Crash Goes the Da Vinci Code/Part 14
|By: Dr. Wayne Barber; ©2005|
|There are two primary responses to this claim: (1) The church has not recast sex as a shameful act; and (2) Sex was never intended as a means of achieving “gnosis.”|
by Dr. Ron Rhodes, Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministries, P.O. Box 2526, Frisco, TX, 75034. 214-618-0912. www.ronrhodes.org (Used by permission.)
Was Sex a Means of Knowing and Experiencing God in Biblical Times? Did the Church Demonize Sex in Order to Stay in Power?
DAN BROWN’S POSITION:
“For the early church, mankind’s use of sex to commune directly with God posed a serious threat to the Catholic power base. It left the Church out of the loop, undermining their self- proclaimed status as the sole conduit to God. For obvious reasons, they worked hard to demonize sex and recast it as a disgusting and sinful act. Other major religions did the same.” (Page 309)
The sex act enables one to “achieve gnosis—knowledge of the divine.” (Page 308)
Sex is “a mystical, spiritual act… [in which one can] find that spark of divinity that man can only achieve through union with the sacred feminine.” (Page 310)
The male “could achieve a climactic instant when his mind went totally blank and he could see God.” (Page 309)
“The natural sexual union between man and woman through which each became spiritually whole … had been recast as a shameful act.” (Page 125)
“Holy men… now feared natural sexual urges as the work of the devil.” (Page 125)
THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER:
There are two primary responses to this claim: (1) The church has not recast sex as a shameful act; and (2) Sex was never intended as a means of achieving “gnosis.”
(1) The church has not recast sex as a shameful act. Sex within marriage is good (see Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5; 1 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 5:31). Sex was a part of God’s “good” creation. Indeed, God created sex and “everything created by God is good” (1 Timothy 4:4). But it is good only within the confines of the marriage relationship (1 Corinthians 7:2), which He Himself ordained (see Hebrews 13:4). The Song of Solomon indicates that God desires married people to have truly fulfilling sex.
Christians, however, are to abstain from fornication (Acts 15:20). Paul said that the body is not for fornication and that a man should flee it (1 Corinthians 6:13,18). Certainly the sex ritual depicted in THE DA VINCI CODE (a copulating couple surrounded by chanting people) constitutes a form of fornication and is thus condemned by God.
Scripture is quite clear: “For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient” (Eph. 5:5-6).
(2) Sex was never intended as a means of achieving “gnosis.” Man is not to seek revelation or knowledge in altered states of consciousness related to the sex act, but rather from God’s Word. Scripture alone is the supreme and infallible authority for the church and the individual believer. Jesus always used Scripture as the final court of appeal in every matter under dispute. We must do the same.
Instead of a view that says individuals can receive individual insights from God during sexual ecstasy, Scripture indicates that a definitive body of truth was objectively communicated to man. This is why Jude 3 admonishes us to “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” In the Greek text, the definite article “the” preceding “faith” points to the one and only faith; there is no other. “The faith” refers to the apostolic teaching and preaching which was regulative upon the church (see Acts 6:7; Gal. 1:23; 1 Tim. 4:1).
This body of truth is referred to in Jude 3 as that which was “once for all delivered to the saints.” The word translated “once for all” (Greek: apax) refers to something that has been done for all time, something that never needs repeating. The revelatory process was finished after this “faith” had “once for all” been delivered.
The word “delivered” here is an aorist passive participle, indicating an act that was completed in the past with no continuing element. There would be no new “faith” or body of truth communicated through people in sexual ecstasy.