By Cheri Fields
The other day I saw an article over on Cowboy Bob’s Question Evolution website. He was talking about an article on one of America’s first astronauts, Colonel James Irwin, and his faith in Jesus, his Creator.
This got me thinking about astronauts and Jesus.
I’d remembered hearing the first broadcast from the moon was of the astronauts reading from Genesis chapter one. You can read about it on NASA: Apollo 8 Christmas Eve Broadcast. They hadn’t landed, but it was the first time human beings had orbited the moon and those verses are what they decided to share with the rest of us!
It turns out this event is just the start of the story. When the first two human beings did land on the moon, before stepping onto the surface, one of them took the time to celebrate his connection with Jesus. Buzz Aldrin had brought a little communion set (tiny wafer of bread and vial of wine) for when they’d safely arrived. So just before Armstrong stepped outside, telling us about his “one small step”, his fellow astronaut had dedicated himself again to his Savior and Maker.
These 5 men are just the beginning of the list of astronauts to recognize their Creator:
I found a treasure of info on The Christian Network:
Astronaut Charles Duke stated,
“I used to say I could live ten thousand years and never have an experience as thrilling as walking on the moon. But the excitement and satisfaction of that walk doesn’t begin to compare with my walk with Jesus, a walk that lasts forever.”
Addressing a joint session of Congress, September 16, 1969, Commander Neil Armstrong stated:
“To those of you who have advocated looking high, we owe our sincere gratitude, for you have granted us the opportunity to see some of the grandest views of the Creator.”
And more in this article by Chuck Colson:
To look out at this kind of creation and not believe in God is to me impossible.
– Astronaut John Glenn
It wasn’t just the first generation of space explorers willing to speak out either:
In 1983, Colonel Jack Lousma wrote about his experience of God in outer space and even the difference zero G had on his Bible reading routine.
Two of the astronauts who died when the Columbia crashed in 2003, Rick Husband and Michael Anderson, were members of the same church in Texas. I love this bit from the article remembering their lives:
“[Their pastor] said that although both men rarely told people that they were astronauts, they looked for opportunities to tell others about Christ.”
Patrick Forrester, an astronaut on the shuttle Discovery in 2009, took a little piece of an airplane up with him. It was the plane Jim Elliot and Nate Saint flew as missionaries. Forrester thought this would be a great way to tell people about the need to go into all the world and tell others about Jesus!
Interestingly, I found out about Forrester on a page talking about the trouble atheists have given NASA for not muzzling the faith of their astronauts. The last thing the Enemy wants is for kids to find out how being in space makes God all the more real to many people!
I can’t find a page on this story, but you can listen to the broadcast like I did. Just this year, 2013, an astronaut called Jim Dutton (who has piloted the shuttle Discovery), spent time on the International Space Station (ISS) and brought along some “light” reading on a CD. It was a copy of Dr. Walt Brown’s creationist book In The Beginning! How awesome is that?
This article is getting crazy long, but I have to include one last guy:
Colonel Jeffery N. Williams has spent more time in space than anyone else and he’s not done yet. He’s pretty sure he’ll be returning to the ISS Spring, 2014. You can check out the badges he’s earned HERE.
What’s most exciting is you can read about his love for Jesus and outer space in a book he’s written called The Work of His Hands. You can order the book from the publisher, but I liked the Institute for Creation Research’s write-up about it best. Plus you can support their work that way.
Here’s a quote to get you started: First Things: An Amazing Story of Discovery and Faith: Colonel Jeff Williams’ Space Voyage
My relationship with God does not hinge on my looking at Earth from orbit and experiencing that “small whisper” that is so evident in creation. True, life-transforming faith in God and relationship with Him is based not on a whisper, but a shout—the shout of God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, in His work on the cross as revealed in the supernatural revelation of the Bible.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handiwork.” Psalm 19:1
There’s a Bible we left on the moon.
Read about how God got through to Col. Irwin while he was on the moon to get him past just being a “bump on the log” Christian.
There’s a short article on Urban Christian News talking about all the Christians in space. Here’s the best bit:
“…religious objects–crosses, Bibles, icons, prayer cards–are among the most common personal items taken into space, said Johnson Space Center spokesman James Hartsfield.”
If you were on a tiny, thin, space craft, wouldn’t you want a close connection with the God Who is There- no matter where “there” is?