Obligatory Comments on "The Da Vinci Code"

Vitruvian Man

I know this issue has already been covered in great detail all over the place, but here's some more fuel for the fire.

We had the pleasure of attending a forum on "The Da Vinci Code" yesterday evening at a local church. One of the speakers was talk show host Michael Medved. He gave a very good presentation on why "The Da Vinci Code" phenomenon presents ideas that are damaging to our culture. Here is a summary of his key points.

Attacks Christianity

By suggesting that the Church devised "the biggest cover-up in human history", and the depiction of Christians as murderous, self-flagellating fanatics, it seems pretty clear that "The Da Vinci Code" openly attacks Christianity. The story's premise is that Jesus was not the Son of God but that the Church created this myth in order to gain power and suppress the populace.

Michael Medved is Jewish but is outspoken in his support for Christianity as a positive force in the world, especially in the US. He says that an attack on Christianity sets a bad precedent for all people of faith.

Promotes Paganism

With its many references to the "sacred feminine" and descriptions of hieros gamos sex acts, "The Da Vinci Code" promotes Neo-Paganism. Medved defines Paganism as a feel-good "spirituality" devoid of moral or ethical behavior. It's a false kind of spirituality based on self-gratification without any obedience or obligation to a higher authority.

Encourages a Conspiracy Theory Mentality

Central to the plot of "The Da Vinci Code" is a massive conspiracy put forth by the early Church and enforced in modern times by an extremist Catholic sect. These kind of wild theories are bad for a society based on democratic principles and the importance of the individual.

When people believe in powerful groups manipulating world affairs from behind the scenes, it creates a sense of hopelessness. Rather than seek to affect positive change in the world, those who indulge in conspiracy theory remain indifferent, blaming invisible superpowers for the ills of society and reveling in their own victimhood.

"But It's Just Fiction!!"

If author Dan Brown hadn't insisted on how factual his novel's underpinnings are, maybe we could dismiss the whole thing as fiction and just enjoy it as an entertaining story. But the book opens with a statement on how accurate his facts are and he's stated in several interviews that he believes the work to be truthful.

Furthermore, even fictional stories have had a powerful impact on shaping public opinion. Initial research has shown that a significant number of people believe in Dan Brown's theories about the origins of Christianity.

My Own Thoughts

If people are being hoodwinked by false teachings, we as Christians are responsible for setting the record straight. It's not enough to dismiss something because it labels itself as innocent fiction or popular entertainment.

As The Message translation of 1 John 4:1-3 states:

My dear friends, don't believe everything you hear. Carefully weigh and examine what people tell you. Not everyone who talks about God comes from God. There are a lot of lying preachers loose in the world.

Here's how you test for the genuine Spirit of God. Everyone who confesses openly his faith in Jesus Christ – the Son of God, who came as an actual flesh-and-blood person – comes from God and belongs to God. And everyone who refuses to confess faith in Jesus has nothing in common with God.

In other words, any teaching that denies the divinity of Christ is either (A) extremely misguided or (B) evil. There doesn't seem to be any middle ground in this regard, nor is there any exception made for works of speculative fiction.