Are Little Green Men Saved?
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)
I love reading science fiction books. Science fiction books have always stretched the boundaries of our understanding of the universe. I love reading them and considering the questions they pose. Books and movies on aliens and extraterrestrial life are of particular interest. For some reason, people inside and outside the Christian faith have felt that if there were aliens, it would somehow disprove the existence of God. I do not see how.
Galileo was threatened with excommunication if he continued to insist that the earth traveled around the sun. The Vatican was sure that if the earth was not the center of the universe, it would somehow undermine the Christian religion and God as the creator, and our place as the centerpiece of that creation. Centuries later, we now know that this change in our understanding did not need to leave us beyond faith in God.
As our technology allows us to advance further and further into space, we become more taken with the idea that we are not alone in the world. Like Galileo, the possibility of extraterrestrials would create another paradigm shift, with many people believing that if there are other created beings, we are not God’s central beings, somehow proving that God must not exist.
I cannot understand this logic. Yes, extraterrestrials would confirm that we are not the center of God’s created order, but that does not logically speak to the existence, or non-existence of God. It simply means that God created beyond our imagining. It also confirms the centrality of God’s call to humility. The Vatican, centuries ago, couldn’t understand because they were not humble enough to believe that they were not the center of the universe. Aliens would simply reaffirm that we are not the center of the universe. That does not mean, however, that all beings were not created by the one God who also created other beings in God’s universe. Our God can still be the Creator of all.
Today, like a science fiction writer, ponder the challenges and realizations that come with the possibility of life beyond our third rock from the sun. Prayerfully ask God to expand our understanding of Divine omnipotence. Then, seek God’s vision of a universe filled with relationships, in all its potentiality. To deny the possibility of extraterrestrials is to deny God’s ability to create on a universal scale. God is all powerful and able to create beyond our comprehension. This potentiality should not create fear, but empower our faith as we see God’s power beyond our previous comprehension. Science fiction and Christianity do not need to be that far apart after all.