One other argument brought up making many Christians uncomfortable states that the angels in the Bible are actually extraterrestrials. Most often, this claim comes from nonbelievers, usually from the standpoint of Ancient Astronaut Theory. The problem with this is, in order to argue the point and still maintain a non-Christian view, one must cherry-pick verses to support it and ignore others that refute it. At its face, this method is intellectually dishonest.
While most taking this view likely don’t accept it in order to be purposely malicious to Christianity or to promulgate untruths, this doesn’t make it any less incoherent. Likely, what is happening is that most holding this view know the few verses involved in the argument but are unaware of the biblical text as a whole. After all, there are pastors and prominent figures in ministry who do not fully understand the whole Scripture and who would have trouble defending basic doctrines of Christianity.
When taking Scripture as a whole, a person who is determined to reject Christianity would not want to hold the view of angels being misidentified extraterrestrials. There are four major problems with this view. First, mortal bodies would be required of extraterrestrials if there are actual, alien bodies recovered from UFO crash sites and stored somewhere. However, the Bible clearly teaches that angels are immortal and do not have determined lifespans. For example:
For when they [people] rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in mar riage, but are like angels in heaven. (Mark 12:25)
And the angels who did not keep their own position, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains in deepest darkness for the judgment of the great Day. (Jude 1:6)
Angels in Heaven have no need of reproduction, because they are immortal. As for the angels who fell, as described in the book of Jude, if they are kept in eternal chains, it would stand to reason that the angels would have to be immortal as well.
Second, angels (mal’akim in Hebrew) are always depicted in human form. Speaking only of angels, there is no mal’ak described in nonhuman form. Of course, there are Seraphim, Cherubim, and Ophanim who appear in nonhuman manifestations, yet even these have no resemblance to the appearance of beings commonly reported in alien abduction scenarios. The only race of otherworldly beings remotely resembling anything angelic described in the Bible would be the “Nordics,” yet problems are there as well, as we will see a bit later.
Third, angels are never described as needing a flying craft to travel from one place to another. They would more closely be described as “extradimensional” beings rather than extraterrestrial. Certain verses describe chariots and angels together (Psalm 68:18; 2 Kings 6:17), but an actual relationship between vehicle and pilot is never established. Also note that the heavenly chariots in Scripture are usually described with horses. Eextraterrestrial spaceships, for obvious reasons, would not be pulled by horses.
Fourth, if extraterrestrials were misidentified as angels in the New Testament, then logic would lead us to accept whatever else the New Testament says about these beings. In other words, it would be illogical and incoherent to use the Bible to prove that angels are actually extraterrestrials but then reject what the Bible says about these beings. This brings us back to the question of the Nordics, as well as any other supposed extraterrestrial beings. Consider these biblical descriptions of angels and try to imagine replacing “angels” with “extraterrestrials” in order to see if they line up with what is commonly taught from Ancient Astronaut theorists.
- Angels only rescue the followers of Jesus at the Rapture/Second Coming (Matthew 24:31; 1 Thessalonians 4:16–18; 2 Thessalonians 1).
- Angels announced that Jesus was the Messiah and Savior of all mankind (Luke 2:10–15).
- Angels are inferior and subject to Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:21–22).
- Angels carry out the wrath of God on the Earth and unbelievers in the end times (Revelation 14:17–15:1)
There are, of course, many others such as these, but this short list should be enough to show the logical disconnect between biblical angels and modern descriptions of beings witnessed during abduction scenarios.[i]
Would We Really Want Directed Panspermia to Be Our Origin Story?
While it is true that Christianity can accommodate a genuine extraterrestrial reality, there are still aspects of the debate that Christian theology would reject. One of these aspects is the idea stating that extraterrestrials created humanity (what is sometimes known as “directed panspermia”). Again, this view still doesn’t remove the question of the ultimate Creator. Stating that extraterrestrials created humanity does not get someone away from God. The next obvious question would be: “Then where did they come from?” Some may even be tempted to state that God Himself is an extraterrestrial, but this is nonsense, because not only does this theory run into similar problems as the extraterrestrials-as-angels position, but it also doesn’t explain the origin of matter. For example, no one who is taken seriously claims that aliens from another planet created the universe.
There are some other major problems with the idea of panspermia, not only for Christians, but for non-Christians as well. The idea that aliens, specifically the ones people experience in abduction scenarios, created humanity is extremely attractive to many people today. However, if we look deeper into the issue, we discover that this idea may not be as appealing when we consider all of its ramifications and consequences.[ii]
Typically, those who hold this view agree on a number of things. They most often agree that humanity was created by extraterrestrials who came to Earth long ago. They believe these beings and their creation of mankind is described in ancient Mesopotamian texts that are mirrored in the Bible. Also, they typically believe that these extraterrestrials are the ancient gods of humanity, mistaken as deities, but still our creators.
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There are some logical and negative conclusions coming from this idea, though typically these are not discussed in the mainstream. For example, if extraterrestrials created humanity, then human beings do not possess an inherent dignity. According to ancient Mesopotamian creation myths, human beings were created as slaves by the Anunnaki gods. From The Epic of Atrahasis:
The seven great Anunna-gods were burdening
the Igigi-gods with forced labor…
Ea made ready to speak,
and said to the gods, his brothers:
“What calumny do we lay to their charge?
Their forced labor was heavy, their misery too much!
the outcry was loud, we could hear the clamor.
Belet-ili, the midwife, is present.
Let her create, then, a human, a man,
Let him bear the yoke!
Let him bear the yoke!
Let man assume the drudgery of the god.”
Belet-ili, the midwife, is present.
Let the midwife create a human being!
Let man assume the drudgery of the god.[iii]
Basically, the gods were tasked with hard work, so they decided to create humans to do the work instead. According to these ancient texts, humans are nothing more than a slave race.
One might wonder if, in this context, humanity was created in the image of the gods in the same way the Bible teaches we are created in the image of YHWH. Despite what some of the Ancient Astronaut literature claims, the image of God idea does not appear in Mesopotamian texts; it is purely a biblical and theistic concept. In fact, the word for “image” never appears in the Mesopotamian account of humanity’s creation.[iv] Rather, in Mesopotamian understanding, we were created far below any “image” concept. We were created as slaves.
Of course, this clashes drastically with what many alien abductees and experiencers have been told about humanity. Many of them, even on an individual basis, are told they are special and loved. Yet, at the same time, they are expected to believe the contrasting creation accounts of supposed Anunnaki alien beings. Therefore, how can the message of being special be trusted by the abductee/experiencer? Shouldn’t aliens be aware of what their ancient ancestors said about them? The conflicting accounts simply do not add up.
We can contrast this creation account to the biblical one. In a biblical worldview, every man, woman, child, and even unborn person has inherent worth as an image-bearer of God. The Bible teaches, as we saw earlier, that life is sacred. We are God’s representatives on Earth. Through biblical teaching, every person truly is special, unique, and loved in God’s eyes.
If the alien creator worldview is correct, there is no higher purpose for the life of any human. Nobody is truly special. There is no concept of eternal reward in Heaven from a personal and loving God. In fact, if any concept humans have of God is actually a physical, alien life form who came to be through naturalistic, evolutionary means, this limits reality to the physical universe. There would be no notion of a spiritual reality outside of material reality from which physical reality comes. Essentially and logically, any sense of spirituality would have to be abandoned; otherwise, it would be illogical and inconsistent to say that aliens were not created by any sort of God, yet they are spiritual beings like us with a soul. Where did the alien soul come from? Are we to suppose it evolved as well? It is simply illogical, yet these contradictory ideas are what many abductees claim to have been told by their alien visitors.
Those who fall into the category of those who believe the universe itself has life and treat it as a living being or “biocosm” have a logical inconsistency as well. No matter how spiritual they might think the universe is, without a Creator, it is still composed of matter and nothing beyond. Usually those who hold this view consider the universe as its own creator. Regarding it this way avoids the idea of a personal deity who transcends creation. This is an attractive idea to some, because it allows the individual to avoid religion, the Bible, and the personal accountability Christianity teaches while still maintaining a belief in something bigger than one’s own self. However, again, the logical conclusion of this view is that there is nothing outside of ordinary matter. No one is special nor unique. Nothing we do or believe really matters in the grand scheme of things, because there is no grand scheme of things. Of course, most who hold this view would not agree with that conclusion—but therein lies the inconsistency. How can a spiritual understanding exist without a spiritual reality?
If aliens created human beings, there is no higher purpose for the life of any given human. This means that humans are simply a higher form of animal and would be considered lesser than the aliens who created humanity. The only expressed purpose of humanity is servitude/slavery to the alien creators.
Of course, some may make the point that there are multiple races of aliens, and some want to help us achieve our full potential. However, this creates problems as well. How are we to know the difference between the good aliens and bad aliens? It seems the “bad” aliens would not identify themselves as such, and all aliens would claim to be “good.” According to ancient Mesopotamian creation myths, the gods behave the same as humans, meaning they are capable of deception and of acting purely out of self-interest. How can we know if they can be trusted and who we can trust? If alien abduction scenarios are true, how are the violations humans have to endure considered benevolent? If a human being were kidnapping a person and subjecting him or her to undergo forced medical procedures, would we have the same outlook? Why should this be different just because it’s an alien, not a human, causing the abuse? Why have some of the world’s leading authorities on alien abductions, such as Dr. David Jacobs, concluded that the motivation of aliens is not in our best interest or for our benefit, but are for their own?
Another point, which we will cover in more detail a bit later, is this: If the alien creator view is correct, the idea of racial superiority and inequality would be true and consistent. This conclusions comes from the Mesopotamian texts that tell us the gods created kingship for humankind. Mirrored in certain works of modern Ancient Astronaut literature, more Anunnaki blood went into certain humans than others. This means that certain bloodlines are inherently superior because they are royal. Those who hold this view would logically have to ask themselves if they are among the royal bloodline. Are they as racially gifted by the gods as other people? Are other non-Caucasian races in the royal bloodline? If the idea of racial superiority is true, should we defend it? Will the gods enforce this idea when they return? Will there be certain bloodlines who rule and other bloodlines who serve? Of course, most who believe this would reject any form of racism or racial superiority—but once again, this is a logical inconsistency. If aliens created humans, especially if the ancient Mesopotamian text is an accurate portrayal of the creation process as many Ancient Astronaut theorists maintain, then by the words of the ancient texts themselves, the gods created kingship for some and not others. In this view, by default and on its face, some bloodlines are superior and others are inferior.
In contrast, the biblical understanding of creation in its original context maintains that all races are equal because all races are human. All humans, male and female, are God’s images. Humans who follow God’s plan for salvation are all considered royal offspring. They are regarded as sons of God who will rule over a new Earth with Him.[v] This privilege is available for everyone who wants it. It doesn’t depend on one’s bloodline, race, or position in life. It is a gift made available to everyone by the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross.
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One last point: If the alien-creator view is true, the alien creators are just that: creator-masters. They are not brothers. This comes up quite often in alien abduction literature as well as that of Ancient Astronaut theorists. Typically, alien beings claim to be both our creators and our brothers; however, that type of relationship is never explained. If aliens are our creators, they logically cannot be our brothers and on the same playing field as human beings. They would be superior, not only in intellect and technology, but in status. We, as their creation, would be below them. They would have the right of ownership over our bodies, souls, lives, and even children. Anything they do to us would be completely justified.
This also means that royal kingship would be a monarchy, not a democracy. The creator creates and the creature obeys. The elite command and the rest of us submit—or otherwise suffer the consequences. Whatever those consequences are, even if they are torture or death, they would be the right of the creator and thus justified. Humans would have no right to complain about being abducted or suffering through abuse. No human being would have the right to demand justice. The aliens would have legal claim over every human being and would be free, even morally, to do whatever they wish to us.
To contrast once again with biblical theology, according to the Bible, we are all destined to be kings. Anyone wanting to claim this destiny is free to do so. The image of God status is democratized in that all humans are God’s offsprings and are destined to be rulers. We are even destined to judge and rule over the angels.[vi] Jesus Christ, along with being our Lord and Savior, as being God born into the flesh, actually is our brother and not our owner. We find this in the book of Hebrews:
It has been testified somewhere, “What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his feet.” Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers, saying, “I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.” (Hebrews 2:6–12, ESV)
Other questions come up in the alien creator view, such as: Do aliens really love human beings—and how would we know? If the stories about the gods in ancient texts are true, why are they so vastly different than the messages received by abductees and experiencers? Can these beings be trusted? What kind of love do they feel for the humans they visit and converse with? Is it a sacrificial love? Or, is it the kind of love one would have for a pet or a thing? What level is their emotional attachment? Do these alien beings love the humans they interact with as you would love your child? If they really love humans in this way, why did they create us as slaves? Why did they create us and leave? Why did they create us and hide? Why can’t anyone have a personal relationship with one if he or she wants? Why would these beings deny their “children” or their “brethren?”
The fact is, according to this view, humanity is at best an experiment rather than a loved child. This is why Christianity would reject the idea of extraterrestrials creating humanity. The God of the Bible has an emotional investment in us. However, aliens claiming to be the creators of mankind do not. To them, if what they claimed was true, humanity is nothing more than a detached scientific curiosity. The creator aliens themselves would be comparable to an absentee parent at best, and at worst a cold, loveless, and detached researcher. Think about it this way: Is this how we love our children? Is this how we would want our children to remember their childhood? Of course not. There is something much better than the alien creator view. The Bible describes a Creator far different from the logical conclusions following an alien creator understanding of humanity. To Christians, we are loved with a sacrificial love from a Father who is always there and who follows through on His promises consistently and without fail. This is why Christianity as a whole would not accept the idea of directed panspermia. It is simply inferior to and less attractive than everything coming with the biblical description of God as humanity’s Creator.
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[i] For more information, watch Could Christianity Accommodate a Genuine Extra-Terrestrial Reality? By Dr. Michael S. Heiser, PhD: https://youtu.be/uOZ0KaUBkoU.
[ii] For more information on this topic, watch The Dark Side of Panspermia by Dr. Michael S. Heiser, PhD: https://youtu.be/ov9Wx8GcCGc.
[iii] The Epic of Atrahasis can be read in full at http://www.livius.org/sources/content/anet/104-106-the-epic-of-atrahasis/.
[iv] The Dark Side of Panspermia by Dr. Michael S. Heiser, PhD: https://youtu.be/ov9Wx8GcCGc.
[v] Hosea 2:1; Daniel 7:27; John 1:12; Galatians 3:29; 1 John 3:1.
[vi] 1 Corinthians 6:3.