Christian Counseling Program: Salvation For All, Even Aliens?
Pope Francis is known to many as a loving, patient and open minded Pontiff to the Catholic Church and the rest of the world. His love for all knows no bounds. He is not confined by strict dogmatic laws or man-made canon laws that are exclusive for only one group. While maintaining, his Catholic identity, he nonetheless, believes grace is for everyone and that Christ is the ultimate judge of every person. While to some this may seem far fetched from a Catholic, to me, its the essential teaching of Catholicism or for that matter, Christianity!
Pope Francis took it even a step father, when he said he would even baptize a Martian, if indeed, one existed and came to Earth seeking baptism.
Antonia Blumberg writes from the Huffington Post about the Pope’s ixclusive desire for everyone’s salvation, even aliens!
Pope Francis said in his morning Mass on Monday that if Martians came to him asking to be baptized he wouldn’t turn them away, Vatican radio reports.
The pope’s message was one of inclusion, saying the Holy Spirit is not always predictable. He told a story from the Acts of Apostles in which Peter observes a group of non-Christians receiving the Holy Spirit. Other Christians later criticize Peter for consorting with these people, to which Pope Francis responded:
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While the story is cute and shows the universal message of salvation that Christ offers, lets take it another step farther. Lets look at the theological implications of alien life and how that would indeed affect the Christian Church–all denominations!
Christian Theology and Salvation
Soteriology is the study of salvation and how salvation is attained. Due to the fall of Adam and Original Sin, humanity needed a redeemer. In Christian theology, that redeemer is Christ. As both God and man, he represented humanity as its high priest. As man, he represented, as God he became the perfect sacrifice.
As the Council of Chalcedon proclaimed in the Fifth Century, the person Jesus Christ, both God and man, redeemed us! One person, two natures. The key of two natures is critical in Christian theology. It is also one of the most confusing elements in it. The first five councils of the Church dealt with Christological issues that pondered how Christ could both be man and God. There was not a lack of belief, but a lack of understanding which resulted in a series of heretical sects and groups ranging from Nestorianism to Monophysitism to Apollinarism to Monothelitism.
Yet the simplicity of the formula answered the biggest question of sacrifice. In the case of redemption, a sacrifice was needed. In this type of sacrifice, one must offer reparation to the offended party. Humanity had to offer reparation to God, yet humanity lacked the ability to offer a perfect sacrifice for the infinite damage caused by the sin of Adam was to great. The answer was found in Jesus Christ. The Logos, or second person of the Blessed Trinity, became fully human to represent humanity. He retained his nature but also took upon a human nature so that he could represent and perform the perfect sacrifice, which ultimately became Himself.
So How Far Does This Redemptive Sacrifice Go? Some Theological Speculations
Since it is not contrary to Christian belief for the potentiality of other life made in God’s image and likeness, we have a big question. Would the sacrifice and blood of Christ also “cover” aliens from another planet? Now the speculation begins at a very high level! First, the Logos became flesh and took upon a human nature. So would this mean, the Logos, in the persona of Christ, only redeemed humanity at the cross? Second, with that even being said, does the Logos need to redeem aliens-if they exist?
Are there other creations beyond our knowledge that never fell as did Adam? Or are there other creations that have fallen and yet to be redeemed? One would concur that if aliens exist in our temporal realm, then they are subject to the natural order of death and suffering. Hence one could presuppose that they did indeed also fail their test!
In such a scenario, are they still awaiting redemption? Or would the sacrifice of Christ, suffice for all creation with reason and free will? I do not think one can answer either question but only speculate.
So this brings one back to the original story. Should Pope Francis baptize an alien? As silly as this seems, a discovery of another sentient race would create these questions and bring them to the front line of Christian theology.
I would say, if an alien knew of Christ or the need to be baptized, then that should suffice. Maybe as Francis believes the Earth plays an important role in salvation history and as a missionary church, we need to take Christ not just to the market place, but to the deepest corners of the galaxy!
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If you are interested in learning more about Christian Counseling, then please review the Christian Counseling Program. The program in Christian Counseling covers the core basics in Christian ethics, counseling and theology required for someone to help others in moral need. After completion of the core courses, one then can become a certified Christian Counselor.
Pastors, counselors, parish coordinators and marriage counselors are all qualified professionals to seek this certification. It can help them guide their spiritual children to clarity and discernment that mirrors the teachings of Christ and Scripture.
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Mark Moran, MA