Monday 9 April 2018

Answering the problem of understanding how sin does Not mar Heaven

Creation doesn't reverse - so how may the consequences of bad choices be dealt with?

On the one hand, all necessarily choices have consequences... or else the choices would not be real; on the other hand, this seems to suggest that every sin by every person who ever lived will be 'woven-into' the web of history and will permanently mar it.

Creation will therefore (apparently) be 'imperfect' - and yet Christians are (apparently) promised some kind of perfection in the Heavenly state...  

The problem with the above statement is that it has the inbuilt assumption of life tending towards a final static state - like a carpet that has-been woven. It also has that nasty word/ concept of 'perfection' inbuilt - which implies that Heaven is a single, predetermined and preplanned state of perfection - any departure from which is therefor a shattering of that perfection...

Nonetheless, if Heaven is love, and yet people so often reject love, and this has unloving consequences - then how can Heaven be a loving state?

Well, there is an answer - a satisfying answer! - and it is underpinned by the proper (as I regard it) understanding of love: specifically of love.

And therefore we already know the answer, because we all have sufficiently experienced love and its workings (even if it was more of a lack-of and yearning-for love - which is built in as a hope and indeed expectation).

Reality is a process in time, changing, dynamic - it is creation, which entails change; it is love, which entails change - reality is not a timeless state; and Heaven is therefore an ideal situation, but not a state-of-perfection.

(In fact, process is too physics-y a word for it, so is dyynamic - biological metaphors are preferable: reality is life, growth, development, transformation, evolution, consciousness etc...)

Therefore Heaven is not a 'blueprint' (any departure from which is necessarily im-perfect/ flawed/ not-Heaven...) but instead a matter of establishing that ideal situation.

Another way of thinking about it is that Heaven is not something imposed upon us from above, not something we are fitted-into; rather heaven is a 'bottom-up process of discovering, learning, loving, creating...

It is not built to a plan, but generated moment-by-moment by free, agent, conscious entities...

We have perhaps already experienced this (at least so far as love goes) - but did not know we were experiencing it; I mean in early childhood in the context of loving and being loved. We just lived immersed in the current moment - and when that was good, then it was ideal.

But Heaven withdrew from us even as the capacity for knowledge arose - the capacity to know can arise only by separation from what is experienced. And as we know, we fear; so that the current is no longer ideal, since we fear that it may be - will be - lost.

Consciousness ejects us from Heaven. (At first...)

Insofar as we know, of can imagine, the happiness of a loving family through generations; we can know or imagine Heaven.

Heaven is a return to what we have already experienced, but this time with consciousness. We return to the immersive experience of happy childhood in a loving family; while knowing that this is happening, that this is the situation we are in.

But instead of immersion we have creation. Instead of taking everything for granted, being swept-along by events, just in a state of 'being'; in Heaven we participate in God's work of creation.

That is what it is to be - like Jesus - a Son of God. A co-creator with The Father.

Not only to be part-of creation; not only to be an observer of creation; but to become a participant in creation.

That is - indeed - our 'job' in Heaven.

So, how does sin not mar Heaven?

Because sin does not mar the family - not when there is repentance and love.

All families are made-up entirely of sinners - yet even on earth and during mortal life we know (because we have experienced) that loving families can be ideal, for periods of time.

And that which is ideal, is not marred.


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