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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Decoding: Its STILL All 1's and 0's

My husband and I went to see The DaVinci Code on Friday. As you may recall I posted about my initial reservations here. I was pleasantly surprised by the filming and the storyline. I wish I had read the book prior to seeing this film only because books typically allow the reader to make their own decision about appearance and demeanor based on what is written and I can get so immersed in a book. Most movies tend to drag me along based on the screenwriters experience and I don’t get the full ‘creative effect’ of the story as I would in my own, sometimes twisted, imagination.

Honestly, I didn’t think of Tom Hanks as this character, but he did okay. It was clearly fiction and it reminded me of a cross between Indiana Jones and any of the John Grisham stories. Prior to going, someone had told me if I like National Treasure, I would like DaVinci. I loved National Treasure, even the creatively embellished ‘facts’ from history.

I liked that the movie moved along quickly, all 2 ½ hours of it. I liked that it wasn’t centered around sex as so many movies are. I’m not a prude and I see most chick flicks that come out, but I just get tired of the whole story being about man meets woman, (or vice versa), they fall in love, someone gets hurt, someone leaves, they realize what they had, they get back together and they usually don’t even bother with the marriage part…they just have sex and live together.

I guess people are ‘bothered’ by DaVinci Code because it threatens the confines of our nicely confined “God Box” and it ISN’T “Passion of the Christ”, which frankly bothered me FAR greater than this film. Only once did I have to avert my eyes in DaVinci.

As I mentioned I realized immediately this is a story, a fiction story. Did it make me question my belief of Christ’s purity? Perhaps for a millesecond. Did it make me question Christ as our Savior? Not one iota. Did it make me question the meaning of some religious symbols? No more than any other author does, when writing historical accounts.

In my own VERY limited studies of the Bible and the arduous process of becoming the infallible word of God, I realize man (albeit the brightest and most regal of the time); in his completely imperfect manner, put this book together. I trust God has given us the wisdom to discern what was written to a culture and what is to be taken literally. Let's face it, you can listen to 10 different educated theologians speak about Biblical matters and get 10 very different accounts and meanings.

I’m not like most people (at least the people I have spoken to about this subject); I truly believe God is bigger than the Bible. I think it’s a great starting point and reference, but I know my life in 2006 is not the same as it would have been when Jesus walked the earth in human form a couple thousand years ago. In a few (MORE) words, I do feel more prepared to dispel mistruths to others who see this film and are that unfamiliar with the life of Christ.

I’m not asking for a religious debate, and I’ve probably shared too much, I just want to say it was a good movie, especially in comparison to some of the lackluster crapola’ Hollywood is trying to dish out to us. If I see one more preview for movies from television shows I watched in the 70’s and 80’s I’m going to scream! These shows were barely tolerable then, as a child and teenager…adding some big name star doesn’t make the material any better. I’m just saying…enjoy DaVinci Code...its all just 1’s and 0’s anyway!

Happy Tuesday and let’s hope BLOGGER has its act together today!


the voice said...

Ummm..I came for the debate...has anyone seen a debate around here?? Seriously though, I plan to see the movie once it's out on DVD, probably in a couple weeks or so. I wish I had time to read books. I never even finished reading the Left Behind series. Gave up at book #7. Couldn't stand waiting so long for the next book. Glad to see my comment made itinto your comment section yesterday. I was having a ton of problems with Blogger yesterday. Half the comments I left just disappeared, as well as a new post I did. Can someone tell me where they go to? Oh well. May god bless you today, Ken

Tess said...

I thought I was the only Christian who actually liked the book! I thought it was very entertaining, not at all faith-shaking.

GiBee said...

For a strong believer, the book and movie should NOT be faith-shaking ... but for a NON believer, a seeker, or a weaker believer, I can very well see how it COULD shake their faith ... or cause them to question what they thought was truth.

I'm just saddened that there is so much half truth mixed with non-truth that it is actually believable to some!

Entertainment value is okay, but we need to remember to separate truth from fiction, and if someone isn't mature in their faith, that might be a problem.

Did I just say that twice?

Aunt Murry said...

Loved the 'Left Behind' Series! Loved the DaVinci Code (the book)! it did not make me change my thinking. I too believe God is bigger than the Bible and thank you for putting that into words for me. I have struggled for years to find the right phrasing for that.

I plan on seeing the movie when it comes out on DVD. If you get a chance go see 'Over the Hedge' I Loved IT!!!!

Heather Smith said...

I'm with GiBee on this one. If you know what you believe, you won't be swayed. It's those who take that only kind of know the truth that will be swayed.
I believe that the Bible is God's Word. John 1:1 says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
God's Word has always been. God's Word always will be, even when the earth has passed away.
Man's interpretations may vary, but God's Word will always be the same!
Those are my thoughts anyway!

Claire Joy said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this intelligent post. I've read so many rants on this book and movie I want to throw up. I actually loved the movie... the action, special effects, Tom Hanks. I'm with the guy who said any press is good press. Even if a "non-believer" (whoever came up with that disgusting term, anyway?) sees the movie and gets interested, who cares if their initial reaction doesn't match the dogma? The mind has opened a crack and God can work with anything.

great2beme said...

Okay, so I haven't seen it or read it yet, but my 15 year old said it is in the fiction section at the library mom that says it all. A
As for weaker believers if they are swayed something would have done it anyway, and God can and will bring them back we all know that. he is bigger than any movie or thoughts or misconceptions he can turn all that for good doesn't the bible say that.
I will see it but it will be a date night or something because my 9 year old doesn't like anything that isn't sports related, therefore, taking him to a show like that would only stress us all. :)
I love what you said Kim about how the Bible is a starting place but God is bigger than ever right now and times have changed. It hit home with me big-time!

Joy M. said...

I don't plan to read the book, nor see the movie. Not because I think it's "evil" or anything, but just because it's not my cup of tea.

If people can just realize it's FICTION then it's no big deal. Both Christians and agnostics. My husband's mother read the book last summer and comes into our house spouting about how Jesus really did marry Mary Magdalene cause the Davinci Code said so and it was all complete fact-in front of my kids. I looked at her in disbelief and said, "you do realize that's a work of fiction, don't you?" She said something to the effect of , "No, he had evidence to back it up and proof that it is true. He just presented it as fiction to get more people to read it." I couldn't believe what I was hearing. (my husband's mother is not the brightest crayon in the box, but still....) At this point my reaction is vaguely remembered at best, but I said something about believing what the Bible said about it and that we take the Bible literally as the inspired Word of God. She came back with "Well, the Bible was only written by men and I'm sure they got stuff wrong." I just looked at her and said, "and the DaVinci Code wasn't?" This was before any of the "how to refute the DaVinci Code" stuff came out and my reaction was sputtering at best. But I was extremely angry that she would present this in front of my kids like she wanted to-at the very least-question their faith. (She doesn't realize that my kids have her number already and think she's pretty "out there". Oh yeah, my MIL...*shakes head and rolls eyes*)

kpjara said...

Good thoughts, words from everyone, thank you for chiming in here...I always find it both challenging and authentic the things people say in comments.

I do want to specifically say to Joy M. I also have concerns about the younger set (both in physical and spiritual age) being misled by this work of F*I*C*T*I*O*N, but I do feel more prepared to address the untruths and I know with a mom like you, your kids will hear and KNOW the truth!

I have a MIL who told my husband upon his "salvation" not to close all his if there may be another way and she didn't want him to miss out???? enough said...

Shalee said...

I'm always up for a good debate. I'm going to use the same words that I used on Shannon's blog when she pondered the Da Vinci code deal. (I still feel the same way, so it should be okay to post it twice, right? I'm including a couple of new words at the end too so that I won't look like a complete sloth!)

"Okay, is it just me? Oh I hope not.

What I have against the book is that it was written below a 3rd grade level, was extremely boring and was very predictable. I knew what was going to happen each time a "clue" came up and it took him 30 pages for the "expert" to figure it out. And yet it still stayed on the best seller list forever... I thought that said a lot about society and the decline in what it expects/accepts from literature.

My only comment on the subject matter is that although I know about Christ, his truth and his story, there are millions who do not and they will be easily fooled into believing that the idea is real. Satan will use any tool possible to keep people from knowing Christ. That is where I don't want to be in Mr. Brown's shoes when God's questions him about the book, even if it is just fiction.

And why is it that so many people were completely against "The Passion of Christ", against someone taking seriously the death of Christ and reaching others, but when it comes to ridiculing or skewing Christ's story, the world is okay with it?"

I have no problem with "The Passion" because Gibson's express purpose was to show through Scripture the depth of love that Jesus had for us, what it took for Him to be our saving grace. Yes, the movie was graphic and ugly, but so was Christ's death.

Do I think anyone will go to hell after watching the movie? Not those who are strong in their faith and who know the difference between fact and fiction. It's those who are lost and confused and who will utterly discard God and his people because of this book/movie that I fear will have that consequence. Yes, God is bigger than the Bible and He gave us the choice to decide whether or not we will follow Christ. I know that satan will use every means possible to deceive and thwart people.

Oh, and one last thing: I have a hard time wanting to spend money on a film where when the actor was asked if the film should have a "This movie is based on fiction" disclosure, his immediate reply was "I think the Bible should have that disclosure on the front cover." I don't see the need to pay someone for that bit of arrogance and opinion. I'd rather put my money where my beliefs are.

(It's ironic that the word verification I have to type is "thatogr"... Do you think that God is telling me that I need to rethink my stance? Nah!)

kpjara said...

Dear Shalee,

I totally hear your words about this movie and you've enlightened me even more to things I wasn't aware of.

I do think, in my case, the people I work with that don't know Christ AT ALL, and WILL see this movie...will talk about it and open up a real opportunity for ME to shed light on truth! I've already had that opportunity about 3 times since seeing the movie this weekend. I KNOW, from experience, seeds of truth, will CRUSH weeds of deceit, in the long term. I guess this means we won't be watching this movie during the KC Bloggirls luncheon? teehee! I had to, I'm sorry, I just had to say it! I can't wait to meet you in person and see the passion face to face! You can punch me then if you want to!

Dismantle Queen said...

Well I am curious,and I might just go check it out.....Great post BTW

Shalee said...

See, now I have the advantage (if you want to call it that) of reading the book. So I don't have to see the film.

My not seeing it has more to do with the appalling comments of the comments. In all actuality, I was going to see it prior to the statements being made... and before the fact that rotten tomatoes and many other critics said don't waste your time on it.

No punches here, unless you mean rum punch... Now that I could do!

kpjara said...

I'm so confused on this last comment? maybe I'll just stick to the rum punch too... "..comments of the comments"? huh...