I confess that I’ve always had an interest in media. I’ve always been interested in who’s up for an Academy Award and who wins regardless of whether I have seen their movies or not. I’ve followed music groups and performers. I have enjoyed the Emmys, Tonys, People’s Choice Awards, CMAs, Doves (yes there’s even a cult of personality among Christian artists), Grammys, MTV’s, and Oscar’s. I’ve scanned the magazines and I love to go to movies. I have favorite radio stations. (Let’s hear it for NPR!) I used to know a lot about books and publishing. Media has held a certain fascination for me.
But it seems to me lately that this media thing and the cult of personalities is getting more and more shallow (not that it was ever very deep). It’s more and more promiscuous (witness the Superbowl half time show). And it seems like so many people are preoccupied about who’s doing what. Who really cares about J Lo and Ben or Ashton, Demi, Bruce, Clay, Barbara, etc. etc. etc., and yet people buy the magazines that cover these stories. There are ratings systems for movies, TV and CD’s but does anybody really observe them? It’s a strange world we live in and so challenging to our Christian values.
Then along comes Mel Gibson and The Passion of the Christ. There’s been a lot of play in the media about this movie Gibson directed and financed himself. It is apparently an expression of Gibson’s own faith and true to the Biblical account. It is the story of the final 12 hours of Christ’s life. “I want to make the story real and not portray it as a fairytale,” Gibson has said. “I’m telling the story as the Bible tells it. I think the story, as it really happened, speaks for itself. The Gospel is a complete script and that’s what we’re filming.” Christ is depicted as the Son of God, Savior and Redeemer. The film brings controversy, and it appears from the media that the controversy is the result of telling the truth about Jesus.
I haven’t seen the movie but the buzz among those who have is that it is a very good movie in its production and its content. This film may be some of the best media news for Christians in years! Reviews have called the movie profound and moving. Many have commented on the audience reaction and how they are often moved to weep. This movie may be the best evangelism tool developed in decades and may be a great way to share the faith with those who don’t know Jesus. Invite a friend to the movie. Talk about it afterward.
The movie is rated R for violence and people will have to make an informed decision about whether they want to go to an R-rated movie. But, who can deny that the crucifixion was the single most violent act in human history as the Son of God is murdered for our sins on the cross.