I was once told a theory with bountiful evidence, that the Titanic was sunk on purpose for insurance money. Oh, what a juicy tale it was. I gobbled it up. The moment my dear friend told me the concept I was hooked. I wanted it to be true so badly. And each bit of evidence she gave was more compelling than the last. By the end I was sold, and I knew that I was better than everybody.
I knew that for the rest of my life, I would have a tale that would capture the minds and hearts of people around me. It was a tragic tale of greed and confusion and deception. Mankind was deceived, and I, only I knew the truth.
Later, she discovered the theory was proven false. When she broke the horrid news to me, I was devastated.
Truth is delightful. Truth only known by a few is captivating. Truth concealed by wicked men is an abomination. Delightful truth, hidden behind abominable lies that deceive the masses, known only by the few, is downright euphoric.
But how does one know they are in the right, when everyone else is in the wrong? Are you Neo, who stepped beyond the Matrix we all live in, into the alien world beyond? Or are you John Nash, whose hallucinations convince him of something that everyone around him understands to be unreal.
Christians are not called to disagree with the masses for the sake of disagreeing with the masses. In fact, Paul tells the Romans, “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” (Rom 12:16-18).
Though we live in a fallen world, Jesus said, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). We ought not live in fear or cynicism, but in peace and boldness.
At Gospel Vision, we are not here to debunk conspiracy theories, but to think well about strange things.
It is a strange thing that 49 years ago, millions of people gathered around radios and television sets to witness a human person set foot on the saucer we see in the sky most nights. Let us think well on this together.
Is Moonwalking Okay for Us to Do?
Firstly, would God allow us to do such a thing? After all, God did not seem happy with Noah’s decedents building a tower into the heavens all those years ago. And didn’t God tell us to cultivate the Earth? Don’t we step out of bounds when we “make giant leaps for mankind?”
These two points actually fit together quite well in the narrative of Scripture. The trouble in Babel started when the people said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth” (Gen 11:4). Notice this language to be in direct contrast with God’s command to Noah two chapters prior, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Gen 9:1). Their problem wasn’t trying to build a tower that was too tall, but that they were not spreading out as they were commanded. This is emphasized by the author repeating twice “…the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth” after God confused their language (Gen 11:8, 9).
Pride is absolutely a sin and was likely involved in the making of the tower “with its top in the heavens.” Sinful pride was also likely present in the hearts of some people involved in the moon-landing, and is not here commended.
The height of the tower being in the heavens, however, wasn’t the problem in Genesis. God makes no mention of it. Later in the Old Testament God requires of His people magnificent achievements made by skilled workers, such as the temple.
So our upward reach is not the problem given in Genesis 11, but rather our lack of outward reach… our lack of obedience.
For more on the tower of Babel, click here.
The Creation Mandate
God told Adam and Eve “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Gen 1:28). This is our task as mankind.
This has many applications, but ‘do not travel to the moon‘ is not one of them. We are to care for God’s creation. We are to exercise dominion over all creatures on it. Today we monitor, care for and exercise dominion over such creatures using GPS and satellite imaging. We show our creativity through abounding technology, which allows us to know more about our planet every day. We know that this moon affects our planet with tides and such. How could it not benefit the planet to know more about the moon?
The Psalmist alludes to the creation mandate singing,
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas (Ps 8:3-8).
God sent man to spread out, learn, grow and cultivate all things. By taking “one small step for man,” Armstrong would powerfully put an image to “all things” being under the feet of man.
Does the Science of the Bible Allow It?
The only way the science of the Bible would not allow it, is if the Bible described a flat earth or a tiny moon.
We have begun to tackle the flat earth theory here, and it is clear that at the very least, the Bible allows room for a spherical planet. It certainly does not require people to refute anything involving a spherical earth to remain faithful to the scriptures. Please read our article for a greater look.
And briefly, the Bible does not suggest a small moon. Genesis describes it as a “great light” to “rule the night” (Gen 1:16). If anything these are large terms.
Wasn’t the Technology Insufficient?
This is a deep well of chronological snobbery to jump down. Each member of the human race in 1969 had a super computer in their head capable of intense processing and data storage. Yes, their computers might have only been slightly more powerful than today’s TI-83 calculator, but the achievements were still astonishing. Don’t forget that a massive broadcast was sent out across the globe of the moon-landing footage. Doesn’t that seem out of reach for such technologies?
Think of the minds of Einstein and Plato; of Tesla and Michelangelo; of Newton and Bach. Brilliancy is something that spans the ages, and is assisted by goals and hard work.
With each passing decade we think lesser of the decades previous. Yet behold the pyramids, and the Tesla coil. We can read textbooks and see exactly the capabilities of their computers, and that they were sufficient for the task at hand. Particularly for those who worked their brains hard.
Didn’t We Have Great Motive to Fake It?
We had just as much motive to fake it, as we did to go to the moon. Actually less.
So, Why do we Believe What we Do?
God sees witnesses as primary evidence. He staked peoples’ lives on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
“A single witness shall not suffice against a person for any crime or for any wrong in connection with any offense that he has committed. Only on the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses shall a charge be established. If a malicious witness arises to accuse a person of wrongdoing, then both parties to the dispute shall appear before the Lord, before the priests and the judges who are in office in those days. The judges shall inquire diligently, and if the witness is a false witness and has accused his brother falsely, then you shall do to him as he had meant to do to his brother. So you shall purge the evil from your midst. And the rest shall hear and fear, and shall never again commit any such evil among you. Your eye shall not pity. It shall be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.” (Deut 19:15-21).
This is why God hates a false witness, because witnesses confirm truth. Bearing false witness breaks one of the Ten Commandments. See God’s use of faithful witnesses. He used eye-witnesses to write His Bible.
To dispute the moon-landing, one must dispute the eye-witness testimonies of over 400,000 people.
Yes, three heroic men went to the moon; but it was a team of four hundred thousand people that put them there. They were the flight directors, controllers, planners, and engineers; the rocket designers and builders and technicians; the managers, supervisors, quality control and safety inspectors; the programmers, electricians, welders, seamstresses, gluers, painters, doctors, geologists, scientists, trainers, and navigators… Apollo 11 is their story too.1
In order to dispute the moon-landing, many or all of these must be seen as “malicious witnesses” and put to the test. If we contest these, we must bring to the table something better than conflicting shadows on a notably reflective surface.
The one country that stood to lose the most in the “space race” admitted defeat, and they were the ones with the apt technology to defend themselves at the time.2, 3
On top of all of this ‘Myth Busters’ showed us that Apollo 15 set retroreflectors on the moon, and we can now shoot high-powered lasers at the moon, which will reflect back to us.4 Without these specially designed reflectors, no laser would naturally reflect that distance in that direction using natural materials.
Despite all the evidence, it still feels very good to believe it was faked, doesn’t it? To feel like you’re in on an exciting secret. To stand over the sheeple that surround you, and pity them. Is this not pride? Is this not foolishness? Is this not what Solomon speaks of when he says, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice” (Prov 12:15)?
Let us not be proud. Let us not be fools. Let us not rush in with dispute without first weighing the witnesses.
If the moon-landing truly did happen, can you imagine the wonder? Can you imagine the weight that crashed in on all humanity as they realized that they collectively had an infinite number of questions without answers?
By the grace of God, He will continue to remind us of His vastness, as we explore His creation.
- Thimmesh, Catherine. Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon. New York, NY, HMH Books for Young Readers, 2006, p. 7.
- Das, Saswato R. "The Moon Landing through Soviet Eyes: A Q&A with Sergei Khrushchev, son of former premier Nikita Khrushchev." Scientific American, Jul. 2009. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/apollo-moon-khrushchev/
- Wilford, John Noble. "Russians Finally Admit They Lost Race to Moon." The New York Times, Dec. 1989. https://www.nytimes.com/1989/12/18/us/russians-finally-admit-they-lost-race-to-moon.html
- Myth Busters. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmVxSFnjYCA