Extraterrestrial Life and Baptist Theology

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Phillip, Oct 5, 2002.

  1. Phillip

    Phillip
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    Just out of curiousity. I would like to know how most Baptists feel if extraterrestrial life was proven to live elsewhere in our seemingly limitless God-created galaxy.

    Would it have an effect on your faith? Remember, the reaction of the church to Gallileo's theories that the earth was not the center of the galaxy.
    Carl Sagan spent his life in a futile attempt to prove extraterrestrial life, believing that if found, it would prove that God was not necessary. How would you feel if we were truly visited today?

    Is advanced life possible and if so was sin only a problem on earth because this is where Satan was banished from heaven?

    Did God create life elsewhere? Is it possible to be advanced in mental and technological capacity?

    Do you believe lower life forms are possible? (bacteria, virus, plant life, etc.)

    I am not pushing any theories here, simply seeing what the beliefs of most Baptists are.

    Editor's, I hope you allow this to stay under the Baptist Theology subject because I don't want a debate with evolutionists in the creation site. Does this have a problem with our theology?

    Have fun with this one.

    [ October 05, 2002, 11:22 PM: Message edited by: Phillip ]
     
  2. Paul of Eugene

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    Personally, I've always felt that God's creativeness would find outlets in areas above and beyond earth, after all, our world is such a small and insignifigant part of the cosmos. That said, in personal conversation with most religous folks, I find, to my surprise, they don't usually agree. This in spite of the fact that angels, for example, cannot possibly be terrestrial life forms.

    But I've always felt that when the Lord spoke of leaving the ninety and nine that were safe in the fold and going after the one lost sheep - He was explaining why he came to earth.
     
  3. KenH

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    Yes, if intelligent, non-earth life was found in the universe it would have an adverse effect on my faith, possibly destroying it, unless this intelligent, non-earth life had a great explanation for its existence as we do in the Bible.

    Ken
     
  4. Frogman

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    That was interesting Brother Paul.

    I believe in the Sovereignty of God, so it is possible that he could create life (extra-terrestial) some place other than earth.

    I do not think to discover this as fact would upset my faith. God has delivered to us His revealed will for us in Scripture.

    to paraphrase:

    Can He not do what he wants with His own?

    God Bless
    Bro. Dallas
     
  5. Phillip

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    Ken, for your sake I hope that intelligent life is not found in our lifetimes; however, remember how difficult it was for Christians to accept that God had not created the earth in the center of the universe. I think God has the capability of creating anything and we knkow that angels are definitely "unearthly" creatures. Personally, I think that during our eternal life (which starts the moment you are saved) will possibly allow us to explore his WONDERFUL creation. We may be the lost sheep---we may be the only creatures that were given "choice" and made in the image of God. I certainly hope my faith is strong enough to endure something as possible as meeting another creature created by my Creator--Jesus Christ.
     
  6. mountainrun

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    ======
    I certainly hope my faith is strong enough to endure something as possible as meeting another creature created by my Creator--Jesus Christ.
    ======

    I believe this statement is considered heresy, Phillip. Jesus is not a created being.

    ======
    Is advanced life possible and if so was sin only a problem on earth because this is where Satan was banished from heaven?
    ======

    Advanced life elsewhere is possible, though I think unlikely, and should hardly demolish the faith of Christians simply because it's not mentioned in the Bible.

    Also, sin is quite possible without the presense of Satan. I think he gets a lot more blame for sin that what he is really responsible for.
    "The devil made me do it" and all that.
    If you read the Book of Revelation, you will see that rebellion against the Lord will happen when the devil is locked in the Abyss for a thousand years.

    MR
     
  7. Phillip

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    Maybe I did not word that correctly, but there is no heresy in the intent. Let me explain my sentence: 'I certainly hope my faith is strong enough to endure something as possible' (no problem so far?) as meeting a creature (an extraterrestrial) created (who was created) by MY creator--Jesus Christ. (in other words the extraterrestrial was created by the same creator who created ME--there is NO implication in the sentence that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is a created being!!!
    I agree in essence, but Satan apparently committed the first sin and it occurred in heaven, in God's presence when Satan rebelled. Therefore, do NOT under-estimate the power of the enemy. As far as other beings are concerned--God would have to create them with a free will. The angels obviously had a choice of sorts, but it didn't appear the Son of God died for them, only for man--who was created in the image of God (which may or may not be a key here.)

    Please, read my statements closer before accusing me of heresy.
    Thank you!

    [ October 06, 2002, 01:29 AM: Message edited by: Phillip ]
     
  8. KenH

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    Remember I said if they came with a Bible similar to ours, I wouldn't have a problem. [​IMG]

    Ken
     
  9. Phillip

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    What if they had no Bible? Do we witness to them? Did Jesus die for them? Are they automatically lost due to an original sin like man?

    I know this sounds goofy--just throwing it out on the table for some fun discussion.

    In my opinion, we witness to them as we witness to any man assuming their intelligence is adequate high (even though they might look like ET)--God obviously let them meet us for a reason, if it ever happens. Personally, somethiing tells me that besides lower lifeforms, we are alone in this giant universe (except for Him, His angels and the fallen angels).

    Just wait for my next stupid subject--will God let me have my dog back--I really like the little guy ;)
     
  10. rsr

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    Good topic.

    As C.S. Lewis said, the Bible is the revelation of God to man; we have no idea what arrangements he's made with other intelligent worlds, if they exist.

    Lewis said he'd rather that other intelligent beings, if they existed, would not visit earth, for fear they would be corrupted by us.

    [​IMG]

    [ October 06, 2002, 12:27 PM: Message edited by: rsr ]
     
  11. blackbird

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    Einstein proved beyond theory that man cannot travel faster than the speed of light--thus Gene Roddenbury and George Lucus has entered into the world of "Make Believe" when they have this Warp drive and Hyperspace stuff--although in the mind it is quiet "facinating!"

    Distance between heavenly bodies are so vast--that it would require something more faster that "Take us to Warp 10, Mister Sulu!" It is just beyond reason for other folks(extra-trestial) to visit us and for us to visit them.

    When Moses wrote the account of creation--he was writing what was on God's mind! Obviously, the Earth was on His mind--us humans! Just a passing glance is given by God to Moses concerning the realm beyond the moon--Genesis 1: 16 says, "And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He made the stars also."---BUT---There is a Gene Roddenberry and George Lucas inside everyone of us--vivid imaginations, I say!

    If you were able to travel beyond the realm of our Solar System alone--you will probably be surprised that there is not much company out there!

    Now, now! I ain't gonna put a "damper" on our imaginations, mind you! I just like Roddenberry and Lucas' minds and modern day camera work and computer generations that paint for the screen what may be on our minds!

    So, throw the Rod and Reel of your minds out there and see if you can get a strike!!

    Your friend,
    Blackbird
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    If there are people in another world, then who died for them since Christ, the only Son of God died once in this world for all sin for all time?
     
  13. Jim1999

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    If we suppose ourselves into a situation, we best suppose ourselves out of it.

    The Bible is the story of redemption for God's chosen people. In the Old Testament, Israel. In the New Testament, the new Israel; the church.

    The Bible does not tell all, but where it does speak, it speaks the truths of God. Nothing can change that. Faith is an established truth; the gift of an eternal God. It is not a leap into the void, but a journey into the mystery of God, unfolding as we grow and will be finally revealed in His presence.

    Once more we travel back to the beginning where we read: "In the beginning God...."

    Cheers in Him,

    Jim

    [ October 06, 2002, 12:21 PM: Message edited by: Jim1999 ]
     
  14. Rev. G

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    Do you remember why Galileo came up with his theories? It was because of his faith! Interesting, huh?

    God can do as He pleases. All I know is that I am responsible for life on this planet. I realize this may be a bit of simple "fideism," but this is how I view the matter. [​IMG]

    Other than that, I really enjoy the creative genius of the "X-Files" (at least in the earlier episodes). :D

    Rev. G
     
  15. donnA

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    I do not believe it will ever be proven, becasue they do not exsist. Too much in scripture that tells me it is impossible. As in for al have sinned, Who? us and them or just? Did Jesus die for them also? Or just us? If for them also did He also die on their planet? Then His death would not have been once and for all would it, seeing as how it would hvae had to be on more then one planet. No man is God's special creation, made in HIs image, for fellowshiping with Him, worshipping Him, not man and a bunch of others on muliple planets. Too much in scripture that argues against it. The belief in peoples on other planets is a worldly view which denys the exsistance of God, a lie fabricated by satan.
     
  16. Phillip

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    This is the usual response by Christians to extra-terrestrial lifeforms. Will you allow me to point out some assumptions that your statement requires:

    First, you assume that the "race" has fallen from grace, the way mankind has. (see the remark made by C.S. Lewis above).

    Second, you assume they were made in the image of God or at least given a free will. Obviously, the angels had a certain amount of free will, but Jesus did not die for them.

    Third, just because a lifeform is "intelligent" does not necessarily give it a "soul" as man has. My little dog is quite smart, and has very STRONG emotions (sadness, depression, happiness, loneliness, sense of needing to belong), but he has no soul.

    These are just some thoughts. I'm not arguing with you. Personally, I think man is probably the only other higher intelligence in the galaxy, but I have little doubt that we will find lower lifeforms in other parts of this great creation God made--such as animals, bacteria, plantlife & I don't meant "evolved" beyond "climate adaptation", I mean created.

    Regarding the other response of the Bible, yes, the Bible was written for man, focused on man. God only tells us what "we" need to know to find "salvation" and worship Him.

    Just something to ponder.
     
  17. Phillip

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    Interesting post, from a scientific point of view I would like to point out that theoretical physics does not eliminate the possibility of traveling great distances, either through "worm holes" (and no these are used by Roddenberry, but they are possible) among technologies beyond which we have yet to see and some that cannot be discussed due to the classification nature of the research; however, suffice it to say, you are right. At this paarticular point in time man is incapable of deep-space (beyond our solar system) travel, but with advancess in technology, it may not be long before the closer stars are reachable. Einstein did not say we could not exceed the speed of light, he said that we would change form (become infinitely long and turn to energy) upon reaching light speed. We do know; however, that speed, gravity and space are intertwined in a marvelous creation that may allow for "warping" space among other things. You might actually be amazed at the number of scientists who helped with the "Star-Trek" program as consultants to bring a far-future simblance of realism to their stories, such as "warp-speed". Obviously, God and possibly his angels are not limited, so therefore why can he not have other created beings that are limited? ...just a thought.
    I do want to say on record that I disagreed with Roddenberry when he remarked that if we limited our lives to a God we were unfair to the universe. Carl Sagan also made a career of destroying God through the use of science. I look at it differently, the more complex our universe is, the greater the mark of the creator.

    Don't forget, 100 years ago, man could not break the sound barrier because his airplane could not push the air aside faster than it can move. Today, Mach 10 is attainable in the atmosphere with ramjets and composite materials. So, you are right, "give me "warp 10" Scotty.

    Just some thoughts from a scientific point of view that does NOT leave our universe as an unplanned, non-designed creation. The more complexity our telescopes manage to see, the more of God's design I see.
     
  18. Mark Osgatharp

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    The Bible says, "in six days God created the heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is." This happened about 6,000 years ago.

    We know this creation included angels who are called the "heavenly host" and "principalities and powers in heavenly places." So we do know that, in that respect, there is "extra-terrestrial" life. I, however, would not use that term because to the average mind that conjures up ideas of science fiction stuff, the likes of which grown men ought not even been discussing with a straight face.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  19. mozier

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    Here's a thought, pending that the universe is as large as scientists say it is: Could it be that God is pulling a huge gag on us humans, creating a massive, multi-galaxied universe, with allegedly billions of planets and stars, and then making us the only ones in it!

    Here's another thought, more to my own position: scientists always tell me that we've been to the moon, that our universe is humongous, and that we are just insignifant peons on the evolutionary scale. Also, they say our world is billions of years old and that the earth goes around the sun.

    Well now, how do I know that they are telling me the truth?

    How do I know that they are not lying to me, or deceiving me, or really know what they are talking about? How do I know that their science proves anything?

    Ah, I have to just believe what they say, because they have PhD's or Master's Degrees (big deal; I have one of those!) and so are the "intellectuals" of our world. Baloney! They are telling me to believe them with no convicing evidence in my eyes. If I am a "reasonable" and "rational" man, according to them and the media that backs them, then I will never question what they tell me. Again, baloney.

    I suppose that I could just accept what they say based on, what, "faith?" Ah, there you go! Faith. Oh, but we are not supposed to do that! Too Christian.

    In the end, I can only believe based on what I have experienced (Subjectivism? Oh no, not that, say my old philosophy professors). That is faith. And in my faith, I have come to accept my KJV Bible, and what it tells me about God, Creation, Law, History, Ethics, Morality, Salvation, and what I am meant to be as a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Word that created me and that I can survey (John, Ch. 1).

    And that is good enough for me. Extraterrestials? Irrelevant.

    mozier
     
  20. Frogman

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    "And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison. And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea." Rev. 20.7-8

    God Bless

    Brother Dallas
    Glasgow, KY

    [ October 06, 2002, 06:55 PM: Message edited by: Frogman ]
     

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