I listened to a talk (download here) this morning regarding how Christians ought to think about The DaVinci Code. Some of you may this is old news and we need to move on with other issues since the movie has proven to be a disappointment (on several levels).
However, in the talk something was mentioned that stuck in my mind. It is something I mentioned while teaching Sunday School yesterday on evangelism. It relates with Romans 1.18-25. As promised I will be posting on how to “do” evangelism.
Consider this my first post on the topic.
Paul tells us in his letter to the Romans that men, in their unrighteousness suppress what they know to be true. That is, the myriad of discussions I have had with people who deny that God exists are suppressing the truth that they have ingrained in them (and which is easily perceived in the world). The issue for the Christian is not merely trying to show a non-believer that God exists, it is digging deeper into the person’s life and asking what the reason for their suppression of the truth.
When we have dialogues with people they are not coming to the conversation with a blank slate ready to be convinced. No, they are coming with a childhood where the youth pastor was jerk, church folk unrighteously judged, abuse, etc. In other words, these friends we are talking with have a myriad of reasons they don’t want to believe in God. Rather than press into God they foolishly blame him for sin in their life or in other’s lives. It’s easier that way.
By denying the existence of God I have no King who demands my joyful obedience. I can also seem pretty righteous because I’m not like “them.” I can feel intellectually superior because I don’t need the projection of religion (as Freud called it) or a crutch (as Mark penned).
Humans, by nature, are worshipers. The question is what does one worship. Paul tells us that the unrighteous “exchanged” worship of God for worship of another. He says creature. We should not interpret that as merely snakes, birds, elephants…we should also leave room for human beings.
This human worship is expressed either in falling over to touch the arm of a rock star. Or it’s expressed in watching every word and action so people affirm your social graces. Or it’s expressed in having all the right hand gestures when preaching. Or it’s expressed in how many people visit your blog. Okay, enough public confession.
My point comes to what was said in the DaVinci talk. The reason why The DaVinci Code has been so popular is due to the fact that worshipers will grasp for anything that gives the least bit of promise to free them from obedience to their Maker. Betrand Russell made the erroneous claim that it was not clear enough that God existed – from the facts on the ground. This is what Proverbs calls foolishness. It is like denying that air exists. More than this, it is rebellion.
The reason why The DaVinci Code (and future polemics against Christianity will) flourish is because humans will reach out in the dark for any tom-foolery that will enable them to worship themselves. It has been shown that so much of the blasphemies in The DaVinci Code have no ground to stand on, but people will still tout the claims as true. Skepticism seems so righteous to the fool.
Next post will be delving into how we can press the legitimacy and truth of Christianity’s claims into the questions and conscience of our friends.
[Disclaimer: I have seen the movie. I am not against reading the book. We need,however, to think critically and respond lovingly to honest questions.]