Becky went to see The Da Vinci Code on Friday with some co-workers and I went to see it on Sunday night. The Fandango website at The Da Vinci Code describes the movie as follows:
“A murder in Paris’ Louvre Museum and cryptic clues in some of Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous paintings lead to the discovery of a religious mystery. For 2,000 years a secret society closely guards information that — should it come to light — could rock the very foundations of Christianity.”
The Da Vinci Code made quite a stir before it was released with Director Ron Howard, actor Tom Hanks and other Hollywood elites cruising the world on an all out media campaign. Television programs, newspapers and others have all been talking about the enormous impact that the book has had on society with a readership of over 50 million people. It’s been hailed as the best selling fiction novel of all time.
Becky and I had not read the book nor were we interested in reading it. I had a former business partner who had read it a couple of years ago when it first came out. Since I used to host a radio show called “Bible Talk” here in Denver I was amazed that he and others actually thought that this goofy mystery story had any credibility whatsoever. Even though it was fiction, I spoke with numerous people over the past couple of years who gave the book credibilty and talked about it to me, as though it were fact.
For me, the whole idea of Jesus Christ being married to Mary Magdalene because of the painting of the Last Supper by Leonardo DaVinci, that the early Church had covered up the fact that Jesus was just an ordinary man and other wild assertions in the book was nothing short of absurd. That’s the basic premise of The Da Vinci Code that the world has been believing a big lie when it comes to Christ and the crucifixion. Even if it is a work of fiction, it has been able to shake the faith of many people by questioning the authority of the best selling book of all time – The Bible.
The movie starts out rather graphic with a terrible murder that takes place and a high-profile author being brought into solve the case. It turns out that he is the lead suspect in the murder and one of the hero’s of the film. The whole movie turns crazy as the movie leads you on a wild ride into a conspiracy by a sect of the Catholic Church to cover up the fact that Jesus was not really who the world believes that He was. I was really surprised it got a PG-13 rating because it was more of an R rated film with the violence. It kind of reminded me of the film National Treasure with Nicolas Cage only not nearly as good of a film or as good of a story.
At least in that film they were chasing something that might actually be plausible and it was way more entertaining. The idea that Jesus would go to the cross as a liar and a deceiver, that early Christians would be thrown to lions because of a massive cover up that Jesus was really just another married man, that the Apostle Paul would willingly leave his seat of authority with Judaism and be stoned, shipwrecked, imprisoned and eventually put to death, Peter would deny Christ and later be crucified upside down for his faith, John would be boiled in oil and exiled to the Isle of Patmos, the vail of the Temple ripped from top to bottom at Christ’s crucifixion, thousands of Jews and pagans converted to Christianity and over five hundred people witness Jesus alive after He rose from the dead, all be a hoax is as laughable as having a movie about how the moon is really made out of cheese and NASA has been covering it up ever since Armstrong made his giant leap for mankind.
The fact is that the very early Church was not the omnipotent, powerful and deceptive organization that the film wants the audience believe. The main character in the film proposing this hypothesis turns out to be a lunatic, but it’s too late because he’s been presented as the authority figure. The fact is that early Christians were extremely persecuted people and still are today in many parts of the world. Just visit www.persecution.org and you can read about modern martyrs who are being killed for their faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God even today.
Sure, the Roman Catholic Church gained power after Constantine and has many skeletons in her closet, but keep in mind that the Roman Catholic Church has never been much for covering up some of it’s non-biblical beliefs or even her past sins. The Inquisition was a real event that you can read about in Foxes Book of Martyrs and it has been acknowledged by the Vatican today. There were some real whacko’s who came into power during the Middle Ages and these nutcrackers were obviously serving themselves and not God.
It’s also true that many pagan rituals were blended into Catholism under Roman rule in an effort to win the pagans to Christianity and to bring Roman culture into Christianity. Even today, there are rituals of praying a set of Rosary beads as an act of contrition and to obtain the 15 Promises of Mary. The belief in Purgatory for a second chance to gain a new way back into God’s Grace by works, after someone has already died.
The Bible clearly teaches that it has been appointed by God for men to die once and after that they will be judged. Only those who receive God’s grace exclusively through faith in His Son Jesus Christ and what He did for them through His death on the cross for their sins will be justified before God. You can’t do anything to impress God through your own works because He’s only impressed with the completed work of His Son. We all fall somewhere between Hitler and Mother Theresa, but God’s standard is Jesus Christ. God doesn’t grade on a curve according to the Bible.
There are many other zany rituals and beliefs within the Catholic Church that are out in plain site for the world to see. They are often criticized by Protestants, Muslims, Jews and other religions. So, it’s nonsense to think that they have been covering up something as important as Jesus’ true identity and mission. Especially, since so many other cults and religions completely disregard the Supreme Authority of Jesus Christ.
The Jehovah Witnesses, the Jews, the Muslims and the Mormon’s don’t believe that Jesus is equal with God as His one and only Son, so why would it be shocking to think that there were some in the early Church who believed that Jesus was just a prophet, a mere mortal or even an angel who was not fully man? Paul, being filled with the Holy Spirit, preached a great deal against early church heresies and made his doctrine very clear in the Books of Ephesians and Colossians to guard against false doctrines coming into the early church. The one thing that the Catholic Church has always been right on, according to the Scriptures and historical evidence, is the belief in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and the statement of faith contained in The Apostles Creed.
I have to mention one other thing, even though I’ve gone far too long on this review, but I think it’s important given all the controversary surrounding this movie. When I watched the movie and saw the painting by Da Vinci of “The Last Supper”, I immediately thought that the person on his right was his mother. Especially, since the Catholic’s have always held “The Virgin Mary” as the one who would sit at the right hand of Jesus and Da Vinci was under the authority of the Catholic Church when he did the painting.
For example, The “Immaculate Conception” is the official Roman Catholic doctrine that teaches that Mary was filled with grace from the very moment of her conception in her mother’s womb, just like Jesus was born without sin. The title “Immaculate Conception” is only used by the Catholics.
It only makes sense that Da Vinci would put Jesus Mother on his right side, especially since this was considered the highest place of authority. You will notice in the painting that the disciple, which is believed to be Peter, is whispering into the woman’s ear and this also makes sense based on Catholic doctrine as it relates to Mary and her position within the Church.
Was the disciple in Da Vinci whispering in The Virgin Mary’s ear because Jesus would listen to his Mother? That’s the first thing I thought when I saw the picture during the movie. How did Mary Magdalene enter into the painting in The Da Vinci Code when Catholism has always hailed the majesty of “The Madonna” as part of its primary belief system? It’s really goofy to think that it’s Mary Magdalene and not “The Mother of God” based on the belief system of the Catholic Church.
Finally, the one part of the film that was equally unbelievable for me was the assertion that Constantine’s convening of the Council of Nicaea in AD 325 to discuss the Diety of Christ in relation to God the Father was a “close vote”. If you have seen the film or read the book and are at all interested in the facts, you should take the time to read what really happened during the Council of Nicaea. You’ll notice that the “close vote” of the film was over 250 in favor of Christ’s Diety based on historical evidence and church doctrine to 2 who were against His Diety. I would hardly say that’s a “close vote”.
This film completely lacked credibility for me based on what I know about the Catholic church and church history. It’s out of the Council of Nicaea that we obtained The Nicene Creed, which is the most widespread Christian statement of faith and what is commonly referred to today as The Apostle’s Creed. This came about not as a conspiracy, but because the early Christians, not the whacky Catholics of The Dark Ages, believed so strongly that Jesus was and is the Messiah, the only begotten Son of God, that they wanted to clarify who was a Christian and who was not based on what a person was preaching, teaching and actually believed.
In conclusion, I apologize that this was so long, Becky thought The Da Vinci Code was a Rental and I have to give it a Don’t Bother since National Treasure is a much better work of fiction and more fun to watch.
John – * Don’t Bother
Becky – ** Rental
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