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#16709 - Mon Aug 02, 2004 11:53 PM "The Da Vinci Code"  
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Dear brethren,

I just wanted to share some observations that Iíve had recently in my church. In the last couple of weeks I have attended two classes based on the book ďThe Da Vinci Code.Ē While I have not read this book nor do I have any desire too, I attended both of these classes because there were no other available classes for me to choose from. So I sat in on them for a lack of anything better to do. Plus, no matter the subject matter, I also welcome the chance for fellowship.

The fist class I attended was actually the last class in a 3 week series on the book. In this class they played a film that supported the book. There was absolutely no biblical defense presented in the film. So after the film, I fully expected the class facilitator to stand up and rebuke the film and the book. But instead all that was said was ďAny thoughts?Ē and as if that wasnít bad enough, after realizing that no one was going to stand up and renounce the heresy presented in the movie, I shared my very negative opinions <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/puke.gif" alt="" /> with a some what shocked class <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/Eeeeeek.gif" alt="" /> I couldnít believe that people who were calling themselves Christians werenít utterly disgusted with this book.

The second class I attended in my church was titled ďMary Magdalene and Mother Mary.Ē This I might add, was a class presented for adult study during VBS. So in this class, we had a gentleman from seminary and Presbyterian share with us his thoughts on ďDa Vinci CodeĒ, the Gnostic Gospels, the Koran and non-canonized gospels. He related to us how he thought all these literary sources were very interesting. So the class was basically trying to present an understanding of why Mary Magdalene was thought to maybe have had a relationship with Jesus and on the immaculate conception and how there was much more about the two Maryís in all of these other historical documents.

In both classes I felt physically sick. I was ready in both of them for someone to stand up and say the obvious ďwait just a minute.Ē I was expecting handouts with a firm apology for why we should view these books as heresy. The second class I described was attended by our Pastor and He didnít say a word at the end. No defense what so ever.

So my question to everyone here isÖ.. am I the one being totally carried away here? Am I over reacting?

The doubt that has crept into my mind tonight is, do most people who attend seminary now not view the bible as the infallible word of God? Are our future preachers and teachers, teaching a gospel outside of the bible? Does my pastor, deep down inside, simply view the bible as early manís attempt to deal with psychosis. That it is errant and dated. That this whole Christian experience is just a way for us to cope? I donít know but Iím struggling a little here. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/dizzy.gif" alt="" />

Well itís late, As I hope and wait for some of you to please come to my aid, Iím going to retreat into some Sproul, Berkof, Packer and especially Paul <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/read.gif" alt="" /> Iím also going to ask my wife soon if she would consider coming with me to a good small PCA church Iíve been looking at.

Y.B.I.C,

Dave


Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. - Galatians 2:16
#16710 - Tue Aug 03, 2004 3:50 AM Re: "The Da Vinci Code" [Re: Reformation Monk]  
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Heavens above man, leave that place! We're not quibbling about drums in the sanctuary here but the foundations of every doctrine of Christianity!

Feel free to post on the Church Locator if you would like alternative churches suggested. Even a dispy baptist church would be an improvement!

Concernedly,

James.

#16711 - Tue Aug 03, 2004 5:16 AM Re: "The Da Vinci Code" [Re: Reformation Monk]  
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I'm echoing James, if at all possible flee from this heretical church. It should be of no surprise since it is a PCUSA church. No, you are not being carried away. You just need to get away from the PCUSA culture. There are many fine conservative seminaries that trained bible-believing Pastors. However, they will not be a PCUSA seminary or ones that they will mentioned.


I know of at least one solid PCA church in your area, there are probably more. Then the OPC and reformed Baptists probably have congregations in the area as well.


John Chaney

"having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith . . ." Colossians 2:7
#16712 - Tue Aug 03, 2004 7:21 AM Re: "The Da Vinci Code" [Re: John_C]  
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Have you spoken with the leadership about this? The facilitators in those classes? If so, what did they state?

If anyone in your church is seriously entertaining the non-sensical gnostic conspiracy tripe that Dan Brown is trying to pass off as legitimate history you need to run for the hills.

Don't be a Lot and linger about... Leave and don't go back.

Fred


"Ah, sitting - the great leveler of men. From the mightest of pharaohs to the lowest of peasants, who doesn't enjoy a good sit?" M. Burns
#16713 - Tue Aug 03, 2004 7:45 AM Re: "The Da Vinci Code" [Re: Reformation Monk]  
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I have one word for you...


LEAVE!!!!!! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/flee.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/flee.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/flee.gif" alt="" />


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
#16714 - Tue Aug 03, 2004 7:50 AM Re: "The Da Vinci Code" [Re: fredman]  
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Dave,

When you leave, make sure you tell the elders and pastor why you are leaving. It sounds like the "church" (cringe) is too far-gone to listen to sound Biblical teaching, so I'd make a firm yet quick exit.


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
#16715 - Tue Aug 03, 2004 8:00 AM Re: "The Da Vinci Code" [Re: MarieP]  
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"Iím also going to ask my wife soon if she would consider coming with me to a good small PCA church Iíve been looking at."

Good Morning, Dave,

I can only echo (loudly) what others have said. You know what you need to do. As the spiritual head of your home, you must take the lead. While it is important to take your wife's feelings into consideration, this is a matter of which you will have to give an account. God has mercifully opened your eyes to the truth of His gospel and to the bankrupt message of the church you are now attending. It's time to act in faith and lead your family to a church that will be true to the gospel.

I will pray for you, Dave. Yours is a difficult situation but one that many others before you have had to face as well. Take heart; God is faithful!


Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence." - St. Augustine
Hiraeth
#16716 - Tue Aug 03, 2004 8:25 AM Churches near Chesapeake, VA [Re: James]  
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Calvary Presbyterian Church
Denomination: Presbyterian
Address: 150 Kempsville Road
City: Norfolk, State: Va.
Pastor: Mark J. Bender
Phone: 757-461-7043
Information: PCA - James River

Immanuel Presbyterian Church
Denomination: Presbyterian
Address: 4700 Colley Avenue
City: Norfolk, State: Va.
Pastor: William W. Harrell E-mail: williamharrell@cox.net
Phone: 757-440-1100
Information: PCA - James River
http://ipc.faithweb.com/

Trinity Presbyterian Church
Denomination: Presbyterian
Address: 1044 Brandon Avenue
City: Norfolk, State: Va.
Pastor: Jack Howell E-mail: trinitynor@aol.com
Phone: 757-446-9215
Information: PCA - James River
http://www.trinitynorfolk.com/

Calvary Reformed Presbyterian Church
Denomination: Presbyterian
Address: 403 Whealton Rd.
City: Hampton, State: Va. Zip: 23666-2887
Pastor: Kerry W. Hurst E-mail: crpc@visi.net
Phone: 757-826-5942
Information: PCA - James River Presbytery
http://www.calvaryrpc.org/index.html

Eastminster Presbyterian Church
Denomination: Presbyterian
Address: 3229 MacDonald Road
City: Virginia Beach, State: Va.
Pastor: Robert E. Hobson Jr.
Phone: 757-424-2835
Information: PCA - James River

New Covenant Presbyterian Church
Denomination: Presbyterian
Address: 1552 Kempsville Road
City: Virginia Beach, State: Va. Zip: 23464
Pastor: Joseph A. Mullen III E-mail: ncpca@integrityonline18.com
Phone: 757-467-5945
Information: PCA - James River
http://www.newcovenantpca.org/

New Life Presbyterian Church
Denomination: PCA
Address: 3312 Dam Neck Rd
City: Virginia Beach, State: Va. Zip: 23456-2615
Pastor: Wally Sherbon, Jr. E-mail: newlife@arilion.com
Phone: 757-430-0461 Phone 2: 757-430-3790
Information: PCA - James River Presbytery
http://www.newlifevb.org

Reformed Baptist Church of Virginia Beach
Denomination: Baptist
Address: 5720 Normandy Avenue
City: Virginia Beach, State: Va. Zip: 23464
Pastor: Joseph Gwynn E-mail: JoeGwynn@compuserve.com
Phone: 757-424-7305
Information: Reformed baptist
http://www.reformedbaptistchurch.org

Westminster Reformed Presbyterian
Denomination: Presbyterian
Address: 312 E. Constance Road
City: Suffolk, State: Va.
Pastor: Ruffin Alphin
Phone: 757-539-0540
Information: PCA - James River
http://www.wrpca.org/westminster/outside_home.asp


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
#16717 - Tue Aug 03, 2004 9:19 AM Re: "The Da Vinci Code" [Re: Reformation Monk]  

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You need to get out of there. I've always kinda made fun of the book and most of modern "Christians", because the book is fiction and if people would realize that, they may not take it as seriously as they do. But since your church is being foolish and taking it seriously, than I would say, in agreement with everyone else, find a church that is preaching the Bible!

#16718 - Tue Aug 03, 2004 10:56 AM Re: Churches near Chesapeake, VA [Re: MarieP]  
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Quote
Fred asked?
Have you spoken with the leadership about this? The facilitators in those classes?


Yes, after the second class I decided to send a short e-mail to them. I added some links that supported my arguments. I am praying now that it will allow them to reconsider the direction they seem to be going.

Quote
Semper said
When you leave, make sure you tell the elders and pastor why you are leaving. It sounds like the "church" (cringe) is too far-gone to listen to sound Biblical teaching, so I'd make a firm yet quick exit.


This is for me a difficult question. It was at my current church where I found Christ. I've been attending my church for almost 10 years now. I am a deacon, an adult teacher, part of the mens ministry team and an all around leader. I also have good friends and am apart of a good small group. I can see things getting better. I see the work of the Spirit working in the congregation. I still feel that God is calling for me to stay where I'm at.

Quote
Gotribe says
As the spiritual head of your home, you must take the lead. While it is important to take your wife's feelings into consideration, this is a matter of which you will have to give an account.


This is interesting. Gotribe, if you wouldn't mind please tell me more about this statement. I need to learn more about giving an account. Thank you for bringing this up. I do feel that I am the spiritual leader of the household and I do see my wife maturing every day. But spiritually she isn't at the same level as me. So suggesting that we move churches is still a delicate subject. So before I suggest that we just simply move, I am going to encourage her to come with me off and on too see if she can feel a difference. I'm praying that the spirit will open her heart in being receptive to actually move. So if the time comes when we feel that it is time to move that we can without difficulty.

Quote
Semper suggested
Immanuel Presbyterian Church
Denomination: Presbyterian
Address: 4700 Colley Avenue
City: Norfolk, State: Va.
Pastor: William W. Harrell E-mail: williamharrell@cox.net
Phone: 757-440-1100
Information: PCA - James River


This is the church I was talking about. I've been to it a few times and I have really been impressed.

Y.B.I.C,

Dave.

#16719 - Tue Aug 03, 2004 11:49 AM Re: Churches near Chesapeake, VA [Re: Reformation Monk]  
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Quote
Quote
Gotribe says
As the spiritual head of your home, you must take the lead. While it is important to take your wife's feelings into consideration, this is a matter of which you will have to give an account.


This is interesting. Gotribe, if you wouldn't mind please tell me more about this statement. I need to learn more about giving an account. Thank you for bringing this up. I do feel that I am the spiritual leader of the household and I do see my wife maturing every day. But spiritually she isn't at the same level as me. So suggesting that we move churches is still a delicate subject. So before I suggest that we just simply move, I am going to encourage her to come with me off and on too see if she can feel a difference. I'm praying that the spirit will open her heart in being receptive to actually move. So if the time comes when we feel that it is time to move that we can without difficulty.


In order to find the "genesis" of the man's leadership and responsibility before God for his family, we must go all the way back to Genesis. In Genesis 2, God gave Adam the responsibility to tend and keep the garden and instructions regarding the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil before Eve was even brought to him. Then after Eve had eaten of the fruit and had given it to Adam and both fell, notice that God asked Adam to give an account on what they had done, even though Eve had been the one who listened to the serpent and ate first. Both were held responsible for their sin, yet the man was the one who had to give account to God.

Hope that helps.


Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence." - St. Augustine
Hiraeth
#16720 - Tue Aug 03, 2004 3:42 PM Re: Churches near Chesapeake, VA [Re: gotribe]  
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Ok, I sent an e-mail off to my pastor's and this was one of their reply's.

First my e-mail.

Quote
I wrote

I just wanted to share a concern that I have on a couple of recent classes that I have attended. First I would like add that I have prayed on this and I hope that this will be well received. I absolutely have no intentions of being negative in any way. But I have strong convictions about this and feel that I must share my feelings with you. Please forgive me and remember that I am certainly fallible and that I often don't see the big picture.

Two Sundays ago I attended the "The Da Vinci Code" adult Sunday school class, where we watched a movie concerning the book. The movie supported the book. I have to admit that I did not enjoy watching the movie. At the end of the movie I was fully expecting a biblical defense to be given. But there was none. There was no literature handed out to disclaim the full inerrancy of "The Da Vinci Code." This was a little upsetting, but I dismissed it because I only sat in on the last class and I didn't know what had been discussed in previous classes.

Tonight, as you know, I sat in on the ďMary Magdalene and Mother MaryĒ class. I might be a little too harsh here in my critique, so please tell me if Iím wrong. But I donít understand why the ďDa Vinci CodeĒ the Gnostic Gospels and other non canonized gospels are being taught and viewed as interesting? Or even if we do present the facts of these literary sources why we arenít then reaffirming our doctrinal beliefs as confessing Christians by defending the fact that the bible is the infallible word of God and that it is our foundation for truth.

Again I apologize if Iím being a little too conservative, but Iím just concerned for the brethren. I guess Iím just a little leery of anything that might steer us away from and not draw us nearer to the Gospel. The only reason I am doing this as an e-mail and not in person is because I wanted to add some links. I donít expect you to thoroughly read them, but I just wanted to present something to support my feelings. God bless you.

http://icq.beliefnet.com/story/135/story_13519.html

http://www.leaderu.com/focus/davincicode.html

http://the-highway.com/cgi-bin/hse/Homep...gnostic+gospels



This is the reply that I received.

Quote
Hi Dave:
I appreciate and welcome your comments and concerns.

I think, for me, Craig Wansink summed up the reason I like offering classes like this: they are culturally relevant. People are reading books, seeing films, and living in a culture that has a lot to say about religious issues. I don't believe as Christians we are called to disengage from all of this for fear it can contaminate us or pollute our thinking; instead, I think we are to engage, to be grounded in what we believe, but willing and able to dialogue with others.

The DaVinci Code introduces questions, even for Christians, about what is factual and what is not. Craig Wansink was perhaps more subtle than some would like last night in "debunking" some of the propositions in the book. I do think he was clear in both sharing insights from the gnostic gospels that contributed to some of today's interest in Mary and Mary Magdalene (and I believe Christians should know there were other writings not included in the canon), and also in explaining how certain passages could be misinterpreted (ex. the holy kiss). Quite frankly, I think he operates on an assumption that certain facts about Mary and Mary Magdalene were understood (although he did start with the biblical text), but that people are also curious and interested in learning where other traditions developed. His class was entitled "Mary Magdalene and Mary the Mother of Jesus outside the NT". I also think his point in his introduction about being "intrigued" with alternative views of Jesus was that those things he was exposed to made him think, and study and question and learn.
As far as the Sunday morning class was concerned, I was unable to attend, but it was my understanding the plan was to examine some of the questionable passages and challenge some of the author's presuppositions. Some of that could be done biblically, but other parts probably had to be done more historically. I'll follow up to see if that is what happened.

While we never want to potentially mislead or confuse, I think it is also a danger on the other side of not allowing questions or encouraging people to think (I know you wouldn't argue this point). That is the approach I have taken with offering classes on both Wed. nights and Sun. mornings. I know there are many out there who think we should only be doing Bible study, and nothing else, (that is one reason we always have an hour of Bible study at VBS rather than just classes) but I think that it would be a shame not to do things such as look at the confessions (you obviously agree), writings by great Christian thinkers through the centuries, lifestyle issues such as marriage and money management, etc. I also like offering things like "Let's Go to the Movies," looking for religious themes, and even "Jesus in the Arts," which looked at some movies that maybe didn't favorably portray Christ. Even looking at other world religions and belief systems are important for us to be able to dialogue with neighbors and have a better understanding of what is going on in the world.

We do all these things while hopefully also recognizing that people need to be exposed to biblical truth as well. I do believe there is room for disagreement on certain issues, and hopefully that some provocative things will be said from time to time to cause people to think, and to reexamine what they believe. That is probably why some Christians welcome something like "The DaVinci Code," rather than condemn it, because of the opportunities it can provide for dialogue and examination of faith. True, it can be confusing, which was one of the reasons I wanted to offer the class and Craig's workshop.

This is what I love about the Presbyterian tradition--there is an openness and freedom to explore and think and dialogue together about all kinds of issues, knowing we may not always agree, but trusting that the Holy Spirit is operative in each person's life.

Thanks again for sharing; sorry you were bothered by some of the things you heard. I hope this helps you at least understand where I am coming from.


What do you think?

Dave.

#16721 - Tue Aug 03, 2004 5:39 PM Re: Churches near Chesapeake, VA [Re: Reformation Monk]  
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Dave,

I just finished reading through this thread and will now offer my own personal thoughts:

1) As to your e-mail to your Pastor, although we are to show due respect to the men that occupy that office, we should realize that they are also fallible in both doctrine and life. It seems to me that you were far too apologetic throughout the e-mail and in doing so, took the "edge" off your legitimate concerns. In matters of serious concern, which these two classes are, we should be firm in our own convictions based upon solid biblical teaching. One can be bold yet humble in addressing such things. Meekness is not synonymous with weakness, but rather it is an attribute of strength. Take a look at how Moses, a man of true godly meekness was also a man of tremendous strength. The Lord Christ, also was the epitome of meekness yet He showed impeccable strength and resistance against all that opposed God and truth.

2) As to your Pastor's reply, I could best sum it up in these few words. It seems that he is wanting to put a screen door in a submarine. I think you know the consequences of doing so. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
#16722 - Tue Aug 03, 2004 5:47 PM Re: Churches near Chesapeake, VA [Re: Reformation Monk]  
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First, I think you were too soft in your letter:

Quote
I absolutely have no intentions of being negative in any way.


Quote
I might be a little too harsh here in my critique, so please tell me if Iím wrong.


Quote
Again I apologize if Iím being a little too conservative


Quote
I just wanted to present something to support my feelings.


These aren't just your "feelings," and this isn't being "a little conservative." This is you reacting to things that are against Biblical principles.

Also, you said, "I donít expect you to thoroughly read them." Why wouldn't you expect him to?

I think the tone of your pastor's reply is summed up when he writes,

Quote
This is what I love about the Presbyterian tradition--there is an openness and freedom to explore and think and dialogue together about all kinds of issues, knowing we may not always agree, but trusting that the Holy Spirit is operative in each person's life.


If you can't agree that the Da Vinci Code is antithetical to the Gospel, what, of any importance, is there to agree upon?


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
#16723 - Wed Aug 04, 2004 8:58 PM Re: "The Da Vinci Code" [Re: Reformation Monk]  
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Hi Dave--

Sounds like you and I are in good company. Your situation sounds very similar to mine. I am in a church that has been promoting error through some books and other materials. Sounds like the response from your pastor is similar to what I have gotten -- we are free to think and our theologies may not be all the same and that's ok, etc. etc. What they don't see is that they are in grave error. I would suggest going and speaking to your pastor and those in charge face to face and before you go do a lot of research (if you haven't already) so you know where you stand. I also agree with the others who responded that you were too soft in your email. Why apologize for being conservative?? But I can understand how you may feel, because I am in a similar boat, and when you feel you're the only one who is different it's kind of intimidating. Yes you're probably going to be the "bad guy" in their eyes because they just don't understand. This is my situation right now. I will be praying for your wife and that God open her eyes. I am ready to leave my church also, but my husband is an elder and he doesn't feel this now. Our current pastor just left and now we'll be getting another one, but there are other leaders in place that I think have some of the same "bad" theology and now I need to speak with them. Isn't it fun knowing the truth?? Confronting and talking with my church leaders like this is definately not on my list of fun things to do, but I feel I'm left without much of a choice.

janean

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