Friday, September 19, 2014
Stump the Priest: UFOs and the Paranormal
Question: "I would like to know your view of the paranormal. Should Christians be involved in it, like ghost hunting, reading books about ghosts, UFO's and the paranormal in general?"
If you read the writings of the fathers, you find nothing that would suggest that you search such things out. Most of what is called "the paranormal" is what the fathers would call "the demonic." Only the most spiritually advanced saints have attempted to confront the demonic directly. For most of us, the advice the fathers would give us is avoid such things as much as possible, and if confronted with it, to turn to God, and leave the battle completely in the hands of the Lord.
The reason why so many today are fascinated by these things is because they have abandoned the true faith, but are attracted by anything that science cannot explain, and often assume that anything that is supernatural is good... failing to recognize the reality of demons.
Fr. Seraphim (Rose) writes about this extensively in his book "Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future." This book speaks about the paranormal, but also has a long chapter on UFO's. You can read a summary of what Fr. Seraphim says about them by clicking here.
The idea that aliens from another planet are constantly visiting our planet is highly unlikely. If such aliens had such advanced technology that they could travel 5 times the speed of light, and if they happened to live on a planet that orbits the nearest star to earth (Proxima Centauri), it would take them almost a year to travel to earth, just one way. Would such a civilization make such a long journey, just to appear in a cornfield in Nebraska, scare some farmer, and then fly back? Not likely. At best, this fixation is based on a desire to have these aliens come and solve all our problems, somewhat along the lines of Constantine Petrou Photiades Cavafy's poem, "Waiting for the Barbarians;" and at worse it takes on a pseudo-religious character, that is very similar to what is found in the occult.
Most of us do not read the Scriptures as often as we should. We have not read the lives of the Saints, nor have we read the writings of the Saints and Fathers of the Church. Why would waste our time with reading about ghosts, or UFOs, much less seek out such phenomena?
You can also listen to an episode of "Our Life in Christ" that talks about this by clicking here.
See also this documentary debunking the Ancient Aliens theory: