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July 28, 2023

A Celestial Surprise: What Aliens Could Mean for Christianity

Photo by Michaël Meyer on Pexels.

Let me start by saying what a time to be alive!

There I was, sipping my morning coffee, nonchalantly flipping through the news when, lo and behold; apparently, E.T. didn’t phone home. He crashed in our backyard.

Yes, you heard that right. According to the recent congressional hearings, we’re not alone in this universe. Not by a long shot.

Now, let’s take a moment to let that sink in.

Aliens. Are. Real.

It’s the kind of plot twist that even Shonda Rhimes would have a hard time coming up with.

But amidst the flurry of memes and conspiracy theories, one question lurked in the back of my mind: What does this mean for faith and spirituality? For Christianity? For the worn-out, dog-eared Bibles of the Sunday School set?

I mean, I went to Catholic school for all of my primary and secondary years. I know my Ten Commandments, my Beatitudes, my parables. But I don’t recall the Good Book mentioning anything about little green men (or big grey ones, I’m not picky).

I’m fairly sure there was no mention of multi-armed celestial beings chilling in the heavens alongside the archangels.

If we look at Christianity as a whole, it’s been relatively silent about extraterrestrial life. Most of our theological frameworks are rather Earth-centric. And why wouldn’t they be? We’ve been the only game in town for as long as we can remember.

But now, the game’s changed. And we’re not just talking about a minor rule tweak but a complete paradigm shift.

So where does that leave us?

Do we now imagine God not just as the Shepherd of Earth but as the divine commander of the interstellar fleet?

Maybe it’s time to revisit the Genesis account. Could “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” involve creating not just us but a smorgasbord of cosmic life forms across galaxies far, far away? And if that’s the case, where do they fit in God’s grand plan?

Did Jesus die for their sins too? Does each planet have its own version of Noah’s Ark?

Now, I’m not a theologian. Heck, I still have trouble remembering all twelve apostles (seriously, Bartholomew always slips my mind). But I have to wonder if maybe, just maybe, this discovery expands our understanding of God’s creation. It’s like we’ve been staring at a single puzzle piece, and someone just dumped the rest of the box on the table.

It’s a lot to take in, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that love, mercy, and grace aren’t limited by geography, race, or, apparently, even planetary status. So maybe we’re not just a global community but a cosmic one. And honestly, as shocking as it is, there’s something oddly comforting about the idea that somewhere out there, in the wide expanse of the universe, we’re not alone.

But until our extraterrestrial brethren show up for Sunday service, maybe we should just focus on how humans can better love one another and let the universe figure out the rest.

So grab your Bible (or a dictionary, if you’re still sketchy on all those apostles) and buckle up because this ride is gonna be wild. Who knows what discoveries await us? The possibilities are truly out of this world.

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