At the time of the Space war between the US and the Soviet Union, President J F Kennedy set a goal for the United States. That was to send the first Man to the Moon.
This was a cold war. The Soviet Union had a slight march over the US when they sent the first Man into space orbit.
However, the US and NASA won the race to the Moon in 1969. Similarly, President George W Bush had vowed to send a man to Mars. Though this has not yet fructified until now, the recent opportunities for citizens to access space via small payloads, such as cubesats, and the chances that man will soon set foot on Mars is becoming a reality.
There were two kinds of responses to John Kennedy’s statement. In the same way, George Bush’s statement has also met with a twin response. Some people lauded the Presidents for their forward outlook to things.
However, orthodox Christians had a different view. For these staunch believers, it was like invading God’s territory. Each of the sides has their own viewpoint. We shall look at both the angles before arriving at a verdict.
The Contra view:
We shall look at the contrary view first. They have many reasons to support their argument. According to them, God has created this universe. He has specifically created Earth for the use of Man. The Sun, moon, as well as the stars and planets have representation in the Zodiac signs. God has made them to create light and life on the Earth. The scriptures never say that God has made these bodies for Man to inhabit or subdue (Gen.1:14 v.f.).
- God has made Earth for Man. He does not say the same of any other body in space (Gen. 1:28).
- The scriptures clearly mention that the Earth is for Man whereas the heavens are for God. Man setting foot into outer space is nothing short of trespassing into the Lord’s territory.
- The views of these people are that Man is equal to Satan in many ways. By challenging God’s authority, Man has committed sacrilege. By venturing into space and the Moon, these people see as if Man is trying to usurp Heaven from the hands of God. They opine that Man is trying to be like God by venturing into forbidden space and trying to prove his supremacy.
- Many of such people feel that Man is trying to unseat God from his throne and take over the mantle himself. These people have a view that Man cannot go the heavens without God’s assistance. Man has to die for him to enable to go to Heaven. By trying to venture out into space, these people think that Man is trying to reach Heaven when alive. This is a direct blow to their authority.
- Dr Peter Ruckman made a very significant statement when Man set foot on the Moon. He opined that when Man set his foot on the Moon, the body of Jesus Christ joined with the world and became apostate.
- According to the Bible, the Heaven and other celestial bodies are the high places. The Earth is a lowly place. Man should not try to act beyond his powers.
The rationale view:
Let us now consider the other view. However, the irony here is that those people who support Man’s endeavor into space also draw inspiration from the same scriptures.
- The late Walter Lang agrees that God made Earth for Man. He also agrees that the scriptures say that God has created the other bodies for Earth. Indirectly, he postulates that Man has a right over the Earth as well as the other bodies made for Earth. Hence, he has a right to go to these places and subdue them.
- These people take the support of the Psalms to put forth their views. They point out that the Psalm prohibits Man from flying in the atmosphere, as it is the first heaven. However, they suggest an upper limit up to which man can fly in aeroplanes. They set the limit up to where eagles could fly. Some say it could be tens of thousands of feet. Some of the rationalists counter that there is no express commandment in the scriptures prohibiting manned travel in space. Some people object that of the Psalm 115:16 prohibits Man from all heavens, it must also forbid Man’s entry into Heaven. However, the believers believe that is where Man has to go after his life on Earth.
- Many advocates refer to the Deuteronomy 4:19. This says that the sun, moon, and the stars are divided into all nations under a common heaven. These people are of the view that this division would be meaningless if we exclude man from the line of thinking.
- Some Christian advocates point out that Man has set foot on Heaven, when alive, citing examples of Nehemiah, Isaiah, and others.
- The scriptures also point out that Man built the tower of Babel so that Man could go to Heaven in case of a calamity. There was no thought of bringing down God from Heaven to Earth. Hence, the logic about Man invading the Moon and other planets does not hold water.
The Middle view:
However, the scientist does not bring the scriptures into play when they design space launch vehicles to explore space. This is Man’s nature. Man is an inquisitive being. He has a desire to learn more about himself as well as the creation.
In this endeavor, he may have to visit space to search for life beside his own on Earth. You can see the advancements made by Man in manufacturing space vehicles and going to space and the growing interest in citizen space exploration via projects such as 2111- http://twentyone-11.org.
This is a controversial subject. Maybe we should leave it into God’s hands to decide whether Man is right or wrong. However, God will surely take an impartial view. He will be happy that Man has become intelligent enough to try to explore places other than Earth. God would be proud of his creation, Man.