The Hypothetical Revealed

Thank you to everyone who “liked” or commented on yesterday’s introduction of our little experiment and grand adventure. Of the comments from yesterday that I have received so far, 2 liked the idea, two sort of liked the idea, and two didn’t like the idea. Assuming that all 25 “likes” were done after reading, “likes” fell off by about a third of what I normally have for a second post as of this writing, but more comments and likes will probably follow for the rest of today. Anyway, a special “thank you” to everyone who commented: I asked because I wanted to know, so to the ones who didn’t like the idea, an even bigger thank you!

I think there is enough interest to give this a try and the next step is to reveal the hypothetical…


Out of more than a half-million applicants, you have been selected to be one of the twenty five people selected to be the first human beings to colonize the planet Mars. Your skill, your high character and your sincere dedication to this mission have caused you to stand out from all other applicants; you should be justifiably proud of your accomplishment.

Enclosed herewith, please find your paid airline ticket to Houston, Texas, USA where you will report to the Johnson Space Center for mission orientation, and where you will meet the other 24 dedicated selectees for this historic mission.

I look forward to meeting you in person!


International Martian Colony Project Director.

So, there you have it, dear reader, you are one of the first 25 humans to colonize the planet Mars in a huge international undertaking to advance the cause of all humanity. When you arrive, you meet all of the bigwigs associated with the Project, not to mention the politicians who want a photo-op with you.

You’re a star!

When all of that is over, you have a chance to get to know your fellow colonists. They’re a fine lot and you begin to relax a bit. As you get to know each one a little better, you discover that there are 12 of you who are Christians in the group, and the one thing you all agree upon is that you will miss worshipping with others on the Lord’s Day each week. Then someone has a bright idea!

Why not start the first ever church on Mars?

The 12 of you sit down to discuss this and you quickly discover that each one of you is from a different background, a different “denomination” if you want to use the term. You have different traditions, different customs… You all realize that you will need to agree on what items you will really need to worship God together each week. Don’t forget, there is very little extra space in your cargo bay!

You go around the table, ideas are tossed out, it’s now your turn: What do you need to worship God together?

We’re all waiting for YOUR ideas!

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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48 Responses to The Hypothetical Revealed

  1. Unity of Spirit and agreement on the undisputable tenets of our faith.

  2. Pete says:

    I like to sing. So I would want to find out what’s songs these other people might be familiar with and start with that. Since I am a worship leader I would be happy to do that unless somebody else wants to. If we have musicians hopefully they can play by ear but if they can’t we’ll work that out.

    The second part of worship to me is prayer. We can share our concerns and pray together. That would be a wonderful experience.

    The third part is waiting on God. I would want to take a little time just to sit and listen and contemplate what God has done. Maybe somebody could share a testimony or a scripture. This would be a wonderful thing as well.

    We need something from the word of God. Maybe somebody each week with you their favorite verse and why it’s so special to them. And we can go to the second favorite verse. We would not necessarily need a pastor or leader we can still work there for that one.

    I think this is where I’d start done. What about some of you or others in this circle of 12. How would you enjoy worship

  3. Barbara Lane says:

    Difficult question really. But I think we would first have to start with a genuine relationship with God. Depending on our background we might call that “being confirmed” or “being baptized” or “being born again.” But to truly worship God I think we have to begin with a real relationship and love of Him, a real desire to honor Him for who He is more than what He does for us.

  4. My willing heart and spirit.

  5. I never thought I would find it so hard to reply to a post like this! My first thought was freedom as in I would want freedom of expression to be who I am with God, but then I started thinking about all those other things like worship leaders, structure, songs and I got a bit confuzzled. But yes, freedom, to me, would be a good starting point. Acceptance, a safe place. I have my baby asleep on me at the moment so it’s a bit challenging to write!

  6. onebumps says:

    This presents an excellent opportunity for each of the twelve of us to leave behind the “baggage” that has built up in our various churches over 2000 years that has a tendency to obscure the purpose and message that Jesus originally brought to our world. Regardless of our individual backgrounds, this is the one thing we all have in common and what could be better than kicking off our Christian journey on Mars from a perspective as close as possible to that of the original 12 before the influence of human nature introduced its alterations.

  7. robjnaturism says:

    I mostly agree with everybody so far, but don’t we need the blessing of an existing church body before we can start a real church somewhere, even on Mars? And don’t we need a priest or clergy person to be a church? I think we need both.

    • Don Merritt says:

      Interesting questions, let’s see if anyone has a thought on that; thanks!

    • Pete says:

      I don’t think we neex either one. We are starting a new church on a new world. The 12 of us can do that and worship together without needing affirmation from someone on earth.

      As far,as priest or clergy, i believe we can all share our own hopes, experiences, dreams, wisdom and other such things. As we build this church, God will provide a leader of some type.

    • Tom says:

      I would say we don’t need a licensed clergy, but a person or group of people who are willing to be led by God, with a willingness to be corrected if going down a wrong path. The first pastors in the NT church were not certified, just called by God. This will also help break chains that have bound up the church.

  8. paulfg says:

    The word “community” comes to mind. A place to be safe, accepted and heard. A communion of differences – a communion without “temple replication”. A community where each is free to draw closer to the God within each – through whatever and with whatever each is drawn. Is that a physical place (I ask – thinking aloud)? For me it is not. A physical place is too constraining. Too easy to get back on the “temple track”. And then “stuff” so easily becomes an obstacle to community and a safe place.

    If this place of community existed – no creeds, no real estate, no fixtures and fittings, no must or should or have to – a meeting place of spirit and journey – a union of differences – a marriage in faith of hope and love in and of each – all one in One.

    In such a place why would “real estate” and “temple replication” and all that “stuff” even be relevant?

  9. The early church had nothing as it left Jerusalem to bring Christianity to the world other than the Apostles themselves. Lacking the actual Apostles we would need the next best thing to keep us on track, a copy of the NT. Actually, since we are a modern people I would say something akin to an iPad that can contain copies of every acceptable translation in multiple languages.

  10. paulfg says:

    Reblogged this on Church Set Free and commented:
    “Last call for … a fresh look at what worship might or could be … “.

    And all you have to do is to click on the link to Don’s post.

    What have you got to lose?



  11. Barbara Lane says:

    While ideally a church would have a priest or clergy person to lead, Peter said that we all were called to be a royal priesthood for the purpose to declare the praises of God. So if we were in a place where there was no priest or clergy person, that should not stop us from praising and declaring praises of God. 1 Peter 2:9 – “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” I don’t want to be controversial because I know we all have different backgrounds but I think that was the whole point of Jesus dying and the veil before the Holy of Holies being split in the temple. Through the blood of Jesus we now have access to God and while leaders are clearly part of God’s plan for the church, we do not need a priest or clergy person to meet together and praise God and share His Word.

  12. Rebeca Jones says:

    As God’s own children, each indwelt with the Holy Spirit and each in Union with Christ Himself, I don’t think we would need anything at all to worship. Life IS worship when we’re living out our identity as children of the Most High. However, having the Scriptures would be vital to the health of our fledgling church. (Even if we don’t all have the same number of books in our Bibles!). Through study and sharing, through loving and accepting each other even if the ‘non essentials’ are different, we could build a community that reflects the heart of our Father…and perhaps our little church of 12 would grow, eh?

  13. I would like to take the word of God, a bible. Most people can agree that it is God’s word, it is the interpretation of it causes disputes.

  14. Beth Ann says:

    I would be hugging my Bible to me, the whole of it, not just the New Testament. If we are to worship God in any setting I can’t think of how to do that without the guidance of scripture. For me, Scripture trumps everything else. Need a worship song? Go to the Psalms. Need liturgy? It’s in there. Sermons should be Bible based. What else would you need?

  15. Tom says:

    You need Bibles and willing hearts to agree to worship God together. Focus on the worship and living for God and not on the minor methods that are different or may be different.

  16. Matt Brumage says:

    The only thing I haven’t seen written about is communion. I don’t know that preparations for it need to take up additional space in the “cargo hold”, but planning ahead for what will be used might be needed. Communion is pretty foundational to the earliest churches in Christian history, and the practice is commanded by Jesus, so neglecting it would be a mistake, in my opinion.

    Additionally, a method of baptism. Mars doesn’t have the water available on our 70% water planet. So, an acceptable method should accommodate that. Again, this is an ancient practice, and another commanded by Jesus.

    To neglect either of these practices would potentially separate any new congregation from others back home. When James and the elders in Jerusalem gave instructions to new Gentile converts through Paul and Barnabas, it included practices that would enable both Gentiles and Jews to share meals. In other words, their unity was preserved through observance of practices. I think that is still important.

    • Don Merritt says:

      Nice job Matt! I was wondering if someone might mention that (In the next post that I wrote a short while ago, I mentioned some of it myself). Excellent points, thanks!

  17. Who said we need leaders? The Bible never says, you new Christians in Common Town can start a congregation, but you must have a leader first. The church is the family of God. We cooperate with each other and lead each other. I do believe we need at least the New Testament. There are all kinds of religions who claim a different type of God. We need to know who our God is and what our God is like.

    Since I teach Christianity to Muslims and need to prepare them in case they are ever imprisoned for their faith and thus be kind of like on the moon, I have thought a lot about baptism. A lot! I have decided that, since baptism is a burial and resurrection into and out of water, perhaps they could get under a blanket, then come out of the blanket. God would know we were doing our best without water.

    Yes, Jesus said to keep the Lord’s Supper to remember what he did for us. I think we would have bread to eat, so that part would be easy. Since the wine is called “fruit of the vine,” if we didn’t have grapes, we might have cucumbers or something else that grows on a fine. We would need to do the best we could.

    If our group had many who had memorized parts of the Bible, we might be able to get along without a Bible. Maybe.

    As to songs, we think we should create our own songs.

    • Don Merritt says:

      OK, very, very interesting thoughts! I hope that some might comment… Thank you!

      • Barbara Lane says:

        We would need the OT too. To totally understand all of the fullness of the Gospel we need to know the stories in the OT.

      • DWMartens says:

        I agree that Katheryn has some interesting thoughts (as do others). The idea of any vine grown “fruit” is unique. Many years ago I heard of some women who were missionaries who had no access to a “fruit of the vine” (I take this to be the grape vine) drink and asked permission of an authority in their liturgical denomination if they might use something else, like milk. Indeed, the Lord knows our heart; it’s the spiritual body and blood of our Lord that the bread and cup remind us of that matters. We mustn’t let the temporary substitutions, or even the earthly pictures as the Lord gave them to us, become the standard. The standard is always Jesus himself, so we strive to come as close as circumstances permit us to reproduce the pictures as he presented them to us of the real, the spiritual truths.

    • Matt Brumage says:

      Hi Katheryn,

      I’m glad you contributed. With your background, you bring a great perspective. Hopefully the setting of a Mars colony wouldn’t be one of persecution, but, on the other hand, that’s how America was colonized, religious refugees.

      Those are some good insights. The blanket-baptism thing is especially interesting. I agree that the form is less important than the meaning, but I know that would make some groups uncomfortable. The symbolism can’t be denied, it’s definitely there.

      And I agree to a degree about the communion elements. I think the bread and wine need to be at least approximated. Jesus used elements of a Passover Supper for what He did, which, as you pointed out, aren’t always available. If the point remains remembrance and a communal setting, then, what elements we find at a communal colonist meal might be where we find the elements. But something breakable, and something red would be preferable, if at all possible.

      Thank you for the insight!

  18. Hi Don, I would hope that 12 Christian people even from different denominations could easily hammer out a common form of worship. But those twelve are just a half of the 25 on Mars now. Their Christianity must be BIG ENOUGH to incorporate the needs of the other half of the resident non-Christians or you might have war. So the foundation for building a Mars community must include universal (galactic!) spiritual laws all can agree on. The two great (Christian) commandments can be implemented then. 1)Love your God, have a personal relationship with a divine infinite higher intelligence. 2) Love your neighbour as much as you love yourself. Any community can thrive on that!

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