SPACE EXPLORATION – Sinful?

Can you bind the chains of the Pleaides, or loose the cords of Orion? Can you lead forth a constellation in its season, and guide the Bear with her satellites? Do you know the ordinances of the heavens or fix their rule over the earth?”

Recently, I felt compelled to pen a letter to the editor of a Christian magazine after an article on India’s space exploration program. The letter is re-printed here for your consideration in part due to a conversation I had with a brother-in-Christ just this morning. We spoke of enjoying and encouraging the imagination of our young children and grandchildren. We reminded each other of times spent as children ourselves staring at a sky with white puffy clouds and calling out what animal or other images we saw the clouds forming. It is an amazing joy I share with my grandchildren as we sway lazily on our hammock under the shade of a sprawling oak tree. Imagining ourselves in the clouds ourselves must be on the mind of many future space explorers! With that in mind, I wrote the following to Mr. Arno Froese.

Rev. Ross L. Riggs, D Min

Arno Froese, Executive Editor The Midnight Call P.O. Box 84309 Lexington, SC 29073

Greetings in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I write to say how much I enjoy Midnight Call and to beg a question of you from the September 2019 Issue, under World Focus “Moon Landing”. You pose a question as to the purpose for India to be so involved in space exploration and putting a rover on the moon. You answer your question with, as you say, “one word: pride.” For those who set themselves a nest among the stars, Obadiah declares the Lord, those shall be brought down. Still, I could not settle myself on the idea of condemning the Indian exploration as sin, i.e. pride and leaving it go at that. I think of God who is the Creator magnificent who takes great joy in His creation, all of it, man, animals, earth and space. God, in putting Job into a correct understanding of God’s greatness, asks, “Can you bind the chains of the Pleaides, or loose the cords of Orion? Can you lead forth a constellation in its season, and guide the Bear with her satellites? Do you know the ordinances of the heavens or fix their rule over the earth?” (Job 38)

I believe God is quite pleased with his heavenly creation and given proper attitude of His human creation, He would welcome and has blessed our exploration of it. God proclaims in Genesis 1:14 of the heavens which sepearate the day and the night, “let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years.” Men of Issachar could watch the heavens and thus understood the times (1 Chron.12

Can we begin to know, even in these last days what wondrous discoveries that might lead to cures of human maladies, stop the suffering of children or feed more poor than gleaning will be spun from a laboratory’s accelerator after exploration of space? More importantly, can we know another man’s heart? Can or should we ascribe guilt of sin to everyone attached to a nation’s space exploration program?

When considering the purposes of space exploration, we should also mention, the very real threats now looming like the Sword of Damacles across the globe for any maleficently minded country leader to shock our world with electronic pulses. Must we not know and have a command of space to stop such threats? I venture to say there are many noble purposes for space exploration. Although pride may be the Achille’s heel for some within such programs, still let us ask God to bless such work for learning more about our Creator and His creation as well as what boon to mankind it might bring.

I am reminded of the poem by Jahn Gillespie Magee Jr., the last lines which read, “while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod, the high untrespassed sanctity of space, put out my hand, and touched the face of God.” President Regan quoted this poem after the Shuttle disaster many years ago. When it comes to space exploration, the heavens are a creation which reveals the very nature of our God. We should relish every touch we can have with it.

Respectfully,

Dr. Ross Riggs  

Red Sky in the Morning

Consider the amazing week of Creation when God spoke the universe into existence! God said, as he completed the skies, that He was giving us a celestial heaven that contains innumerable stars that they would be for signs and seasons. (Genesis 1:14)  Later, in Psalm 104, the psalmist declares God’s majesty, reminding us that God set the moon in heaven to declare to men the seasons.  As I am sitting here this morning, I can see out across our back pasture and with the horses standing there in the harsh cold, steam rising from their nostrils. I can look beyond the pond that is just slightly frozen over and there above the tree line is a gorgeous morning sky. It is as if, from the dark night sky, life erupted and light screams across the horizon. The pale blue sky is filled with a ‘red sky in the morning.’

I was taught by my father, who was a sailor in the U.S. Navy that, “A red sky in the morning, a sailor takes warning. A red sky at night is the sailor’s delight.” Two messages from the same red sky, each are dependent for understanding on the time the message appears. Timing of the sign in the heavens changes completely the meaning. The red sky, which would have been a welcome sign last night, now is a sign that the weather will turn much nastier than it already is. It may get much colder today. It could snow another inch or so or the wind could gust up as it was two days ago; taking down tree limbs and power lines. I have seen the sign and I understand it, now what is important is for me to respond to what I know. If I do nothing and the storm does damage to my farm or my family; then I certainly cannot blame God. Sadly, though, as humans we often do blame Him for our folly. God provides an excellently clear message. It is my obligation to respond.

Red Sky Warning

How does that fit for us when we think of God’s warnings concerning sin? He sends us another excellently clear message. Are we still ignoring it and not responding? If so, we know the consequences, God spelled them out; and more than likely, when those consequences come, we will probably find a way to blame God for our trouble! When it comes to sin in our life, there is a red sky in the morning ~ Christian take warning!