الأحد، مايو 07، 2006

Dan Brown and God's Work

"The Davinci Code" the movie is about to be released in Australia. With the imminent release, come the repetitive ads an reviews. I must admit I haven't read the book, but am familiar with its content (who isn't?!), however I was still disturbed by the character of the psychopathic albino monk. My husband who has read the book commented that it seems his character (the monk's) has received a bit of a "Hollywood-bad-guy" make over...he just didn't perceive him to be this psychopathic when he read the book.

This monk's character (sorry I can't think of his name) is a member of the group "Opus Dei" which it seems Mr Brown more than embellished about their true nature.

(Read this article in The Age )

Opus Dei basically means the work of God. A group of people who dedicate their lives to God and the service of their community through Christian teachings. Most are lay people, living with their families and have careers, etc.. They are called "Supernumaries".

Others have vowed to dedicate their life in every sense to God. They are celibate, they give their salaries to the group and engage in self discipline (mortification) . They are Numeraries.

So far it seems a bit like monasticism, only you live out in the world and serve others. In a report by Sunday today there were interviews with members who basically live to serve others and carry out God's work!! There was also an interview with a lady who left the group because of what she says is brainwashing and controlling practices by the group. But John Allen, author of the book Opus Dei, simply said "when I talked to members and ex-members, I basically heard the same accounts...only from two different perspectives"

So, while ex-members talk of brainwashing, controlling and inflicting harm on oneself...members speak of a life lived for Christ, dedication and discipline.

It's hard for me to understand the life these people choose. Perhaps I have been spoilt some with all the comforts around me? I don't know. But I do know that these people are not harming anyone. If someone chooses to live a life of celibacy and purity, while working hard to benefit those around them, why is this bad? Isn't this what Christianity is about? Selfless love, serving your community, and just basically doing God's work!!

The very last paragraph in the article indicated above is worth noting.

Already the book has led Australians to inquire about membership in the movement. For Opus Dei, the movie might represent one step back and two steps forward.

So maybe Mr Brown is doing God's work after all!

6 Comments:

Blogger Noblese said...

Very good post. Regarding Opus Dei here in Switzerland, the local TV showed interviews with both married as well as single members. My impression was if that's the way they want to serve Christ then why should people intervene. Everyone has his own beliefs and is free to practise them.
What I find missing in all these discussions about the Da Vinci code is that the Catholic church is not doing enough to correct the false picture the book shows of Jesus and Mary Magdalena. The Vatican recommends boycotting the film though, but is that enough?

مايو 07, 2006  
Blogger fazeli said...

أزال أحد مشرفي المدونة هذا التعليق.

مايو 07, 2006  
Blogger xavier said...

Bent:
Actually Opus dei is a lay organization that supports both the consecrated life (called supernumary) and married life. St José Maria Escrivà's goal is to create holiness in everyday life and within families.
John allen wrote a fairly balanced book on Opus dei.
You can also learn more about Opus (on the top left there's a pull down menu- choose your country and language inglés)
There's also an Opus dei priest's blog which specifically deals with Duh Vinci and Opus dei.

Noblese:
Perhaps not there in Europe. I can assure you that the Americans- particularly the Catholics are very, very active in refuting the lies. The American conference of bishop has a website dedicated to refuting Dan Brown. Here's are some links
from Ignatius Press- the pope's Englis language publisher
Barbara Nicolosi

Amy Welborn who's currently on tour and has written a booklet
Mark Shea also on tour who's written 2 booklets

So as you can see, perhaps you could ask the European Christians to see if translation of these books are available and if not; then to contact the publishers.

xavier

مايو 08, 2006  
Anonymous Seven Star Hand said...

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مايو 08, 2006  
Blogger xavier said...

Seven star:
Dude boil some water and drink some tila or camamille. It'll do you some good.
Also pay attention: Bent's a Copt so all the nonsense about the 'Roman religion' you gurgle doesn't to her nor to Catholics

xavier

مايو 08, 2006  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

Hi Noblese. Welcome and thanks for your kind comment.

As for boycotting the film, well I guess it is enough. My opinion is that the Christian faith has stood firm and strong for two thousand years, through many heresies and much persecution. I think we should respond to the false claims in the book...sure! But beyond that, I guess boycotting it is just enough.

As for seven star hand: ummm...whatever mate!

fazeli; i visited your blog. interesting. hope your mum gets better.

مايو 10, 2006  

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