The Creator of mankind is like the farmer who, after claiming and clearing a suitable plot of ground, decides to grow a garden. He prepares the earth, removing stumps and rocks, breaking up the hard ground and adding fertilizer. Then He plants wild seeds – some of one kind and some of another because this is all that He has to start with.
“Are there aliens?”
“Do you mean like aliens from outer space?”
“Yes.” What other kind are there?
“Well,” I said, “an alien is anything or anybody in our midst that either doesn’t belong or is just visiting. The Bible refers to these aliens as sojourners.”
“I’m only asking about the space kind.”
“Oh, I see,” I began. “Well, I don’t rightly know, honey. I’ve never met one, not to my knowledge anyway. Nobody does know for sure, although lots of people have strong beliefs about it, one way or the other. But if there aren’t others out there, it sure would be a big waste of a lot of room now wouldn’t it?”
My little darling giggled.
“The Bible doesn’t come right out and say that aliens exist, but it does talk about Heavenly Hosts and another human-like species that supposedly inhabited the earth when God created humans and gave us domination over the earth. This other species, the Nephilim, were giants, or so the Bible says. They were on the earth in those days. Maybe they got back into their spaceships and left after God favored us over them.
Later on in the Bible, in the book of Ezekiel, it says, ‘As I looked, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, and a great cloud, with brightness around it, and fire flashing forth continually, and in the midst of the fire, as it were gleaming metal. And from the midst of it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had a human likeness…’”
“Gee, then there really are aliens.”
“Maybe”, I said. “But maybe the prophet Ezekiel was just talking about a dream vision that he had had.
“So, did God make us, people like we are today, and what about the dinosaurs? “
“Well, honey, science has discovered a lot about dinosaurs in recent years. Physical evidence tells us that they lived a long, long time before human beings ever did. But the Bible doesn’t mention them at all. It does talk about leviathans which we understand are whales. Things called behemoths are talked about in one book of the Bible, the book of Job. But biblical scholars think that this is making reference to huge mythological creatures or maybe to elephants, hippopotami, rhinoceroses or crocodiles rather than dinosaurs. When the Bible was written, I don’t think people had any idea about how old the earth really is or anything at all about dinosaurs. As for people being created just like we are today, yes, according to the Bible, we were. But, again, when the Bible was written, I don’t think people knew. To my way of thinking, the creation story in the Bible isn’t so much about how God made people, but why He made people.”
“Why did He make us, Opa?”
“I’m just guessing here, honey,” I said, “But from what I have read in the Bible, God is love and He created us to love and have us to love Him back.
Given what science has learned in the last couple of hundred years about the earth and life on it, here’s how I would describe the creation story. It’s the way I think Jesus would have explained it to His disciples had your question been asked by them: The Creator of mankind is like the farmer who, after claiming and clearing a suitable plot of ground, decides to grow a garden. He prepares the earth, removing stumps and rocks, breaking up the hard ground and adding fertilizer. Then He plants wild seeds – some of one kind and some of another because this is all that He has to start with. Next, he waters the seeds and waits for them to sprout. He removes the weeds that grow up faster than His tender new plants, weeds that would choke out the plants.
All of what grows from the seeds that He plants do not produce fruit or usable grains. So He destroys the useless plants and decides which of the fruitful plants he likes best. From these, he keeps back some of the best seeds for the next season’s planting. And the Farmer is pleased with His harvest.
Over the many years that follow, the best of the best seeds produce plants that cross-pollinate. So, the following year some of the plants improve. The Farmer is pleased with His harvest and continues the process of choosing the best seeds for the next season’s planting. Some years there is disease or pestilence which kills off some of the plants. But some plants always survive and these pass on resistance through their seeds to the next generation of plants. And the Farmer is pleased with His harvest.
In time, the Farmer plants seeds in newly claimed and prepared fields. In these fields, however, the soil is different. The climate where these fields are located is different too; there is more or less rain and more or less sunshine. So the seeds produce differently and the plants evolve – not better or worse, necessarily, but appropriately for the conditions where they grow. And the Farmer is pleased with His harvest.
Please feel free to comment on this posting. I would enjoy dialoguing on this subject.