Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A Little Behind

i am only like a few months behind on blogging on this issue, but i read this quote awhile back and loved it. It is a discussion with Brian McClaren about the relaease of the movie and the book, the Davinci Code by Larry Brown.

Do you think the (the Davinci Code) contains any significantly detrimental distortions of the Christian faith?

McLaren: The book is fiction and it's filled with a lot of fiction about a lot of things that a lot of people have already debunked. But frankly, I don't think it has more harmful ideas in it than the Left Behind novels. And in a certain way, what the Left Behind novels do, the way they twist scripture toward a certain theological and political end, I think Brown is twisting scripture, just to other political ends. But at the end of the day, the difference is I don't think Brown really cares that much about theology. He just wanted to write a page-turner and he was very successful at that.

here is a link to the rest of the article in soujourners. i really like a few of the positions that he takes into why the book has really caught an audience with all kinds of people. it has made me continue to re-think what stumbling blocks we have set up in following jesus that makes people turn to a fiction book as more credible than the bible. what is that telling us?


The Yepiz Zone said...

All I have to say is...Typical McClaren.

J-Lou said...

i posted it with you in mind. lol.

urBenLA said...

So true, John. I hate how people have read the Left Behind books reference them for EXACTLY how the end will go down. I think it's interesting that so many people are bought into the idea of a pre-tribulation rapture when this idea has by estimation only been around for 85 years or so. I rarely see McLaren on the attack or pointing the finger, but his comments about Left Behind (such a political agenda behind the title "the left stay behind") definitely are pointing to the American church's laze which leads them to follow whatever popular Christian leader of the day says and do no further research. James Dobson says something and then it's gospel truth in 40 million or more homes throughout the US. Sad... kids, stop drinking the kool-aid!

pableezy said...

but did you SEE the movie??

nothing says truth like Kirk Cameron.

Seven Star Hand said...

Hello J-Lou and all,
Here's some detailed insight into the backstory and subplot of the DaVinci Code and related books and texts.

Most have totally missed the point that the Gnostic texts and others are making. First, they refer to symbolic males and females, hence the philosophical masculine and feminine nature and character. All the Gnostic texts are philosophical and symbolic treatises, not literal narratives. When you try to interpret any of these ancient texts (including the Bible) as literal, you will always come to the wrong conclusions.

You may not initially agree with everything I reveal, but please be a little patient with my long-winded presentation of what I have waited a very long time to be able to say. I promise to amaze and enlighten.

Contrary to those who strive to assert that the DaVinci Code created the term, symbology is an ancient philosophical technology and I am a real life symbologist. Likewise, the upper-level members of secret societies such as Freemasons, Rosicrucians, Illumanti, and the Vatican are symbologists. Keeping their "craft" secretive and misunderstood is a purposeful ploy designed to hide the truth about ancient wisdom and the symbology used to model, encapsulate, and encode it. The title "mason" is itself a symbolic allusion to those who work with the "Philosophers' Stone" which is the symbolic name given to an ancient body of symbology, hence "Masons" are workers of "stone."

Read Proverbs 9:1 below to better understand this allusion.

Wisdom has built Her house. She has carved out Her seven pillars.

Notice that "wisdom" is referred to as "Her" and "She", as in Sophia and Miriam (the Magdala), and that "She" has "hewn" "Her" "seven pillars" (of stone)? Read my Home Page to see what those seven pillars of "stone" have always referred to, contrary to what religions and mysticism have said for millennia.

Here is the key to understanding what the Vatican and Papacy truly fear...

Pay close attention, profundity knocks at the door, listen for the key. Be Aware! Scoffing causes blindness...

Here's a real hot potato! Eat it up, digest it, and then feed it's bones to the hungry...

There's much more to the story of the Vatican's recent machinations than meets the eye. It's not the DaVinci Code or Gospel of Judas per se, but the fact that people have now been motivated to seek out the unequivocal truth about an age of deception, exactly when they expect me to appear. These recent controversies are spurring people to reevaluate the Vatican/Papacy and the religions that Rome spawned, at the worst possible time for them.

Remember, "I come as a thief..." ?

Read verse twelve of the Gospel of Thomas to understand who I am...

The DaVinci Code novel and movie are no more inaccurate as literal versions of history than the New Testament. The primary sub-plot involved purposeful symbology being used to encode hidden meanings, exactly like the Bible and related texts. In other words, none of these stories represent the literal truth. This is the common and pivotal fact of all such narratives about ancient Hebrew and Christian history. Debating whether the DaVinci Code, Gnostic texts, or the Bible are accurate history is a purposeful ploy designed to hide the truth by directing your inquiry away from the heart of the matter.

There is a foolproof way to verify the truth and expose centuries-old religious deceptions. It also proves why we can no longer let the Vatican tell us what to think about ancient history or much else. It is the common thread connecting why the ancient Hebrews, Yahad/Essene, Jews, Gnostics, Cathars, Templars, Dead Sea Scrolls, DaVinci Code, and others have been targets of Rome’s ire and evil machinations. The Vatican and its secret society cohorts don’t want you to understand that the ancient Hebrew symbology in all of these texts purposely encodes and exposes the truth about them. Furthermore, the structure of ancient wisdom symbology verifiably encodes the rules to decode messages built with it. This is what they most fear you will discover.

If the Bible represented the literal truth or even accurate history, there would be no need for faith in the assertions of deceptive and duplicitous clergy and their ilk. It is undeniable the New Testament is awash with ancient Hebrew symbolism and allegory. The same is evidenced in the Old Testament, Dead Sea Scrolls, Gnostic texts, biblical apocrypha, Quran, DaVinci Code, and other related sources. All ancient religious, mystical, and wisdom texts have been shrouded in mystery for millennia for one primary reason: The ability to understand their widely evidenced symbology was lost in antiquity. How do we finally solve these ages-old mysteries? To recast an often-used political adage: It’s [the] symbology, stupid!

It is beyond amazing that the Vatican still tries to insist the Gospels are the literal truth. Every miracle purported for Jesus has multiple direct symbolic parallels in the Old Testament, Apocalypse, Dead Sea Scrolls, and other symbolic narratives and traditions. Recasting the symbolism of earlier Hebrew texts as literal events in the New Testament is one of the central deceptions associated with Christianity. This is part of the secret knowledge held by the ancient Gnostics, Templars, Cathars, and others, which is presented with dramatic effect in the DaVinci Code. None of these narratives or stories were ever intended as the literal truth. This fact is the key to unraveling many ages-old mysteries and exposing the truth about the Vatican's long-term deceptions.

Moreover, the following Washington Post article (The Book of Bart) describes how many changes and embellishments were made to New Testament texts over the centuries, unequivocally demonstrating they are not original, infallible, or truthful. When you combine proof that the New Testament Gospels are not wholly literal with proof that these texts were heavily reworked in the early years of Christianity, you are left with only one possible conclusion. The Vatican has long lied to everyone about the central tenets and history of Christianity. This revelation also proves they are not the Creator’s representatives but Her long-time opponents. The recent hoopla over the Gospel of Judas and DaVinci Code demonstrates they are still desperately trying to deceive the world and obfuscate their true nature and activities.

It's no wonder the Vatican fears the truth more than anything else. As further proof of these assertions, seek to understand the symbolic significance of my name (Seven Star Hand) and you will have proof beyond disproof that Jews, Christians, and Muslims have long been duped by the great deceivers I warned humanity about over the millennia. What then is the purpose of "faith" but to keep good people from seeking to understand the truth?

Now comes justice, hot on its heels... (symbolism...)

Not only do I talk the talk, I walk the walk...
Here is Wisdom!!

Revelations from the Apocalypse


Keith (Qoheleth) said...

My apologies to all - I have been reading a lot of the blogs, but haven't had the time to post in the last week and a half or so. Fortunately, it looks like most of you have been pretty busy in the same period as well.

This is a great post, and I have a personal interest in the part "Left Behind" of it.

On The DaVinci Code, I have to disagree with Mr. McLaren. The book is harmful, not to those of us well-grounded in the content of our faith, but to a lot of people with superficial faith - people to whom the book's premises will sound plausible. And it's an indictment of churches, especially in America, to the degree that people who call themselves Christians can give credence to the book's claims because we are not teaching them the content of the Christian faith. Look at what the Episcopal and Presbyterian churches in the country are going through right now, because we have not been faithful to transmit received orthodoxy to successive generations of believers.

I've been asked close to two dozen times, mostly in my office, about the book and the movie. My response has been to tell people briefly about the whole Priory of Sion hoax, the Nag Hammadi manuscripts, and Gospel of Judas, and then end with a simple statement: I'm sure it's a cracking good story, but it's a hoax, and full of things easily debunked, a lot of it centuries ago. Mark D. Roberts on his website has done an outstanding job of dissecting the issues. References available if anyone wants them - I won't clog the blog with them right now. What excepts of the book I've read pretty clearly demonstrate Dan Brown has a grudge against institutional Christianity in general and the Catholic hierarchy in particular. But, I haven't read the whole book, and I have no interest in the motion picture.

Ben's hit the nail on the head regarding the Left Behind series. I came to Christ in 1975 from totally atheistic roots (testimony available on request) during the Jesus Revolution, while the whole church was buzzing about movies like "A Thief in the Night" and "A Distant Thunder," and any number of books by Hal Lindsey. It wasn't until I opened the Bible for myself and studied the issue that I came to the conclusion that the whole pre-tribulation rapture was a pipe-dream. Ever since, I've had a burden for believers who became Christians out of fear of the end times, and whether they'd fall away if it turned out they might actually have to go through it. And now it's happening all over again with "Left Behind." Ben's right - it's Kool-Aid.

My small group recently did a series going all the way through Revelation, and before I did it, I sat down with Steve and spelled out my stance on it, because I felt the need for his approval before teaching what might be a highly controversial subject.

By the way, the first historical mention of a pre-tribulation rapture is 1828. A great reference is Arthur Katterjohn's "The Tribulation People," currently out of print. I loaned my copy out fifteen years ago and never got it back.

Miss blogging with you all -

- Keith Arnold

J-Lou said...

Qoheleth said...
"On The DaVinci Code, I have to disagree with Mr. McLaren. The book is harmful, not to those of us well-grounded in the content of our faith, but to a lot of people with superficial faith - people to whom the book's premises will sound plausible."

You actually agree with Brian, if you read the whole article he makes the following statement,

"Yes! You're exactly right. One of the problems is that the average Christian in the average church who listens to the average Christian broadcasting has such an oversimplified understanding of both the Bible and of church history - it would be deeply disturbing for them to really learn about church history. I think the disturbing would do them good. But a lot of times education is disturbing for people. And so if The Da Vinci Code causes people to ask questions and Christians have to dig deeper, that's a great thing, a great opportunity for growth. And it does show a weakness in the church giving either no understanding of church history or a very stilted, one-sided, sugarcoated version."

brian agrees that people who are grounded and understand church history and the roots of thier faith. they would not be shaken by the book.

J-Lou said...

it is interesting but understandable how different people have gravitated to different aspect of this post.

but the thing that really struck me was the dialogue from mcclaren on how people are drawn to this book because of thier frustration with the jesus they have been packaged and sold by the american church. the dissatisfaction has driven them to look for something else. when many of them have missed the opportunity to truly fall in love with the jesus of scripture. most people are blinded by pre-judgments or things they think he said or did, but do not take the time really understand his life and ministry and what that means to all of us.


Keith (Qoheleth) said...

John: You're right; I read only the section you quoted, and not the whole article. When he wrote "The book is fiction and it's filled with a lot of fiction about a lot of things that a lot of people have already debunked. But frankly, I don't think it has more harmful ideas in it than the Left Behind novels," I took that as saying he viewed The DaVinci Code as benign, and no worse than Left Behind. I view The DaVinci Code as malignant and ill-intentioned, and a danger to our weaker brothers and sisters; I view Left Behind as well-intentioned, but misguided in supporting a false teaching, and a danger to our weaker brothers and sisters.

And by the way, I view "Seven Star Hand's" screed as one of the most spectacular hodge-podges of assorted heresies I've seen in a long, long time. It borders on recycled Gnosticism. I'm astonished it doesn't include a label that says "As Seen On TV!" Melchizedek reincarnated, indeed. Heh.

Samdog said...

Seven Star Hand,
I am interested in hearing what you believe. Not what the Vatican wants us to believe, or what wrong things other people believe, or what ancient pagans believed, or what all of the symbols mean... just what you believe. What do you believe about the nature of God, about the role of Jesus in our lives today, and what that means for the meaning and purpose of your life?