Tuesday
Mar062012

From Where I Stand: Ancient Aliens

“Millions of people around the world believe we have been visited in the past by extraterrestrial beings. What if it were true?”

Thus begins the narration of each episode of Ancient Aliens, a cable television series that presents evidence for the existence of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. Heavily laden with speculation and sprinkled with science, the program asserts that the world’s ancient mythology and religious texts demonstrate misperceived encounters with ancient astronaut beings from outer space. 

We live in a world that continues to challenge us with many mysteries. We have only just begin to explore the heavens and the depths of our own oceans and terrestrial core remain enigmatic to us in many ways. On the surface, we marvel at the megalithic structures and fossil records that litter our planet. Stonehenge and the pyramids would be difficult to construct today, so how did ancient man do the job without cranes and engines? 

Other matters also confound easy explanation, especially when flying objects are unidentifiable and weather balloon assertions are implausible. Could two old men from England really have made all those crop circles? If not, who did?

A theory exists that Earth was visited in the distant past by aliens who left behind certain technologies or enabled great leaps in intellectual development, but the theory seems to be a clever way of replacing the God of the Bible with an amoral agent of similar ability.

Indeed, many who hold to these theories posit that the gods of mythology and the angels of the major world religions are but misidentified alien persons. An effort is made to assimilate the Bible’s great miracles, especially creation and the Noahic flood, into the theory – not by stripping away the supernatural elements as has long been common, but by attributing causation to alien invaders. Visionary chariots of fire become flying saucers; fire and brimstone are translated to an extraterrestrial death ray.

Until recently, the skeptic has mostly tried to discredit the miracles of the Bible by concocting farfetched natural explanations. The devil needs to emasculate the real power of the cross, which is only evident at the empty tomb, the result of a miracle called resurrection. Without faith in that miracle and the certainty of its replication on Judgment Day, belief in Christ is futile and doomed.

Faith in God does not necessarily preclude the existence of life elsewhere, but it does require a commitment to the testimony of the Bible, surely including the miracle of resurrection (First Corinthians 15).