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 ↑
What’s wrong with “The Da Vinci Code”?
Quite simply: For the lost, the homeless, the needy, the hurting – the mass of mankind – it is Bad News!
As Paul says in 1 Cor. 15:17-19, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins … If we have placed our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone.”
Except for a few limousine liberals, anyone with common sense or any sense at all realizes we live in a world of trial, tribulation, grief, war, anger and lust. Pick up any newspaper and you will read of the fallenness and trials of mankind. The Good News is simply this: In the midst of this fallenness, God came in the person of Jesus Christ to rescue us from our sins.
I once had a discussion with a Harvard-trained Buddhist follower of Rimpoche, one of many famous Tibetan Buddhist teachers by that name. This brilliant Harvard grad pointed out that Rimpoche told his audience in New York City’s renowned venue, Town Hall, that we live in a cesspool. I asked what the solution was for the Buddhist, and he replied, “Let go and drown.” I said, “Well, the Good News is that Jesus is always there ready to pull you out of the cesspool. His hand is stretched out for you. Ask and you shall be delivered.” Well, this Harvard-trained Buddhist did ask, was converted and is now the head of a very strong, conservative, reformed seminary department.
But, conspiracy-minded, pseudo-intellectual, effete, elite, dilettante dabblers, such as Dan Brown, author of “The Da Vinci Code,” are proclaiming to the world that Jesus was a mere mortal, that he’s deader than a doornail, and that we should go back to the pagan religions. Yes, Brown actually writes in his novel that we should go back to pagan religions. And, what were those pagan religions like? Aside from the fun, voyeuristic, satanic rituals featured in “The Da Vinci Code”?
Well, they were religions of fear where people constantly thought that other people had worked black magic on them and that their problems resulted from a lack of power, or not knowing the right incantation. As the anthropology page turner “Spirit of the Rainforest” shows all too clearly, however, the pagan world consists of revenge, rape, pillage, plunder and black-magic curses.
Of course, this was not just the pagan world of the rainforest. Even the pro-evolution, politically correct National Geographic tells how the Viking chiefs mourned their recently deceased leader by raping his wife before putting her to death in a gruesome manner, in a ceremony reminiscent of Sati in India, where widows were thrown into the funeral pyre even in the 20th century, or the cannibalism in Papua New Guinea, within only a generation of our lives.
Certainly people don’t believe in magic as a tool for revenge, some might argue, but do they know about the besieged prime minister of Thailand who believes just that – as do the sultans and mullahs of many Muslim communities?
Civilization in the form of caring for the needy, the poor, the homeless, and the forgotten, in the form of Dr. Livingstone, Mother Teresa and Albert Schweitzer, came as a result of the preaching of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Knowing that they had been redeemed, these missionaries were delivered from the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life, and dedicated themselves to serving the Body of Christ.
Thus, the church – and the body of believers that Dan Brown hates – civilized a vicious, barbaric, sinful, fallen and miserable world. The value of “Thou shalt not murder” protected the life of the weak (including the smallest child) from the malicious and callous, “Thou shalt not steal” protected the little person from the powerful, “Thou shalt not covet” protected the meek from the neighborhood bully, etc.
In other words, the redemption and freedom only available in Jesus Christ through His death and resurrection has civilized the world. Dan Brown and others, on the other hand, want to barbarize the world.
Despite their lies, those who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ know without a shadow of a doubt that He was raised from the dead and delivered them from sin. They are dedicated to be a part of His gracious Kingdom in helping to bring the Good News to all those who are needy, including the effete, elite, dilettante dabblers who do not understand their need.