My Da Vinci Confession

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  • This weekend, the “The Da Vinci Code” will be released in theaters around the country. And as this much-hyped movie comes out, I feel the need to make a confession: I have not read the book. And barring some minor miracle, I will not see the movie, either. Some time ago, I learned not to get overly excited about the cultural attacks against Christianity. In fact, I have come to expect it, at this point. When Christmas and Easter comes, I started looking for the new “discovery” some supposed “expert” has made about “true” Christianity. Really, no religion is so freely attacked in America as Christianity. So the whole Da Vinci phenomenon shouldn’t be a surprise.

    Actually, the “Code” is more of an attack against Roman Catholicism, than Protestant Evangelicalism. So there is a part of me that says, “If Da Vinci hurts the Roman Catholic version of Christianity, oh well.” But the problem with responding this way is that those who are so targeted in their attacks against Christianity are not as careful in representing what Christians actually teach and believe. So maybe we are all on the same boat when these attacks arise. But while these attacks may be good opportunities to clarify our biblical convictions, I still contend that we should not get too caught up in all of the hype. I think it is not wise to let the culture dictate the conversation of the church. If so, we will be chasing down one lie after another. It seems that the better way is to make our people so familiar with the authentic Christian faith that they will be able to readily spot counterfeits.

    I am a part of a congregation that asks a lot of questions. I like that about Mt. Sinai. I enjoy being with people who are thinking about spiritual matters, wrestling with their questions, and seeking the truth. But, interestingly, I have not received one question about Da Vinci. In fact, I do not personally know one person who has actually read the book. Admittedly, this may be a statement about how small my world is. I read something yesterday that said 1 in 5 Americans have read Da Vinci. So I don’t know what that says about me and my world that we haven’t been “encoded.” It may be a good thing (we are discerning), or a bad thing (we are disconnected from the larger culture). I don’t know.

    When it these attacks against our faith arise, I think that we should just continue in the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, and let the world say and do what the world says and does. Do you know how many things have arisen that were supposed to “expose” the myth of Christianity. Yet, after 2,000 years, Christianity continues to bury the things that were supposed to kill it. By the way, have we forgotten that “The Da Vinci Code” is a novel. It’s not theology. And it’s not history. It’s fiction. And it may be plagiarized fiction, at that. So maybe we should all take a deep breath, step back, and wait for this latest attack to pass away. See you at the “Da Vinci” funeral.


    H.B. Charles Jr.

    Pastor-Teacher at the Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church of Jacksonville and Orange Park, Florida.