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  

All I Need… Really?

He is to be first of all I love and it is through my love for Him and His love for me that I can love others.

ALL I NEED… really?

Every once in a while, something that I did not expect comes along and hits me like a brick right upside the head. That is what happened this morning while in services at the Chapel. We were having a wonderful time singing in worship and we performed one of the past ‘golden oldies’ of the faith. The refrain of the song came around, All I Need is You”

A great song, a great refrain – is it possible that I really meant that? My brother was lying in the hospital hanging on to life with tubes and a respirator. I looked across the row in front of me and saw a son-in-law of mine and daughter and another son-in-law, a daughter-in-law; and next to me was my wife and another daughter and son-in-law. In the nursery of the church were five of my grandchildren and two others were in their own classes. One daughter was away at work and a son was in police training… Did I really believe that I could be Job? I could have someone walk up to me sometime this week and tell me that everyone I love was gone in some horrific accident and take it?

Much of what I KNOW will help but how much will it help? For example:

I know that everyone of them will be waiting for me in heaven if such a tragedy should happen. I know they would be better off than me!

But, what if…

suddenly everything closest to me on this earth is ripped from me – the people who love me and help me, care for me and stay with me through the tough times are gone and I have nothing left but God… would I blame Him or turn to Him? I hope that I would fall totally on Him, completely dependent on Him for every day to continue.

Would I, could I possibly turn and say, All I need is God?

I know that having complete faith in God doesn’t mean you do not grieve; so I believe that any grief would be natural and to be experienced as part of a healing process.

I want to believe that I will be Okay and that I will be a testimony to the truth that God really is all I need. Affirming that is not saying that God is all I love. God gave us the love that we have for one another and He helps that love grow and nourish. He is to be the first of all that I love and it is through my love for Him and His for me that I can love others. It is that same relationship that will take me through the grief to continue one day at a time. Whatever life brings, I know eternity will make it all Okay. Until then, like the father who told Jesus, “I believe; help my unbelief” I pray “God, You are all I need; Help me to need only You.”