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Why Iptopia and Ips?

This story is meant to be read as a parable, not doctrine. It came about as a result of my desire to help my children understand why Christ had to suffer. Christ plead with The Father in the Garden of Gethsamane, "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me..." (Matt 26:39). One must ask why it was not possible. Was God himself bound by some eternal law that prevented him from intervening? This parable suggests that the principals of mercy and justice are the driving factors in the drama for the necessity of Christ's atonement.,

What is the meaning of the robe?

The robe in this parable represents the physical attributes of God that he desires to share with his children. It characterizes that spirit alone is insufficient to give the depth of experience that can only come by taking on human form. Reaching our divine potential requires unity between both the physical and the spiritual.

What does forgiveness represent?

The concept of forgiveness, as it is presented in this parable, represents all those things which we want to learn from God, but that God cannot directly teach us without being unjust or unmerciful.

Why Villains?

I struggled with how to solve Little Ip's problem on wanting to learn forgiveness without introducing villains. In the end I chose to use the concept of villains* in order to suggest the possibility that at a spirit level, we play a role in our adversities for our own benefit and growth. For example, a boxer in training will work out every day to get in shape. This is self imposed adversity. He does it for his own growth. Imagine that he recruits a friend to box with him to improve his boxing skills. The friend, even though he is fighting with him, is helping him improve his skills and grow from the experience. If a stranger passing him by on the street began fighting with him without his permission, this would be a violation of his free will.
Indeed, God may try and test us, but if we did not at least agree to this at some spirit level, would it not be violating principals of free will? Is it not likewise possible that those who show up as villains in our life could well be helping us learn the very things we agreed to learn here in life? Could we, through our own mistakes and villainy be unknowing instruments in furthering God's work?**
I chose to present the story using villains to give the parable greater depth and meaning. After all, if we view those who hurt us in life as our spiritual friends, will we not be less inclined to judge others harshly? Will we be more inclined to be grateful for our adversities and forgiving of those who are helping us grow? It is my prayer that we will.

Jay Ball