Friday, May 19, 2006

The DaVinci Code

The movie The DaVinci Code opened in theaters today. In my town there were churches that planned to protest the movie. One is led by a pastor who has been interviewed by the media in one of those “debunking the code” features. Everyone seems to think that this book and movie is an affront to Christians. My pastor reminds us that it is fiction!

In a sermon during the Easter season my pastor asked what if archaeologist found a burial “box” with bones that were identified by DNA testing to be the bones of Jesus, somehow suggesting that Jesus was not resurrected but lived to an old age and simply died. Of course he was not suggesting that was the case, but asking us to think about how such a finding, if it were even possible would effect what we believe.

I have thought about this hypothetical question a lot. And I have thought about the DaVinci Code and the premise that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married and that the blood line continued into the French monarchy. But then how can one avoid thinking about this especially if they watch the History Channel!

I have come to the following conclusions. If Jesus was not resurrected in the sense that the Church believes, then at least the resurrection is true in that his spirit continues to live on in the hearts of many people some 2000 years after his death.

If he was married to Mary Magdalene and his blood line continued on what does it matter? It seems to me that there is plenty of evidence in the Gospel of Mark, the Gospel of Thomas and in Q that there was a historical person known as Jesus who taught an alternative wisdom and was crucified by the Romans most likely because he was creating too much controversy for the empire.

The alternative wisdom taught by Jesus was and is some powerful stuff! The law as it was written in the Torah was not the only way to know God. The most important commandment was to love God and your neighbor. That God loved us regardless of our short comings. Jesus’ message was one of compassion and love. His teachings pointed to God’s grace and that we should try to demonstrate grace as we lived our lives. These points seem to be all through the New Testament, the Gnostic gospels and writings of Paul. We know about this message not only because of the church, but also through archaeology. This message remains constant regardless of a resurrection or an alleged marriage to Mary and the continuation of a bloodline.

In some ways it is a shame that the church has become a system of “right beliefs” and requirements that detract from the message of grace. It seems to me that if the church were more focused on God’s grace and living grace then the DaVinci Code would not only be fiction, but also just another blockbuster.


Blogger gawilli said...

I don't get what the big deal is either, fiction or not. People get lost in the blither when the really important thing is to live our lives by the example Jesus gave us.

One thing I did agree with was the statement in today's paper that said people who saw the movie might be coming out with some questions. It sure would be nice if the answers they got were not the same old, same old - but a little of that alternative wisdom. Now that would be some debunking!

9:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The movie was fun. The history of it is not there, but that is OK. It is a nice story. People need to think through their anwsers to their questions. An answer one day may very well change to another answer the next day. Such is progress.

5:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Except for the self-flagellation scenes, I enjoyed the movie. I did not read the book.

Although in earlier days I might have felt differently, the premise of divine descendents of Jesus does not upset me. Either way, we are all children of God. As you so aptly put, "That God loved us regardless of our short comings. Jesus’ message was one of compassion and love." That grace, that compassion, and that love is what is important.

If you click on my initials, you can read a review and commentary of the movie by the illustrious Bishop John Shelby Spong.

12:20 PM  
Blogger willi said...

What a great link to a Spong article on the movie mjd has posted! Everyone should click on mjd and read this article.

Spong does not seem to be too worried about any possibility that Jesus may have been married or somehow significantly linked to Mary. He doesn't really buy Dan Brown's story, but he certainly is not threatened.

I really liked the following from Spong's page 2.

"I think the only task facing the Christian Church in our day is to enhance the humanity of every person, so that by living fully, loving wholeheartedly, and daring to be all that they can be, they make visible all that the human word "God" means."

9:06 PM  
Blogger PT said...


Another great one. I appreciate your quoting me, building-my-pastors-ego might be a good blog name as well(lol). Anyway, I'm glad you liked the movie. I haven't seen it yet - just waiting for the crowds to thin. I don't like crowds, especially after that Jesus thing...


7:39 AM  

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