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LOOKING BACK ON “THE PASSION”

January 30, 2012

Since I have actually been putting my thoughts on the Net for years it was difficult for me to keep track of old sites that I simply neglected or had gotten lost in the sea of Internet verbiage.   Recently, I happened upon one neglected waif of mine and felt it worthy of resurrection.  Although dated, it is an interesting lesson in discernment.

The following, although direct and concise, is not intended in any way to bash Catholics. It can, however, be truthfully perceived as a stand against the error of Catholic doctrine and Protestant compromise.

MEL’S PASSION

How does the film offend me; let me count the ways

I dissent from the approving crowd for the following reasons:

Scriptural Contradictions –

1. GETHSEMENE – The Chalice and Satan:

The Movie: The first scene shows Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemene, praying to the Father. He asks the Father to save him from the impending trial. He asks if this chalice can pass from him. The word chalice can only be found in the vision by Anne Emmerich. Mr. Gibson used it as a substitute for cup throughout the movie. A chalice is not a simple cup. It is an ornate goblet, usually gold or silver, sometimes encrusted with gems. This is what the Catholic priest uses on the alter during mass.

According to his disciples, Jesus is “scared” and this is where Satan is first introduced. He mocks Jesus, bringing him to the ground. Hideous visions surround the Lord as Satan watches His struggle. Jesus finally gains victory over the visions and crushes a serpent’s head.

The Bible: The Garden of Gethsemene was NOT a battle between Jesus and Satan as was portrayed in the movie; it was a prayerful exchange between Father and Son. Satan was not present. Yes, Jesus was in agony, but not at the hands of Satan! His agony stemmed from His understanding of what was to come. That hour when He would feel separated from His Father. To imply anything other than what the Bible declares is adding to scripture. The only angel in the garden with Jesus was the one who came to minister to Him afterwards.

GETHSEMENE – The Abduction:

The Movie: Judas guides the Jewish leaders and soldiers to Jesus and Jesus asks who they seek. When they say,”Jesus of Nazareth,” he says, “I am He.” They remain standing. Judas almost turns back but he is pushed forward by the religious leaders. After he approaches Jesus and betrays Him with the kiss, a bloody battle ensues, which lasts several minutes. Finally, after this graphic bloody scene, Jesus stops the battle.

When Jesus responds with “I am He,” everyone falls backward by the power of God. Although John’s account alone records this event, it should have been portrayed for the sake of accuracy and importance. This truth, however, was conspicuously absent from the movie.

After Peter impetuously cut off the ear of the high priest, no battle scene took place. Jesus immediately told them:

“Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels? How then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen this way?” Matthew 26:52-54

Later, when questioned, He makes it clear that He would not fight. Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting, that I might not be delivered up to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” John 18:36

Historically, during the Middle Ages, the Roman Catholic Church justified killing in the name of the Lord. In the same name, the papacy claimed sovereign rights over the kingdoms of this world. The kingdom Jesus referred to was a spiritual kingdom. So too, the keys of the kingdom. The world system is run by Satan!

“Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things will I give You, if You fall down and worship me.” Matthew 4:8-9

2. MARY – Her Position

The Movie: Mary was a dominant figure in this movie. Her presence supplied the strength for Jesus to bear the agony of the crucifixion. Just when it seemed that He could not go on, one look at his mother and His burden became bearable. Simply locking eyes with Mary would give Jesus the encouragement and supernatural ability to endure the torturous ordeal. I felt the entire movie portrayed an unscriptural image of a weak savior and the interdependence of mother and son was obvious.

Mary was depicted as the mother of all. It made me uncomfortable to see a penitent Peter kneeling before her addressing her as mother. Mary Magdalene, who was her constant companion in the film, also addressed her this way. The habit of nuns was alluded to, though Magdalene was the most conspicuous. The black habit with strip of white across the forehead was hard to miss.

Mary also had psychic abilities according to the film. She discovered where Jesus was imprisoned simply by laying her head on the ground a floor above him and sensing his presence.

The Bible: The truth is that Jesus, fully man and fully God, possessed more than enough strength to accomplish His mission of salvation. The only strength supplied was that which the Father had given Him.

Mary was certainly blessed among women to carry the Messiah but she was not divine. Mary does not hold a predominant place in the gospels, though there is certainly mention of her. Jesus may have deliberately included the following accounts to counteract the false ideas that would soon be associated with His humble Jewish mother Miriam in the future: Matthew 12:46-50; John 2:3-4.

And contrary to Catholic teaching, Mary was not a perpetual virgin. She had other children; Matthew 13:55-56; 12:46-47; Mark 3:31-32; 6:3; John 2:12; 7:3-5; Luke 8:19; 1st Corinthians 9:5; Galatians 1:19

3. VERONICA – The Image on the Cloth

The Movie: True to Anne Emmerichs vision, a young woman hands a cloth to the Lord and receives it back with an imprint of his face.

Bible: This never occurred.

4. THE THIEF ON THE CROSS – The Scapular

The Movie: Any devout Catholic will recognize the purse worn by the penitent thief who hangs next to Jesus on the cross as bearing a strong resemblance to the brown scapular of Catholicism.

The Bible: Not in scripture. It is ludicrous at best to believe that the thief would be wearing a brown scapular, but the vision of Emmerich actually includes this piece of cloth in the clothing that Jesus was wearing! This miracle cloth was supposedly given to an English monk named Simon Stock around 1212 A.D. by the virgin Mary. If worn, she promised the wearer protection against hell and guaranteed release from purgatory on the Saturday after their death. Why would it be included in the apparel of our Lord? Did He need to be saved by an amulet given by His mother??? Gibson and his writer-priest were wise to switch its application to the penitent thief. Since Jesus promised he would be in Paradise with him, what better way to reinforce Catholic superstition than to have the thief wear the brown scapular?

5. SATAN: Satan’s presence was EVERYWHERE. Demonic additions to the gospel account were rampant. From shocker scenes of demon faces, to Satan’s mocking of the Christ child.

The Bible: Satan doesn’t continually hover around Jesus, tormenting Him at every opportunity. He does serve the purposes of God for the fulfillment of Scripture, i.e. 40 days of temptation, entering Judas. Jesus was always in charge. The movie account once again attributes too much power to Satan.

It would be well for Protestants (especially ministers who promote this movie) to examine anew the history of the Reformation. Christians should not forget the millions of lives the Roman Catholic Church extinguished in the flames and torture chambers of the Inquisition – all in the name of the Catholic Christ and his holy mother. As the Jewish people proclaim. Never again in regard to the holocaust, those who have been released from Rome’s suffocating embrace at the high cost of the precious blood of the millions of Reformation martyrs should do the same. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Matthew 7:18. That said, let’s examine the Passion Tree…

ROMAN CATHOLIC INFLUENCE (The bad tree) –

1. Mel Gibson is a traditionalist Catholic who believes in a false gospel and other ways to God (See February 18th, 2004, ABC News. Interview with Diane Sawyer). The Bible states there is no other way.

2. Vittorio Messori, journalist and author of “Crossing the Threshold of Hope” and “The Ratzinger Report” stated, “This film, for its author, is a Mass: Let it be, then, in an obscure language, as it was for so many centuries. If the mind does not understand, so much the better.”

3. The blasphemous Tridentine Latin Mass was conducted before each shoot. I mince no words about this ritual as it mocks the sacrificial one-time sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. This is the heresy of the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation. The priest supposedly has the power to call God down into a sun disk shaped wafer (magically transformed into the real flesh and blood of Jesus) for the recipients to eat. It is completely sacrilegious.

4. According to some media accounts, the Pope endorses it. At this point, the content becomes immediately suspect. Have the Protestant churches not learned yet? Has the blood of the martyrs at the hands of the Holy See during the inquisition been confined to the catacombs where the echoes of injustice and the painful travail of the Reformation have been silenced? The Protestant and evangelical church, in its eagerness to create unity within the body of Christ, is cutting off perfectly good limbs and replacing them with lifeless prosthetics. Unnatural and useless, they are weakening our churches. Many are becoming social clubs and spiritually powerless.

5. Exactly what message is the movie asserting? It shows how horrible crucifixion was, yet misses the whole point of the gospel message. Unfortunately, it relegates the resurrection on which the whole gospel rests, to a few seconds of the actors back end. Even the point of His sacrifice is lost in shock value. Is it more important to emphasize how He died, or why He died?

6. Though it might initially affect the emotions and encourage people to seek God; will it actually bring them to repentance and a saving faith? Scripture tells us that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. The truth is that only those who believe in Him will be saved by hearing the true gospel (Romans 10:17) – not by a less-than-accurate movie portrayal of the crucifixion, and certainly not by playing on our emotions with graphic examples of blood and gore. This movie seems to have the same macabre spectator fascination as would a horrific accident scene. If you saw the movie but had never heard of the gospel, would you find it there? What would your impression be? I did not find the gospel message in this film.

In truth, the crucifixion was a horrendous death. The mechanical portion of this torture the movie probably portrayed accurately. Notice I said the MECHANICAL PORTION. It certainly did give a graphic description (possibly even exaggeration) of the crucifixion (remember the cross falling?) I can imagine demons sitting in the front row with a bag of popcorn enjoying the show. Bloody, gory, supposedly meant to stir the emotions and create sympathy. Avery important distinction between faiths exist, however: Catholicism glorifies and perpetuates the death of Christ in the mass – Protestantism celebrates the resurrection and the life; the victory over death, which is the foundation of our faith.

The resurrection was relegated to a short couple of minutes long. The scene, which is set inside the tomb, shows the actor who portrays Jesus staring straight ahead. The camera side scrolls down his naked body to his rear end. He gets up and walks out naked. The end. Anyone who had never heard of Jesus (and even some who had) must have been a bit confused. The bible states that Jesus was first seen fully clothed OUTSIDE the tomb (John 20:14). Another scriptural account is that the two angels are seen inside the tomb and Jesus is absent (John 20:12). There is much more, but the basic idea is this:

There are many different Jesus’ out there; the Mormon Jesus, brother of Lucifer, one God of many. There is the Jesus of the Jehovah’s Witnesses who is the Archangel Michael – not part of the Trinity. Let us not forget the eastern religious view of Christ – just look in a mirror. The Koran has a Jesus, son of Mary, who was not God’s Son, but simply a prophet inferior to their own. The New Age or cosmic Christ is hovering above the earth just waiting for the world to be receptive enough to allow him to visit. And then there is the pagan wafer god of Roman Catholicism. This Jesus is subordinate to His mother. His sacrifice on the cross does not completely atone for the sins of the elect and He needs to be sacrificed continually in direct contradiction to scripture (Hebrews 7:27; 10:12). In some Catholic doctrine, it is Mary, not Jesus, who saves sinners. This is not only far from scriptural truth which claims there is but ONE sacrifice for all time (Hebrews 10:12-18), but blasphemous. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6) If Jesus identifies Himself as the Truth, who are we to compromise it?

So for those who believe this blasphemous movie is a salvation magnet and honors God (and this includes many prominent evangelical Protestant ministers), I have this for them to ponder:

Suppose you wrote an autobiography and a producer approached you with an offer to put it on the big screen. You agreed, believing your story might benefit the viewer. When it was completed, he invited you to the screening. You are horrified to find that although some aspects of it were taken accurately from your book, so much more was added, and many very important parts were omitted. One thing for sure, this was not you. The audience would get the wrong impression entirely of who you really were. How would you feel? Get the picture?

How can this movie make true converts to the real Christ of the Bible? I don’t say God won’t honor the sincere prayer of a sinner, but for the most part, the “conversions” have been Catholic. It was not to the Jewish Messiah of Israel whose atoning death on the cross and His subsequent resurrection saved all those whom the Father gave Him through FAITH – NOT WORKS. No, it has more potential to make converts to the false CATHOLIC Jesus, and time has proven this to be true. In this respect, Mel Gibson’s movie was a spectacular success. He has even convinced evangelical Protestants to accept his tribute to the Catholic Mass. What a coup!

If we accept what is outside God’s autobiography, we will be deceived. Salvation comes from believing in the REAL Jesus and no other; from the foolishness of the REAL gospel message preached, and no other. The gospel of Catholicism bears little resemblance to the truth of Scripture. It is what the Apostle Paul described as “another gospel” and it should concern us today as we contemplate his sobering warning:

“But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!” (Galatians 1:8-9)
Strong words for preaching error. How are we guiltless if we glibly accept it?

What discerning Christian can honestly agree with the Catholic requirements of a “works” salvation, sacrifice of the mass, bowing to idols and praying to the dead, Mary worship and the repetitious prayer of the rosary? I would advise all Christians to pray for discernment and beware of compromise. When you hold the truth of God above all other doctrines and man-made precepts, His Word (the real truth) will indeed set you free.

The following response was from “The Christian Underground”:

Where is discernment?? Misgivings about Catholic “leanings”?? This whole film is a set-up for all to accept the coming “Christ”. Do you not know, or have you not read that there are many false christs and that at the end there will be one final savior of the world, the anti-christ who shows himself AS Christ? Note the title alone. Why has no one questioned it? Almost all religions are looking for THE Christ. Rev. (if you can call him that) Sun Yung Moon calls himself THE Christ, and was in fact recently coronated as the “new messiah” with US senators and “Christian” leaders in attendance! The Passion of Jesus Christ? No… The Passion of Christ? No… The Passion of THE Christ! Some say it’s a semantics game. Not so. These things are very important to those who use word plays. The Christ depicted in this film is a false Christ. One who looks to Mary for his strength and not his Father. Mel Gibson has even said that this film is very Marian, and intentionally so. He also said that he wanted it as scripturally accurate as possible. You cannot be Marian and scripturally accurate. This is Orwellian “doublespeak” right out of the pages of “1984” and “Christians” are falling for it. Since we’re on scripturally accurate, Why Latin and Aramaic for the languages? Scriptural accuracy would require the use of Hebrew, would it not? To change gears, ANY movie that has depicted Christ has ALWAYS been a FALSE Christ, REGARDLESS of who did it and when. If you read your Bible and believe what it says, then you will know that we are NOT to make ANY image or likeness of him. The premise of a “Jesus movie” is, in and of itself, in direct violation of God’s word. It is OUR OWN LIVES having been change by the blood atoning ressurection power of Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost within us that is to be a witness to all nations, NOT the misleading, never accurate, carnal minded movie set.

Jeffnjoni@frontier.net

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