Dr. Ted Baehr is the founder and publisher of MOVIEGUIDE, chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission, and a well-known movie critic, educator, lecturer and media pundit. He also is the author of several books, including "The Culture-Wise Family" with legendary entertainer Pat Boone. For more information, please call 800-899-6684 or go to the MOVIEGUIDE website.More ↓Less ↑
Some people are arguing that people should read “The Da Vinci Code,” see the movie and read responses to “The Da Vinci Code.”
The Bible, however, tells us in Philippians 4:8 to look upon what is good, true and beautiful. The promoters and shills for “The Da Vinci Code” would have us believe that, if it’s popular, we should waste our time and read it, even if it’s heresy.
By that argument, we should take some other popular books and read them. Let’s all read Mao’s “Little Red Book,” one of the most popular books of all time, and “The Communist Manifesto.” Let’s read “Mein Kampf” by Hitler or the anti-Semitic diatribe “The Chronicles of Zion,” which is very popular in Muslim circles.
Or, let’s read the most popular book of all time at every school: the Bible. Of course, the antipathy to the Bible proves that people do not believe that just because a book is popular we should read it. The ACLU certainly doesn’t feel that way about the Bible.
Life is short. Despite the delusions of our materialist age, each of us will die and then face judgment.
So how can we organize our time well? In spite of the antipathy of the loony left, the Bible is a great place to start. And, within the words of God to us, a good suggestion about how to spend our time is proclaimed in Philippians 4:8:
“Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable – if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise – dwell on these things.” (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
Or, let’s go on to read “Calvin’s Institutes of Christian Religion,” or Augustine, Aquinas, Shakespeare, or great philosophers or great literature.
Thinking we have to read “The Da Vinci Code” because it’s the popular thing to do reduces us to conforming to the most debased elements in the culture, rather than to the image of God.
A humorous illustration of this important point happened several years ago. One of my reporters at MOVIEGUIDE?, my family guide to movies and entertainment founded in 1985, was attending a press roundtable for a family movie starring actress Sarah Jessica Parker, the star of HBO’s series about young women and their relationships, “Sex in the City.”
Miss Parker became terribly upset when our reporter happened to mention that he’d never seen an episode of “Sex in the City.” How dare you miss this terribly important piece of popular culture, seemed to be her attitude.
Well, “Sex in the City,” despite the hype it received among many secular critics, is a forgettable piece of soft-core kitsch that’s not really worth anybody’s time. As such, its appeal is a narrow one, even though reruns of the program are now being syndicated around the world. These reruns will soon disappear from most television channels in the wake of the newest fad. They will also disappear because, unlike beloved classic TV shows like “I Love Lucy” or “The Andy Griffith Show,” they lack the kind of transcendent, eternal values that come from God and His Word Written, the Bible.
Moviegoers, TV viewers and readers, therefore, should turn away from immoral programming that is full of heresy, and look instead upon the Good, the True and the Beautiful.