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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

On Angels and Demons

There has been a lot of talk recently on the upcoming movie "Angels and Demons", especially in Catholic circles and I wanted to share my thoughts. I believe it is absolutely wrong for a Christian, especially a Catholic, to read or watch Angels and Demons for many reasons and I'll try to explain them here.

The author Dan Brown is intent on writing sensationalist blasphemy that lines his pockets and there is just no need to provide financial support to someone such as him, especially in these hard times. There are much more constructive things to do with your $10.

In this and his earlier controversial book/movie "The DaVinci Code" he stirs up anti-Catholic sentiment bases on his false interpretation of the scriptures and of church history, again, in the name of making a name for himself and making money. He mixes fact with fiction and blasphemy and I wonder just how many people watching or reading those works truly have enough scriptural, theological and historical education and knowledge to discern the difference? Not hardly enough as witnessed by those "Christians" that support him.

He claims to be a Christian and yet his writings and beliefs wreak of progressive "new age" feel-good thinking. He seems to have no grasp of how absolute Christianity is and that as a Christian he doesn't know that there is only one truth. Faith is not an "ethereal concept" at all for us Christians. Sadly by his own words he has shown that he has no idea what Christianity is and by his works he shows that he does not know who Jesus Christ is at all. From his website FAQ;

"ARE YOU A CHRISTIAN? Yes. Interestingly, if you ask three people what it means to be Christian, you will get three different answers. Some feel being baptized is sufficient. Others feel you must accept the Bible as immutable historical fact. Still others require a belief that all those who do not accept Christ as their personal savior are doomed to hell. Faith is a continuum, and we each fall on that line where we may. By attempting to rigidly classify ethereal concepts like faith, we end up debating semantics to the point where we entirely miss the obvious–that is, that we are all trying to decipher life's big mysteries, and we're each following our own paths of enlightenment. I consider myself a student of many religions. The more I learn, the more questions I have. For me, the spiritual quest will be a life-long work in progress."
- Source: The Da Vinci Code - FAQs Official Website of Dan Brown
He was asked a direct question and instead of talking about what he believes, he talks about what others believe; "three people", "some", "others". His "yes" should have been enough but then he goes on to say he's a student of many religions. Interesting, no? If he believes in Judaism or Islam then he does not believe that Jesus Christ is
the messiah, the son of the living God, but rather merely a prophet. Which is it? He either is a Christian or he is not. Based on his reply I would have to say he doesn't know what to believe even when all the facts are staring him in the face.

Faith is a continuum? Not even close. Using words that the average person likely doesn't truly understand without looking them up does not make one seem more intelligent, especially when they're improperly used. I would expect better from an author. A continuum is anything that goes through a gradual transition from one condition to a different condition without any abrupt changes or "discontinuities". Faith is not a continuum, knowledge,(perception and understanding is and here's why.

Christ is fixed, immutable and eternal. He is the only Truth and there is no "different truth" to change to. Faith is belief without knowledge. Our human perception of truth changes as knowledge of truth increases or decreases, therefore it is human understanding that is the continuum, not faith. One's faith can increase (or decrease) in intensity but the condition of our faith that is Jesus Christ, does not change. Besides, do we really need to have all that knowledge? Absolutely not! We need faith and not even that much of it. The size of a mustard seed should suffice.

To be honest, Dan shows his ignorance of Christianity in that while faith is important, of the three; faith, hope and Love, Love is the greatest. You can have all the knowledge AND faith in the world but if you have not Love, you have nothing!

"And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing." -1 Cor 13:2

Had he even a little faith but great Love of Christ he couldn't have possibly written these works. Christ is not about mere human faith. He is about unconditional and eternal Love. He is Love.

Angels and Demons is Poison

Would it be ok for a Christian even with a properly formed conscience and a strong marriage to watch pornography? Of course not! Pornography is the nearness of sin that defiles the act of Love between a husband and wife as created by God, twisting it into a selfish lie with all the consequences that go with it.

Movies such as Angels and Demons defile the morals and truth of Christianity and of the Catholic Church as created by God, also twisting it also into selfish profit driven lie. How then is it any different from pornography? At the very core, it isn't.

Now of course not everyone buys into the lie of pornography and not everyone will buy into the lie of Angels and Demons or anything else of Dan Brown's, but how many is too many? I believe even one lost sheep is too many. Is not one lost sheep cause for the shepherd to leave the flock to search?

Though many are crying "it's just a work of fiction", far too many people have been led astray by mere "works of fiction". The cult-like media followings of the "Harry Potter" series and "Twilight" should speak well enough of that fact. Romanticizing or adventurizing blasphemy is still blasphemy.

Then how much blasphemy is "enough"? Even if the movie was 90% fiction, 5% fact and just 5% blasphemy, is that good enough for you to watch it? Or bad enough for you to not? Would you drink from a glass that contained only 10% poison? How about 5%? Perhaps just 1%? No, of course not! Only a fool would do such a thing and yet how many times each and every day do we drink from that same cup. Who is it that plants these seeds of doubt in our minds? Ask yourself this. Would you let Satan in your home and your life for just 10 minutes out of your whole life? How about just 5 minutes? Perhaps just 1 single minute?

Even having what I hope is a well formed conscience, I choose not to watch it. It's moral poison. "Kindle not the coals of a sinner, lest ye be consumed." (Sirach 8:10)

Let's not make matters worse. Our tickets or book purchases would be a vote for more blasphemous works like this. BE a Christian and don't watch the movie or read the book. You will gain nothing from it and it in fact may hurt you. Instead spend that two hours feeding the hungry at a shelter, visiting a prison or a nursing home or even that relative that you haven't bothered to visit in a long time. Take that $10 you would have spent on the ticket or book and next time you pass a homeless beggar on the street - give it to Christ through them or drop it in the poor box at Church.

May God bless and forgive Dan Brown, Ron Howard and all those that may be led astray by this movie.

God's Blessings!


caroline said...

The movie industry is in need of our prayers, many prayers.

The Fraternity of St Genesius is a new Catholic Association, whose members commit to prayer and sacrafice for those involved in cinema and theatre.

Don't just complain, join us!

Our first response as christians should always be prayer!

Vicky said...

The only problem with Dan Brown is that people don't take him for what he is : a fictionist. And how people make this kind of assumptions is that the biggest worry. It is Idiocracy taking over.

Bob Cavalcante Jr. said...

It absolutely is, Vicky and all the more reason we as conscientious Catholics must intelligently and passionately inform them with our words and our examples!

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you! great post and thanks for the illuminating explanation and analogy

Who is the Catholic Conservative American?