I figured I’ll write something different from what I normally do. I don’t even know under what category to file this. Maybe it’s an opinion piece.
Many of us know the storm a novel titled “The Da Vinci Code” written by Dan Brown caused. Not only did that novel claim so many not-generally-known theories (like Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married and had a child), it also claimed that those “theories” were actually “facts”. What better way to provide facts than to support them with evidence which that book provided a lot of. I actually read the book (who doesn’t like a good mystery?) and I remember saying then that this book was not meant for those who were unsure of their standing in Christ.
Recently, I started reading another book – Breaking the Da Vinci Code – written by a Professor of New Testament Studies, Darrell Bock, PhD. The book basically does what its title says: it breaks the “facts” described in the Da Vinci Code, countering them with another version of the “facts”.
Reading this book, it made me wonder if it should have been written; if Dan Brown deserved a response from the “orthodox” Christians. On one hand, the Church has largely been too silent in recent years, pushing Christianity to the back burner. On another hand, responding to every attack makes us always seem on the defensive. On one hand, the Church wants to follow the words of Jesus Christ in Matt 5:39: “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.” On another hand, the Church does not want to give place to these “false teachings” reacting like Paul to the people who came to tell the Gentiles that they needed to be circumcised to be saved (Acts 15; Gal 2:3-5).
From experience (especially with the rise of social media), it seems many of us interpret allegations as truth. For example, observing the recent #DasukiGate going in Nigeria, many of us Nigerians actually believe those accused are guilty, irrespective of a court finding them guilty or not. The notion that “innocent until proven guilty” may hold true in the books but not in our minds.
Another example is the famous split between Don Jazzy and D’banj. Don Jazzy was the first to share his side of the story on Twitter and because of that, many people believed that D’banj was at fault (without hearing D’banj’s side of the story).
In the light of these two examples (and many more you can think of), it seems to me that it doesn’t really matter what any of those accused say – they’ve already been judged and found guilty*. It’s a lose-lose situation: If you don’t defend yourself, people take your silence as acceptance of guilt. If you defend yourself, you are a liar.
From my post, you can probably guess I’m tilting towards No Defense (maybe not when it threatens the very existence of what you hold dear) but let me ask a generic question: “When is it okay to defend yourself?”
*To be more factual, I should say it doesn’t really matter what they say during the heat of the matter because eventually, truth really does prevail.