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TALKING TO THE ALIENS

I recently read about scientists who have designed a radio message that will be beamed into “deep space” so that aliens in a (supposedly) distant intelligent civilization will know our earth’s location. This is not a joke: it will be transmitted in binary code and sent from the Arecibo Radio telescope in Puerto Rico. Once it is decoded by those clever aliens, they will see stick figures of humans, our solar system, DNA, the telescope, and “much more.”


This experiment will cost millions of dollars of our tax money but will assure those aliens that the Earth is, more or less, wanting to be friendly and full of nice guys. However, we might heed the advice of Stephen Hawking, who thought we should be careful and not use “humanity’s own behavior as a sign that aliens won’t necessarily be friendly.”


These are serious scientists who believe in extraterrestrial beings, as long as we exclude angels, saints, and Jesus. They have gone beyond the Russian cosmonauts who remarked that they did not see God “out there,” although they never explained what they thought God would look like. Scientists know, simply by chance, that there must be aliens out there somewhere.


With a bit, well quite a bit, of Star Wars imagination we can board the Halcyon Star cruiser and zoom along the universe and find those little green goblins. But we should not worry because those “galactic pals” will be creatures and we will find them “adorable.” The filmmakers will give us a glimpse of what is “coming soon to a galaxy near you.”


I don’t think it is irreverent or irrelevant to mix the adventures of Star Wars with the imagination of alien-seeking scientists, but I wonder if either cabal has ever read what the Bible says about heaven and its inhabitants. Pondering the word-pictures of Revelation might help them explore the universe.


Since April 2020, the information on UFOs is now largely declassified, but as Mark Buchanan (a physicist and science writer based in Europe) says, “Whatever the UFO report says, it’s time to set some rules for talking to extraterrestrials.” We need to be very careful, Buchanan warns, because “The search for aliens has reached a stage of technological sophistication and associated risk that it needs strict regulation at national and international levels. Without oversight, even one person — with access to powerful transmitting technology — could take actions affecting the future of our entire planet.”


Another scientist says there may be a species of Hobbit-like humanoids hiding on an island in Indonesia. Those little fellas seem to get around and the scientists are watching for them. However, aliens seem to be quite careful about letting their precise locations be known.


Really? Is this serious stuff we are reading? Obviously so, because we read that governments are pouring millions of dollars into their efforts of finding aliens. And our government does not spend money foolishly! The aliens, of course, fly in UFOs, so most of the money must go to telescopes and radio surveys because humans can’t get very much information about space and its potential inhabitants without sophisticated equipment.


Let’s turn the tables: if Christians suddenly decided to “find heaven” and the souls that live there, they would be thought “looney” or, at best, “misguided.” The effort would be expensive, but to pay for it, every church denomination could be taxed (voluntarily of course) a certain percentage of their budget to gather a cadre of theologians to compile a theological treatise and send it into space, having faith to believe it would “reach” heaven. The treatise would tell the inhabitants of heaven where the earth was located and that we were indeed kind and friendly people and meant them no harm. We might shoot each other, but we would not shoot them—as long as they behaved.


“We have heard,” the treatise might say, “that someday you are sending an envoy, with a king, “in the clouds” and with UFOs and that we will be terrified when we see them. There will be thousands of your armed heavenly beings, and they will undoubtedly come to cause havoc on our earth. We wish to propose our assurance that we are a kindly people, not interested in war, and will do anything you deem necessary to avoid conflict.”


Unfortunately, there will be no return message from heaven’s inhabitants, and we would have to conclude that heaven is still a mystery to be solved, presumably with larger telescopes and more sophisticated radar and sonar equipment. We would keep trying to reach heaven because many people have seen what looks like the figures of saints and angels in the clouds and heard harps playing. We would want to contact them and receive assurance that they will not harm us because our views of heaven have always been positive and uplifting.


Ah mystery, confusion, and nonsense all combined, but with the approval and sanction of some scientists, we could have a chance of contacting the residents of heaven and spotting their UFOs. We might only be saved in this way and for our children and grandchildren’s sake, we must continue our efforts. However, we should ponder these words:


So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners [aliens]. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family.” Ephesians 2:19


Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles [aliens], to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 1 Peter 2:11.


Karl Franklin