What Does the Bible Tell Us About UFOs?


What Does the Bible Tell Us About UFOs?

Before beginning a response to this question let me first clarify some terms.  As most people know, the term “UFO” stands for Unidentified Flying Object.  When something is seen flying, and cannot be identified, it could naturally be called a “UFO.”  However, the term has sort of morphed into something else in our present-day language.  Today, when people use the term “UFO” they may mean “extraterrestrial life.”  So, when they say, “do you believe in UFOs?” – what they may mean is “do you believe in alien life” or, “do you believe in intelligent life from other planets?”  Therefore, when dealing with this question, it is important to recognize what people infer when they say “UFO.”

When I was a teenager I had a paraphrase Bible called “The Way,” which contained study notes. I can recall reading these notes about Ezekiel Chapter 1, which describes a strange flying object that Ezekiel saw.  The study notes strongly suggested that he had witnessed a UFO sighting.  To my teenage mind this was pretty cool, and I thought we had good evidence of an unidentified flying object.  However, in later years when I began to read the Bible without the assistance of editor’s notes, I discovered that this was no unidentified flying object, because Ezekiel plainly described what it was in 1:28 – “this was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.”  So, it was identified, not unidentified.

Especially in the book of Revelation, the Bible will occasionally describe items or beings that fly.  However, in most of these cases the Bible will either identify them for us, or give us some type of clue as to their meaning.  Therefore, we really don’t have UFOs in the Bible (unidentified flying objects).

But I think the real question that most seem to have is: does the Bible say anything about the existence of intelligent life on other planets?  Is it possible that God created life on earth, and also created intelligent life elsewhere?

Based on my years of study of the Scriptures, it is my opinion that the Bible nowhere confirms or denies the existence of intelligent life on planets other than earth.  However, there might a few very subtle clues that could lead one in a certain direction.

The first thing to note is that the Bible is very geocentric.  By that I mean that much of the focus of the Bible is about God’s dealings with the planet earth.  The Bible tells us the story of God’s story being worked out in the stories of people on this planet.  This geocentric style tends to lead the reader to believe that God’s focus is about life on earth – not about life elsewhere.  I will admit that this does not eliminate the possibility of life elsewhere, but it does suggest that God’s focus is here with us.

Another clue that could give us some insight is the concept of The Fall.  In Genesis 3 we find sin entering the stage of humankind.  Sin not only affected the spiritual heart of humankind, and our relationship with God, but it also affected creation.  In Gen 3:17, God said “cursed is the ground for your sake.”  In other words, the Fall seemed to bring about a significant change to planet earth.

However, there is evidence that the Fall not only affected the earth, but all of creation.  In Romans 8:20-22, Paul seems to suggest that “the whole creation” was “subjected to futility.”  If this statement can be understood in the way it seems to read, then we can conclude that everything that was created by God was tainted by the Fall.

So what would this tell us?  Well, if God created intelligent life on other planets, then this life would also have been cursed because of sin.  Yet, it seems that Jesus’s death on earth was for the purpose of atoning humankind – on earth.  If the Bible is so earth-centered, and we know that sin entered the creation here on earth, and Jesus ended sin here on earth – then would it be natural to assume that God is trying to save souls on other planets?  To my way of thinking the answer leans more to “no” than “yes.”  Still, I cannot say for certain that this is the case.

But what about the well-documented sightings of unexplained flying objects? 

It is a matter of record that some sightings have been well-documented, and defy any logical explanation.  One of the most well-known of these is the 1986 encounter by Japanese Air #1628. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Air_Lines_flight_1628_incident#section_2

To this day no reasonable explanation for the encounter has been produced.  The question might be asked; what does the Christian make of this type of thing?

In my opinion, there is no reason for the Christian’s faith to be deterred by unexplained sightings.  The sightings might have reasonable explanations that we simply have not discovered.  And, if it would one day be determined that intelligent life on other planets is the reason for these sightings, the Christian must assume that our mission field is simply wider than first imagined.

Some Christians have supposed that UFO sightings are the work of the devil.  I don’t think we have enough Biblical evidence to rule this out, and so it exists as a possibility.  Those who investigate UFOs generally reject this possibility because they often reject the spiritual dimension as a whole.  Those of us who are more open-minded have this possibility to explore.

I suppose what disturbs me most about the interest in UFOs is the trend that it seems to be taking.  Many years ago alien life was seen as a frightening thing, or as a threat to our planet.  More recently, however, the trend seems to be that people are looking toward alien life as a possible solution for our problems, or as some type of savior.  In some ways the interest in UFOs is a religious interest.  The hope once placed in a God who intervenes in our lives, may slowly be giving way to a hope placed in beings from another part of the galaxy.  If nothing else, this falsely-placed hope is demonic.

Paul said, “…if we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel to you … let him be accursed” (Gal 1:8).  In other words, even if a non-earthly being tries to sway us from our confidence in Jesus, we must consider that a false message.

I say … let’s keep our eyes on Jesus.

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