In the beginning, The Developer created a virtual world. This world was very much like this one, except it was perfect: nothing died, everything lived in harmony with everything else. The people in this world (there were 2 at this time) had perfect AI and could even commune with The Developer. There were many amazing things in this created world, but The Developer loved the people above everything else. They were created like himself in many ways.
Not long after development had finished, a jealous Hacker broke in and installed a virus into the virtual world. This virus corrupted every single entity, making them only a shadow of their previous perfection. Harmony became chaos, and death was introduced. The corruption turned the people toward themselves with selfishness, prevented the people from communing with The Developer, and when they died, their core (soul) still existed, but it would exist in a hidden place where the virus would cause it to suffer horribly for eternity in a place called hell.
The Developer was sad. He wanted to remove the virus, but the only way to do that would be to wipe the entire world from existence and start over again. He loved his creation too much to destroy it. He came up with a different plan to save it.
Saving the Bits and Pixels
The Developer decided to enter the virtual world he created by becoming one of the people he created (like in Tron where Flynn enters a computer world). He entered the computer, risking becoming corrupted himself. If that happened, he’d never be able to return back to his world; he’d be stuck suffering eternally with the rest of them when he died.
He went into the world, being born through a virgin, and after he had fully grown, he began teaching people how to live the way they were originally programmed to live and how to avoid the eternal torment after they died.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. Trust in me, put all of your faith in me and I will rescue you. I will pay the price for your selfishness and wrongdoing so that you will be able to spend eternity with me.”
He selected some people from the crowds that followed him to become his special disciples. He taught them as much as they could learn. Later, they would be the ones who spread the word throughout the world, teaching everyone how they could be saved. The Developer even provided proof that he was who he said he was by manipulating the source code (performing miracles).
Many people hated what The Developer was telling them and believed he was sent by the Hacker to lead them astray. They devised a scheme to have The Developer crucified (a death sentence where you hang from a cross; much less humane than lethal injection. It’s likely the most painful way to die). He knew this would happen, and it was even part of his plan.
Finally, the time had come and The Developer was hung from a cross and died. He suffered terribly on the cross. Just because he was from outside of the program, it doesn’t mean he was spared any pain. He felt every excruciating pulse of torturous pain flow through his body as if he truly were being crucified. He even fully experienced death and even experienced the pain of hell for every single person. He had now paid the price for every single person’s corruption.
Since he had remained uncorrupted, though, he could not go to the place of eternal suffering. Instead, just as he had planned, he created a new path that lead to a place where people could commune with him once again and be filled with peace and joy.
People can only take this path if they’ve put their trust in The Developer, though. Sadly, the path that leads to destruction is wide and easy, so unless people trust The Developer, their selfish corruption will tempt them away from his path.
The Developer came back on the third day of his death to prove to everyone that he had conquered death and provided a way to avoid the eternal torment. He then sent out his disciples to spread the word before returning to his world.
This may be the end of “The Developer’s” mission to pay the price, but this is just the beginning for people like me. Our mission is the same as His disciples': spread the gospel. If we don’t do our job, then we obviously aren’t grateful for the gift he gave to us. If we don’t do our job, then we are saying that we don’t think he loved everyone. If we don’t do our job, we tell everyone we meet that we want them to suffer eternal torment. That is why I wrote this. I believe everyone should be offered the chance to be saved. I didn’t write this for fun; I wrote it because I believed it would help people understand, and hopefully that would mean they’d turn and trust in God.
As I mentioned at the start, the analogy is imperfect. Here are a few problems with the analogy:
- The Developer lacks many of God’s qualities – at least it’s difficult to apply them to him. God is omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), and omnipresent (present everywhere). He is also triune, which is hard enough to explain, and even more difficult to apply to a developer.
- The Hacker is somewhat ambiguous in this story. He represents the Devil, who was previously an angel that was jealous of God’s power and believed he could do God’s job better. He rebelled against God, so God banished him from heaven. The Devil then caused Adam and Eve to sin because he wanted to ruin God’s perfect creation and because he was jealous of God’s love for them. In the analogy, I wasn’t sure how to represent angels and demons, so I just decided to omit them and make the Devil an ambiguous character who injects a virus.
- The corruption that the Devil caused wasn’t entirely his own doing. If Adam and Eve hadn’t made the choice to disobey God, the Devil would have failed to corrupt the world.
- Heaven and Hell are somewhat poorly represented in the analogy. Hell is a place where people are no longer in the presence of God, which is a large part of the reason that we suffer: we are no longer connected to our maker and preserver. This is very similar to how the article portrays it, but hell exists outside of our world, so it should exist outside of the computer. Also, The Hacker should be present in the place or torment too, but he already exists outside of the computer. Heaven is actually where God dwells and where we will dwell with Him. If the analogy was perfect, the people would no longer be programs on the computer; they’d be pulled out to “The Developer’s world”, but I didn’t think it made much sense to be turning computer software into living beings (even though Quorra, the “iso” from Tron was able to come out).
I’m sure there are other problems, but that’s all I care about right now (mostly because that’s all I can think of right now). There is something wonderfully beautiful and elegant about the analogy, though. Many people wonder how God can “exist” without us being able to see him; the same applies for heaven and hell. This line of thinking comes from the fact that we cannot understand things outside of the physical realm because we weren’t designed to, and the universe wasn’t designed to give us any sort of access to a non-physical realm. You can see the same concept in the analogy. The people in the virtual world have no way of understanding a non-digital world. They are digital and live in a digital world that offers no means of showing them the physical world outside of it.
There are some other good things about this analogy, but most of them are obvious. I just thought this would be an interesting note.
If anyone is skeptical about this whole thing or is thinking something like “hasn’t science/evolution proven that all of this is nonsense?”, I encourage you to read The Case for Christ / Faith / A Creator. There are also tons of resources from Answers in Genesis that are likely to make you question evolution a bit.
If this analogy has helped you understand Christianity better and/or you think it’ll be good for someone else to hear, I encourage you to share it with your friends. Not only that, but if you’d like to put this on your own blog or redistribute it via some other media, feel free to do so. I’d love to have some credit given, but I won’t even require that. As always, God bless and happy coding!