Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Bible and the Paranormal Part 2: UFOs

This entry is by no means going to be a verse by verse explanation of Possible UFO sightings from the Bible.

That would take an entire year worth of entries to cover.

And to find that all you have to do is Google UFO and Bible and you will get a hory host of sites that address these verses. Some are very good reads with great points to make.


I’ve been paying attention to this area of Fortean studies for about 25 years now, and while the topics expand in the details, the basics have not changed much. It seems that the majority of opinions on this subject break off into two divergent paths of speculation in the area of UFOs and Biblical accounts.

1) All Biblical accounts of angels, giants and visionary phenomena can be explained by extraterrestrial alien activity.

Or

2) All UFOs are demonic entities that are here to deceive mankind.

Now both of these theories have their pluses and minuses. Both are equally valid, because frankly we really do not know what the UFO phenomenon truly is.

Let’s take a close and critical look at both of these views.

(Please note: these are broad generalizations and are by no means an assault on the beliefs of others or an attempt at stereotyping those who believe in such theories. I am looking at the broad themes here, not the individual beliefs.)

1) Biblical Accounts Describe Extraterrestrial Alien Encounters

In this thesis aliens have been visiting Earth for countless millennium. Primitive civilizations were amazed by these visitors with what seemed to be supernatural power and described them in their preconceived world view of gods and spirits. Biblical descriptions of angels are really aliens who are trying to enlighten primitive mankind and bring them along on the evolutionary ladder. The Chariot of fire that takes up Elijah to heaven and the wheel within the wheel of Ezekiel’s vision are merely crude descriptions of alien spacecraft. The Nephalim of Genesis 6 are crossbred human alien hybrids or depending on the author they are the breed aliens themselves. In some extreme views along this line God Himself is really an alien who seeded our race upon this planet and the Garden of Eden is a genetic laboratory that existed either on earth, in a UFO or on another planet. Some would even claim that Jesus was an extraterrestrial who just went back to the Mothership when He ascended to heaven.

Critique: To me the main problem with this argument is that it seems to be based on what a former professor of mine called the “Ignorance of the Ancients” theory. Mankind was just so darn ignorant in the past that they just couldn’t conceive of the technology that they encountered with these extraterrestrial visitors. In line with this theory is the belief that ancient man was too primitive to construct the Pyramids of Egypt and other monuments of the past. They even needed alien help to move from a nomadic hunter gatherer society to an agricultural one. Eric Von Daniken along with a host of others popularized this theory in the late 60s and early 70s till it has become a dominant theme of many paranormal writers when they look into the mysteries of the past. But its flaw is it lessens the infinite possibilities of man’s imagination in whatever age he existed. Given enough time and human effort man can complete incredible tasks, and it truly has been a long time since anyone has had a truly uniquely original idea. From building enormous monoliths to inventing small volt batteries, ancient man was just as persistent and inventive then as he is now. To look at the legacy of ancient mankind and to simply proclaim ‘aliens did it’ does not do justice to the fortitude of our ancestors. Discoveries are lost and rediscovered throughout time. And ancient man was neither ignorant nor stupid.

Nevertheless there are a lot of interesting hypothesis that originate from this view of prehistory. To me the notion that the Ancient Babylonian Anunnaki were reptilian aliens is both intriguing and very Lovecraftian. And many ancient artifacts do look like they are attempting to describe aspects of the modern phenomena of UFOs as we encounter them today.

However in the end this argument just lacks soul. When you strip it down to the basics the basis of this worldview is that there is no God and the supernatural can be easily explained by science. It is basically Darwinist humanism with a touch of conspiracy theory. To me at least, it seems with the great sweeping creative and unrestrained panorama of myth from all cultures and all ages, if ancient man had been visited by extraterrestrials then he would have reported it as such. Perhaps not explicitly so, but the descriptions would not be directly ‘religious’ in theme unless these aliens posed as gods to deceive mankind. But if the alien visitors wanted to evolve mankind and knew there were no such things as gods, why would they pretend to be gods themselves? In the worldview of secular humanism religion is a step backwards in the evolutionary process of mankind, not a step forward. Why would they try to introduce a system of misinformation that is counterproductive to the evolution of humanity? Were the aliens trying to scam us? And why are they not still doing so today? They certainly have a fertile field to work with. The only explanation is the same one theorized by many proponents of a global government conspiracy to cover up the alien presence: someone has deemed that we are not ready to know the truth.


2) All UFOs are demonic entities that are here to deceive mankind.


The basic supposition of this thesis is that Satan is described in the Bible as the prince and power of the air ( Ephesians 2:2) and since UFOs are primarily an atmospheric phenomena the devil is suspect prime in these delusions to make man focus on the possibility that he is not the primary focus of the creation of the universe. If there are other worlds then that raises a whole unwanted rhetoric that has the potential to rock the Christian faith to its core. Other worlds might mean other gods or no God at all. What is our cosmological foundation if there are intelligent beings from other worlds interacting with our own? To make matters worse for those who hold these views, the themes and principles set forth by those who have had contact with these ‘visitors’ and the ‘aliens’ themselves are very humanistic and “New Age”. The ‘aliens’ teach humans the universalism of religion and secular humanist ideology. These other worldly beings exhibit strange powers over the humans they interact with and therefore they must be demonic beings who have been sent by Satan to deceive mankind from the truth. They work in ways similar to medieval demonic infestations, where the person is visited at night by evil spirits and either possessed, molested sexually/physically or initiated into a series of oppression actions that lead to the destruction of their free will. This is all a plot by Satan to stage the End Times. Once mankind reaches a certain stage of total iniquity and they en masse abandon the faith and the Antichrist can rise to power. The message of the ‘visitors’ is just one piece of the puzzle that will doom the majority of mankind and lead to Armageddon.


This video is LONG.....just a warning...

Critique: To me it seems much of the logic of this argument hinges on certain scriptural passages. Namely the one I have previously cited which calls Satan the prince and power of the air (Ephesians 2:1-3) and the passages which calls him the deceiver of mankind. First and foremost is the interpretation of this scripture itself. What does it say? Is Satan a powerful being who rules the air?

Then God help the Internet.

Seriously.

Shut off your computer.

Half the time it is being carried by airwaves and you can’t risk the satanic influence.

But does this verse instead reference the unseen mindset at the time of the writing? That is, the predominant urge for sin within humanity and the rationalization of sinful behavior? This verse is akin to the phrase “There is something in the air”. A force that is both present and real but intangible.

The author intends a reference to the “world system” of greed and immorality that dominates the thoughts and motivations of the general populace. This system is the antithesis of the views of Christ.

Let me put it this way:

So just because the flying saucer is up in the air spinning don’t make it the devil’s dradeil.

God’s universe is bigger than the fragile human mind.

If you believe in the Biblical God then you better believe He is in control, or you better just check yourself into a sanitarium. ‘Cause if you give the Devil the same power as God then you are a Dualist.

Not a Christian.

Not a Monotheist.

Just join a Rosocurian sect and get done with it.

Ahem.

Anyway.

Not to insult any Rosocurians out there, just making a point.

And with the issue of the message of the ‘aliens’; if you think it is real then try to mesh it with your world view.

If you do not then it is the messenger and not the message you have a problem with.

Try to reach out in love and understanding.

Like Jesus would.

How novel, huh?

So what does the Bible say about UFOs?

Not a lot, in my view. But I am a guy who goes to a birthday party and likes to keep the Cake and Ice Cream separate from one another.

They are great individually, but when they merge it is an ooey gooey mess that has no real taste on its own.

Not repulsive, but not that great.

Such is my view on UFOs and the Bible.

I am sure I have met angels. I am truly blessed.

I am sure I have seen UFOs in the Hudson river flap of the 80’s. I am again truly blessed.

I think they are two different phenomenon, just because there is no overwhelming evidence to merge the two world view.

But that is just me.

I hate mixing cake and ice cream.

But I love cake flavored ice cream.

Yes, I am a weirdo, thanks.

Until next time,

Pastor Swope

13 comments:

Joseph Capp said...

Dear Paster

The egotistical part of the demon religious argument is the same as the bible argument. We are the center of Gods Universe.

I don't see that, does anyone see that anywhere except in our minds.


If anything month after month we are finding more proof of how special we are not.

Were finding new planets all the time smaller and smaller.
A paper was just written on how we can make a ship go infinitely faster than the speed of light without altering relativity. Included in the paper were ways to reduced massive energy needs normally associated with these theories.
If anything we are being shown again by our science and the universe that we are just another island, in a universe of islands, some inhabited some not.

However we can't conquer the people who reside on these islands and we can't dictate what God is the true God. ETS may believe themselves, that they are the center of the universe let's pray not... look what happen the last time we started.
Many people have different ideas of Ancient Astronauts and Alien Bases...not everyone agrees that ETS were involved in everything. Some of us believe the evidence indicates they didn't. If they do interfere it is to a minimum. unfortunately for Christians and other human history is our fault and has always been our fault if you want poof take a look around you.

Let's be honest about the Christian religion in America and the world ...do you really believe it can hold it's head high to God or Jesus. with this much misery and hunger in the world and as much corruption... even in the Christian community. So this whole idea of Jesus coming back now, doesn't fit , the world is not ready for him ..and demons that look like ETs?
Hasn't God given us enough in to make us doubt him with all the good people that die and the children that suffer. How much assurances must he need, before he is convinced some will honor him no matter what.
The Jesus I read about I don't see now at all in the Christian Community and like Lincoln said refusing to join a christian church. "I will join a church when they practice love amongst themselves"
Joseph Capp
UFO Media Matters
Non-Commercial Blog

Pastor Swope said...

Thanks Joseph Capp for your insightful comment,

Spot on sir.

I wondered if people would see the two sides of the same coin!

I think we agree on quite a few things. American Christianity is not quite the following Jesus had in mind. The Holiness movement of the mid 1800s and the Fundamentalist movement of the early 20th century has robbed the Christian Church in America of much of it's independent thought and action. I think God honors people who honor Him, but He still weeps when the Church acts like a business, and treats people as mere assets.

However the gambit of Christian thought is not limited to American Capitalism see C.S. Lewis thoughts on extraterrestrials and God as the Lord of the Cosmos with his 'space' trilogy:
http://www.amazon.com/Space-Trilogy-C-S-Lewis/dp/068483118X

In the Bible Christ is called the Lord of the Cosmos, all of the created reality. If we do actually make contact what does that imply for religion? We will have to see.

I had a friend in Seminary who always joked about wanting to be a Missionary to Mars. Either wrong planet or too late, but it shows a wider view that many Christians do realize.

But just to stir the pot: What if we do find that even though there are millions of earth like worlds in the cosmos, and yet we are still alone?

There's an old book out there edited by Mayo Mohs called "Other Worlds, Other Gods", I was given a copy by the librarian at the Seminary I attended. It asks the same questions you do through the voices of many authors such as Clark, Brunner, and Del Ray. If you can find it, it is a great read that addresses much of the issues your raise in this comment.

Thanks again for the great comment!

Bruce Duensing said...

In an age of vulgarity, the cultural celebration of stupidity and innovated theology, here we have the field of the paranormal where reductionism is a utility....I am so glad you began this blog as part of a larger dialog all of this is nested within, the purpose and nature of man, which is largely now is placed in the back of a dusty curio cabinet.
A necessary and great blog...
Best Wishes
Bruce Duensing.

Stranger said...

Dear Pastor,

I just wanted to tell you that I really enjoy your blog. I've been keeping up with it since I discovered it on the Anomalist site.
You are well written, and I enjoy reading about a topic that has interested me since I was very young, from a spiritual point of view.
Your blog is one of only two that I read. The other is Vox Popoli.
If you are unfamiliar with his writings you should look him up. I think you would appreciate him, though he is anathema to the views of Prof. Richard Dawkins, who is mentioned in other comments.

cryptidsrus said...

Well done, Swope!!!

You mean "Rosicrucian," don't you, Pastor? :) :) :)

I originally wrote a longer chunk of paragraphs here but explaining what I thought of your post but it took so long I was not able to push the thing through; so I'll just give you a brief summary here of what I said (I don't feel like rewriting the whole thing from memory---too tedious):

1) As somebody who attempted to become a member of that Rosicrucians (but had to stop payment of the mail-in course---sigh) I can tell you for a fact that they are not dualists. Their beiliefs comprise a range of the whole spectrum, from pantheism/panentheism to mysticism/metaphysics/alchemy/theurgy/ceremonial magick. At the very least they do not hold Satan to be on the same level as Jesus. They are also subtler, more reserved and less flashy than their more famous counterparts, the Freemasons.
I don't think that's what you were saying---just wanted to clarify the facts.

2) One quibble---I was "disappointed" you did not go over of my favorite "UFO sightings" in the entire Bible (also one of the most underrated)---the episode in the Book of Zechariah where Zechariah is talking to the Angel and they both witness a "flying scroll" flying overhead; when Zechariah asks what the object is, the Angel replies that a "curse is come uopn the land." Still creeps me out even after all these years. John Keel talked about that "sighting" in one of his books---I looked it up and it has since become one of my favorite Bible passages. I know you said you were not going discuss all UFO anecdotes in the Bible---just a wish it could have been mentioned. That's all. Let's not also forget Sodom and Gomorrah. Many people say that was a nuclear holocaust caused by aliens. Could be. One never knows.

3) Personally I tend to hold with authors like Keel, Jacques Vallee and Aeolus Kephas, who write that these "sightings" are totally subjective and designed to take the experiencer of the happening out their "comfort zone" and into a totally new mode of consciousness---to force change upon the eyewitness and to get them to destroy their "beliefs" and substitute them for "acceptance." This "acceptance" or "knowing" of the "truth" would gradually transform the world. Kephas particulalry in his The Lucid View book explains it far better than I can. Suffice it to say that these records of ancient meetings with The Great Unknown are comparable to the sightings and interaction with "fairies" in the Middle and even Modern Ages and the Modern "abduction" phenomenon. Whatever is happening here, it is designed to "f--k" with us in order to achieve peronal transformation. Sort of a "rite of passage" that goes beyond our ordinary understanding. Know what I mean??? If not, I understand. My mind was more organized as to my thoughts as to when I did this first.

I could go on but I don't want to bore you. I will say this in closing---you think UFOs in the Bible are weird? Let's not forget the Bible (at least The King James Version) mentions Unicorns (most famously in the Book Of Job and Psalm 92), Cockatrices (Isaiah), Satyrs (Isaiah again), Sea Serpents (Leviathan in the Book of Job), and even Dragons (Book Of Daniel, anyone?) What are we to make of that???

Overused and downright cliched, but appropriate for this post:

"There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

Pastor Swope said...

Thanks Cryptidsrus,

Once again an insightful and thoughtful comment!

Unless I am mistaken the Rosicrucians of old were dualist, if not in dogma at least in principle. I am not sure about the current views, but I was referring to what I know of classic Rosicrucianism (pre Islam)that I learned in ye olde world religion classes back in the day when my hair was not grey... you know more than I do and thanks for the info, very fascinating!

Sorry about the book of Zechariah :)Yes very spine tingling!

I know the works of Keel and Aeolus Kephas and love Jacques Vallee. I agree with them to a point, but rather think it is not purpose but result.

Did you read the recent article "Who I Think the Visitors Are" by Anne Strieber? Very interesting!

I'm just not all that convinced that what we perceive as UFOs in the Bible are in fact the same phenomena we observe today. But it is nice to imagine, and if it is so then it would follow in the same type of hypothesis that Mrs. Strieber seems to set forth in her article.

I will refrain to speculate about the various Cryptids mentioned in the Bible until one of the next parts of this series! :)

Have you been reading my mind?

cryptidsrus said...

Pastor---

You're right about the Rosicrucians---there have been several periods of "Rosicrucianism" during all of human history.

Actually what we know of as Rosicrucianism may have actually been started by Pharaoh Thutmose III (if I remember correctly) during one of the Egyptian Dynasties. Akhnaten (Tut's dad and the only monotheistic pharaoh in Ancient Egypt) actually expanded it. It was actually in the spirit of the Ancient Mystery Schools Manly Hall used to write about---sort of like Pythagoras's school and the the Priests of Isis and Ra that Pythagoras and Plato studied with.
I'm doing this by memory; I don't have the materials with me. I guess if you look at Wikipedia or the Rosicrucian websites in the Net you would be able to get the full story.

Anyway, the next "Rosicrucian wave" happened during the Middle Ages, aparently started by the apparently mythical Christian Rosenkruntz, who supposedly lived 106 years. Most people claim he was made-up. Their teaching were very alchemically oriented. I think you're right, they may have been dualistic. The Rosicrucianism we know now was created in the 17th century by a group of supposedly renegade Protestant scholars and alchemists, mostly led (allegedly) by Valentine Andrea, who published a lot of the Rosicrucian Manifestos and tried later to blow the whole thing off as a joke.

Some joke---apparently Francis Bacon, the alchemist Michael Maier, poet Henry Vaughan and his alchemist brother Thomas, Newton, Leibniz, Boyle, Pascal, and later people like Michael Faraday, Debussy, Jean Cocteau, and Dante Gabriel Rossseti were said to be members of the Fraternity of the Rosy Cross. Even Leonardo da Vinci was supposed to have been associated with them. Roger Bacon, Saint Albert the Great are other names associated with the Faraternity, and some of the Founding Fathers were also said to have been acquainted with Rosicrucian teachings BESIDES the Freemasonry most of us know about. Believe it or not, we had Rosicrucian "Lodges" and "Communities" in America during the late 17th century. I'm not sure, but they may have come here BEFORE the Freemasons.

I could go on here all day, so to make it short---I think you may be right. Rosicrucian teaching is an amalgam of a lot of diverse disciplines, philosophies, and ancient teachings, and it has evolved over time. What I was saying is that as far as I know it is not that NOW.
I guess I'll never know---I had to discontinue the lessons. :) But I've read enough about them to know they're not "black and white" as some people would make them out to be. And they do not have the same "dark reputation" that Masons, have, know what I mean? They just "do their own thing."

Their beliefs are not a religion in of itself and compatible with Christianity---why don't you join? You probably can afford the lesson plans and am sure there is a Rosicrucian Temple somewhere in your neighborhood. There is nothing greater in life than being in contact with the Great Mysteries. Manley P. Hall was one---why not you? You also get a cool membership card (which I still have and occasionally show off for bragging right's sake).
So Mote It Be, Pastor!!! :) :) :)

That's good you read Kephas. A lot of people have not. Unusual mind, wouldn't you say?

And no, I can't read minds, but thanks for the "shout-out." ;)

cryptidsrus said...

BTW---

I read the Strieber article. I basically agree with it. Ufos are basically supernatural, to me.
Keel is right. :)

abraxas said...

The lines between super-natural and un-natural are very blurred.
An angel is supernatural, but not un-natural. Ditto for demons.

Where UFO's fall into place i could not answer, however i have some thoughts to share.

If UFO's were from God, people who encountered them would be drawn to God. Since they (people who have UFO encounters)are not drawn to God, we can safely assume they are NOT messengers of God.

I have been told by someone i trust in these matters that UFO's indeed are "smoke and mirrors" intended to distract us ... but that is only hearsay.

Mention of the Ananuki is curious though, because f the vast body of data supporting the theories. But again the proponents of these theories were in fact the Babylonian "idolators" of old. It is the same school of thought that we have inherited in our NEW AGE.

Satan is indeed a deceiver, as are his adherents, and hallucinations, albeit on a grand scale, would be easy enough for the demon types to "arrange".

Pastor Swope said...

Thanks again Cryptidsrus,

Thanks for the info, always love learning about other beliefs and I had no idea that the Rosicrucians have gone through so much evolution over the millenia!

My next goal educationally is probably to take church polity on The United Church of Christ to see where God leads with the Denomination. I'm still independent at the present time.

Strieber's article was very insightful, hope they can expand on that with other stories!

m4ever said...

I also want to say how much I enjoy your writings - this is on my anomaly site today.

Rick Phillips

Sam said...

Excellent post Pastor Swope, finally I feel like I'm not the only person in the world who tries to make some sence out of the unknown.
Ever since I heard the story of the birth of Jesus christ at a very young age I tried to link the the wise men following a "star", shepheards startled at night with an angel from the sky and even tried to explain to myself that the virgin mary could have been an abductee.
Now by saying this I dont mean to be blasphemous or offend anyone, but to me, at a young age it all made sence.
Now with life experience I know I can at least separate encounters with angels as something more supernatural, rather than something closely related to science fact/fiction.
I think though, linking UFOs to the bible is an easy enough way to try and relate the bible to what we think we already know with science. But with that being said: the more we know, the more we know we dont know.

Marcia C said...

OK, I'm going to play "devil's advocate" (pun intended) here. I suggest there is a third belief: That UFOs are not real. I gotta admit, I'm still a skeptic. (Maybe I need to read more of your blog, right?)