Catacomb Resident Blog

Common Models

15 February 2022

On the one hand, reality is highly variable. On the other hand, there are common models upon which we build our variations.

I don't mean for this to sound like nonsense. The problem is that the common Western assumptions about reality are simply contrary to what God has done. Mathematics will work consistently, but that won't tell you what you really need to know. It won't lead you to the place where you can find the path back to Eden. It leaves you trapped in this world, and this world is a lie.

Have you paid much attention to 1 Peter? This was written from Rome, most likely after Paul's execution, and not too far from Peter's own execution. Peter writes to Jewish Christians in what we call today northern Turkey. That region was about to come under several decades of serious official persecution. The Roman administrators for that region were highly influenced by the Jews who were spiteful about their own folks who began following Christ. These Jews made up all kinds of horrible lies about those who converted, and those lies were plausible to the Roman officials.

So 1 Peter is a letter that helps these persecuted Christians to embrace the whole teaching of Christ. Jesus was calling His nation back to the ancient Hebraic view of the world. It was mystical and otherworldly, unlike Judaism, which had become materialistic and worldly. Thus, Peter was teaching them to consider how their testimony was the only reason for staying alive in this fallen world.

When we are born into this mortal existence, everything we could have and life itself is already forfeited. This is not ultimate reality, but a crippled up version. God didn't design us to be mortal, but the Fall forced us into this temporary existence as the situation in which we feel our way back to the faith by which Adam and Eve first existed before the Fall.

So the common model of reality does work, after a fashion, but it's not the truth. It's not what we were designed for. It's too easy to just ignore revelation and cling to what fallen men can perceive without faith. If that's what you really want, that's what you'll get, but it's broken and works very poorly. Worst of all is the sheer arrogance of fallen human nature asserting that this reality can be fixed up and matched to some imaginary ideal. It cannot.

The common model of faith reality sees this life as a big lie. We endure our existence here, and the only worthwhile thing we can possibly do is live by faith in a different reality. That's what Peter teaches his audience in northern Turkey. The logic of human existence misses the point entirely. Don't be trapped in that model.

While the Bible nowhere states it flatly, the faith model of reality starts with the assumption that his broken reality is highly variable. The Bible assumes without openly stating that your faith reality experience will vary somewhat from someone else's. It leaves the door open for variations. The worldly model asserts that this reality is all one thing, and calls for us to waste our effort laboring for something that cannot be true. The Bible quietly acknowledges that this reality is false, and that while you are here in it, faith in the Lord's revelation will produce variations.

Thus, it becomes a whole lot easier to let go of this world and the things that come with it. While some forms of resistance might be the proper tactic, overall we assume that there is no real point to fighting persecution. It's simply part of what we face in this broken reality. Our testimony is how we handle it with patience and fortitude, and how we keep a focus on some other world. We don't take this life too seriously, except as a setting in which we demonstrate our faith.

Our common model of faith assumes variations in reality because this life isn't the ultimate reality.

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