Boycott the Da Vinci Code?

Straight Talk

The Question:

Do you think that Christians should boycott The Da Vinci Code movie?

– BW from Ohio

The Answer
Part 1: Use everything to promote Christ
Part 2: Arguments pro and con

Use everything to promote Christ (Part 1)

I feel a little at a disadvantage with this issue because I have not read the book nor seen the movie and probably will do neither. Not because I am boycotting but because I am very stingy with my time. I am so busy I have to be careful about where I invest it. This movie doesn’t strike me as wise investment. (That’s for me-not a decision I wish to push for you.)

So that leaves me open to the often legitimate argument: don’t knock something if you haven’t “tried it…seen it…heard it.” A Christian in particular needs to understand all that is out there in the world, at least to the degree that we do not bury our head in the sand or fail to “be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” (1 Peter 3:15)

My understanding of The Da Vinci Code is that it is fiction but that it is written in such a way as to purport to be like an historical novel – based on truth. This is getting everyone upset since the story line indicates that Jesus was not God, that he married Mary Magdalene and had children whose descendants are alive today. According to the plot, the Catholic Church knew this but protected the secret down through the centuries at all cost.

To the degree that the general population is taken in by these false assertions, the church of Jesus Christ needs to rise up and defend the truth of scripture and the core doctrines of Christianity. In fact, we can thank the book and movie industry for giving us an occasion to present truth to counter falsehood.

I have been hearing about Christian groups using the opening of the movie as an opportunity. I think that emulates the Apostle Paul’s evangelism strategy and is exactly what he would do if he were here today. When he visited Athens he was provoked by the fact that “the city was given over to idols.” (Acts 17:16) He noticed on an alter he found the inscription TO THE UNKNOWN GOD and preached Christ to them based on objects in their own culture. SMART!

Next: But should I see the movie or not?

Arguments pro and con (Part 2)

I think there are legitimate reasons to see the movie or stay away from it. Each person has to pray, evaluate their own heart and then make a decision right for them in their own life.

A good reason to stay away is the whole pocketbook issue. As Americans, we often vote through our pocketbook – what we choose to buy or not buy. Since Hollywood follows the money, it is a way for them to “get it” that a particular movie doesn’t fly. It’s really the only barometer they go by.

A good reason to go is to gain the knowledge needed to start spiritual conversations with people and hopefully have some input into their soul decisions. There is deep spiritual hunger everywhere today and people are willing to follow mirage after mirage hoping for even a drop of water. We have the river of life and need a way to release the floodgates into the lives of very thirsty people.

Blending in with the crowd or acting hip is a bad reason to go. If you know in advance that the movie promotes lies and you aren’t going to speak up about that, don’t go just because a group of your friends have decided to make a night of it. We are called to be salt in this world and Jesus mentions that when salt looses its flavor it isn’t good for anything. Be salty!

Boycotts have been effective voices in many cases in our history but they have also backfired. They can fuel interest instead of tempering it. When a boycott is for a moral issue, it is sometimes seen as narrow minded or promoting censorship. While that’s not fair it is still the case. That means there is an additional hurdle to cross in getting to the real issues and may not be worth it.

From the reviews I have read so far I’m not sure a boycott will be necessary. My local paper only gave the movie one star and the reviewer is not coming from a Christian perspective. The Da Vinci code may be a huge flop. In a month, it may be on the rental shelves without any takers. So now is the time! Whether you go to see it or not, grab every opportunity to tell everyone you know about Jesus.


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