Church - Contemporary Issues

Will Man Colonize Mars?

By Dr. Paul M. Elliott
Will men colonize Mars, as their forebears of five hundred years ago colonized the New World on Earth? What does Scripture say?

From the TeachingtheWord Bible Knowledgebase

Will men colonize Mars, as their forebears of five hundred years ago colonized the New World on Earth? What does Scripture say?

When men first traveled to the Moon, I was about to enter my last year of high school. In those days I recall at least one radio preacher saying that the effort was sinful and impossible. God would not permit it, he declared. God would stop the effort as He stopped the construction of the Tower of Babel in Genesis. "If man ever lands on the Moon, I will leave the pulpit," the radio preacher said. As far as I know, he never kept that rash promise.

I doubt that any present-day preacher is saying the same about men's plans to colonize the planet Mars within the next generation. Certainly the effort is technologically possible, and we find nothing in Scripture declaring that our sovereign God would not permit it.

Why Colonize Mars: The Transhumanist, Postgenderist Agenda

But why do men want to colonize the Red Planet? British theorist Stephen Hawking said that man must abandon Earth or face extinction. A leading advocate of the theory of extreme global warming, Hawking believed the earth will heat up to a point where the oceans will evaporate, the atmosphere will dissipate into space, and planet Earth will become dry and uninhabitable.

As Hawking put it, "I believe that the long-term future of the human race must be in space. It will be difficult enough to avoid disaster on planet Earth in the next hundred years, let alone the next thousand, or million." [1]

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk seeks to put Hawking's words into action. "I don't have a doomsday prophecy," said Musk at a recent meeting of the International Astronautical Congress. "But history suggests some doomsday event will happen." [2] Musk, the founder of Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX), is laying the groundwork for a system of reusable vehicles that could eventually build "a Martian city of millions."

Hawking, Musk, and others of similar mind have two things in common: They are predominantly atheists, and they are all zealous evolutionists. Musk believes the next phase of evolution is "transhuman evolution" - the marriage of human beings and computer technology so that a human "being" can live forever as the computer, with "superhuman" intellectual, physical, and psychological capabilities even after the body dies. Closely tied to transhumanism is the concept of postgenderism, which a recent technical paper defines as follows:

Postgenderism is an extrapolation of ways that technology is eroding the biological, psychological and social role of gender, and an argument for why the erosion of binary gender will be liberatory. Postgenderists argue that gender is an arbitrary and unnecessary limitation on human potential, and foresee the elimination of involuntary biological and psychological gendering in the human species through the application of neurotechnology, biotechnology and reproductive technologies. Postgenderists contend that dyadic [that is, male-female] gender roles and sexual dimorphisms are generally to the detriment of individuals and society. Assisted reproduction will make it possible for individuals of any sex to reproduce in any combinations they choose, with or without "mothers" and "fathers," and artificial wombs will make biological wombs unnecessary for reproduction. Greater biological fluidity and psychological androgyny will allow future persons to explore both masculine and feminine aspects of personality. Postgenderists do not call for the end of all gender traits, or universal androgyny, but rather that those traits become a matter of choice. Bodies and personalities in our postgender future will no longer be constrained and circumscribed by gendered traits, but enriched by their use in the palette of diverse self-expression. [3]

This is unequivocal rebellion against God. The Scriptures declare that God immutably created man in His image, and creates each person male or female (Genesis 1:26-27). Therefore any person who seeks to alter his or her physical sexual characteristics, or to identify as being of a different sex, or to alter God's ordained means of procreation, is in rebellion against the ordinance of God.

Men who are in such rebellion want to colonize Mars to escape an Earth they see as dying, and to promote and facilitate such "transhumanism" and "postgenderism". They intend to create an "Earth environment" on Mars in which to live, and take all that they deem necessary from Earth for the survival of the eventual theorized "transhuman species" on the Red Planet. Ironically, Elon Musk wants to use nuclear weapons - which he sees as contributing to the demise of habitable Earth - to make Mars more habitable by creating two continually-detonating nuclear "artificial suns" above its poles. [4]

Suppressing the Truth in Unrighteousness

Hawking, Musk and their colleagues are more correct than they realize in believing that this present Earth is dying. But they deny the reason. Scripture tells us plainly that it is because of the curse of sin - and that there is hope only for those who trust in Christ:

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. (Romans 8:18-25)

What Man Will Take With Him: The Curse

Will men travel to Mars and colonize it? Technologically it is not impossible. God in His sovereignty may well permit it. But what is the essential thing that man will take with him? He will take the same sinful nature he bears upon Earth. What Hawking, Musk, and others seek to do without admitting it is to escape the Curse, but they cannot. It is a curse not merely upon this Earth; it extends to the farthest reaches of the created order.

Sinful man, running from God not merely to nearby Mars but to even the farthest reaches of the universe, will produce the same result he has produced on Earth. He eventually ruins every place he goes. That happened to even the most spiritually high-minded, the Pilgrim fathers who colonized New England. By the next century, their descendants had brought the visible church in America to a state of spiritual deadness. That is why the Great Awakening of the middle 18th century bears its name. Wherever man goes, he brings the effects of the curse with him:

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. (Romans 1:28-30)

Elon Musk and his colleagues, and whoever follows in their footsteps, will merely bring this vast inventory of evils to another planet if they are successful in their efforts.

The Source of True Redemption

One commentator describes Musk's plans in redemptive language (capitalizations are in the original):

This is a promotion involving a technology based religion for a planet where many no longer accept previous views of Heaven or Salvation eventually delivered from Heaven. It is not that such visions are false but that too many are impatient waiting for the promised Redemption which requires Death in the short run for all.

Little does this writer realize how closely his words echo Scripture's declaration that

scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation." (2 Peter 3:3-4)

The commentator continues:

Now, in the above scenario Mars is plugged in as Heaven, Redemption, and Immortality without Death with Elon Musk as either the New Messiah or his Prophet, and this difference is still unclear in Mr. Musk's own mind. Of course the vehicle of transcendence is the Rocket Ship which will physically transport you to Heaven, escaping the Realm of Suffering and Death which is the Human Condition on Earth, while you achieve Immortality at some risk and sacrifice.

If you find this scenario more comforting than previous Salvation Scenarios or find it useful to combine the Rocket Religion with Zoroastrianism or other previous non-technical doctrines, please be encouraged to do so. [5]

And so the mind of sinful man - whether that of Musk or a critic - continues to invent ways to suppress the truth of God in unrighteousness:

For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools... (Romans 1:18-22)

Hawking, Musk, and their followers refuse to acknowledge the truth that the redemption of man and the created order will come, not by the hand of God's rebellious creatures but by the hand of Christ the Creator. As Peter under Divine inspiration continues in the passage quoted above:

For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.

Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?

Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation...

You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. (2 Peter 3:5-18)

Where Is Your Hope?

Dear reader, is your hope in Christ, or in false messiahs like Elon Musk? Heed well the words of our Lord:

Then if anyone says to you, "Look, here is the Christ!" or "There!" do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. Therefore if they say to you, "Look, He is in the desert!" do not go out; or "Look, He is in the inner rooms!" do not believe it. (Matthew 24:23-26)

In these evils days, when men strain their intellects in the futility of attempting to invent ways to escape God's judgment, this must be the mind of the believer in Christ:

Do not love the world [the kosmos, the present created order] or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life - is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. (1 John 2:15-18)

If [more accurately, since] then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)

References:

1. "Stephen Hawking's Warning: Abandon Earth - Or Face Extinction", http://bigthink.com/dangerous-ideas/5-stephen-hawkings-warning-abandon-earth-or-face-extinction as viewed on 10/31/2016.

2. "SpaceX 'Making Humans a Multiplanetary Species', Elon Musk Reveals Plan to Colonize Mars", http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/29330/20160928/making-humans-a-multiplanetary-species-elon-musk-reveals-plan-to-colonize-mars.htm as viewed on 10/31/2016.

3. George Dvorsky and James Hughes, "Postgenderism: Beyond the Gender Binary", (Hartford, Connecticut: Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, March 2008) as viewed at http://ieet.org/archive/IEET-03-PostGender.pdf on 10/31/2016.

4. "Elon Musk Elaborates on His Proposal to Nuke Mars", http://www.theverge.com/2015/10/2/9441029/elon-musk-mars-nuclear-bomb-colbert-interview-explained as viewed on 10/31/2016.

5. David Mosher, "Elon Musk Just Unveiled a Critical Piece of His Plan to Save Humanity by Colonizing Mars", Business Insider, 9/26/2016, as viewed on 10/31/2016 at http://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-raptor-mars-rocket-engine-2016-9. Capitalizations are in the original.

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