I will speak very plainly here: if any pastor, any teacher of the Word, has never raised his voice – loudly and without compromise – against the evils of the movie industry, nor ever insisted that the members of the church over which he has the oversight either reject with abhorrence the ungodly filth that emanates from the movie industry, or face church disciplinary action, he has, quite simply, failed in his sacred duty as a minister of the Word, a watchman, the Lord’s servant called to watch and to warn. He needs to take a good, hard, honest, painful look at his own labours amongst them, and examine his own calling.
The fact that a movie like The Passion, made by such a man as Mel Gibson, could be so acceptable to the “Evangelical” world, is a terrible indictment upon the men filling “Evangelical” pulpits. A huge measure of the blame for the blubbering acceptance of this film by the so-called “Evangelical” world must be laid squarely at the feet of the so-called “pastors”, the men who disgrace the pulpits of “Evangelical” churches today. The pews follow the pulpits. When the shepherds go astray, how swiftly the sheep follow. O how solemn that word in Jas.3:1: “My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation [margin: judgement]”.
That multitudes of professing “Evangelicals” flock in their droves to watch this movie, first of all reveals the utter spiritual blindness that hangs, like a thick cloud, over the professing “Christian” world today; and secondly, it reveals the shocking spiritual bankruptcy of the vast majority of men standing behind pulpits today. God’s judgement cannot be too far off. Gibson’s production company, quick to seize the opportunity to make ever more money from the film, has marketed the film as “perhaps the best outreach opportunity in 2000 years” – and the “Evangelical” world has fallen for this slick marketing hype hook, line and sinker.
How possibly could a man like Mel Gibson make a sound biblical movie? Let us leave aside the man’s Roman Catholicism for the moment, as we will come to this later, as well as the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ cannot be portrayed in any movie, as we will come to this later as well. Even apart from the fact that he is a traditionalist Roman Catholic, this man has starred in violent, brutal, gory movies, full of foul language and sexual immorality. How then can he turn his defiled hands to so solemn a subject as the crucifixion of the Lord of Glory (even apart from the fact that no sinful, mortal man can ever properly depict the Lord Christ in a film), and handle such a theme with reverence, holy awe, holy fear, and with his eye to the glory of God? It is absolutely impossible! The Bible was written by holy men of God, as they were moved by the Holy Ghost; and it is holy men of God, men called by the Holy Ghost, who are to teach and expound it to souls. The men of the world cannot teach the true Christian the true meaning of any portion of God’s holy Word! And no Christian should ever go to the worldly for such instruction! What, then, are so-called “Evangelicals” doing, flocking to be taught the (supposed) meaning of the crucifixion by a wicked, immoral, idolatrous man like Gibson? And what are they doing, taking the work of such a man and attempting to use it for evangelism? Have they gone completely mad? Alas, tragically the answer is Yes. They are blind, they are mad, they are those who “eat and drink with the [spiritually] drunken” (Matt.24:49). Like drunk men, they cannot discern the truth, for indeed they are strangers to it.
The reason this film is so acceptable to so many who profess (falsely) to be Christians, is because Hollywood is so acceptable to them. Hollywood, with all its violence, adultery, fornication, sodomy, foul language, etc., etc.! This is an extremely violent movie, and not that many years ago most people would not have been willing to watch a movie with such extreme brutality as this one; but years of constant, daily exposure to Hollywood “blood and gore” have desensitised people to such things, and today the average moviegoer is quite used to it, sees little or nothing wrong with it, and in fact all too often actually craves it! Like the ancient Romans in the amphitheatres, who had an insatiable bloodlust and watched with relish the agonies of Christians being torn to pieces by wild animals, today’s moviegoer craves ever more “reality” in the movies he watches; and Hollywood (including Mr Gibson!) is all too ready to provide it for him. As film techniques and sets improve all the time, and cameras become ever more sophisticated, the world is being fed an ever-increasing diet of “reality” movies and shows; and how long will it be before there is a crossing over to the real thing? Are we really that far removed from the brutality of ancient times? No. Scratch the surface of his skin, and underneath the veneer of “civilization” the average “civilized man” is as barbaric as any ancient Roman citizen revelling in the spectacle of gladiators killing one another in the amphitheatre. The Bible reveals the total depravity of all mankind; and certainly this depravity is revealed in the so-called “entertainment” industry. And not just by the producers and actors, but by the audiences as well.