I try to keep this blog for my thoughts about my daily Bible reading. But, I have been thinking about this Da Vinci Code book & movie lately and how I’m supposed to react or respond. I can justify posting my thoughts here because it really is related to the Bible.
I started to wonder, what would Jesus do?
If you’re not familiar with what’s going on (and you’ve been in a cave for the last few years) author Dan Brown has written a controversial book with what some call a highly blasphemous view of a “secret life” of Jesus Christ that was covered up by a hardline Catholic movement called Opus Dei, and that Mary Magdelene and Jesus actually married and had children.
Like most of my friends, my first reaction was of horror and shock. I was highly offended and have avoided any discussions. I’m reading Josh McDowell’s book about the Da Vinci Code now just for a different perspective. But for the most part, I’ve successfully avoided the heated debate.
There have been calls for boycotts from Cardinals, authorized by the Vatican. Churches all across America have expressed similar calls. It seems a new industry has risen out of the controversy to publish books and articles refuting the book, its author and everything to do with the movie.
This morning, I found an interesting article from “The London” films section. It has some comments from the film’s star, Tom Hanks, and I wanted to post some questions to my readers. In the article, Tom said:
“But the story we tell is loaded with all sorts of hooey and fun kind of scavenger-hunt-type nonsense. “If you are going to take any sort of movie at face value, particularly a huge-budget motion picture like this, you’d be making a very big mistake. “It’s a damn good story and a lot of fun… all it is is dialogue. That never hurts.”
What do you think of Hanks’ remarks? On one hand, I agree that just because something is said or incinuated in a film or a book, does that make it true? Why would so many people get so fired up because of this?
On the other hand, we’re talking about Jesus Christ here. We’re not talking about Bill Gates or some other popular political figure. This is about God. And what effect would this have on someone who is not familiar with the Truth? Would they be led astray? How serious is that? It’s not like a parody on the ruler of some foreign country would cause someone to miss out on eternity with God.
Archbishop Angelo Amato, the number two official in the Vatican doctrinal office, had what I thought was a good point. He said, “If such lies and errors had been directed at the Koran and Holocaust they would have justly provoked a world uprising. Instead, if they are directed against the church and Christians, they remain unpunished.” We all got to see first hand what happened when someone said something disrespectful about the Quran this past year. People died.
I hesitated even posting this because with a controversy like this simply by discussing it you may be adding fuel to the fire. Something I say may just be the thing that gets someone interested enough to read the book or see the movie.
Is that a bad thing? Would it be wrong for me to go see the movie? Can I, like Tom Hanks suggests, go an enjoy the movie for its hooey and mystery?
What then are we to do about it? Cardinal Francis Arinze went a bit further. He said, “Christians must not just sit back and say it is enough for us to forgive and forget. Sometimes it is our duty to do something practical. Some know legal means which can be taken in order to get the other person to respect the rights of others.”
The Catholic church in London commented that calling for a boycott would be pointless. I would go as far as to say that calling for boycotts would only serve to make the film more popular.
If you recall from our reading the New Testament, or from your days in Sunday School, Jesus was not stranger to this kind of controversy. People were constantly making up lies, trying to frame Him, trying to get mob riots to kill Him. What did Jesus do? He went about His business. He knew what He had to accomplish and He let nothing stand in His way.
Focus on the Family had this point:
“The movie will confuse lots of people, but Jesus will become the centerpiece of many conversations. For those who are prepared to explain that Christianity rests on solid foundations, the opportunity will be tremendous.”
Perhaps the best thing to do is nothing at all – and pray that God would call Dan Brown, Tom Hanks and all these protesters to a closer walk with Him – so this kind of thing would never have happened in the first place.
Just my thoughts. Do you have any comments? Please post them…