Greetings dear family of our beloved Saviour Jesus Christ; may the Holy Spirit confirm you in all truth. AMEN
Christianity is under attack once more, this time from Dan Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code. The book and recent film are causing a great deal of commotion. Although this book is a fictitious novel, its mixture of truths, half-truths and lies that are all based around real people, places and events, are causing a great deal of confusion to some Christians. The book falsely claims that Christ was not a divine being, but simply a prophet who married Mary Magdalene and had children, that the church was handed into the care of Mary Magdalene and not Peter, and that Jesus did not die on the cross – or rise from the dead.
It also attacks the authenticity of the Gospels, claiming that the Gnostic gospels, which he quotes from in the book, have “further truths” that the church has kept hidden from everyone (The Gnostic’s were an early pseudo-Christian group who believed a relationship with God came through “secret knowledge” which only they possessed, that there are two gods and that the world was created by an evil god and that the material world is evil and flawed. The Gnostic gospels were discovered in Egypt in 1945 and many are believed to be fraudulent. It is believed by many theologians that the following texts are the response of the early church to their teachings: (1 John 4:1-3 and 2 John 7 and Col 2:8 onwards).
Why is Dan Brown’s work of fiction so dangerous? Well, it has sold over 40 million copies worldwide and millions more are now going to see the film. Posters advertising the film have the words “Seek the truth” on them; the film has already had an effect on the faith of many people. A poll in Canada revealed that out of 1000 people surveyed before the film, 48% believed in the divinity of Christ, but after the film only 17% believed in the divinity of Christ. I went onto a website forum about the book, and read comments like, “I will never set foot in a church again,” because some people actually believe the nonsense written in this book. Even before this book was published Christianity had a problem, with 30% of ministers across many denominations admitting that they no longer believed in the virgin birth or the physical resurrection of Christ. There has also been an emergence of new denominations that believe, as Dan Brown’s book claims,
that Jesus married Mary Magdalene etc.
There is a greater persecution of the Christian faith (and especially Catholic faith) today than ever before. Apart from the 42 countries around the world in which Christians are still being persecuted, we now have in many countries of the world, a distrust of Christians and a misrepresentation of Christian beliefs, the truth is often called a lie and the lies are called truth – especially in the media. This is all very sad, but we must not lose heart; from the time of the “Fall” until the present day evil wages war upon God’s creation. God did not create evil, nor is there, as he Gnostics believed, an evil god which did, evil is simply the lack of God’s grace. All that God created was good (Gen 1:31) even Lucifer was created good by God and was one of the angels of light, only when he fell into pride and disobedience (Isaiah 14:12-16) did he become “evil” and be given the name “the devil”. There is only one God and everything He created was created through love!
Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is not a dead prophet as Dan Brown’s novel claims, but a risen Lord! Jesus manifested His divinity 235 times in the Gospels! The Gospels were written by those who knew Jesus and saw His works first hand, and bore witness to the truth. Scholars are virtually united in stating that the Gospels of the Bible were written within 100 years or less of Jesus’ death. However, the same academics are also convinced that many of the Gnostic gospels are fraudulent and were written as late as the end of the third century.
No other person in history has displayed such power as that of Jesus: He healed the sick, raised the dead, multiplied food, and had command over nature. Jesus is the only person to have fulfilled all the Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament. He also cast out demons and destroyed the works of darkness, and it is because of this that so much evil opposes Him and those who follow Him.
We, who believe in Jesus, and possess the gift of faith, have the joy and certain knowledge of the divinity of Jesus. We have received through Christ’s redemptive suffering the fullness of God’s revelation, the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and the beauty of God’s abundant life. Let us use the controversy of Dan Brown’s work of fiction as a talking point to witness to others of the truth of God’s revelation in Jesus Christ, and let us pray that they may open their hearts to receive God’s love.