Ancient Aliens: I Don’t Want to Believe

For some it's easier to believe in ancient aliens than a God of miracles

Among some of Ancient Aliens’ claims: Ezekiel’s vision of a wheel was a UFO, taking communion is based on cannibalistic alien technology, aliens were behind Noah’s flood, Noah was the son of an alien, aliens gave Moses the Ten Commandments, angels are aliens, aliens destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, aliens gave John his Revelation, aliens, aliens, aliens.

 

The Christian Left” is the most popular Facebook page for liberal Christians, with over 142,000 Likes. Just last month it received aglowing profile from Huffington Post Religion, which called it “a breath of fresh air.” It’s usually filled with typical posts about why Christians should support abortion-on-demand, high taxes, gay marriage, etc. But browsing the other day, there was one post that was so bizarre I had to highlight it:

We don’t agree with everything they say on “Ancient Aliens,” but in general we don’t have a problem with the notion that extraterrestrial species may have influenced our civilizations in the past, and probably do in the present. Genesis 6:1-8 talks about “The Nephilim being on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.” God is still God, regardless of any intelligent extraterrestrial species that may be around. It’s God’s universe, and God created them too.

The Christian Left’s post prompted nearly 700 Likes, and several supportive comments. Ancient Aliens, for the uninitiated, is a History Channel show devoted to the “ancient astronaut” hypothesis that aliens lived amongst humans and helped build the foundations of human society. The show is renowned for being, well, basically full of nonsense and lies.

Entire websites and videos are devoted to debunking the show, but the most popular one is Ancient Aliens Debunked. The site is actually run by a conservative Christian named Chris White, who takes particular umbrage to the way Ancient Aliens twists Christian stories to back their wacky hypothesis. Among some of Ancient Aliens’ claims: Ezekiel’s vision of a wheel was a UFO, taking communion is based on cannibalistic alien technology, aliens were behind Noah’s flood, Noah was the son of an alien, aliens gave Moses the Ten Commandments, angels are aliens, aliens destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, aliens gave John his Revelation, aliens, aliens, aliens.

Going through and debunking each of these notions wouldn’t be worth anyone’s time. Anyone delusional enough to believe them despite clear and obvious contradictions with the text of the Bible is unlikely to be swayed by my comments. But I will note that they all feature pretty much the same pattern. Step One: Locate miraculous occurrence in the Bible. Step Two: Remove God. Step Three: Insert aliens.

To be fair, The Christian Left’s post specifically notes they don’t believe everything in Ancient Aliens.  But they specifically cite at least one Bible verse as referring to aliens, so I will debunk that theory at the very least.

The Nephilim have been a source of debate in biblical scholarship since before the birth of Christ. As Genesis tells us, the Nephilim were giants formed “when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them.” The most common interpretation is that “sons of God” refers to angels, specifically fallen angels, while others think they refer to descendants of Seth. Or, as The Christian Left and Ancient Aliens seem to believe, the “sons of God” are aliens. However, the only other time the phrase “sons of God” is used in the Old Testament is Job 1:6, where the “sons of God” and Satan are described as meeting with God. Unless Ancient Aliens is suggesting that God keeps aliens in his divine council, it seems fairly clear that their interpretation is seriously flawed.

The Christian Left’s comment also mentioned that aliens “probably” continue to influence our society today. In addition, it responded to a fan comment claiming the United States has recovered UFOs in the past with “We agree, but most folks won’t accept it.” It’s seems that the people who run the page go beyond a mere curiosity of aliens and into tinfoil hat territory. But perhaps I’m being unfair. Maybe other posts on The Christian Left show they can be rational about conspiracy theories…

“The use of the term “Conspiracy Theory” has been fashioned into a tool used to brand anyone who questions the “Official Story” a loon. Some people take conspiracy theories too far (Alex Jones), but to think that conspiracies don’t happen is infantile and ignorant.”

Maybe not.

There are many Christians who believe in aliens, and with good reason. Many scientists tell us that with the billions upon billions of planets in the universe, it’s a near mathematical certainty life exists on other planets. But Ancient Aliens takes that belief several steps too far, claiming that virtually all human progress is a result of humanoid extraterrestrials who continue to visit Earth to this day and interfere in human affairs. At the point at which they write off all miraculous occurrences in the Bible as the work of little green men is the point where Christians ought to write off the show for good.

This article first appeared on the Institute on Research and Democracy’s blog and is used with permission.