Nothing in Christianity specifically prohibits space exploration or the colonization of other planets, but if what the Bible says is true, humans may not have time to reach Mars.
The Bible refers to the end of the world in Revelations where it specifically describes the destruction of Earth, but humanity would need to be trapped on the planet for the species to die out.
The Catholic Church says some sort of galactic disaster will cause the end of the world, so it’s always possible humanity will make it off our home world, but still be unable to escape the apocalypse. The Bible indicates the fate of the universe, and all of humanity, is linked to the Earth, according to Christian Answers and 2 Peter 3.
“The heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”
Conspiracy theorists have long feared the Earth would be destroyed by Nibiru, the mysterious planet nine that astronomers think gave the solar system its tilt. The still undiscovered ice planet is theorized to orbit the sun every 15,000 years or so, so we haven’t seen it recently, but it could still pose a danger to those of us on Earth.
Conspiracy theorists argue Nibiru is about to come calling on our planet and when it does, it will drive asteroids and comets in toward the inner solar system and the Earth. If the planet was destroyed in such a catastrophe, it’s reasonable to assume that Mars, the moon, and other human space colonies could also be wiped out, which would end mankind’s time in the universe.
Elon Musk wants humanity to leave Earth as soon as possible to become a multi-planet species, a move backed by the Bible and Pope Francis as a pragmatic way to use our God-given intelligence. Leaving our world behind, however, may not save humans from extinction if the solar system were to suffer some type of galactic disaster, like a runaway black hole.
Christians often question whether investing in space travel is worth the effort, given the problems humans face here on Earth: poverty, hunger, corruption, and disease, but the Bible actually encourages exploration.
Catholic priests are famous for traveling with ancient explorers across distant oceans and through dark forests to discover new lands and unknown races of people to spread Christianity.
To the seagoing explorers of yesteryear traveling across the ocean to the “New World” was much the same as launching into space and neither adventure was contrary to Bible teachings, Jesuit priest Father José Gabriel Funes told the Independent.
“Just as there is a multiplicity of creatures on Earth, there can be other beings, even intelligent, created by God. This is not in contrast with our faith because we can’t put limits on God’s creative freedom.”
To be clear, there is no evidence of alien life on Mars waiting to be converted to Christianity, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other wondrous discoveries to be made exploring space. The Catholic Church holds no official position on the existence of aliens or a Martian colony being wiped out by the events foretold in Revelations, but it has devoted immense resources to studying the skies.
The Vatican Observatory, which has operated on and off since 1578, has been instrumental in helping the international community map the night sky in a decades-long, and still incomplete, project dubbed the Carte du Ciel, as Pope Francis told Catholic News.
“The church urgently needs religious [people] who dedicate their lives to being on the very frontiers between faith and human knowledge, faith and modern science.”
The Bible and the Catholic Church have used science and their God-given intellect to protect mankind from space-based dangers, but that doesn’t mean escaping to Mars will save humanity. The fate of the human species may be inextricably linked to Earth.
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