Summary: Many questiions have come up sense the book and the movie "The Da Vinci Code" came out. This message deals with the reliability of the Scriptures.
Our key text today is 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Title: Loving Truth and Ignoring Fiction
Theme: The Reliability of the Scriptures
Listen as I read 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Introduction: In just a moment I am going to read several passages of Scripture that give God’s directions to us as we are faced with the onslaught of questions that are coming up since the book “The Da Vinci Code” came out and especially since the movie has been released.
A survey by Decima Research, Inc. showed out of those polled, one out of three Canadians who have read the book now believes there are descendants of Jesus walking among us today. (Exploring the Da Vinci Code) An ABC special on the book involved an interview with a Scottish man who truly believes that he is a descendant of Jesus Christ. (Sermon by John Ortberg) According to pollster George Barna, 53% of Americans who have read the book said it had helped them in their personal spiritual growth and understanding. (Exploring the Da Vinci Code)
Many believe the book is harmless because it contains fictional characters and states on the front cover (of the hardcover edition, at least), “A Novel.” However, Dan Brown begins his book on the page just preceding the prologue with the boldfaced heading “FACT,” then he tells his readers supposed “facts” regarding the Priory of Sion and Opus Dei and then states: “All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.” (Exploring the Da Vinci Code) Because of this convincing statement many people who do not have the time or resources to check things out are being misled in some very important areas.
The Bible gives clear instructions on how the Lord feels about the delusions that come upon mankind. His first plea is found in Ezekiel 22:30, "I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land…” Sin makes a gap in the hedge of protection that is around people of which good things will pour out and through which evil things like to crawl in.
There are Biblical way of standing in the gap: 1.) Calling the sinner who is introducing the sin to repentance. 2.) Praying that God’s Holy Spirit would reveal truth and draw the willful sinners to Christ. 3.) Reformation, meaning to be “reformed” (yasar) literally “let oneself be instructed.” (The truths found in this part of the message came about as the Holy Spirit led me to the teaching of these materials, The NIV Bible; Matthew Henry Commentary; The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia; The New American Commentary; The Expositors Bible Commentary)
Proposition: I would propose to you that there are born again Christians who are called to stand in the gap and all Christians are to be ready in and out of season to share the reason for their hope.
To those who are called to stand in the gap the Bible says, “…When I say to the wicked, `O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. (Ezekiel 33:8)” To all Christians Peter writes, “…Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. (1 Peter 3:15)”
Interrogative Sentence: Just what questions have come up in the minds of those in the world and even in the hearts of church attendees regarding the accuracy of The Da Vinci Code? I am not going to talk about the art criticism or give you a literary critique of the book; I am not qualified to do that. I will address some Biblical issues and share with you what I have had time to study so far.
Transitional Sentence: One of the questions that has been brought up in the minds of those who have read Dan Brown’s red-hot page-turner is, “Exactly how reliable are the Scriptures?” Teabing, one of the characters in the Da Vinci Code says, “The Bible is a product of man, my dear, not of God… The Bible as we know it today was collated by the pagan Roman Emperor Constantine the Great in 325 AD.”
This is an error. Historical studies show the idea we have the New Testament Gospels today because of the councils put together by Constantine is way off the mark. More than one hundred years before Constantine, a man by the name of Origen said, “The four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are the only undisputed ones in the whole church of God throughout the world.”