|Distributor:||Newmarket Film Group|
|Director:||Mel Gibson||Release Date||February 25, 2004|
|Official Website:||The Passion of the Christ|
From a forensic perspective, I've read and seen documentaries on the medical analysis of damage Christ's body would have taken in this process as described in scripture. Based on that experience, I found the movie quite accurate. As for the arguments of scriptural accuracy, my experience is protestant-based and I'm therefore not familiar with catholic stops of the cross, but I did see several instances of artistic license, most notably the depiction of Mary, Jesus' mother, and the presence of Satan. While they are not strictly captured posterically within the scriptures themselves, I found them to be in keeping with the spirit of the story and quite poinant to its telling.
Lastly, regarding the arguments of encouraging antisemetism, exploitation of sacred traditions for materialistic gain, and the obsession with violence ocscuring spiritual truth. Folks, its written that those who do not have the holy spirit residing in their hearts would be blind to the truth. And (Big Surprise) so they are. Furthermore because they are spiritually blind, the christian community can preach until it's blue in the face, beat people over the head with bibles, shove ethics and morality down their throats until they gag, what have you...until their spiritual eyes are opened by divine intervention, its an exercise in futility. They're only going to see fanatism, hypocrisy, antisemetism, hatred of cultural differences, and the like.
To the non-Christians, I personally would point out that christian-folk believe this story is completely true. They actually BELIEVE that this guy took the wrap for your sins voluntarily. And to deny him, is to actively choose to pay for your own sins in a manner similiar to that depicted on the movie...but for all eternity. Thus when a christian approaches you, it is not because they think you're ignorant or that they're better than you, but rather they honestly believe this brutality waits for you at the end of life and they don't want to see you end up like THAT. When seen from this perspective, you might consider...just consider....cutting them some slack.
My personal experience of this movie re-affirms my own faith. I find myself pleased with the opportunity afforded to me through this movie to reach out to those individuals whose hearts God is working on that their eyes WOULD be opened. But when it comes to the critical, negative, and even vehement reviews this movie is receiving...I'm not worried about them except that I'm reminded to pray for those individuals that God may begin to work in their lives as well. I think as a Christian community, we have to realize that is the only "witness" that's required of us in relation to those people until they reach a point where their spiritual eyes are opened. That's all there is too it really.
The only derogatory comment I came across that caused me to stop and think, was when someone mentioned noticing that all these church groups, etc., were in the theater with their big tubs of popcorn, Super Giant Cokes, and candy boxes chowing down while Christ was on the screen being mutilated as if it were entertainment. As I looked about the theater the night I went, I saw it was true. It was an idea that did strike me as rather disturbing and personally thought provoking. Hmmm. -Gigs