on the Passion Movie
I have been trying to remain uncommitted about Mel Gibson's new movie until I had some more data at hand. For instance, I have been waiting to hear from Rabbi Austen, who is President of a Messianic Jewish organization, and also I have wanted to see the movie for myself. But, I have been unable to finagle an invitation to go when churches I have connections with reserved a showing.
There are some things I am sure about already. One is that those of a liberal persuasion, who generally do not like what I say, will probably be unhappy with whatever I think on the subject. The second is what I am thinking now is likely to offend people I generally appreciate for their work in the Lord. The more extreme of these might even decide if I do not agree with them that I am not a Christian. Fortunately, and in spite of what they might think, the decision about that is in the hands of Almighty God and not them. I will seek to remain true to God by trying to see things clearly, not assenting to an opinion merely for the sake of "getting along."
One thing that is plain right up front is that Mel Gibson has either been involved in one of the slickest promotional ploys to come along in a long time, or he has shown one of the finest examples of "guts" (otherwise known as intestinal fortitude) I have seen come out of the Hollywood crowd for a long time. Some of the people in Hollywood were so mad about the movie that they said they would not ever hire Mel Gibson again. That's right, they will not hire one of the most popular actors around, who has had a string of successes. Well, they might not. But he made this movie with his own money and it has already made him much richer than he was. So the question might be if in the future will Mel Gibson hire them? Let's face it. Hollywood has no shame, so what the moguls are really mad about is first, Mel did not listen to them to start with, and second, he was successful at it, and they are not getting any of the money. One person remarked that Hollywood people would work with Antichrist if the money were right. Why not? They have been working for the devil for years!
One of the criticisms leveled at the movie was that it incorporated extrabiblical ideas in its production, many of which are Catholic. If I were a pastor taking my people to see the movie, I think I could point out to them the things that do not appear in Scripture in such a way that they could understand it. It is interesting to me that in the beginning some of the people who were condemning the movie were Catholic leaders. The problem they got into was the Pope liked it. I am not surprised that it incorporates Catholic subjects. After all, Mel Gibson is Catholic. Answer me this question. When did Hollywood ever make a movie about the Bible or spiritual matters where they stuck with the way God said it happened through holy men of old 100%?
From what I have heard the movie does very well one thing I am in favor of. That is, it depicts the awfulness of crucifixion. Over the years I have been very critical of the very sterile way the cross and sufferings has been depicted. People need to get an understanding of what the Lord Jesus Christ willingly underwent for your sake and mine. The movie has been criticized for this violence. I donít understand that, but I suppose that gratuitous violence depicted with no redeeming merit is okay, but purposeful violence against the Son of God for the redemption of man is not. The impact of that violence has reportedly been melting cold hearts that have been hardened by the violence routinely depicted on the television and in the Movie Theater.
Finally, there is the charge the movie is anti-Semitic. Did you know that most of the Bible epic producers and directors have been Jewish? Those films were not considered anti-Semetic. Look at some of the folks who are making the charge now. Many are the same people who have given aid and comfort to Palestinian terrorists. Do you really suppose their positions on the Jewish people are simply misunderstood? Why do they have issues here?
Let me conclude on a humorous note. Al Franken does not like this movie. He is famous for crudity on Saturday Night Live. His last major movie was a flop in 1995. I suppose Hollywood Squares, the Sargasso Sea of passe' actors, must no longer be produced, since Franken is supposed to become a liberal talk show host. Why does his opinion matter? That's the humor of it.
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