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    Thought Experiment: Sin as Malware

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    cleireac

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    Thought Experiment: Sin as Malware

    Post  cleireac on July 20th 2014, 5:07 pm

    This is something I'd like to explore. Before I get to far along, I'd like to point out that I know that all illustrations are imperfect and they break down at some point. With that said, here is my thesis: Originally, our operating systems were created to function flawlessly. But the Enemy ran an exploit which corrupted the registry.

    Any thoughts, comments, or holes in this thesis?

    mindspike
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    Re: Thought Experiment: Sin as Malware

    Post  mindspike on July 20th 2014, 10:22 pm

    I'd be more inclined to see sin as the operating system rather than malware. Sin didn't come from the adversary. Sin was a possibility from the very beginning. To stick with the analogy, Eve didn't download malicious software - she failed a logic test.

    Adam and Ever were without sin from the time of creation. They were operating as designed. At some point during a regular hard drive check, a faulty sector was found. This faulty sector caused a logic failure when the question "Did God actually say...." was posed.


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    cleireac

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    Re: Thought Experiment: Sin as Malware

    Post  cleireac on July 21st 2014, 9:26 am

    Thanks for the reply. Doesn't this presume, though, that Adam and Eve were created imperfectly? Then how does this jibe with the statement that God looked at his creation and declared it to be "very good."? I'm really not trying to be contentious, but I do want to think this through as far as I can before the whole analogy breaks down.

    Thanks again!

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    Re: Thought Experiment: Sin as Malware

    Post  mindspike on July 21st 2014, 1:17 pm

    It is my position that Adam and Eve were created without sin. That God cannot manufacture sin. They were also created with the capacity to choose sin, as demonstrated by the presence of two forbidden trees within the garden. Nothing changed between the time Eve was created and the time she took the apple, except for an accumulation of experience. Even the words of the serpent should not have been sufficient to cause sin; the serpent only gave Eve an excuse to place her own desires before the clear instruction of God.

    I usually turn to Ezekiel's lament over the king of Tyre for an outright statement of this doctrine in action:

    Ezekiel 28:15 wrote:"You were blameless in your ways From the day you were created Until unrighteousness was found in you.

    You're right in that an analogy will break down after a bit. An OS that works perfectly when the computer is first turned on will slow down and begin to process errors as the hardware wears down and as applications make changes to the registry. This is my chain of reasoning, and why I choose OS over malware.

    Interesting discussion!


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    Re: Thought Experiment: Sin as Malware

    Post  cleireac on July 21st 2014, 2:23 pm

    This is where my relative ignorance kicks in - doesn't malware affect the OS? Or am I using my terms incorrectly?

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    Re: Thought Experiment: Sin as Malware

    Post  Paeter on July 21st 2014, 4:49 pm

    Okay, so now I'll introduce ignorance to the conversation, as I know less than Jack about computers. But I'm wondering if it would be impossible to call sin the result of Malware OR the OS, because choice is involved, which we as humans still can't quite nail down, define or predict, let alone compare to an automated program.

    I'd want to use the malware metaphor but would have to introduce a human element. Like someone who sees that porn link and like an idiot clicks on it and then gets their computer destroyed by malware.

    Is there an alternative "software equivalent of choice" I'm not thinking of?


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    Re: Thought Experiment: Sin as Malware

    Post  Drew.Rub on July 21st 2014, 4:57 pm

    Paeter wrote:Okay, so now I'll introduce ignorance to the conversation, as I know less than Jack about computers. But I'm wondering if it would be impossible to call sin the result of Malware OR the OS, because choice is involved, which we as humans still can't quite nail down, define or predict, let alone compare to an automated program.

    I'd want to use the malware metaphor but would have to introduce a human element. Like someone who sees that porn link and like an idiot clicks on it and then gets their computer destroyed by malware.

    Is there an alternative "software equivalent of choice" I'm not thinking of?

    No, not really Paeter. I'll have to disagree for once with Mindspike. Sin is malware.

    Our spirits (the OS) were perfectly created, corrupted only by user intervention (Eve's free will) which allowed sin (the malware) in to corrupt our perfect OS. this malware then spread like a virus (want a bite of this juicy apple, Adam?) and has continued to propagate down generation after generation.

    The only way to effectively delete the malware is to use the fully paid for (through Chris's crucifixion) copy of Norton's Holy Ghost (tm) to restore us to our original, out of the box, factory default (sinless). Smile

    Your resident IT nerd......

    cleireac

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    Re: Thought Experiment: Sin as Malware

    Post  cleireac on July 21st 2014, 4:59 pm

    Paeter, this is how I was thinking of it in the original analogy. Eve "bit" (so to speak) on the click bait, and sin was introduced which corrupted the registry of the OS. Thanks for a great discussion!

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    Re: Thought Experiment: Sin as Malware

    Post  cleireac on July 21st 2014, 5:04 pm

    Thanks, Drew for your insight. This really helped! I'd been thinking about this for some time, preparing a blog post, and while I'm pretty confident in my soteriology, I wasn't so sure about the analogy. So, I thought I'd ask the geeks here if I was on the right track or completely in left field.

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    Re: Thought Experiment: Sin as Malware

    Post  mindspike on July 21st 2014, 5:26 pm

    Drew.Rub wrote:Our spirits (the OS) were perfectly created, corrupted only by user intervention (Eve's free will) which allowed sin (the malware) in to corrupt our perfect OS.  this malware then spread like a virus (want a bite of this juicy apple, Adam?) and has continued to propagate down generation after generation.

    The only way to effectively delete the malware is to use the fully paid for (through Chris's crucifixion) copy of Norton's Holy Ghost (tm) to restore us to our original, out of the box, factory default (sinless).  Smile

    Your resident IT nerd......

    Cute. Except that sin is internal, fundamental to our existence. Malware is an outside influence that corrupts the purpose of the original application.
    Psalm 51:5 wrote:Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.
    Adam and Eve were created without sin, but with the possibility for sin. To continue the metaphor, no matter how many times you perform a factory restore, the possibility for sin still exists and will eventually manifest. This is the thing that fundamentally sets us apart from God, who cannot sin.

    Eve's sin was not the result of user intervention, as if "free will" is something that exists without context or influence, but the result of an internal value judgement that placed Eve's own desires above the instruction of God. The disobedience in taking the apple is the result of the corruption of sin, not the cause of it.

    An OS does not need malware to corrupt the registry and cause a fault. As the system operates it creates registry keys and hard drive partitions that are perfectly valid at the time but eventually become non-relevant or conflict with other portions of the OS that also have a perfectly valid function. Without the influence of malware, and running no application other than the OS, a computer will eventually fail. Either the hardware will wear out or the OS will suffer a logic conflict and attempt to execute two conflicting commands.

    As humans, we face the same dilemma. We age. We wear out. We suffer life experiences that conflict with our beliefs and desires. Our OS is simply not equipped to deal with the disparity. We are internally defective and have been since birth. I do not sin because the devil made me do it. I sin because I prioritize my own desires over God's instruction.


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    Re: Thought Experiment: Sin as Malware

    Post  cleireac on July 21st 2014, 7:54 pm

    Winston, if I read you correctly, are you suggesting that sin was inevitable? Full disclosure, I come from a Wesleyan background that holds to the possibility of a sinless life after salvation. What you seem to be describing is that sin is a result of created physical limitations and not the choices we make. As Wesley observed, sin is a transgression of the known will of God, and this lack of godly holiness is what makes us "miss the mark," to paraphrase the words of Paul.

    Again, not trying to be contentious, but wanting to understand what you're saying here.

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    Re: Thought Experiment: Sin as Malware

    Post  mindspike on July 22nd 2014, 12:12 am

    cleireac wrote:Winston, if I read you correctly, are you suggesting that sin was inevitable? Full disclosure, I come from a Wesleyan background that holds to the possibility of a sinless life after salvation. What you seem to be describing is that sin is a result of created physical limitations and not the choices we make. As Wesley observed, sin is a transgression of the known will of God, and this lack of godly holiness is what makes us "miss the mark," to paraphrase the words of Paul.

    Again, not trying to be contentious, but wanting to understand what you're saying here.

    And I appreciate the dialog!

    I also agree with Wesley's observation as you put it. I think it is a very helpful guideline.

    Is sin the result of created physical limitations? No. Jesus had a created physical body that was in every way identical to any other person. Jesus lived a sinless life. Sin has nothing to do with physicality.

    Is sin inevitable? That's more complicated. We are told that the atoning sacrifice was ordained from the creation of the world. This means that before God created Adam and Eve He enacted a plan of salvation. Why should this be the case? The whole record of the salvation plan is predicated upon a series of events created by the choices made by millions of people over a span of thousands of years well before those choices were even made possible. As one simple example: what if Ruth had gleaned from Boaz's neighbor instead?

    Without choice, the concept of sin is meaningless. Where does that choice come from? What are its influences? Free will does not exist as some nebulous thing unconnected to reality. One could effectively argue that there is no such thing as free will, as a choice completely uninfluenced by some outside factor. The whole question is tremendously complicated. "There is no condemnation without knowledge of the law." "All have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God."

    Can we live a sinless life after salvation? Study Wesley some more. What does the Lesser Scottish Catechism tell us? Ezekiel and Paul both confirm that a sinless life is possible when referring to the King of Tyre and Adam respectively. But... "There are none that are righteous, no not one." Sanctification is the process that connects the twin points of justification and glorification that come before and after life. The purpose of living apart from conscious sin is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

    To be clear and specific:
    God has ordained every moment of history to occur in one single specific way, there can be no deviation.
    Every relevant moment in history is the result of a conscious choice by a human being at a point when the alternative was perfectly viable.
    God has chosen specific individuals to enjoy His presence for eternity and specific individuals to not do so. This choice was made before those individuals were created and without their consent.
    Every individual will enjoy or reject God's presence because of a conscious opportunity to do so when the alternative is perfectly viable.
    These statements are affirmed by scripture. It is a central mystery of the faith.


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    Re: Thought Experiment: Sin as Malware

    Post  cleireac on July 22nd 2014, 7:41 am

    mindspike wrote:To be clear and specific:
    God has ordained every moment of history to occur in one single specific way, there can be no deviation.
    Every relevant moment in history is the result of a conscious choice by a human being at a point when the alternative was perfectly viable.
    God has chosen specific individuals to enjoy His presence for eternity and specific individuals to not do so. This choice was made before those individuals were created and without their consent.
    Every individual will enjoy or reject God's presence because of a conscious opportunity to do so when the alternative is perfectly viable.
    These statements are affirmed by scripture. It is a central mystery of the faith.

    And here's where we must part company for now. While I am with you that Scripture must  the foundation for what we believe, I am not so certain that it clearly indicates that God ordained people to sin, at  least not as clearly as you believe. This is where we get into some deeper waters where better and more godly minds then mine have disagreed as well.

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    Re: Thought Experiment: Sin as Malware

    Post  mindspike on July 22nd 2014, 3:04 pm

    I appreciate the discussion.

    But I seem to have been unclear on at least one point. God does not ordain an individual's choice to sin. That would be utterly against the nature of God. Sin can only ever exist as the choice of an individual apart from the will of God. Nevertheless, that moment of choice is ordained by God, and the final choice is known by God before the opportunity to choose exists. This is counter-intuitive and difficult to reconcile without lapsing into an extended argument on determinism.

    As you have stated, better minds than ours have wrestled with this for hundreds of years. If you wish to part company on one side or the other, I understand.

    Rupertus Meldinius wrote:In Essentials Unity, In Non-Essentials Liberty, In All Things Charity


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    Re: Thought Experiment: Sin as Malware

    Post  cleireac on July 22nd 2014, 4:05 pm

    Winston,

    Thanks for the clarification.

    Please also know that when I use a phrase like "part company," it only refers to the points of discussion, and not in relation to our mutual adoption in Christ. I have friends I disagree with theologically, but I refuse to say I have a monopoly on the Truth. Only Jesus is the Truth, and it is my task to "work out my salvation with fear and trembling," praying that I may know Him better as a result of His grace.

    I was thinking that we were starting the get away from the issue at hand, namely the exploration of the illustration, so I thought it best to try to back out.

    Thanks for letting me sharpen my iron against yours!

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