Da Vinci Code Blue.
Aside from getting poor reviews by most film critics (seems that not even Tom Hanks star power could bring it glowing acclaim) I found out from my fellow bloggers (Jody, Fotu & Nydz)that Da Vinci Code is banned in Samoa. It appears that the National Council of Churches (a bunch of religious zealots perhaps a lot like Bezu Fache the character superbly played by Jean Reno *the only shining light of the movie* well meaning but still a bit extreme) has deemed the movie unfit to be screened. They have labelled it as "provocative and therefore likely to create confusion and dissension amongst believers."
A lame excuse as there are hundreds of reasons why many have turned away, have become disillusioned, and therefore have no time nor apparent need for God in their lives.
Just as there are hundreds more why there is dis-unity amongst the different branches of Christendom or Christianity itself ... but we will not go into that as I am no theologean)
In my opinion (not that they would care) it is they, the NCC who has done the very thing they claim the movie is likely to do. By prohibiting it they have given credibility to the supposed fictional tale by Dan Brown. Therefore planting seeds of doubt in some people's minds.
People will begin to wonder why the NCC would go to such lengths to prevent this movie from being shown. Are there elements of truth in the story? Was there really a cover up?
If there is one thing that arouses the curiosity of people is when somebody puts a stamp on something saying "Do not Open/Touch/Eat "etc.
The allure of the forbidden fruit is sometimes overwhelming and many can succumb oops was about to veer off the beaten track for a moment there. Yep I digress all the time.
* Bogging myself down.. sitting on hands maybe not I need to type*
Continuing..Despite their efforts, people in Samoa will see the movie one way or another. (Jody has promised the girls she will send a copy home so there!) and they will be able to make up their own minds about the film despite the warnings and prohibitions. Not everybody freaks out whenever certain materials pop up which contradicts that of the Bible. But really why so worked up over Christ being married why not kick up a raucus when he was depicted as a gay man in the "Last Temptation of Christ???" * Just a thought!*
Patricia bought me my very own copy of the now infamous "Da Vinci Code" book. Thank you dear.I read it within a span of 3 hours as it was quite captivating yes, I found the authors ideas a little disturbing but still intriguing. Granted it can stirr up certain emotions but when u are trying to write a bestseller you are compelled to move your audience. "No wow factor no sales... capisci !"
Dan Brown found his niche and capitalized on it. Ron Howard figured he could take the popularity of the book a step further and turned it into a movie. So what? Call it what u want..good business, making a living whatever just don't make it what it isn't. It's not a calculated evil plot to topple the Christian Faith. ( Everyone who has a plan skewing towards world domination has to get approval from Jody first anyways..lol)
Granted everybody is entitled to an opinion whereas there are those who don't quite get what all the fuss is about others are deeply affronted by the details of the book. Now that the words have been brought to life its become even more unthinkable for some. I however am confident in the ability of the Bible to defend itself. The church and its belief in the Holiness of Jesus Christ has lasted more than a thousand years. It has withstood persecution, attacks and criticism long before we and Mr Brown entered the world and I fully believe that it will survive long after we are gone.
Dan Brown is not the first person to try and discredit the Bible nor will he be the last. Other writers have undergone years of research to prove that the Bible is just a bunch of fables. It's value merely to entertain and help some discover some kind of meaning to their lives. Some have remained skeptics but others have been convinced of its legitimacy and validity in a profound way.
Take Lew Wallace a General during the American Civil war who later became the mayor of New Mexico. He started out trying to find holes in the Bible but ended up writing a memorable Testimony about Christ. His book was also was made into a movie, which remains one of Hollywood's grand epics. A lot of people Christians and non Christians alike have either seen or heard about it "Ben Hur" : A Tale of Christ ". Did anyone complain?? Don't think so!
I wish somehow that members of the clergy if they are so concerned with the souls of their parishioner being at peril. Would work doubly hard to convince their followers of the truth instead of coming down hard on one movie. They should set positive examples that reflect the qualities of Christ and practise what they preach especially the faith part, coz from their recent actions ...faith in the people is not too high on their list.
It is sad when Church leaders underestimate the conviction of believers. To the point where they feel they have to step in, to prevent a total breakdown of what has become the core part of the lives of many. To make decisons on behalf of people as if they are so shallow and flimsy that a mere movie will cause them to abandon what they have come to accept as the truth. (Give us a little respect people we are a bit more solid than what you give us credit for)
I think it has come to this coz the churches have become too institutionalized. And it is not always easy to love an institution let alone be loyal to it. Their fears may be valid but it does not give them the authority to take away a persons right to decide for themselves what they should or should not see.
This goes against the teachings of the very faith they are supposedly trying to defend.
Free will is one aspect that helps sets Christianity apart from other religions. We are free to decide whether we desire to worship God or not. Free to believe or disbelieve. When someone body else steps in and decides for you.. you are deprived of a freedom which is God ordained.
I am sad that the NCC have deprived the people of that choice, sadder even that our government would support and enforce it. (but who am I to speak against the might of the powers that be!)
In all fairness the church reserves the right to make clear its stance. Issuing a statement/plea requesting the multitude to refrain from watching the movie is not only in my book a diplomatic/democratic and sensible thing to do it is infact the right thing to do. But to ban it totally as if they know better than everyone is a bit much.
As my fav island bloggers have already aptly disected this topic I will conclude my 2 cents with this.
When church leaders do not have faith in their words,it's understandable that they'd believe ordinary people will not take them to heart and therefore be easily swayed.
(Is banning Da Vinci Code the solution then... NO!)
When you really believe in the truth of what you preach your mind n heart will be at peace. For you know and trust that "Faith in the accuracy of God's word the "Bible" is like his love, never changing, never ending, immovable,unbreakable and steadfast.
Should people be allowed to excercise their free will... ABSOLUTELY!)
Man's relationship with God is more personal, deeper and lasting, it is not easily cast aside nor erased. It is a covenant forged between an accepting heart and the higher power which it has surrended to. Binding And Everlasting
So ends today's sermon. Amen!