ANOTHER rewrite of our concept of the Human Heart
I have been pursuing the concept in the previous link regarding relooking at the heart cited in Mark 11:23 from the point of view of how the Ancients understood it rather than from how we take it today. It doesn't look like a radical rewrite of what we know is necessary, but it may require another revision of the "good heart/evil heart" concept.-
It is true that when we were reborn, we got a new heart to replace the evil one we were born with. However, my initial take on the heart remaining evil was actually true, but in a limited sense: unless we know what we are doing, or the people around us know what they are doing when an evil heart is replaced with a good heart, the sinful memories we retain reprogram the new heart back into a corrupt state. This is exactly what happened to me when I got baptized in the Spirit in November of 1988 and didn't have any temptations regarding pornography for three weeks: I had gotten a new heart, and everything worked fine for about three weeks until my memories, with the devil's help, reprogrammed the new heart into an evil one. What deceived me was that the re/de/programming was less than complete, since there were improvements after the baptism that have continued to this day. (Our memories are very much a part of us, so God doesn't change our memories when we are born again. An illustration of this is the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie "Total Recall", where a change in memory changed the man "called" Douglas Quaid. God wants us as we are: having evil memories and evil temptations is not a sin, for sin consists of choosing to follow those temptations and memories. The evil of the heart consists of ensuring that there are no thoughts that present true alternatives to choosing those temptations: the "choices" it presents to our minds are purely illusory, like "picking your poison" at a bar that biases your decision by only selling poison, only in multiple forms and flavors.)
An almost perfect illustration of this is a virus that resides on a disk drive that infects the microcode of a CPU, making the hardware of the computer run slower and slower. There have been CPUs in the past that allowed user programmers to reprogram their microcode, affecting the instruction set they executed, but viruses and accidental overwrites that rendered that hardware useless led manufacturers like Intel and AMD to put their microcode on un-infectable ROM. This makes the CPU less flexible as a side-effect, requiring a CPU replacement in case the microcode was buggy instead of infected. The flexibility of the human brain, in which the heart resides, makes the microcode of the human heart modifiable since there is seamless connectivity between the long-term memory of the man and the memory holding the instructions that the human heart follows to process those memories. Changing that microcode of the heart is what happens when the plea of the Psalmist in Psalms 51:10 is uttered to "create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me".
This seems to me very likely to be the final word on the Human Heart: born to do evil, renewed and cleansed by the Spirit at rebirth, but subsequently "re-infected" to evil if no care is taken to guard it (Proverbs 4:23). It conforms to what the Word of God says about the human heart (as the writers visualized it) while better matching up to my real-life experiences. In a sense, I was wrong to believe that, after conversion, our heart remained evil, but it is also wrong to believe that, after conversion, our heart would remain good without monitoring or intervention. This reprogrammability of the human heart is doubtless a necessary precondition required to implement free choice and provides the mental flexibility necessary to maintain high survivability and adaptability. The very memory of the conversion and the immediate experience of temptation-free living probably accounts for why, when the heart is re-corrupted but the person remains a Christian, the result is not as bad as it was before. The fact that there is some improvement probably accounts for the lack of follow-up on the part of Charismatics and Pentecostals on this phenomenon. We theo-engineers have a way lower tolerance for un-accounted performance failures and shortcomings, so I feel somewhat irritated that I did not question the casual acceptance of such a drop-off in performance. On the other hand, I didn't have the tools to detect and address the deficiency back then that we have now, so I should cut myself some slack.
I was toying with the idea of writing an introductory book on Symbiotic Christianity targeted to the newly converted to tell them how to work with the Spirit that produced that conviction within them. In view of the above fact of the reprogrammability of the Heart's microcode, writing a book pursuing that angle is looking better and better all the time.
[Nov. 8, 2010. first stab at formalizing the Heart Alignment Hypothesis.]
2010-11-08 12:07:23 by Gerald