Five reasons not to see The DaVinci Code
Part 1 of 2
by Berit Kjos - May 2006
While church leaders prompt their followers to see the movie, buy their books, and "engage the culture" through dialogue, many Christians question this strategy. But not author Dan Brown! He welcomes the public controversy. He knows that it fuels a useful global dialogue that gradually pulls the diverse readers toward a new "common ground."
"The dialogue is wonderful," he tells us. "...the debate that is being generated is a positive powerful force. The more vigorously we debate these topics, the better our understanding of our own spirituality. Controversy and dialogue are healthy for religion as a whole."
He is right about the transformational power of dialogue between opposing forces. This public process affects every participant, whether they realize it or not! As happened through the homosexual agenda, constant exposure evaporates the shock and disgust of evil. Even those who feel equipped to defend the truth will be pressured to set aside their Biblical "certainties" for the sake of unity. In fact, the ground rules for this dialectic process have already become familiar and normal to believers as well as unbelievers across America. Ponder the effect of these points:
- show tolerance and appreciation of all contrary views.
- don't offend others with your "absolute truth," facts or certainty.
- be ready to identify with all contrary positions.
- be willing to "seek common ground" for the sake of peace and unity.
Remember, the biggest hindrance to this social, political and spiritual transformation is Biblical Christianity. Even "America's pastor" Rick Warren views "fundamentalism" as "one of the big enemies of the 21st century." And Psychiatrist Brock Chisholm, the first head of the UN's World Health Organization (WHO), called Christian beliefs "poisonous certainties."
So how can God's people resist this process? The answer must be based on what He has shown us in His unchanging Word.
1. RENEW YOUR MIND WITH TRUTH, NOT LIES.
Busy schedules and tempting alternatives can easily squeeze out Bible study. Then, when floods of "new revelations" crash against our beliefs, we may never recognize the lies. Instead, they may seem more exciting than the truth.
Transformational researchers such as Dr. Craig E. Abrahamson, Assistant Professor of Social Work at James Madison University, understands this process well. Despising the didactic (fact-based) teaching of traditional education, he calls for the feeling-based, image-rich unconscious learning so popular among change agents in today's schools and churches. He found that --
"...inspiration, encouragement, satisfaction, and fascination must be integrated with information in order to provide an education that... will have true, lasting effects on that person's life and the society in which he or she interacts. What a person usually remembers the longest is information that has an emotional impact."
"There are many means of de-potentiating [undermining the old] frames of reference.... Any experience of the unrealistic, the unusual, or the fantastic provides an opportunity for altered modes of apprehension. Aspects in a story that create confusion, doubt, dissociation, and disequilibrium are all means of de-potentiating students' learned limitations so that they may become open and available for new means of experiencing and learning...."
Few forms of communication undermine former values more effectively than movies. When Dan Brown concocts imaginary experiences that stir strong feelings, he plants unforgettable illusions in the viewers' minds. As Harvard Professor Chris Dede wrote, "Sensory immersion helps learners grasp [a new] reality through illusion."
A letter from a visitor to our website illustrates our vulnerability to this mind-changing process:
"I read Dan Brown's novel "The DaVinci Code" recently -- another poor choice. I was curious to see what the hype was all about. It was well written and sucked me into the conspiracy/secret society plotline. Then I was hit with the heresy-posing-as-truth (like 'Hath God said?' line of the serpent)...."
To avoid mental turmoil and spiritual confusion, we must know and follow God's Word:
"...do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." Romans 12:2
"take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day.... Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." Ephesians 6:13-17
2. GUARD AGAINST DECEPTION. DON'T BE TRAPPED IN IT.
Faced with Brown's blasphemous suggestions, we need to know facts that validate the true gospels. But our main weapon against deception is the Word itself. Without a solid grounding in Biblical truth, we can neither resist today's tempting tales and psycho-social strategies -- nor warn others.
"DaVinci Code undermines confidence in the Scriptures," wrote another website visitor. "You can't eat poison and expect to function well physically. And you can't take in false teaching and expect to function well spiritually.... I know a Christian young man who read 'The DaVinci Code' and afterwards his relationship with the Lord really went downhill. But he never saw any connection between those two things."
Lies and truth are incompatible! That's one reason why God's Word is fast becoming intolerable to a "Christianized" world bent on global oneness. God's call for separation from evil is incompatible with today's envisioned solidarity. While the world demands tolerance for everything but Christianity, God tells us to be living testimonies of His peace and victory in Christ:
"For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God.... Therefore 'Come out from among them and be separate,' says the Lord. 'Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you....” 2 Corinthians 6:14-17
"...you shall be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine." Leviticus 20:26
Remember, we are in the world, but not of it! "As the Father has sent Me," said Jesus, "so send I you." Jesus spoke the truth in love, but He never participated in the world's decadence. Nor did His faithful followers.
To be continued.
2. www.crossroad.to/articles2/04/3-purpose.htm and www.crossroad.to/articles2/Reinventing2.htm
4. "Craig E. Abrahamson, Storytelling as a Pedagogical Tool in Higher Education at www.britannica.com/magazine/article?content_id=58571&pager.offset=10
6. The Transformation of Distance Education to Distributed Learning. While this and other papers by Professor Chris Dede focuses on education technology, it emphasizes the value of sensory immersion into synthetic environments as a tool to mold minds by instilling a programmed perception of "reality." www.gsu.edu/~wwwitr/docs/distlearn/index.html
7. See The New Testament Canon at www.crossroad.to/Excerpts/biblical-teaching/mcarthur/canon.htm