The Passion of the Gibson

Actor, Director, Producer, Academy Award Winner and Multimillionaire Mel Gibson is coming under some heavy scrutiny in the media.  He has “allegedly” said and done some things that cast serious doubt on his relationship with God and maybe even his sanity.

In February 2004 he released the Passion of the Christ, a graphic portrayal of the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ.  It shocked and offended some, but for the most part it gave believer and non-believer alike a glimpse into what the cross truly meant.

The Christian world rallied to the movie.  Altar calls were given in many theaters and the movie has provided footage for Good Friday, Easter and Salvation messages for years to come.  The impact this film will have for the kingdom of God has most likely not been fully realized at this time.

Worldwide box-office reports the film grossed nearly $612 MM and sold an additional 4.1 MM DVD’s on its first day of release (I know I have one).  Mr. Gibson personally financed the film spending $30 MM of his own money – taking a substantial risk.  The financial rewards have been significant, but we have seen a very public disintegration of his personal life.

We have seen a divorce, a DUI arrest, a new wife and now reports of domestic violence and some of the craziest phone conversations you never want to hear.  What is the Christian response to these events in Mr. Gibson’s life?  For most it is like rats abandoning a sinking ship.  I cannot condone any of the behavior that has been reported (alleged or otherwise) but what I can do is pray for him.

  • Born again or not
  • Catholic or not
  • Adulterer or not
  • Drunk or not
  • Wife beater or not
  • Racist or not

He is still someone that Jesus died for and that God wants in heaven and he is still the person that God used to bring for this powerful film into the world.  Before Mel Gibson is written off as a scourge to society and a crazy wife-beating racist I would like to read from the New Testament:

Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality,  or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.  Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

“Some of you were once like that”. Can you imagine if the world cared about some of the things you have said to people over the phone when you were drunk or angry?  Can you imagine them being recorded and posted to YouTube for the world to hear?  Not a fun place to be.  The wages of sin are still death.  What is done in secret is still proclaimed from the housetops.   The bible remains true.

There are people at your work or school who:

  • Have racist feelings and may even express them to others
  • Occasionally or regularly drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Physically, verbally or sexually abuse their spouse or significant other

Chances are some of the people you sit in church with on Sunday morning have some of the same sins in their lives.   Can these sins be justified in the eyes of God or the Bible?  No!  The message of Jesus remains the same:

Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.  (Matthew 4:17)

Sin remains sin; regardless of your wealth, fame, accomplishment or social status.  God’s love also remains the same.

You will have an opportunity to discuss the issue with friends, family members, co-workers and school mates in the near future (you may already have).  These subjects can give you an open door to share the gospel.  Hear the words of the Savior:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come. (Luke 4:18-19)

If you are committing these sins or are presently the victim of these sins; Jesus Christ died so that you could be set free.  He can change your heart, your mind and forgive and cleanse you from sin.

Repentance involves turning away from sin and turning towards God.  In essence we are asking God to trade with us.  We are asking Him to accept us and take our sin in exchange for us receiving Him and accepting His life.

Does this mean the repercussions of the sins you have committed against others and yourself will disappear?  No – you will still have to deal with your actions, but you will deal with them as a new creation and deal with them under the grace of God.

Where is Mel Gibson at?  I have no idea, but it appears that He is in desperate need of Jesus Christ.  I have no idea where you are at either.  I don’t know the problems you are facing or the sins you have committed, but I know that Jesus is your answer.

May the love and grace of God cause you to turn from your sins and embrace your heavenly Father.

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