The megachurches are gearing up for that huge Christian event that is almost upon us this Spring. No, not Easter. They’re preparing for the theatrical release of The Da Vinci Code. Evangelical media darling Rick Warren has been sending out disinformation tips to tens of thousands of pastors encouraging them to inform their congregations that the book is a sham.
Every Christian…. should know that skeptics who see the movie will feel they have been equipped to challenge the faithful. “Our people need to be equipped, too,” [says pastor Ken Baugh on Rick Warren's pastors.com]
Warren and Da Vinci Code debunker Lee Strobel are encouraging churches to preach on the heresy of the book:
[from pastors.com] My initial reaction to the book [says Stobel] was outright anger at the way it slanders Christianity… [Still] The Da Vinci Code offers terrific opportunities to preach on apologetics, doctrine, and church history in fresh and powerful ways… I know one church where attendance jumped 500 people when its Da Vinci series launched. Outreach, Inc. is offering materials to support your series, such as sample sermons, bulletin inserts, door hangers, banners, and invitations. And don’t forget to send a press release about your series to your local newspaper in order to garner free publicity….. “It would be a tragedy if all the churches across America miss this opportunity.”…
One church mentioned on pastors.com is taking drastic measures.
[Coast Hills Community Church in CA] plans to distribute more than 300 iPod Shuffles ‚Äì all pre-loaded with the eight sermons from the Da Vinci series ‚Äì to church members. Their mission: To give them away to friends, neighbors, co-workers, perhaps even total strangers, anyone who might be interested in hearing the sermons.
“They’ll be iPod evangelists. They will tell the person, I’d love for you to listen to this and then have coffee with me. I mean, who’s not going to take an iPod?”
Though some Christians will undoubtedly be organizing boycotts against Sony (who produced the film) most are following Rick Warren’s lead and organizing “truth squads” to counter “heretical” claims that the book makes about Jesus and the deceptions of the Catholic chuch:
[from Christian Science Monitor] Rather than organize protests or boycotts – steps taken in the past against controversial films – Evangelicals and Catholics instead are mobilizing “truth squads.” They’re producing books, websites, TV documentaries, DVDs, and study guides. Some hope to use the film as a “teachable moment” that could turn the occasion to their advantage.
Of course this all begs the questions: A) what are they so afraid of? B) Don’t they realize the book is a work of fiction? and C) Shouldn’t churches be worrying about things like ending poverty and hunger instead of obssessing about films directed by Opie?