Check out this article over at one of my favourite sites, RELEVANT magazine. This article is a discussion of the new movie starring Tom Hanks, the DaVinci Code.
I love reading the comments people make about this movie. There has been so much controversy and opposition from various church leaders, calling it heresy and so on. I am yet to see the movie myself. I have two friends who have seen it and they said it was a great movie. I think I'm a bit more critical with movies than they are, but they REALLY liked the movie. So it can't be that bad.
I was recently reading another article on RELEVANT that was discussing this controversy and the author made a good point that I agree with: The reason why these church leaders are so up in arms is that they know that many of their congregants will accept the bad theology that Code presents without second guessing the source of the information and truly whether this film was intended to be a depiction of a true story. (It's not! It's fiction!) (BTW, this film was not produced by Mel Gibson… this isn't a conclusion to The Passion of the Christ!)
The problem then is not whether it is a bad idea to release such a film, but the fact that the Church is serving a bunch of spoon-fed theologians. The minute Christians accept everything that comes out of a persons mouth (or film screen) without considering the truth in what is said, is the moment we have chosen to turn off our minds. We have then lost the connection between us and God in trying to see God prove Himself through His servants' words.
If I ever become a preacher of any sort, I will encourage people to criticize what I say. I do not want them to simply accept what I tell them, but to think about them, pick them apart, and come up with their own conclusion based on what they see the Bible teaching.
I have heard someone comment in response to the fact that our congregants are not knowledgeable enough about the Bible and accept such teaching as from Code as true. This person said that this is a clear sign that the Church is not teaching its followers well enough.
Excuse me!?! I don't think so. I love how people are so quick to blame their pastors for any faults they might have in their Christian walk. The pastor is not there to save the whole world for the church and to make sure you know everything there is to know about your Bible and the God you serve. If you come to church once a week as the average family does, your pastor(s) only has 52 opportunities to teach you about the Bible every year. Perhaps that seems like more than enough time to give plenty of teaching. But when you consider the fact that there are 66 books in the Bible, a preacher cannot even preach from every book of the Bible if they wanted to (and there is more than one sermon to be taught from each book obviously). Add to that the fact that people are ever increasingly in a hurry in life so they want the sermon to be shorter and shorter allowing for less and less time for good teaching.
Therefore, the task lies with each individual Christian to make sure that they take the time every to pray to God and read His Word and learn from it for themselves. It is not–and has never been–the job of the pastor to provide such an expectation to their church. So stop placing the blame on others and start looking in the mirror!
If this were to happen, a movie such as the fictional story of the DaVinci Code would never have become such a big deal and the movie would have sold tickets because Tom Hanks starred in it, not because the Church didn't like it.
What do you think? Any comments?