in mind, who would even ponder such a statement? Alas, the times have changed. The discovery of the vastness of the universe has sparked the debate, and the constant media bombardment of shows about UFO and alien abductions continues to fuel it, even among Christians. So is the truth out there?
First of all, let’s take religion out of the equation, and look through the lens of godless science. Earth is the perfect planet to support life; it is just the right size, with the right amount of gravity and clean water, just the right distance from its sun. If evolution is true, then the complex ingredients to form life assembled themselves by coincidence billions of years ago. But how many other planets out there could support life? With over 500 billion galaxies and about 50 sextillion (50 followed by 22 zeroes) planets out there, scientists estimate at least 100 billion of them would meet the same life-supporting conditions as Earth. Therefore, with absolute certainty, many would be thriving with life like ours. Right?
The problem is that we can’t find it. Astronomers have been scouring the cosmos for decades trying to find at least one planet that supports life, but this search has come up empty. Here we find where the atheist viewpoint runs into gigantic walls. If evolution is true, and life can form itself on a planet with perfect conditions to support it, then many other planets out there should be teeming with it. And with absolute certainty, most of those planets (which are older than Earth) should have by now produced a more highly evolved civilization than ours.
Consider this: if the universe is 14.5 billion years old, and humanity is about 5,000 years old, we have made amazing advancements in what is not even a blink in the span of astronomical time. In such short order, we have already landed on the moon and sprinkled satellites and probes throughout our solar system. Plenty of time has passed for advanced civilizations to arise from many other planets, even within the Milky Way itself. Any alien race even slightly older than us by now would have advanced beyond our comprehension, at the very least colonizing its entire galaxy. It would be impossible to look at their galaxy without seeing proof of their existence; their stars and planets would be teeming with space ships and satellites and interstellar traffic. In all likelihood, they probably would have found and conquered us a long time ago.
In science, this is called the Fermi Paradox. It is very frustrating for scientists, because it pokes a gigantic hole in their explanation of how the universe came into existence. If the Big Bang and the theory of evolution were true, it would be impossible to not find life on other planets, and Star Trek would be closer to science fact than fiction. So where are all the aliens?
To explain the Fermi paradox, they have developed a theory called the Great Filter, which basically states that all intelligent civilizations are doomed to self-destruction. But this theory is lacking; at our rate of advancement, any alien civilization even a little older than us would have evolved so far, that even if they destroyed themselves, evidence of their existence would still be left everywhere. Galaxies would have the wreckage of their space crafts and ruins of their structures floating lifelessly throughout. With so many habitable planets out there, and so much time to produce intelligent life, it seems unlikely that there would not be even a trace of an extinct alien species left.
Job 26:7: He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing. Job is the oldest book in the Bible, dating back possibly as far as 2000 B.C. Written centuries before even Genesis, it contains not just a profound universal truth of God allowing Satan to bring troubles and trials to His people to test their faithfulness, but also an extraordinary amount of information about the earth and the universe around us. It was Job that described God as expanding the heavens: Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea (9:8). It is in Job where many Christians believe God described dinosaurs (Job 40:15-24). We often use 26:7 as evidence in the Bible that space is an empty vacuum, described in a time when people didn’t know what was beyond the sky and thought the earth was the center of the universe. But “nothing” isn’t just describing the world floating in the emptiness of space; the Hebrew word b’liy-mah could better translate to “nothing whatsoever.” Nothing means nothing.
God let us know in the oldest book of the Bible that the universe was a lifeless place long before scientists peered with frustration into empty cosmos. This can be taken to so many levels that it will demythologize outer space exploration. For example, due to science fiction movies, many believe that black holes might be portals to other dimensions, but the truth is that a black hole is merely a dead star that is so dense that light cannot escape its gravity. If one attempted to fly a spaceship into a black hole, all that would await would be an agonizing death as a human body is crushed and disintegrated until completely demolecularized.
Even the beautiful colorful nebulous clouds that we see from the images of the Hubble telescope are a bit of a myth; while the immense formations are there, they are composed of gases, which are not visible to the human eye. They can be picked up by the technological eye of a telescope, but in space, one would fly right past them and never see them.
Some even try to use Ezekiel’s vision as Biblical evidence of UFOs. When the prophet looked into the sky, he saw great celestial wheels turning in God’s presence. Ezekiel 1:16: The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel. They appeared again later in chapter 10: And when I looked, behold the four wheels by the cherubims, one wheel by one cherub, and another wheel by another cherub: and the appearance of the wheels was as the colour of a beryl stone (verse 9). I personally find it diminishing to reduce Ezekiel’s awesome visions to flying saucers. We should try to decipher the symbolic meaning of the four wheels (Jesus operating inside our hearts is the wheel in the middle of the wheel) or consider the scientific possibilities (the galaxies in the universe resemble gigantic turning wheels) rather than use this to back up the absurd notion that God was revealing alien spacecraft to an Old Testament prophet.
Truth is sometimes disappointing, but it is still the truth. Aliens are a pop culture phenomenon, created by the imagination of man. They are the modern incarnation of leprechauns and fairies. Mankind gets bored more easily than any other creature on Earth, so he has to create mythical stories and creatures to make existence more exciting. The devil can use this easily to fool people.
What about UFO sightings and alien abductions? Interestingly enough, those rarely occurred before the 1950s. When people believe in things, sometimes they will see them. In the olden days, people believed in fairies and dragons, and alleged sightings occurred. Today, few people left believe in such things, and sightings of them have all but ceased to exist. If mass hysteria and media bombardment about UFOs takes place, people will see things, and their imaginations will supply the rest. Physics cannot explain how intelligent civilizations could build spaceships to transport themselves light years from their world to ours, so the concept of “science beyond our understanding” is used to explain the unexplainable. Magic has been replaced by science fiction.
No matter how much we search for signs of life out there, we will not find it. God can create this universe as big as He wants, and He can put life on any planet. He chose this one. Atheists will claim that humanity does not matter, that we are simply a tiny accident lost in an uncaring cosmos. But no matter how immense the universe and how small we are in comparison, we are the only intelligent civilization to be found, so everything we do has a profound impact. Our institutions, our nations, our churches, our wars, and everything else about our lives all have meaning. Look at how simple bacteria, invisible to the naked eye, have impacted the world dramatically. But we are the same size to the universe as bacteria are to us.
The truth is indeed out there, but we don’t have to scour through dead planets and wastelands of galaxies to find it; it is right here. The Bible is God’s holy Word that told us everything about the universe around us, centuries before godless science ever made its first discovery. And if God only created life on one planet, and only made one race of sentient beings in His image, then it makes John 3:16 more believable: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. The infinite God loved His finite creation so much, that He gave everything for us. Psalm 8:3-4: When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?