Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: space picture  Updated November 2011

 

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: http://www.duluthchurchofchrist.org/images/dcofc_text.gif

...questions

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: space picture

Home | About the Church | Correspondence Course| Questions | Events | Contact UsLocation

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: space picture

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: space picture

 

 

God's Plan for Becoming a Christian:

 

1.

Hear the gospel of Christ
(Romans 10:13-17)

2.

BELIEVE in Christ
(Mark 16:15-16)

3.

REPENT of past sins
(ACTS 2:36-47)

4.

CONFESS faith in Christ
(Romans 10:9-10)

5.

BE BAPTIZED into Christ (Acts 22:16; I Peter 3:21)

6.

Live FAITHFULLY (Romans 12:1-2)

 

 

 

 

The Church of Christ:

 

1.

The Bible is its only guide (Romans 1:16;
I Thess. 2:13)

2.

Wears a Biblical Name (Romans 16:16)

3.

Established at the right place
(Isaiah 2:2, 3;Acts 2)

4.

Established at the right time
(Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2)

5.

Established on the right person (Matthew 16:18; Acts 2:36)

6.

Saved are in it (Ephesians 5:23;
Acts 2:47)

7.

Its members are enrolled in heaven
(Hebrews 12:23)

8.

Membership in it is obtained by obedience to God's commands including baptism (Acts 2:41-47; I Cor. 12:13)

 

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: space picture

"..and upon this rock I will build my church"
(MT. 16:18)

Information about the church of Christ click

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: space picture

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: space picture

"Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature"
(MK 16:15)

Bible correspondence course (FREE) click

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: space picture

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: space picture

"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free"
(John 8:32)

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: space picture

Duluth
church of Christ

2344 Nanticoke Street
Duluth MN 55811

(218) 722-1984

duluthchurchofchrist.org

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: space picture

Information On the Novel/Movie: The Da Vinci Code

Introduction:

 

On the cover of The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, are the words, “a novel.” The Da Vinci Code is essentially a mystery novel. A murder has been committed and the hero of the book has been falsely accused. Now this fictional hero and scholar, “Robert Langdon,” must run to save his life while trying hard to solve a mystery that goes far beyond a murder. As a mystery novel it is very exciting.

 

Why would one spend time in writing a refutation of a mystery novel? Doesn’t everybody realize it is a work of fiction? What is in the book that has caused so much of an uproar? The primary reason to refute this book is that some very serious attacks against Christianity are found within its pages. The fictional characters of the book reveal “facts” which are supposed to present “…evidence that the New Testament is false testimony.”[1] While the story is fictional, the author says at the beginning of his novel, “All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.”[2] Dan Brown is clearly attempting to spread his view of world history and world religion through the medium of an exciting novel.

 

Dan Brown’s book elevates paganism, attacks Christianity, perverts history, distorts the facts, and promotes sexual immorality. This is all very appealing in a world culture that is turning rapidly away from true Christianity and denominational Christianity. Dan Brown’s, The Da Vinci Code, feeds and encourages this cultural shifting by painting Christianity as oppressive and evil while suggesting the reasonable and rational alternative is paganism.

 

Some have naively suggested that a novel cannot have much influence. “Surely people will recognize this as a work of fiction and not accept the distortions of reality found within.” The problem is that people are accepting this novel as an accurate portrayal of reality. This book is having a tremendous impact upon people. Those who have opposed Christianity have found “new” ammunition to use against unsuspecting Christians. Those Christians who have not been grounded with the true facts about their faith are finding themselves beginning to doubt all they have ever believed about the Bible, Jesus, and God the Father.

 

At the time of this writing, The Da Vinci Code has been on the New York Times Best Seller List for more than a year and has sold over 7 million copies. T.V. specials have addressed the issues raised in the book, and a movie directed by Ron Howard is in the works. In addition, travel agents are now designing tours that take fans of the book to many of the historical sites visited by the heroes of the book. The influence of this pagan-promoting propaganda is immense. For this reason members of the church of Christ need to arm themselves with research and information that inoculates them against this evil and that enables them to answer friends, co-workers, and family members who may question them about Dan Brown’s bestselling novel, The Da Vinci Code.

 

Dan Brown Distortion #1: Jesus Was Married:

 

As we will clearly demonstrate later in this paper, Dan Brown is promoting a paganism that emphasizes women over men. It is a paganism of goddess worship and female spiritual leadership. Dan Brown refers to his view of female led paganism as “the sacred feminine.” This statement is found in numerous places throughout the book. In fact, a statement found in the “Acknowledgements” of the book refers to The Da Vinci Code as “…a novel drawn so heavily on the sacred feminine…”

 

As a part of his plot to promote the sacred feminine, Mr. Brown suggests the Holy Grail is Mary Magdalene, that she was married to Jesus, and that she had a child with Jesus.[3] One of the lead characters in this novel says, “…it was not Peter to whom Christ gave directions with which to establish the Christian Church. It was Mary Magdalene.”[4] Mary, a woman, was to establish the church. This is interesting since Jesus said, in the Scriptures that He would establish the church (Matthew 16:18 ). Why Mary? She is a woman and the book wants us to believe that prior to A.D. 325 pagan female-led goddess worship dominated the worship of mankind.[5]

 

Was Jesus married? First of all the Bible itself does not tell us that He was married. Secondly, history has no proof that Jesus was married. Dan Brown disagrees. He believes there is evidence that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene. As evidence he quotes from some of the Gnostic Gospels. These are books that the early church rejected. They did not pass the tests applied to books to determine if a book belongs in the Bible. We will deal with this more when we address Dan Brown’s specific attacks against the Bible. Suffice it to say for now that early Christians such as Eusebius clearly recognized the Gnostic Gospels were not from God. Concerning these writings he said, “…the type of phraseology differs from Apostolic style, and the opinion and tendency of their contents is widely dissonant from true orthodoxy and clearly shows that they are forgeries of heretics.”[6]

 

The Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Philip are both mentioned in The Da Vinci Code as books with texts that allude to the marriage status of Christ. Even in these radical books that were rejected by the early church there is no direct statement that Jesus Christ was a married man. But, should those books even be considered as credible evidence? Eusebius calls them “forgeries of heretics” and concerning these “gospels” F. W. Mattox writes, “Occasionally references are made to ‘New Testament’ books not now in use but it should be understood that all such references are to those ‘apocryphal’ books which were rejected with good cause by the early churches.”[7]

 

Apparently desperate for real evidence to back up his foolish theory, Dan Brown suggests that Leonardo Da Vinci also believed that the Holy Grail was Mary Magdalene and that she was married to Jesus. As evidence Dan Brown reveals through the story some clues in Da Vinci’s famous painting entitled, The Last Supper.”[8] The major clue to Da Vinci’s view is the feminine character standing next to Jesus. While most accept this as a feminine painting of John, Brown says it is actually a picture of Mary. Brown indicates that Da Vinci was trying to tell us something. He was trying to tell us that Jesus was married to Mary.[9] Thrusting this Holy Grail theory into Da Vinci’s painting of the last supper requires a lot of imagination. While I would agree that the figure to which he refers in the painting is rather feminine, that does not prove Da Vinci didn’t intend to paint John in a feminine way, nor does it prove that Da Vinci believed in Dan Brown’s Holy Grail theory.

 

This is more than just grasping at straws. This is a desperate attempt to prove an hypothesis for which there is no proof. Let us suppose for a moment that The Da Vinci Code is correct in suggesting that Leonardo believed that Jesus was married to Mary. What would that prove? Da Vinci’s views on life do not prove them to be fact. Just because someone says something is true does not mean that it is. Just because a famous artist believed something does not mean he had a shred of evidence to back it up. In other words, there is nothing in all of this that even closely resembles an historical fact. However, all of this does leave us with this clear conclusion. There is no evidence whatsoever that Jesus was ever married. The facts about Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and the Holy Grail will not support Brown’s view of the “sacred feminine.”

 

Dan Brown Distortion # 2: The Bible Is Not From God:

 

To further promote his pagan thesis of the “sacred feminine” author Dan Brown has one of his characters attack the integrity of the Scriptures. He says, “The Bible is a product of man, my dear. Not of God. The Bible did not fall magically from the clouds.”[10] The fictional scholar in Brown’s story (Teabing) goes on to explain, “The Bible, as we know it today, was collated by the pagan Roman Emperor Constantine the Great.”[11] This is supposedly a part of a plot that Constantine hatched to come up with a Bible that would destroy pure paganism and bring about what instead would be “…a kind of hybrid religion that was acceptable to both parties.”[12]

 

In addition, it is suggested that Constantine had to come up with this new Bible to convince people of the deity of Jesus. Brown tells us Constantine and the Council of Nicea (A.D. 325) established the doctrine of Jesus’ divinity. The character, Teabing says, “…until that moment in history, Jesus was viewed by his followers as a mortal prophet…a great and powerful man, but a man nonetheless. A mortal.” In order to establish this doctrine Constantine commissioned and financed a new Bible, which omitted those gospels that spoke of Christ’s human traits and embellished those gospels that made Him godlike. The earlier gospels were outlawed, gathered up, and burned.”[13]

 

To address this accusation against the integrity of the Scriptures we need to talk briefly about how we got the sixty-six books of the Bible. The sixty-six books of the Bible are referred to as the “Canon.” Canon is from the Greek word for “a measuring rod, a rule, or a standard.”[14] There are many books outside the accepted canon which were written about the same time and yet which have been rejected. Why were these rejected and the 66 included? The answer is relatively simple. Men needed to examine each of these books in order to determine which of these books were inspired by God. To do this they applied certain tests to each book. Those tests included questions such as: Was the book written by a spokesman for God (apostle, or prophet)? Was the writer confirmed by miracles? Did the message tell the truth about God as compared to previous revelations? Does the book have the edifying power of a book from God? Was it accepted by the people of God to whom it was addressed?[15] When these tests are applied only 66 books pass. These are the 66 books that make up the canon. These are the 66 books of the Bible.

 

The Old Testament Canon “…was completed no later than the second century B.C. and possibly as early as the fourth century B.C.”[16] But what about the New Testament Canon? Brown’s book suggests that it was not “collated” until the time of Constantine . Norman Geisler (PhD, Loyola University ) and William E. Nix (PhD, University of Oklahoma ) write, “Although the church did not give official recognition to the canon prior to the late fourth century, it is misleading to say there was no recognition before then. As with the Old Testament books, there is ample evidence available to confirm that the inspired books were received immediately as such, circulated, and even collected.”[17]

 

As proof that the 27 books of the New Testament were already considered canonical (from God and belonging in the Bible) consider The Old Syriac translation that came from a text dating to the second century. It included all of the 27 books.[18] This is long before Constantine ever came along. Constantine and the Council of Nicea (325) were not making their own Bible, or suddenly deciding which books belonged in the Bible. They were simply recognizing what Christians had already determined. The 27 belonged in the canon (or the Bible) and all others should be rejected.

 

Having spoken briefly of how these books became the New Testament from the standpoint of church recognition let me take a moment to emphasize the ultimate source of these books. The church did not give us the 27 books of the New Testament. Many times Catholics will boast that the Roman Catholic Church gave the world the Bible. Nothing could be further from the truth. “Canonicity is determined by God. A book is not inspired because men made it canonical; it is canonical because God inspired it. It is not the antiquity, authenticity, or religious community that makes a book canonical or authoritative.”[19] God determined which books went into the Bible when He inspired those books. Men only had to recognize which books were inspired and to separate them from all uninspired writings of the time.

 

God inspired the writers (John 14:26 ; 16:13 ; Heb. 2:3, 4; Gal. 1:12 ; Eph. 3:3, 4; 2 Timothy 3:16 , 17). Christians applied the above-mentioned tests to the book to see if they were inspired. When the books passed the tests they were collected and considered a part of God’s canon. Now how did we get the Bible? Some would suggest that the Bible must have been corrupted in all the time that has passed since the original manuscripts were written by the apostles and other inspired men. Brown suggests the same in his book when one of his characters says the Bible “…has evolved through countless translations, additions, and revisions. History has never had a definitive version of the book.” In other words, Brown is suggesting there is no way the Bible we have today can resemble the original manuscripts after so much time has passed.

 

The Bible can be and has been accurately transferred from one generation to another. The Bible itself promised as much (1 Peter 1:23 -25), but can it be proven? The answer is yes. We can prove the accuracy of the transmission of the Old Testament by examining the thousands of manuscripts that exist and comparing them with the Greek translation of the Scriptures called The Septuagint. We can also cross-reference those copies of the Old Testament Scriptures with the Dead Sea Scrolls. When we do so we find that these manuscripts and documents, though separated by centuries, are remarkably united. In other words they were transferred accurately down through the centuries.

 

Now how about the New Testament? Can we be sure of its accurate transmission through time? Yes! Let us compare the New Testament to other ancient documents. We have 5,366 New Testament manuscripts that have survived from the second century and later. “By contrast, most other books from the ancient world survive in only a few and late manuscript copies.”[21] Surely this is evidence that God is preserving His word as He promised. Also, consider another evidence of accurate transmission. “A few of the New Testament manuscript fragments are very early, dating from the second century. By contrast, the manuscripts for most other ancient books date from about a thousand years after their original composition.”[22] The vast number of New Testament manuscripts preserved and the close proximity with which they come to the actual time of the originals attest to the amazing preservation of these books.

 

In addition we can check the accuracy of the transmission of the New Testament books by comparing them to the uninspired writings of early Christians. These early Christians are sometimes referred to as “the Church Fathers.” In the letters they wrote to fellow Christians we have 36, 289 quotations of New Testament Scripture.[23] The letters of these early Christians date from the first century through the fourth century.

 

All of this evidence will lead the honest to come to some powerful conclusions concerning the Bible. For example, Geisler and Nix wrote, “No book from antiquity comes to the modern world with greater evidence for it authenticity than does the Bible. Both the kind and the amount of evidence that supports the fidelity of the present critical text are greater than for any other book from the ancient world.”[24] Sir Frederic Kenyon said, “’The Christian can take the whole Bible in his hand and say without fear or hesitation that he holds in it the true Word of God, handed down without essential loss from generation to generation throughout the centuries.’”[25]

 

The accurate transmission of the scriptures is evidence that the Bible is a book like no other. Another evidence that the Bible is from God is found in its historical accuracy. The Da Vinci Code takes a stab at the historical accuracy of the Bible by suggesting that historians cannot “…confirm the authenticity of the Bible.”[26] In answering Brown’s ignorant assertion let’s look at some quotes from archaeologists and historians. William F. Albright said, “There can be no doubt that archeology has confirmed the substantial historicity of the Old Testament tradition.”[27] Nelson Glueck wrote, “It may be stated categorically that no archeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or exact detail historical statements in the Bible.”[28] Quotations such as these and the historical and archeological evidence that leads to such statements could fill volumes. We must conclude from the evidence that the Bible is historically accurate.

 

There are so many other evidences of the accuracy of the Bible, and so many other ways we could prove that the Bible is from God, however, we don’t have time to address all the evidence. Evidence such as comes from the accurate prophecy of the Bible, evidence that comes from the Bible’s indestructibility despite the attempts by many to wipe it off the planet. Another evidence comes from the unity of the Bible itself. There is one theme in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation despite the fact the Bible is made up of 66 different books, written by over 40 different men (inspired men), over a period of 1500-1600 years. Furthermore the writers did not have an overall view of the finished product when they wrote. This in and of itself is evidence that a Being capable of living at least 1500 years was overseeing the project. Clearly Dan Brown makes a big mistake when he indicates the Bible is from man and not from God.

 

Dan Brown Distortion #3: The Gnostic Gospels Picture The True Christ:

 

The character, Sir Teabing, tells us “More than eighty gospels were considered for the New Testament, and yet only a relative few were chosen for inclusion...[29] Those excluded are referred to as the Gnostic Gospels, and there weren’t eighty of them.[30] The Da Vinci Code tries to get us to believe that these rejected gospels tell us the true nature of Jesus. According to Brown that true nature was human only and not divine. In addition we are to believe that the Gnostic Gospels represent the true belief of early Christians. Furthermore, it is stated that the belief that Jesus was divine was not established until Constantine and the Council of Nicea came up with it in A.D. 325. We have already addressed to some degree the validity of the Gnostic Gospels. The early church did not accept them. Referring to these blasphemous books Drs. Geisler and Nix say,

 

“During the first few centuries, numerous books of a fanciful and heretical nature arose that are neither genuine nor valuable as a whole. Eusebius of Caesarea called these ‘totally absurd and impious.’ Virtually no orthodox Father, canon, or council considered these books to be canonical and, so far as the church is concerned, they are primarily of historical value. These books indicate the heretical teaching of gnostic, docetic, and ascetic groups, as well as the exaggerated fancy of religious lore in the early church. At best, these books were revered by some of the cults and referred to by some of the orthodox Fathers, but they were never considered canonical by the mainstream of Christianity.”[31]

 

The ludicrous nature of these books can be seen in just a few examples. The Gospel of Thomas paints Jesus as a vindictive little boy with great power. He becomes angry with one boy and causes the boy to whither up (Gospel of Thomas 3:2, 3).[32] This same rejected book shows us a Jesus who, when bumped into by another little boy, causes the boy to immediately fall down and die.[33] The Gospel of the Ebionites denies the deity of Christ and promotes the belief that eating meat is wrong.[34] The Gospel of Peter teaches that Jesus felt no pain when He died on the cross. Many other examples could be given that show that these books are foolish in nature and do not fit in with the plain Bible teaching of books accepted as inspired long before these books ever came along.

 

Furthermore, it becomes very clear that the early writings of Paul clearly teach the deity of Christ. This view is in direct conflict with some of the Gnostic Gospels as well as with Dan Brown’s belief that the deity of Christ was not established until the days of the Roman Emperor Constantine. Paul taught that Jesus was the Son of God and as such did possess the nature of deity (Romans 1:1-4). Paul also made it very clear that Jesus is the member of the Godhead who created this world (Colossians 1:13 -17). All that Paul wrote came before A.D. 63/64 when he was beheaded at the command of Emperor Nero. This is much earlier than those books that denied the deity of Christ. This proves the doctrine of the divinity of Jesus existed long before Constantine .

 

The writings of John clearly address the errors of the Gnostics. His Gospel account emphasizes very strongly the deity of Christ, which the Gnostics rejected. Consider John 1:1-14; and John 8:58 as but two of many passages in the Gospel of John which refute the Gnostic heresy. John’s epistles address the Gnostic error by emphasizing those things that we do know (1 John 1:1-4), and by referring to the Gnostics as “antichrist (1 John 2:18 , 22; 4:3; 2 John 1:7).” Clearly the early church rejected the false claims of the Gnostics and their Gnostic Gospels. In addition we cannot doubt the fact that the doctrine of the deity of Jesus existed prior to The Council of Nicea.

 

While on the subject of The Council of Nicea, let’s address for a moment the vote mentioned in Dan Brown’s book. The Da Vinci Code suggests the vote on whether or not to include the deity of Christ in it statement of doctrine was a close one. Brown suggests the notion that Jesus was divine barely passed by a council vote. First of all, such councils do not determine the truth of the matter. God’s word does. But even beyond this Mr. Brown once again shows a great disregard for truth and fact. The vote was not a close vote. The council voted 316 to 2 in favor of included a statement affirming the deity of Christ. [35] We also need to understand, as had already been pointed out, the early church already believed in the deity of Christ. The Council of Nicea and Constantine were only reaffirming what was already believed. Dan Brown couldn’t be more wrong when he asserts Constantine and that council came up with the doctrine of Christ’s divinity.

 

Let’s give one more evidence of the early churches’ belief in the deity of Christ. We can look to early, uninspired writings of Christians to see that they believed in the deity of Christ decades and even centuries before the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. In their book, Cracking the Da Vinci Code, James Garlow ( Ph.D Drew University ) and Peter Jones (Ph.D Princeton Theological Seminary) list the following quotes from early Christians:[36]

 

Ignatius: “God Himself was manifested in human form (A.D. 105).”

 

Justin Martyr: “The Father of the universe has a Son. And He...is even God (A.D. 160).”

 

Irenaeus: “He is God, for the name Emmanuel indicates this (A.D. 180).”

 

Tertullian: “...Christ our God (A.D. 200).

 

Origen: “No one should be offended that the Savior is also God... (A.D. 225).”

 

Novation: “...He is not only man, but God also... (A.D. 235).”

 

Cyprian: “Jesus Christ, our Lord and God (A.D. 250).”

 

Many of the Gnostic Gospels do in fact attack the divinity of Jesus and make Him no more than a man. The idea that those gospels represent the true thinking of early Christians is absolutely false. There is no evidence to support the view that followers of Jesus believed Him human (only) until after A.D. 325. Dan Brown is wrong. The Gnostic Gospels do not portray the true Jesus Christ.

 

Dan Brown Distortion #4: Paganism Is A Better Way:

 

That the Da Vinci Code promotes paganism and attacks Christianity is a fact that cannot be denied. The hero of the story, Robert Langdon, is working on a manuscript “...about the iconography of goddess-worship the concept of female sanctity and the art and symbols associated with it.”[37] The murdered curator of the Louvre Museum in Paris is pictured as a wonderful person who died as a martyr for the cause of paganism. It is said of this character that he had a “...personal passion for relics relating to fertility, goddess cults, Wicca, and the sacred feminine...”[38] In fact, the thesis of the book might be summed up in the following statement by one of the major characters: “The Priory believes that Constantine and his male successors successfully converted the world from matriarchal paganism to patriarchal Christianity by waging a campaign of propaganda that demonized the sacred feminine, obliterating the goddess from modern religion forever.”[39]

 

There are at least two issues that ought to be examined in regard to Mr. Brown’s view of paganism. First of all, The Da Vinci Code suggests paganism and goddess worship elevated women while Christianity brought women down.

 

To support his contention, Brown uses the Roman Catholic Church as an example of chauvinistic behavior. Concerning the Catholic group Opus Dei it is said, “...their views on women were medieval at best.”[40] The author of The Da Vinci Code also cites the Roman Catholic’s persecution of “...free thinking women.”[41] Allegedly these “free-thinking” women were cast as witches who were to be tortured and killed. Among those “free thinking” women Dan Brown includes “female scholars...nature lovers, herb gatherers, and any women ‘especially attuned to the natural world.’”[42]

 

While the validity of many of Dan Brown’s claims concerning the Catholic Church are suspect, we fully recognize the historical fact that the Roman Catholic Church has been guilty of some very unchristian behavior in the past. One has but to consider the crusades and the inquisition to know this to be true. However, a clear distinction should be made between Roman Catholicism and true Christianity. True Christianity is that which follows the New Testament pattern and which rejects all other standards of authority (2 Timothy 3:16 , 17). Roman Catholicism is a perversion and a corruption of the real thing. One has but to compare the doctrines and practices of Catholicism with New Testament Christian practice to know this to be true. Consequently we conclude that any attacks made against the Roman Catholic Church are not attacks against true Christianity.

 

True Christianity elevated women to a level they had not known before Christ. For example, it is the New Testament which says, “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered (1 Peter 3:7).” In essence God has said that He will not even listen to a man’s prayers if that man does not treat his wife respectfully. In addition the Bible teaches husbands to love their wives so much that they would be willing to die for them, and to love their wives as they do their own bodies (Ephesians 5:25-33). Granted the Bible gives man the spiritual headship of the home (Ephesians 5:22 ), but different roles, and higher authority does not equate to greater value in the eyes of God. To illustrate this point we will look at Paul’s comments in 1 Corinthians 11:3. “But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” God the Father has authority over the Son. Does this make the Son any less valuable? Does this make his role of lesser importance? What about the authority the husband has over the wife. Does this make him any more valuable to God than her? Absolutely not! Is he of more value in the home than she? No! By giving men and women different roles God did not indicate one was of greater value than the other. The pilot of an F-18 is no more valuable than the crew chief of that airplane. Without the crew chief the pilot can’t fly. Without the wife, the home is crippled significantly.

 

The same is true with regard to the church. While the Bible does give man the spiritual headship of the church (1 Timothy 2, 3), the woman is considered of equal value in the church (Galatians 3:26 -29). Man has a role and the woman has a role. Both roles are vital. True Christianity has elevated women by teaching that they are of equal value with men.

 

Christianity has also elevated women from being viewed as property and sex objects to being viewed as valued human beings whom God loves. The Bible encourages Christians to control themselves sexually (Galatians 5:19 -23). The lust and lewdness of the pagans is replaced by love and self-discipline in true Christianity (Galatians 5:22 , 23). The New Testament provides for a life-long, loving, and nourishing relationship to be the basis for any sexual activity between men and women (Hebrews 13:4). That committed and protective relationship is called “marriage.” Sex outside of this pure institution is not only dirty, but is dangerous. How many women have been hurt physically, emotionally, and spiritually by men who simply want to use them for their bodies? Further evidence of the Bible’s goal to elevate women above sex objects is found in the following statement made by Jesus Christ Himself: “...whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:28).” Jesus does not want His followers to view women as physical toys for the foolish and irresponsible fantasies of lustful men. Mr. Brown’s book suggests the early church, “...worked hard to demonize sex and recast it as a disgusting and sinful act.”[43] He hasn’t read the Bible he attacks. The Bible pictures sex as a pure and wonderful relationship designed for both the procreation and the pleasure of man, but only when that relationship exists in the stable and loving environment of marriage (Hebrews 13:4).

 

On the other hand, pagans belittle women by making them little more than sex objects to be lusted after. Paganism encourages fornication, and adultery. The Da Vinci Code speaks of a sexual rite that the murdered curator had participated in. Men and women moved around a circle while the curator had intercourse with a woman in the middle of that circle. The grand-daughter of the curator sees this act and flees. She breaks off her relationship with him in disgust. Later she is told, “What you saw was not about sex, it was about spirituality. The Hieros Gamos ritual is not a perversion. It’s a deeply sacrosanct ceremony.”[44] The book also teaches that men may communicate with deity and “...achieve gnosis - knowledge of the divine” through the physical union with women.[45] The hero of the story tells the male college students in his class, “The next time you find yourself with a woman, look in your heart and see if you cannot approach sex as a mystical, spiritual act. Challenge yourself to find that spark of divinity that man can only achieve through sexual union with the sacred feminine.”[46] Free sex is promoted by suggesting it is something spiritual or religious. We could sum up Robert Langdon’s teaching in this way; “You college boys have physical unions with women all you want as you long as you remember it is something spiritual.” This simply gives men one more opportunity to view women as little more than objects for their personal pleasure. This does not elevate women!

 

When we look at the pagan practices of the ancients we realize that paganism does not elevate women. While it is true that some pagans worshipped female deities, it also true that their worship of such goddesses was very perverse and belittling to women. For example, it is a well-established historical fact, “That the ancients had a temple dedicated to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty (Roman equivalent, Venus), which was populated with over 1,000 prostitutes whose services were used in ‘worship.’”[47] Tell me how women can elevate themselves by selling their bodies in a religious act of “worship!” Paganism is the true enemy of women’s rights. Christianity is the true champion of women’s real rights. Dan Brown could not have missed the mark any further!

 

A second issue to be raised in view of The Da Vinci Code’s promotion of paganism over Christianity centers around what Dan Brown refers to as a “life out of balance.”[48] Brown’s distorted view suggests paganism, and in particular goddess worship, helped to balance life out. The idea he promotes is that Constantine and the Catholic Church put women down, thereby throwing the world out of balance. He then says this has resulted in wars and “...disrespect for Mother Earth.”[49]This is a total distortion of truth. Did the world not have any wars before the 4th century A.D.? Was there no violence in existence prior to the reign of Constantine ? Was there no war between Babylon and the Medes and Persians? Are all the things we know about Alexander the Great’s Macedonian army and the violent way in which it conquered the Persians false? NO! Of course these facts are not false. The reality is that Dan Brown’s premise is simply foolish and ridiculous.

 

Not only does Mr. Brown ignore historical fact in suggesting the world was better off under paganism, but he once again shows his failure to understand true Christianity. True New Testament Christianity does not call for violence. Our battle and our weapons are spiritual (Ephesians 6:10 -20). Our message is one of love (Ephesians 4:15 ). Our gospel is one of hope (Romans 1:16 ). True Christianity will not throw the world out of balance and thrust it into violence. True Christianity, if applied, would have the very opposite effect.

 

Conclusion:

 

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown is an outright attempt to turn people away from Christianity and toward paganism. In so doing Dan Brown belittles the Christ, the Bible, and Christians. Also, Dan Brown’s propaganda promotes the practice of fornication as long as it is in the name of worshipping “the divine feminine.” His message is resonating in the hearts of the perverse and creating shockwaves among those who once trusted the Bible. It is a bitter, immoral, and dangerous message, but it is not new. His attacks simply involve old lies thrown into a modern package.

 

Does Dan Brown really believe these things or is he simply writing fiction for us to accept as nothing more than entertainment? When interviewed on ABC’s 20/20, Dan Brown said, “I began as a skeptic. As I started researching The Da Vinci Code I really thought I would disprove a lot of this theory about Mary Magdalene and holy blood and all of that. I became a believer.”[50] Dan Brown actually believes in the fictional fantasies of his bestselling novel. James spoke of some who deceive their own hearts (James 1:26 ). Apparently Dan Brown has deceived himself with his own distortions and lies. How sad it is that many others are also being deceived by this book. ABC’s Elizabeth Vargas said, “Some of the claims the book makes are not credible.”[51] When all of the facts are in it becomes very clear that most of the claims the book makes are not credible.

 

The true church of Christ will not sit idly by and let the pagans blaspheme God. We will put on our spiritual armor and go into spiritual battle against all forces of evil. We will “...have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them (Ephesians 5:11 ).” Remember David’s reaction to the blasphemy of the pagan giant Goliath? David said, “...who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God (1 Samuel 17:26 )?” David then proceeded to slay the giant. When paganism blasphemes God, the armies of God must arise to defend their cause. We rise to the spiritual challenge to fight a very real, spiritual battle. It is the age old battle of paganism versus Christianity.

 

Let me pose a few questions before we close. Who shall win this battle for the minds of men and women? Will paganism eventually triumph over Christianity, or will the opposite be true. Is this the Age of Aquarius in which paganism makes its comeback and Christianity suffers a bitter end? While we must admit that paganism is growing in strength we must realize that ultimately and finally God is in control. God will win. Paganism will go down to hell with its satanic creator. The book of Revelation promises Christians this final victory. Truth will survive. Christians will win. Whose side are you on?

 

Bibliography:

 

The Holy Bible, New King James Version, Copyright 1996, Broadman & Holman Publishers.

 

The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown, Doubleday , New York , copyright 2003

 

Cracking the Da Vinci Code by James Garlow & Peter Jones, Victor Publishing, Colorado Springs , copyright 2004

 

A General Introduction to the Bible, by Norman L Geisler & William E. Nix, Moody Press, Chicago, copyright 1986

 

The Eternal Kingdom : A History of the Church of Christ , by F.W. Mattox, Gospel Light Publishing Company, Delight, Copyright 1961

 

Radio Interview with Paul Myer, author of The Da Vinci Code: Fact or Fiction.

 

ABC’s 20/20 Monday Night Special Edition, Jesus, Da Vinci, and Mary Magdalene, reporter Elizabeth Vargos, 2004

 

The First Corinthians Epistle: An Introduction, by Bert Thompson as found in Studies in 1 Corinthians, edited by Dub McClish, Valid Publications, copyright 1982

 

[1] The Da Vinci Code, page 341

[2] Ibid, p. 1

[3] The Da Vinci Code, p. 235ff.

[4] Ibid, p. 248

[5] Ibid, p. 232

[6] The Eternal Kingdom , p. 106

[7] Ibid

[8] The Da Vinci Code, p. 245

[9] The Da Vinci Code, p. 245

[10] Ibid, p. 231

[11] Ibid

[12] Ibid, p. 232

[13] Ibid, p. 234

[14] A General Introduction to the Bible, p. 203/04

[15] A General Introduction to the Bible, pp. 223-231

[16] Ibid, p. 237

[17] Ibid, p. 282

[18] Ibid, p. 292

[19] Ibid, p. 221

[20] The Da Vinci Code, p. 231

[21] A General Introduction to the Bible, p. 382

[22] Ibid, p. 383

[23] Ibid, p. 431

[24] Ibid, p. 603

[25] A General Introduction to the Bible, p. 382

[26] The Da Vinci Code, p. 256

[27] A General Introduction to the Bible, p. 195

[28] Ibid

[29] The Da Vinci Code, p. 231

[30] A General Introduction to the Bible, p. 302

[31] A General Introduction to the Bible, p. 301

[32] Ibid, p. 302

[33] Ibid

[34] Ibid

[35] Cracking Da Vinici’s Code, p. 95

[36] Ibid, p. 94

[37] The Da Vinci Code, p. 23

[38] Ibid

[39] Ibid, p. 124

[40] The Da Vinci Code, p. 41

[41] Ibid, p. 125

[42] Ibid

[43] The Da Vinci Code, p. 309

[44] The Da Vinci Code, p. 309

[45] Ibid, pp. 308, 309

[46] Ibid, p. 310

[47] Studies in 1 Corinthians, p. 17

[48] The Da Vinci Code, pp. 125, 126

[49] Ibid

[50] ABC’s 20/20 - 2004

[51] ABC’s 20/20 Special Edition, The Da Vinci Code and Mary Magdalene, 2004

 

Please feel free to comment on this article; Click here to comment

 

 

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: space picture

Home | About the church | Correspondence Course| Questions | Events | Contact Us |

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: space picture

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: space picture

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: space picture