Thursday, May 25, 2006
"Grace Trumps Doctrine" or better put "That Da Vinci Code Forum Sucked!"
Last evening, Wednesday night, our church hosted a rebroadcast of a simulcast put on by the CCN last Sunday afternoon. (Get all that.) The topic in question was of course, The Da Vinci Code. To be honest, I was a little leery of our church hosting this event from the get go, but then I heard Lee Strobel was going to be one of the main speakers. Now I may not always agree with Lee but at least he seems to be concise and to the point when getting his message across. So honestly, I didn't think it would be that bad. Whooo, I was wrong.
Instead of Lee Strobel doing the majority of the speaking, they brought in the Sr.. Pastor from the Moody Church in Chicago. I think his name was Dr. Erwin (watch out for those liberal professors) Lutzer. The entire 40 minute speal was filled with "this is very important and I will talk about it in a minute." We were continuously led to believe that we were going to get information that would shatter any arguments one might make for the absurdities in the Da Vinci Code to be true. Unfortunately, he never did any of that. Empty promises done in a very, very, very, very boring way. (Did I mention it was boring).
Anywho, the best information that was given to us through the whole evening was a list, a short one mind you, of heresies the early Gnostics were known for. These were:
1. Believing that Gnosis, not Grace, is the way to salvation.
2. Matter is evil.
3. Christ was not actually human but a spirit in human form. (Matter is evil)
4. The resurrection never took place. (Why would Jesus want to get back into that evil body?)
5. The God who created the world is evil.
6. There are multiple deities.
For me this was not new information. You can do a little research yourself and find the same things. But here is something that I did take away from the evening.
The more Dr. Erwin (insert yawn here), talked about the heresies of the Gnostics, the more I began to relate these heresies to "common" Christianity today. Here are some examples:
1. "Do you know, that you know, that you know, that you are saved."
2. An obsession with "end times" theology that vilifies the natural created world. "This world is not my home, I'm just a passn' through, my treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue."
The first is a common phrase from my childhood. I don't think that those who uttered it, myself included, ever meant that a "secret knowledge" was necessary for salvation. I do know that in those circles, it was highly frowned upon if you had a different "salvation experience" than I did. I mean, we all have to have the same experience. How else will "I" know that "You" are saved? ("What is that to you?"-Jesus)
Grace ALWAYS trumps doctrine. This is something I have come to learn. It doesn't mean that we are free to believe outside the bounds of scripture, but we all know that even then we come with up with vastly different interpretations.
I don't know that I need to say a whole lot about the second point. Plenty of people have written arguments about dispensationalism much more eloquently then I ever could. (For a long but good retort to the Left Behind Series see Slacktivist.) I will say this, we are obsessed with leaving this world. So much so, that we have forgotten to live Here and Now. (Shameless Plug) Christ certainly left us with promises of His return, but that does not mean we forsake the God given life we have right now. I think if we focused on living this life in the "Kingdom of God" we would actually be able to make an impact in our world. ( See this.)
So was the Da Vinci Code forum a waste of time? I don't know. Perhaps others got more out of it than I did, but I do know that I had to tape Lost and watch it from 10 until 12 which made me go to bed later. I guess that's can't be much of a complaint but if your a Lost fan, you know the pain I suffered.