By:Pastor Kathy Behrens, serving Picture Rocks and Tivoli United Methodist Churches
People are sometimes fascinated by mysteries they don’t understand. Mysteries that recently made it to Congress are unidentified flying objects (UFOs) and unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs). Unidentified flying objects are not new, and “unidentified aerial phenomena” is just a new term, but stories have been around our world for centuries.
Many attribute the pyramids in Egypt and the ones in Central and South America to extraterrestrials. I remember hearing stories as a youth about people who had disappeared and were believed to have been kidnapped by aliens.
Scientific inquiry into these mysteries can be positive. However, that fascination can turn into something we end up worshiping. My dad said the topic came up about the time of the Korean War, and a general who spoke on the radio said that if UFOs existed, they were not something from another planet.
Television shows and movies are creative and feed our imaginations. However, it would be wrong to depict extraterrestrials or demons as gods to worship. Satan tries to take our focus off God with a variety of methods including things we watch. He tries to steal us away from God by deception and misdirection. I know that some people do not believe in Satan, yet the Bible talks about his existence.
The Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:12, says “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers, and the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (KJV). Principalities are fallen angels, powers are fallen warrior angels, and rulers of darkness reflect evil and wickedness.
Jesus Christ cast demons out of people. Many times, we want to believe that people did not understand things then as we do today. The church then and now has driven evil out of the world, and through Jesus Christ is able to limit its power. As we turn away from God and the church and open doors for evil to return—it will.
One incident in Acts 19:13-20 records an account about the “Sons of Sceva.” His sons decided to exorcize demons from a person, but they did not know what they were doing. They knew that the Apostle Paul had cast them out. So, the sons tried to cast demons out in the name of Paul’s God. But, they would not go.
The demons said to the sons that they knew Paul and Jesus, but they did not know them. The demons turned on the sons. After the incident became known, believers who had been fascinated by demons brought any scrolls not reflecting God to the church and destroyed them. That way, the story ended with a positive, God-centered message.
Reflecting on one of the scripture readings Sunday, I spoke about how God is supreme, and there is no other God. I am a Christian pastor who believes there is only one God and His son, our Lord and Savior, who conquered evil.
I further believe “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11 KJV).
I believe that God created all things and can control everything ever created. We, as God’s people, need to move away from some of our fascination and get back to focusing on our Lord and Savior. Only Jesus is all powerful and able to deliver us from all our fears and save us from our sins.