What happens to Christianity if space aliens from another world were to make contact with us? What would they made of the Garden of Eden, the Incarnation, the Crucifixion and a thousand other details that are part and parcel of Christianity? What are the chances that any of the space aliens would ever convert to Christianity?
In fact, all the major monotheistic religions would come across as quaint and primitive. That includes Judaism and Islam. The life experience of creatures from another world would be so radically different that they in turn would affect how (and whom) earthlings worshiped.
I do not necessarily believe that we will ever contact space aliens, but I do wonder what would be the result of such a contact. At worst, it would be like that famous Twilight Zone episode from Season Three of that show entitled “To Serve Man.” (At the end of the episode, it is revealed that the “To Serve Man” book the aliens carried was not an altruistic guide, but a cookbook!) At best, there is the movie The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) with Michael Rennie’s Klaatu come to warn Earth that it is in danger of destroying itself.
Myself, I am more inclined to think of any space invaders as Conquistadores come to enslave the planet and mine it for its riches.
In science fiction films, there tends to be two views on encounters with space aliens. One is the romantic view, as exemplified by Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T., and Cocoon. In these films, the space aliens are benevolent and almost humanoid. Then there is the realistic vision of War of the Worlds. In this film, we don’t even get a good look at the aliens because they come out shooting from the get-go.
What with all the recent press about UFOs espied by military planes (see picture below), the subject has come up: What is the first encounter going to be like? I don’t think we are likely to encounter humanoids or anything even resembling them. They are probably not even likely to breathe our atmosphere.
I have this picture in my mind of a Christian missionary attempting to convert space aliens to his religion. How is that conversation likely to go? Will the space aliens crucify the missionary because that’s what they think he wants? How would the Christian religion look to a completely alien mind associated with a non-biped without the usual eyes, ears, nose, hands, and feet? I would think space aliens would laugh at what we would consider to be organized religion.
It would certainly sober up many Evangelicals in particular. But then, they are used to not believing in the evidence of their senses, given their political preference.
The interesting question is this: How would one go about reconciling the beliefs of space aliens with those of Earthlings, of whatever religious background? Oh to be a fly on the wall of that “conversation”!