By Dave Van Bebber
Senator Bernie Sanders promised this summer that if he is elected President, hewould share with the public everything the government knows about UFOs. He is not the first presidential candidate to make this promise. Jimmy Carter, when running for President, promised the same thing, and he failed to deliver on the promise upon taking office. Interest in aliens and UFOs has fluctuated in the U.S. since the late 1940s. Recently, media attention concerning UFOs has seen a resurgence due to events like“Storm Area 51.” This event brought nearly two-thousand people together to “storm”Area 51. The Huffington Post reported around the same time that “the U.S. Navy . . . verified the authenticity of a series of three UFO videos leaked over the past two years.”
During an interview with George Stephanopoulos, President Trump responded to a question about reports of Navy pilots seeing UFOs by stating:
“I did have one very brief meeting on [UFOs]. But people are saying they’re seeing UFOs. Do I believe it? Not particularly. . . . I think our great pilots would know. And some of them see things a bit different from the past. We’re watching.”
Too often these types of reports are not seriously considered by pastors, apologists, or theologians and are even dismissed by the scientific community. Christians, however, have a burden to take seriously claims from credible sources. Does evidence suggest forces beyond this world are engaging humanity in a manner unexplainable according to known physical laws? If this is the case, how are Christians to respond?
In the lecture “Christian View- UFO Encounters,” Walter Martin shares that numerous pastors and apologists discouraged him from researching UFOs. They believed that it would negatively impact his credibility. Gary North also notes that many scientistare not interested in the study of UFOs. North continues, “On the whole, however, the threat of UFOs is . . . Theological.”
If this is a theological matter, it should be considered by pastors, theologians, and apologists. Christians are called to, “honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). Christian researchers have documented numerous credible accounts of encounters with UFOs. Many who were once skeptics have looked at the evidence and are convinced that something beyond the known physical world is taking place in UFO encounters.
Pastors, apologists, and theologians have a responsibility to engage this issue from a Christian worldview given the evidence and the testimony of credible individuals. Trevin Wax contends, “We read the Bible first to know how to read world news.” Christians should therefore understand UFO encounters from the authority of Scripture.Cornelius Van Til argues, “The Christian philosopher and Christian scientist will be first of all directly dependent upon Scripture itself.” Christians are given an understanding of UFO encounters based on God’s revelation in Scripture; they are not left speechless about what is taking place.
With Scripture as the apologist’s ultimate authority, he is left with few options. Either every case of UFO sightings is a hoax, an illusion, visitors from this or another galaxy, secret government weapons, or visitors of another dimension. Since individuals are dishonest, one might assume every encounter with extraterrestrials is made up, but the evidence is too vast to come to this conclusion. One might consider that governments arekeeping secret weapons from the public, but dating back to the 1950s UFO aircrafts have been tracked at speeds that exceed known capacities, demonstrating maneuvers that defy natural laws. Any government with this technology would use it in warfare or space exploration.
These are either encounters with extraterrestrial life forms, or as North and others contend, these are encounters with spiritual forces. Scripture does not speak about intelligent life on other planets, but scripture does speak of interdimensional beings. Wayne Grudem writes, “We must take seriously [Scripture’s] portrayal of intense demonic involvement in human society.” Second Peter 2:4 speaks of fallen angels as being cast into “gloomy darkness.” Paul writes that Christians wrestle against “spiritual forces of evil” (Ephesians 6:12). There is an overwhelming pattern in encounters of alien abductions; the beings express that they have come to save humanity by uncovering the truth of reincarnation and universal salvation. The message of these visitors runs counter to the Christian message. Martin concludes, “The world is not looking for a theological savior. The world is looking for a technological savior.”
These encounters are real. These visitors communicate a message counter to the gospel. Spiritual forces are engaging humanity with a false gospel. The consistent Christian must be prepared to speak to this issue with the authority of Scripture so the culture is not deceived by the message or the power of these agents of evil.