The movie "The Passion of Christ" opens on February 25th. Lots of people all worked up about this movie. The ADL (Anti Defamatory League) is convinced that this movie portrays the Jews as responsible for killing Christ. The Christians are convinced that this movie is going to "rock Hollywood" and totally change the way movies are made for all time. Some church leaders are urging believers to buy tickets in mass to demonstrate our support for this film.
It's a movie.
It's no doubt a good movie. It's going to affect a lot of people. But so did Forrest Gump.
The ADL needs to relax. Shindler's List didn't stir up Anti-German feelings around the nation. We didn't have hate groups burning down Mercedes dealerships. Last I checked, it was the Jews who called for Christ's crucifixion. The Gentiles made a cross. It was sort of a group effort. We all killed him. But it was the Jews who were yelling "Crucify!" Why gloss over that fact? Nobody called The Patriot anti-English.
Christians need to relax too. Hollywood is motivated by one thing; money. There's no compelling drive among producers and directors to proclaim the truth of Jesus. Remember, these are the same folks that we've been called to boycott over the years (Life of Brian, Last Temptation of Christ). Suddenly, my mailbox is full of pleas from brothers and sisters to support this film and send a message to Hollywood. Hollywood will rake in whatever money we give them for The Passion turn right around and make American Pie Part X. I think they've been sent enough "messages". Finding Nemo was a HUGE hit and represented the type of film that Christians can to support, even though it wasn't a "church film".
(ASIDE: Finding Nemo was made by Pixar which is an affiliate of Disney which owns Miramax which produces movies that Christians are frequently told should outrage us. Finding Nemo didn't have the unabashed support of the church. There were not millions of emails circulated among Christians urging us to find Nemo and yet, somehow, it became one of the highest grossing movies of all time. How is that possible?)
If Hollywood hasn't figured out what the public's values are by now, they're never going to figure it out.
So what am I saying? Don't see the movie?
Go see The Passion. Enjoy it. Let it rekindle your faith. Let God be glorified. I'm thrilled that the story of Christ is "mainstream".
But don't expect earth changing things from this. It's just a movie about Jesus. The next time something earth changing happens, Jesus will be appearing, but it won't be on the big screeen...