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THE DA VINCI CODE - AN ATTACK ON THE SON OF GOD!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached on Lord’s Day Evening, May 7, 2006
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (II Timothy 4:3-4).


I have read a great deal about The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (Random House, 2003). Forty million copies of the book have been sold, and it will be released on May 19 as a motion picture, starring Tom Hanks, in theaters across the nation.

Why take time to preach a sermon on it? Simply because The Da Vinci Code is a major popular attack on the Bible and historic Christianity. In fact, it is an attack on Western civilization.  

This should not surprise us. We in the West live in a culture that is rapidly becoming hostile to Christianity, the Christianity not only of Baptists, and evangelicals, but even some of the core teachings of the Catholic Church, on such vital subjects as the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, the Virgin Birth of Christ, and the reliability of the Bible’s revelation of Christ.

Although I did not always agree with the late Dr. Carl F. H. Henry, the founding editor of Christianity Today, this well-known theologian gave a wake-up call to America and the West in his powerfully written book, Twilight of a Great Civilization (Crossway Books, 1988). Dr. Henry gave this sobering assessment of Western culture:

We live in the twilight of a great civilization, amid the deepening decline of modern culture…much of what passes for practical Christianity is really an apostate compromise with the spirit of [this] age. Our generation is lost to the truth of God, to the reality of divine revelation [in the Bible], to the content of God’s will, to the power of His redemption, and to the authority of His Word. For this loss it is paying dearly in a swift relapse to paganism. The savages are stirring again; you can hear them rumbling and rustling in the tempo of our times…Disillusionment over organized Christianity is soaring; one can see it in the statistics of declining church attendance…a whole generation is growing up with no awareness of regeneration [the new birth]…a species without clear ideas about sin and sacrilege, a race for whom God and the supernatural are virtually eclipsed, individuals with no interest in…eternal concerns…Savages are stirring the dust of a decadent civilization and already slink in the shadows of a disabled church…The barbarians are coming. Institutional Christianity has dropped the last barricade to the return of the pagan man…What has now changed is that both the pagan forces and the Christian forces…seem increasingly locked into a life-and-death struggle (Carl F. H. Henry, Ph.D., Twilight of a Great Civilization, Crossway Books, 1988, pages 15, 16, 17, 23).

The “life-and-death” struggle between paganism and Christianity was named “the culture war” by Patrick J. Buchanan in a speech he gave at the Republican National Convention in 1992. Since then, the name Buchanan coined, “the culture war,” has been adapted by the mainstream media as a proper description of the battle we are in tonight. As Dr. Henry said, Christianity is “locked into a life-and-death struggle” with paganism.

Dan Brown’s book, The Da Vinci Code, is the latest attack on Christianity in that war. Make no mistake - we are at war. And Brown’s book is the latest assault paganism has hurled at orthodox, Biblical Christianity.  Dr. D. James Kennedy called The Da Vinci Code, "A broadside attack on the basic foundations of the Christian religion and Western civilization" (D. James Kennedy, Ph.D., The Da Vinci Myth, Coral Ridge Ministries, 2006, p. 10). 

The main fault of The Da Vinci Code lies in its attack on the divinity of Christ. The Da Vinci Code claims that the Emperor Constantine made Jesus divine at the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. The author, Dan Brown, has one of his characters, Teabing, say,

“During the fusion of religions, Constantine needed to strengthen the new Christian tradition, and held a famous ecumenical gathering known as the Council of Nicea”…“At this gathering,” Teabing said, “many aspects of Christianity were debated and voted upon [including] the divinity of Jesus…until that moment in history, Jesus was viewed by his followers as a mortal prophet…a great and powerful man, but a man nonetheless. A mortal.” [Sophie says] “Not the Son of God?” “Right,” Teabing said. “Jesus’ establishment as ‘the Son of God’ was officially proposed and voted on by the Council of Nicea.” [Sophie says] “Hold on. You’re saying Jesus’ divinity was the result of a vote?” “A relatively close vote at that,” Teabing added  (Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code, Anchor Books, 2006, p. 253).

Let’s take a close look at what Dan Brown wrote. The first thing we notice is that he gave a completely false statement about “a relatively close vote at that,” regarding Jesus’ divinity at the Council of Nicea. What was the actual vote? Three hundred to two! 99.33 percent of the Christian leaders throughout the Roman Empire voted in favor of the Nicene Creed, which gave the following words, accepted by most Bible-believing Christians to this day,

We believe in God the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth, and all things visible and invisible,
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God,
begotten of the Father before all worlds,
God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God,
begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father,
by whom all things were made;
who for us men and our salvation
came down from heaven,
and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost
of the virgin Mary,
and was made man,
and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered and was buried;
and the third day he rose again
according to the Scriptures,
and ascended into heaven,
and sitteth on the right hand of the Father;
and he shall come again, with glory,
to judge both the quick and the dead;
Whose kingdom shall have no end…

What’s wrong with that? I fail to see anything in that part of the Nicene Creed that contradicts the New Testament Scriptures. Nicea is a basic creed, explaining what Christians from the first century to our time believe about Jesus Christ. At Nicea three hundred leading Christians agreed that this is what the Bible teaches about Christ. Only two voted against it. They were both followers of Arius, who taught that Christ was the “first of created beings, through whom all other things are made” (George P. Fisher, History of Christian Doctrine, p. 134).

It should be noted that even those two Arians did not claim Jesus was merely a mortal man, as Dan Brown claims in The Da Vinci Code. Arius called Christ, “the Son, the only-begotten” (Fisher, ibid.). The Council of Nicea did not discuss whether Jesus was merely mortal. None of the man at that council believed He was merely mortal. They only discussed whether He was coeternal and coequal with the Father in His deity.

Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code, tells us that the divinity of Jesus was invented by the Emperor Constantine and his Council at Nicea. But that is not true to history. The fact is that the Council of Nicea merely drew up a statement of what Christians had already believed for over two hundred and fifty years. Dan Brown has one of his characters, Teabing, say,

“Until that moment [at the Council of Nicea in 325 AD], until that moment in history, Jesus was viewed by His followers as a mortal prophet…a great and powerful man, but a man nonetheless. A mortal.” “Not the Son of God?” “Right,” Teabing said. “Jesus’ establishment was officially proposed and voted on by the Council of Nicea” (Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code, Anchor Books, 2006, p. 253).

So, Dan Brown tells us that no one “in history” believed Jesus was the Son of God before the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D.

If you have any knowledge of the New Testament, you will instantly see that what Brown says is false. Brown tells us that the divinity of Jesus was first “proposed” at the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325. Before that “moment in history” no one, not even Jesus’ followers, believed that He was anything more than a “mortal prophet” and “a great and powerful man.” "No one believed that Jesus was the Son of God until the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D." Well, let’s take a look and see if Dan Brown is right. Remember that all four of the Gospels were written over 225 years before the Council of Nicea. Look at Matthew 16:16.

“And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

That was written by Matthew two hundred and fifty years before the Council of Nicea. Now look at Mark 15:39.

“And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.”

That was written by Mark even earlier than Matthew, 270 years before the Council of Nicea. Now look at Luke 4:41.

“And devils also came out of many crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God.”

That was written about 265 years before the Council of Nicea. Now look at John 1:34. John the Baptist said,

“I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.”

Again, that was written over 245 years before the Council of Nicea. Now let us stand and read John 1:1-3 aloud.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

Drop down and read verse fourteen.

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

You may be seated.

The men who wrote the four gospels were men who knew Christ personally. These were the men who saw Him when He was on earth. These were the men who lived 250 years before the Council of Nicea. These were the men who said, “Jesus is the Son of God!”

Surely Dan Brown knows that the Apostles all believed that Jesus was the Son of God! Surely he did enough study before writing The Da Vinci Code to know that. Why, then, did he say that no one before the Council of Nicea believed that? The answer is simple. Dan Brown does not want to be a Biblical Christian, and he wants others to give up Christianity as well. Which takes us back to our opening text. The Apostle Paul gave this prophecy:

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” 
      (II Timothy 4:3-4).

These are terrible times of apostasy and unbelief here in the Western world. The Da Vinci Code is part of that revolt against Christ. I hope no one here tonight goes to the movie version. I hope no one here sees the video. Those who promote this movie should not get one dollar from Christians! Not one dollar! If you want to know more about The Da Vinci Code, come to church next Sunday night and I will give you a free copy of Josh McDowell’s book, The Da Vinci Code: A Quest for Answers (Green Key Books, 2006). I hope good preachers all over the world will tell their people not to see this film, or the video, when it comes out. The Apostle Paul said,

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (I Corinthians 15:3-4).

That is the gospel we believe, and that is the gospel we preach! Come to Jesus Christ and you will be pardoned and accepted into His kingdom when you do. 

“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16).

Do not believe The Da Vinci Code, with its half-truths mixed with outright lies.  Instead come to Jesus by faith and you will be saved by Him for all time and eternity. 

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.realconversion.com. Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."


Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan:
I Timothy 4:1-2; II Timothy 4:1-4.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“In Times Like These” (by Ruth Caye Jones, 1944).


THE OUTLINE OF

THE DA VINCI CODE - AN ATTACK ON THE SON OF GOD!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.


“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (II Timothy 4:3-4).

(Matthew 16:16; Mark 15:39; Luke 4:41;
John 1:34, 1-3, 14; I Corinthians 15:3-4; Mark 16:16)