Saturday, August 26, 2006

Identity Crises

Have you heard the news? Pluto is no longer a planet!1,2,3 Science books have to be re-written--we now have only eight planets in our solar system.

It seems that the discovery of several heavenly bodies as big as or bigger than Pluto has forced the scientific community to come to a definite decision in their long debate about what a planet is, exactly. Either they had to accept three new planets into our solar "family" or kick tiny Pluto out. Turns out Pluto had to go. It did not fulfill all the requirements of being a planet by the new definition.

Not everyone is happy with this turn of events, and some astronomers are even circulating a petition to overrule that decision. I had no idea "logical, unbiased, unemotional" scientists could get so upset over an issue of semantics. Ironically, Pluto is now defined as a "dwarf planet", which makes the whole deal seem somewhat frivolous.

Pluto isn't the only one dealing with an identity crisis, however. It seems the Anglican Church [and more specifically the Episcopal Church, which is the U.S.'s branch of the Anglican Church] is almost at the point of division, with some conservative Episcopalians no longer wanting to be associated with the Anglican Church.4,5,6 Unlike the debate over Pluto, this disagreement is far from frivolous or unimportant. The Anglican Church has, among other things, ordained at least one openly gay bishop, and supports gay relationships between professing Christians. Some contend, and rightly so, that these things should not be in the Church of Jesus Christ, and do not feel like they can conscientiously be a part of or support a denomination that does so.

Just the fact that such a debate exists in the church in the first place is a sad testimony to the confusion and deception that has taken hold of the church in recent years. But identity crisis at the denominational level is only a symptom of a much deeper problem--identity crisis in Christians as individuals.

The term "Christian" has become so diluted it has all but lost its meaning. Anyone and everyone is a "Christian" these days, regardless of how they live their lives or what they believe. Or at least they are Christians by today's definition of the word. But, unfortunately for those who are Christians in name only, God does not play word games. His definition of "Christian" is the same as it always was, and it will never change. The Father of Lies can re-define "Christian" to include anyone he wants, but his vote does not count in the Throne Room of the King of the Universe. And there is coming a day when many who considered themselves Christians by Satan's definition will be rudely awakened to find that by the proper definition they are not Christians at all, and, like Pluto, will be excluded into outer darkness, separated from the family of God, because they do not meet the qualifications of a real Christian. However, unlike the situation with Pluto, there will be no opportunity for a re-vote.

Are you a real Christian, or only a "dwarf planet", as it were? Have you "made your calling and election sure"? (2 Peter 1:10) If not, I encourage you to "examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith;" (2 Corinthians 13:5) How can we know?
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.
Romans 8:16

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Matthew 7:20

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
John 14:21

And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
1 John 2:3-6

We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
1 John 3:14

Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
1 John 4:15-16

A Christian never has to have an identity crisis--I can know that I know who I am in Christ. I'm a child of the KING, and will outshine the stars! And, thankfully, no amount of redefinitions or hand-raising votes can change that!

  1. Dinky Pluto loses its status as planet by William J. Kole, from the Associated Press.

  2. Pluto Demoted: No Longer a Planet in Highly Controversial Definition by Robert Roy Britt, from

  3. Astronomers: Pluto just a dwarf by Dan Vergano, from USA Today.

  4. Dallas Episcopalians contemplate break with national church
    by (Corpus Christi, TX), from the Associated Press.

  5. A new school of thought for conservative Episcopalians: Seminaries partner to unify conservative voice by Jay Lindsay, from the Associated Press.

  6. Episcopal split mulled in Dallas by Matt Curry, from the Associated Press.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

SETI--The Search for a New "God"

I came across an article1 recently about the connection between SETI and the evolutionary search to find meaning in life apart from God. Normally, one would associate NASA and scientists such as those involved in SETI (the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) with those who would distance themselves from anything resembling UFOs, aliens, and that sort of thing. After all, these are supposed to be the logical, intelligent, scientific scholars, not wacky fanatics that claim UFO sightings and believe in Atlantis.

And indeed, these researchers do claim to have strong basis in science for their work. After all, "if life evolved here on earth, why could it not also evolve on another planet somewhere in the universe?" Their goal is to make contact with any such intelligent civilization that might be out there, and they attempt to do this by scanning the skies (using radio telescopes) for anything that would be considered an intelligent message from outer space.2

Yet behind the cool, collected, "scientific" facade there lies the hope that maybe somewhere out there someone or something exists that could give hope and provide answers for the human race, answers that people all over the world have been looking for since time began.

Sadly, this quest has little to do with real science, and a lot to do with the emptiness modern society brought upon itself by denying the existence of God and refusing to acknowledge Him as Creator and Master of their lives and destinies. Refusing to acknowledge the real God and accept and believe what He tells us in His Word, they are forced to look elsewhere for meaning and purpose in life, and for someone or something to worship and obey. Whereas others look within themselves (humanists) or at the world around them (naturalists), these people look into outer space.

Ironically, despite their effort to distance themselves from UFOs and all the associated mythology and just plain weirdness, SETI-ites end up in the almost identical position of relying on supposedly more intelligent and advanced (in the evolutionary sense) civilizations to provide the answers to humanity's problems.3

Unfortunately, in doing so they open themselves wide to Satan's deception. Just as Satan and his demons have used the popularity and allure of UFOlogy to gain a foothold in many people's lives (and through those people spread his deception even further), he is using the lie of evolution and the false hope of extra-terrestrial "saviors" to turn people away from God and lure them within his grasp.

As C.S. Lewis' demon Screwtape tells his nephew Wormwood in The Screwtape Letters4, "I have great hopes that we shall learn in due time how to emotionalise and mythologise their science to such an extent that what is, in effect, a belief in us [demons] (though not under that name) will creep in while the human mind remains closed to belief in the Enemy [God]." I am afraid that they have succeeded, since there remains little doubt in my mind that "aliens" are nothing more than demons "though not under that name". Furthermore, "Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness;"5 The stretch between believing in advanced civilizations in outer space to advanced beings in another dimension is not insurmountable, and would allow the "logical, scientific" mind to believe in demons while denying the existence of God. But, of course, demons would not represent themselves as what they truly are, but rather as "angels of light", or to use more modern terms, "spirit guides". They would, and do, claim to be here to help man achieve a higher evolutionary stage. But of course, there would be some requirements that need to be met. With the state of the post-modern mind, befuddled by "tolerance" and multiculturalism and relativism and New Age ideas, any objection to those requirements would not stand for long.

This is not something theoretical that I am making up, by the way, but is actually happening.6 SETI is looking for intelligent extra-terrestrials. Many ufologists claim they have found them. And that they have messages for us. And those messages are not at all friendly to Christians or Jews [wonder why, of all religions, these two would be singled out?].

Make no mistake about it--Satan is at work in the modern UFO/alien obsession, and more subtly so in the SETI. While they may deny it, SETI is in reality a search for a new god, one to replace the God they "killed". Satan is only too happy to oblige.

Let's not fall for his deception by going along with it, or denying that it exists, or ignoring it. It is a real threat to us as Christians and, in fact, as humans. There is intelligent life out there, and it comes in two "flavors". If you choose to ignore or deny the existence of Him who communicated with us thousands of years ago His express will, the only intelligent life left for you to find, to your detriment, is the same serpent that Eve found when she decided she knew better than God and denied His word. The results were not pretty then, and they won't be now either.

It's up to us to "choose you this day whom ye will serve."7 Will you look to SETI for the answers to life questions, or will to look to God, who has revealed to us all we need to know in His Word? The choice is yours.

  1. Patrick J. Burwell, "Of Faith and Fantasies: S.E.T.I is of the Religion of Evolution" on the Christian Worldview Network 8/12/06

  2. Gary Bates, "SETI--Coming In From the Cold of Space" from Answers in Genesis 11/3/03

  3. For more articles discussing these issues, check out the following:

  4. C.S.Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1961), 33.

  5. 2 Corinthians 11:14, KJV

  6. For a detailed discussion of the many aspects of this issue, read Alien Intrusion: UFOs and the Evolution Connection, by Gary Bates (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2004).

  7. Joshua 24:15, KJV