BAPTISTS AND THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST

David M. Green

03/07/2004

 

 

INTRODUCTION

“And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull.  And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.  And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.  And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.  And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS.  And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left.  And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors. And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, Save thyself, and come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save.  Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.  And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.  And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?  And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias.  And one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down. And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.”  (Mark 15:22-39)

            Hollywood has put out many movies over the years and many of them are not fit to watch.  Many are calling “The Passion of the Christ” a breath of fresh air.  But is it really?

Many Baptists are not in favor of this new movie.  The writer agrees with those preachers and pastors who have spoken out against the movie.  Why is this?  Are we just stubborn or do we have a good reason for it? 

 

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”  (I John 4:1)

            We are told to try the spirits to see if they are of God.  This is true when a preacher comes along, when a doctrine comes up that we haven’t heard before, and when some new thing comes up.  “The Passion” needs to be checked with scripture to see if it adds up.  The Bible is our sure “measuring stick.”  If the Bible says something is wrong, then we must avoid it!

 

WHY WE ARE OPPOSED TO THE MOVIE

“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:  And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”  (Revelation 22:18-19)

            Some have claimed that this movie is historically correct.  After some research, I found that isn’t based on the Bible, but on the writings of a Roman Catholic nun!  The movie borrows the name of her writings, The Dolorous Passion of Christ.  This lady (Anne Catherine Emmerich) lived from 1774-1824.  Catholics speak of her writings as “revealing to us more information about the Life of Jesus Christ besides what we read of Him in the Bible”(The Catholic Spiritual Direction).

            Baptists believe that the Bible is our only rulebook…God’s revealed word.  Why do we need some Catholic nun’s vision to add to that?  If we go to the movie, we are saying that God’s Word is not enough and we have added to God’s Word!

 

            Another problem with the movie is that one of the languages used is Latin.  Folks, you will not find Latin in the pages of the New Testament, unless you are reading the Latin Vulgate (a hugely perverted version of the Bible).    Nowhere in the Bible or in historical research will you find that our Lord ever spoke Latin.

            The fact that it is in Latin reflects its roots in Catholic doctrine.  Latin was the original language of their Bible.  Ours was primarily Hebrew and Greek.  They used to have services in Latin.  This choice of languages was a result of Mel Gibson’s belief that Transubstantiation does not occur unless the service is done in Latin!  (Transubstantiation is the belief that the bread becomes the physical body of Christ and the wine becomes the real blood of our Lord…Many Baptists died opposing that heresy.)

 

“And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.”  (Romans 1:23)

            Another reason I reject the movie is based on the fact that man has, yet again, created another image of Christ.  This is total blasphemy.   What man is there worthy to even pretend to be Christ? 

            The Bible went to great lengths not to give us a description of His physical characteristics.  Therefore, the image of Him on that movie is not what He looked like but what the moviemakers want Him to look like.  Unfortunately, this will cause multitudes of people to think of the actor when they think about Christ.    There will be many who will not be thinking about the Messiah of the Bible, but they will have in their mind the image of the false Christ in the movie!

            Baptists have never hung up a painting of a supposed picture of Christ.  We’ve never hung up a crucifix in our homes or churches.  Why would we want to be a part of the movie?  Whether it is still or moving, it would be a horrible violation of Exodus 20:4-5!

 

“For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.  For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.  For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.  Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?  For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.  For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:  But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;  But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”  (I Corinthians 1:17-25)

            Some claim that this movie is a great tool to use in presenting the gospel.  Baptists disagree with this claim.  God said that people would be saved by the preaching of the gospel.  God has not changes His ways of saving people.  Therefore, the Lord’s true churches will not change their ways of presenting the pure gospel of the Bible. 

 

“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;   And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”  (II Timothy 4:1-4)

            We’re seeing a time when people will get moved by a movie but won’t read their Bible.  We’re seeing people who won’t go to church, but they’ve seen the movie already.  These people look to Hollywood for their answers.  We’re seeing people who obviously believe church is old fashioned.  Baptist churches need to stand against this kind of thing!  Don’t support the Devil’s ways!  Stay true to the Word of God.