Saturday, October 02, 2010

Goldilocks’ Planets, coffee, algae, and the Gospel

Wall Drug Dino
Originally uploaded by mdt1960
After hearing a story about the finding of a Goldilocks’ planet like our own (not too hot, not too cold, just right), I was reminded of an Arthur C. Clarke quote about whether or not we (Humans on Earth) are alone in the Universe. Then I took a tangent off into religion and from there, posted the following on my Facebook wall...

Let’s just say we not only discover life on one of these planets, but we make contact with intelligent life as well. Will Christians be obligated/encouraged to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

You can read or listen to the story here.

The following comments came in—most of which were on the light-hearted side of the spectrum.

Right after the 1st Starbucks opens there!

Christians will probably engage in evangelism and Muslims will engage in jihad. But cynicism aside, wouldn’t it be cool to find some kind of life somewhere else? Even if it were only algae.

A few days past and then one of my friends on Facebook sent me this as a message:

I was curious about your comment regarding the gospel of Jesus Christ and Christians. I think I was offended by what you had to say and I wanted to be sure before I would make a comment on your wall.

I thought it was a fair question and as cynical as I can be, I felt an explanation was due that had a little more thought to it. Perhaps this is what I should have posted for starters...

Aside the light-hearted feedback regarding coffee, the question I offered up was sincere. I suppose directing the question at Christianity is only because I thought there would be more who would weigh in—I doubt I have many “friends” here on FB who are Muslim, Jewish or other established faiths.

The question is an extension of an Arthur C. Clarke (sci-fi author): “Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.”

I don’t recall ever hearing (or reading) anything about this “scenario”—in the Bible or in church when I attended regularly. That said, I’m not making any claims on authority here. Thus, my question.

At this point in time, it might seem a bit far-fetched, but given mankind’s curiosity and ability to see deeper into the universe, might it be an issue that those of faith will have to wrestle with someday should such proof be presented or contact made?

I found myself considering the two possible directions should such proof materialize and how it could be a conundrum—1. in sharing and preaching the Gospel with/to other intelligent life (non-Human), how does that sit with the teachings of the Bible that are leveled at mankind on Earth only? 2. in not sharing and/or preaching the Gospel with/to this same group, might that be seen as dismissive—elevating ourselves above another intelligent life form as if they were looked upon as animals on Earth—especially if their intelligence is superior to ours?

I hope this explanation clears things up and is not considered offensive as much as it might be simply naive. Regardless, feel free to comment on my wall as you see fit.

… or here in the case of this Facebook-thread-turned-blog.

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