Lessons From Da Vinci

by | Nov 30, 2006 | Culture

We must put down our protest signs and start a dialogue with others.
In Mid-November, The Da Vinci Code released on DVD. Looking back since the film premiered in May, recalling the deep feelings it stirred in our culture, I’ve been thinking about the reaction of the Christian community and what we can learn in retrospect.


I’m sure you’ll remember that during the last few months before the movie opened there was a wave of anger that Sony Pictures would release a major film that essentially said the Christian faith was founded on false pretenses.


When I was interviewed on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and other media outlets, I often discussed the fact that Christianity seems to be the last subject people can criticize without fear of reprisal.


Can you imagine if a major studio released a movie that said Islam was a fraud? The public would be outraged.


Recently on Comedy Central the producers of South Park put the network to the test and filmed scenes that disparaged both Muhammad and Jesus. The network cut the scene in which Muhammad was being made fun of. But with Jesus, the ridicule was just fine.


It’s been interesting to see both the secular and faith communities react to Da Vinci. From the beginning, I called for a gracious strategy of engagement rather than protest. But now that time has passed and the DVD is released, what have we learned?


Think before boycotting the media. Consider the history of boycotts. The leadership of the massive May 1 boycott on Mexican immigration are questioning its success. Many worry that it created bad feelings with the public and may have done more harm than good, in spite of the thousands who protested.


During the last boycott of Disney by a major denomination, the company said sales actually went up! So we need to be careful with boycotts and use them only when absolutely necessary.


Start a conversation with the culture. After my appearances on most of the talk shows, non-Christian producers and staff would come up to me and say, “Wow, I didn’t know there were Christians out there who thought this way.” They wanted to talk with someone about the film but were afraid of believers who publicly disapproved of it. We must put down our protest signs and start a dialogue with others.


Use the resources that are available. I was excited about all the seminars, books, teaching materials and other resources that were marshaled to point people to the truth of the Bible. Sites such as www.thedavincidialogue.com pointed thousands of people to some of our most brilliant scholars and leaders who provided important information to help people share their faith.


Even the Los Angeles Times reported on the incredible number of pastors who used the film to share correct information about Christianity.


Stay with the original assignment. Too many Christians get so caught up in controversial issues that they lose their focus on reaching the world with the gospel. Yes, politics, culture, poverty, social problems, media and a host of other issues are important. But we need to address them in light of the Great Commission.


Know that a movie can’t stop the faith. The film won’t create a nation of agnostics or atheists. Yes, some will be duped, but frankly, the Christian faith has defeated the Roman Empire, and transformed music, literature, art, scholarship, and science throughout Europe and the West.


Although I’m always ready to share my faith and I am concerned about the moral decay of the culture, I’m not too worried that God needs defending. He’d rather I spend more time focusing on loving my neighbor.


Phil Cooke, Ph.D., is a media consultant to ministries and churches worldwide. He publishes a free monthly e-mail newsletter, Ideas for Real Change. Find out more at www.philcooke.com. To read past columns in Charisma by Phil Cooke, log on at www.charismamag.com/cooke.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Dr. Alveda King’s Urgent Message for Christians

Dr. Alveda King’s Urgent Message for Christians

On Sept. 1 President Joe Biden took the stage in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and called MAGA Americans a "threat to democracy." He emboldened Americans to join him in defending democracy against the millions of people who support President Donald Trump. After listening...

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Don’t Deceive Yourself

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Don’t Deceive Yourself

People are deceived by pride, by sin, by evil people, by strong drink and by living in fear. If a person is teachable and adheres to the instructions found in the Bible, they will recognize any errors in their thinking and correct themselves. For the rest of this...

8 Contrasts Between the Confessing and Compromising Church

8 Contrasts Between the Confessing and Compromising Church

During the days of Nazi Germany, there arose a Confessing church movement that rose against the German church movement, which became the religious arm of the Fascist Nazi Socialist movement. Of the 18,000 pastors in Germany during that time (from 1933 to 1945), less...

Will the New Set of Seven Years on the Jewish Calendar Be Our Last?

Will the New Set of Seven Years on the Jewish Calendar Be Our Last?

Note: This is the second of a two-part series. For part one, click here. Beginning at sunset on Sunday, Sept. 25, our Jewish friends (and increasingly many Christians) will begin a two-day celebration of Rosh Hashanah, their time for new beginnings or a "new year."...

Is America Preparing the Way for a One-World Ruler?

Is America Preparing the Way for a One-World Ruler?

The culmination of history is approaching. The end of the world may be at hand. Yet Jesus tells us we should not be alarmed. Why? Because we are engraved in the palms of His hands. Because we are carried in His arms. Because we are the apple of His eye. The time is...

A ‘Davidic Anointing’ is Descending Upon Musical Instruments

A ‘Davidic Anointing’ is Descending Upon Musical Instruments

I once heard a testimony where the Holy Ghost was falling upon the people during worship. The preacher, R.W. Schambach, testified how the piano player got so filled with the Spirit that she fell off of the piano bench and the piano kept right on playing. No other...

RECENT ARTICLES

Joyce Meyer: How You Can Make God’s Love Your Lifestyle

I have made it a priority to study about love in the Word of God. Getting a revelation about how much God loves me and learning to receive His love has been life-changing for me. It’s been the key...
Rod Parsley: Are You the Pharisee or the Tax Collector?

Rod Parsley: Are You the Pharisee or the Tax Collector?

As with all virtues, humility has an opposite: pride. It should not surprise us that revival and restoration begins with humility, because all “falling away” begins with pride. Pride sent the archangel Lucifer plummeting from the heights of glorious splendor near the...

What to Do with an Urgent Warning from the Lord

What to Do with an Urgent Warning from the Lord

Many people are receiving urgent warnings from the Lord about things taking place in the earth. Releasing those warnings can be difficult. Done the wrong way, people will turn a deaf ear and the last thing you want to do is breed fear. Maybe you aren't getting...

Pin It on Pinterest