Driving around the past few weeks, I've noticed a lot of church signs advertising a series of sermons related to the authenticity (or lack thereof) of The DaVinci Code
Now, I don't want to be cynical here, but it seems to me that a lot of churches are getting a lot of mileage out of this book and upcoming film. In a way, it's almost like the opposite of the rallying cry that The Passion of the Christ
was a couple of years ago. The difference is that instead of encouraging congreations to fill up the cineplex, a lot of churches seem to be doing the exact opposite. Some have even gone so far as to encourage people not to stay away from the theaters this weekend, but instead to go and see Over the Hedge
. Let's make it the number one movie in America, they say and send a message to Hollywood.
Meanwhile, I feel as though a lot of churches are missing an opportunity--one they were willing to seize upon when The Passion of the Christ
Both movies--The DaVinci Code
and The Passion of the Christ-
-are films that are going to make people ask questions. They're going to make people examine themselves and their faith. Both films are, in my mind, profound opportunities to do what Jesus commissioned all of us as Christians to do in the great commandment--go forth and make disciples of all nations. Sure, The DaVinci Code
has some elements to it that the church disagrees with. But instead of shouting from the rooftops that this movie should not be seen, why not see it as an opportunity to open up a real dialogue with people about Jesus Christ, who he really is and what he means to your life?
I've read The DaVinci Code
and I will probably see the movie at some point. But I don't fear it. I don't see the movie as fundametally altering my faith and my belief in God and who and what Jesus really is. I know that truth is contained in the Scriptures, no matter what Dan Brown says to the contrary. If anything, the movie and the book may give me a new appreciation for my faith and my belief--just as The Passion of the Christ
Here's the thing I think a lot of people keep forgetting in the whole debate--both are movies. Yes, The Passion
is a good film, but it's not Scripture. Mel Gibson embellished some things to make it more dramatic and more cinematical. That doesn't mean it's not a profound and moving experience to see the film. It just means it's not the literal truth. It's not as Mel jumped in a time machine and went back with a camera and filmed exactly what happened.
Same thing with DaVinci
. It's not the truth and while it may raise some questions, I feel as though the better response would be to prepare ourselves as a church to have a conversation with people about the movie and the book. Don't condemn it, but use it as an opportunity to talk about, think about, pray about some things and maybe come to a new understanding in your life and walk. The Passion of the Christ
was an opportunity and the Christian church made the best of it. I fear that with The DaVinci Code,
we're being given another opportunity and we're fumbling it badly.
I hope and pray I'm wrong.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/15/2006 01:35:00 PM