For a long time we have been distracted into thinking that the enemy of Christ is science. Of course, science is an enemy of religion. Others attack Christian religion as a conspiracy. I still remember various religious groups, including the Vatican, denouncing the book by Dan Brown, “The Da Vinci Code”. I admit I haven’t read the book; I rarely read fiction. But why get your surplice in a knot over a mystery novel? Unless the fiction is so believable as to suggest religion is rife with conspiracy (which it is).

I did watch the movie based on that book. I have to say I thought the script was good and the acting passed muster. I found the story a compelling suspense. Of course, the premise is so ridiculous that it was like an undercurrent of humour or tongue-in-cheek pervaded the film. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed it.

The devil works from the shadows. Consider how often religion works this way.

I remember being asked, in committee of the whole, to vote to stop a man from pursuing a vocation in pastoral ministry. The committee refused to give a reason, reportedly to protect the man. I asked him, in front of everyone, if he minded all the information being made available. He was quite agreeable. Did we hear it? No! Still, in complete ignorance, he was refused the right to become a pastor. In reality, the committee was dominated by liberal modernists and he was an old-fashioned fundamentalist. Now I am not comfortable with either extreme, but he was refused his calling, not by prayer and fasting, but by religious bigotry.

Or the story of the woman who was refused membership in a congregation after her membership had been approved by the deacons. Apparently she was good enough for God to save her, but not for First Baptist Church. Really?

Or the preacher who was banned from attending a congregation he had preached at because the new pastor didn’t like his indomitable faithfulness to Scripture. The new pastor openly admitted he didn’t follow the Bible’s requirements for such a situation because he “didn’t get around to it”. Church officials were there to reinforce the pastor’s right to ignore the Bible. Maybe the old preacher was good enough for God, but when the new pastor, who demanded people submit to his authority, came along the preacher wasn’t good enough to be allowed into their Presbyterian empire. All this after gossip at meetings and in a closed meeting which, under Presbyterian law, no one in the congregation has a right ever to see!

The reality is, that congregation wasn’t good enough for that woman. And that Presbyterian church had abandoned its first love and Jesus withdrew from it (as the prophet stated) so spiritual Christian fellowship wasn’t possible there anymore anyway. Why would he still want to attend?

“People who do what is wrong hate the light and don’t come to the light. They don’t want their actions to be exposed. But people who do what is true come to the light so that the things they do for God may be clearly seen” (John 3:20-21 God’s Word) .