An article in this morning's New York Times reports that, although until recently the attitude of most Christian leaders was to use next week's release of the movie as an opportunity for evangelism or dialog, now there is an outpouring of calls for boycotts and allegations of blasphemy. Why they waited so long is anyone's guess, but it should not be a surprise. There is a segment of today so-called Christian leaders who have an aggressive attitude and behavior that is simply out of character with the example set by Jesus Christ. Always humble, kind, merciful and tolerant, even at the crucifixion, He refused to speak in His defense. Do these guys realize the extent to which their reactions to the movie give the lie to the very truth they seek to protect?
The facts of the matter are that in a few instances the best-selling novel, although filled with fanciful ideas that the author implies are factual but no scholar of any stripe will support, does tell the truth. Here is one example from pages 232-33:
"Originally," Langdon said, "Christianity honored the Jewish Sabbath of Saturday, but Constantine shifted it to coincide with the pagan’s veneration day of the sun." He paused, grinning, "To this day, most churchgoers attend services on Sunday morning with no idea that they are there on account of the pagan sun god’s weekly tribute——Sun-day."
Dr. Samuele Bacciocchi, among other scholars, in a doctoral dissertation at the Pontifical Gregorian University, has shown that this is factual history. And much of Christian leadership today is still participating in a cover-up of something that got started for no better reason than antisemitism. In fact, Christendom has a long, bloody history of antisemitism and to this day refuses to acknowledge the full implications of the Jewishness of Jesus.
It takes only one such instance to prove to the suspicious, unindoctrinated individual that there is something to the whole skein of allegations in the novel. These aggressive attitudes on the part of some so-called Christian leaders further reinforces skepticism and does nothing to encourage people to question the novel itself. The God of Scripture takes the position, "Come, Let us reason together." The truth is spoken in the "still, small voice," not the bombast of religious leaders on the steroids of political prominence and influence. They are proving themselves to be counterfeit spokesmen for the real Jesus.