Da Vinci Code the MovieWhy It Just May Drive Your Pastor or Priest Nuts

The Da Vinci Code, the movie based on the best seller by Dan Brown, I predict will be one of the most successful movies of all time. If you have not read the book are unfamiliar with the perspective that Mr. Brown took on one of the many theories about Christian origins and Church politics, I suggest you do before the premier. Already the Church, in particular the Catholic Church, but it goes much further than that, has "truth squads" going out to churches and on the internet to counter what will no doubt be one of the greatest unleashing of questions from the faithful that ministers and priests have probably never been asked.Books bashing and offering the appropriate rebuttals of the Da Vinci Code are making some a lot of money as well endeavoring to "say it ain't so" and protect their church members from the questions the movie will raise.

It's not that many don't know the alternative theories about Christian and Bible origins, it is just that they do not necessarily want YOU to know them. The Da Vinci Code will open to the public, not only one of many theories, but something even more fatal to the grip that Churches and that "'ol time religion" have on the faithful.questions.So, before the movie even hits the streets, let me explain why the Da Vinci Code might just ignite a new era of critical thinking about the origins of Christianity and the kinds of topics the church would just as soon the average member left alone. I don't care about any particular theory, including the one promoted in the fictional Da Vinci Code, but learning to ask critical questions about that which controls people literally and informs them for better or worse on what they can think, do, believe or better not believe, is very important to me.

Many Christians today are coming to suspect that the Church in general, and their church in particular might not be telling them everything they know about the Bible. I can't tell you how many ministers I know that know a lot more than they are willing to tell their congregations. They dismiss what they know to be true as not helpful to the faith of the people, which is more important than the details. Maybe so or maybe not. I personally don't wish to have a faith based on misinformation, fairy tales or myth.

I believe we also feel this on even a more grand scale with our government, but it is not the safest thing in the world these days to be too openly critical of government. Someone might be watching and taking notes. I believe this distrust will be vented on the church and those that don't like the average person in the pews to be asking these kinds of theological questions.

This movie will give them permission to ask hard questions of pastors, ministers and priests that they are not used to being asked. There will be a renewed interest in the Bible, but in a more critical way that will lead to a good number of problems for ministers and churches that mishandle the questioning.Few of the people in the pews even know what kinds of questions to ask about Bible origins, errancy, Church history or why, if Jesus was so well known and popular, do contemporary historians outside the Bible basically ignore him. There are a few references that have traditionally been used to "prove" Jesus, but we need to know that they are all suspect and may or may not be viewed as easy proof of an historical Jesus as taught by most churches. There are many possibilities that Christians have never been exposed to and they are not all fringe and whacko theories.Christians are not generally aware of much beyond the text of the Bible.

They don't know, care to know or see that the birth accounts of Jesus have been added to the text. They don't know they are contradictory and cannot be reconciled no matter what the preacher says. St. Francis of Assi brought us the Nativity Scene and that is all there is too it. No questions about how stars can lead to homes. No questions about one gospel having Joseph and Mary living in Bethlehem and never in Nazareth, which may not have existed at that time in history as anything but a burial place, while the other has them living in Nazareth, going to Bethlehem to pay a tax that didn't take place at that time or in that way.

They don't ask how the family can flee to Egypt in one Gospel to avoid Herod's killing of all the infants, and in the other Gospel having them hang out for 40 days of purification and then ambling back to Nazareth with no mention of Herod, dead infants or Egypt. They don't ask about the origins of the accounts, what is Midrash anyway and how did Matthew use and abuse it? (I'm not telling you, research it yourself), or the real origins of their most holy holidays of the year.As a simple test, just start either Matthew or Luke, the only Gospels with a birth narrative to begin with, where the accounts end and you will see the text reads just fine without them. They were added later.

Why? Perhaps the Da Vinci code will provoke some curiosity about that, even if that particular theory is not satisfying, which to me it is not. As the need for Jesus meaning to grow, so grew the stories about his birth. There are no famous babies until there is first the need for a famous adult.The Da Vinci Code will raise questions that most educated pastors know exist about the crucifixion of Jesus and the resurrection accounts. Like the birth narratives, they are completely in disharmony, contradictory and irreconcilable. In spite of what one is taught, they are not eyewitness accounts, but that is another story too.

It might provoke a sincere Christian to sit for a few hours and do his own homework via the internet on these questions. This is not something neither the Church nor your pastor or priest is going to want you to do, but will be one of the results the Da Vinci Code movie will have. This is why churches are so actively and already out defending the standard beliefs already and warning their members to be very careful if they are going to go, or in some cases I am sure, warning them of eternal consequences for even thinking to see it. Just depends on where you go to church and how threatened a pastor or church feels by the information or speculation.The Da Vinci Code will also bring out the fact that all ministers and priests do not share in the same kind of educational background and depending on where one goes to church, the reaction will be from mild to wild. Pastors who go to denominational seminaries get the denominational apologetic to work with in that kind of church.

There are whole topics and perspectives that they are never exposed to and are never going to know about or if they do, will never bring that information to the congregation. Any educated Pastor type will tell you he was told that those in seminary are 50 years ahead of any congregation they will serve. These days, that might be putting it mildly.Lutherans preach with the Lutheran spin, Catholics with the Catholic spin and Baptists with just plain spin. A pastor who had a theological education from Yale or Harvard Divinity School is going to have a much more complete and less biased view than someone who goes to Bob Jones or Liberty Universtiy. Of course each would view the other as liberal beyond belief or narrow minded and na´ve depending.

Since churches tend to attract members by personality and temperament there tends to be a seat for every butt. Those who would have you see Jesus and the Bible only through their eyes and believe with all their heart that a theocracy is what God wants for you, are wired for that kind of thinking. They can't help it but that does not change their being some of the most scary kinds of Christians on the planet. You see, not going along has consequences just as they did in the Old Testament, a book they don't understand either.

We happen to live in an age where it seems critical and open minded thinkers are the problem, when in fact, they have always been the solution. Don't worry, the backlash is coming and the Da Vinci Code will open that door a bit further.Then there are the minister or more accurately, the preacher types, who have little or no formal theological educational, these are what I call Bible readers, and they will prove to be the most vocal of all in defense of the text and then give you ten reasons why everyone who went to see the movie is going straight to hell. These are the men who overcame addictions in their youth via the Bible, got saved, can read WHAT the Bible says, tell a few good stories and jokes and are sincere, so they make good men of faith and power. They rarely know anything about the history, background and origins of Christian belief and Church history, aside from what the Book of Exodus or Acts says, but that does not matter.

God said it, I believe it and that does it for them.Since their views are based in the fear that they simply can't be wrong about anything and that they must do everything in exactly the right way for both Jesus and God, they will capture most of the headlines when the movie hits town. Dan Brown will be to these people what Salmon Rushdie is to some of the Islamic faith. They will be the defenders of the faith once delivered, as they read it without any kind of critical eye, and make us all feel sad, bad or mad depending.

But the attention will cause many to ask questions that they never even thought to ask in the past and find the answers to be either very satisfying as explained by the minister or preacher, or lacking. Perhaps a few lights will go on.Another result of the upcoming Da Vinci code movie will be that people who are na´ve as to the politics and chicanery of the Church, and by this I mean all churches, will be exposed to the unseemly side of religion and theology. There is much at stake in protecting the ideas that are now in place and new understanding or even the idea that there are many other ways to view the Bible and Church history, is a grievous threat to the powers that be. There is great profit in not allowing the average person to know how things really work, or what it is about the Bible or the Church they have never been told and God forbid, they ever find out.

From the repression of good science to the teaching of that which only serves the purposes of a few, many will begin to research the bigger picture that has been unavailable to them up to now. I remember once kidding a Priest friend of mine that I had heard Pope John I, who died after a short 30 days in office, was murdered for this or that reason. I fully expected him to chuckle and dismiss it, but instead he said, "I suspect that might be true. We have intrigue in our church." The Da Vinci Code might reveal the truth of this simple and honest observation by those that might know.

All churches have intrigue. The early Jewish/Gentile Church under Peter, James, John and Paul had plenty of it and , no, these men did not get along any better than competing ministers and churches do today. There is nothing new here under the sun.

So, hold on to your uppers! Sooooooooooooooooooo.You better
Watch out
you better not cry,
you better not pout i'm tellin' you why,
Da Vinci Code is coming to town,
.The Church is making a list checkin it twice,
minister gonna find out who's naughty or nice,
Da Vinci Code is coming to town.You better watch out you better
not cry you better not pout i'm tellin' you why
Da Vinci Code is coming to town
Holy Smoke, it's coming to town
:).

.

By: Dennis Diehl



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