Reprinted from the blog Church of the Masses with permission.

I hate talking about "The Da Vinci Code" because I have a personal relationship with Jesus.

I have met Him, and He isn't a proto-feminist goddess-cultic with a weak personality that could have been simply co-opted by power-hungry misogynists. I love Jesus. It makes me physically sick to entertain discussion about the ways in which the defining acts of His life--his passion, resurrection, and establishment of the church--could be a diabolical scam that he never anticipated nor experienced. It would make me sick to hear salacious lies about anyone I love. How much more my savior?

Besides that, I don't think we should encourage people in the terrible sin against the Holy Spirit of speculating that things that are holy are evil, and that things that are evil are holy. Isn't that what is going on here? How is that not painful for anyone who knows the Lord?

I have heard several fellow Christians make the claim that "The Da Vinci Code" is "a great opportunity for evangelism." My response: "Hmmm...evangelism. I don't think you know what that word means." The climate of evangelism is not consistent with a posture of defiance and cynicism. Is slander an opportunity? Is angry superiority an opportunity? "The Da Vinci Code" represents all the "opportunity" that the Roman persecutions offered the early Church. Rah.

And here's another thing that troubles me about the "opportunity for dialogue" stance. The debate is all on hell's terms. I am somebody who reads about exorcisms. One of the first rules of exorcism is that you never answer the devil's questions. You don't debate the devil. You do not give evil the authority to question God. "The Da Vinci Code" represents a debate in which the questions start with Satan's presumptions. I find it beyond naive to convince myself that the folks who are lapping up "The Da Vinci Code" are on a "search for truth." They're not. They are on a crusade to validate their own rejection of the authority of Christ and the Church.

Here's a typical "Da Vinci"-inspired dialogue. See if you can find a search for truth in it.

It usually starts with something like this: "Everybody knows that the church fathers were liars. Can you prove the compilation of the Bible wasn't pure politics?"

And just when you start saying, "Well, I don't agree that the church fathers were--" the questioner moves on with eyes flashing unnaturally, "Why is the church so afraid of women, huh? Why has it suppressed them since the beginning? Yeah? Answer THAT!"

So, you clear your throat and say, "Well, I wouldn't say that the church is afr--"

But they've moved on again. "The fact is, there is no evidence for the Resurrection. Have you ever read the "'Gospel of Mary Magdalene?'"

"Well, no, but--"

"See, you people are all brainwashed."

When you debate with Satan, there is no opportunity for anything but people digging their heels into the sludge of chaos and confusion. 

I also hate the idea that some of the sheep would be scandalized away from Jesus by this idiotic story. And they will.

The sheep have been systematically prepared for slaughter by 40 years of post-Vatican II insanity. Ineffective and insufficient catechesis and lackluster preaching. Liturgical chaos. Too often, the cruel injustice of liberal, intolerant leadership which so often had the added indignity of manifest hypocrisy.

The flock has been bred as teeming little narcissist lambs who stubbornly consider themselves "special" no matter how mediocre their understanding and living out of their life of discipleship. We have a global pasture full of sheep pasturing themselves, with coats shamefully besmirched by loving their sins. They bleat defiance and pride of their filth, and insist that Jesus is indifferent to their degradation and shame. "Who knows, Jesus is probably just like us!"

And now "The Da Vinci Code" comes along to sheepish ears that are ready to be told that holiness is impossible. And that is why this damn book is a success. It says to people, "If Jesus was a sham, then anything is permissible."

I am perplexed by the Christian leaders going around saying that people are reading "The Da Vinci Code" in a search for truth. Good frickin' grief. People searching for truth would not be reaching for enlightenment from a pulp-fiction rack. The other day, I heard a useful Christian idiot (useful to Sony Pictures, anyway) say that Christians should stop criticizing "Da Vinci" as being a badly written story, because, "Let's face it, fifty million readers can't be wrong!"

Yes. They can. Let's try this: "Hey, let's face it, sixteen million readers of Hustler magazine can't be wrong!" Or hey, fifty million Germans who voted for Hitler couldn't be wrong!"

Yes, they could, and they were.

I was one of the folks in the pews recently at a "Da Vinci" event at a local evangelical church. The funniest (and scariest) part of the night came after several of the evangelical panel guys had gone through long speeches about how Christians should welcome "Da Vinci" as an opportunity for dialogue. Then they opened the floor up for questions, and the first woman with a query did a version of "I don't have any problem with the fact that Jesus had sex." Ha!

Many of our Christian sheep will be ripe for slaughter from "Da Vinci." All they will have to go to battle with is the Bible. But "Da Vinci" undermines biblical authority by saying that the Bible was the product of a purely political process. This debate will shake the faith of many who are not prepared for it.

Don't go see this stupid movie. Don't pay money to have the insidious lies of the Enemy introduced into your heart and mind.

"Othercott" "Da Vinci" on May 19. Go see "Over the Hedge" instead. And pray for everyone who is dancing with the devil through this movie.

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