Another Jesus A Different Gospel:

Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ”

 

 

Over the course of my Christian life, I have been saddened time and again by how easily those professing faith in Christ alone have been deceived by false teaching, false doctrine and counterfeit religion from within the professing body and from without. As I write this, the current deception takes the form of a Hollywood movie called “The Passion of the Christ” which has caused “evangelicals” and Bible-believing Fundamentalists to rush to theaters alongside Anglicans and Catholics to “experience” the film. Evangelical leaders have lauded the film, even while admitting it’s Catholic doctrine and character. Take this quote from Tom Neven at Focus on the Family (http://www.family.org/fofmag/cl/a0029428.cfm):

 

Gibson had drifted away from his devout Roman Catholic roots; his “early” midlife crisis caused him to reconsider his faith. He meditated on the Stations of the Cross, which Catholics use to mark the hours of Christ’s passion. “I got on my knees,” Gibson said. “I realized that His wounds could heal my wounds.”

 

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15569a.htm), the “Stations of the Cross” are:

 

1.      Christ condemned to death;

2.      the cross is laid upon him;

3.      His first fall;

4.      He meets His Blessed Mother;

5.      Simon of Cyrene is made to bear the cross;

6.      Christ's face is wiped by Veronica;

7.      His second fall;

8.      He meets the women of Jerusalem;

9.      His third fall;

10.  He is stripped of His garments;

11.  His crucifixion;

12.  His death on the cross;

13.  His body is taken down from the cross; and

14.  laid in the tomb.

 

The article goes on to say that:

 

The object of the Stations is to help the faithful to make in spirit, as it were, a pilgrimage to the chief scenes of Christ's sufferings and death, and this has become one of the most popular of Catholic devotions. It is carried out by passing from Station to Station, with certain prayers at each and devout meditation on the various incidents in turn. It is very usual, when the devotion is performed publicly, to sing a stanza of the "Stabat Mater" while passing from one Station to the next.

and,

 

In conclusion it may be safely asserted that there is no devotion more richly endowed with indulgences than the Way of the Cross, and none which enables us more literally to obey Christ's injunction to take up our cross and follow Him. A perusal of the prayers usually given for this devotion in any manual will show what abundant spiritual graces, apart from the indulgences, may be obtained through a right use of them, and the fact that the Stations may be made either publicly or privately in any church renders the devotion specially suitable for all.

 

Indulgences, by the way, are the reason Luther broke with Rome. They are, in effect, the purchasing of the remission of sin. The Catholic Encyclopedia says, “But in the special sense in which it is here considered, an indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment due to sin, the guilt of which has been forgiven.” This movie is a Catholic creation, a repudiation of the Reformation, and an insult to the doctrine of salvation by grace alone through faith alone. Still, the evangelical leaders, and many others who should know better, flock to see it, and praise the experience, and how it “brought them closer to Christ.” Yeah, right.

 

They know it’s a Catholic vehicle, by a staunch Catholic, from material gleaned from the writings of Catholic mystics (who gained their knowledge from visions), and still they praise the film as a powerful tool for evangelism. They know it presents Mel Gibson’s gospel, rather than the Biblical Gospel. They know, and still they go.

 

This issue of the visible Church accepting counterfeits and welcoming false teachers goes far beyond the theatrical movie “The Passion of the Christ”. The institutional Church has made a habit of accepting questionable, even pernicious doctrines from sources that were thought to be part of the fellowship: theologians, clergy, “Christian Psychologists”, etc. Where is the discernment? In Nicolaitan institutions only the leaders need claim to possess this quality, and the laity wouldn’t know whether their leaders had it or not. Years of accepting false teaching from within (much of it recycled from worldly fads, and often a few years behind the secular culture), prepared the visible Church for accepting false teaching from the popular culture. Accept? Supposedly sound Churches are eating it up!

 

Some have dared to speak out against this trend, and even this particular movie. Those who take a stand against the false teaching that permeates the visible Church are often ridiculed and personally vilified for their stand. I commend those who have sought to please God rather than man. From personal experience, listening to what others have gone through, and reading things like Internet postings, I am fully aware that no human argument will cause those who refuse to see to open their eyes. There have been many good and Biblical arguments, the responses to which have consisted mainly of opinions, reason, appeals to scholars, or (my favorite) the one that goes: “discredit the messenger and you won’t have to accept the message!” I have no expectation of doing any better than those who have gone before, but there’s been something stuck in my craw that I just have to get out. For me, it is the central issue, and the one that sets things like “The Passion of the Christ” apart from the usual worldly distractions: if the “gospel” portrayed, and the Jesus portrayed are different in material ways from the Biblical Gospel and Jesus, then the movie is proposing a different gospel and a different Jesus. A different gospel and a different Christ are bad, right? There’s also a different Spirit involved to produce the different gospel and Christ, as Gibson said:

 

"The Holy Ghost was working through me on this film," Gibson has recounted when asked about The Passion. "I was just directing traffic."

(http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?pt=80VDpXe%2BtUVYgZguKgNQvB%3D%3D)

 

 

A discerning Christian should have blue and red flashers and alarm claxons blaring in his head at this point. Why? Because the Bible has something to say about those who promote, and accept such teachings.

 

 

Gal 1:6-10

 

6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you, and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed. 10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.

 

different NT:2087 heteros, hetera, heteron,

the other; another, other

1. to number, as opposed to some former person or thing

a. without the article, other: joined to a noun Matt 12:45 and Luke 11:26

b. with the article, the other (of two): Matt 11:16

2. to quality; another i. e. one not of the same nature, form, class, kind; different Rom 7:23; 1 Cor 14:21

(from Thayer's Greek Lexicon, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 2000 by Biblesoft)

 

another NT:243 allos, allee allo (compare Latin: alius; German: alles, English else; from Homer (900 B.C.?) down), another, other;

a. absolutely: Matt 27:42; 20:3; Mark 6:15; Acts 19:32; 21:34 (alloi men allo), and often,

b. as an adjective: Matt 2:12; 4:21; John 14:16; 1 Cor 10:29 (allee suneideesis, i. e. hee suneideesis allou tinos).

c. with the article: ho allos the other (of two), Matt 5:39; 12:13, etc. (compare Buttmann, 32 (28), 122 (107)); hoi alloi all others, the remainder, the rest: John 21:8; 1 Cor 14:29.

(Synonyms: allos, heteros: allos as compared with heteros denotes numerical in distinction from qualitative difference; allos adds ("one besides"), heteros distinguishes ("one of two"); every heteros is an allos, but not every allos is a heteros; allos generally "denotes simply distinction of individuals, heteros involves the secondary idea of difference of kind"; e. g. 2 Cor 11:4; Gal 1:6,7. See Lightfoot and Meyer on the latter passage; Trench (1880), Synonyms of the N.T., sec. xcv.; Schmidt (1876 ff), Synonymik der Griechischen Sprache, chapter 198.

(from Thayer's Greek Lexicon, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 2000 by Biblesoft)

 

disturbing NT:5015 tarassoo; to agitate, trouble

a. properly: to hudoor, John 5:4

b. tropically, to cause one inward commotion, take away his calmness of mind, disturb his equanimity; to disquiet, make restless

a. to stir up: Acts 17:8

b. to trouble: Matt 2:3

g. to render anxious or distressed, to perplex the mind of one by suggesting scruples or doubts

(from Thayer's Greek Lexicon, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 2000 by Biblesoft)

 

distort NT:3344 - 3344. metastre/fw   metastréphœ ; fut. metastrépsœ, from metá (3326), denoting change of place or condition, and stréphœ (4762), to turn. To turn about from one direction to another. In the NT, to turn into something else, to change. Trans. and followed by eis (1519), into (James 4:9). "The sun shall be turned into darkness" (Acts 2:20 quoted from Joel 2:31). In a bad sense, to change for the worse, to pervert (Gal 1:7).

 

Syn.: apostréphœ (654), to turn away, pervert; diastréphœ (1294), to distort, twist, pervert; ekstréphœ (1612), to turn inside out, pervert; metágœ (3329), to move from one side to another; metatíth¢mi (3346), to turn.

 

Ant.: sôzœ (4982), to save; diasôzœ (1295), to bring safely through; phulássœ (5442), to guard, keep, preserve; t¢réœ (5083), to keep; peripoiéomai (4046), to preserve.

(from The Complete Word Study Bible and The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament Copyright © 1991, 1992, 1994, 2002 AMG International, Inc.)

 

contrary NT:3844 para (par-ah'); a primary preposition; properly, near; i.e. (with genitive case) from beside (literally or figuratively), (with dative case) at (or in) the vicinity of (objectively or subjectively), (with accusative case) to the proximity with (local [especially beyond or opposed to] or causal [on account of]:

 

KJV - above, against, among, at, before, by, contrary to, friend, from, give [such things as they], that [she] had, his, in, more than, nigh unto, (out) of, past, save, side ... by, in the sight of, than, [therefore-], with. In compounds it retains the same variety of application.

(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

 

accursed NT:331 - 331. a)na/qema  anáthema; gen. anathématos, neut. noun from anatíthmi (394), to place, lay up. A gift given by vow or in fulfillment of a promise, and given up or devoted to destruction for God's sake (Sept.: Num 21:1-3; Deut 13:16-18); therefore, given up to the curse and destruction, accursed (1 Cor 12:3; 16:22; Gal 1:8,9). In Rom 9:3, estrangement from Christ and His salvation. The word does not denote punishment intended as discipline but being given over or devoted to divine condemnation. It denotes an indissoluble vow. See also Acts 23:14; Gal 1:9. Anáthema is not to be confused with anáthma (334), a votive offering or an offering not involving sacrifice, something consecrated in the temple, a gift, an offering (Luke 21:5).

 

Deriv.: anathematízœ (332), to declare anathema, to curse; katanáthema (2652), an accursed thing.

 

Syn.: ará (685), a malediction, cursing; katára (2671), a curse.

 

Ant.: aínos (136), praise; épainos (1868), commendation; aínesis (133), the act of praising; aretê (703), virtue, praise; dóxa (1391), glory, praise; húmnos (5215), hymn, praise; eulogía (2129), eulogy, speaking well of, blessing; euchê (2171), vow, good wish.

(from The Complete Word Study Bible and The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament Copyright © 1991, 1992, 1994, 2002 AMG International, Inc.)

 

Comment: The admonition is against being turned away from Christ by a “gospel” that is “one not of the same nature, form, class, kind”. This “gospel” is really not “a different kind” of gospel (reminding one of 2 Peter 2:1: “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves,” where the “secretly introduce” literally means to bring in alongside of; thus, the different gospel is the true gospel with additions or subtractions leading to heresy). This different “gospel” caused “inward commotion”, made one “anxious or distressed”, and caused one to be “perplexed” and have doubts. The promoters of this “gospel” wanted to change the true gospel into “something else”. This was their aim. Because of these false teachers, Paul gives an order: if someone preaches a gospel that is different (more than or less than) from the one HE preached (and contained in Scripture), let that person (and that gospel!) be devoted to destruction, separated from you even to the point of being cut off from Christ and His salvation.

 

 

2 Cor 11:3-5

3 But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. 4 For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.

 

deceived NT:1818 - 1818. < e)capata/w  exapatáœ; contracted exapatô, fut. exapatêsœ, from ek (1537), an intens., and apatᜠ(538), to seduce, deceive. To deceive completely, beguile, seduce, meaning to lead out of the right way into error. Used trans. (Rom 7:11; 16:18; 1 Cor 3:18; 2 Cor 11:3; 2 Thess 2:3).

 

Syn.: dolióœ (1387), to lure as by bait; dolóœ, to corrupt; kapleúœ (2585), to corrupt by way of huckstering; planᜠ(4105), to lead astray; paralogízomai (3884), to beguile.

 

Ant.: sœphronéœ (4993), to be of a sober mind; sœphronízœ (4994), to make of a sound mind.

(from The Complete Word Study Bible and The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament Copyright © 1991, 1992, 1994, 2002 AMG International, Inc.)

 

craftiness  NT:3834 - 3834. panourgi/a  panourgía; gen. panourgías, fem. noun from panourgéœ (n.f.), to be crafty, which is from panoúrgos (3835), shrewd, crafty. Shrewdness, cunning, craftiness, unscrupulousness; the word signified the employment of any or all means necessary to realize an end (Luke 20:23; 1 Cor 3:19; 2 Cor 4:2; 11:3; Eph 4:14; Sept.: Josh 9:4). In a good sense in Sept.: Prov 1:4; 8:5.

 

Syn.: dólos (1388), fraud; pon¢ría (4189), malice; methodeía (3180), trickery, deceptive tactics; epínoia (1963), a purpose, thought; dialogismós (1261), mental reflection, thought; apát¢ (539), deceit; enédra (1747), ambush; rhadiourgía (4468), mischief; plán¢ (4106), deceit; dianó¢ma (1270), thought, meditation, machination.

 

Ant.: euprépeia (2143), good behavior; aretê (703), virtue; chr¢stót¢s (5544), gentleness, goodness; agathœsún¢ (19), beneficence; eúnoia (2133), kindness; euergesía (2108), a benefit, good deed; alêtheia (225), truthfulness.

(from The Complete Word Study Bible and The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament Copyright © 1991, 1992, 1994, 2002 AMG International, Inc.)

 

led astray NT:5351 - 5351. fqei/rw  phtheírœ fut. phtherô, from phthíœ or phthínœ (n.f.), to waste, pine. To corrupt, destroy. Trans. to destroy, punish with destruction, bring to a worse state (1 Cor 3:17). To corrupt, spoil, vitiate, in a moral or spiritual sense (1 Cor 15:33; Eph 4:22; Jude 10; Rev 19:2). To corrupt, with the meaning of to subvert or corrupt opinions (2 Cor 7:2; 11:3; see Sept.: Gen 6:3; Isa 54:16; Jer 13:9). Also from phthínœ (n.f.): phthinopœrinós (5352), whose fruit withered.

 

Deriv.: diaptheírœ (1311), to corrupt completely, decay utterly, destroy; kataphtheírœ (2704), to corrupt fully, destroy utterly, spoil entirely, deprave; phthartós (5349), corruptible; phthorá (5356), corruption, both physical and spiritual.

 

Syn.: êpœ (4595), to rot.

 

Ant.: phulássœ (5442), to guard; t¢réœ (5083), to preserve; phrontízœ (5431), to take care of; sunt¢réœ (4933), to conserve, preserve, keep.

(from The Complete Word Study Bible and The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament Copyright © 1991, 1992, 1994, 2002 AMG International, Inc.)

 

simplicity and purity  NT:572 - 572. a(plo/th haplót¢s; gen. haplót¢tœs, fem. noun from haplóos contracted haploús (573), single, not having an ulterior or double motive. Simplicity, purity, sincerity, faithfulness, plenitude (Rom 12:8; Sept.: 2 Sam 15:11; Prov 19:1). In the NT used only in a moral sense as the opposite of duplicity meaning sincerity, faithfulness toward others, manifest in helpfulness and giving assistance to others. Equivalent to being faithful and benevolent. Although in some portions (2 Cor 8:2; 9:11,13) translated liberality or bountifulness, it is not exactly so. It is rather faithful benevolence out of proper motivation. Eph 6:5, "in singleness of your heart" means in sincerity; Col 3:22; Sept.: 1 Chron 29:17. In 2 Cor 11:3, "the simplicity that is in Christ" means frankness, integrity, fidelity.

(from The Complete Word Study Bible and The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament Copyright © 1991, 1992, 1994, 2002 AMG International, Inc.)

 

another NT:243 - 243. a&llo  állos; fem. áll¢, neut. állon, adj. Another, numerically but of the same kind in contrast to héteros (2087), another qualitatively, other, different one.

 

- Without the art., meaning other, another, some other (Matt 2:12; 13:33; 26:71; 27:42; Gal 1:7); another of the same kind (Mark 7:4,8; John 21:25); another besides (Matt 25:16,17; Mark 12:32; 15:41; John 6:22; 14:16, "another Comforter [parákl¢tos {3875}]"). Marking succession, i.e., in the second or third place (Mark 12:4,5; Rev 12:3; 13:11). In John 20:30, not only these, but also others. See Sept.: Num 23:13; 1 Kings 13:10.

(from The Complete Word Study Bible and The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament Copyright © 1991, 1992, 1994, 2002 AMG International, Inc.)

 

different  NT:2087 - 2087. e%tero$  héteros; fem. hetéra, neut. héteron, correlative pronoun. Other but different, another.

 

(I) Particularly and definitely with the art. ho héteros, the other of two where one has been already mentioned (Matt 6:24; Luke 5:7; 7:41; 23:40; 1 Cor 14:17). In Luke 4:43, in those "other [hetérais] cities" where the gospel has not yet been preached. In distinction from oneself, another person (Rom 2:1; 1 Cor 4:6; 14:17; Gal 6:4; James 4:12). In Acts 20:15, "on the other" (a.t.), implies day meaning the next day, the day after; also Acts 27:3.

 

(II) Indef. and without the art., other, another, some other, equivalent to állos (243), another, but with a stronger expression of difference.

 

(A) In Matt 8:21, "another of his disciples"; Luke 8:3; John 19:37; Acts 1:20; Eph 3:5, "in other ages" means former generations (Sept.: Gen 4:25; 8:10). Joined with tis (5100), someone indefinitely; héterós tis, some other one, any other (Acts 8:34; 27:1; Rom 8:39; 1 Tim 1:10). Distributively, either repeated as 1 Cor 15:40, hétera mén . . . hétera , some [pl.] . . . and others, or with other pron. (Matt 16:14; Luke 11:16; 14:19,20; 1 Cor 12:9,10; Sept.: Gen 31:49; Ex 26:3).

 

(B) Of another kind, another, different, in another form (Mark 16:12; Acts 7:18; Rom 7:23; Gal 1:6; James 2:25); of a priest from a different line or family (Heb 7:11,15). In the sense of foreign, strange (Jude 7; Sept.: Ex 30:9); of other languages (Acts 2:4; 1 Cor 14:21). See glôssa (1100, II, C), tongue. Contrast állos (243), another numerically or coming after. Héteros and héteros repeated, one and another different from each other (1 Cor 15:40). Different, altered (Luke 9:29).

(from The Complete Word Study Bible and The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament Copyright © 1991, 1992, 1994, 2002 AMG International, Inc.)

 

accepted NT:1209 dechomai;

1. to take with the hand: Luke 16:6 f

2. to take up, receive

a. used of a place receiving one: Acts 3:21

b. with the accusative of person to receive, grant access to, a visitor; not to refuse contact or friendship: Luke 9:11

c. with the accusative of the thing offered in speaking, teaching, instructing; to receive favorably, give ear to, embrace, make one's own, approve, not to reject: Luke 8:13

d. to receive equivalent to to take upon oneself, sustain, bear, endure: 2 Cor 11:16

3. to receive, get, Acts 22:5

(from Thayer's Greek Lexicon, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 2000 by Biblesoft)

 

bear  NT:430 - 430. a)ne/xw   anéchœ; fut. anéxœ, from aná (303), in, and échœ (2192), to have.To hold up or back from falling, e.g., the rain (Sept.: Amos 4:7). To hold in or back, restrain, stop. In the NT, only in the mid., anéchomai; fut. anéxomai; imperf. aneichóm¢n, or with double augment in ¢eichóm¢n in TR (2 Cor 11:1,4); 2 d aor. ¢neschóm¢n (cf. Acts 18:14). To hold oneself upright, to bear up, hold out, endure.

(I) Spoken of things, to endure, bear patiently, with the gen. as afflictions(2 Thess 1:4). See Sept.: Isa 42:14. Used in an absolute sense (1 Cor 4:12; 2 Cor 11:20).

 

(II) Spoken of persons, to bear with, have patience with in regard to the errors or weaknesses of anyone (Matt 17:17; Mark 9:19; Luke 9:41; 2 Cor 11:1,19; Eph 4:2; Col 3:13; Sept.: Isa 46:4; 63:15).

 

(III) By implication, to admit, receive, i.e., to listen to, with the gen., spoken of persons as in Acts 18:14. In 2 Cor 11:4, of doctrine. See 2 Tim 4:3; Heb 13:22; Sept.: Job 6:26.

(from The Complete Word Study Bible and The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament Copyright © 1991, 1992, 1994, 2002 AMG International, Inc.)

 

beautifully NT:2573 kaloos

beautifully, finely, excellently, well: Luke 6:48

a. rightly, so that there shall be no room for blame: Matt 15:7

b. excellently, nobly, commendably: 1 Cor 14:17

c. honorably, in honor: James 2:3

d. to speak well of one, Luke 6:26

e. to be well (of those recovering health): Mark 16:18

(from Thayer's Greek Lexicon, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 2000 by Biblesoft)

 

Comment: Here Paul says that, like Eve in the garden, many are being “led out of the right and into error” by the “shrewdness, cunning” of those who (by any means necessary) intend to “destroy, corrupt…subvert, corrupt [the] opinions [of]” those who profess to trust in Christ. What is being destroyed? The “simplicity, purity, sincerity, faithfulness, plenitude” of their devotion to Christ. What is leading them astray? The promotion of ANOTHER JESUS, a DIFFERENT SPIRIT and a DIFFERENT GOSPEL, than the Christ, Spirit and Gospel they had “taken with the hand”. Notice how exasperated Paul’s language has become: he says that they bear with (to bear with, have patience with in regard to the errors or weaknesses of anyone) the treacherous false teachers and their teachings beautifully (rightly, so that there shall be no room for blame). The false teachers are popular! People who should know better DEFEND THEM!

 

 

 

If anyone has any doubts at all that “The Passion of the Christ” portrays a DIFFERENT GOSPEL and a DIFFERENT JESUS, they should follow this link to Beliefnet.com:

 

http://www.beliefnet.com/story/140/story_14097_1.html

 

Here they will find a list of twenty six specific instances where the teaching of Catholic mystics, Catholic doctrine and tradition, or Mel Gibson’s own Catholic beliefs have been called upon either to add to the gospel accounts of the passion or to take something away that would conflict with these sources. Here is just one item from the list (and one should be more than enough to make this “another gospel”).

 

Jesus prays in Gethsemane
Bible references: Mt 26:36-46; Mk 14:32-42; Lk 22:39-46
In the movie but not the Bible: Satan watches as Jesus prays (Jesus' prayers are drawn from the Psalms); Satan tempts Jesus, saying "Do you really believe one man can carry this burden? ...saving their souls is too costly;" Satan sends a snake to bite Jesus; Jesus crushes the snake's head in an allusion to Genesis
3:15.

Source: Many movie details relating to Satan are drawn from Sister Anne Emmerich's visions, recorded in "The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ." In "The Dolorous Passion," Satan says to Jesus, "Takest thou even this sin upon thyself? Art thou willing to bear its penalty? Art thou prepared to satisfy for all these sins?" Emmerich also envisioned "the serpent ...This odious reptile of gigantic size" in
Gethsemane.

Other considerations: "The Dolorous Passion" spends much time on Gethsemane and draws many Adam-Christ/Eve-Mary parallels. The book also refers to the serpent later in the narrative, when Jesus is near death and is entrusting Mary to John's care. "It did not appear to me in the least surprising that Jesus should call the Blessed Virgin ‘Woman, instead of ‘Mother.’ I felt that he intended to demonstrate that she was that woman spoken of in Scripture who was to crush the head of the serpent, and that then was the moment in which that promise was accomplished in the death of her Son."

There are 25 more on the site. Defending this “other gospel” “other Jesus” is just exactly the kind of thing Paul was talking about when he said:

 

4 For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully. (2 Cor 11:4)

 

Yet, you find so-called Evangelical churches buying blocks of tickets, and spending thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars for the privilege of immersing the flock in false teaching. Even some who would oppose the movie claim that they must see it themselves in order that their criticism might have any validity. I wonder if this sort of thinking leads them to watch pornography and other things they object to in order to claim the same validity for their objections. This is not as ridiculous as it may sound, especially since there is no lack of those who have personally seen the film and have published what they have seen (as in the beliefnet article). If you say that you cannot accept the accounts of two or more eyewitnesses, you undermine every judicial system, including God’s own standard for Israel (as in Deut. 17:6). If one must personally experience evil in order to criticize it as evil, then you will be very busy performing evil acts in order to qualify.

 

On the contrary, God says:

 

Eph 5:11-12

11 And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; 12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.

 

2 Tim 2:19

19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Let everyone who names the name of the Lord abstain from wickedness."

 

Are we pleasers of men, immersed in the entertainment culture, ecumenical, and tolerant, or are we pleasers of God? “But,” you say, “ the movie is a great opportunity for evangelism and should be used as a tool!” The movie represents a different gospel, a different Jesus! It is anathema! Consider:

 

Rom 3:8

And why not say (as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say), "Let us do evil that good may come"? Their condemnation is just.

 

Rom 12:2

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

 

Phil 4:8

 

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.

 

1 Thess 5:21-22

21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil.

 

3 John 11

Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God.

 

Are we to use the evil of others as “tools for evangelism”, or are we to turn from evil and do good? Besides, what tools do you need other than the Spirit of God, a willing heart, feet that will go, and a mouth that will speak the Good News? Are we told to soften people up, render them emotionally vulnerable, or elicit first and foremost an emotional response, or are we told to preach the Word?

 

Acts 14:15-16

Men, why are you doing these things? We are also men of the same nature as you, and preach the gospel to you in order that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them.

 

Rom 10:13-15

"Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved." 14 How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent?

 

 

 

1 Cor 1:21-24

21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For indeed Jews ask for signs, and Greeks search for wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

 

1 Cor 9:18

What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.

 

1 Cor 15:11

Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

 

2 Tim 4:1-4

1 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths.

 

We are to proclaim the Good News, tell others what Christ did for us, not put on “passion plays” or use the world’s devices, Hollywood or Madison Avenue techniques to try to get a gut reaction out of people. I am disappointed, but not surprised to see so many who claim to be believers endorsing and praising things like ‘The Passion of the Christ’; false, commercial, secular and Catholic extravagances that are so far removed from the simplicity of the Gospel that they should be shunned by true believers without a second thought. Instead they are accepted, even lavished with praise. Something is seriously wrong.

 

Even those who acknowledge that there are factual and doctrinal problems with the film (as they have acknowledge there are factual and doctrinal problems with other films, lectures, books, etc. that they have endorsed and allowed into the Church), are generally praising the film. They justify this with the old, worn out “pearl of wisdom” that says “You can’t throw the baby out with the bathwater!” This unbiblical view has been used to justify theologians of questionable theology, preachers who mix truth and error, writers who advocate strange doctrines and Christian psychology which is the antithesis of Christianity, among other things. Is this what the Apostles taught about false teaching that creeps in alongside the truth?

 

Eph 5:11-12

11 And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; 12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.

 

2 Peter 2:1-3

1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; 3 and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

 

secretly introduce NT:3919 - 3919. pareisa/gw   pareiságœ, fut. pareisáxœ, from pará (3844), unto or at the side of, and eiságœ (1521), to bring in, introduce. To bring in by the side of, to introduce along with others. In the NT, to lead or bring in secretly or craftily, to smuggle in. Used trans. in regard to heresies brought into the church (2 Peter 2:1).

 

2 John 10-11

10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; 11 for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.

 

2 Tim 3:1-5

1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; and avoid such men as these

 

To extend their metaphor (to the gross breaking point, perhaps) is absolutely vital that, in the case of false teaching, you throw out BOTH the bath water AND the baby! The bath water if filthy, and the baby is a rotting corpse: BOTH will cause infection, BOTH will KILL you! The casual attitude, “Oh, he has a lot of things wrong with his doctrine, but you can learn a lot, and the book was a blessing,” has destroyed many a Christian walk, and the situation is getting worse as the visible Church preaches an unbiblical “tolerance” which is all to accepting of doctrines, ideas, and people who are bringing about insidious apostasy. Wake up! “A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough.” Gal 5:9-10

 

Those who advocate different doctrines, different gospels, different Christs, and different Spirits, are often smug with the knowledge that they have centuries of scholarship, and tradition on their side. They are often quick to point this out to dissenters, and often just as quick to respond to Scripture by telling the dissenter what is, personally, wrong with them. The dissenter is arrogant, lacks understanding, is pugnacious, causes strife, etc. In closing, without getting personal, myself, let’s just look at what Scripture has to say to one who advocates a different doctrine:

 

 

1 Tim 6:3-6

3 If anyone advocates a different doctrine, and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, 4 he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, 5 and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.

 

 

May the Lord grant the remnant, his True Church, discernment and wisdom today and in the days, weeks and months ahead.