Sunday, August 06, 2006

Mel Gibson & The Stain of Christ

The power and omnipresence of Jesus Christ was on full display recently in the Mel Gibson drunk driving episode. Moral “outrage” has followed, with most outlets piling on the criticism of Mr. Gibson for his ridiculous anti-Semitic tirade during his drunken state. I submit however that the “moral” outcry is far more about Jesus Christ than it is about Mel Gibson.

All of this is no doubt venomous residue remaining within several subgroups from Mel Gibson’s film “The Passion of the Christ”. With that film, Mel Gibson made a lot of enemies in the anti-Jesus-as-Messiah crowd including many Jewish groups, his Hollywood contemporaries, the left leaning media and secularists everywhere. As a result, these groups have had vitriolic animosity toward Mr. Gibson ever since. I can guarantee you that had Mr. Gibson’s hit movie have been “Lethal Weapon 5” or “Mad Max 10”, his drunk driving tirade would have gone completely under the radar, with him remaining firmly ensconced within the bosom of Hollywood and the fawning liberal press from coast to coast.

Mr. Gibson however made the “tragic” mistake of hitching his wagon with Jesus Christ. And as a result, he allowed the red-state masses to drive “The Passion” into a $400 million dollar mega movie…all while the media elites and Hollywood moguls were decrying it’s “immoral” attacks on Jews everywhere. However, with his drunken tirade, Mr. Gibson made the error that has afflicted public supporters of Christ almost every time. He sins and shows his fallen human side, which gives his now blood-thirsty “enemies” the opening to cry how hypocritical Gibson and his fellow believers in Christ truly are. In this incident however, their end-game is in reality the repudiation of “The Passion”, much more so, than their “righteous” indignation toward Mel Gibson. In reality, Mel Gibson is virtually insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Christ is the real target. But Christ says this to all who believe in Him (even in our weak human state): Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. "Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven… (Luke 6:22-23)

Mr. Gibson may have had some serious anti-Semitic issues within himself that (if so) he has to deal with. His film, it’s gripping truth notwithstanding, does not in and of itself guarantee him eternal life in Christ Jesus. Christ did not need Mel Gibson to portray his act of salvation in vivid color to millions all over the world. Mel Gibson was simply the beneficiary of God’s grace in using him to bring Christ’s act of salvation to us sinners everywhere. Mr. Gibson would do himself well to fully embrace this incredible gesture on God’s part toward him, by turning his life away from the immoral residue of his celebrity status which in large part led to his drunken tirade last week. Drunkenness and true worship of God does not go hand in hand. This is how God puts it in His Bible: "Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbors, pouring it from the wineskin till they are drunk, so that he can gaze on their naked bodies. You will be filled with shame instead of glory. Now it is your turn! Drink and be exposed! The cup from the LORD's right hand is coming around to you, and disgrace will cover your glory. (Habakkuk 2:15-16); Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18); Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise. (Proverbs 20:1); Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine. (Proverbs 23:29-30).

As for Mr. Gibson’s possible antipathy toward Jews, here’s what Christ (the subject of his hit movie) had to say on the topic: "You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, `Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment... (Matthew 5:21-22). The Bible also says: Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him. (1 John 3:15) Mr. Gibson has appeared very contrite in his apology towards Jews in the aftermath of his incident. I personally believe in his sincerity, but in general it is far more important that Christ believes it, than any of us weak and sinful human beings. Christ’s love and forgiveness is legendary and He is all about forgiveness, as is on display here: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John1:9)

As for those who have used this incident to spew their pent-up rage leftover from the success of “The Passion”, Mr. Gibson is a frail and fallen human being just like the rest of us. In the eyes of God, his sins are no better or worse than the rest of ours. However, Christ is waiting on you as eagerly as he waited on Mel Gibson: The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

All scripture courtesy of the New International Version Bible

A God who sends people to Hell?