The message

earth-moon
The Earth seen from our moon. It looks beautiful from a distance, doesn’t it? NASA via Wikimedia Commons

What would happen if we got a message from Space? Scientists, with cooperation from SETI and Carl Sagan’s son, unravel the impact of this World-changing event.

I have always been fascinated by aliens. I know they don’t live anywhere near enough to pay us a visit, if they exist at all, but it is a fascinating enigma. I guess this phenomena just won’t go away because we don’t want it to. We want it to be true. We don’t want to be alone. Yes, I know we are not alone. There is God, although we seem to be having some major communication problems (I guess Thomas the Doubter is my middle name).

I was working on my next post, the February update of my book challenge, while TV was on in the background. I wasn’t paying much attention, but caught a brief section of it when they were talking about several messages that have been sent towards the stars. The most famous ones are a record Carl Sagan put together for the Voyager-probe (1977) and the Arecebo message (transmitted 1974). The content is the regular stuff: DNA, atomic numbers of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, a figure of a human being, a diagram of our solar system etc. To put it short, what we are physically and what we know. Nothing about what we really do.

I started this post with a little summary the cable company provided for this episode of whatever series this was on Discovery Science. It’s probably a complete waste sending these messages, but I sometimes wonder what any alien would think about it. I remember from my childhood, around the time when ET was playing in the theatres and the Carl Sagan-series Cosmos was running on TV. I was looking up at the stars outside the low-rise where I grew up. I guess I was despeate for a different life, and had a strong desire for a UFO to show up, and take me away. A good thing that never happened because they wouldn’t have been anything like ET.

Ramsdalen
I lived in the nearest low-rise for most of my childhood. They were real ugly in the 70’s, but they had a facelift a few years ago. It was a nice place to look at the stars, though.

But it struck me, as I caught what literally was a tiny glimpse of this program as it was going off air, what a shock it would have been. If they ever received the messages, they must have thought that these people seemed civilized and someone they would like to meet and share their technology with. We show them that we are intelligent, but not what we really are capable of. To be honest, I wouldn’t want my worst enemy to meet us.

It makes me think of a Norwegian short story that was on my curriulum in school many years ago. It was called Matthew 18:20, and was about a black Jesus that walked into a Norwegian church during the Sunday service. He had all the evidence in terms of behaviour and the wounds from the crucifixion. The scene that followed could have been from the American South, except that they just kicked him out. They didn’t lynch him, but the verbal abuse was bad, though.

Jesus knows what awaits him, and we know that Jesus will return to a world where evil reigns of course, but I’m not always sure that Christians are a part of the solution. We should be, but there are quite a few scumbags among us. There was just a headline in the paper about a pastor that is being charged with fraud and embezzlement. I’m sceptical to most big Christian organizations as well. The really bad thing is that many people are complete morons, and see this as a good reason to leave Christianity. They turn their backs on religion because God has some rotten ambassadors. That seems to be easier than to think. That’s what many atheists do, or don’t. Think, I mean.

In a way God sent a message of hope to a hopeless world, a message that would make the people listening want to accept him, but reality is very different. Did we get it? Most of us don’t live in a way that makes Jesus real to others. I don’t know how many of us can truly say that we believe we are living a life that is holy and pleasing to God (Romans 12:1). This still shouldn’t matter that much, if people would use whatever sense they were born with, but I’m afraid we live in a world of lamebrains.

Hopefully they have time to reconcider. Guess I have, sort of.

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6 thoughts on “The message

  1. Stars are awe-inspiring, aren’t they? I used to visit the Hubble website and view the photos of galaxies and nebulae when I felt lost. Beautiful stuff.

    They turn their backs on religion because God has some rotten ambassadors.

    Nonbelievers justify their rejection of God because of the bad examples of professing followers of His way. And you’re right. It’s a terrible thing.

    You’ve likely heard the phrase “follow the money trail”, which seems to summarize a lot of the problems within visible Christianity. Too many of us are motivated by the exact same things (wealth, power, recognition) as non-Christians. And it runs completely counter to what Jesus taught about placing the needs of others before our own desires.

    Jesus’ prayer was that believers would live in unity with one another so that the world would see who He is. Sadly, most of us are slow to understand how important this is. But, aside from the fact that we all need to develop a better understanding what godliness actually looks like, I think that is part of why Paul urged readers to live holy, God-pleasing lives.

    I guess Thomas the Doubter is my middle name

    Interesting. Thomas was a central thought of my Sunday blog consideration. And it brought you to mind as you had made a similar statement on my site a while back. It is clear from your writing that you struggle some in the area of faith. Not so much with the existence of God…but on a more personal level…with assurance of His love for you as an individual? Or that you don’t feel an emotional connection to God, maybe? As I’ve made wrong assumptions before, I was wondering whether you’d mind my asking for a bit of elaboration on the specific point of concern?

    1. Ah. That’s a tricky one. I’ve had some issues all my life, and I guess I’ve tried not thinking about it. I have been dealing with some of the other issues the last couple of years, but haven’t come around to faith yet.

      I have no idea what my problem with faith is about, but I’ve always had strong forces in me opposing it. As a youth and young adult in church I frequently felt I had to get out of the situation, and that’s what I eventually did on a more permanent basis. Your assumption doesn’t sound bad, but I have to come back to you on this.

    2. You’ve only offered a bit of your religious background, but it is possible that the opposition you have felt is not to the gospel of Christ or faith, but to hypocrisy and empty religious ritual. There seems to be a fair measure of that in the modern church.

      Sometimes God peels back years of hurt and struggle like layers of an onion. The closer you get the the center, the more pungent the air becomes…and the more you just want to get away from the mess. I don’t want to get in the way if He’s taking you somewhere.
      If you happen to get it sorted and want to share here, I’ll probably notice.

      Take care.

    3. Well, I’m not sure about the wahe world, but that’s the one I use for confused, frustrated and “I’m i lamebrain

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