'The Passion' makes its mark

March 15, 2004

'The Passion' makes its mark

To the editor:

Even before the final script for "The Passion of the Christ" was approved, some groups - who'd never actually seen the film - were expressing concern over its portrayal of Jews, and there were Christians concerned about the biblical accuracy of a Hollywood film.

First, this movie is a magnificent work of art; it may very well be Gibson's masterpiece.

"Passion" is not your average, sometimes cheesy, Bible movie. This Jesus is real with sweat and calloused hands, and blood and bruises from the beatings.

Second, this movie will be a cultural event that will have everyone talking. Your neighbors will be asking about it, and your kids will be wondering about it.


Third, this movie destroys all the sterile stereotypes of a meek and mild Jesus - those myths and caricatures created by the enemies and the friends of Christ. After seeing this film, you will no longer be able to cling to the fantasy that Jesus was a meek and mild Messiah.

Even if you choose not to believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, you cannot deny that his life was the most significant one in human history. Why would you want to miss a film that shows you why he is considered so significant?

Don Conley
Senior Pastor
Ringgold Church of Christ

To the editor:

Just as suspected, the movie "The Passion of the Christ" by Mel Gibson has sparked some sharp debate about who really crucified the Lord.

The most important thing that people misunderstand over and over is that the term "Jew" did not refer to a race in the Bible. The term "Jew" simply meant that you were from an area where the people practiced circumcision, and were therefore "clean" under Moses' law.

Obviously then, "Gentile" meant that you were not clean, or circumcised, and therefore not in compliance with Moses' law. In all actuality, the "Jewish race" of today had little or nothing to do with Christ and was not the primary inhabitant of those areas. So therefore they were also not major role players concerning his death.

This whole debate has just been another smoke screen to hide the sinfulness of society, and ignore the primary message of man's accountability for his actions and the absolute that we must repent.

Austin E. Gladhill III

To the editor:

So liberals think "The Passion" is too violent. What they actually mean is when the violence portrays an actual religious event instead of foul-mouthed rhetoric surrounded by blood, gore and graphic sex of their making, it becomes horrific and "too violent."

When "The Last Temptation of Christ" invaded the theaters without any historical, biblical, or factual foundation, these pillars of the secular humanist world cried "freedom of speech." We now know what freedom of speech is to them by the smut they produce.

Then, they shift the message to causing anti-Semitism. This is done to divert the prophesied act of godly love for mankind to no more than a hate crime sponsored by the Jews. Sins of the world and the love of God is what sent his son, Jesus, to the cross.

Jews, Romans or no human being could have sent Jesus anywhere without the authority of God the father. As a matter of fact, Jesus could have saved himself with a few liberal lies. If the rejection of Jesus, as the Messiah, by the Jews did not take place, there would have been no reason for Jesus going to the cross.

Phillip M. Snider
Martinsburg, W.Va.

To the editor:

It has been a while since a movie has commanded great attention prior to its release. But Mel Gibson's "The Passion" has done that. The movie depicts in graphic detail the last 12 hours of Jesus' life. Some say it blames the Jews for the crucifixion; others say it doesn't.

Opponents of "The Passion" compare it to plays of earlier centuries that labeled Jews Christ's killers and sparked violence against the Jews. The supporters of "The Passion" see it as a great evangelism opportunity to Christianize the world. Churches are now buying tickets in blocks, urging parents to look past the movie's "R" raging, letting all ages see who Jesus is and what he accomplished.

Has Mel Gibson missed the mark? Some say he has focused on the Jewish leader, Caiaphas, more than Pilate, the Roman governor, as more desirous of Jesus' death. The Johannine trial and crucifixion account, which I have recently re-studied in some depth does, in my judgment, suggest that it was the people who led the charge against Jesus. Pilate doesn't seem to be as aggressive in terminating Jesus' life, although Pontius Pilate is no saint either.

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