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RevBates.tv Global - Weekly Message To The Masses (May 7, 2006)      

      "That I am not a member of any Christian Church, is true; but I have never denied the truth of the Scriptures; and I have never spoken with intentional disrespect of religion in general, or of any denomination of Christians in particular." - Abraham Lincoln

As the opening of the "Da Vinci Code" movie nears, the Debate Persists!

    `Da Vinci' paperback sales top 1 million.  Yes, there are still people who haven't read "The Da Vinci Code." But the number seems to be shrinking.  Dan Brown's international sensation has sold around 1.4 million copies in its first month as a paperback release, a big number for any book and astonishing for a novel that's already sold more than 40 million copies in hardcover.

   I believe that the paperback version of the book has sold so well because those who oppose the movie ... have created so much publicity for the book and the movie.  Few people in 2006, including Catholics, are passive enough to allow someone else to tell them what they can and cannot read ... or what movies they can see.  The world is changing and the increase in Evangelical Christianity and Catholics are mostly in third-world countries where the level of education and awareness of the political activity and false dogmas of certain religions is nil.  But for most people who are curious about the book or the movie ... they will either read it or see it ... and that is just the way it is.

    MMy level of for respect of Catholicism greatly diminished this week with the controversy regarding whether or not married couples in which one of them has AIDS, should be allowed to use condoms.  The Catholic leaders are in this major discussion on whether it is the lesser sin for condoms to be condoned in these circumstances.  My thought was ... sin against who?  To me, to not use our wisdom and intelligence is a sin against God ... so the only sin that the use of condoms could ever be in such a situation would be a sin against an out-dated religious dogma that still tries to hold people in their power through fear.  Now ... this is the same religion that is telling people to boycott the "Da Vinci Code" movie.


     Dr. Stan Reader in his sermons, "See The Real Truth" writes:  What I find remarkable about the Gnostic understanding of Jesus is how similar their descriptions are to those of the New Testament and all the writings of the early Christians!  No where in the Gnostic Literature is Jesus ever referred to as being just human ... nowhere!  Contrary to his word that all descriptions of ... documents ... are accurate, Dan Brown has completely misrepresented the documents of "The Dead Sea Scrolls" and "The Nag Hammadi Library."

    It is interesting that Dr. Reader would look to the Gnostic writings for validity since no mainstream Christian religion finds these writings valid.  In the Bible we can find several instances of Jesus displaying both His human and Divine nature ... and in Truth, He taught that we too share this "double-thread" of human and Divine.  He stated clearly, "don't ye know that ye are gods?"

   Assaults on "Da Vinci" don't just come from evangelicals, or from Roman Catholic leaders such as Chicago's Cardinal Francis George, who says Brown is waging "an attack on the Catholic Church" through preposterous historical claims.  Among more liberal thinkers, Harold Attridge, dean of Yale's Divinity School, says Brown has "wildly misinterpreted" early Christianity. Ehrman details Brown's "numerous mistakes" in "Truth and Fiction in the Da Vinci Code" and asks: "Why didn't he simply get his facts straight?"

     Let's be very clear with this ... "The Da Vinci Code" is fiction ... just as much of the theology espoused by many religions is man-made fiction "about" both God and Jesus ... beginning with the writers in the New Testament.  This can be proven if we put their writings to the test of Truth; is what they have written changeless, immutable Truth ... or are some of these writings limited by the culture and awareness of the people of that era?  After all, the people who wrote the books in the Bible ... still thought the Earth was flat!

The Master Mind Jesus taught that "the kingdom of heaven is within" ... but so few have looked for it there ... and that is why a fictional "Da Vinci Code" book and movie creates such a strong debate. 

And So It Is!  

Maximum Love,
Rev. Bates

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