The Passion I

Mel’s Movie:  Perfect Passion or Possible Problem?
((I’ve been sitting on this for almost a week… it’s time to make it public.))

I’m sure the title of this has hair-on-end already.  I’m just going to be pointing out some things that have caught my attention and have me thinking.  Since I post my thinkerly thoughts on this site, it’s naturally gonna be written about here.  Pass by if you please.

Wars and rumors of wars.  All eyes are on Israel.  A 10-nation WEU.  A man with inconcievable power, thru a document aptly named “Recommendation 666”.  If we’re noticing the signs of the times, don’t you think our enemy is, too?  Satan needs a way to keep Christianity sedate and oblivious to what is coming up.  Jesus himself said that the church would be ‘asleep’ – unaware.

And Satan’s hard at work – he’s got the warm-fuzzy crowd feasting on 40 Days of feel-good fluff, he’s got the liberal believers wrapped up in an acceptance battle of tolerance for all religions, sexual preferences, and more.  But everyone is still looking FORWARD.  What better thing to do than get them to look BACKWARDS – so that they are blindsided when the time comes upon us?  Don’t look at the future, Christians, look at the past.  Look anywhere but where we’re headed.  Let me help you…  you won’t fall for much?  Then let’s have it your way… focus on your Christ.  Of the past, though – not on His place in the future.

Enter ((once again)) the Catholic church – this time a devout member named Mel Gibson.  He has the admiration of the world – both nonnies who are entertainment-oriented, and the ‘religious’, who are grabbing at his newest project with greedy hands.  He is struck with the ‘inspiration’ of making a film recording the events of the crucifixion with graphic accuracy.  Passion” is defined in my dictionary as ‘a Catholic term for the sufferings of Christ from the Last Supper to crucifixion’.  Newsweek says that it’s from the Latin, meaning “Having suffered”.  Latin: Catholicism.  The fact that it’s being released on Ash Wednesday also speaks volumes, don’t it?

I am forced to recall my mom’s timely statement yesterday – Every church has something good to offer.  Is it true?  If you have read my Catholic posts (see sidebar), you know I believe whole-heartedly (and have gone into detail showing) that the Catholic church is a cult.  Could it be that The Passion is the ‘something good’ of the Catholic church?  I don’t believe it is.  And I’ve had several red flags regarding this… starting with Mel’s own [ultra Catholic] statement.

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 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. From MSNBC.com

Pardon me… “she believes in ‘that stuff’???  But I go with the pronouncement from the chair (aka the Pope)?”  UN-believable.  Yeah – that’s sure a ‘christian’ statement, isn’t it?  Mel has claimed the Holy Spirit’s hand on him thru this.  I’m sincerely doubting that the Holy Spirit would have His hand on someone who rejects the Truth of scripture for the word of a man – pontifix maximus or not.  He might have a hand on the project, but I even wonder about that… and will address that, too.  As for Mel… Red Flag!

Newsweek says of Mel Gibson: “Gibson is an ultraconservative Roman Catholic, a traditionalist who does not acknowledge many of the reforms of the second Vatical council (1962-1965).  Some statements from before the second Vatican Council?

“If one saith… that there remains not any debt of temporal punishment to be discharged either in this world or in the next in Purgatory… let him be anathema.” –Trent (Session VI Canon XXXII) 

“If anyone says that justifying faith is nothing more than confidence in Divine Mercy, which remits sins for Christ’s sake, or that it is this confidence alone that justifies us, let him be anathema…If anyone says that the sinner is justified by faith alone, meaning that nothing else is required to cooperate in order to obtain the grace of justification, let him be anathema.”

Canon 14 is just as explicit: “If anyone shall say that man is absolved from his sins and justified because he believes for certain that he is absolved and justified…and that by this faith alone absolution and justification are perfected: let him be anathema.”

If anyone says, that Baptism is free, that is not necessary for salvation, let him be anathema.” – Trent Section VII Canon V.

Well, that about sums up everything for me, how ’bout you?

Icon has pitched “Passion” as a tool for churches to recruit new members and encouraged congregations to buy out entire showings of the pic. Churches have responded by buying up blocks of tickets in the thousands.  From Yahoo! news.

Pardon my pessimism, but I’m not thinking that any nonnie in their right mind is going to allow this ‘witnessing’ tool to be used on them.  Especially when it’s touted as such.  It’s offensive to even suggest it.  It’s a nice thought, but churches who are relying on a movie to draw people in haven’t read their Bibles.  What part of “GO ye therefore and TEACH” don’t you understand??   I don’t recall “COME here and WATCH our free movie” in there.  Further, is the cross attractive?  No.  Is the gore a selling point?  If it is, then what do you suppose is the selling point?  Violence?  Controversy?  Now you have something new to consider as to the motive of seeing it… sorry, Churched Charlie.  It might be eye-opening to newbies, but I sincerely doubt droves will be converting after seeing it.  Purpose-Driven Viewing?  Red Flag!!!

I think there is a false sense of ‘awe’ that is being potrayed by the church in regards to this.  And I’ll be honest – I’m not entirely sure I want to see this film, myself.  I don’t know that emotionally I can handle seeing it.  I *know* what Christ did for me.  I *know* the horrors He endured… I’ve heard This Blood by Carman and sobbed my eyes out at the words.  But words cannot describe what’s going to be shown on that screen.  If it’s true-to-history, it’s going to be nightmarish and horribly guilt-invoking for me.  It’s going to be horrible in a sense people aren’t anticipating.  I don’t know that I’m up to it.  I will either vomit or sob uncontrollably.  Both of which I’m not particularly looking forward to…

So another thing that has me thinking is the ‘why’.  Why would we glorify the wickedness done on that night?  Why would we do such a thing?  And I know people are saying “it was mercy!”… No… I don’t agree.  Mercy was His willingness to step into it at all.  Mercy was His birth, His life, His ministry.  Mercy was His resurrection – death is nothing in light of His having conquered both it and sin, taking up position as firstfruit.  Mercy is His promise to return.  His expiration was death and sin and wickedness and hatred.  Does the film focus on anything more than that?  Any of the other things I’ve mentioned?  I’m not betting on it.  Newsweek says that “the $25 million film is tightly focused on Jesus’ final 12 hours.”  Hrm.  Raises a lot of questions for me…

…It goes far beyond that, in a fashion I’ve never felt – in any forum. We may think we “know”. We know nothing. We’ve gone 2,000 years – used to the idea of a pleasant story, and a sanitized Christ. We expect the ending, because we’ve heard it so many times. God forgive us. This film tears that all away.  (From Crossroads.com)

Oooh, a ‘feeling’.  Feeling-oriented Christianity, yet again.  If faith were a feeling, we all would be believers.  But my Bible says ‘faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen’.  If the church needs to ‘see’ it to obtain that ‘feeling’, then they are not relying on faith any longer.  Red Flag!

Gibson’s team has fueled the fervor by teaming up with evangelical marketing firms that have been providing free promotional kits, movie-related sermons and tips on how pastors can buy out an entire theater. The personal publicist for the Rev. Billy Graham has been hired to help.  …Churches used to communicate by having a little lecture time on Sunday morning. People don’t interact that way anymore. Here’s a chance for us to use a modern-day technique to communicate the truth of the Bible.  (from AP news)

Evangelical marketing firms…?  Sounds like CGM to me.  And I have to laugh at the bolded part.  We don’t get together and study God anymore, people – go to the movies, instead – stay hip with the times!  Ahhhhhh, I’m not going there again.  It’s what Satan wants people to think.  Red Flag!

You know what I think?  The anti-semitism controversy will play a big role in ACTUAL anti-semitism coming to the forefront.  You know how I say “now this will tick you off” on this site, and immediately at least eight people are ticked off…?  Well the statement, “this will incite anti-semitism” is gonna do the same thing.  It’s the nature of the controversy beast.  Which, btw, plays nicely into Satan’s end-times plans, as well.

So what do we have?  We have a nonnie-Catholic who rejects theologically-defined salvation for the Vatican’s interpretation of religion, making a film focusing on the death, sin, wickedness and hatred and the glorification thereof  – utilizing the name of Jesus – in order to draw attention (for satan) to anti-semitism and the past so as to pacify the evangelical CGM and promote ‘church-friendly’ materials while keeping the bridesmaids in ignorant slumber.  Oh, and don’t forget the money.  Did I forget anything?

I’m not saying it isn’t going to be moving.  I’m not saying God can’t draw people to Him thru it.  I’m not even saying that there won’t be people who will be saved as a result.  But think about the ‘why’ and ‘wherefores’ surrounding this before you jump on Mel’s bandwagon and go gung-ho for the project.  This is serious stuff, and considering the red flags, could use some serious prayer and reflection.  That’s all I’m saying.

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