A former intelligence officer and two former fighter pilots told Congress this week that the government is lying to us about UAPs (unidentified anomalous phenomena)—or UFOs as they’re more commonly known. And, as Helene Cooper describes, Wednesday’s hearing on UFOs was unique “even by the extraordinary standards of contemporary political theater.”
Of course, this isn’t the first time that Congress has held such a hearing. Last year, they summoned two Pentagon officials to speak to the issue, but the results were somewhat less noteworthy.
David Grusch, who served for fourteen years as an intelligence officer with the Air Force and National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, testified during this week’s testimony. He told the committee that, during the course of his work, he was told of “a multi-decade UAP crash retrieval and reverse-engineering program,” which also included the recovery of aircraft and “biologics” that were “nonhuman” in origin.
Such claims were met with suspicion by most—though not all—of those on the committee running the hearing. And Sue Gough from the Department of Defense was quick to counter that there is no evidence to suggest that they are in possession of “extraterrestrial materials” and that the DoD is “fully committed to openness and accountability to the American people.”
Of course, few who believe that the government is hiding the truth about aliens and UFOs are going to believe the government when they say they’re not. Perhaps that’s why, to its credit, Congress has largely approached this issue with the bipartisan perspective that a greater degree of clarity is needed going forward.
While the conversation surrounding UFOs and extraterrestrial life can devolve rather quickly, it’s worth noting that nearly two-thirds of Americans believe it’s more likely than not that intelligent life exists on other planets. That doesn’t necessarily mean that two-thirds of the nation would side with Grusch in believing that the government is hiding proof of such life, but the idea that we are not alone in this universe is no longer the fringe conspiracy theory it once was.
Moreover, as Mark Legg notes, “UFOs exist,” if for no other reason than “as long as the government hasn’t identified the phenomena, it remains ‘unidentified.'”
Given that most of the reported unexplained phenomena turn out to be “balloons, drones, optical illusions or even the blinking lights of a commercial airliner,” the vast majority are relatively harmless and easily explainable. Still, that’s not always the case and, for their part, the Pentagon “have not ruled out” the possibility of extraterrestrial life.
What if intelligent life did exist?
Nothing in the Bible expressly denies or confirms the existence of intelligent life beyond the borders of our planet. God knows, since if such life does exist he would have been the one to create it. However, it’s simply not a question that he cared to answer.
That said, just for today I’d like us to pretend that it does.
The reason is that I think there is much we can learn about the state of our faith by the initial response we have to such a premise.
With that in mind, imagine that a spaceship emerged from the sky and landed on your street as you’re reading this sentence. What would that do to your faith? Would it shake your belief in God or the trust you have in his word?
It shouldn’t, but I know that it probably would for me. I don’t think it would take me to the point of unbelief, but it would certainly create a host of new questions I’d feel the need to answer.
If you had the same reaction, that’s all right. After all, Jesus never promised that a house built on the rock won’t shake a bit when the storms come. He just assures us it won’t collapse (Matthew 7:24–27). And understanding that it’s all right for your faith to be shaken from time to time is crucial for both our personal relationship with the Lord and our witness to others.
Shaken but sturdy
Charles Spurgeon once said, “It is not my aim to introduce doubts and fears into your mind . . . . It is not security, but carnal security, which we would kill; not confidence, but fleshly confidence, which we would overthrow; not peace, but false peace, which we would destroy.”
One of the most dangerous errors we can make as Christians is to mistake a rigid faith for a firm faith. The former may appear strong from a distance, but when tested it will often prove brittle. By contrast, a faith that’s strong enough to stand up under the weight of questioning, even if it wavers a bit in the process, will prove sturdier in the end.
So how sturdy is your faith today? Are there any questions you’ve been afraid to ask because you’re worried about the answer? Are there elements of your faith that you prefer not to think about too closely?
If so, find the time to take those issues to God and do the work to research the answers.
We’ve addressed many of the more common questions people have about the faith in our What does the Bible say about series, and I encourage you to comb through those articles to see if there might be something that can prove helpful. However, the best teacher will always be God and his word so, as you search for answers, be sure to always go back to the Bible to test what you learn against the truth of Scripture (Acts 17:11).
And know that there will be some questions where we may never get a full or satisfactory answer this side of heaven. And that’s all right too. God doesn’t need to answer every question when he’s already answered the essential ones, and it is those truths that form the firm foundation of which Jesus spoke in Matthew 7.
So I ask again, how sturdy is your faith today?
If you don’t like the answer, now is a great time to do something about it.