A few days ago Dr. Stephen Yulish was kind enough to forward this link to me.  If you follow the link you’ll find an article on the UFO Digest website by John MIlor entitled “Cosmic Salvation.”  Milor is a Christian and believes (in most general terms) that the Bible allows for extraterrestrial life. Gary Bates does not.  He is also a Christian. I have met both of these men (Gary in person, as I noted on this blog last July after the Ancient of Days meeting in Roswell) and John by email (and perhaps one phone call – not sure – it was years ago). I thought their exchange would be of interest to readers, so I’m going to blog through John Milor’s UFO Digest article. This is the first installment. The article illustrates once again the divergence of opinion on the alien question with respect to Christians. I’ll agree and disagree with both of them.

Milor begins the article this way:

I was recently on a Creationist website, and read an article that stated emphatically that there are no such things as extraterrestrials. I agree with the Creationists about a few things, such as the belief that God created everything, and like them, I do not believe in evolution. I also enjoy reading about OOPARTS (Out Of Place Artifacts), which Biologists usually have a hard time dealing with. But those two points were about all I agreed with, as far as the topic of extraterrestrial life is concerned.

I queried the article, stating that angels are intelligent life forms not native to Earth, so how could they have such a dogmatically resolute opinion over scripture disproving in the existence of extraterrestrials? After all, didn’t theologians also claim an absolute infallible knowledge at one time that the Earth had to be in the center of the universe, and that even considering the possibility that it wasn’t, was heretical?

Someone named Gary Bates emailed me back and he immediately attacked my credentials. Never mind reading my free books or checking out my website, which he said ‘No thanks’ to, to see if I have any valid points. I am not a seminary student, much less a PhD, and my books are ‘self-published,’ which he surmised with a smug comment. Then, after informing me that I was a victim of occult deception, ‘hook line and sinker,’ he pointed me in the direction of several of his articles on the Creationist website he wrote for. It wasn’t much of a sales pitch, needless to say, but I proceeded to read his main article refuting extraterrestrials anyway. If anything, I will come to a more full understanding of the typical Creationist response to the existence of extraterrestrial life.

Obviously, there’s a firm disagreement.  The article proceeds with John noting that Gary Bates has several arguments in support of his position that there are no ETs on his site. The first argument goes like this:

Point 1: The Bible indicates that the whole creation groans and travails under the weight of sin (Romans 8:18–22). The effect of the Curse following Adam’s fall was universal. Otherwise what would be the point of God destroying this whole creation to make way for a new heavens and Earth—2 Peter 3:13, Revelation 21:1? Therefore, any ETs living elsewhere would have been (unjustly) affected by the Adamic Curse through no fault of their own—they would not have inherited Adam’s sin nature.

I note here that the argument in no way states there are no ETs, or how the universality of the Fall produces the conclusion there are no ETs. It would, however, mandate the conclusion (with which I agree) that if there are ETs, they too were affected by the Fall. When I lecture on “Can Christianity Accommodate a Genuine ET Reality?” I make this point since the NT uses very universal (pardon the pun) language of the effect of the Fall and the redemption of Christ.  But being affected by the Fall and being under the curse, which Gary’s point notes, are two different things.

In short, it’s kind of mystery as to how Gary’s point makes the argument John is thinking it makes.  And if Gary thinks it makes the argument there are no ETs, I’d wonder why as well (but from what John is quoting here, Gary isn’t saying that in this argument, per se).

John addresses this point (or the point he thinks Gary is making) and quotes Rev. 12:4 at one juncture (boldfacing is John’s):

And his tail drew the third part of the stars [their inhabitants] of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

One note: the brackets “[their inhabitants]” is nowhere in the text of Rev 12:4. John is supplying that, and saying that Revelation 12 speaks of inhabited stars is purely John Milor’s addition to the material. There is no exegetical basis for concluding this. However, perhaps he means “inhabitants of heaven.”  It isn’t clear.

John then writes:

Many of these beings referred to as ‘stars’ in the above scripture were angels, but some may have been just like Adam and Eve, reproducing after their own kind, living in a pseudo-immortal state, depending on the Tree of Life to sustain them. When their worlds became infected with the curse of death, the same thing that God did on Earth, most likely happened on their worlds; they were restricted from the Tree of Life on their worlds, and therefore became mortal, just as humans are mortal. For those that didn’t sin, however, they simply continued on just as Adam and Eve would’ve continued on, in a glorified environment where there is no curse of death.

The text doesn’t actually say they were angels, but that’s possible from biblical material elsewhere. Nothing in Scripture says that angels were like Adam and Eve, though. By nature angels are cast as being disembodied, though they can assume bodies (temporarily in every case). So John is overstepping the data here. The line “When their worlds became infected with the curse of death, the same thing that God did on Earth, most likely happened on their worlds” is pure conjecture. There isn’t a single biblical text that affirms the existence of other inhabited worlds. (But again, I’m on John’s side in terms of the Bible not firmly disallowing this, either). Therefore, everything John says that proceeds from this assumption isn’t “biblical” either — it’s speculation.

Gary’s “Point 2” next time.