Monday, February 12, 2007

Adventism's New Horizons

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea exists no more. Revelation 21:1

After having done a google search for both Adventism and “space colonization” I was intrigued by the 19,000 results the search engine produced. One link, contained a footnote with an interesting resource: “This book, entitled Worlds Beyond, edited by Larry Geis and Fabrice Florin, explores the social, political, and technological aspects of space colonization. It is particularly interesting due to the continual references to 1492, Colombus, and America.”

The title of the article speaks of America-as-Utopia. I took this line of thought one step further and came up with Adventism-as-Utopia as though Adventism itself, or the world community and its resources, could be a Utopian community virtually and with some planning, physically. I remarked to a progressive acquaintance years ago that if only for their value as Utopian literature, Ellen G. White’s Testimonies for the Church had value. I now believe their value is more than just wishful thinking about a perfect world.

This started me thinking. What if life in this world gets worse and worse, e.g., global warming, terrorism, disease, a nuclear holocaust, other cataclysms, enforced immorality, and it becomes less and less utopian as the decades fade into the next century? Adventism with its significant intellectual and financial resources should start exploring what most think unnecessary or unfeasible, seeking a more ideal and permanent place to fulfill their future destiny.

What would the early Christians have thought of future Christians sailing across the great sea west of the European continent and building huge and long-term cities in the undiscovered countries of the Americas? Adventists should learn from their short-sightedness and think about the next phase of humanity and Adventism as well, the migration to non-terrestrial worlds or space habitats. Private citizens have already started exploring space exploration for financial or personal advantages. Why shouldn’t Adventists do likewise?

What if Jesus delays not because He’s taking too long to come to us, but because we haven’t made the physical enterprise to move closer to Him, literally? Perhaps this is what Adventism and 21st century Christianity is destined to do—to leave this dying world and start again elsewhere.

"This is not the stuff of science fiction only. Scientist Dandridge Cole originated the term "Macro Life" in his 1961 book The Ultimate Human Society, where he outlines the idea of using asteroids as mobile "societal containers."
See also, the following quote about U.S. Physicist and space pioneer, Gerard O'Neill: "In 1977 O'Neill founded the Space Studies Institute at Princeton University, an organization that continues today to fund research in space manufacturing and resources. He also worked on mass drivers for space propulsion, research and design concepts for space stations, Space colonization, solar power satellites, and lunar and asteroid mining. He authored the book The High Frontier: Human Colonies in Space which inspired a generation of space exploration advocates."

How meaningless and pointless all of human and Adventist-Christian history would turn out if our lack of future vision derails the future of humanity by not planning now for the potential self-destruction of life by the criminal and unwise excesses of modern as well as post-modern humanity?

I propose that Adventism start planning this eventual migration or partial migration to a safer and more permanent world, or worlds, now while we have the intellectual, spiritual and financial resources to make it a future reality. Won’t you join those of us who presently share this visionary interpretaton of taking the everlasting “gospel into all the world,” where “world” is best thought of as cosmos, and not just this small, dying planet?

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