Will I find Jesus in "The Passion of The Christ" Film?
Rev. Peter Ratcliff
Some think this film is great while others have
criticised it for being anti-Jewish. The truth of the matter is that from
before the world was made it was God’s plan for Christ to be crucified for
the sins of those who will turn to Jesus. It is not specifically the Jews
but the whole world that is guilty before God. According to the Bible
nobody wants Jesus. We are actually "enemies of God" and "children of
wrath." We are "dead in sins" until God’s grace revives us, convicts us
and we despair of ourselves and turn to Jesus alone to save us. However,
we will not find that true Jesus in this film.
In this little tract we present you with several sure
reasons why you should turn to the real Jesus rather than to Hollywood.
FALSE CHRISTIANITY IS PRESENTED
Mel Gibson’s passion film is not the Gospel but Roman
Catholic idolatry. It is nothing new but a Hollywood version of the old
medieval passion plays in which Mary, instead of God the Father, "offers"
her son in a sacrifice that is carried over into the continuing sacrifice
of the Mass. The goal of the film is to bring together the "sacrifice of
the cross with the sacrifice of the altar—which is the same thing," said
Gibson. The film does not teach a once and for all finished work of Christ
dying for his people as a substitute, bearing God’s wrath in His body for
their sins. Therefore it also denies justification by faith alone which
gives the Christian peace with God and joy in the heart. According to a
Roman Catholic website, Catholic Passion Outreach, "The Passion of The
Christ offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for you to spread,
strengthen, and share the (Roman) Catholic faith with your family and
friends." It is not Christian. It is full of apocryphal "visions" from the
tales of a Roman Catholic mystic Anne Catherine Emmerich in her The
Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The film massively
exaggerates the role of Mary at the expense of truth and creates an
imaginary Christ who is no Christ at all. See Richard Bennett’s testimony
video on www.bereanbeacon.org where there is also a longer article about
this film. Mr. Bennett, a converted Roman Catholic priest, also shows how
many so-called evangelicals today, like most Roman Catholics, are sadly
people trying to save themselves. This is the sort of false religion that
this film fosters. But the Bible teaches that on the cross Jesus bore the
wrath of God as "He became sin for us," and that we are saved by grace
through faith, not by idolising or imitating the physical pain of the
THE FILM IS IDOLATRY
Even more wicked than the human failing of false
Christianity is the idolatrous sinful attitude that such a film exhibits
toward God Himself. King David, when he committed adultery and killed the
woman’s husband cried out to God, "Against thee, thee only, have I sinned
..." (Psalm 51) showing that the most evil aspect of sin is that which is
against God. This is what we have in this film because those who made it
and those who watch its images break the Second Commandment.
A puritan minister, Thomas Vincent writing about
pictures of Christ in his Exposition of the Westminster Assembly’s
Shorter Catechism proved such images to be sin in just a few words.
Wake up friends! Please read slowly, a few times if need be, and think
about this for yourself.
Vincent wrote: "It is not lawful to have pictures of
Jesus Christ because:
1. His divine nature cannot be pictured at all,
2. His body, as it is now glorified, cannot be
pictured as it is,
3. if it does not stir up devotion, it is in
4. if it does stir up devotion, it is a
worshipping by an image or picture, and so a palpable breach of the second
As the image is of the Son of God it should be
worshipped or cause worship, but this is idolatry and strictly prohibited.
So no film!
J. Marcellus Kik in his Pictures of Christ
writes: "But can it not help in the saving of souls, it is asked. But how?
Looking at a picture of Christ hanging upon the cross tells me nothing. It
does not tell me that He hung there for sin. It does not tell me that He
hung there for my sin. It does not tell me that He is the Son of God. Only
the Word of God does that. And it is the Word of God that has been given
us to tell the story of salvation through the blood of Christ. It is not
through the foolishness of pictures that sinners are converted but through
the foolishness of preaching. It is amazing how ... unscriptural practices
enter the Christian Church. We must at all times go back to the
Scriptures. The Bible is our infallible guide. And if our practices and
doctrines do not conform with the teachings of the Scriptures then we must
eliminate them. The Bible instructs the Church not to make any likeness of
Christ. The present day pictures of Christ are false and no one would make
a serious claim that they resemble Christ upon earth. They separate His
humanity from His deity. They do not at all give us a glimpse of His
present glory. They are not condoned (approved) by the inspired apostles.
God has ordained the foolishness of preaching to evangelise the world. He
has promised to attend the preaching of the Word with the power of the
Holy Spirit. The so-called pictures of Christ are a hindrance and a
temptation to idolatry. Let us cleanse the Temple of God from them."
WHAT THE CHURCH SHOULD BE DOING
Andrew J. Webb
on the Banner of Truth Website writes: "Perhaps 'The Passion of The
Christ' will provide Evangelicals with a great opportunity after all. They
are being given a rare opportunity to reject the world’s methods and to
recommit themselves to fulfilling God’s commission to preach the Gospel
and to trust that that preaching will always accomplish what He pleases.
Let us hope that they will seize it."
Finally, I must
ask you, are you saved, or are you an idolater?