Discussing Da Vinci
This devotional was written by Jim Liebelt
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12
Here in the spring of 2006, there is no shortage of discussion about author Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code and the release of the movie based on the book. The book and movie portray a controversial storyline in which Jesus was not really the Son of God, but a mere mortal of royal ancestry who had a wife, and a child, and whose earliest followers created fables in order to deify him and make him out to be the Messiah. All this is wrapped up in the context of murder mystery, hunger for power and conspiracy theory.
In response, the Christian community has risen to the occasion producing books, sermons, study guides, curriculum, debating points, and more. This is in order to prepare the faithful to refute the portrayal of the Jesus found in Brown’s book and the resulting confusion in the minds and hearts of people. This is well and good, to the point the Church attempts to take a stand for the real Jesus revealed in the Scriptures, and to help people process and discern the difference between truth and error.
Notably, it is worthwhile to remember that The DaVinci Code is a novel, a work of fiction. While we surely ought to be prepared to discuss such a hot topic, we should also be reminded to speak the truth “in love” (see Ephesians 4:15). Some within the Christian community are opting to take a combative approach to the discussion. I’ve recently seen a Christian “refuting the code” resource that parodies Brown and others who do not hold to the Scripture’s portrayal of Jesus, in insulting fashion. Frankly, I don’t recall Jesus instructing His followers to be mean-spirited. My concern is that a combative approach to the DaVinci discussion provides those outside the church with another reason to reject Jesus, rather than embrace Him. It should not be a lost lesson to us that Jesus allowed those who hated Him to crucify Him, never reviling them in return, and even asking His Father to forgive them because they didn’t realize what they were doing. That’s love, and the model Jesus has in mind for us to follow.
The reality is that, for most of us, conversations about The DaVinci Code will be with friends, coworkers, relatives and neighbors who are curious, confused or seeking, not with fierce defenders of the novel’s theories who will be combative. With humility, respect, and love, let’s make the most of any opportunities the Lord provides to engage others in discussion about who Jesus really is. Let’s demonstrate to people that combativeness, arrogance and meanness are not the hallmarks of those who follow the risen Christ.
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1. Why do you believe the Scriptural account of Jesus is true? If you have a hard time answering this question, do some research on the reliability of the Scriptures.
2. What advantage does a gentle approach to discussing truth with others have over a more combative approach?
Ephesians 4:15, 5:15-16; 1 Peter 3:14-16; 2 Peter 2:19-23
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