Sunday, May 21, 2006

...And It's Also a Movie!

Okay, so I said I'd never read The Da Vinci Code. And indeed, I probably won't. But it takes considerably less of a time investment to watch the movie, and since Lee was treating, watch it we did just last night.

At least now I know what all the brouhaha is all about. It was a reasonably entertaining movie, and I guess I can understand now why somebody might get the notion to write such a story -- it is, at least, an interesting concept. It is not something that a Christian would write, and I can't fathom why a Christian would make it into a film. But we do live in a free country, so nobody can (or even should) stop somebody from telling a story about Jesus. Even if it isn't true.

Both Lee and I are firmly grounded in our faith, so there was no danger we would be corrupted by what we saw on that big screen. But I can understand why many Christian leaders, in particular evangelists and Catholic authorities, would frown upon it. Impressionable (i.e. flaky) minds might well be swayed by it.

The Christian faith, perhaps more than any other, depends upon the historicity of the events recounted in the New Testament. If these things did not actually happen, then our beliefs are based upon falsehoods. I am convinced that the New Testament is as accurate as most ancient records -- if not more so. Many eminent sorts have labored mightily to debunk it, only to end up converting to belief in Christ. But not everyone is informed enough to separate fact from fiction.

There was really nothing disrespectful about the way Jesus was portrayed in The Da Vinci Code. It was just plain incorrect. Is there anything wrong with telling fairy-stories about Jesus? Not, I suppose, as long as nobody believes them. But if they do believe them, a great deal of harm can be done.

Again, those responsible for the book and film did not happen to pick on just any historical figure. Out of the millions and billions of folks they might have chosen to depict, they chose the Man half of the population of the earth believes to be God Incarnate. They certainly have the right to tell the story. But they shouldn't expect us to cry for them when people criticize them for it.

"It's only fiction," they're telling us now. "Boo-hoo, why people being so mean?"

It may make no difference to them now. And if they're right and we Christians are wrong, then ultimately it will never matter. But if they're the ones who've rolled the wrong number, then someday they may wish that at least some of their critics had been even meaner.


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