Monday, May 15, 2006

Banning Da Vinci Is Not the Answer

I have been reading numerous reports today of calls from Asian church leaders to ban the showing of The Da Vinci Code in their respective nations. Frankly, I think that this is wrongheaded. This is the not the first time that Christianity has had to deal with Gnostic heresies and it won't be the last. There is also a historical precedent that should provide some guidance.

Following the legalization of Christianity with the Edict of Milan in A.D. 313, Christian leaders, in the face of heresy, increasingly called upon the secular authorities to enforce doctrinal fidelity. In the process, they seemed to forget the teachings of the early Trinitarian church fathers who observed that compulsion is no attribute of God and, therefore, neither should it be an attribute of His people. Compulsion is not God's way of working.

Lorne Gunter in his column in today's National Post nailed it right on the head when he wrote:

"Christians who are upset by the The Da Vinci Code's assault on their beliefs should put no faith in secular institutions such as the courts and legislatures to preserve their religion. They already possess more powerful spiritual weapons than the law and politics. They should pray rather than prohibit; proselytize rather than prosecute....By seeking to have the Code banned or to financially cripple its author, publisher and producers through lawsuits, Christians would be playing right into the hands of two modern trends: the cult of victimology and the notion that government is the appropriate arbiter of all disputes -- that all justice and wisdom emanate from the state. Do Catholics and other Christians really want to become players in the whine wars? 'Oh, they're being unfair to us. Make them stop. We have the right not to be offended.' Do they really want to become just another in the long line of victim groups who queue up before the courts or human rights commissions every time they feel slighted? Do they truly want to make Caesar the defender of the faith?"

My call is for us to remember that we, as Bible-believing Christians, are in possession of the truth. Let us not lose faith in the power of this truth to ultimately to triumph over error. Let us lovingly and confidently answer the challenges and questions that this film and book present and leave the whining and protesting to those who feel that truth can only be held by silencing everyone who disagrees with them.

1 comment:

Instigator said...

I agree. A ban may show, perhaps, that we as christians are fearful of this. Christianity has been attacked since its beginning, and this book is nothing new, a mere repeat of what has happens countless times throughout history. We, being human, worry too much. Christ himself said in Matthew 6 that we should not worry, even about the simplest things as clothing and food. Why should this be any different, I say?