Parallel Universes

13 12 2008

I know that the Bible does not cover every subject exhaustively, leaving many things unsaid, even when it comes to spiritual matters.  Still, one might feel confident that all of the important matters are covered, and the most important matters are covered the best.  A safe rule of thumb to follow is that if the Bible preaches softly on a matter, then so should we, and where it speaks loudly, we should scream it from the hilltops.  I’m going to speak very softly today.  What I have to say has little practical application, but it is interesting enough to be worth saying.


I have stated in an earlier post, Three Universes, that there exists a certain barrier, not only between God and us, but also between the physical world and us.



To recap, briefly, God, who is infinite, cannot be fully contained within a finite universe.  He must, therefore, be contained within an infinite universe, outside of the finite physical one.  As discussed earlier, nx = ∞ as x approaches infinity, which is to say that the universe which contains God must, itself, be God.  The large circle in the diagram is infinitely large, which is to say that God lives in an infinitely large universe, but he is also not contained within any universe at all.  The realm of God, by inductive thought, should be more absolute than the physical universe that it contains.  It does not change with time, and it is, for all intents and purposes more real than ours.  Second point: we do not experience the physical world directly.  Our eyes are like web cams, and our hands are like robotic arms.  We move them using the wiring of our bodies, and we receive input through that same wiring.  The sensation is then reconstructed on the computer monitor of our minds, in living color, so that we are hardly aware of the process that it took to get it there…until something goes wrong along the way.  My mind can not leave my body and experience a physical object directly, which begs the question as to how it experiences a brain.  It doesn’t.  It experiences itself, and it is influenced from the outside by a brain.  The mind is so different from the physical brain that houses it, that it could be considered a universe all its own.  As with the relationship between God’s realm and the physical universe, the physical universe is more absolute and concrete than the universe of the mind.  It is more real, in a sense.  These universes are not parallel.  They exist in a vertical relationship between God and us.


What is a human soul?  This is a question that cannot be definitively answered on its own, but it can be nailed down to a certain key characteristic.  That brings us back to Descartes’ cogito ergo sum, “I think, therefore I am.”  More precisely, I experience, therefore I am.  Whether our perception of the world around us has any truth to it, one certainty lies in the fact that we are experiencing something, even if it’s inaccurate.  This ability to experience is not at all physical.  The projector is like a brain, physical and giving rise to the image on the wall, but the image, itself, is not physical.  So, too, the mind is not physical, and it depends on the brain.  The human soul is, by definition, something nonphysical.  We might say that we are aware of our own souls through the awareness of our own minds.  While our minds are the only way for us to be aware of our souls, this does not mean that our souls are nothing more than our minds.  One might say that the mind is the intersection between the soul and the brain.


But of all of the people ever born, my mind arises from only one brain.  One brain in six billion (more, throughout history) is mine.  At the outset, it seems like my odds of coming into this world at all were worse than one in six billion, but were those the odds?  Let’s look at the numerator in that fraction.  The fact is that I can either come into this world, or I can not come into it.  We’re not even talking about coming into it twice, and we can’t only come into it halfway.  It’s like the infinitely small point on a Cartesian plane.  The point either lies on the plane, or it does not.  Either I landed some real estate on a human brain, or I did not.  The infinite smallness of this implied point presents us with the implication that a soul is infinitely unique.  As mathematical points cannot overlap, so, too, is there no overlap in a soul.  It’s yours alone, to share with no other.  How many other souls could have existed in my place?  Apparently, there is no limit.  An infinite number of souls could have been born in my place, but weren’t.  The infinite uniqueness of a human soul, crossed with the limitless supply makes my odds of being born equal to one in infinity.  That’s another way of saying that it’s just flat out impossible, as far as we’re concerned.  The only way it could work is if there were an infinite number of human souls that found life.  There aren’t that many in this universe.  There never will be.  If this universe were the only one that God had ever created, then I never would have seen life.


So, then, we take a step beyond the physical universe, into the realm of God, where there is an infinite opportunity for the generation of human souls.  I might add, in passing, that what this means is that without God, you could not be the person that you are; you could not be anyone.  If you sense your own ability to experience life through a body, then you have inadvertently demonstrated the existence of an infinite God.  The problem of the impossibility of my own personal existence can then be solved if we can accept the idea that, within the expanse of his realm, he has created enough universes to accommodate an infinite number of souls like mine.  These universes could be bigger or smaller than ours.  They would all be finite, or else they would be God’s own realm.  They could be different.  They could be suitable for our kind of life, or not.  They could even be different in ways that our minds are wholly incapable of grasping.  Walking into one could be like walking into Narnia, or it could be like walking into an exact match of our own, with only slight differences.


This brings us to a more recent post, The Hallway Of Eden.  Many of the Christian faith shrink in fear when they are asked if they believe in the Genesis account literally.  The fact is simply that what is written of Adam and Eve is like nothing that could happen in this world.  I’ve never seen a snake talk.  The honest response is that it doesn’t appear to be possible by today’s understanding.  However, in truth, it never seemed possible by the understanding of any age.  This is not science versus religion.  Ancient people were no fools.  They knew that snakes could not talk.  Some people write it off as myth, yet call themselves Christian, but Christianity, at its core, depends entirely upon the mission of Christ, which was to reverse the effect of the Fall of Man (enter talking snake).  Crush the base and the tower crumbles.


So let’s look at it fresh: Eve took the forbidden fruit, because she believed that it would give her special powers, like God.  For that matter, the snake already had special powers.  Did you catch that?  Read it again: the snake had the special power of the ability to talk.  Eve had to have some reason to believe that the simple act of eating a fruit would grant some kind of drastic change in her universe.  God had given her permission to eat the fruit of a great number of trees.  She had done this.  Seeing the forbidden fruit, she must have wondered what new marvel this one held, and what new change it had in store.  She believed that it could produce exciting changes in her universe, because that’s exactly what all of the other fruit had done.  Hence, the snake.  And the forbidden fruit did exactly that: it changed her universe drastically.  Thousands of years later, no human has ever seen anything like it.  We are not used to the idea.  We are not even readily inclined to think of it this way.  Eve had, essentially, passed through a doorway into a universe that contained both good and evil, having previously only known good.  The snake no longer talks.  Thorns and weeds grow where they are not wanted.  Disorder is the law of the land.  One must kill like a ravenous monster to survive.


Looking back into the garden, there was only one tree with fruit that could change it all back.  This was the tree of life.  However, had she changed the world, or had she merely stepped into a different one?  The difference between a world based on entropy and one not based on entropy is so drastic, that it would have been the creation story all over again, in a darker light.  Everything would have to be made all over again to survive in this fallen world.  Did the universe change, or did she step into a different universe?  Is there a difference?  Looking back at the tree of life was like looking back at the door through which she had just come.  Had she stepped back through that door, would it have made her pure again, or would she have taken that evil with her and ruined everything else (See Infinite Dilution)?


If, indeed, my theory is correct, then the Garden of Eden was a hub to which some other universes connected, entered via the consumption of fruit as a doorway.  All of these universes were finite, like ours, which is why returning back into them would permanently ruin them.  That doorway is forever bolted shut.  By the ideas presented in the Infinite Dilution post, we would have to travel into a realm that was infinitely vast, so that a finite amount of sin were as nothing.  As mentioned earlier, that would be the realm of God, which is, itself, God.  He tore open a back door to our universe, allowing us access to himself, allowing us to enter his presence.  He took our sins upon himself, allowing both us and our sins to pass through into his kingdom, that we might yet live and our sins be cast into a sea of forgetfulness.  Keeping in mind, though, that we are just as finite as our sins.  We, also, could be cast into a sea of forgetfulness if not parted from our sins.  This is the difference between Heaven and Hell.  It’s either an eternity without sin, or it’s an eternity with only sin (You’re Already Dead).


So then, the diagram from above would look something more like this:


The different universes are parallel universes, which means that a person can be in one place in our universe and find that exact same place on another universe, though it would be different.  Hence, the Garden of Eden, though it had a physical place in our world, it would have really existed as a parallel universe.  Hence, we could never find it again on Earth if the door were bolted shut, and it was not destroyed in the Great Flood.  These universes are truly parallel, because they do not exist within each other as in the first diagram, but they exist beside each other, as being equal in realness.


The reason I say that I speak softly on the subject is because the matter of parallel universes is entirely impractical for our lives.  In essence, we only need to know the first diagram, that there is God, the universe and us.  For us, there is no door to Narnia.  It exists, as a matter of speaking, in its own right, but as far as we’re concerned, it might as well not exist, because we can never get to it.  If we could get to it, then we would utterly destroy it, even if unintentionally.  For this reason, the Bible makes no mention of it.  It solves no problem.  It fills no need.


It does, however, give us something to think about as we sip our coffee in front of a laptop.  That’s good enough for me.



God Is Right-Handed

11 12 2008

The arguments in favor of intelligent design are ubiquitous.  Every aspect of life seems to bear some manner of function and purpose, such that one need only describe some aspect of biology, cell biology or molecular biology to find function and purpose.  The strongest arguments, though, are the ones that have yet to be uncovered.  It’s like turning over a new rock and finding a whole new load of worms squirming about.  The opposition has yet to invent some manner of rationalization to kill it.  The new idea is fresh and appeals to the mind in all of its heuristic honesty, free from bias.  Even the Darwinist has to stop and think about it for what it really is, before closing his eyes and turning away.  I have been to that critical point on occasion, where the staunch evolutionist admits that I must be right, that there must be a God, that life has design.  I have waited with bated breath for the converted to thank me for convincing him of it, but the next day the Darwinist is always still a Darwinist.  Nothing changes.  No amount of reasoning can change the human heart.  I write, then, to those not already married to evolution, that they may be better equipped to withstand the mind-bending pressures of public education.


There is a certain aspect to stereochemistry that I would like to address.  In a nutshell, it is the simple fact that a living thing can do something that no test tube ever could, which is to produce a quantity of a certain molecule without producing its mirror image.  For the uninitiated, many molecules are complex enough that their mirror images are not identical.  All of the atoms may be arranged in the same order, but the over-all structures of the molecule and its mirror image simply are not interchangeable.  The classic analogy is the human hand.  The right and left hands are built exactly the same, in theory, with all of the fingers in the same order, from pinky to thumb.  Internally, even, the tendons and bones and everything else are arranged in the exact same order.  However, the right hand and the left hand are not a match.  If your right hand were on your left wrist, people might notice pretty quickly.  The same principle applies in chemistry.  You could draw a diagram showing which atom was connected to which in a large molecule, but if it were a simple two-dimensional drawing, then you would not know which mirror image the arrangement represented.  Put your hand on a piece of paper and trace the outline with a pencil.  Is it your left hand facing palm-downward, or is it your right hand facing palm-upward?  According to the trace, it could be either.


The importance of the exact shape of molecules is all-important in a living thing.  The mirror image of a chemical that causes the body to react one way does not have the same effect.  Sucralose (Splenda) is a perfect example.  This is a mirror image of common table sugar, also known as sucrose.  However, even though in a test tube the two behave identically, in the human body one is a source of energy and the other is nothing but filler for the toilet.  Natural sugar is made without its mirror image, within the cells of living things, but artificial sugar is made with equal amounts of its mirror image in a test tube.  There is no control over mirror images when simply adding two ingredients together and letting them react to become a final product.  Only the enzymes of living things can do that.  This is important to remember, because the naturalists would have us believe that life emerged from primordial ooze, which is essentially nothing better than tar in a test tube.


The next thing one might wonder is how manufacturers of Splenda ever manage to separate one mirror image from another, as it is their intent to sell only the unusable sugar and not its mirror image.  The answer is simply that they use other substances that are, themselves, already purified for one mirror image and not another.  These substances are readily found in living organisms, already pure.  Such molecules, being of only one type, will bind more strongly to one mirror image of the sugar and not the other.  If one allows a solution of both sugars to diffuse slowly through a tube packed with the already-pure substrate, then the first thing to emerge from the other end will be one sugar without its mirror image.  The one that takes the longest to get through the tube is the one that sticks to the substrate the best, because it happens to be shaped in such a way that it lines up favorably with the resident compound.  Let’s say that they spent some special moments spooning.  The one that went through faster just couldn’t get comfortable, couldn’t be convinced to face the right way, wouldn’t hold hands, so it couldn’t be bothered.  The important thing about it is this: it always, always, always takes a chemical that is pure for only one mirror image to make another chemical that is pure for only one mirror image.  There simply can be no other way.  This is such a strong principle that it would be inconceivable that anything that emerged on its own from a mixture of basic compounds could be stereochemically pure.  It’s a case of the chicken and the egg and which came first.  You can’t get a chicken without an egg, and you can’t get an egg without a chicken.  You can’t get one chemical purified of its mirror image without using another chemical that was already purified of its mirror image, and so on.  Consequently, in a world that began in chaos, there could be no mechanism for beginning the process.  There would be no first stereochemically pure compound.


The body can make compounds of only one mirror image because it is made entirely of compounds of only one mirror image.  Enzymes are sophisticated little machines and can direct reactions in very specific ways.  In theory, if life could come about on its own, then scientists should have no trouble constructing a novel human being using only compounds that were mirror images of those found in nature.  They could even cheat and copy the existing model.  Assuming they did, it would die of starvation unless they created something similar for it to eat.  The same has been said of matter.  In theory, an atom could be formed with a negative nucleus with a positron in orbit, rather than an electron.  It would be the exact opposite of real matter.  They have, in fact, tried to create one, and the results are somewhat uncertain.  Even so, it begs the question as to why the universe, if it formed from a Big Bang, would only have one type of matter and not its equal opposite.  In a system created by chaos, both versions should be equally prevalent, if they exist at all.


There’s a fascinating principle of stereochemistry, though, that polarized light, when it passes through a stereochemically pure compound will rotate to the right or left a few degrees.  Hence, we call these compounds right-handed or left-handed.  Table sugar is right-handed.  Splenda is left-handed.  It would be enough to say that in your body every molecule exists without any corresponding mirror image.  That, alone, would be a case against a naturalistic origin of life.  It doesn’t stop there, though.  The vast majority of them are right-handed.  One might argue that all amino acids are the same because they have a similar evolutionary origin (though it would be mental acrobatics trying to understand how early life could exist with only the “original” amino acid), but there is no rational explanation for why other compounds that have no similarity at all would also be right-handed.  In theory, if we found a way to have only stereochemically pure compounds using an unintelligent system, there would still be no reason for having only right-handed ones.  There should be equal amounts of both.  There isn’t even any apparent functional reason for there to be primarily right-handed ones, because a right-handed sugar molecule has nothing in common with a right-handed amino acid, apart from the fact that they both rotate polarized light in the same way.  While it is true that there are some exceptions to the rule, arising, probably, from the need for function over form, the over-all affect is similar to what it might be if we had found out that the continents of the earth were shaped like human faces.  There’s more order than necessary.  I have argued in a previous post that the Big Bang theory requires perfectly-matched evidence for it to be true, but that the universe provides anything but a perfect match.  In this case, naturalistic origin for life requires everything to be as disorderly as possible for it to not have an intelligent origin, but here we see order, even when it does not need to exist.  It’s as though God left a signature on his artwork.  He made life, and then he decided to do it with primarily right-handed molecules, just to prove that it was his work.


If he signed his art, then we might say that he signed it with his right hand.  Don’t tell the Darwinists.  They wouldn’t understand.



Life at the Bottom of the Pool

6 12 2008

Nine years is a long time to suffer from chronic depression.  One might see how, after all of those years, I might have come to see it as a more or less permanent state of existence.  In fact, the most depressing aspect about being depressed was the apparent endlessness of it.  Frankly, I’m not sure how I survived.  I had come to believe that not only I, but the entire world, was gripped with the iron hand of the foul mood, and that all happy people were complete frauds.  Fantasies of suicide were a nearly daily occurrence.  There was a certain irony to it, though, that with the depression came a pessimism about all things self-related, and I had no hope for suicide any more than for anything else.  I figured I’d go to Hell and be even worse off, or I’d botch it and maim myself for life, making things much worse, or I’d get caught in the attempt, and people would regard me as a mentally sick individual for a lifetime.  Now that would be a reason to get depressed.  As bad as I felt, I was sure it could get much worse.  As I recall, the most dangerous time of my life was at the very end of this season, when things were finally starting to improve.  The clouds were beginning to part, and I had a sense that maybe life was taking a turn for the better.  It was in that critical time that I had enough optimism to think that I could go through with it if I tried, that I might not be worse off for it.  True, I had less reason to kill myself.  In fact, I had virtually no reason to do so, but the experiences of a decade gave me no precedent to stand on and no reason to believe that true happiness was a thing of permanence.  Perhaps, it was because of this mindset that I found myself on the bottom of the pool, moments away from death.


I had made a practice of holding my breath.  It was this contest I made with myself.  It’s not as though I had anyone to swim with, or anything else interesting to do while swimming in the pool.  Exhaling all my breath, I would crawl along the bottom of this large pool until I had traversed it, lengthwise.  With effort, I got quite good at it.  One day, I decided to just sit at the bottom of the deep end and see just how long I could hold my breath.  I held it until I felt like I was going to burst, and then some.  The carbon dioxide buildup in my blood made me hiccup, but underwater it feels different, so I didn’t really know what it was.  I actually tried to voluntarily inhale the water, but I knew that the diving reflex would prevent me from doing it.  No matter how strong the urge to breathe, I could not inhale the water.  This was not an attempt to kill myself.  Eventually, though, the urge to breathe completely subsided, and I knew exactly what was happening.  I was experiencing rapture of the deep.  I was in an underwater paradise, where air was no longer a need, or so it seemed.  When the body detects a low oxygen level, it produces the intense urge to get air, but only to a certain point.  If the oxygen level drops to an extreme, that urgency reverses, and the person feels no need to breathe.  The same is true in reverse.  Over-oxygenated blood causes a person to slow breathing, but when taken to an extreme, the person will gasp for air uncontrollably.  I knew this at the time.  I knew I was moments away from death.  I sat there and thought about how wonderful it was that I was about to die.  I thought about a number of things while I was down there, getting relaxed.  I thought about the woman I had fallen in love with, who actually loved me back.  I thought about my promising future.  I also thought about my past, and I knew that if I merely followed the pattern, then I had nothing to hope for…but that all seemed okay, because I was about to die.


Then I thought a step further.  In probably less than two minutes, I would be seeing my maker face-to-face.  This was no fantasy, now.  This would be reality.  Whatever was on the other side of death would be everything to me.  I was pleasantly happy.  It was then that I had a little bit of a flashback to a certain incident at the age of about fourteen, when I was with a scouting group in the middle of the desert.  The adult leaders, who were two brothers, had brought iodine tablets to purify some rather nasty water that we came to and camped by.  Having run out of water in our bottles, this is what we were expected to use.  They seemed proud of themselves for their survival skills, but I didn’t trust them.  In the dead of night, I left with a fellow youth and hiked all the way back to the trailhead to retrieve water from a tap.  On the way back, we strayed from the trail, encountered a coyote and got startled by some gasses escaping the cooling earth with a loud hiss.  We kept our cool, though, and found our way back to camp, somehow.  The next morning, the two leaders took us to task for our behavior.  One of them was angry and red-faced.  The other was ashamed of us and didn’t say a word.  It was the second of the two that impacted me the most.  They had made me a role model for the group, and I had betrayed them.  I did my own thing in my mistrust of their plan.


While sitting on the bottom of the pool, I saw in my imagination God in two persons, in the form of these two leaders.  I knew at that moment that he had plans for me, and that I was daring to throw it all away in my mistrust of him and my future.  I knew that, should I die then, I would be facing a God who was ashamed of me.  I had not walked into this with the direct intent to kill myself, but somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew that I really had walked into this with the intent to kill myself.  It was an intentional accident.  Ashamed, God said to me that I had people in my life, now and in the future, on whom I would have a lasting and important effect.  It was his plan for me, and he was determined to have it happen.  He had made me a role model to others, impossible as it seemed.  To choose death would be a betrayal against him, and this was not the way I wanted to greet him on the other side.  I don’t know that I would have gone to Hell.  I’m not Catholic, so I don’t have that stated inflexible belief that all who commit suicide go to Hell.  However, I couldn’t see myself crawling past God to get into Heaven.  I looked up at the air above me, thinking that I had better go up and get some air.  I still didn’t feel like it, and I felt quite comfortable down there, like a man who grows comfortable in his sin, headed for death and feeling good.  The problem was that I was almost too relaxed.  I moved like a sloth.  Here I was, stuck in slow motion, and gravity was working at full speed.  I didn’t have the strength to swim.  I stood there, looking up and thinking that I’m glad the pool was only eight feet deep, which was only a little higher than my reach.  Man, I was feeling sleepy.  I gave a little hop, grabbed the coping and slowly pulled myself up.  I looked at the stopwatch, and I had been underwater for over three minutes after exhaling.  The problem was, I still didn’t feel like breathing.  I actually watched the clock for a half minute longer.  I looked around, feeling fine, and then I took a very deliberate breath.  The transition back into the land of the breathing was completely uneventful.  I never once actually felt like I was about to die.  I only knew, logically, that I was close.


Was this the closest I had been to death?  Years earlier, I was almost run-over by a speeding truck that ran the school guard crosswalk stop signs.  An older kid from just up the street grabbed me by my coat and pulled me back just in time.  Sometimes I think about how awful that would have been.


I am a fatalist at heart.  I didn’t choose how, when or if I was to be born, and I’ll go out in the same way.  I get a little unnerved, thinking that one day God will kill me.  It happens to us all.  Will I die in my sleep?  Will my head be on a platter, with people dancing in the streets, giving each other presents in celebration?  Everyone dies eventually.  Because of this inevitability, it is actually life that has the most uncertainty, not death.  We simply must trust God, and that he has a plan for us.  We must be willing to live that plan, humbly, and not fight to wrest control of our lives from him.


Incidentally, the years following this story have been the happiest years of my life.



Infinite Dilution

4 12 2008

Take a small amount of raw sewage and dilute it to one-tenth concentration in sterile, pure water.  Would you drink it?  What if you were really thirsty?  If that’s not good enough, then dilute it by another tenth, to a one-hundredth concentration.  Even at that dilution, you will still see a haze in the water.  How dilute would it need to be for you to drink it?  Drinking water standards are high, but not as high as the standards for sterile water for injection (SWI).  You could dilute that water indefinitely, but it would never technically be acceptable for injection again.  Once that sewage is added, it doesn’t matter how much more sterile water you add, because you’re never going to want it in your veins.  However, realistically, if you diluted it by an ocean of water, you might actually get it safe enough for injection, assuming you only use a very small part of it.  No pharmaceutical regulatory agency would approve of it, but it might still work.  Let’s take it a step further, though.  We’re picky about what we put in our mouths.  We’re even choosier about what we put in our blood.  When it comes to the ultimately internal part of us, our eternal soul, we’re divided into two extremes.  There are the nominally religious among us who think that an act of evil can be balanced out by acts of good.  It’s like saying that a drop of sewage is made clean by mixing it with a drop of sterile water.  Okay, maybe two or three drops, and that’s good enough.  Our souls are justified, and we’re ready for Heaven.  One might think that we could connect our sewer lines to our potable water lines if we simply remember to flush twice for every defecation.  If it’s disgusting for drinking, then it’s abominable on the spiritual level.  In truth, no amount of good deeds ever cancels out any act of evil.  Want to get in to Heaven?   Well, you’re going to have to wipe that dog poop off your feet first.  Keep wiping.  No matter how long you wipe, you can only remove a certain fraction of what’s there, forever leaving some small residue.


Every person judges others.  It’s in our nature.  What’s also true is that every person has a different idea of what a basically good person is.  That standard that each of us holds is invariably defined by our perception of ourselves.  Dale Carnegie once said that no one blames himself for anything.  I have found this to be a reliable truth.  The standard that each person sets for himself and others is based on himself, such that he would never have to call himself a bad person.  Sometimes that standard is just a little bit lower, so that he might not have to call anyone else bad, either.  Whatever standard a person uses, whatever level of goodness he thinks a typical person must have, that standard must be applied equally, both to himself and others, in order to avoid a sense of hypocrisy.  Let’s say that a person fails his own standard.  What happens next?  Either he will adjust the standard downward to suit himself, or he will downplay the dirtiness of his own deed and say that it was not as bad as it seemed.  Not once in ten years does a person typically stand back and look at his motives rationally, or he might see the senselessness of his own ideals.  There is no basis for applying a self-determined standard to others.  Yet, not applying that self-determined standard to others means having a different standard for others than for oneself, which means having to be a hypocrite.  The world often criticizes the church for failing to live up to the church’s own standards, even if they still excel relative to the world.  Some people claim to have no standard for others, and in the next breath they condemn people who do hold others accountable.  On what basis do they condemn them?  They have, in the same breath, contradicted by deed the very ideals that they espouse by word.


I might tell you that I scored one hundred on a test today.  You might think that was a great score, but I might tell you that it was one hundred out of a thousand.  Then it’s not such a great score.  When it comes to sin, it’s your score out of infinity.  We see the sins of others relative to ourselves, and God sees our sins relative to himself.  If God is perfect, then anything short of perfection seems to fall short.  True perfection is an infinite thing.  We can approach it, but no one can ever really reach it.  If we think we’ve reached it, then it’s only because our perception of perfection is flawed.  On a test with an infinite number of points, anything less than infinity, anything not perfect, fails equally.  Any finite number divided by infinity equals zero.  A non-Christian once praised me for being of high character.  I told him that in the eyes of God, I was no better than he was.  He had no problem with that.  Then I told him that he was no better than a murderer or a thief, and one might guess that he reacted very strongly to that.  In essence, all he was doing was praising himself when he praised me.  It’s true, though, that anything less than perfection is complete failure in the eyes of a perfect God.  People hate to see me condemn sin, and they accuse me of putting them down.  They do not understand that I see myself as equal to the worst of sinners, and that people cannot possibly be put down any further than they already are.  We’ve hit bottom.  We can always sin worse, but we cannot possibly fail worse.  It’s a grim situation that everyone has gotten used to.  They get the job, the house, the car, the kids and everything that they want to think that life is about.  They get quite comfortable…and then they go to Hell.  The Abyss is loaded with “basically good” people.


If it ended there, then I might be better off not mentioning it.  If there were no hope, then I think I’d better keep my thoughts to myself.  Mathematically, the only way to fix the problem is to add infinity into the equation:


n / ∞ = 0, where n is any finite number




(n + ∞) / ∞ = 1


The only way for a sinner to be judged as acceptable is for that sinner to be judged together with a perfect person.  Logically, only an infinite being could truly be perfect, independently, but as I mentioned in an earlier post, multiples of infinity equal one infinity.


K ∞ = ∞, where K is some number from zero to infinity, excluding zero and infinity.


What this means is that we need to share our eternal judgment with a perfect person, which must inherently mean that we must share our fate with someone who is also God.  Therefore, we must hope with every fiber of our existence that Jesus was perfect, which means that he was also God.  We must also cast our lot in with his.  On the other side of the equation, when we are forever judged, all of our works on this terrestrial sphere will not amount to even a cheap plastic trophy.  Fortunately, they will also not amount to any form of punishment, either.


The problem is similar to an old riddle posed to sophomores: any mathematical line has an infinite number of points that one must pass through in order to travel along it from point A to point B.  At first glance it appears to be impossible to move at all, because one would need an infinite amount of time to travel through an infinite number of points.  In truth, though, the points are infinitely small, so it takes no time to travel through them.  The result is infinity divided by infinity.  The result equals one.  One what?  It could be one second, one hour, or one year.  By this same math, infinity is required of us, and we, together with one who is infinite, can match that.  The result is one…something.  I can’t define what it is, but it isn’t failure.  It isn’t zero.  It’s one hundred percent of Heaven, and I’ve never been there, so I can’t tell you what it is.


It’s like a hole with no bottom, filled with a limitless supply of soil.  Nothing less than an infinite supply of dirt can fill a hole with no bottom.  Christ died unnecessarily and went to a Hell that he didn’t deserve.  Doesn’t that one sound odd?  Jesus Christ died and went to Hell.  I can only imagine what that must have been like.  Here you have this dark pit of a place, suddenly lit up with a floodlight.  A load of monsters, fallen angels, blinking in the light, and people chained to walls, covered with small spidery demons that they could never quite see before.  The screaming and roaring stops instantly.  The fires subdue.  Someone, somewhere, seeing the horror of the place in true light for the first time screams, “Put it out!  Just…put it out!” preferring to be left in the darkness than to have its horrors revealed.


The sacrifice of Christ was real.  He gave utterly everything of himself.  In one sense, that sacrifice never stopped.  Human sin continues, and the suffering of Christ continues, but only because God is timeless.  In another sense, it is over and done with.  The price is paid, and the deed is done.  In the end, we will see him alive and victorious, and yet mortally wounded, all at the same time.


But the only important question will be, “Did we cast our lot in with his?”