I recently received an email asking me if we believed if aliens existed? My dad, J.R. Church, has talked about them before throughout his ministry. I remember one day when I was visiting him in his home and I was sitting beside him while he was working on the computer in his office. He was doing a study about the stars and he was showing me what he had discovered at that time. I looked over at him and ask him if he believed in aliens, because personally, I don’t. He paused for a moment in silence and then said to me, “That would be demonic figures, not to be messed with.” He went on to tell me that demons are very dangerous and not to be glorified.” He was very serious. I knew he had preached on them throughout the years, and when I was a kid, he enjoyed science-fiction shows like Star Trek. Who didn’t?
Many Christian ministries make such a big deal out of it and glorify it, all the while claiming, it is deception. The thought of the unknown and little green men can be exciting to people! It always sells a lot of books! My personal opinion, they are exploiting the subject to make money. Just look around, it’s everywhere and it’s sick!
I’ve heard what the Bible teachers have all said about it, including my dad, but I wanted an answer from a scientist. So, I turned to one of the best Christian astronomers I know of, Dr. Danny Faulkner Ph.D. Dr. Faulkner is featured in the documentary, Is Genesis History?, that I just love. In 2016, he wrote a book, assisted by biblical scholar, Lee Anderson Jr., called “The Created Cosmos: What the Bible Reveals About Astronomy.”
In the book, he has a chapter titled, “Does the Bible Address the Idea of Extraterrestrial Life?” He says that the existence of life elsewhere in the universe is a belief widely accepted in our society today. He goes on to explain that the sun is just one of a couple of hundred billion stars in our Milky Way galaxy and we now believe that there must be at least 100 billion other galaxies. In recent years, we have discovered many planets orbiting other stars, so it appears that extrasolar planets probably are common. Therefore, the number of planets in the universe must be mind-bogglingly large. However, everyone agrees that the vast majority of planets could not support life. Many stars that may have orbiting planets are unsuitable for various reasons. For a planet to support life, it must be the proper distance from its star – if the planet is too close to the star, it will be too hot, but if it is far away from the star, it will be too cool. The planet must have sufficient mass so that its gravity can maintain an atmosphere, but not too massive so that it has the wrong kind of atmosphere. These are just a few of the factors that must come together for a planet to be a suitable habitat for life. Some people reason that if only a tiny fraction of those planets are hospitable to life, then the number of planets where life exists must be huge. Therefore, even intelligent life may be common elsewhere in the universe.
So, the question is, what is the Christian to think about the possibility of life on other planets? We should always turn to the Scriptures for the answers, but the fact is, the Bible does not directly address the question of whether any life, let alone intelligent life, exists elsewhere in the universe. However, like so many other questions in life that the Bible does not directly address, we may use biblical principles to guide us in finding the answers.
Dr. Faulkner explains that we know that spiritual beings – angels and demons – exist, and that they dwell in the heavenly realm. The question at hand is whether soulish beings, similar to humans, might exist somewhere else in the universe. This is what most people think is the important question, and that is usually what people have in mind when they ask about space aliens.
How many planets are suitable for life in our universe? Dr. Faulkner tells us that so far, we have not conclusively found any other planets where life could exist. However, we have found many planets where life clearly could not exist. Therefore, the evidence to date shows that truly Earth-like planets must be very rare, if they exist at all. Any claims that Earth-like planets are common are based more upon wishful thinking or expectations from a particular world view than actual data. Still, many scientists insist that even if the probability is low for any particular planet to be hospitable to life, the incredibly huge number of planets in the universe makes it likely that life, even intelligent life, must be common elsewhere.
Think about this. Deeply hidden in the line of secular reasoning is the assumption that life arises spontaneously wherever the conditions are right. That is, life has a naturalistic origin, as taught in evolution. Of course, this presupposes that life arose on earth without the aid of a Creator. The biblically-minded Christian ought to recognize that this contradicts the clear teaching of Genesis 1 and 2. It is inconsistent to think that God created man and living things on earth, whether as a Christian you believe that God created the earth and living things over millions of years in the Old Earth theory, or 6 literal days, as we believe in the Young Earth theory, but that life elsewhere in the universe arose naturally.
Therefore, if life exists elsewhere, then it is because God created that life. God had His purposes in creating us, and so if God created life elsewhere, He would have had His purposes for creating that life too. Therefore, to the Christian, the question of life on other planets is a theological one.
Let’s look at how science has weighed in on the question of whether life exists elsewhere. There are three lines of scientific evidence that suggest that life does not exist elsewhere.
First, scientists have not yet found any Earth-like planets. As of 2016, astronomers have found approximately 2,000 extrasolar planets and that number is sure to increase. An extrasolar planet, also called an exoplanet, is a planet that orbits a star (i.e. is part of a solar system) other than our own. The vast majority of these planets obviously cannot sustain life. Many are far too close or too far from the stars they orbit for liquid water to exist on their surfaces. Liquid water appears to be absolutely essential for life. Many extrasolar planets found so far are very massive and thus probably contain the wrong gases in their atmosphere for life to exist on them. Only a very few of the extrasolar planets found so far are within the critical habitable zone with the proper distance from their stars. Of those, even fewer are of the right size. The very few candidates remaining must be interpreted in terms of the most liberal assumptions in order for them to support life. No one can definitively say that any extrasolar planets found thus far are suitable for life. This is from the words of a real astronomer, Dr. Faulkner. Scientific data now available shows that there is no planet other than earth where life is possible and life does not exist elsewhere.
Second, science has repeatedly shown that the law of biogenesis is true. That living matter arises only from other living matter. In other words, life comes only from living things. As abiogenesis evolutionist believe, life arising spontaneously from nonliving things, yet this has never been observed. That’s right, despite what Darwin would have us believe, it has never been observed that the human race came from rocks!
Third, science has the potential to prove the existence of life elsewhere in the universe by direct means, but thus far it has failed to do so. The direct observation of life could be done one of two ways.
One method would be to produce evidence of alien visitation on earth, either by directly observing a visitation or by artifacts left behind on previous visits. While many people believe that aliens regularly visit the earth today or that aliens helped ancient man construct certain structures (such as the great pyramids of Egypt) in the past, there is no good evidence for either of these beliefs. In 1950, the famous physicist Enrico Fermi took notice of this fact. He reasoned that if life is common in the universe, then it is probably that civilizations more advanced than our own already developed long ago in our galaxy. Once a civilization develops space travel, colonization of other planetary systems ought to follow relatively quickly, but certainly within a few million years. Therefore, at least one of these civilizations should have already reached the earth, so where are the aliens? This lack of evidence for aliens is often called the Fermi paradox, or the Fermi-Hart paradox, also crediting Michael H. Hart who wrote about the lack of evidence for aliens 25 years after Fermi. Of course, this is a paradox only if one believes that life is common in the universe.
The second method for the direct observation of life in detecting alien civilizations is via SETI, the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence. Man has broadcast radio signals for about a century. Therefore, alien civilizations within a hundred light-years of the earth could eavesdrop on those radio transmissions if they used a sensitive detector attached to a large radio telescope pointed toward the sun, around which the earth revolves. Likewise, we can reverse this process and listen in on alien transmissions by pointing our radio telescopes toward other stars. This has been the technique of SETI, the first attempt of which was done in 1960. Over the years, advances in computer and electronic technology have greatly increased the efficiency with which SETI can be done. Today SETI has become a nearly continuous process. What has the abundant accumulation of SETI data shown? There has been silence. Once again, the scientific data strongly imply that extraterrestrial civilizations do not exist.
Despite the evidence briefly discussed here, most scientists seem to persist in the belief that life must be common in the universe. This belief opposes the best evidence, so what is the reason for belief in extraterrestrial life?
Alas, it is their commitment to belief in philosophical naturalism, which requires that biological evolution must be true! They understand that if life is unique to the earth, then that strongly implies that the earth must be special. The unique and special status of the earth easily leads to the consideration of creation, which many scientists are not prepared to do.
For the Christian, you have to make a choice…
Either you believe in the Word of God about what the Bible says about creation, or you fall for the evolutionary beliefs of mankind. It’s not both ways, folks, it’s either/or! Some Christians ask, that if God created life on earth why He couldn’t have just created life on other planets. While the Bible may not be geocentric, placing the earth at the center of the universe, earth and man do appear to be the center of God’s attention. Life on other planets would undermine this.
If God created beings like us on other planets, then are they sinful, fallen creatures in need of redemption as we are? If so, then what was the cause of their fallen state? Was it because of Adam’s sin? If it was for Adam’s sin, then Christ’s redemption on earth might suffice to atone for their sins as well as humanity’s sins. However, to inhabitants of other planets, we and our ancestors Adam and Eve are the aliens. The gospel message on another world might begin, “A long time ago, in a galaxy, far, far away …” Scripture makes it very clear that we inherit our sinful nature through our ultimate ancestor, Adam (Romans 5:12, 18-19, and 1 Corinthians 15:21-22). But aliens would not be the descendants of Adam, so how would Adam’s transgression be imputed to them? No, it does not appear that Adam’s sin can account for the sinful state of any alien races.
If alien races did not obtain their sinful natures from Adam’s sin, then what would have been the source of sin in their worlds? It must have been because the original beings in their worlds, sinned similarly to how Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden. But that would require that Jesus be born of a virgin on another planet, live a sinless life, lay down His life for atonement of their sins, rise from the dead, and then ascend from that world to go on to other worlds to repeat the process. Besides the apparent cheapening of Christ’s atoning work, the Bible makes it clear that Jesus did not go to another planet when He left the earth, but that He ascended to Heaven to the right hand of the Father (Matthew 26:64; Luke 22:69; Acts 2:32-33; 7:55-56; Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 3:1; 8:1; 10;11-12; 12:2). Therefore, Jesus Christ, quite literally, died ONLY once for atonement of sins (Hebrews 10:11-12).
Some might reply that alien beings similar to us living on other planets did not fall into sin. However, Romans 8:18-25 makes it clear that the taint of man’s sin has affected the entire creation. That is why not only the earth, but the heavens too, will pass away (2 Peter 3:10-11) and why there will be a new heaven and a new earth (Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; 2 Peter 3:12; Revelation 21;1). Not only do we require new bodies to fully overcome the taint of sin (1 Corinthians15:35-49; Philippians 3:20-21), but the entire universe must be redeemed from the blot of man’s sin as well. Therefore, other planets would have been affected by the consequences of sin.
Unidentified Flying Objects
Many people think that UFOs prove there is life on other planets and that beings from other planets frequently visit earth. However, this confuses UFOs with flying saucers. UFO stands for an unidentified flying object, so a UFO is any object in the sky that we have not yet identified. Once an object in the sky has been identified, it no longer is a UFO; it now is an IFO, or identified flying object. On the other hand, a flying saucer presumably is a space ship from another planet. Therefore, if an object has been identified as a flying saucer, by definition it cannot be a UFO.
The vast majority of UFO reports can be explained by misidentification of known natural and man-made phenomena, converting most UFOs into IFOs. A small percentage of UFO sightings remain that defy explanation. However, that does not mean they are flying saucers; it merely means we have failed to explain them by other means. Actually, there never have been any confirmed flying saucer sightings, despite what people might tell you. Hence, the evidence for alien life from UFOs or flying saucers is nonexistent.
As troubling as UFO reports might be, far more troubling are the bizarre reports of alien abductions. Some people have claimed that they were whisked away by aliens into an alien spacecraft. These claimed abductions usually are at night, while the subjects are asleep. Many claim multiple abductions. The alleged experiences during abduction vary, but there are several common themes. Some people say that the aliens showed them wonderful things, such as being taken on flights aboard the spaceships. Others say that they were given instructions or messages to mankind. These messages generally are admonishments for man to embrace better moral values. Implicit in this is universalism, the belief that all religions are equal. Some people claim that their bodies were invaded, as if they were undergoing a physical examination. Many of these body probes centered on harvesting reproductive tissues for breeding purposes. Others were overly sexual in nature, with the implied objective being interbreeding of humans and aliens.
Tremendously significant to these claims is the fact that no physical evidence remains. This conveniently is explained away by the supposed advanced medical knowledge that the aliens possess. Virtually no one claims clear, direct memory of these alleged events. Rather, at best they are vaguely recalled as dreams. Other memories are supposedly dredged up through repressed memory therapy of various types. If memories are not clear but instead appear dream-like, perhaps they are just that – dreams.
There is a more chilling possibility. Many Christians and Christian ministries have developed theories with regard to unexplained UFO phenomena that claimed alien abductions. Noting that 2 Corinthians 11:14 tells us that Satan masquerades as an angel of light, could demonic activity explain some of these things? There could be several possible reasons for this involvement. One could simply be to sir up interest and belief in extraterrestrial aliens. Glorifying aliens always stirs up interest and sells lots of books!
If intelligent life, similar to us, exists on other planets, then that suggests that life has arisen elsewhere in the universe. If life arises wherever conditions are conducive for life, then there is no need for a Creator. If God does not exist, then there is no such thing as sin. If sin does not exist, then men are not sinners. If we are not sinners, we are not in need of salvation. In other words, if demonic activity promotes belief in flying saucers, then it subtly undercuts belief in biblical Christianity. That is, some of the lights in the sky that people see as flying saucers could be demonic manifestations.
Dr. Falkner is right about the demons. My dad, J.R. Church, always said, if they are real, those who have been visited by them, have encountered a demon. Beware, demons are dangerous and being visited by them is not something to be proud of, but to fear!
I have seen Christians ministries preach that when the rapture of the saints occurs before the seven-year tribulation, alien abduction would make a good explanation for this happening. At any rate, belief in extraterrestrials distracts people from the true and living God. One does not have to appeal to the somewhat sensational possibility that demons are interacting with the world in this way. Just stirring up the hearts and minds of men’s belief in space aliens is enough to achieve the adversary’s demonic purpose.
Written by Terri McInnis – PITN Communications Director
Source: The Created Cosmos by Dr. Danny R. Faulkner