Can The ‘Code’ be Cracked? [v86]

APRIL 2006

CAN THE ‘CODE’ BE CRACKED?—Mysteries…we all have an affinity for one kind or another. Whether it’s ‘abnormalities’ that are reported being ‘seen’ in our world like UFO’s and crop circles, perplexing ‘wonders’ like the pyramids, or ‘artifacts’ like the Egyptian objects that look very similar to F-18 planes, we all marvel at the unexplained things of this world.

Because of this, film makers have had us on the ‘edge of our seats’ for many years trying to figure out the ‘answer’ before we are told—and then, in some instances, the story does a “180” right at the end leaving us dumbfounded.

The mystery ‘genre’ has had a long history here in America—and longer elsewhere in the world. In the middle 1800’s Edgar Allan Poe published, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” essentially popularizing the genre in America. Characters like Sherlock Holmes, Ellery Queen, Nancy Drew, and even Batman continued to ‘taunt’ us in the beginning of the 20th century.

The mid 1950’s started a ‘landslide’ of popular TV series’ like Perry Mason, Dragnet, Alfred Hitchcock, Columbo, Remington Steele, Agatha Christie, Murder She Wrote, Diagnosis Murder, and movies like “Rear Window,” “Psycho,” “The Usual Suspects,” “Clockwork Orange,” and others.

In the 1990’s, over 40% of the top 50 grossing movies were mysteries—like Lethal Weapon, Enemy of the State, the X-files, A Perfect Murder, and Snake Eyes. And just in the past few decades, over 20% of the popular fiction books sold were specifically “mystery detective” genre (not to mention all the other types of mysteries). Recently movies like “Enigma,” “Sixth Sense,” “The Fugitive,” “Fatal Attraction,” “Silence of the Lambs,” “Mission Impossible,” and the “Indian Jones” series have ‘refined’ the genre. And come to think of it, do you remember the “Unexplained Mysteries” TV show?

I’m sure I have missed someone’s favorite book or movie in my quick overview, but my point is that we very much enjoy a mystery—and I wondered why. How do they hold us in such ‘rapt’ attention?

I found that almost all of the ‘successful’ mystery stories, whether they are investigating a crime, a “whodonit,” or a psychological suspense thriller, all use REAL PLACES and REAL HISTORY to give it ‘believeability’.

Next month a movie of a best-selling book will hit the big screen—and, in my opinion, might just be the highest grossing film of all time—“The Da Vinci Code.” It’s is a well-written ‘page-turning’ mystery, based on a conspiracy. And though it’s fascinating to read about the unsuspecting Harvard professor, the energetic French policeman, the Royal British Knight, the Albino Monk-turned-assassin, and of course the ‘heroine’, “Sophie,” this is something that is trying to change the way people think.

It’s a plot about the Holy Grail—and if you’ve read it or you’ve seen “Indiana Jones and the Search for the Holy Grail,” you know that “Indy” and his dad had it wrong—the Holy Grail is not a cup, it’s a woman—a woman with a huge secret that has been ‘covered up’ for the last 1,700 years.

But, in deference to the ‘formula’ of the previously successful mystery movies, this one is WAY DIFFERENT. Even though the author claims the book is based on fiction, the opening “FACT” page stirs the pot of controversy by stating: “All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.”

One of the notable “facts” is the declaration that “The Priory of Sion—a European secret society founded in 1099—is a real organization. The thing is, in reality it’s COMPLETELY UNTRUE, since the Priory of Sion was really FOUNDED IN 1956, to cast aspersions on Jesus Christ, the historicity of the Gospels, and the uniqueness of Christianity!

Secondly, according to the “Code,” Constantine called a council in the city of “Nicaea” where the Catholic Church made the deliberate decision to suppress the fact that Jesus was really not Divine, that He was married to Mary Magdalene, and that they had children in the south of France. It also asserts that Constantine also ordered the ‘re-collation’ of the Bible to read differently than it previously did—because he wanted to subjugate women under his patriarchal ideas about what the world and the church ought to be.

Again, we have hundreds of scrolls and manuscripts from the first 325 years of Christianity, and nothing of this kind of teaching ever came up—because, for one, pre-Nicene Christianity never had a goddess or sacred feminine aspect. And though it is true that Jesus’ teachings were very progressive and liberating to the women of his day, you won’t find any mention of this type of theology.

Another problem is the usage of The Gospel of Philip as “proof” of Jesus being married. Thing is, it doesn’t even say that Jesus was married, was written over 250 years after Jesus’ death, and it wasn’t even written by the apostle Philip (he died in the first century!) So, we are ‘told’ to trust this Gospel written by someone who makes a false claim about himself even before he begins to write it!

As for Constantine “rewriting” the Bible, again, there are many documents we have from the first century that clearly taught that Jesus Christ was God from God, Light from Light, Very God from Very God, begotten not made, of one substance with the Father, through whom all things were made. The New Testament Canon is not the invention of Constantine in the fourth century. It is an essential part of the teachings of Jesus and his apostles from the start. In the first century, the Canon was in organic form and functioned without formal church declaration—the Nicaea group then formally ‘blessed’ the pieces as an inspired contiguous whole.

(If you would like to investigate further the reliability of the Bible, visit the following link:
http://www.4vis.com/sfm/sfm_pres/sp_q4_d1_1of10.html ).

The previous discussions are only a few of the ones that you will hear in the next few months, and contrary to author Dan Brown’s dogmatic assertions, however, there are compelling arguments that show that the Bible is divine rather than human in origin, that Jesus Christ is God in human flesh, and that amid the religions of the ancient world, Christianity is demonstrably unique.

No one should feel that his or her faith has been undermined by the fantasies and lies presented under the guise of truth in this novel. Brown only got the ‘formula’ half right—he did use ‘real places’, but he DID NOT USE REAL HISTORY!

Just like any good detective, the ‘evidence’ will lead you to the truth. Despite all the controversy, I challenge you to investigate for yourself to see what makes sense to you based on the facts. Forget about what everyone else is saying (even me!), turn down the hyperbole and dismiss all the drama surrounding the controversy, and just seek the truth for yourself.

(If you would like a small ‘booklet’ that presents all of the ‘issues’ in a very plain manner, click on the following link to download a PDF file:
http://www.spiritedesign.com/misc/SeparatingFactFromFiction.pdf ).

[Excerpts from: Hank Hanegraaff; Ken Baugh; Dave Kinney]

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NOTE: I have collected a lot of ‘research’ on “The Da Vinci Code,” so if you are interested in delving more deeply into the subject, just contact me and I will get it all to you.

!!!!!!  In addition to this, Faith Covenant Church in Farmington Hills (14 Mile and Drake Roads) is hosting a live satellite seminar (this coming Tuesday, 28MAR06 from 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm) to openly present the controversial tenets of “The Da Vinci Code,” and demonstrate the veracity of the Christian faith and the ‘facts’ about Jesus. Click on the link below for more detail on the presenters:
http://www.ccnonline.net/programming/event/evt_28mar06.htm

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“Blessings”…
Mark

LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v86) for APRIL 2006
If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at:  mbesh@comcast.net

Thanks to:
– Joel Bussell

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BUILDING ON THE RIGHT ‘FOUNDATION’
A parable has been told of a carpenter, who on the verge of retirement, was coaxed into building one last home by a wealthy client. The carpenter was pressed by his own thoughts to put his working days behind him, so he made decisions to cut corners on the project. He used inferior materials and his workmanship was suspect, at best. Clearly his heart was not in the work. Eventually, the carpenter finished the home. It looked good from the outside, yet the carpenter felt guilty, as he knew the quality of the home was not up to his old standards. On the day that the wealthy client was to take possession of the home, the carpenter received word from the client, saying, “I’m aware of your reputation as a builder. I know how hard you’ve worked for your clients throughout your career. So, I wanted to reward you at your retirement. I’m giving you the house you’ve just built.” The carpenter was shocked! If he had only known beforehand that this was to be his home, he would have built it with the finest materials and workmanship. But, now it was too late.

This parable reminds me that we all build our lives, much like a carpenter builds a house. Our home-building materials are “what” we build our lives with and include characteristics such as faith, love, grace, mercy, forgiveness and kindness (or their opposites). And our workmanship looks at the “how” we build our lives. Are we living purposefully, pursuing excellence, working with all our hearts, in the name of Jesus and for His glory? Or, has shoddy workmanship been the story of our lives? My own confession: Too often I forget that I’m building my own house. How about you?

One day, the house-building project that is our life, will be completed. And, each of us will stand before the Lord and give an account for our workmanship. Don’t be like the carpenter in the parable. Be prepared. Build intentionally. Build it right. Our motivation ought to be to hear the Savior say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
[Unknown – From Dr. David Jeremiah’s daily devotional]

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NEW WORDS FOR 2006
[Essential vocabulary additions for the workplace (and elsewhere)]

1. BLAMESTORMING: Sitting around in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible.

2. SEAGULL MANAGER: A manager, who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything, and then leaves.

3. ASSMOSIS: The process by which some people seem to absorb success and advancement by kissing up to the boss rather than working hard.

4. SALMON DAY: The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die in the end.

5. CUBE FARM: An office filled with cubicles

6. PRAIRIE DOGGING: When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm, and people’s heads pop up over the walls to see what’s going on.

7. MOUSE POTATO: The on-line, wired generation’s answer to the couch potato.

8. SITCOMs: Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage. What Yuppies turn into when they have children and one of them stops working to stay home with the kids.

9. STRESS PUPPY: A person who seems to thrive on being stressed out and whiny.

10. SWIPEOUT: An ATM or credit card that has been rendered useless because the magnetic strip is worn away from extensive use.

11. XEROX SUBSIDY: Euphemism for swiping free photocopies from one’s workplace.

12. IRRITAINMENT: Entertainment and media spectacles that are annoying but you find yourself unable to stop watching them. The J-Lo and Ben wedding (or not) was a prime example—Michael Jackson, another.

13. PERCUSSIVE MAINTENANCE: The fine art of whacking the crap out of an electronic device to get it to work again.

14. ADMINISPHERE: The rarefied organizational layers beginning just above the rank and file. Decisions that fall from the adminisphere are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve.

15. 404: Someone who’s clueless. (From the World Wide Web error message “404 Not Found,” meaning that the requested web page could not be located).

16. GENERICA: Features of the American landscape that are exactly the same no matter where one is, such as fast food joints, strip malls, and subdivisions.

17. OHNOSECOND: That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize that you’ve just made a BIG mistake. (Like after hitting send on an e-mail by mistake)

18. WOOFS: Well-Off Older Folks.

[Received from Joel Bussell]

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NO GREATER LOVE
Two filmmakers have made a powerful short film called “Most.” In fact, you may have heard the basis for the story before. It is about an ordinary father who is presented with a difficult decision. The movie begins with the introduction of an incredible father-son relationship. The audience experiences their pure love for one another. But in this story, there is an impending tragedy. The father takes his son with him to work at a drawbridge. In an instant, he must choose either to save his son’s life or the hundreds of others who are on an approaching train. At that moment, the father makes the decision to sacrifice his only son so that others may live.

As the train goes by the tower, the father stands outside agonizing over his loss. The audience is given a different perspective: a look inside at those who ride the train. As the people go by, hardly anyone even notices the man. A few see the man, and wonder about his tears. Their journey continues, never realizing the sacrifice made for them.  One girl, however, can’t take her eyes off the father. She is struck by his face covered in sorrow and mourning. Her life is immediately changed forever.

“Most” means bridge in the Czech language. The producers explained that this movie represents taking the steps from the present to eternity. The sacrifice that God made in sending His Son to die for our sins is the bridge that helps each one of us crossover to eternity.  The sacrifice is what erases the separation caused by sin and brings us to the feet of our Maker.

When you believe in the message of Jesus and his great sacrifice, your life is changed.  Through Jesus comes not only incredible strength for today, but also the gift of forever—the gift of eternity. Sadly, just like the film, some go through life never taking the time to consider what God did for them. Some see it and turn away, while some never even look.  But there are some who hear the call and see the Father who sacrificed His only Son for them. “What tremendous love the Father has for us, in that while we were still sinners, He sent Jesus to die for us” [Romans 5:8].
[Kelly McFadden (HomeWord)]

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DEEP THOUGHT
It’ never too soon to accept Christ, but at any moment it could be too late.
[Dennis De Haan – RBC Ministries]

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I hope you enjoyed some of these insights. Share them with your friends and colleagues, so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from—and more to share with! Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” especially if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” [John 14:6].

Mark

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Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright is used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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