Whose Passion:
Mel Gibson's Or The Messiah's??
Question From: A Subscriber
 
    Do you have any comments to give on "The Passion of the Christ", the movie, such as its faithfulness in its message and its representation of the Jewish culture and perspective?
 
    In the environment I am in, I almost daily interact with and try to befriend skeptics, agnostics, and other people who are outsiders to any kind of personal religon, and occasionally have been questioned about my faith by people who live empty lives and are looking for a hope that they're not sure even exists. How do you allow the love of our Saviour and HIS simple life-giving message be seen through your lives and traditions?
    Brother MattithYah's Response:
 
    Shabbat Shalom!  I haven't seen the movie, and I don't intend to, but from what I hear, the script is written in Aramaic (I'm surprised they actually got this close) and late 16th century Latin (a bit late for the time period which the movie's about).   It does have a clear Catholic twist to it, namely because this is Gibson's official religion.  The Pope has also said "It is as it was", if that tells us anything.  I happen to know for a fact, though, that women in First Century Jerusalem did not walk around looking like 16th century nuns, as they do in the movie, and there are also numerous "additions" to the gospels interwoven into the film, such as when Yahshua's soul falls to the ground like a meteor, or when the ravens pluck out the thief's eyes; both events which are drawn from the supposed visions of two nuns.  From what I hear, an anti-semitic bias also makes the Jews look like the bad guys and the Romans like pawns, and if it tells us anything again, Mel's father is a clear-cut anti-semite, and to date, Mel has not publicly renounced his father's bag of obsurd claims, including his his father's statement that the holocaust never happened, and many more.
 
    This movie, and others like it, also violate three clear Scriptural commands:
  1. We are commanded to make no image of things in heaven or on earth, to bow down and worship it.  The Passion movie violates both aspects of this command, for Yahshua is in both heaven and earth, and they attempt to make an image of him.    Yahshua is no longer impaled on the tree, He is no longer in the garden tomb, and He is no longer a man in 1st Centruy Galilee.  He is alive, and he is everywhere, so why is Mel Gibson "looking back to Sodom?"  For the thousands (or even millions) of people who see this movie, they will not be seeing the Messiah, but rather, James Caviezel, who is playing the part of Gibson's Christ.  After seeing the movie, whenever they think about or worship the Messiah, they will instead be seeing the mental image of James Caviezel, and thereby changing "the esteem of the incorruptible El into an image made like corruptible man" (Romans 1:23).

  2. Sha'ul (Paul), in his letter to the Hebrews, I believe, warns us that Messiah DIED ONCE, and speaks out against those who "Impale the Son of Yahweh afresh, putting him to an open shame."  Again, the Passion movie violates both aspects of this command, both through re-enacting the scene of the crucifixion in slow mode on a gigantic screen, and by misrepresenting the Messiah, as they turn him into someone he never was, with a passion for death that he never had.  Didn't Yahshua say, "Father, If possible, let this cup pass from me"?  He did not really seem to be passionate about dying a cruel death by being impaled to me.... wasn't his "passion" actually that all men come to repentance?  But instead, the Passion movie zooms in on the cruel method of his death.

  3. Torah forbids the practice of magic and necromancy.  In "The Passion of Christ", and all movies like it, we actually have a replay of the magicians in Egypt.  Yahweh preformed a miracle, and now Mel Gibson has to try and copy it.  His movie also includes a "pulling Christ up from the dead" (i.e. resurrection scene), which happens to be a miniscule part of the movie.  What does this tell us except that Gibson's Christ has a focus on death, instead of life?
    Five Reasons Not To Go And See The Passion Of Christ is a Protestant view, and presents solid reasons to not see the movie from a Christian perspective.  There are two things in here that I don't agree with.  #1 is their reasoning for why Aramaic and Latin is a bizzare combination [I believe in Hebrew or Aramaic originals to the N.T].  #2 is their comparison of the extra-biblical material in the film to the Apocrypha [I accept the Apocrypha as inspired.... just as it traditionally was 100 years ago].  Otherwise, the "Five Reasons Not To Go And See The Passion Of Christ" is very good.
 
    The Passion According To Mel Gibson is the Messianic view,  explaining why the Passion movie is not an accurate depiction of Messiah's last hours, and why the movie is just designed to make you feel physically sick.
 
    Mel Gibson And The Jews    and      The Passion:  The Movie And The AfterMath   are the (non-messianic) Jewish perspective.  I disagree, of course, with their statements against Yahshua's Messiahship and the fact that he was Yahweh in the flesh, as well as their view of the NT, but these essays make some really good points and provide good insight from the Jewish perspective which helps us to realize where Christianity is off base.
 
    When the Messianic movement, Talmudic Judaim, and even Protestants are all saying "Don't watch it", and when the masses are all supporting it, shouldn't it stand out as a red-flag that we had better beware?  Most folks will just go and see the movie, have their nightmares and emotional disturbances once it is through, and never realize that they watched Mel Gibson's anti-messiah, live on stage.  But the question which we have got to ask is "Whose Passion?" and "Whose Christ?".  Yahshua said "Many shall come in my name and deceive many", and they have been doing it for 1700+ years.  Suppose that we have the experience of a lifetime by just allowing the REAL MESSIAH to step forward, all on his own, while all of the imposters LEAVE the stage.
 
    I do see a definite need for witnessing to the lost, but I think that our living actions and explanations will do a much better job than any movie.    I have an article up <on acting and drama> which explains why I believe hollywood and the acting world in general to be a world of magic deceit, and I might also add that movies generally aren't a very effective witness for truth, even when the message is correct, because they operate on emotions instead of reason, which does not produce a lasting effect.
 
    I hope that this has answered the question, and, as always, I welcome your thoughts.
    Have a wonderful and restful Shabbat!

  Brother MattithYah
 

Part Two: "A Passion For Truth or Lusting After A Lie"

 

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