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Tue, May 24 2005

Locked In And Lost?

What do flat-earth die-hards, David Koresh and the Sistine Chapel have in common? Ionarts mentioned recently that there is another religious code theory floating around.

Not long ago there was talk that the eschatological significance placed on 666 as the number of the beast may have been misdirected, and that 616 might have been the actual number given in the earliest documents. Some folks have gone to great lengths to convince us that 666 would be a literal number in future bar code devices.

All this talk of math and codes and intricate patterns may be fun to those who like to sit around and figure things out in a logical fashion. The earth is full of patterns and sequences that show up in nature itself. But if we who want to talk about a Creator who designed all these things we ought to remember that we need to be careful about choosing from scripture what we want to see as literal and what we want to see as symbolic. Locking ourselves into something literal could turn us all into advocates of pre-destination.

If a device could be physically implanted in a forehead or hand, and if the implanting of that device was the taking of the number of the beast, or the "mark" of the beast, we could simply all be rounded up, knocked out cold and then surgically altered with the evil device without our permission. It seems to me that there has to be more to it than that. The taking of the number/mark involves some sort of choice of allegiance.

If a code from the likes of Da Vinci or Michelangelo or the early Christians or pagans or anyone else was meant to lay out the exact sequence of events for the end of time as we know it then how would that allow for choice on the part of individuals? I suppose the sequence could be somewhat loose, like a sort of spiritual version of chaos. But wouldn't it still be just some torturous puzzle invented by a capricious Creator who wanted to mess with our minds and then leap out and say, "Ha, ha! I told you so!"? How does that fit in with the idea of Christianity?

It's good to know that people are studying into these things. That, in itself, may be the best indication that the time is ripe for things to wind up to a big finish. But the big finish will no doubt take care of itself, with or without a number or sequence. What really matters is determining where our loyalty is each day and making choices that reflect that loyalty.

posted at: 10:16 | category: /Religious and Spiritual | link to this entry

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