The Sword of The Lord on the 'Passion'

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Kidz-4-HIM, Apr 16, 2004.

  1. Kidz-4-HIM

    Kidz-4-HIM
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    Is Mel Gibson’s Movie Okay for Christians?
    By Dr. Shelton Smith
    In my mail today (February 12), I received a letter from a sincere, well-intentioned brother in Melbourne, Florida. His
    letter and my response to it are given here.
    To the Editor:
    You have missed the boat. God is moving in The Passion of the Christ. You encouraged people not to see the movie. If
    Jesus is being preached to all nations (like He has never been preached before), then how dare you tell people not to go
    see it?
    Media drives our society.We are out of the media, but we live with it and communicate with it. It’s relevant to our culture.
    Because of its relevancy, it has the potential to be a powerful tool for God’s kingdom. Our congregation is using The
    Passion to evangelize the unchurched in our area.We have bought out the theater for five showings.
    Peter knew how to reach the people at the day of Pentecost. He spoke to the Jewish population by connecting Jesus
    with the prophecies of the Old Testament. We now have a movie that preaches Jesus that can connect to our culture. I
    will gladly use it for God’s kingdom.
    I encourage you to change your view.
    R. M.
    My dear friend,
    Thank you for your letter! Your expressed opinion is always welcome, but your rationale is apparently unresearched and,
    in my opinion, unacceptable.
    As a matter of principle, I do not encourage folks to go to Hollywood’s theaters for any reason. No matter how good the
    popcorn and cotton candy, it is not a place with which Christians should cultivate acquaintance.
    When you stand in line to get in, the passersby have no idea which movie you are going to attend. Your presence there
    lends your influence to Hollywood. That, my brother, is a short-term motive with a long-term negative influence. I want
    my family and my Christian friends to view the theater as off-limits, just like they do the tavern and the dance hall.
    Now as to Mel Gibson and his film, let me add some comments and documentation to see if we can get a clear picture
    of what’s happening with it.
    Dr. Larry Rogers from Jonesboro, Arkansas wrote:
    I wanted to pass along a copy of this interview of Mel Gibson in Australia in case you had not seen it.
    Of course, as you know, when he says, “There is no salvation for those outside the Church,” he is talking
    about the Catholic Church. It amazes me that any Bible believer would want to see a “Christian” movie
    made by someone that believes only Catholics can be saved. Yet many, many so-called conservative pastors,
    Baptists included, are renting theaters and encouraging people to go see it. You addressed this issue
    a little back in November 2003. How about giving it another dressing down?
    So here is the report from MSNBC on the Australian interview.
    Mel Gibson has come under fire for being hard on Jews in his film The Passion of the Christ—but apparently,
    he feels that Protestants are also doomed to damnation. In fact, it looks like Gibson, a conservative
    Catholic, believes that his Episcopalian wife could be going to Hell.
    Gibson was interviewed by the Herald Sun in Australia, and the reporter asked the star if Protestants are
    denied eternal salvation. “There is no salvation for those outside the Church,” Gibson replied. “I believe
    it.”
    He elaborated: “Put it this way. My wife is a saint. She’s a much better person than I am. Honestly. She’s,
    like, Episcopalian, Church of England. She prays, she believes in God, she knows Jesus, she believes in that
    stuff. And it’s just not fair if she doesn’t make it—she’s better than I am. But that is a pronouncement from
    the chair. I go with it.”
    I also received an assessment of this movie from David Cloud of Fundamental Baptist Information Service in Michigan:
    After a private showing, Billy Graham praised it. Mission America Coalition plans to use the movie for
    evangelism. Campus Crusade is promoting it. Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church in southern California
    purchased 18,000 tickets. The Evangelical Free Church of Naperville, Illinois purchased more than 1,000.
    Two members of Wheaton Bible Church in Wheaton, Illinois have offered to buy out two screenings of
    the movie at a local theater. After Gibson showed part of the movie to a convention of the Full Gospel
    Businessmen’s Fellowship, he received a standing ovation. Afterward, the daughter of the organization’s
    president laid hands on Gibson and asked Jesus to “bind Satan, bind the press, we ask You, Lord” (Peter
    Boyer, “The Jesus War,” The New Yorker, 9/15/03).Worship Leader magazine for February 2004 offers a free
    guide to Gibson’s movie and says, “There has never been a film like it! Powerful, life-changing, an unprecedented
    opportunity for evangelism and discipleship.” Robert Schuller of the Crystal Cathedral was given
    a private showing and afterward proclaimed, “It’s not your dream; this is God’s dream. He gave it to you
    because He knew you wouldn’t throw it away. Trust Him.”… Ted Haggard, president of the National
    1
    Evangelical Association, called Gibson “the Michelangelo of this generation.” The Catholic League purchased
    1,200 tickets at $9.75 apiece and will make them available to members for $5. The film was shown
    to members of the Vatican Secretariat of State, the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and the
    Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and all of them expressed unanimous appreciation and
    approval.
    A positive review of the movie is making the rounds via e-mail under the name “Paul Harvey’s
    Comments on The Passion,” but it was actually written by Roman Catholic apologist Keith Fournier.
    Gibson belongs to a traditionalist Catholic group that performs the mass in Latin, abstains from meat on
    Fridays, eschews ecumenism and [is characterized by] other such things that were changed at the Vatican
    II Council in the 1960s. Gibson built his own Catholic chapel, called Holy Family, near his California home.
    During the filming, Gibson attended a Catholic mass every morning with the misguided desire “to be
    squeaky clean.” The script was translated into Aramaic and Latin by Jesuit priest William Fulco.
    When asked by a Protestant interviewer if someone can be saved apart from the Roman Catholic
    Church, Gibson replied, “There is no salvation for those outside the Church” (The New Yorker, 9/15/03).…
    The movie is not based solely on the Bible but also on the visions of Roman Catholic nun-mystics Ste.
    Anne Catherine Emmerich and Mary of Agreda.
    Of the visions of Emmerich, Gibson said, “She supplied me with stuff I never would have thought of”
    (The New Yorker, 9/15/03).
    Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774–1824) was a German nun.…During the last twelve years of her life, she
    allegedly ate no food except the wafer of the Catholic mass. Her visions on the life of Christ were published
    in 1824 under the title The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. They are still in
    print and were consulted by Gibson. An advertisement for Emmerich’s Life of the Virgin Mary says, “This
    book is filled with unusual, saintly descriptions that are not recorded in the Gospel story—descriptions
    that supplement and illustrate the Biblical narrative….” Thus, these alleged visions go beyond the Bible.
    According to Emmerich’s visions, Protestants also go to purgatory, but they suffer more than Catholics
    because no one prays for them or offers masses for them. She taught that it is more holy to pray for souls
    in purgatory than for sinners who are still alive. Her deceptive visions on the suffering of Christ describe
    His scourging and crucifixion in great detail, giving many “facts” which do not appear in Scripture. For
    example, she claimed that Christ “quivered and writhed like a poor worm” and that He “cried in a suppressed
    voice, and a clear, sweet-sounding wailing” as He was being beaten.…
    Mary of Agreda (1602–1665) was also a Catholic nun and visionary mystic.…She was given to trances
    and even claimed that she could leave her body and teach people in foreign lands. Her book The Mystical
    City of God is about Mary. Like the visions of Anne Catherine Emmerich, those of Mary of Agreda go far
    beyond the Bible. For example, she claimed that though Joseph ate meat, Jesus and Mary seldom did.
    Not surprisingly, therefore, Gibson’s film contains errors when judged by the biblical account. For example,
    after Christ’s arrest and as He is being escorted to the high priest’s residence, He is beaten, knocked
    down and thrown off a bridge. After Christ is whipped, Mary gets down on her knees and wipes up the
    blood. Mary is shown assisting Jesus on the way to the cross, with Jesus telling her, “Behold, I make all
    things new.”
    Jim Caviezel, who plays Jesus in the Gibson film, is also a staunch Roman Catholic. He prayed to St.
    Genesius of Arles and St. Anthony of Padua for help in his acting career. He has visited Medjugorje to witness
    the site where Mary allegedly appeared to six young people. One of the things that Mary allegedly
    told them is that the pope “should consider himself as the father of all people and not only the Christians.”
    Caviezel said, “This film is something that I believe was made by Mary for her Son”.…Caviezel also said
    that his goal with the movie is to “bring mankind back together.” Caviezel said that he was given “a piece
    of the true cross,” which he kept with him all of the time during the filming of the movie. He also had relics
    of “Padre Pio, St. Anthony of Padoua, Ste. Maria Goretti, and Saint Denisius, the Patron saint of Actors.”
    He prayed the rosary to Mary every day.
    …The Jesus in Mel Gibson’s movie is depicted in the typical fashion with long hair, whereas the Bible is
    clear that Jesus would not have worn long hair (I Cor. 11:14). Gibson got his inspiration for the longhaired
    Jesus from the Shroud of Turin. He attempted to re-create the face depicted on the shroud.
    So, dear friend, let me urge you to rethink your position on this. It is right to do all we can do to win people to Christ,
    but it is wrong to distort scriptural facts, no matter how well intentioned the motive.
    Furthermore, we are never wise when we compromise our presentation by our associations and our methods. We’ve
    also noticed that no matter how big the crowds or how many “decisions” come out of a compromised platform, when the
    dust settles, the results are typically very little.
    Personal soul winning and preaching the unvarnished truth of God’s Word still work for those who are willing to work
    them.
    Let me say in conclusion that I believe there is legitimate reason for concern anytime
    (1) there is a close tie with Catholicism;
    (2) that Billy Graham, Rick Warren, Robert Schuller, the Vatican, the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship and the
    National Association of Evangelicals all agree.
    Call me what you will, but I believe there is sufficient cause to sound the alarm and advise folks to steer clear of this
    whole ado. S
    2
     
  2. mioque

    mioque
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    And as usual, people around here and critics across the entire American baptist community have missed the biggest problem with the entire film.
    The music used when Jezus strides out the tomb after the resurrection sequence....

    All 42 of us went: "Coming next year to a cinema near you, The Passion of the Christ II, The Revenge of Jezus!"
    It was the sort of music you ought to put under a sequence of Hercules marching into battle, not fit for the occasion at all.
    Jezus had just won, he didn't need I'm of to war music any longer, he needed to be out looking for a gardner's shed to steal some clothing from.
    We would have liked that: "The battle for the Universe is over.... Now where can I find some new underwear?"
     
  3. mioque

    mioque
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    As for the opinions of doc Shelton...

    "When you stand in line to get in, the passersby have no idea which movie you are going to attend. Your presence there"
    Sure everybody who saw us last monday must have thought: " 2 vicars, a priest, some Christian elders, a female verger in her early 40's and some assorted other Christians many of whom are older women, possibly they are of to see the Kill Bill marathon and if isn't that surely it must be hardcore porn!" [​IMG]
     
  4. rsr

    rsr
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    I have stayed out of the fray so far.

    Now I am torn. The fact that TBN is drooling all over itself (hey, it's pledge week; catch Paula White if you can: she outdoes Benny) was a definite turnoff; the Sword of the Lord is agin' it, a contrary indication.

    Well, I haven't been to the cinema since "Saving Private Ryan," so I guess I have plenty of time to make up my mind. Or not.

    (I can only guess who the "female verger in her early 40s" was.)
     
  5. mioque

    mioque
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    rsr
    Your guess is probably correct. [​IMG]

    Anyway to continue with Shelton.

    "During the filming, Gibson attended a Catholic mass every morning with the misguided desire “to be
    squeaky clean.” "
    So the desire to get in the proper mindset for making a film is misguided?

    "The script was translated into Aramaic and Latin by Jesuit priest William Fulco."
    http://metromix.chicagotribune.com/movies/mmx-0403040033mar04,0,3912206.story?coll=mmx-movies_heds
    A good choiche. For one thing there aren't that many baptists out there who can do different styles of Latin, Hebrew and Aramaic.

    "When asked by a Protestant interviewer if someone can be saved apart from the Roman Catholic
    Church, Gibson replied, “There is no salvation for those outside the Church” "
    The Catholic Church holds to this weird doctrine that everybody who is saved is part of their church.
    It is quite common in their mind that both you and they are not aware of the fact that you are a member of the Catholic Church.
    It isn't that you have to sign up with the institution here on earth to be saved.
    It is the other way around, being saved makes you automatically a member, who just happens to mis out on a few earthly membership perks.
    Yes I know, truly weird.
    :eek: :D
     
  6. mioque

    mioque
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    "Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774–1824) was a German nun.…"
    Who being a German nun naturally spelled her name differently, as in Anna Catharina Emmerich.
    I know nitpicking. [​IMG]

    Anyhow using the works of those 2 nuns in a film is the same as making a movie about the book of Revelations and consulting 'Left Behind' as a source.
    Actually using Left Behind is worse. The level of ignorant nonsense and silly propaganda is about the same, but at least those nuns had some literary talent.

    "…The Jesus in Mel Gibson’s movie is depicted in the typical fashion with long hair, whereas the Bible is
    clear that Jesus would not have worn long hair (I Cor. 11:14)."
    Jezus and paulus were 1st century Jews, we know what hairstyle was standard among 1st century male Jews (shoulderlength hair often tied back in a ponytail) and what was 'fashionable' among the Jewish ladies (much longer hair).
     
  7. rsr

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    This is where Catholics and Anabaptists/Protestants/Baptists (take your pick, I'm not picking that fight here) can have radically different viewpoints. If Mel thought that taking Mass was imparting grace, then he doesn't think like Baptists. If it was an act of obedience to remind him of the sacrifice of Christ ...

    Mel is pre-Vatican II. He's admitted that he doesn't know if his wife (an Anglican) will be in Heaven. The ruling spirit in the Latin Rite until Vatican II was Boniface VIII's Unam Sanctum, 1302, which said, in a nutshell:

    But the Latin Rite Church of John Paul II modified that:

    DECREE ON ECUMENISM, 1964

    But the church of John Paul II has put it this way:

    DOMINUS IESUS, 2000
     
  8. rsr

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    We've already introduced Catholic doctrine, and now you bring up the hair issue on the same thread?

    I smell sulphur burning ...
     
  9. mioque

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  10. blackbird

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    I once quizzed Brother Smith some time ago when he was "taunting" the SBC---in a sense sayin' we were a convention of sissies and momma's boys!

    My question to him was---if his IFB paper was so dead against the SBC--how come he has R G Lee's(Brother Southern Baptist) and G W Truett's(Brother Southern Baptist, Junior) sermons plastered all over the front page of the "Sword"---anyway---he wrote me back and we had a good little "laugh" back and forth about that for a while--he thought I was being silly and I thought he was being silly!

    Anyway---Smith is right in his evaluation---the movie reaks of Catholicism which feeds on heresy while its mission is to blaspheme the precious name of Jesus! And here is one SBC'er who refuses to put "The Passion" in his witnessing "toolbox!"

    Brother David
     
  11. rsr

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    David, you and I are good buddies.

    I haven't seen "The Passion," and I don't intend to.

    But I have enjoyed "Jesus of Nazareth" and overlook the flaws in that production.

    Really, I think Catholicism is wrong, but I don't think its mission is to "blashpeme the precious name of Jesus."

    Birdboy out.
     
  12. Dr. Bob

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    I, also, have not seen the "Passion". But the lame lame lame argument of not going to a movie because of people seeing you and thinking porn blah blah blah is unbelievable.

    It was faulty guilt-laden thinking in the 1950's and so very sad that it is still be perpetuated.

    (BTW, we were also taught back then that the back rows of movie theaters were dens of illicit sex, and that it was so dark in there, if Jesus came in the rapture, He'd miss us there. Scared me enough not to go!)
     
  13. superdave

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    Now that was funny [​IMG]


    I agree Dr Bob, I never did understand the whole argument. Unfortunately for those who perpetuated it, once I went to the movies and realized how silly it was, it stopped working. The Biblical principle is really what you are seeing, not where.

    I of course know that people see that I have a VCR/DVD player and cable, and assume I am watching R rated movies all the time, and that my internet access is stricly to feed my appetite for porn. There are after all, no good uses for that technology. Even the Baptistboard is a den of iniquity.

    Ok, I have exercised my sarcasm enough for one day, I guess I'll have to sign off.
     
  14. mioque

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    Looking at it from a purely cinematographic point of view, the one thing most American movies about jezus have in common is that they are dreadfully boring. They are usually just as much examples of bad filmmaking as of bad theology.
    The Passion on the other hand is a facinating film and the parts from the work of Catharina Emmerich that were added to the film's storyline help in that regard.
    That doesn't change the fact that it is a faux realistic, melodramatic gorefest.
    But at least it's a well made faux realistic, melodramatic gorefest!
    As a portrayal of what most wellread Roman Catholics in 1900 thought had truly happened that day it is reasonably accurate.
    That alone makes it an interesting film. It also means that it is a film for only a small audiance.
    For the life of me I just can't understand this circus that has grown up around it.
     
  15. Jailminister

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    Num 22:28 And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?


    Num 22:29 And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.


    Num 22:30 And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay.
     
  16. MalkyEL

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    To "paraphrase" S&T on another thread - God created the donkey and ordained to speak through it.

    Mel has taken the liberty of saying that his movie was led by the "Holy Spirit". By whose spirit is it that leads someone to base a movie on the visions of mystic nuns who, by Biblical definition, used divination - an abomination to God. The movie was not ordained or created by God :eek: :eek: :eek:
     
  17. mioque

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    "The movie was not ordained or created by God"
    They never are.

    "Mel has taken the liberty of saying that his movie was led by the "Holy Spirit"."
    I think it's called marketing, or possibly selfdeception, there is even the theoretical option of him being right, allthough I will be a bit surprised to say the least if Mel was simply speaking the truth.

    "the visions of mystic nuns who, by Biblical definition, used divination - an abomination to God."
    Hallucinations, or even the simple charade of an excentric nun who wants to be a novellist.
    Anyhow, getting to see stuff when you kneel down in prayer is not the standard Biblical definition of divination.
     

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