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The LCMS and Possible Life on Venus

Discussion in 'LCMS / WELS / ELS / LCC' started by Hope1960, Sep 15, 2020.

  1. Hope1960

    Hope1960 Well-Known Member

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    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. Jamdoc

    Jamdoc Well-Known Member

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    The bible doesn't mention other planets much less making the claim that there is no life except on earth. The silence of the bible on an issue is not evidence that it doesn't exist. Just simply that it's not part of God's plan for us specifically.
    So, God can create life on as many planets as He wants.
     
  3. HARK!

    HARK! Well-Known Member Staff Member Trainee Supporter

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    I didn't read the entire article; before I came up with a plausible explanation. Gas molecules bounce off the top of our atmosphere into space. According to scientific studies that I've read, our atmosphere used to be much deeper. Is it possible that a bacteria bounced off, in some turbulence of, our atmosphere and was captured by the gravity of Venus?
     
  4. Hope1960

    Hope1960 Well-Known Member

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    Good. Now does the LCMS agree with you, anyone from the LCMS? I’d like your opinion. National Geographic writes articles that support the idea that there is extraterrestrial life somewhere. My opinion is.........probably not beings but possibly microbes or something like that.
     
  5. Hope1960

    Hope1960 Well-Known Member

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    Could be.
     
  6. tampasteve

    tampasteve ✞Steadfast Lutheran, Messianic leaning ✡ Staff Member Administrator CF Senior Ambassador Angels Team Supporter

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    Here is a pretty good article from a LCMS official:
    The Gospel and Little Green Men – The Lutheran Witness
    I like the last couple of paragraphs:
    " Scripture also teaches that by the cross God has reconciled the whole creation to Himself, and when the sons of God are revealed, the creation too will be set free from bondage (Rom. 8:21; Col. 1:20). When Christ returns, the heavens and earth will melt away and be renewed; there will be a new heavens and a new earth (Is. 66:22; 2 Peter 3:5–13).

    Are there green and purple extraterrestrials out there? Likely not. Whatever life may exist in outer space, this we can say for certain: It too somehow suffered from Adam’s fall. It too somehow shares in the redemption of Christ on earth.

    Aliens or no, we are certainly not alone. Besides created life on earth, we have the Triune God and His myriads of angels. There is the Church Triumphant in heaven with Him, together with whom we already praise and worship our Savior for what He has done for us. When He returns, we will see with our eyes what we know to be true by faith: the horror of the corruption of sin, and even more the vastness of Christ’s redemption of what God has created."
     
  7. tampasteve

    tampasteve ✞Steadfast Lutheran, Messianic leaning ✡ Staff Member Administrator CF Senior Ambassador Angels Team Supporter

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    I personally don't see an issue for life on other planets - even intelligent life. God created it all, the story as we know it is not the whole story anyways. How he chose to save any other civilization is entirely up to Him. Just because our rules were this way does not mean things did not play out differently elsewhere - but God is still in control out there too.
     
  8. Hope1960

    Hope1960 Well-Known Member

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    Good post!
     
  9. Hope1960

    Hope1960 Well-Known Member

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    Daniel9v9?
     
  10. Jamdoc

    Jamdoc Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I suppose I didn't pay attention to the subforum, my apologies, I just saw the topic as a new thread.
    But my point still stands. It's not something addressed in the bible, so nobody should really take a firm stance on it.
     
  11. Daniel9v9

    Daniel9v9

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    Hey, thanks for the invite. My knowledge of space is pretty limited, but I can offer you a brief theological answer.

    If I understand correctly, the kind of life many scientists are optimistic to find are microscopic life or traces of life. I think this is worth talking about, apart from more developed creatures or intelligent life.

    What Scriptures qualify as living beings are birds, fish, and all kinds of animals, and humans. (I'm excluding the spiritual realm for our purposes). This is very important to bear in mind, because, for example, bread contains yeast, which we can understand also to be life - only microscopic life. But this classification of microorganisms as life is a modern way of understanding nature. Same goes for plants - there is a way we can understand flora as living, but that's a way of thinking that is not compatible with the Biblical framework, where life and flora are two different classes of creation, though closely related and sharing many properties.

    If we someday find microorganisms in space, that will not conflict with Scripture in any way, because nature is full of it, and though it's understood to be life in modern scientific terms, it's not understood to be life in Biblical terms. So, in fine, microorganisms in space does not challenge the Bible at all.

    If I can add one more thought to this - Satan always wants us to doubt God's Word, and he causes doubt in a variety of ways. While space exploration is very interesting and it's good to study and learn about God's creation, we should never lose sight of that God's Word is true and firm. Whatever goes on in space does not change the fact that the Son of God redeemed us.
     
  12. Hope1960

    Hope1960 Well-Known Member

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    I just read some stuff that’s talking about extraterrestrial life. What happens to our faith if that were found? BTW I’m not a person who believes in or is searching for aliens. I’m just worried that IF there is such a thing, what happens to the teachings and faith of the LCMS?
     
  13. Daniel9v9

    Daniel9v9

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    Personally, I’m very pessimistic about finding developed creatures or intelligent life in space - the kind of life the Bible qualifies as life - I just think it’s highly unlikely. What seems more likely or what may even expected is to find is microorganisms, which does not challenge the Bible or our Lutheran Confessions at all. So it presents no difficulty for LCMS - or at least it shouldn’t!

    However, if we were to find developed creatures or intelligent life, it won’t directly challenge the Bible or our Confessions, but it would no doubt create controversies in all of Christendom, and probably in the LCMS as well. But this is all speculation. Regardless of what we find, it doesn’t change the reality of Christ dying for our sins. The teachings and faith of the LCMS remains the same.
     
  14. Hope1960

    Hope1960 Well-Known Member

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    IF we were to find developed creatures would the LCMS admit it or deny it like some other churches probably would?
     
  15. Hope1960

    Hope1960 Well-Known Member

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    What kind of controversies would it create?
     
  16. Daniel9v9

    Daniel9v9

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    I think in their official capacity LCMS and probably most church bodies would simply recognise that God has extended wildlife beyond our planet. It would be something the Bible is silent on, but it shouldn’t cause any alarm. Saying this, I still think it’s very unlikely.

    Well, this is all speculation, but I can imagine rationalism on a whole new level, a revival in higher criticism, speculative debates as to the centrality of Earth and what it means for our redemption, and denial by some, syncretism, and perhaps even new cults born out of pseudoscience and mysticism that the Church has to deal with. It would change the scientific, philosophical, and religious terrain, but it wouldn’t change our reality of sin and our need for a Saviour.

    So, in other words, whatever goes on in space won’t contradict Scriptures, but it’s likely to cause division and create new tension between people. In this respect, I think LCMS would do better than many other church bodies, as all orthodox Lutherans are always on the guard against rationalism and mysticism. We’ve dealt with it before and we continue to deal with it. Our conviction and duty is always to proclaim Christ crucified, which is always at the centre of everything - even the whole universe.
     
  17. Hope1960

    Hope1960 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks again! i look forward to you’re replies.
     
  18. klutedavid

    klutedavid Well-Known Member

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    Whether there is life or not on Venus, who cares? What does life on other planets have to do with the revelation of the Christ?

    We have some folk that are desperate for funding to research and explore Venus. I know there is not going to be life on Venus and any research funding. Is just hundreds of millions going towards a very poor investment.

    The Bible is only concerned with life on this planet and that is all anyone should be concerned with.
     
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  19. Hope1960

    Hope1960 Well-Known Member

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    By “wildlife” does that include aliens? I know this sounds crazy. I never gave any of this much thought at all until this whole Venus thing came up.
     
  20. Daniel9v9

    Daniel9v9

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    Well, perhaps we can think of it in three different levels.

    Microorganisms - In Biblical terms, this falls under the category of nature, not creature. Though we can rightly understand them as living in scientific terms, they are not classed as such in the Biblical framework. Bread is inanimate, even though it may contain yeast, which are living microorganisms. To put this a bit more forcibly, it's not murder to eat bread, because we recognise it as a thing, not a being.

    Developed creatures - In Biblical terms, this would essentially be no different from fish, birds, and animals. If we were to find these creatures in space, they would essentially be wildlife, only extraterrestrial - outside our atmosphere. I think it's a fair assessment to say that space is simply nature. Nature doesn't stop where our atmosphere ends, but extends into the universe. So what we would call wildlife on earth would also extend to similar beings in space, if they exist.

    Though I think this is highly unlikely, let's for the sake of the argument say that we found a 100 different animal-like creatures in space with varying levels of intelligence, ranging from insects to cats to dolphins. I think at that point, although we would probably retain the distinction between earthly life and extraterrestrial or alien life, they would all fall into the category of wildlife. Though many, if not most secular thinkers, would probably go a step further and include humans in this category - as they already do in thinking of man as a kind of animal. To use a different example - a rock on earth is called a rock, and a rock on Mars is also called a rock. We don't have to make a distinction by necessity. So aliens could just be thought of as animals.

    Intelligent beings - If we take this to mean something as advanced as or more advanced than human beings, this would present a different problem. Then it would be a question of whether God created some animals more intelligent than humans, and what that means for morality, or if He created different beings with souls. In either case, I think this is a next to impossible scenario, so it shouldn't be something we need to speculate or worry about.

    Whatever beings we may find in space, God has promised to redeem and renew the entire cosmos, which includes everything from the tiniest cell to the largest nebulae, so while it may cause us confusion and division, it has no bearing on God's Word, which is true and eternal. God's Word and His love endures forever! God be praised!
     
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