Saturday, February 14, 2004
Dissing the Passion
I feel that it is time for me to speak out against Mel Gibson's latest movie, The Passion of the Christ. I realize that his feature doesn't come out in movie theaters until February 25 and some might wonder how I can criticize a movie I have never seen but there is enough on the web to prove to me that this is the latest in a long line of Hellywood blasphemies against the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Besides, I have never allowed lack of thorough knowledge about any topic to be an impediment to sharing my opinion on it.
The first reason to oppose The Passion is because it is a movie. It is not possible for anything shown on the silver screen to bring honor and glory to the Lord even though some might think so. Movie houses are where sexually charged young people go to engage in heavy petting and other forms of carnal misconduct. It is an unholy abomination to think that Christ could be glorified in such a place. We need to keep Him in the church (Ephesians 3:21) where He belongs and not allow him to become tainted by contact with the world.
The second reason to oppose this movie is because it is being praised by the popular press such as Christianity Today and The Chicago Tribune and even Newsweek. Web sites like Jews for Jesus are discussing it and there is just no end to the good things people are saying about the movie. Except for a few radical fringe groups, no one seems opposed to the movie except for good sound Pharisees like myself. Such popularity with the world is proof that the movie cannot be pleasing to God. The World is not attracted to the things of God but is repelled by them so if the World likes The Passion, then it cannot be of God.
Another reason for standing against this movie is found in looking at who is standing for it. Godless carnal Christians involved in the "church growth" movement are among those most heavily promoting it. Rick Warren, one of the biggest culprits in the mega-church movement is recommending sources of materials for use in discussing the movie at http://www.passionmaterials.com/default.asp and http://resources.purposedriven.com/pd/item_M012804002.htm for example. He even has an article on his web site describing how it is being used at his super-sized church. He also lists what he calls good reasons to see the Passion on his web site . But then this is to be expected from someone who desecrated God's church by showing the movie there and having Mel Gibson share his thoughts with the crowd of pastors in attendance. But he is not the only one promoting it. Mission America is also suggesting that folks use it as a springboard for evangelism. This is the kind of thing we can expect from the New Evangelical movement.
Other reasons for avoiding the movie include the fact that everyone involved is Catholic and they know absolutely nothing about Jesus Christ. Mel Gibson is a Catholic of one of the most extreme sorts so clearly he is going to make scriptural errors and distort the word of God. Jim Caviezel, the actor committing the idolatrous blasphemy of portraying Jesus as a long-haired Renaissance-style sissy in the film, is also a staunch Roman Catholic. It is the highest sacrilege for us mere human beings to think that we could resemble Jesus Christ in any way, let alone feel qualified to play him in a movie. A true Christian has no business trying to create a representation of Jesus that attempts to be easily understood by the World.
But the most important reason for not going to the movie is because nothing good can come of it. It is a violent portrayal of the death of Jesus Christ that should never be shown to the public. We should never see Jesus Christ humiliated in such a gross distortion of the Bible account. Our task is to exalt Jesus Christ, not degrade him by showing him suffering and dying on the cross. We should lift him up and set him on God's right hand rather than focusing on his shameful death. Christ on the cross is certainly not the point of the Bible and dwelling on His Passion will only discourage people from relying on their God-ordained pastors for all of their information and guidance in understanding the truth about their Lord. It is not our business to focus on the death of Jesus Christ and what that means for us, but we should be focusing on leading lives that are as sinless and holy as possible. If it weren't for the holy life that I live, Jesus' death would have been for nothing. And after all, isn’t that what Jesus came to do - to suffer on behalf of people like me who would live a nearly perfect life in honor of Him?
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly beloved children and live a life of love, just as Christ love us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
EPHESIANS 5:1-2 (NIV)
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