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domingo, maio 21, 2006 

Exposing the Top 10 Lies of the Da Vinci Deception

EXPOSING THE TOP 10 LIES OF THE DA VINCI DECEPTION


OPENING TEXT: "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear." (1 Peter 3:15).

INTRODUCTION:
“Is Da Vinci Code Winning the Battle?” So read the front page headline for the April 16th edition of The Province Newspaper. The by-line continues to assert, “A poll shows 17 per cent of Canadians now believe author Dan Brown’s premise that the crucifixion was faked and Christ had a wife and children.”

How should we as Christians respond to Dan Brown’s book, The Da Vinci Code, and the movie coming out this month based on this fiction novel? The author claims in the introduction: “All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.” If The Da Vinci Code were billed as just a novel, it would be an interesting read for conspiracy buffs who like a fast-paced thriller. What makes the book troublesome is that it purports to be based on facts.1 But the author does little to hide his true malicious intentions towards the church when he writes, “Almost everything our fathers taught us about Christ is false.” (Brown, page. 255). The purpose of this teaching is to expose the Top 10 Lies of The Da Vinci Deception, and to arm the student with the true facts from the Bible and history.

#1: THE ROLE OF WOMEN:
Da Vinci Lie: “Powerful men in the early Christian church ‘conned’ the world by propagating lies that devalued the female…” (Brown, pg. 133).
The Truth: One of the earliest lies in the novel, perhaps this one is the most easily disproved by anyone who has an elementary knowledge of the Bible. From the stories of the Old Testament heroes of Deborah, Ruth, Esther and Hannah, to the New Testament women of Mary (the mother of Jesus), Mary Magdalene, Mary and Martha, and Phoebe, a deaconess in the church (Romans 16:1), the Bible is full of MANY women who did mighty exploits for the Lord. In fact, the Bible plainly declares in Acts 2:17 that God calls men AND women to His service: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.” If that wasn’t evidence enough, consider the clear teachings of the Apostle Paul in Galatians 3:28: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Neither the Bible, nor the true Christian church, devalue women.

#2: THE PRESERVATION OF THE BIBLE:
Da Vinci Lie: “The Bible is a product of man… Not of God… Man created it as a record of tumultous times, and it has evolved through countless translations, additions and revisions. History has never had a definitive version of the Book.” (Brown, pg. 250-251).
The Truth: Second Timothy 3:16 tells us, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.” The Bible, which is actually a collection of 66 different books, written by about 40 different authors over a period of 1500 years is indeed the very Word of God. Second Peter 1:20-21 says, “no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” As Christians, we have an absolutely certain PROMISE from God Himself that He will PRESERVE His Word to ALL generations! “But the word of the Lord endures forever.” (1 Peter 1:25). Jesus Christ Himself declared, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.” (Matthew 25:35).

#3: THE CANON OF SCRIPTURE:
Da Vinci Lie: “More than 80 gospels were considered for the New Testament, and only a relative few were chosen for inclusion.” (Brown, pg. 251).
The Truth: It is true that there were many other books that were written about Christ that were NOT INCLUDED in the Bible. It’s true that the Bible did not arrive as a “fax from heaven,” as Brown writes. The New Testament canon in its current form was first formally attested in 367. Nevertheless, church leaders applied important standards when compiling the Bible. Authors of accepted writings needed to have walked and talked with Jesus, or at least with his leading disciples. Their teaching could not contradict what other apostles had written, and their documents must have been accepted by the entire church. Church leaders considered earlier letters and reports more credible than later documents. Finally, they prayed and trusted the Holy Spirit to guide their decisions.2

#4: THE COUNCIL OF NICEA:
Da Vinci Lie:
“The Bible, as we know it today, was collated by the pagan Roman emperor Constantine the great.” (Brown, pg. 251).
The Truth: Although there was an actual HISTORICAL event known as The Council of Nicea, at no time did this council discuss or debate what books of the Bible would be included in the New Testament. More than 300 bishops met at Nicea to settle disputes about Christology - that is, the doctrine of Christ.3 The church no more gave us the New Testament canon than Sir Isaac Newton gave us the force of gravity. God gave us gravity by His work of creation, and similarly, He gave us the New Testament by inspiring the original books that make it up.4 This is just another example of either the ignorance of the true historical facts, or Brown’s outright attempts to twist the truth in order to further his own anti-Christian ends.

#5: THE DEITY OF CHRIST:
Da Vinci Lie:
“Until (the Council of Nicea), Jesus was viewed by Hs followers as a mortal prophet… a great and powerful man, but a man nonetheless. A mortal.” (Brown, pg. 253).
The Truth: John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” On many different occasions, not only did Jesus declare Himself to be the Son of God, He demonstrated it through the supernatural miracles that accompanied His ministry. The main reason the earliest disciples of Jesus gave for his divinity was the fact that he had actually risen from the dead.5 Another one of the lies in Brown’s book, The Da Vinci Code, says that the doctrine of Christ’s deity passed by “relatively close vote.” That is fiction, since only five out of more than 300 bishops… protested the creed. In fact, in the end, only two refused to sign it. The outcome was not exactly a cliffhanger.6 For nearly 2,000 years, the church has universally agreed in the basic foundational TRUTH that Jesus Christ is the only begotten son of the living God.

#6: THE DOCTRINE OF ORIGINAL SIN:
Da Vinci Lie: “It was man, not God, who created the concept of ‘original sin’, whereby Eve tasted of the apple and caused the downfall of the human race. Woman, once the sacred giver of life, was now the enemy.” (Brown, pg. 258).
The Truth: Here is another troubling instance of both Brown’s ignorance of the Bible text, and the teachings of the Christian church. Romans 5:12 says, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” And so we see that, even though Eve ate the fruit first (which incidentally, was not an apple!), it was through Adam’s transgression of God’s commandment that sin was passed onto the human race. Again, knowledge of the original Biblical story in Genesis three teaches us that it was neither the man nor the woman who was the enemy - but the tempter, SATAN!

#7: JESUS AND MARY MAGDALENE:
Da Vinci Lie:
“One particularly troubling earthly theme (in the other gospels was) Mary Magdalene… (and) her marriage to Jesus Christ.” (Brown, pg. 264).
The Truth: We know of no eyewitness documents that would give evidence of the marriage of Jesus to Mary. She no doubt had a deep love for Jesus, but in the most reliable accounts, there is no hint of romance between them.7 This is nothing more than a highly imaginative conspiracy THEORY, with absolutely no historical or credible evidence to substantiate it.

#8: THE SINGLENESS OF JESUS:
Da Vinci Lie:
“Jesus was a Jew, and the social decorum during that time virtually forbade a Jewish man to be unmarried.” (Brown, pg. 256).
The Truth: What a ridiculous thought! Although Jewish rabbis were usually married there was no REQUIREMENT that they be married. Also, although Jesus was called rabbi, he was not a part of the rabbinical order of his day.8

#9: THE FIRST PASTOR OF THE CHURCH:
Da Vinci Lie:
“Jesus was the original feminist. He intended for the future of the church to be in the hands of Mary Magdalene.” (Brown, pg. 268).
The Truth: First of all, in none of the Gnostic gospels that Brown refers to is there a clear indication that Mary was anything but a favoured disciple, as indeed John was. In fact, the only clear reference that we have in any reliable manuscripts regarding Jesus’ wishes for the first pastor of His church is found in Matthew 16:18 where He said, “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” Although in Christ Jesus there is neither male nor female, and in the church today, there are opportunities for both men and women to minister side by side in the Gospel, there is no evidence whatsoever that Jesus intended Mary Magdalene to be the FIRST pastor of the church.

#10: THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE:
Da Vinci Lie:
“The Sangreal documents simply tell the other side of the Christ story… (they) include tens of thousands of pages of information… scientific evidence that the New Testament is false testimony..” (Brown, pg. 277 & 369).
The Truth: They say, “The ‘truth’ is out there.” If this is the case, then where is this mountain of evidence that they speak of? Where is this scientific EVIDENCE that they claim proves that the New Testament is fake? If there are really thousands of pages of documents that exist that disprove Christianity, where are they? As Erwin Lutzer boldly asserts, “Let’s call (Dan Brown’s) bluff and insist that he find them and present them to the world!”9

CONCLUSION:
Although this is by no means an exhaustive look at the many lies and errors contained within the Da Vinci Code, I trust that I have made a very strong case that there is little, if any, truth to the author’s claims of historical and factual accuracy.

What then should our response as Christians be? Should we read this book? Should we see the movie? Here is my pastoral encouragement to you:

APPLICATION:
1. For most of you, the best advice to you would be: DON’T go see the movie! Unless you are solidly rooted and grounded in your faith, and in a knowledge of the factual and historical basis of Christianity, this movie has the potential to poison and weaken your faith.
2. IF you pray about it and feel released by the Lord to read the book or see the movie, here are some very important warnings and suggestions for you:

a. BE PRAYED UP. It is abundantly clear that Dan Brown has an agenda. This book is a direct attack against Jesus Christ, the church, and those of us who are his followers and call him Saviour and Lord… (In fact), One man said now that he has read the book, he will never be able to enter a church again!10

b. KNOW WHAT YOU BELIEVE! Take the time to avail yourself of some of the great resources listed below so that you are saturated with the truth of God’s Word and church history, so you will not be easily deceived!

c. Don’t see it on OPENING WEEKEND. “Because Hollywood places so much emphasis on a film’s opening-weekend box-office take, (it is recommended) that Christians who believe they need to see the film for pastoral (or evangelistic) reasons wait until at least the second weekend.” 11


Chris & Liza Jordan have been the youth pastors at Bible Fellowship Church since January of 1997. They have been married for over 11 years, and have four wonderful children, Caleb, Tori, Austin, Hannah.

By Pastor Chris Jordan - May 2006


BIBLIOGRAPHY:
1. Erwin Lutzer, The Da Vinci Deception, page xxv
2. Colin Hansen, 5 Big Questions from Da Vinci Code, article from www.christianitytoday.com.
3. Lutzer, pg. 6
4. J.I. Packer, God Speaks to Man.
5. Josh McDowell, The Da Vinci Code: Quest for Answers, pg. 82.
6. Lutzer, pg. 10
7. Lutzer, pg. 64
8. Lutzer, pg. 74
9. Lutzer, pg. 123
10. Lutzer, pg. xxiii, xxv
11. Peter Chattaway, Grappling with the Da Vinci Juggernaut, article in BC Christian News.

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