Heresy: Ten Lies They Spread About Christianity

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Then we have the sugar-coating approach. In Canada The CBC produces Little Mosque on the Prairie. The imam is a handsome, progressive young man with a liberated, pretty wife. His fellow Muslims are fun-loving, tolerant, unlike the local Christian preacher, who is a bigoted ignoramus, or the conservative radio talk-show host, who screams all the time. The achingly bland show has been sold across the world, but oddly enough no episode about honour killings or female genital mutilation has so far been made. Can you imagine a CBC programme showing the nice, gentle side of pro-lifers or evangelicals or serious Catholics? And the same applies to the US, Britain, and everywhere there is an Islamic community.

FP: Tell us some of the truths about Christians and their authentic beliefs.

Coren: Let’s take just one chapter of the book, the Da Vinci Code. Dan Brown claims claims that Jesus was regarded even by His followers as merely a great moral teacher or at best a prophet. They never thought of Him as a Messianic figure, he continues, and the earliest written documents substantiate this. It was only at the Council of Nicaea in 325AD that Jesus was said to be divine.

Not quite. Jesus is called “God” seven times in the New Testament and is referred to as divine on dozens of occasions. He was crucified not for being a prophet or an ethicist, or for that matter a champion of social justice, but for claiming to be the Son of God. The early martyrs died because of this belief alone.

There are numerous letters from pagan and thus objective writers from the first and second century, long before Nicaea, describing how Christians believe Jesus to be divine; including one written to the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, who died in AD180. All the Council of Nicaea did was to affirm that Jesus was the Son of God as a self-evident truth.

Brown then says that The Dead Sea Scrolls are the earliest Christian writings in existence and that The Gnostic Gospels frequently mention Mary Magdalene and her marriage to Jesus.

This really is a howler. The Dead Sea Scrolls are Jewish writings and have no direct connection with Christianity at all. As for those much-discussed Gnostic Gospels, they at no time mention Jesus being married to Mary. But then Dan Brown probably doesn’t expect his readers to actually read the Gnostic Gospels.

If they did they would be extremely disappointed. They are often misogynistic, frequently contradictory and tend to be self-serving and achingly dull. They were rejected by the Church because they were written relatively late and are wholly unreliable. It was not a case of Christianity trying to hide some greater truth but of Christianity only adopting books that were, well, Christian.

If Brown doesn’t think much of the Church, he doesn’t like Constantine very much at all. Except when he thinks him a virtual god. “The Bible, as we know it today, was collated by the pagan Roman Emperor Constantine.” Who knew? Certainly not Constantine. Because the Old Testament existed even before the birth of Jesus, and the New Testament began to take shape at the end of the first century. The compilation was not finalized until the end of the fourth century.

Constantine, however, died in 337AD. In other words, there is no way that he could have compiled The Bible. What he certainly did do was to commission Eusebius, the genius Bishop of Carthage, to make fifty copies of the Bible that already existed so that more people could read it. No serious historian has ever claimed otherwise or written anything to support Brown’s thesis. Proving that Dan Brown is no historian.

Fine, argue his advocates, he doesn’t claim to be. True, but he does claim that distinction for others. “The royal bloodline of Jesus Christ has been chronicled in exhaustive detail by scores of historians”. The historians he lists are Margaret Starbird, Richard Leigh, Henry Lincoln, Clive Prince, Lynn Picknett and Michael Baigent. Problem. Just like Dan Brown these aren’t historians either. Baigent has a basic degree in psychology and is working on an MA in mysticism and Picknett and Prince are best known for their work on the occult and UFOs. Phone home ET, and tell us about Jesus and his family who all live in France.

Brown is often at his most fatuous when he tries to be at his most clever. He writes that YHWH, the Jewish sacred name for God, is based on the word Jehovah. And Jehovah, he says, is a combination of the masculine Jah and the feminine Havah, signifying Eve. Thus God gave us feminism, Jesus was a pioneer of progressive gender politics and the Church has hidden all of this to preserve male power and exclude women, particularly Mary Magdalene, from their rightful place in society and culture.

Dan, you’ve got your politics and your semantics rather confused. YHWH doesn’t come from Jehovah but Jehovah from YHWH. The word was used thousands of years before Jehovah came into existence, as late as the sixteenth-century.

He goes on to say that The Priory of Sion was founded in early medieval Europe. Untrue. It was registered with the French government in a dusty office in 1956. His central bad guy is an Opus Dei monk. Hardly. Opus Dei is an overwhelmingly lay organization and they have no monks. He states that five million women were killed by the Church as witches. Actually between 30,000 and 100,000 people, men and women, were executed for various crimes, including witchcraft. He refers to the Pope in the Vatican long before the Pope lived in the Vatican. And so on and so on and so on.

FP: How should Christians respond to these attacks on them?

Coren: No compromise on love but no compromise on truth. Christians have to be informed, which is why I wrote this book. It’s too late to merely walk away, because we are giving more and more ground to those who do want compromise, but total victory over all that the faith stands for. We see this with radicals within the gay community. They were not always well treated, but won all of their battles some years ago. It’s no longer about tolerance but affirmation; unless we support and encourage, we are to be condemned. Radical gays and atheists will not stop until Christians are considered unacceptable. Please do not simply discount what I am saying as rhetoric. The next 20 years will see a radical reshaping of the lines of civilized behavior in North American and western Europe.

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  • StephenD

    "…because we are giving more and more ground to those who do want compromise, but total victory over all that the faith stands for. We see this with radicals within the gay community. They were not always well treated, but won all of their battles some years ago. It’s no longer about tolerance but affirmation; unless we support and encourage, we are to be condemned."
    I never before now considered this. It is no longer about tolerance but affirmation. We see it in presentations, entertainment, schools, everywhere. This is an eye opener for me.

  • tagalog

    Attacks on Christianity are not heresy. Heresy is Christian theology that doesn't work; one way of defining it is that heresy is an attempt to characterize Christianity within the worship of God and Christ in a way that, if adopted, makes it either (1) impossible for Christ to have done what He did, or (2) to obtain redemption.

    No doubt Mr. Coren understands that there is a distinction between Arianism, Manicheanism, and a dozen other well-known heresies and things like atheism and hostility to Christianity for the excesses committed in its name over the course of history.

    Saying Christianity is bad is not heresy. It's just an attack on Christianity.

  • Shaun

    Okay. Christians. Please stop using The Da Vinci Code as an example of a secular attack on Christianity. IT’S A NOVEL. IN THE F-I-C-T-I-O-N SECTION. Please STOP. Bringing it up just makes you look INCREDIBLY stupid. That is all.

    • Stephen_Brady

      The fact that "The Da Vinci Code" is a novel in the fiction section actually increases its usefulness as an anti-Christian tool. The ideas presented in novels and their spinoffs … movies … have a deleterious effect upon the critical faculties of people. This is the "I don't want to look stupid" effect. And, it's incredibly powerful when presented to young people, as the movie "Code" was when it was played in hundreds of thousands of public schools, in the United States.

      There's an old sci-fi story, set in the star-faring future, in which a spacecraft is going to examine a star that had a supernova, eons ago. The two main characters in the story are an atheist and a Jesuit priest. When they arrive in the system, they find a planet and … upon investigation … they find that an advanced civilization existed there, once. It was peaceful, environmentally-friendly, no war, no disease, no racism, and so on.

      Finally, doing some calculatkions, they discover that this supernova was present in the sky on earth, at the exact time that Jesus Christ was born. Naturally, the priest loses his faith …

      Do you get it?

    • 48kindagal

      Shaun-Apparently you don't get it. The problem with such fiction books is that the Biblically illiterate think they are the truth and thus end up further away from actually finding the Truth.

    • flyingtiger

      Fiction can sell an idea better than non-fiction. There were many non-fictional books about slavery in the South before the ACW. The book everyone remenbers is the novel, Uncle Tom's cabin. The Di Vinci code has brought anti-christianity into the mainstream.

  • flyingtiger

    Proestants killed over (05 of the witches. The Catholics only started doing this after the Reformation started. In the Catholic churh you had to prove someone was a witch (Often hard to do) and that they used their powers to commit evil (again hard to do.) Under the Proestants, all you had to do was prove someone was a witch.

  • mrbean

    I believe that man is a folorn creature on an water planet in a minor solar system circling an ordinary middle-aged star on a outer arm of a mid size galaxy amongst billions upon billions like it in a vast and chaotic universe and he shall have come and gone as though he had never been as have an untold multitude of species before him. All of the religions are nonsense whether they be extremely sophisticated or simply primitive.

  • g_jochnowitz

    "Ye shall know them by their fruits" (Matthew 7:16). In the centuries before the 18th century, when people really believed in Christianity, we had the Albigensian Crusade, the Inquisition, witch trials, etc.
    Today, the sect of Christianity that is still accepted with blind faith is Marxism–despite the fact that Marxism is an atheistic denomination.

  • RoguePatriot6

    "He identified himself, they said, as a “cultural Christian”. Those of who understand religion, however, know that this is shorthand for “only a cultural Christian”.

    The article was dead a dead on hit, but when you think about it, what else is new? People read what they want to read and hear what they want to hear. People really don't know what they are doing when they slam Christianity. I know I'm going to get it for this, but here it is. Judaeo-Christian beliefs and teachings is the basis for a lot of civil laws and strongly influenced the writing of the Delcaration of Independence and the COTUS. To attack it or degrade it, is to attack the very fundamentals and values that made this a great nation. As we erode these principals we erode this country.

    Now, I know alot of lib/progs are REALLY burned by these facts but they are what they are. Some how they think that Christians want to take away their freedoms to do whatever they choose and what's ironic is that the people that are dead intent on doing this, they embrace with open arms. (cont'd)

  • RoguePatriot6

    The ACLU is somewhat of a spearhead for much of the legal persecution of Christian values and beleifs in this country. "Separation of church and state" is something that Jefferson mentioned in his letter, yet lib/progs have used and twisted it out of context. This phrase was meant to protect the Church from the state however our current administration has done the exact opposite and they too, have used it in an effort to remove any and every influence or appearance of Christianity from the public eye. Part of the problem is the ommission of the COTUS from our children's education and it's importance in how we govern ourselves as a nation. When people aren't aware of their rights then it's easy to take them away.

  • RoguePatriot6

    It's funny that when it comes to Islam and shariah, you never hear or see the ACLU nor any of their arguments opposing it, like thier main one, "separation of church and state". When it comes down to it, this nation had some people who had a problem with Christianity and those problems may have been legit, considering the hypocrisy that some of them showed towards outsiders of the faith. However, what must be remembered was that when these people twisted and used the scriptures to fit their base goals and ambitions, that made them twisted and evil, not Christ. He was who He was, is who He is and will be forevermore.

  • Richard Colonel

    Six years before President Barack Obama ran for president of the United States in 2002, when there were legislators coming up with new ideas on how to redraw the lines in some of the political districts in Texas, I stood up before a group of people and made the announcement that "here we are 226 years after the start of the American Revolution, and we are still a divided nation. Not as Abraham Lincoln said, half slave and half free, but we still couldn't decide among ourselves whether we are American citizens or hyphen American citizens, for example: Hispanic-American, Iraqi-American, African-America, or Islamic-American or whatever – American. It is time now ten years since I spoke those words to those people. Seems too many are too proud to Just Be AMERICAN, but they got to tell you the country that they are from. None are assimilating into the idea of being American, but they want to carry on the ways of the country that they left. They want to shove their cultures on American citizens.

  • Richard Colonel

    It is time that they learn the Ameircan way and that should be the only way. If the ACLU wants its way, then let them try to enter another coutnry and try to become one of that country's new immigrant citizens. It won't work! Mexico, for example, sends its people to the U.S. and tells them that they can gain American citizenship, and still retain their Mexican citizenship. In other words, what they call Dual-Citizenship. It don't work that way. Those who have not yet gain citizenship after being here 20 to 30 years are no longer citizens of the country they left. Nor are the citizens of the U.S. They are people without a country.

  • Richard Colonel

    As for the Muslim Brotherhood that has enveloped governments iin the Middle East, such as Egypt and Libya, it's their way of gaining a strong hold on government and passing laws that would send those countries back to the year 500 B.C. For them only the weak will survive, the strong will perish to make way for those who would have no Christianity in their midst but would make all people muslim or as they call themselves ISLAM! Hence, a THEOCRACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST!

  • Richard Colonel

    Of course, they spread lies about Christianity, because they don't want to hear the truth. They are no different than the men who sat on the Senhadrin when Stephen preached to them. They knew they were hearing the truth and the truth was making them look bad, therefore SEVENTY men became as one and thre Stephen out of the Temple out of the City and rocked him to sleep.

  • tagalog

    The good news is that whatever is forbidden with regard to the expression of the Christian religion is also forbidden to other religions. The statue of Themis is what First Amendment jurisprudence would characterize as a non-religious expression employing a figure that has a religious origin, but which is no longer seen as religious.