"The Passion of the Christ" by Mel Gibson

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Have you noticed the high media attention given to this movie prior to its release? I do plan to see it, but I am suprised by the media attention, particularly the Jewish lobby against the film. I am perplexed by the hoopla because the Christian education I've received has never been anti-Semetic, i.e., blaming Jews for Jesus' death. I've always understood that Jesus died for the sins of the world, basically, that he was born to be a living sacrifice. Will you see the film? Has your church purchased tickets?

-- Anonymous, February 18, 2004


It's hard to believe but over five months ago when I was "hyping" the movie "Fighting Temptations" starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Beyonce` I made reference about Gibson's movie and another intriguing movie called John. The Gibson movie is getting a lot of media attention because of Gibson's strong and uncompromising Catholic convictions. In an interview with Diane Sawyer several nights ago Gibson stressed that the problem critics have with his movie is not with him per se but with the New Testament account of the death of Jesus. On this point I agree totally with Gibson. By the same token, it is also true that Catholicism, particularly the Vatican, has had a long and ugly history of anti-Semitism. Even though most Protestant denominations have been far less vocal in their criticsms of Jews, it would be incorrect to conclude that Protestants have always been pro- Jewish in their theology. I recall about 15 years ago another provocative movie which caused such a media frenzy called "The Last Temptation of Christ". The star in that movie I believe was Willem Dafoe. Many churches at that time wanted to boycott the movie because it depicted Jesus involved in a romantic relationship with Mary Magdelene. I suspect some churches as well as synagogues will be urging a similar boycott of Gibson's movie. Artistic expression will always offend religious sensibilities. Just ask Salman Rushdie after he wrote the controversial 80s novel, "The Satanic Verses". QED

-- Anonymous, February 18, 2004

I plan to see the film, Ms. Brooks, and in doing so I shall be mindful of the second commandment:

"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth." Exodus 20:4 (KJV).

I shall be especially interested to note the color of Jesus' eyes, and skin, and the texture and color of his hair, to see how it compares to other inhabitants in the land of Canaan, at that time. Because, as you correctly point out, the controversy has much to do about "the Jews," and not about the ethnicity of Christ, I believe I already know the answer.

Black folks are very defensive about the ethnicity of Christ, even moreso than white folks, in some instances. "It don't make no difference," we say. But to them, it does. Always has. Always will.

I say: re-read the Second Commandment. And reflect.

Thank you for raising such a timely topic.

Rev. Dr. Larry D. Coleman

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2004

Parson Coleman -

I would like to add to one of your remarks. You indicate that you will be paying close attention to the "color of Jesus' eyes, and skin, and the texture and color of his hair". About year and half ago Time Magazine ran a cover story which focused on a DNA reconstruction of Jesus and presented Jesus looking like a Semitic Jew much different from what I see in the character portraying Jesus in the Gibson movie. As you correctly note in a thread you initiated about the role of science and the church, DNA and ethnographic modeling represent an area where science can be an ally in our full understanding of Holy Scripture. Based on DNA reconstruction it is obvious that Jesus did not look like the European character portrayed by Willem Dafoe 15 years ago or the charachter in Gibson's new movie or for that matter not even the former Ugandan brutal dictator, Idi Amin. If anything Jesus looked remarkably simialr to PLO leader Yasser Arafat. The quote you atribute to the eminent Tuskegee scientist (George Washington Carver) appears to be vindicated. QED

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2004

I will join each of you in partaking of this movie, but from what I haveseen, these movie does not have all the truth that as Blacks we know should be there. None of the main characters are black and we know that all the people around Jesus were black so why should we spend our money to go watch some foolishness that is not what we know to be so?

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2004

Parson Forbes opines -

"None of the main characters are black and we know that all the people around Jesus were black so why should we spend our money to go watch some foolishness that is not what we know to be so?"

This is an interesting conclusion considering the Bible doesn't always present African nations (Egypt, Libya & Ethiopia) in a positive manner in regards to their relations with Israel or Judah. I'm curious, what Scriptural evidence can you provide which supports the view that all of the people around Jesus were black? The DNA study I refered to earlier reconstructed a man of Palestinian antiquity which combined Asiatic and African features. The scientists did not affirm that the Palestinian "man" (proxy for Jesus) was black but they did affirm that the Jesus proxy was not Caucasian. I know Cain Hope Felder has made significant contributions towards our understanding about race and ethnicity in the Bible but if I'm not mistaken Dr. Felder has no formal training in the area of cultural anthropology or ethnology. Why then is his research in this area presented as being definitive? QED

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2004

To be honest, I was never concerned how the movie would depict Christ's physical characteristics. After all, Hollywood is Hollywood. The actor depicting Christ is somewhat handsome and the bible says that Jesus' physical appearance was not outstanding. I agree with Bill's statement that Jesus probably had very Semitic features, looking more like Arafat or the people of that part of the world. There had to be many types of people since Israel was occupation by the Romans. There would have been Jews from different regions there at the crucifixion because it was Passover, and the Roman armies used people of other countries as well.

The bible specifically notes that Simon the Cyrene carried the cross of Jesus and Simon was a North African Jew. I wonder how the movie will depict him?

In any event, I am anxious to see the movie and to hear the (Aramaic and Greek?)languages used. I understand that the crucifixion scene is hard to take as it is very violent. I have a CD of Jesse Norman singing "Calvary." When my daughter was little she asked that I not play it as it made her sad because the music contained a clear depiction of Christ's suffering during. Perhaps this will be a good time to see the movie to remind us of the sacrificial lamb and not concern ourselves with the actors used by Gibson.

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2004

I believe the point of the movie is to lead others to Christ by portraying in all its horror what Jesus suffered for us. My Baptist friend in Georgia reports his church collected $7000 to buy out the theater for a few evenings. They're handing out tickets for free as a means of evangelism. Outstanding! That's fulfilling the Great Commission.

So who cares about the race of the actor, or even Jesus as He walked the Earth? Since His resurrection and glorification He ceased to be any race. He shines brighter than the sun. I'll follow Him regardless of His color while in human flesh.

Obsessing about His race is a tactic used by the enemy to draw your focus away from where it should be - Him. In your mind you're increasing your self-worth by claiming Jesus was the same race as you, and implying the other races are somehow less because they aren't the same color as He was for 33 short years. The rest of the Christian world rightly says, "who cares?"

You'll go to the movie with a critical eye and a chip on your shoulder that'll cause you to miss the point. Then you'll criticize whatever faults you think you can find, saying it's just the white man misrepresenting "your" Jesus again. Others will buy into your criticism, and you'll dilute the effectiveness of a tool God desires to use to win the lost souls you come in contact with. Repent.

-- Anonymous, February 20, 2004

Thanks RP for confirming my hypothesis. White people do not really care what color Jesus as long as he is white. And that is cool because they are putting up the cash to finance the flick so paint Jesus any color you wish. But do not dare to tell me that I have to agree with your choice. Remember that is what it is a choice. You haven't seen him and neither have I. Furthermore, your attack on those who claim otherwise further solidifies my claim that you are more racist in your beliefs than Christian and that is sad.

-- Anonymous, February 21, 2004

Harold, Harold, Harold. Jesus may have been black while on earth. Makes no difference to me. He's my Saviour.

Are you judging my soul? Seems you are making pronouncements on my spiritual condition. Very dangerous. You're running the risk of judgement, and I beg you to be careful. God does punish.

As for your other accusations, part of the problem may be you don't know what a racist is. It is not someone who disagrees with the position of the black community in this country.

Merriam Webster defines racism as "the belief that race is the determinant of human traits and capacities, and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race."

The second definition is "racial predjudice or discrimination".

Now for my part I don't believe race is important in human traits or capacities. I also don't discriminate based on race. In fact I've personally groomed black airmen for promotion while in the Air Force...because they were good troops.

Prejudice is a "preconceived judgment or opinion". Again, not guilty. Racial prejudice is a preconceived judgement or opinion based on race. In other words, before I meet a person I already don't like them because of their race.

Again, not guilty. I have way too many black friends to take such an accusation seriously.

I think you may have made a common mistake. When someone of another race disagrees with you, you charge racism. It's true I'm a political conservative, a Republican, I'm pro-American, and I believe a racial focus in the church is misplaced. None of this by definition however is racism.

-- Anonymous, February 21, 2004

Oh yes Harold, let me correct one small error in your hypothesis. It isn't that white people don't care what race Jesus was as long as He was white. It's they don't care what race He was at all.

-- Anonymous, February 22, 2004

To this point I hadn't given much thought to this movie. But today a lady testified in church how she was powerfully moved when she went to a sneak preview. She said take the worst pain you've ever felt, including childbirth, and multiply it by 900. That's what Jesus did for us. She saw it all.

Pastor went on to say this is not just another movie about Jesus. It's a divine appointment to harvest souls in great numbers. Because of the publicity, good and bad, people are curious. The theaters in our town are already sold out until the end of the month.

He said non-Christians are already reporting they're reading all four Gospels out of curiosity. Praise God!

-- Anonymous, February 22, 2004

RP stupifies:

Oh yes Harold, let me correct one small error in your hypothesis. It isn't that white people don't care what race Jesus was as long as He was white. It's they don't care what race He was at all.

Get real and stop lying.

-- Anonymous, February 22, 2004

RP stupifies:

Prejudice is a "preconceived judgment or opinion". Again, not guilty. Racial prejudice is a preconceived judgement or opinion based on race. In other words, before I meet a person I already don't like them because of their race.

Another lie! How many times have we read posts where you have commented on events in African American communities that are not congruent with your so-called "pro-american" beliefs and you have used them as rhetoric in your anti-Christian attacks on black people. RP you are such a liar! Just stop and admit what you so that you might be delivered.

-- Anonymous, February 22, 2004

Harold I'm becoming concerned about you. You're posts are growing more and more shrill where I'm concerned. I feel you're really starting to lose control and I'm becoming genuinely worried.

It's one thing to disagree but you're beyond that. For a while you mildly amused me, then started to get on my nerves, but now I truly am worried.

Maybe you should take a vacation from the board for a while to calm down. Seriously.

-- Anonymous, February 22, 2004

RP your concern my mental health is of no consequence for me so please do not burden yourself in such a matter. I am hardly becoming shrill when it comes to your posts, I just cannot stomach the lies you present in the cloak of "chrisitanity." Why don't you take a vacation from the board to pray for your deliverance from lying and from racism. Be at peace.

-- Anonymous, February 23, 2004

Harold and RP:

You are taking this thread down a rathole.


Staying on track with this thread, I plan to see the film Wednesday. I make judgement then, not now, and not with the media's spin-machine glasses.

-- Anonymous, February 23, 2004

As far I am concerned the conversation is over.

-- Anonymous, February 23, 2004

Over and out indeed. From now on I shall not respond to Harold's posts. It is not a constructive activity.

-- Anonymous, February 23, 2004

People, let's face it. Jesus was an African!

And you all know it!

Dreaming of a Non-White Christmas Santa, Jesus and the Symbolism of Racial Supremacy




How to Remove Racism in Christianity


The truth and nothing but the truth!

-- Anonymous, March 05, 2004

After reading through all of the posts, I have taken it upon myself to comment. I am sittin in a high school computer lab, disgusted on how man can pervert christianity into a game of "racial superiority". I myself, a 17 year old devout christian, am severly saddened by the fact that something as simple as the color of someones skin can occupy your minds as you are supposed to be thinking about what Jesus Christ did for all of us. Now, the movie may or may not depict Jesus wrongly, no one in our time has seen him in the flesh as Rome had. We now regard Jesus as the perfect sacrafice, and yes, I definetly concure with that. Jesus, who gave himself up willingly on the cross, died because of all of man's sins, believers and non- believers. There is no regard as to which race or ethnicity Jesus chose to die for, no, he died for all. To save everyone from an eternity of damnation in hell. Now, I believe that RP has the right idea when he basically says, don't dwell on the color of His skin, but praise Him in the light that He made the ultimate sacrafice, on His own accord. No one asked him to do it. In the movie, Jesus, in the garden, asks God to take the chalice from him if possible, but He also wants God's will to be done. Perfect obiedence. And that is what image we should follow, an image of obiedence. Not of race or ethnicity, but we should view the crucifixion in the light that we are forgiven if we only ask, because of Jesus Christ. Thank God for allowing Mel Gibson to make the movie. It ministers to many, if only they look beyond the image of the characters, and see the image of the sacrafice. --Matt Mogen

-- Anonymous, March 19, 2004

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