them what they secretly want and they of course immediately become
panic-stricken." - Jack Kerouac
From abc NEWS: A line from Dan
Brown's "The Da Vinci Code" tells you why it's easily the most
disputed religious novel of all time: "Almost everything our
fathers taught us about Christ is false."
Although most Evangelical Christian leaders
have not called for a boycott of the movie, the Vatican stepped up its
offensive against "The Da Vinci Code" on Friday when a top
official close to Pope Benedict, Archbishop Angelo Amato, blasted the
book as full of anti-Christian lies and urged Catholics to boycott the
film. Amato suggested that Catholics around the world should
launch organized protests against the "Da Vinci Code" film
just as some had done in 1988 to protest Martin Scorsese's "The
Last Temptation of Christ."
All of this is so very fascinating to me. I
actually went to see the movie, "The Last Temptation of
Christ" in 1988 ... standing in line surrounded by protestors.
I found the movie to be offensive to me, not because it challenged my
beliefs about the Life and Teachings of Jesus, but because it presented
an image of Jesus that was totally inconsistent with His teachings and
philosophy. I can remember thinking how amazing it was that even
in 1988 the Vatican and the fundamentalist Christians were so threatened
by such a totally unimportant film. On the other hand, I found Mel
Gibson's, "Passion of the Christ" which was acclaimed by
Catholics and Christians alike ... some of them endorsing it to the
point of busing their congregations to see it ... and overlooking the
fact that it was an "R" rated movie ... to be such a gory,
violent, distraction from the Powerful Teachings and Life of Jesus that
I knew without a doubt that it was the perfect propaganda film for
religions that are fighting for survival in the 21st Century. And
the fact that they themselves promoted it almost as much as Mel Gibson
... was proof to me that my speculation was correct.
Christianity Today Magazine is offering a free
one-page Guide to "hand out and discuss with your family and
friends" titled, "5 Big Questions from The Da Vinci
From the Guide: Question #3.
Were there really competing Christianities during the early church?
Yes - in the sense there were many disputes about the nature of Jesus.
And the church has done its best to vanquish challengers to orthodoxy.
Once the church decided against the Gnostic writings, they gathered and
burned all the Gnostic manuscripts they could find. [short version]
Now, isn't it wonderful to know that these
writings were gathered and burned? Emperor Constantine began his
meetings of 325 in Nicea! This council produced the first drafts of what
became the Nicene Creed, a landmark explanation of Christian belief.
It is interesting to note that although the Gnostic writings were
gathered and burned, the writings of Paul, which supports the dogma of
religions still today, were accepted as valid ... although, it does not
take a religious scholar to determine easily that Paul's writings are
often antagonistic to the teachings of Jesus ... who was not attempting
to create a new religion but to give us a more enlightened awareness of
our relationship to God. But Emperors, Popes and Fundamentalists
Religious Leaders are far more comfortable with the writings of Paul ...
which supports much of the judgment and out-dated dogmas of the current
Catholic and Christian Evangelicals who are still clinging to the power
that was never theirs in the first place.
The Master Mind
Jesus gave us the "Father within" ... while religions still
hold onto a god in the image of man. The Good that comes from all
the dialogue and discussions regarding the "Da Vinci Code"
movie and the movies before it about the Great Jesus, are that we are
given the opportunity to contemplate what we believe ... about Jesus,
about God ... and about our religious/spiritual beliefs. Now is
the time to begin healing the old wounds of religion for so many of us,
and to begin to renew within ourselves a greater confidence in the words
of the Radical Rabbi, "these things I do and greater things still
shall you do." And how did He accomplish these great things
... by relating Himself to God ... and teaching us to do the same!
So It Is!