Ever since the publication of Strangers and Aliens, I have been watching a slow motion train wreck taking place. Ironically, it’s taking place in the trainyard of Biblical Christianity. And it doesn’t have to happen.
The Bible is silent on the subject of extraterrestrials, which means the question of whether they exist or not is still very much open. Some have suggested that “Biblical principles” make it clear that aliens do not exist, but these arguments have all proven to be built upon logical fallacies. Truth cannot be built upon error.
It would be one thing to.suggest that you find the possibility of alien life unlikely or improbable. It is unwise to be dogmatic about things that the Bible is silent on.
Yet this is exactly what is happening in Biblical Christianity. David Weintraub assessed how different religious traditions might react to the possibility of extraterrestrial life in his 2014 book Religions and Extraterrestrial Life: How Will We Deal With It?
After quoting Jason Lisle [then at Answers in Genesis], the late Henry Morris of the Institute for Creation Research, and Gary Bates of Creation Ministries International, he wrote:
“For these fundamentalist leaders, all of whom have very large numbers of followers, the discovery of extraterrestrial life would be devastating. Theologically, they are totally unprepared for and unwilling to entertain a universe that includes any advanced life forms other than humans on planet Earth. Humanity is, they believe, God’s singular focus. The theological foundation for their Christianity rests on the idea that the incarnation and the resurrection of Jesus were given by God exclusively to and for humans. Christianity, as understood and practiced by the members of these religious groups, is the universal religion, and extraterrestrial beings cannot and do not exist.”
Every last one of these creation ministries is teaching Bible-believing Christians that the Bible can be falsified and that it is, in fact, false if intelligent alien life is ever discovered. Dr. Danny Faulkner has even made the absence of alien life a prediction of the Creation model versus the evolution model. The late Henry Morris condemned the very idea of speculating about or searching for ET as “basically nothing but expressions of man’s rebellion against his Creator” and “blasphemously arrogant, as well as utterly foolish.” Gary Bates has said that if intelligent aliens landed in the White House lawn, it would falsify Scripture. Ken Ham has infamously said that aliens couldn’t exist because if they did they’d go tell hell.
These Christian leaders are, no doubt, smug in their self assurance that aliens do not exist or that the distances of space will likely prevent us from knowing they were ever wrong for certain. It never occurs to them that it wouldn’t even take the real discovery of aliens. Someone could simply launch a false flag alien event and the authority and veracity of Biblical authority would be perhaps irreparably undermined. Because they were dogmatic where they shouldve have been tentative in the face of the Bible’s silence on the subject.
The bulwark of Biblical creation could unwittingly be the catalyst for the strong delusion. Even if aliens or even fake aliens aren’t in our future, these dogmatic claims about the absence of alien life make Biblical Christianity seem anti-science; the message is received loud and clear: “Don’t look up. There’s no point in exploring space for new worlds or alien life. Keep your eyes focused on the ground.” That’s about as anti-science as it gets… and with no actual Biblical warrant to say so.
Thus saith the Lord, when God has not spoken…
If aliens exist, we can be certain that our understanding of the Bible was in error, not the Bible itself. In fact, I’ve demonstrated in my book and on Exotheology.org that their position is riddled with logical fallacies and misinterpretations of the Bible.
That very Bible boasts of its superiority to any challenge against it:
Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? [1 Corinthians 1:20]
So even if they persist in anti-alien dogma, it is my hope that sites like Exotheology.org will prevent this false perception that either aliens exist or the Bible is true from doing great damage to Christianity’s credibility.