Discovering and interpreting secret codes has become immensely popular. Dan Brown's work of fiction, The Da Vinci Code, has sold millions of copies, and a movie with the same title was released on May 19. Doubleday Publishing claims that The Da Vinci Code is "the bestselling adult novel of all time within a one-year period" (March 19, 2004, www.csmonitor.com/2004/0319/p11s01-bogn.html).
And with immense success often comes similar-sized controversy. The book's false assertions—which in the story are discovered by a Harvard code specialist via clues in Leonardo da Vinci's works—have prompted a number of religious writers to counter Brown's portrayal of early and modern Christianity.
Some of the assertions considered to be most offensive include those stating "that Jesus was not divine, that he married the Mary Magdalene of the New Testament, had a child with her, that the bloodline survived in France, and that the church conspired for millennia to hide the truth" (www.danbrown.com/novels/davinci_code/articles/thriller_instinct.html).
While we trust that the readers of Vertical Thought will not be easily duped by the fictitious ideas found in the book, what worries many religious leaders is that millions of people will read the novel or see the movie and think the story Brown has told is true. Some see this as an opportunity to explain the truth, while others suggest that the best approach is to keep quiet because increased controversy only leads to greater sales of the book.
Ironically, while much of the world's attention is consumed by controversy surrounding a fictional book and movie, a very real issue—the meaning of life—remains a mystery to all but a few.
Do you think I'm overstating the point? If so, type the words "Meaning of Life" into an Internet search engine and note the diversity of opinions you're offered. Ranging from the views of atheists to humanists to those with religious values, you'll find a wide variety of ideas.
Yet to find the true meaning of life, one simply needs to read what the One who gave us life says the purpose and future of life is. Our Creator explains in the Bible the reason we exist and what our destiny can be. The Bible reveals how we are made, what happens when we die and how we can receive eternal life.
Of course, the reading part is easy. It's the understanding that is a challenge. Many understand that people have the opportunity to live forever, but there is a lot of confusion over the process, the timing, what happens when we die, whether hell is real and who is receiving the opportunity to receive eternal life now.
Much of the confusion in understanding how and when human beings can receive eternal life exists because people have overlooked the clues God has embedded in His annual Holy Days. Yet these festivals with their coded meanings reveal how God works with us, His timeline for establishing the Kingdom of God on the earth and how we can be part of His governing family.
In this issue, we help you unscramble the meaning of life. Read carefully. Take note. Don't overlook the clues that reveal a truly meaningful, purposeful life. VT