January 14, 2023

Jesus is no extraterrestrial, Arian Christology undermines Christ's humanity


Arians actually believe that an extraterrestrial became fully human

The basic dictionary meaning of extraterrestrial is “being from another world.” Merriam-Webster defines extraterrestrial as “originating, existing, or occurring outside the earth or its atmosphere.   According to Wikipedia, Extraterrestrial life, colloquially referred to as alien life, is life that may occur outside of Earth and which did not originate on Earth.

The Arian Christological view (held by Jehovah's Witnesses and others), is that Jesus was God's first created being who existed before this world was made. They affirm that Jesus is an incarnation of this being who existed for ages and ages before his human life. 

The parallel with the Arian view of Jesus is that Arians believe Jesus was from a world that existed before this one and that Jesus was transported down from heaven in one way or another. That Jesus was transported down from heaven and then transported back to heaven where he existed previously. 

Arianism Undermines the Humanity of Christ

In many ways, the Arian view is a view that undermines the humanity of Christ.

If Jesus preexisted, he is not truly human (in the likeness of the first Adam). Being human is more than having a body of flesh. To participate in humanity is to have the human experience of gaining wisdom and experience as one develops on this plain of existence. A pre-existent being would have the benefit of ages and ages of acquired knowledge and experience. Such an idea undermines the humanity of Christ and makes him less relatable to us. It undermines the testimony of the Gospel if he didn't gain in wisdom from the starting point of coming into existence as a human. 

Luke 2:52 - Revised Standard Version (RSV)
And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man.

 To be human is to start from ground zero with respect to cognition, and not to be privileged from wisdom and knowledge gained from a former existence. All humans start from ground zero in terms of cognition. Normative development is toward greater cognition. The idea of incarnation is repulsive and obscene.

Additionally, the Bible presents Jesus as a descendant of Adam and a descendant of Moses, who will be a prophet like Moses. The pre-existent Jesus simply couldn’t be, regardless of your theory of identity. If anyone has any notions of a literal pre-existence of Christ, Acts 3:19-26 should cure them of that:

Acts 3:19-26 (ESV)
19 Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, 20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, 21 whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. 22 Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. 23 And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.’ 24 And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came after him, also proclaimed these days. 25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ 26 God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.”

  • Acts 3:22 refers to Jesus as one whom God would raise up as  “a prophet like me from your brothers” (i.e., like Moses from mankind). Jesus must clearly be a man who is a descendant of man. 
  • Acts 3:25 -‘And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’  It is Abraham's offspring that all the nations would be blessed. Being Abraham's offspring, Jesus couldn't have preexisted Abraham.
  • Acts 3:26 - "God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first.”—This clearly indicates that God raised up his servant (in his human life as a man), not that God had sent down a pre-existent servant from heaven. 

There is not a hint of Arian nonsense in Luke-Acts, the core foundational witness of the NT in addition to Paul. https://lukeprimacy.com

Arians try to read things into Paul, such as Philippians 2, based scholars recognize that Phil 2 says nothing to substantiate notions of literal preexistence and incarnation. There is a based non-Arian interpretation of all so-called Arian proof texts.

For more on refuting Arianism, see:
https://preexistenceofchrist.com —Understanding in what sense Christ preexisted
https://formofgod.com —Analysis of Philippians 2, Exaltation, not Preexistence

People read Arianism into Fourth Gospel without realizing that John is an abstraction, written in allegory and metaphor – not to be taken literally. Totally a diversion from the core apostolic witness of Luke-Acts. It’s really an apocryphal work, as James Dunn acknowledged. Sad how so many misunderstand John. Too many like yourself fall into error due to misguided notions of what it says.

Unfortunately, once Arian indoctrination sinks in, it is so hard to reverse it. They start to believe a lie and become blue-pilled. Biblical Unitarians refuse to drink the Arian Kool-Aid. It is not much better than the Trinitarian stuff.

E.T. as a metaphor for Jesus

In many other ways, the character and story of E.T. is a metaphor for Jesus. Ever since the year of its release in 1982, many articles have been published examining how E.T. can be understood as a religious parable. Spielberg allegedly claimed that ET resonated with people as deeply as it did (and still does) because he made the character and story — by design — a Jesus metaphor.

In a deeper review, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial rises above mere Jesus metaphor to full-scale parable.

The classic image is a direct (albeit inverse) homage to Michelangelo’s “Creation Of Adam” in the Sistine Chapel.

E.T. has a heart light in the same fashion as the famous Christ icon “The Sacred Heart of Jesus”, which is seen in statues, paintings, and stained-glass designs.

The following Parallels are extracted from a seminary paper by Bryce Rich entitled Christology of ET
  • Like the baby Jesus of the Matthew and Luke narratives, E.T. comes into a world of darkness, symbolized by night. [Instructor Comment:  Nice parallel.  Also, as in John, he pre-exists his entry into this world.]
  • He is immediately sought out in the darkness by men who appear to function as a polyvalent symbol. It is not clear if these scientists and military men are the Magi of the modern age or the religious authorities and rulers of this world who seek to destroy the visitor from the heavens 
  • Matthew’s gospel reports Jesus to have said, "Truly I tell you, unless you become like children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven" (18:13). In this vein it is to a young boy that the alien reveals himself. And Elliott, in turn, tells his sister, Gertie, "Grown-ups can’t see him, only little kids can see him."
  • When Gertie and her mother share the living room and kitchen with E.T., Though Gertie talks incessantly about her new friend and tries to introduce him, her mother is distracted with the "grown-up" concerns of the cost of groceries and a Ragu stain that didn’t come out of her dry cleaning. With her focus totally consumed by the cares of this world, Mary totally misses out on the presence that has come among them.
  • With no place to call his own, E.T. finds a home among the stuffed animals in a closet between the children’s bedrooms, invoking the memory of a child born in a stable and placed in a feeding trough because there was no room for him in the inn. 
  • There are no parables or prayers, or sermons. However, E.T. does manage to sum up much of Jesus’ teaching in the first English phrase that he ever utters as he learns to speak while watching Sesame Street: "Be good."
  • The initial Christological image conveyed by our hero is Jesus as the Strange Presence of God. In the film, we find several other Jesus motifs as well: Life-giver, Liberator, Sacrifice, and Victor.
  • As Life-giver we find a being that restores wilted and dead flowers to a state of vibrant beauty.  This symbol indicates the death of E.T. and his subsequent resurrection in the film. But the more obvious instance is an allusion to the image portrayed in Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam, in which the divine spark of life passes from E.T.’s finger to Elliott’s, instantly healing a cut that he had just received. With his touch, E.T. is able to set right the ills of this world.
  • As Liberator, we see E.T.’s compassion for frogs that are about to be dissected alive as a part of Elliott’s biology class. Through his symbiotic link with Elliott, he urges the boy to release first his own frog and then all of the others in the lab. Before long the other students also revolt against the teacher and the questionable practices of animal cruelty promulgated in his classroom.
  • From the beginning of the film the overwhelming problem of humanity appears to be estrangement from God, consequent loneliness and a loss of the cosmic order.
  • The solution to the family’s problems is found in reconnecting them in a loving, supportive community. E.T. does this in two ways. With Elliott he forms a deep, empathic bond through which he is able to share in all of the young boy’s burdens. As previously noted, there are some suggestions in the film that perhaps E.T. even takes on Elliott’s physical maladies as a part of the healing process. Through their symbiotic bond, E.T. and Elliott are melded into one, sharing the same feelings. 
  • E.T. proves to be loving and kind, bringing healing and new life into every life that he touches. In turn those around him find themselves responding in positive ways. We are not quite sure what happens after the movie ends; however, the family has come together as one in an emotional farewell. Michael has given up his antagonism with Elliott and appears to have grown from the experience. Gertie displays kindness and generosity as she presents the botanist from space with potted flowers to take back to his onboard greenhouse. Elliott appears somehow older and wiser, no longer the scared child he had been at the beginning of the film.
  • Though they will be physically separated, the boy and the Life-giver will still be connected in thought and feeling. It is as though Elliott has been brought into E.T.’s reality. As Elliott and E.T. grow closer, they become “connected”, bonding at a metaphysical (spiritual?) level.
  • E.T. is also similar to all four gospel accounts of the life of Jesus in that he dies and experiences resurrection. Finally he ascends into the heavens in a way that might be seen as parallel to the portrayals given in Mark and Luke/Acts.
  • Post-resurrection, E.T.’s previously displayed powers are magnified, but he doesn’t wield his powers against those trying to hurt him (although he could). E.T. simply uses his powers to save his followers.
  • E.T.’s final sentiment to Elliott “I’ll be right here” (as he points to the boy’s head) mirrors Christ’s promise of the Holy Spirit.
  • An ascension occurs at the end of the movie

E.T. Arian Memes

E.T. Meme Objections

Some might believe that these ET Memes demean and trivialize the Arian view. But if Arianism is wrong, it should be demeaned and trivialized. People should be more worried about how bad Arianism actually is than a provocative ET meme that is based. Additionally, a meme isn't required to have perfect equivalence to what it corresponds to, it just needs to exhibit significant parallels. 

No comments: