Brokenness / Holiness Salvation Narrative

In the beginning was God, Who alone is infinite in wisdom and power.[1] He did as He chose, and everything He did achieved the effect He intended,[2] in the best possible way.

God created a group of people (beings with free will) called humans[*] and the world where they live.[3], [] Originally, all parts of the world (including the humans) form a harmonious whole that fit together perfectly, as God had designed it to.[4]

An unknown period of time later, the system went wrong. Humans began to perform inappropriate acts, called sins.[5] These upset the system, rendering human instincts inappropriate to the new circumstances and, in some case, distorting the instincts themselves.[6] In turn, this caused more problems, resulting in an ever-increasing cycle of disruption.[7] The first sin appears to have been the result of contact with a non-human person[] of another (older?) type[8] that had undergone a similar catastrophe previously.[], [**]

The damage to the system was sufficient that God chose to replace the world instead of fixing it.[9], [] The current world was repurposed as a repair shop for humans,[10] which are the only part that God judged worth salvaging. People who are successfully fixed/adapted are eventually moved to the replacement world, called Heaven.[11], [] Sinful people cannot be moved to Heaven without triggering another catastrophic collapse like the one destroying this world.

God has employed multiple steps as part of his repair plan. The first was to make some farther changes to the world and its human population. Some of these apparent curses, such as difficulties in obtaining food and raising children, act as incentives the nudge them towards the proper behaviour.[12] Others, such as death, serve to limit the harm.[13] All were made for the greater human good.

The second significant step in the plan was for God to focus on a single human group. This began with Abraham[14] and cumulated in the nation of ancient Israel.[15], [] The most important part of this was to give them the Law of Moses, a simplified set of instructions for proper behaviour.[16] Then, through more than a thousand year of interventions, God managed to get Israel to the point where they would attempt to obey the law without His continual prodding. The Israelites still often failed through ignorance or lack of willpower, but the desire was there.[17] By then, it had also become clear that the Law was not sufficient to address every life situation.[***]

God then moved on to the third step of His plan. This was to send a portion of Himself to live in this world as a human named Jesus.[18] Jesus had an undamaged nature[19] and supernatural wisdom and power,[20] so He was able to act as humans were intended to, resisting the influence of the damaged world around Him.[21] He also taught His followers to do what was right,[22] as well as healing the sick and doing other helpful miracles.[23], []

Because of this, Jesus was executed by the combined religious[24] and secular authorities.[25] At this point, it became undeniable that God's perfect Law was not enough.[26] Knowing and trying to obey all the rules was insufficient to make people even well-meaning people good.[27] And the knowledge that people are flawed is a prerequisite to their desire to be restored.

Two days later,[] Jesus returned to life, demonstrating his power over death.[28] This gave his followers, called Christians, the confidence that they needed to defy the world and do what was right themselves, even when it meant that they would also die.[29] Jesus then returned to God the Father and sent a different part of God, called the Holy Spirit, back in His place.[30] The (single) Holy Spirit resides in all Christians,[31] where He slowly repairs their flawed natures[32] and, in some circumstances, tells them how to act.[] Together, Christians form the Church, a community intended as a successor to the nation of Israel.[33] The Church's three main goals are to support the inner transformation of its members,[34] to live according to God's design,[35] and to convince others to also come and be repaired.[36] In the end, Christians are entirely restored to correct working order, called holiness, and can be safely moved to Heaven.[37], [****]

God is willing to send the Holy Spirit to transform anyone who wants it,[38] with the goal of eventually getting as many people into Heaven as possible.[39] The only restriction is that the decision must be made before death.[40] However, this comes with two caveats. Firstly, transformation is change by its very nature, and anyone who is not willing to be change does not truly desire to be.[41] Secondly, God interacts directly with the thought-concepts that underlie words, not the words themselves.[42] Thus, someone whose concept of God is incompatible with God's true nature is really addressing an imaginary being with the same name.[43] In that case, he also does not really want to be changed by God, and God will not force it on him.[44]


Endnotes:



[*] God's ultimate purpose in this is unknown.

[] Some people think that the world in this context refers to the entire universe. Others believe that God has many worlds in the same universe. Results from the SETI program may (or may not) be relevant.

[] A fallen angel, also called a demon or devil. Generally assumed to be their leader, Satan.

[] The origin of sin in angels is unknown.

[**] Both free will and the uncertainty principle suggest that the original world system had a tolerance for unpredictable events. If so, the first sin would have been the first act that fell outside that tolerance.

[] This does not rule out the possibility of God performing stop-gap fixes in order to delay the final collapse.

[] It is generally assumed that Heaven has no native inhabitants, only people who have been moved there.

[] Why God chose Israel in particular is unknown. However, the Bible is clear that it was not because they were "good people" (Deuteronomy 9:6, see also Isaiah 48:8, Ezekiel 3:5-7).

[***] Judaism attempts to address this by extrapolating additional laws to cover ambiguities and new circumstances, such specifying the exact distance it is lawful to walk on the Sabbath day (just under 1 km from your city).

[] Jesus's miracles don't appear to follow a coherent plan to improve the world. Instead, they follow a "if you see it, then fix it" pattern, like a man who straightens every crooked picture he notices.

[] Jesus's contemporaries considered it to be the third day (e.g. Luke 24:4-7) because they counted the day he died as the first.

[] The Holy Spirit usually lets people figure out what to do on their own because "figuring out what to do" is one of the abilities being restored. (1 Corinthians 6:3-6)

[****] Becoming holy is a slow process, and generally not completed before death. The means by which the rest of the transformation is accomplished is unknown, but the end result is believed to be inevitable.



[1] Isaiah 44:6-8

[2] Isaiah 55:10-11

[3] Genesis 1:1, Isaiah 45:12

[4] Genesis 1:31

[5] Romans 5:12

[6] Genesis 6:5, Ecclesiastes 7:29

[7] Jeremiah 13:23, 1 Corinthians 6:7-8

[8] Genesis 3:1-7

[9] 2 Peter 3:7

[10] Romans 8:19-23

[11] John 14:2-3, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, Revelation 21:1-7

[12] Hosea 2:6-7, Luke 18:2-8

[13] Genesis 6:3, Psalm 125:3, Isaiah 52:1-2

[14] Genesis 12:1-3

[15] Exodus 19:5-6

[16] Deuteronomy 6:1-3, Isaiah 48:17-19

[17] Isaiah 33:22, Acts 15:10, Romans 10:2-3

[18] Malachi 3:1-2, John 10:30,Philippians 2:6-7, Hebrews 1:2-3

[19] John 8:46, 2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 John 3:5

[20] Matthew 12:41-42

[21] Hebrews 4:15

[22] Matthew 5-7

[23] Matthew 11:4-5, John 21:25

[24] Mark 14:61-64

[25] Mark 15:12-15

[26] Galatians 2:19

[27] John 11:47-53, Romans 7:10-11, Philippians 3:4b-9

[28] 1 Corinthians 15:3, 20-22, Revelation 1:18

[29] Luke 12:4-5, Philippians 1L20-24, 1 Peter 3:13-14, Revelation 2:10

[30] John 16:7., Acts 1:4

[31] 1 John 3:24

[32] Romans 8_26-27, 12:2

[33] Romans 11:8, 22-24 1 Peter 2:9

[34] Galatians 6:1-2, 2 Corinthians 2:5-8

[35] Ephesians 4:22-24, Philippians 2:1-4

[36] Matthew 28:18-20, Romans 10:15

[37] 1 Corinthians 15:47-57, Philippians 3:10-11, Revelation 21:27

[38] John 1:12, Romans 10:13

[39] 1 Timothy 2:3-4

[40] Ezekiel 18:23, Hebrews 9:27, 2 Peter 3:9

[41] Ezekiel 11:19-20, Matthew 7:21-22

[42] 1 Chronicles 28:9, Proverbs 21:2, Jeremiah 17:10

[43] John 4:24. Hebrews 4:13

[44] Daniel 12:10, Revelation 22:17