Transforming the River of Original Sin into the River of Salvation
The river of free will flows within us. The direction of its flow is determined by our faculty of rationality. Our faculty of rationality steers it in the direction of our self-interest. Fueled by the truth, it steers us in the right direction. Lies, however, foul our faculty of rationality as bad fuel fouls an engine. They cause it to sputter and stall. Fueled by lies, our faculty of rationality leads us astray.
In the beginning, the river of free flowed into paradise. However, something happened to change the direction of its flow. The serpent intervened in our world to turn the river of free will into the river of original sin. The river of original sin swept Adam and Eve up and its current carried them and, with them, us, from paradise into the valley of tears.
How did this happen?
The direction was changed because our faculty of rationality was deceived by a lie. Our enemy, the serpent, fooled us. He conjured up an illusion that sugarcoated the sourness of the valley of tears. The sugarcoating inveigled us into the valley of tears. The valley of tears was the trap and our enemy, the serpent, baited it with candy. We have a sweet tooth. Like foolish children, we gleefully ran after the candy and into the trap. The candy was the serpent's testimony that we shall become gods without God in the valley of tears. The serpent testified that we would hit the jackpot without God in the valley of tears. The serpent bullshitted us. And we fell for the bullshit. There is no candy in the valley of tears. There is no jackpot. The valley of tears sucks. We don't become gods without God there. Deification without God does not happen in the valley of tears .
Furthermore, a second illusion arises as a result of the first. As our propinquity to the paradise of Adam and Eve grows ever more remote in time and space, amnesia takes hold and the memory of its sweetness fades from our minds. The sweetness of paradise becomes a stranger to us. And nobody follows a stranger.
The two illusions put us in a dire predicament, marooned in the valley of tears like shipwrecked sailors marooned on a deserted, inhospitable island. What is the solution? Who will save us? Who will rescue us from our dire predicament in the valley of tears?
There is a complication. Our rescue from our dire predicament in the valley of tears is complicated on account of God's policy towards the river of free will. God's policy is hands off. The river of free will flows where we will it. God tiptoes around it. God treats the river of free will with kid gloves. God's hands off policy towards the river of free will has consequential implications for how our rescue will be carried out.
God will not transport us from the valley of tears to paradise and keep us there by damming the flow of the river of free will. God will not lock us up in a cage like a pet bird . A cage is still a cage no matter how gilded. God will not turn paradise into a prison, himself into a warden and us into prisoners.
God values the independence of the river of free will that flows within us. He will not keep us under lock and key as prisoners in paradise while the river of free will relentlessly drives us to escape.
Yet, God will not sit on his hands and do nothing. God affirmatively intervenes to counter and offset the affirmative intervention of the serpent. Unlike the serpent, God affirmatively intervenes as a friend of humanity not as an enemy.
God wants to work a miracle and reverse the direction of the flow of the river of free will. God wants to transform the river of original sin into the river of salvation. God wants the river of free will to make a U-turn - a 180 degree turn around - while respecting the freedom of our wills. God wants to restore the original direction of its flow. God wants us to choose paradise and reject godlessness voluntarily through the exercise of our faculty of rationality. Like foolish children chasing after candy, Adam and Eve ran away from their home with God and his holy family in paradise and took us with them into the valley of tears. God wants the children of Adam and Eve to grow up - to put aside childish things and to become adults. God wants us to exercise our faculty of rationality as adults and decide for ourselves whether to live in paradise or godlessness.
The only way to accomplish this miracle is to fuel our faculty of rationality with the truth. Only the truth shall set us free of the illusions. Therefore, to feed us the truth, God, in his mercy, provided sledgehammers of truth to shatter the illusions as the blow of a hammer shatters glass. To shatter the illusion that sugarcoats the sourness of the valley of tears, God lets us stew in the valley of tears for a lifetime. The valley of tears is autodidactic. To shatter the illusion that hides the sweetness of paradise from us, God sent us Jesus. Jesus and exile in the valley of tears for a lifetime are the sledgehammers of truth that shatter the two illusions.
The sourness of godlessness and the sweetness of paradise must be made visible for our faculty of rationality to work properly. Rational creatures seek the sweetness of paradise and flee the sourness of godlessness. It is contrary to our self-interest to do otherwise. It is crazy to do otherwise. it is irrational to do otherwise. The Big Picture of Christianty is reorientation. Reorientation is the goal of God's rescue plan.