If aliens are real, can I still be a Christian? At face value, this question sounds at the very least silly. At most, the question sounds blasphemous. However outlandish the question may seem, hear me out. During the chaotic year we know as 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, race riots, and political upheaval, something else occurred. The Pentagon publicly acknowledged and released videos concerning UFOs. The news came after a governmental inquiry from the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee but has somehow not made top headlines everywhere. That may change by the end of this month when the Pentagon’s report is due to Congress. The existence of aliens would be significant for everyone, especially those who believe in the Christian faith.
The Bible teaches us about many different topics, but I don’t ever recall a sermon on aliens.
Let’s back up a bit. To be fair, the Pentagon has acknowledged the existence of UFOs, not aliens. UFO is an acronym that means Unidentified Flying Object. Anything flying in the air and unidentified qualifies as a UFO. The Pentagon is not sure whether these aircrafts belong to another country, or another planet entirely. What they do know is that these ships defy the natural laws of physics, which leads to speculation about alien life. Maybe that sounds plausible to you, or maybe the idea sounds cuckoo. If we learn that aliens do exist, our hope as Christians is to find direction on how to respond from the Bible. What does Scripture say about aliens, if anything?
What Does the Bible Say about Extraterrestrial Life?
More often than some Christians want to admit, the Bible has many supernatural occurrences. Not taking into account the miracles of Jesus and His disciples, there are some other rather strange phenomena that occur.
Nephilim, or giants, are mentioned in Scripture a few times, notable in the book of Numbers where their enormous size is mentioned (Numbers 13:33). Dinosaurs are never mentioned in Scripture, though from the Book of Job, we receive an account about a large behemoth (Job 40:15-19). The psalmist David gives an account of a monster too (Psalm 74:13-14). In addition to these bizarre happenings, Ezekiel gives a testimony of a vision he had. Is there a UFO in this vision?
“As I looked, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, and a great cloud, with brightness around it, and fire flashing forth continually, and in the midst of the fire, as it were gleaming metal.” (Ezekiel 1:4)
Ezekiel goes on to describe the creatures in his vision, which were part human and part animal (Ezekiel 1:5-7). That doesn’t mean they were aliens, but Ezekiel saw something that we don’t see in our daily lives (thankfully). The Bible does not give us any concrete evidence about the existence of life on other planets. We can be sure that God set the planets and stars in place, but what He placed within them, He has chosen not to reveal to us (Psalm 8:3). Not yet, at least. For now, all we can do is ignore space or listen to the scientists. Whatever the case, we are left without definitive answers and can only speculate.
If Aliens Are Real Does Man Have Dominion Over Them?
In the Book of Genesis, we read, “So God created man in his own image; he created him in the image of God; he created them male and female” (Genesis 1:27). The first book of the Bible explains how God gifted us with authority over the sea, land, plants, and animals (Genesis 1:28-29). If authority over Earth is a gift, then what about space? What about aliens?
This is an interesting question to consider, though again without a solid answer. If we discovered sentient creatures similar to us, we could always apply the principle of loving others (Matthew 22:39). In that way, aliens won’t be subjugated to us, but will rather be our equals.
The Bible makes clear that humanity has a tendency to divide itself. Consider Cain and Able, Abram and Lot, the Egyptians, and the Israelites. If we struggle to remain in unity as a race, how would we fare if we met an entirely different race of beings? Some may wonder if we are at the top of the food chain or not. I don’t have an answer to that, but surely our sinful tendency would not suddenly disappear.
Is Our Faith True If Aliens Exist?
This question will likely pose the biggest concerns for Christians if aliens are real. The Holy Bible gives us plenty of insight into how to handle the sufferings of life, but the existence of aliens may lead us to question the faith.
God has said that we are made in His image (Genesis 1:27). In whose image are the aliens made? Surely we could presume God created them much like He did us; but why, and for what purpose? And if God revealed Himself to us through Jesus, then what about the aliens?
We have to remember that God is omnipotent and omnipresent. This means that God not only knows everything, but he is present everywhere. Everywhere. That means God is present in space amongst the stars, other planets, and even with the aliens (if they exist). If this were true, that does not disapprove anything about the Christian faith.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
“Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s consent. But even the hairs of your head have all been counted. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29-31)
God is in control of all things and knows when things will happen and when. If aliens exist, we can trust that God is active in their lives just as He is our own. Scripture helps us to learn how to live the best life that we have. We experienced God in a way that He allowed. Naturally, He would reveal Himself to aliens in a way that He determines. Whether or not aliens exist, what we have learned as Christians is still valid and applicable. We have the information we need to live and prosper. Aliens will be given what they need as well.
Do You Want to Believe?
Let’s say that aliens are real. We could be upset that God didn’t directly mention them in the Bible, or we could thank God for what He has revealed. Scripture is not simply a cheat sheet we use on a test. The Bible is a guideline for how to live in a way pleasing to God.
There are things that many of us would like to have seen written in the Bible, like the years of Jesus as a child, but God didn’t preserve that information because we don’t need that. God has given us what we need (Psalm 23:1). We should trust Him and walk by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7).
Last year was weird, and this year may be weirder yet, but God is always the same. I don’t know if aliens are real, but just in case they are, let’s be prepared as a community for how we will respond to the news. Up to this point, people have been mocked for believing in UFOs, but now the government is done covering up these odd occurrences.
I can hear Agent Mulder from the X-Files in my head saying, “I want to believe.” What do you want to do? Whatever your answer, seek God for direction, and check for this report at the end of June.
Photo Credit: © Getty Images/buradaki
Aaron Brown is a freelance writer, dance teacher, and visual artist. He currently contributes articles to GodUpdates, GodTube, iBelieve, and Crosswalk. Aaron also supports clients through the freelance platform Upwork.