Way to go, Steve!
Your right. Pastors are using this movie to try to evangelize because they are too AFRAID to say "go to the cross, people!" This is their easy ticket to more members and they don't have to do a whole lot.
It sickens me abit to see how they are using Christ's crucifixion for their own selfish purposes.
I would hope that most on here would know that just because you get people to go to church - does not mean anything. It may even mean that they are further lost because they are getting committed to the wrong/false gospel in many cases.
The good that may come out of this is that some sincere believers who know what it is to carry their own cross and really, truly follow after Christ - can hopefully get a chance to explain this to some seekers. other than this happening- they are getting told 'yes, Jesus IS wonderful because He did all that for you. Won't you say this prayer, join our church and wala! you're a new person.' yea, rah.
In Him, Chanin
| 2004/3/11 16:06||Profile|
It is very disheartening to see so many christians attacking this film as though it is the cause of much sin. While I do not condone movies (nor do I ever really watch them), I have to say that this film was very powerful. It is not entertainment. It does not cheapen the Gospel. It presented a very graphic -- and very realistic -- image of the crucifixion to an enormous amount of individuals.
Sadly, this film does what so many of its critics do not do. This film presents the message of Christ's sacrifice to people who either don't care, or are desensitized by commercial or critical christianity. Many of the critics of this film are so quick to judge or point fingers -- but so slow to point that same finger toward the Word of God. Like Leonard Ravenhill once said, we need to (like Christ as he entered Jerusalem for the last time), "weep before we whip."
As the true Body of Christ, we need to "rejoice that the Gospel is preached." And then, we need to point toward the perfect truth found only in the Word of God.
Unfortunately, many christians are using this film to just criticize Hollywood and entertainment. We already know that Hollywood is wrong. Most people -- including many people in the world -- already realize that. What we need now is a collective body of christians spreading the truth while the image of Christ crucified is still fresh in the minds of people.
Please don't misunderstand. I totally agree that Christians need to stay pure, and focused on the unadulterated Word. However, instead of spending so much energy arguing about whether this movie is right or wrong, why not spend collective energy pointing to what (or who) is right?
| 2004/3/11 16:29||Profile|
Nasher, I must respectfully differ with you about the film.
"I saw the film last night and I must say that if I was not a Christian and knew the gospel, I wouldn't know the gospel from this film.
The film didn't give the reason why Christ had to die, and how we can be saved through His death.
The film was on a physical level, it needed to be on a spiritual level."
The film did show why Jesus died. That was the entire controversy of it all. The film showed that the Son of God died for everyone. The film showed that: He died for the people who loved him. He died for the people who hated him. He died for the thieves beside him. He died for the jewish leaders who were disgusted by him. He died for the Roman leaders who feared him. He died for the men who betrayed him. He died for the man who denied him.
And while I agree that this film was a physical depiction -- it was also a spiritual depiction. The scene that stands out in my mind the most is the soldiers hearing Christ say, "Father, forgive them..." That is both a physical and spiritual depiction of a physical and spiritual event.
For me, the film reinforced in my mind what was already there -- that Jesus went through something that I deserved because he loved me more than I loved him.
| 2004/3/11 16:42||Profile|
Fond du Lac, WI
I know this movie will bring a few people to Christ, and heighten America's awareness of who Jesus really was.
But, I really think that if things were working the way God wanted to them to work, the church would be offering something to the public other than a movie.
Now all that is offered is a survey of what would make you happy in a god...oops, I meant a church.
My heart cries for the lost.
| 2004/3/11 16:53||Profile|
Fond du Lac, WI
While I do rejoice in any preaching of the Gospel, I am leary that all they will be lead to are false churches preaching false Christs.
| 2004/3/11 17:18||Profile|
Hi Chris, in what way did the film show why Jesus died?
| 2004/3/12 9:23||Profile|
I heard someone say once, "the book is always better than the movie".
| 2004/3/13 22:06||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
That well may be the best quote I have [i]not[/i] heard about this movie yet!
Saw the other post re: Paris Reidhead, so glad you found him here and we are glad to have you!
It truly is a wonder-full site!
A continual blessing to many, so many great messages and the best forum bar none.
Tootin' the horn here? You bet!
Let us know if we can be of any help, hope to hear more from you!
The Lord is at work here.
| 2004/3/13 23:20||Profile|
by Ruthiepoothie on 2004/3/13 22:06:27
I heard someone say once, "the book is always better than the movie".
But when it comes to the movie... it saddens me to see/hear christians attacking it for one reason or another. Some use their intellect and education to give reasons why this movie should not be used as an evangelism tool... others are simply lead by their own flesh/ego/*self*.
It's heartbreaking, not because they're not "with the program" but because they fail to see that perhaps the reason why God used a star from Hollywood to reach out to the unsaved was because His church was not doing it. I believe it is His mercy for the unsaved that caused Him to go into the movie theaters to present Himself to them because 1. we are not doing our job and 2. we have turned people off to church by our behavior so much that they don't even want to know about God.
While the church is busy discussing this or that and the other... souls are being sent to hell and we do not even notice it!!! We are so worked up in legalistic debates that we are not doing our job and we also hinder the ones who are being used by God because they're not like us. Yes. God can use ANYONE He chooses, have we forgotten?
Who can say that God did not use Mel Gibson to produce such a film that would "impact" people (saved and unsaved) in such a way that a murderer, who was in the clear, would turn himself in to police after watching it; and a man who set bombs that exploded in the 90's (!!!) would do the same? last I heard 2 thieves had also turned themselves into authorities after watching this movie.
We don't know how this film affects people. We don't know how it's being used by God. If He can make a donkey speak, why can't He use a movie to speak to our hearts?!? Is there something impossible for God? Does He not have control of Heaven and earth? Even if the *intention* to create this movie was only denominational propaganda, can He not take control of our hearts and cause us to follow Him instead, and be glorified in our lives?
I have seen this movie four times now. The Holy Spirit has spoken to my heart and it has been such a different experience every time... It is so personal... I wish I could share with you what I have learned... I thank the Lord for His mercy!!!! I praise His Holy Name!
We are so busy gathering information for our pride and egos and arguing about things that are NOT necessary for salvation that we forget His words in Mark 16:15
Please don't get me wrong... I believe that we need to understand important theological concepts, BUT, once we have accepted the gift of salvation, we are called to present the same message to every creature. There is no time to be wasted!!!
Let's make the best of it... if we don't agree with everything in the movie... still let us focus on the things that ARE Biblical and use it as a tool for evangelism...
I posted Ray's column on another thread somewhere on this site... I'm new here... I still get lost :-) but let me copy and paste here too because his article is exactly about what I'm trying to say in my lil message (grammatical errors and all :-D).
God bless you all!!!
[b]Venomous Gospel Preachers[/b]
by Ray Comfort - March 16, 2004
You may be aware that Hollywood has produced a blockbuster movie centered on the things of God. You may also know that it was directed and produced by a Roman Catholic. While the film was based on Scripture, it contained a number of scenes that cannot be corroborated by the Bible. The movie I am referring to is the ever-popular Cecil B. DeMille's "The Ten Commandments," staring Charlton Heston. Mr. DeMille was a Roman Catholic, and he took artistic license by portraying Moses as having a romance while he was in Egypt, and actually disguising himself as a Hebrew slave to tread out bricks. I am sure that when the film was released, most Christians rejoiced that from the pit of an immoral industry, godless minds were suddenly reminded that there was a God and that He had a holy Law.
Nowadays, most Christians are rejoicing that amidst the filth of Hollywood, suddenly another movie has been produced that flies in the face of everything for which Hollywood stands. That movie is "The Passion of the Christ." But some are deeply concerned that it was also directed and produced by a Roman Catholic. It also contains artistic license. It has scenes that are from Catholic mysticism rather than from Scripture (the appearance of a raven at the cross, Judas being tormented by children, etc.).
Another concern that some people have is that an onscreen depiction of Jesus is a form of "graven image," and therefore a transgression of the Second Commandment. Those who think that making an image of Jesus on film is breaking the Commandment should read it in full. We are not to make graven images of "any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth." That means that we shouldn't make film images (movie or still photos) of any person, animal, fish, flower, bird, mountain, etc. That doesn't make any sense...until we read the whole Commandment: "You shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them" (Exodus 20:4-5). The Commandment forbids the creation of any image for the purpose of worship.
While we could argue about these issues, I would rather ask you an important question. If someone says, "I'm not a Christian, but I did see the film. Wow! What was all that brutality about?" are you going to reply, "I didn't go to the movie because it was directed and produced by a Roman Catholic. It's idolatrous and it contains things that cannot be corroborated by Scripture, and I therefore think it was evil"? I hope not. I should hope that you instead use the movie as a springboard to explain the way of salvation.
Think of Paul's attitude in Philippians chapter one. Some folks weren't just adding their own mystical thoughts to the message of the cross. They were downright vicious. They were hypocrites who preached Christ out of pretence, envy, strife and "contention." They were devious people who were so full of venom that they wanted to see Paul further suffer--hoping to "add affliction the [his] bonds." Yet what was Paul's attitude to such wickedness? He rejoiced that they preached Christ, despite the horrible baggage that came with the message. He said, "What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yes, and will rejoice" (verse 18).
Do you remember what happened in Mark 9:39-40, when the disciples told Jesus that they had found a man who was casting out demons in His name. This man had a "ministry," but he wasn't with their group, so they took it upon themselves to rebuke him. But Jesus told them to leave him alone. This is because God doesn't need bouncers to help Him carry out His purposes.
If I had had a hand in the making of "The Passion of the Christ," I would have dropped all mysticism, and based it purely on Scripture. Also, (as in the epic movie "Ben Hur"--a wonderful movie) I wouldn't have shown the face of the Savior. But I didn't write, produce or direct it. So I tell myself that this isn't a movie about Jesus being a homosexual. It isn't about him having sexual relations with Mary Magdalene. It doesn't depict Him as merely a man--as did "Jesus Christ Superstar." Instead "The Passion of the Christ" is based on Scripture, with some artistic license. It begins with a powerful Scripture. The whole movie is full of Scripture...and it even ends with the resurrection. Christ is preached, and we should therefore rejoice and be thankful that millions have been graphically reminded of the cross of Calvary in a way they will never forget. That means we can either take advantage of an unprecedented opportunity to use it to speak further with them about their salvation, or we can whine. I choose the former, and I hope you do also.
| 2004/4/3 12:07||Profile|
Reading this thread, The only thoughts that come to my mind are these:
I don't think God ever requires permission or approval from His saints to move in a certain way. He does it with or without our approval. Any complaints we have with His move, we must take up with Him directly. Remember, we all can find something wrong with this movie; it was made by a man. But God didn't use me, and God didn't use you. He used Mr. Gibson, knowing full well Gibson's flaws and biases, and how they would affect the end result.
| 2004/4/3 20:11||Profile|