I hope we discover proof of intelligent alien life in our universe, within my lifetime.
I would love to see how this discovery alters the views and behavior of humanity.
In many ways I hope it would create a new, more helpful context for our local conflicts, because we would realize we are not the center of that universe anymore. We’ve got a bigger game of competition to worry about, rather than squabble about exclusive use of land and resources at home.
But in many ways I also think I would be disappointed that, for many, this would not alter the belief people hold that make humans seems like the centerpiece of the universe, the sole focus of the grand story of creation. I anticipate that they would just adjust their theology to explain how even the new alien life is still an accessory to the preeminent human narrative.
What if we we were able learn that an alien civilization also believed in God or gods, but were not like anything in the collection we have on earth? Would this be evidence against anyone’s sense of having the right one among many? Or would the aliens different belief be regarded as proof that they are lost and in need of the Good News only one tribe of humans alone in the universe has to deliver?
What if we were able to learn that an alien civilization had a particular God and religious narrative that nearly perfectly matched one of those on earth? Would this convince the other earthly religions that they must be on the wrong track? Or would it be regarded as proof that the same ‘deceptions of the devil’ have manifest all over the universe?
What if we were able to learn that a whole network of alien civilizations, far older, far more advanced than our own, no longer hold any belief in God or gods at all and are doing far better because of it? Would we be persuaded that our notion of gods and religion were primitive adaptations that must eventually be discarded? Or would we maintain some sense of superiority and persecution because we choose to faithfully hold on to belief despite the temptations of advancing civilization?
I would be pleased to see how some people accept this new information at face value and allow it to alter their world view. I would be disappointed that the beliefs of many would remain impervious to falsification – or at least some reasonable alteration – no matter what kind of facts were presented.
If God is love, and if He is all powerful, then why does He do nothing (that we recognize as Him doing something) about these massive problems in the world?
To this I ask, Do you have love inside you?
Then you have God inside you.
Why then are you not doing anything about these massive problems?
Is it about not having enough power in your individual self? Is that the excuse?
History has given us so many examples of people, even ordinary individuals like you, who stood up and acted in seemingly supernatural ways against problems in their world, and made a difference in their times.
Those who let love in them act boldly against those problems are, in fact, God-taking-action.
The question is not about God and His nature and His capabilities. That is and always has been an excuse humans use to absolve themselves of responsibility to face the overwhelming complexity, to grow stronger under the stress of the mess, to increase capacity to understand and act and find ways to fix things. God is there and always has been there to strongly support those with the courage to stand up for things that matter.
The question is not about God. It is about you:
Do you have love?
Do you take action?
If not, don’t blame God for it. He is in you already waiting to be released through your courageous actions of love.
Occasionally, someone will feel a need to remind me how they’ve ‘sacrificed’ their dream or desires in life to serve someone else’s dream or need for a season. They hinted at disapproval of my freedom to live out my dream without making the kind of sacrifices they have made in theirs. There is an undercurrent of self-pity, and an assumption that if they have been required by their God to ‘die to self’ in this way so too should I in a similar way, as well as anyone else who claims to be as obedient as they are.
But who is in position to say what God has called another person to do with his life?
Who is able to measure all the facets of ‘sacrifice’ that person has made to follow his chosen course?
One person’s act of sacrifice is another person’s act that brought satisfaction. It depends on if and how well a person has aligned his choices and actions with his inner goals.
There is really no sacrifice when one does what he loves to do, and is designed to do, although for another doing the same thing it would feel like one. To the one called, or wired for this kind of life the cost doesn’t feel like something has been lost. In this case ‘sacrifice’ may be defined as one good thing being lost in order to gain another – and it is a sign something is wrong, not that something is right.
As the popular theory of obeying God goes, if you are doing what you should, doing good, then no good thing will be lost to you in the process. It’s all good and you just need to see it God’s way. If you feel a sense of sacrifice this means something in your perspective is not lined up with how things should be.
If one feels that he is making a big sacrifice for something or someone else maybe this person should pause to consider that the problem is right there, where there is a difference between what he wants to do and what he feels he must do. A person who has not set up his direction in life to include the very (difficult) things he thinks is expected of him by his God, this person is going to have problems in his conscience, or have problems with a sense of self-pity; he may feel himself to be a victim to the will of God.
It is a serious conflict when this God outside-of-me who knows better what is good for me than this same God inside-of-me who has told me in my heart what to do with my life. I had better get those two God’s on the same page.