We are commanded in Colossians 4:5, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.” (NIV) That’s why we see the upcoming Da Vinci Code movie as an open door to reach out to seekers. Allow me to share some suggestions on how we can wisely maximize this opportunity. (I came up with the acronym C-O-D-E to make it easy to remember.)
Create opportunities to share the Gospel. Instead of waiting for an opportunity, create one. If you see a friend reading the book, strike up a conversation about it. Or, after watching the movie with friends, discuss it over a cup of coffee. In Acts 8, God sent Philip to share the Gospel to an Ethiopian eunuch. He ran up to the man who was riding a chariot while reading the Old Testament. Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” The eunuch replied, “How can I unless someone explains it to me?” That may well be what’s in the mind of your seeker friends.
Offer to listen to the person’s views. Don’t launch prematurely about the errors of the Da Vinci Code. Avoid debates. You would come off as an obnoxious, know-it-all. Ask the person first what he thinks about it. Maybe he is not taking it that seriously. So a lengthy discussion of the book’s flaws might only bore the person. Paul commands us in Colossians 4:6—“Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.” (The Message) Listening shows that you respect the person. If we show interest in her views, then she will respect our beliefs also.
Discuss the truths of the Bible. Remember that the book is just a launching pad. The best offense is a good defense. In other words, a clear presentation of what the Bible teaches is better than a litany of the mistakes of Dan Brown, the author of the book. You may say, for example, “The Da Vinci Code says Jesus’ divinity was settled by a vote of the council. Let us see what the Bible really says about Jesus being God.” Jimmy Williams of Probe Ministries International (http://www.probe.org/) said, “Christianity thrives on intelligence, not ignorance. If a real Reformation is to accompany the revival for which many of us pray, it must be something of the mind as well as the heart.” We need to deal with their doubts so we can lead them to faith.
Encourage them to accept the Lord Jesus as Savior. Defending our faith against the baseless attacks of the Da Vinci Code is a means to an end, not an end by itself. In discussing the Da Vinci Code, we are just clearing the way for the Gospel. J. Gresham Machem, a great Christian scholar, wrote: “I do not mean that the removal of intellectual objections will make a man a Christian. No conversion was ever wrought by argument. [But] it would be a great mistake [also] to suppose that all men are equally well-prepared to receive the gospel.” We must take the time to share to people the Good News, that is, Christ died for our sins and rose again on the third day. Invite them to believe on Him.
Brethren, let us seize the moment!