Sci-Fi dramas have one thing right: Aliens are out there. But they’re also here, among us. In fact, they are us.
Need proof? How did you react last time you encountered someone who looked, acted or talked fundamentally different from you, especially if they were on your turf? Suspicion is the entry-level attitude, even if one considers him/her-self an egalitarian. And if you’re on their turf … fear.
Don’t believe me? Drive your Lexus to the other side of the tracks, slowly, with the doors unlocked and the windows down. Fight your impulse to panic when Lexus Link asks, “Are you insane,” or when you spot a half-dozen youngish guys with bulges under their hoodies, sauntering toward you, and all you can see of their faces is grinning, white teeth. If you’re as liberal as you think, just offer them jobs; that’ll win them over.
Name any subculture, race, or religion, and if you’re not one of them you don’t understand them. Even if you’ve “converted” from one group to another, you may think you’re objective toward them, but you wouldn’t have switched if you really had nothing against something about them.
My frame of reference takes me to religion, or to anti-religion. In my early-twenties I jumped tracks from Catholicism to what they call Protestantism, even though I’d never admit to being a Protestant. As a Christ-follower, I won’t hate Catholics, even though their religion has done some awful things throughout history. Even if the Romanist church were to officially deny those blemishes on history, they couldn’t deny what evil people have done in the church’s name.
But the Catholic Church isn’t the only sect that’s blasphemed Christ by pillaging and plundering in his name. The long and bloody war between Catholics and Protestants still rages, though not as publicly as it once did. And yes, they both claim Christ as their Savior.
Think that’s bad. What about the wars between Eastern, Middle-eastern, and pagan religions? No wonder secularists, including atheists, point condemnatory fingers at religion as the bane of humanity or the people’s opiate. But blame isn’t the only thing they’ve pointed at religious people throughout history. Does the name Lenin strike a sour chord? How about Stalin? But we don’t have to scrutinize atheism, or even, Communism, to find oceans of blood outside of historical religion. Hitler embraced, or at least winked at, most any religion but Judaism and Biblical Christianity, if he thought it would advance the Reich and glorify the Fatherland.
I would say Biblical Christianity is the only religion not to have engaged in hatred and murder throughout history, but that wouldn’t be true—Biblical Christianity is not a religion in any traditional, human sense. Rather, it is the spiritual way of life espoused by the eternal, self-existent God, through his living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ. And Christ-followers pursue that way religiously, but not as a religion.
To those blinded by materialism and other naturalistic beliefs, we are indeed aliens.