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Catholic Evangelism?

Commentary by Roger Oakland
www.understandthetimes.org

When it comes to finding new ways to introducing people to the gospel of Jesus Christ, I am totally in favor. For this reason, many prominent evangelical Christian leaders have expressed enthusiasm for Mel Gibson’s Passion, a quality film that reenacts the final hours of Christ’s life on earth. However, before jumping on the bandwagon, there are some important issues that need to be addressed.

 

The list of Christians endorsing Mel Gibson’s Passion of the The Christ is quite impressive. Months before the film’s release, previews were shown around the world to almost every well-known Christian leader. From what I have been reading, there are very few dissenters. The film is being touted as a tool that will bring people to Jesus. If this is the case, that would be fantastic! However, I wonder if there a possibility that the film may actually have a second agenda – one that leads many into Roman Catholicism?

 

Absurd, you say. Well, don’t make up your mind too quickly. There are some facts that you should know that make a difference. For example, read the following statement made by Carl Limbacher taken from an article titled “Mel Gibson’s ‘Christ’ Reveals Crucifixion,” written January 25, 2004 :

 

In his first media interview anywhere about his starring role in Mel Gibson’s much anticipated film “The Passion of The Christ,” James Cavaziel – Gibson’s Jesus – detailed on Friday the ordeal of filming the Crucifixion scenes, noting that the overall experience prompted many in the crew to convert to Catholicism.[1]

 

Further, Cavaziel stated that the filming of Christ’s story “really changed people’s lives.” [2] According to the interview, Cavaziel also told Gibson, “I think it’s very important that we have mass every day – at least I need that to play this guy.”

 

Then one further statement that focuses in on the heart of the issue. Cavaziel said: “I felt if I was going to play him I needed the sacrament in me. Gibson provided that.” [3]

 

Of course, the “sacrament” Cavaziel was referring to, was the Sacrament of the Eucharist.” This is the heart and core of the Roman Catholic faith. In order for someone to be a Roman Catholic, they must believe the priest has the power to transform a wafer into the actual body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus. When you have partaken of the Sacrament of the Eucharist, you supposedly have Christ in you.

 

In contrast the Bible clearly states that Jesus’ one and only glorified body is in heaven.[4] The Bible also states that God does not dwell in temples made with human hands.[5] And while Rome teaches that the Eucharist is an ongoing sacrifice for sins, the Bible teaches that there is no longer an offering for sin.[6] When Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world, He said “it is finished” meaning “paid in full”.[7] Therefore the Eucharistic Jesus cannot be the Jesus who died for our sins once and for all.

 

With these biblical truths in mind, I have a concern. Is it possible the film will be an evangelistic tool that will eventually play a role in bringing people to another Jesus?

 

Certainly, serious Bible believing Christians who know the grace of God should be on the alert. Jesus warned that in the last days there would be many who would be deceived by many in His name. [8] We need to be careful that we don’t base our theology on a film – whether Catholic or Protestant. The Bible must always be our source of truth and the gospel must never be compromised.

 

 



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