The 'Passion Of The Christ' movie continues to stir spirited discussions and provoke real questions among evangelical Christians.
In an effort to answer requests for guidance from the members of their own congregation, the elders at Trinity requested Pastor Martin to conduct a Sunday School class to that end. This message is an attempt by the pastors of the church to set before the people of God at Trinity the biblical precepts and principles which ought to guide one's conscience in making a righteous decision as each one considers whether or not to see the movie.
Handout material mentioned in the message may be downloaded from our church web site at www.tbcnj.org on the Online Sermons page.
We encourage you to listen to this message and to read the New Testament Gospel accounts yourself.
Also available in RealAudioÂź format on www.tbcnj.org.
Audio/Video Cassette tapes and Audio CD's of this message (S022204) may be purchased through Trinity Book Service.
Great Sermon! At Amy. Jesus is the word. Not just the Bible. Preach Jesus!
Great Sermon! I scanned through the Movie a couple of days ago because my dad was watching a program on TBN (The Blasphemous Network) about how the movie had saved so many people. I told my daddy what I knew of the movie such as the numerous Catholic references, but I think he chose to believe the so called witnesses on the program. The Bible tells us it is through the preaching of the word that men are saved. This movie was all in Aramaic with no subtitles. There is a very eerie scene, not to mention unBiblical, with the actor portraying the Lord in the garden and Satan appearing to him. The actor is really an actress since Gibson has a woman playing the role of the Devil. She did look very demonic. Also, Mary is shown as co-redemptress as the Catholic institution teaches. She helps him as he falls under the cross. I truly believe the "churches" that have shown and continue to show this horrible film are already being judged with even more spiritual blindness. May God very soon judge his people with the refiners fire and turn us back to Him and His truths.
Lorraine Dentale (12/15/2011)
from Brooklyn N.Y.
Great Sermon! The' elect' knows there are only two gospels in the whole world One of 'GRACE' and one of 'WORKS' Mel Gibson's passion movie was his great work. I will pray the LORD will grant him grace. Pastor Martin's sermons always searches out the whole truth for us, the 'Spurgeon' for our time.
Jude Newman (1/20/2008)
from Brisbane Australia
Great Sermon! 4 years on we should see some fruit from this movie. In my church we had one young guy who came because he saw The Passion, for about 2 months then we never saw him again. I never saw it, had no desire to. I was bought up a catholic, where Jesus still hangs on the cross, where we have to do things to be saved, then probarly go to purgatory after death. There is only one true gospel. The catholic gospel is another gospel. Praise God for the reformation, when the light of the gospel shone forth.Ecumenism is not of God, but will be helped along by the movie. I don't understand why anyone would want to embrace the catholic view of salvation, to take us back to the dark ages. We must be discerning.
Jeremy Walsh (12/23/2006)
from Jeremy Walsh
Great Sermon! 1. No graven images to represent God.
2. Christ is God.
3. No graven images to represent Christ.
"Little children, keep yourselves from idols." I Jn. 5:21
"I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images." Is. 42:8
Bob Howell (2/15/2005)
from Incline Village, NV
Eye Gate Needs to be Guarded Why would anyone want to have images of a man playing Christ forever burned into their souls? Why would one who follows the unseen Christ by faith want to have any images intrude into their mind and heart while before the throne of grace? What about the 2nd commandment? How can we as Christians be "entertained" by such violence? I heartily agree with Pastor Martin. The images of that film will no doubt come into Christians minds when they ought not to. But what can we expect from a Christianity that has adopted the image driven philosphy of this present age. Where the written word is of less importance that it has ever been. Two books which all Christian should read, "The Vanishing Word" by Authur W. Hunt III and "Amusing Ourselves to Death" by Neil Postman, to get grip on how the word has been replaced by image. Also John McCarther's "Ashamed of the Gospel"
from New Jersey
Best movie The Passion of Christ is the greatest movie I have seen. It shows us a gist of our Lord's suffering for us. Jesus' love for us. As Christians, we must acknowledge Jesus Christ. We must not forget TRUE history. I thank Mel Gibson for trying (against media bullying) to bring Christ's message to us, in his way.
Great Sermon! God says, "Believe me...and I'll show you!"
Man says, "Show me...and I'll believe you!"
Great Sermon! I wish I had not seen the movie.
Satan does not need to attack us - just cause a little confusion and blur the lines. We'll steer ourselves off track.
I was raised Roman Catholic and later saved. I saw the numerous Catholic references to non-Biblical beliefs that protestants would have nissed - Mary's role as Jesus's main support, St. Veronica's towel, "chalice", not "cup", (the chalice holds Jesus's in the Catholic Mass), saved by touching His , the Brown Scapular. (from Heaven, Mary delivered this cloth from Jesus's crucifixion to a priest, instructing "whoever wears this will not suffer eternal flames."
Caviezel's statement that he made the movie because a vision of Mary told him to do it.
My spirit wrenched as untruths were being shown or said on screen. To be "polite" and not cause a scene, I stayed.
For weeks, when I closed my eyes to focus on Jesus, I saw the image of the actor, not the lover of my soul.
A saved friend at church said he was struck by the scene when Jesus's splattered on the Centurion at the foot of the cross and the Centurian was instantly saved. OUCH!
My mother worships Mary, not Jesus. She was excited that we would all finally see the true part Mary played and why she can save us from our sins. OUCH!
CV Ho (4/22/2004)
from Sabah, Malaysia
Yes, See The Movie I have seen the movie though it is banned here. Generally, the movie is a good evangelistic tool. Though there are some negative points on the movie we should only major on the positive. The part that touched my heart was the Last Supper when Jesus called His disciples friends. Yes, I would say see it if you can.
The Standard Raymond,
I will keep my eye out for the book.
My subject line was just a phrase that struck me as amusing --no deeper meaning.
Now I do not think that seeking Scriptural warrant is quite the same as proof-texting' --for one thing, it's subtle, for another, it takes into account composite teachings. However I am not sure why you seem to think of the regulative principle as a mistaken application. Surely God as the object of worship has the sole right to dictate the manner of worship? Perhaps you could clarify that? Personally the regulative principle seems to me to be a wonderful safeguard God has given us to preserve our worship of Him, and our liberty of conscience in that worship.
Thanks for the details --I hadn't realized that healing prayer is involved in every service.
STANDARD GIVEN YOUR INTEREST IN THESE MATTERS, MAY I SUGGEST YOUR READING "EVANGELICALS ON THE CANTERBURY TRAIL," BY ROBERT WEBBER. THIS MAN WAS THE SON OF A BAPTIST MINISTER, BECAME A REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER, AND WHILE A STUDENT CHAPLAIN AT WHEATON, BECAME AN EPISCOPALIAN.
EVERY SUNDAY WE "TASTE" THE COMMUNION WINE AND TOUCH THE COMMUNION BREAD. THOSE WHO WISH TO, ARE TOUCHED DURING COMMUNION BY THOSE INVOLVED IN HEALING PRAYER. ALL OF THESE ELEMENTS ARE FOUND IN THE BIBLE- YET THE BIBLE DOES NOT PRESCRIBE A SPECIFIC MANUAL FOR FORMAL CONGREGATIONAL WORSHIP. THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS LEFT IT UP TO THE CHURCH TO WORK THROUGH THE PRINCIPLES FOUND IN THE WORD. TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION ABOUT THE REFORMATION - IDEALLY, THE REFORMATION WAS NOT GOOD IN THAT THERE WAS SO MUCH DIVISION. YET IT WAS GOOD IN THE SENSE THAT THE CLARITY OF THE GOSPEL OF GRACE WAS BROUGHT FORTH.I RESIST THOSE WHO TRY TOFIND "BOOK CHAPTER AND VERSE" FOR EVERYTHING, THEREBY MISTAKING APPLICATION OF PRINCIPLE WITH PRINCIPLE ITSELF. EACH TRADITION OF THE CHURCH, FROM THE SACRAMENTAL TO THE EVANGELICAL, FROM THE CHARISMATIC TO THE CREEDAL, HAS SOMETHING TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE WHOLE. FINALLY, HOW DO YOU MEAN THE STANDARD "FALTERS"?
The Standard Falters, but Bravely Rises Up Raymond,
Do you consider the proliferation of denominations a good thing? The Reformers didn't.
I am not sure if I was clear in what I asked. When you say that an Anglican service involves all the senses, I can see right away how it involves sight, hearing and olfaction. But how does it involve your senses of touch and taste?
I would agree that preaching is only one part of the elements of a worship service. What is interesting to me, though, is that it seems that all the elements spelled out in the Bible involve the truth, and our response to it. On that criteria, you could list just two elements in worship: truth and response. My viewpoint is that communion is intimately related to truth.
Standard Waht changed? How many different denominations have been the result of the Reformation? And how many diffrent emphasis' resulted in terms of theology and worship?
"Taste"? Communion is the focal point of worship each week in the service.Once again, I do not denigrate the importance of or the necessity of sound biblical preaching. Yet, I see it as part of the whole, an important ingredient of the whole. Once again, to use the analogy of Richard Wagner- he went from being just a symphonist to writing musical drama, involving the orchestra, the human voice, stage,storyline etc. as the vehicle for his message. An Anglican service involves all of the senses in acts of worship.It involves the totality of the person, is both active and meditative, celebatory and meditative.
'The Standard Marches On!' Raymond,
In your view, what changed at the time of the Reformation? What I'm getting at is that I'm not sure why you say that we've learned "after the Reformation" that different approaches to worship can complemement one another?
Also I was curious about how a liturgical service impacts your sense of taste. I'm not being finicky --I just haven't had much exposure to liturgical services. I wasn't thinking you were claiming your approach was the only approach. I was wondering if you had a Scriptural warrant (which, as you probably know, can be derived from precept, example, or intimation) for the approach you prefer.
Thanks again for spending the time to resolve my " 'satiable curiosity"
Standard If there is one thing we have learned after the Reformation, the plurality of approach in the Church to worship can complement each other. I do not have a "Revelation" pesonality. I like the logic of Romans, the intellectual aspects of the faith. But, human nature as it is involves the senses. R.C.Sproul in his "Classical Apologetics" says a "given" in knowledge means udnerstanding the basic necessity and reliabioity of the senses. I think that the liturgical approach combines all the senses so that things stick. It is amazing to me that a 25 minute message has so much more power in a litugical setting that a 1hr. message that is the centerpiece of the service.
I, however, do not have book chapter adn verse to declare that my approach si the "only" approach.
'The Standard Again' Raymond,
Thanks for the reply. I don't think I'm off the mark too far if I take it that you think that a typical Reformed church is a "Romans" approach (as you defined that in your last post) whereas a liturgical church is a "Revelation" or "Gospels" approach. I was wondering though, two things.
1. Do we all need all of them in balance, or were your comments about the different experiences of saints applying also to different "flavors" of churches? So for instance I might have a "Revelation" personality and therefore need a "Revelation" church whereas Calvin naturally gravitated to a "Romans" style.
2. Do these different literary types in Scripture constitute a warrant for different types of worship?
By the way, I didn't meant to imply that I thought you were saying your experience was the arbiter. Sorry if I came across that way. I was just wondering if you thought that your experience was a confirmation of Biblical teaching that would apply to all.
The standard I do not believe my experience is the final arbiter of truth, the Word of God is. It would be the hight of pride for me to assume that every one should follow after me. For instance, God dealt with Abraham in one way, yet worked with Jacob very differently, very patiently,etc. So God has his ways with each of us individually in the mystery of His providence. God's Word is a mosaic of many different approaches to His revelation of Himself. In Romans He takes us to the library. The Book of Revelation presents us with a stained glass window. The Gospels He invites us to open up the history book. Likewise our experiences are multi-faceted according to God's plan for each of us.
'The Standard' Raymond,
Please let me know if my questions get on your nerves --I am interested in your experience for a couple of reasons. Just one question tonight.
Do you feel that everyone would share your experience if they did what you have done, or is there legitimate room for subjectivism? As Mozart, who did everything.
The Standard I am going to refrain from saying else specific about "The message" about "the movie." For RZ, I would simply say that I think the liturgical structure of a sacramental orientation to worship lends itself to "communion". The typical structure in reformed/evangelical services is still preacher-oriented no matter which way you want to slice it.No matter how much is preached on "communion" for instance unless a proper worship orientation is structured, the giftedness and knowledge of the "preacher" will stll take front-stage. Sorry, but I am afraid it is so no matter how sincere the efforts to the contrary. Three years ago I left a reformed church and neverlooked back.I am now in an evangelical Episcopal church. I can't say enough how it has changed my life & my worship. The things spoken of in Scripture like (Rev. 7 "144,000") I can now visualize. And- the people are not uptaight and actually enjoy their faith. For instance, Richard Waner wrote ONE symphony. Later he discovered his true voice was musical drama. Likewise, going from a reformed church (symphony) to a liturgical church (musical drama) blends everything, especially marginalizes the power over the people the pastor(s) may have.
The Standard John,
At the risk of sounding like a broken record (see below on the thread) the standard for evaluating something is not what results attend it, but what God's word says. David was strengthened as king by the death of Ishbosheth --but he killed the men who killed Ishbosheth. Similarly God may over-ride something to greater good (Romans 8:28 tells us that He does do this) yet still not approve of that thing.
Amen to what you say Raymond. It is more than possible to be anti this or that without any grace in the heart. Of course, when grace comes into the heart, then we will be graciously anti certain things. By the way, if you get time I'm interested in what you say to my 3/28 post to you.
John Wills (4/3/2004)
from Bourke Australia
Great Sermon! When peoples lives are changed because of what they have encounted from this movie,(as in a born-again experience) I would be careful not to judge. God's ultimate plan for a lost and dying world is perfect and is without fault or failure. The bible is clear in that it says "No man can come to Me except the Father draw him," . If this movie is off track then who is turning peoples hearts to the Lord.
Remember God is not moved by our opinions, He longs for a people who are obedient and who are willing to testify on His behalf.
People aren't changed by our opinions or our criticisms, but they are changed because of our obedience and the lifestyle that we outlive, a lifestyle that glorifies our heavenly Father.
"Woe unto himwho strives with his Maker!
Let the potsherds strive with the potsherds of the earth!
Shall the clay say to him who forms it "What are you making?"
Or shall your handiworksay "He has no hands?"
Raymond Richards (4/2/2004)
Re: 'The Passion' The important question for all of us is, whether you approve of the movie or not, is "Were you there when they crucified my Lord?"
Great Sermon! I wonder how many pastors would encourage their members to see "The Terminaor", "Rambo", "Blood Sport" and other movies that portray such extreme violence. I wonder how many pastors would encourage their members to attend public executions, lynchings, hangings etc.
By pastors endorsing this film, eventhough it may have a Christian theme is basically promoting the same sensationalism of these blood and gore movies.
If you think about it, we have a sick and depraved mentality to want to see 2 hours of blood and gore and paying money to see it.
kathryn lawrence (3/30/2004)
from goshen, ohio
Great Sermon! the movie is a great witness tool! it helps people to understand what Jesus did on the cross for them. i watched the movie and i cried. it is a reality check to christians and a no-excuse maker (of not heating about Jesus before judgment day) to sinners. God bless you all. Mel Gibson,please stay a christian.
Words Continued Raymond,
I think I see what you're saying. Mr Martin is applying the Scriptures to a specific instance, the Passion movie, and is making that application as binding as the general principles on which it is (correctly or incorrectly) based. Do you feel that he is wrong in this because he is incorrect (a) in his condemnation of the Passion, (b) in that he does not have that kind of authority, or (c) in that even "due and necessary" inferences from Scripture are not the word of God? I think with regard to elders that Hebrews 13:7,17 tells us to please them --of course, if they're the right kind of elders if we please Christ we will please them. But I do agree about the importance of communion. Theology is for fellowship with God. If doctrine does not result in a deeper love for God, and a greater practical conformity to His image, then we are not getting it. I think that Christians who have a strong emphasis on getting their doctrine right are making a huge and basic mistake if they are not at least equally careful to make sure their attitudes and actions are right. Of course, that sounds like I think I live up to that --I don't.
I'm glad we agree on so much.
Westminster & Words I like your spirit. For every positive there usually is a negative. Yes, there is a down-side to liturgy,viz going through the motions. I certainly do agree there is a place for apologetics. I have read and have in my library many great Christian thinkers. And of course, 1 Pt.3 exhorts us to give reasons for our faith. But with all the emphasis on the centrality of preaching is we need to be careful we don't confuse the application of Scripture with the Scripture itself. This, I believe, is the case in Martin's message. The closing comments of this message sets out to bind the Christian liberty of Christians from seeing the movie. And we all know what really matters in the end is "pleasing your elders." I think one of the great up-sides to liturgy in worship(Book of Common Prayer)is that it not only unconsciously protects from man-centeredness but also encourages not only commitment but communion.
The real problem with the Church at Ephesus (Rev.2) was commitment with little communion. Knowledge is important. Good preachng is important. People need to leave in joy & freedom without feeling elders are peeping in the windows of their lives to see who is going to see "Passion" or not. They need to please Christ and stop worrying if they please their "elders".
Westminster and Words Raymond,
That is an interesting point with regard to the dangers of a verbal emphasis. Of course, I suppose that in a liturgical environment you could also have bad "liturgists". I know this was a complaint from Evangelical Anglicans, that the unawakened clergy went through the liturgy with no understanding and no feeling. I guess my feeling is that the liturgical approach presents possible dangers as much as anything else. Bringing us back once again, it seems, to not looking at anything in determining "religious" questions except the word of God.
I am not sure that I understand the part of your post beginning with "Greg Olsen" to the end. I gather that you see a liturgical "storytelling" approach as the antidote to dead, prooftexting, inactive theology. Perhaps it's a remnant of that spirit left in me (!), but I can't help wondering what your chapter and verse is for that. I think polemics and apologetics are probably some of the most difficult things we ever have to engage in while maintaining a Christian character --but I don't think that the example of Christ, or of His apostles and prophets, leaves us any choice but to try. Would you disagree with that?
Looking forward to more,
Raymond Richards (3/26/2004)
Wesminster Continued Thank you. I am enjoying it too. I think part of where I am at is that I have come to appreciate some of the ancient liturgy of the church. This enables me to visualize the faith. It also marginalizes the central importance of the giftedness (or lack therof) of the preacher. It holds the cult of personality in check because it is worship that is is the primary focus- not the preacher. Like it or not,and as much as we decry man-centeredness in the Reformed Faith, because of the great emphasis on the verbal aspect of our faith, we are linked too much to one personality. Greg Olsen in his book "Mosaic" (about central beliefs of the Christian church), goes as far as to say that the loss of liturgy brings with it a new-gnosticism, i.e. exaltation of knowledge. We can so find a book chapter and verse for everything (eg. the message on Gisbon's movie) that we end up squeezing the life out of our faith and even of life itself. Unfortunatley too, we get many prodigals gloriously saved only to turn them into the elder brother. That is why Reformed churches that preach on the gospels cannot leave off the polemical tendency of their teaching because they don't "tell the story" via a liturgical calender. Every message becomes an argument for the faith rather than an acting out.
Westminster Continued Raymond,
I understand where you're coming from. Personally I haven't noticed this kind of imbalance in the churches I've been in or messages I've listened to from men like Al Martin or Dr. Lloyd-Jones. I don't even know that I've noticed the NT predominating over the OT.
I know that in the Shorter Catechism love is comprehended under goodness (along with mercy and grace), just as wrath is comprehended under justice, but the Confession does spell it out at more length (naturally).
I'm enjoying the discussion.
Raymond Richards (3/25/2004)
Westminster I am speaking in broad generalities-there are essentially two ways one can view the Christian faith: (1) as a story to tell (2)in argument to present. By and large, those in the Reformed tradition tend to present Christianity as an "argument" (in a good sense); those in more liturgical settings (Lutheran, Episcopal..)present the faith more in terms of a story line,i.e.(liturgical calendar). Liturgical churches tend to major on the Gospels; Protestant/ Reformed tends to major on the Epistles. I am talking about a cultural mindset. Obviously we need both.
I will look again, but as I recall in teaching the Confession a few years back, I don't recall seeing a reference to "love" in terms of defining God. I will look again, and if wrong, thank you for your correction.
I'm not trying to pick on you --I'm just wondering what Reformed circles you're in that shy away from the Gospels. Also, I wanted to point out that the Westminster Confession does include "love" in its listing of the attributes of God in the same way that it lists His holiness: it says "most holy" and it says "most loving"
I. There is but one only living and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions, immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, most wise, most holy, most free, most absolute, working all things according to the counsel of his own immutable and most righteous will, for his won glory, most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek him; and withal most just and terrible in his judgments; hating all sin; and who will by no means clear the guilty.
The primary thing I wanted to get across is simply this: the Bible is the only standard we have to judge this film by: in this case, we have a twofold method of measurement: the film's legitimacy, and the film's doctrine.
With regard to Christmas and Spurgeon, I believe that those points are irrelevant to what I said. I also do not believe that there is a strict correspondence between an oratoria or requiem and the movie. Music is very clearly Biblically warranted. If all that can be said about the Biblical warrant for this movie is that many other things do not have Biblical warrant, that tells me nothing about the movie's legitimacy.
I agree, though, that the regulative principle will apply primarily to the corporate Christian life, that is, the life of the Church qua church. In the setting, however, of churches renting movie theatres to see this film as (one of) their Sunday service(s), the regulative principle would kick in.
On a personal level, it seems to me blasphemous for any sinful human being to personally portray the One who is "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners." We are those who "go astray from the womb, speaking lies"; how can we depict the One "who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth."?
The Bible tells us that God has chosen us to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth! (2 Thessalonians 2:13) That is the reason theology is vital --saving faith is faith grounded on the truth. Now that doesn't mean that your theology has to be complete: but it does mean that on certain essential points it has to be correct. On that criteria, I don't think your assertion that JWs are out there preaching the Gospel is at all correct. They are out there, all right; it's the rest of the statement that is Biblically false. The Gospel is theology, or doctrine. It is historical facts, and their meaning. Without theology, without doctrine, there is no Gospel; with bad theology, bad doctrine, you have a false gospel.
Raymond Richards (3/23/2004)
Still Concerned About 'The Sermon' For those who want to apply "the regultive principle" to Gibson's film, let us remember that there is no biblical warrant for celebrating Christmas at all- and on Dec.25th in particular. For who like to intone Spurgeon as a basis for some of their actions, let us remember his words (and I am paraphrasing), "...should we celebrate Christmas? Is it a chance to preach the Gospel? Then let us use what the world may hold favorable as an opportunity to preach Christ." Gibson was using an artform to present part of the Gospel narrative. In a similar fashion Handel was using an artform (oratorio) to present the story of salvation. If he was presenting himself behind a pulpit or at a lectern in a Sunday School class then I can see then why we would want to hold him to a much stricter standard.
For those who want to castigate Gibson for this, then why is there not a similar protest from Christians in the reformed camp at every performance of Mozart's Requiem?
Troubling Sermon! It troubles me when I see the emphasis that we put on theology today. It seems that in theology is the key to salvation itself. John 3 16 now reads whosoever has the right theology and doctrine shall be saved. Any conversion in a catholic church is not valid because it dosent comply with my theology. Whats interesting is that while we're busy teaching, preaching and urgueing about theology. There are catholic churches open all day for anyone to come and pray and pour there heart out to God, and JWs are busy preaching the Gospel. But in our vail all to no avail of course because it dosent line up with my theology and is therefore of the devil himself. Yes theology is important and I thank you for standing up and reveling bad theology. But lets remember what Jesus said of the teachers when He walked the earth. May it never be said of us
The Crux of the Matter I think it's important to realize in any discussion of the merits of the "Passion" that there is only one standard by which it can be evaluated: it is not, how useful it is; it is not, what Gibson's motivations were; it is not, how much of a blessing people find it; no, the only standard is the word of God. There are many arguments on these comments about what a blessing it is, or how God can use it. That is utterly irrelevant. The question is only this: "Has God warranted it." God is to be worshipped in the way that He says; and for us to invent our own ways of worshipping him is simply arrogance. It boils down to this: either there is Scriptural warrant for a dramatic depiction of Christ in a movie (and then, of course, it must speak according to the law and testimony or there is no light in it -Isaiah 8:20) and the idea is all right (whatever the merits, individually, of this particular movie is a narrower question); or, movies of this type are not warranted. If they are not, not even a perfect doctrinal content and them starting a revival is a justification for using them. The word of God is our only guide for knowing what is acceptable in the worship of God and the life of the church!
Disturbing Sermon! Im looking forward to seeing the movie, I know alot of catholic theology is messed up, But I pray that God have Mercy on some of our prodestant teachers may there eyes be open that they may see and understand whats really important, A relationship with God
Careful! Allow me to review my earlier comments. After reading some article on "The events of last days", one must be very careful about movies like these ones.
Satan will not suddenly sprang on believers in the last days but will creat a platform for the Anti-Christ. If this movie is catholic in nature (I have not seen it) then we must be careful! I know that Catholics are better than mosques but wrong is wrong and there is no in-between!
The scary scriptures My biggest fear in the Bible are the words of Christ to the religious zealots. The publicans and Harlots enter the Kingdom of God before you.
I have not watched the movie and I have not heard the sermon but I have read the comments.
One thing is for sure, this movie has brought more people to Christ than I have.
Whereas I was blind I now see and I do not know how is in John's book.
William, Namibia, Africa
Vincent Vaichus (3/16/2004)
from Oakville CT
Great Sermon! I'm utterly humbled&thankful 4the Spirit of God warning me as I saw clips of the movie. Seeing that evil woman was 2much 4me. The biblical errors, vileness& evil that could have woven itself into the fabric of my faith for âa little leaven works itself thru the whole loafâConcerning this sermon: Jesus said âyou are either for me or against meâ and that there is no in between. When âiron sharpens ironâ sparks my fly but âbetter is open rebuke than hidden loveâ & it was as a watchman in Ezk33.âYour eyes are the lamp of the bodyâ&âI made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully upon a womeâ&âset no vile thing before your eyesâ& I am sure there r more warnings. We should test the spirits! Jesus said 2his brothers "The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil." We as believers must not continue to allow âthe things of this world to choke out His wordâ we must strive 2b holy (set apart) because we were âbought with a priceâ and âour lives are not our ownâ.Yes we should live at peace the best we know how...but God says âFor you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light... proving what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.'
Pastor Joe Roof (3/15/2004)
from Albany, New York
Great Sermon! The vicarious suffering of Christ on the cross was one of the most sacred events in human history. Mel Gibson came along and polluted the great truths of this event by adding to the Scriptures. Most Christian leaders have praised this polluted depiction of the sufferings of Christ and have treated with more excitement and enthusiasm than they do their own Bibles. Thank God for men like Pastor Martin who are willing to take a stand - great sermon brother!
Raymond Richards (3/14/2004)
Troubled By sermon I wonder if the reason why there has been such an outcry against Gibson's movie from those from the Reformed perspective is that, deep down, those steeped in the Reformed Faith have a tendency to shy away from words like "love" and or the truth of Christ's humanity. For example, the one attribute of God not mentioned in the Westminster Confessions definition of God is "love." Those of us in the Reformed Faith love the Epistles but really tend to shy away from the Gospels. Why is that? Could it be that we like to think of the Faith as an argument rather than a story. Gibson was presenting a story- not an argument. Do we not in the Reformed Tradition tend to de-personalize Jesus and make Him into a theological concept?
Lets lay down the boxing gloves of judging Gibson's heart and motives and leave things to God. He "rides above the storm and plants His footstep in the sea." In in all of our hymnals, we are able to sing the melodyin our hymnal taken from a secular symphony, Beeethoven's Ninth, certainly God can purify and redeem whatever perceived difficulties everyone thinks is wrong with the movie. Oh! Shame on us for singing that melody that ws really about some fictitious place called "Elysium"!
from Jette, Belgium
Commercialization of the Gospel Message I wonder if those going to see this movie, ponder upon paying their admission fee to the movie theater to pay for this *commercial* undertaking, the words of Paul in his second letter to the church at Corinth.
2 Corinthians 2:17
Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God.
from Slidell, LA
Great Sermon! Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, Jesus be cursed, and no one can say, Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.
We saw Christ in this movie. We saw the price he paid for sin, his suffering that was foretold in the prophets, his divinity, his authority over the devil and over death, his love for his children, his infinite wisdom in the face of his tormentors, and his words - the words of Scripture that speak the Gospel regardless of their context. You can't tell me that anyone in our modern day will worship some image in a movie, or bow down to a man's face as if the face itself were holy, or latch onto every little Catholic insinuation and make it their doctrine. Jesus was central to the whole story, and everyone left the theater thinking about HIM - not about the peripherals that we Reformers are famous for getting hung up on. The devil would like nothing better than to keep Christians talking about the movie, and not about Jesus; our conscience is our own regarding whether we approve of it, but the fact is that people are seeing "The Passion" and wondering what Christ is all about. We have the preaching of the Word and the gifts of the Spirit, and God help us if we spend them working against something that portrays Christ crucified.
Raymond Richards (3/13/2004)
Troubling Sermon I do not share everyone's enthusiasm for Rev. Martin' message. One of the points made by Rev.Martin is an objection to the focus on the physical sufferings of Christ and that Gibson's description was h ighly speculative. Yet, many in the Protestant tradition have preachng many messages on the "soul suffering" of Christ. This too is highly speculative if not more so.
However, the most unfortunate turn in this sermon was at the end wherein Rev.Martin admonished the congregation to choose between him(the elders) and Mel Gibson. Only God in His Word can bind the conscience; not the particular application of a well-meaning Christian. Is not putting such an wedge between people's consciences and God inviting one of the worst forms of image worship- the pleasing of man?
Furthermore, if preaching and the Lord's Supper is the only legitimate means of Gospel expression, perhaps we all should line up to have a real "book burning" of Handel's "Messiah."
Great Sermon! For all you who oppose this movie and all the "Catholic" scenes, I am truly dismayed. I am a Baptist preacher and quite honestly am tired of hearing about how "evil" others are. How about getitng the mote out of our own eyes before trying to remove our brothers mote. We have become so critical in everything we do concerning Christianity that we cause people not to want to be like us. Shame on those who degrade others because they think like you. We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. We are continually being saved because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. Praise God He's alive! There is no room for such criticism in Christ's work. Instead of calling things (like the "Passion") heresy, and the people behind them evil, why don't you try to see them saved from the firey pits of Hell to Heaven. Use the law to show God's love for them instead of being critical. The question is not "what would Jesus do" but "what did Jesus do". He pointed out heresy in the religious factions and showed them how to go to Heaven by spill His love, His blood, on the ground. I believe that was very well portrayed in this movie and that quite honestly was the intent of the show. Use it as an evangelistic tool. Use it like you eat fish, spit out the bones.
Great Sermon! Keep On Keep'n On Pastor! Matt. 19:14 "But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven."
It's interesting that "Christians" are raving about "The Passion" as being the greatest tool of all time to bring people to Christ. (What about God's Word?)
"The Passion" comes with an "R" rating for intense, brutal violence. If this film were really of God, it would have been made in such a way that children could have come with their parents to view the film.
Matt. 18:5 "And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me."
We also see a warning from Jesus:
Matt. 18:6 "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believeth in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the sea."
Apparently, Mr. Gibson took this warning to heart when he made "The Passion" with "R" rated content, thus blocking the attendance of children.
Prior to hearing this sermon by Pastor Martin, I had already decided this was not a film that I would take my family.
I applaud Pastor Martin's stand for truth in a time of dangerous deception.
I have no desire to see a film depiction of my best Friend being brutalized.
Rev. Todd Shaw (3/10/2004)
from Fairfield, IL.
Thought-Provoking Message! I am amazed that so much is said about âThe Passionâ breaking the second commandment. If you accept Dr. Martinâs criticism of this movie based on this principle, then again you must thoroughly purge yourself from âany likeness of anything (Exodus 20:4)â. All crosses, ten commandment monuments, nativity scenes (living or otherwise), holiday ornaments and decorations, biblical paintings, illustrated bibles (yes, childrenâs bibles too), etcâŠThey must all be done away with according to Dr. Martinâs interpretation of the second commandment. This point has even more room to goâŠIf any likeness of anything means what it says, then what about family portraits, newspapers, postcards, wallpaperâŠridiculous right? Not according to Dr. Martinâs position of any likeness of anything. Again, it is possible to keep the letter of the law without keeping the spirit of it. Nevertheless, this is obviously a thought-provoking message.
Roman Scourging Those who don't believe Jesus was beaten as badly as Mel Gibson portrays, please consult Chapter 27 of "Christ on Trial" by Dr. Klaas Schilder, who was hardly a Romanist, for a description of Roman scourging. "The Romans...found the punishment so gruesome that they permitted it to accrue to Roman citizens only in the most extraordinary cases". He suffered thusly for His people.
Mary Co-Redeemer Part 2 When Christ is being beaten by Roman soldiers He falls to His knees. But suddenly He looks up and sees Mary! He then has the strength to stand back up on His feet to the great astonishment and amazement of the Roman soldiers who acclaim that it is a miracle. But then the movie portrays her doing it again.
Mary then is able to see satan following Christ. Christ and Mary are the only oneâs who can see satan in the movie, no one else can see him. Again, this is the portrayal of the Co-suffering of both Christ and Mary in Melâs Co-Redemptrix theology.
The source of another icon relic is portrayed by ICON Productions in their movie production of The Passion. A woman hands a towel to Christ to wipe His face. But instead of wiping His face in a ânatural wayâ Christ only presses the towel directly to His face which we later see forms the outline of His face on the towel in blood. This is supposedly the source of the famous Roman Catholic relic of Christâs facial impression on cloth.
Mary and most of the women around her all looked like nuns. The dark robe covering their heads with the white trim on the inside of their hoods was very, very nun-like.
I also donât believe Christ suffered those deep wounded scars all over His body.
Mary Co-Redeemer Part 1 The movie starts out with "ICON Productions" and then a picture of an ICON with the sound of a loud thunderclap that follows the image.
At the beginning of the movie Mary is awoken suddenly and supernaturally in what appears to be her home when Christ's suffering has begun. She is shown in a house living with another woman by themselves with no husband or children or any relatives. It reminded me of a convent. This is portrayed again and again in the movie.
Throughout Christ's entire suffering ordeal Mary is present suffering at every point. This is the doctrine of Mary Co-Redemptrix that both Mel and the Pope believe.
All the disciples called Mary "Mother" with a capital "M" throughout the movie. Of course this is the Roman Catholic doctrine that Mary is the âMother of God.â
Peter falls on his knees in front of Mary and confesses his sins to her of his denying Christ three times. Mary reaches out to touch and comfort Peter but he backs up on his knees saying he is unworthy of her.
Mary is honored by the wife of Pontius Pilate! Pilateâs wife brings Mary towels while bowing her head Mary then uses the towels to wipe-up the blood of Christ which is the source of a famous Roman Catholic relic.
Simon green (3/4/2004)
from Ipswich, Great Britain
Thoughtful Scriptural Insight Although "The Passion" has not arrived here in the UK I thought I'd listen to the sermon before it does, despite my reservations about seeing the film anyway. I think Pastor Martin gives sufficient credit to the film at the beginning and then shows its shortcomings. The overriding issue, which he mentions at the end, is the flagrant breaking of the 2nd Commandment. This does not appear to have been previously mentioned much in other comments. How can a Christian then endorse such a thing? Whether one is an advocate of the film for evangelistic purposes or whatever, this film flies in the face of the 2nd Commandment. How then, with Exodus 20 open, can a true believer go and see this idolatry? It truly is beyond me. If people are willing to talk on spiritual matters because of the film then we should give God the praise that they do so but there is absolutely no Biblical justification whatsoever for a born-again Christian to see this film.
howell davis (3/4/2004)
from Brighton, Michigan
Great Sermon! May the Father bless you for exposing this defilement of our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus through the Word. Amen
G. Coate (3/4/2004)
Where is the discernment? I have wondered why this film seems to be so overwhelmingly accepted by nearly all the churches around me? I wish that we could have been presented with some background on it in church before endorsing it from every direction.
from New Jersey, USA
A Conflict but Gospel Opportunity That Mel's movie is thoroughly Roman Catholic just about everyone agrees, especially Mr. Gibson.
May I recommend a book to everyone related to the very real and serious conflict between biblical Protestantism and Roman Catholicism? It is "The Reformation's Conflict with Rome - Why it Must Continue" by Robert L Reymond. Trinity Book Service has a great price if you don't have the book yet. There can not be peace between the biblical gospel and truth and the religion of Rome. My spiritual forefathers proved that with their blood. Please, read this excellent book and you will understand why they did and why we must stand with them.
Please pray that God will show Mel Gibson the serious error of Roman Catholicism and that many would turn to the Bible as a result of this movie to learn themselves of the true gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ by grace alone, through faith alone. Brethren, whatever our views of the movie, let us redeem the time wisely!
Norman Smith (3/4/2004)
from Surrey UK
passion sermon Daniel, i have read brother Shaw's comment again, and you actually seem to be in disagreement to him, rather than agreeing !
You may be ashamed to be a Christian sometimes, but...
I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth... Romans 1:16
response to other comments ugh...I just noticed that the name goes before the comment. I previously meant to say I agree with "Rev. Todd Shaw" (3/2/2004), and I urge others to read his comment.
response to other comments Sometimes I am ashamed to call myself a Christian, not because of an immoral lifestyle, but because of the absurd manifestations and teachings propagated by "Spirit-filled" Christians, who in an absurd rendition of God's Word transform their characters into unsupportable bloated spiritual critics. Without a doubt there are absolutes on which one must unequivocally draw the line, but a major character flaw of religious overzealots is the transformation of EVERYTHING into either demonically possessed or heaven sent. Just as an example look at Romans 7, where the Apostle Paul himself discusses his own shortcomings. BTW what about Peter when he sinnend in Galatians chapeter 2? From what "tree" did he act? etc. Good people do bad things and vice versa. This to say that the movie (which affected me greatly) is of course imperfect, but one should rather have people talking of Jesus than Allah. Personally when driving I would rather see Churches than mosques, even Catholic churches, though terribly wrong in doctrine, and historically monstrous in actionâŠbut it is the duty of true Christians to switch from vocabulary to experience and present Jesus as He is to these whom through such experiences as religion, and this movie, have shown an interest in the Lord.
-I agree with M Jones
A True Believer (3/3/2004)
Great Sermon! Praise God for a pastor who speaks the truth instead of seeking to tickle our ears with pleasant words. To those who think that this movie is good, I say,"There are none so blind as those who would not see."
A good tree cannot bear evil fruit and an evil tree cannot bear good fruit. This movie is thoroughly Catholic as any thinking person would expect it to be since it was conceived and planned that way by its thoroughly Catholic director, Mel Gibson. Mel does not know the Gospel message and therefore cannot deliver it on film. This movie is an abomination. No true believer should be polluting his mind by viewing it or giving his money to the "enemy" through paying admission to it.
For those who feel it necessary to view the film before being allowed to have an opinion of it, I would ask "If a bottle were labelled poison, would you want to taste it just to be sure?"
Norman Smith (3/3/2004)
from Surrey UK
passion sermon Bob,
you hinted that i was "ganging up "on Michael because i suggested he was in the slough of despond. This was not so.
It is found in Pilgrims progress, and relates to brethren who are discouraged and down.
Just thought that i would point that out.
Rev. Todd Shaw (3/2/2004)
from Fairfield, IL
Great Sermon! I know that from a fundamentalist worldview we tend to look at everything as ârightâ or âwrongâ and I agree that the world needs more absolutes than it will ever accept. However, in the church world I am afraid that this practice of coloring all things with one of two colors only makes our religion appear two-dimensional and shallow. We attempt to keep the letter of the law without keeping the spirit of the law. I am not defending Mr. Gibsonâs movie because, quite frankly, he doesnât need my help. I do however want to address the following purpose statement made by Dr. Martin. âThe filmâs visual reenactment of Christ crucified as a medium of conveying the message of the gospel is a radical and arrogant substitute for the God-ordained medium of presenting Christ crucified to a sinful worldâ. Following this statement to its logical end, there can be no relevant expression of the gospel other than the preached word. This means that all movies (past, present and future), âgospelâ music, drama (which must include: Passion plays, puppet shows, cartoons, and even flannel-graphs) are hereby rendered invalid mediums to convey the gospel message according to Dr. Martin. Nobody is saying âLetâs add the gospel of Mel to the Bibleâ.
Mark Jones (3/2/2004)
from Sackville, NB, Canada
Great Sermon! Great Sermon. Finest preacher in the world at the moment in my opinion (and many others). Here are some thoughts on the movie. The Passion of Christ - What the movie does not tell you! There is a firestorm of activity in media circles regarding the movie, âThe Passion of Christâ, directed by Mel Gibson, which has led to a plethora of heated discussion. Despite the flagrant Mariolatry and non-biblical interpolations, courtesy of Gibson embracing the mad ravings of the Catholic âprophetâ Anne Catherine Emmerich, I felt that the movie was average and mostly a tool for Evangelical and Roman Catholic proselytization. Strangely, Evangelicals seem to believe that a Roman Catholic spin-off of the âPassion of Christâ is going to convert the world. Though I doubt they would have picked up on the specious Catholic mythology (ie: St. Veronica wiping Jesusâ face) and flagrant abuse of the Scripture. Commendation must go out to Gibson, however, for his consistency - being a Feeneyite Catholic. He believes his Anglican wife is going to hell because she is outside of âthe Churchâ(Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus). Many Catholics today are ignorant of the Council of Trent Canons (Canons 9, 12, 14, 23, 24) which pronounce a curse upon sola fideans (true Protestants) - âlet him be anathemaâ.
Bob W. (3/2/2004)
. "i reckon Michael is a brother who is perhaps in the slough of despond"
I don't see the need to gang up on him.
"...thanking those at sermonaudio.com for having the courage to take a stand against The Passion movie"
I don't think putting this sermon up amounts to "taking a stand." and I'm sure it doesn't represent the majority of people involved with the site. I would want to know your movie viewing habits, did you see Lord of the Rings? I did. I did listen to the sermon and it stuck me as more "devils advocate" then anything else, some of his points were quite a stretch.
I don't need a pastor to do my thinking, if a pastor tried to tell me what movies I can watch I'd give him the once over. We are Christians, not Muslims - we get to think for ourselves and make our own choices.
Norman Smith (3/2/2004)
from Surrey UK
Passion sermon Bob, Frank,
so glad that you are blessed by the preaching on sermonaudio.
I cannot really believe that Michael is definitely leaving for good, that will be sad.
I am sure dear Pastor Martin would be upset to think so as well.
i may be wrong, but i reckon Michael is a brother who is perhaps in the slough of despond at the moment and needs a helping hand and some encouragement from two or three compassionate sants.
Stay with us Michael !
See the Movie I left the movie with my faith renewed. I can not begin to comprehend why evangelicals would demonize a movie that has the potential to open so many doors. Have you notice that everyone is talking about Jesus lately? I can say the same negative things about so many of the sermons on this site. Why should we listen to them if we have the Bible next to us. We listen to be uplifted. I watched the movie to be uplifted and I was.
Frank Warren (3/2/2004)
from Topeka, KS
Thank You Sermon Audio! I thought I would counter Michael's comment by thanking those at sermonaudio.com for having the courage to take a stand against The Passion movie, when it appears that everyone else is heavily in favor of it. I would also like to thank the Pastors for their courageous stand against it. I will continue to use and support this website, and I will encourage others to do the same.
Bob W. (3/2/2004)
from Little Rock
Michael Michael, your comment is exactly spot on, at least in defending the speakers arguments. If you need your theology from Hollywood and the Catholic church then you should stay and listen to more sermons. This is the problem with the American Church, we follow whoever has the shiniest trinkets.
Good Bye Sermon Audio Since your website has come out firmly against The Passion movie, and since you have not bothered to even TRY to be impartial or balanced, I would like to be removed from your mailing list, newsletter etc. immediatley. I guess maybe you and all the Pastors that have spoken out against this movie should go and look up all the people who have turned their lives over to Jesus Christ and have been saved as a result of the tide that has swept over our nation this last week and tell them to "take it back!, Satan really deceived you through this movie". Like I said, Good bye Sermonaudio.com, I will not be back.
howell davis (3/1/2004)
from Brighton, Michigan
Great Sermon! Dear Brother Martin,
Yesterday I testified in my Chrch of Christ that, BEFORE due bible study, I endorsed the film and thereby gave false witness. I confessed, asked for forgiveness, and advised them to shun the film. People got up and walked out. I have been gently admonished by an elder. My minister endorsed the film on a "I hear it's pretty good basis."
I stand by what I said and send blessings to the Lord's message through your spoken word.
John Tjandra (2/29/2004)
from Castro Valley, C.alifornia
Great Sermon! Thank you for giving this sermon about The Passion Movie.
Now I know that it is unbiblical to see this movie.
May God bless your ministry
Sean Isaacs (2/29/2004)
from New Jersey
An interesting perspective This sermon brought up some interesting points. I appreciate everything Pastor Martin had to say, keeping in mind that he had not seen the film. Pastor Martin has been one of my favorite preachers for almost 10 years. My family and I had the pleasure of sitting under his ministry for many months before relocating.
With that said, I had the pleasure of seeing "The Passion" yesterday before hearing this sermon. I walked out of the theatre feeling convicted that "...even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed [himself] to him that judgeth righteously..." I felt unworthy that the Soverign Lord not only laid down His life, but suffered for me. Who am I to complain about everyday trials?
Since watching the movie, My wife and I read though the Gospels' account of Christ sufferings, and found that the movie was suprisingly close to scripture. Praise God!!!
It is my prayer that each Christian makes a choice about this movie, based upon his or her conscience soaked in the Word.
This sermon gives some good principles regarding christian liberty.
Scott Jensen (2/29/2004)
Great Sermon! It feels strange, being outside the majority amongst the people I love and worshiped our Lord together with. I can not agree with anyone saying this movie is Holy and annointed. Centuries have churches fought wars over there differences, so I am now left with a question. How can so many different churches from Roman Catholic to Evangelistic, all agree on this Catholic doctrine based movie? Can Satan not come to us in the form of an angel of light? Thank you Pastor Albert, my wife and I started to feel that we were the only ones who could see the truth. We were so GunHo about this movie, then all of a sudden we wanted no part of it. May the real Truth continue through this dark time we are heading into.
Jacob Schenkel (2/29/2004)
from Shanghai, China
It's all about discernment People will draw lines about what in the world they will and will not expose themselves to. Some people will draw lines from their Bible and decide an event is not for them. Others will pray and feel GodÂĄÂŻs guidance. There are certainly a lot of opinions out there; they canÂĄÂŻt all be right or all wrong. As Rev. Martin notes that aside of himself there are many credible scholars who use scripture to point out strong spiritual value in the film. So who is right? God is right and if his spirit is in you he will tell you if you should or should not see this film. We all experience faith, doubt, and life in our own way. Our faith is just as unique as our being. I thank Rev. Martin for his sound guidance, but reserve to make this decision between God and myself.
Timothy Decker Howard (2/29/2004)
from Lewisville, Texas
Mixed views I believe Bro. Martin has made some very valid points and I agree with a very dear pastor whom I have grown to love just by listening to his sermons. Please do not take this therefore as a disagreement with someone who I respect very, very much. My family and I have seen the movie and while there are some questionable scenes, I believe overall the film should be seen or rather experienced. I believe Christianity has become too watered down and the price that Jesus paid for our sins is either overlooked or not given the emphasis that it should. The film unquestionably emphasizes the love and forgiveness of our Saviour. Additionally, we are moved to be totally dependent on the Father as the Son so perfectly gave us the example.
I believe that Mel is a deeply committed brother in the Lord and will listen to suggestions, criticisms and exhortations and is mature enough spiritually to learn from mistakes and be encouraged by fellow brothers and sisters who care about preserving the authenticity of the Sciptures.
Frank Warren (2/29/2004)
from Topeka, KS
Church Pastors Need To Hear This Sermon More Than Anyone Else! Thank you for this much needed sermon! It's fairly obvious to anyone that "The Passion" will not start a revival in this country, but is just a passion fad that will hopefully go the way of Tickle Me Elmo and the Beanie Baby. We can only PRAY that will not turn into anything more than that. This sermon already has over 3,300 downloads in just under a week which is absolutely amazing.
Paul Gruendler (2/28/2004)
from Atlanta(s) the Lost City.....
'Cinematically Curious' Curious: the crowd lobbying for the public displays of the ten commandments seems to be the same crowd in the lobby of the cineplex. Ironically, the Roman Catholic 'ten' OMIT the second!
More proof that the church of Rome and that of Nashville honor the same 'gospel/:
F R E E - W I L L
Pastor Mark Street (2/28/2004)
from Johnson City, TN
Great Sermon! Pastor Albert Martin has delivered a powerful message as to the ramifications of whether to view Mel Gibson's movie, The Passion of the Christ. Before hearing this sermon, I too had been caught up in the hype of the movie. I wanted to go to the movie because I am a pastor myself and I feel it my obligation to be able to give my honest evaluation of this presentation to any inquiring members of the congregation I serve and lead. After listening to this sermon, I have my concerns about viewing it now. When I participate in the Lord's Supper, I don't want the image of the actor portraying Christ in this movie to come to my mind. I may still go see the movie, but if the Lord leads me not to see it, I will not go watch it. I don't need a movie by imperfect men to move me concerning the crucifixion of my Lord. We have the All Sufficient Word of God to do that. If souls are brought to Christ for salvation through this movie, I say praise the Lord!
Still Waters Revival Books (2/28/2004)
from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Interesting message! In this message Al Martin hits some very useful points that I've not heard mentioned before -- making this an interesting and informative study.
Aaron Turner (2/28/2004)
from Live Oak, Florida
Great Sermon! I was going to see this movie, but after listening to this sermon, there is no way under God's heaven that I could ever bring myself to go. I am doing everything I can to influence others not to go.
JM Noe (2/28/2004)
The Passion of The Christ Thank you for your input, you have raised some very good points. However, I saw this movie before learning all the hype and those of you who don't watch TV can understand how this can happen. Just as in scripture, the picture does show the first blood being shed in the Garden of Gethsemane. Mark 14:33-38; Luke 22:39-44.. Jesus was very distressed, troubled, in agony and grieved to the point of death. and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground. With regard to the penalty that Jesus had to pay for our sins, I found this movie to be the closest account to the original scriptures that has ever been made. I have seen this movie once but would not agree to see it again; just as his disciples, who were physically present, would not want to watch it again. In scripture, the centurian was converted at the foot of the cross saying, "Truly this was the Son of God." Matt 27:54. While watching the movie, I read no words being put into the mouth of our Lord that were not in scripture. Yes, Hollywood used dramatization to make its movie in movie form. And you are right about who it is that has put this film together and their erroneous religious practices but the Apostle Paul said, "Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will; .......the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, rather than from pure motives, ........What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice, yes, and I will rejoice.
Great Sermon! James,
Thank you for your testimony!!!
You are a blessing to many of us who have taken a stand for the Lord.
The truth shall set you free! I had seen The Passion before I heard this sermon. I felt convicted as soon as I left the theatre. This sermon not only reinforced those convictions, but brought on many more. As Christians we need to take a stand against the Biblical untruths being set before so many in this film. I now truly understand the idolatry issue after hearing this and have taken it to heart. Thank you for this sermon.
Michael F (2/27/2004)
Great Sermon! An earlier reviewer said, "Who are we to limit the means that our Lord can use to reach the lost?" Well, I can just as easily say "Who are we to reach the lost by means that we unauthorized or unbiblical?" We don't limit the Lord, but the Lord has limited US in what we can use to reach teh lost -- that is, by preaching and writing from and about Scripture (John 20:31, Romans 10:14-17).
Since you love the Truth..listen to this Whether you are planning to see Gibson's new movie or not, I beg you to listen to this sermon. It is a terrific example of wise pastoral council. May God bless you all!
Thank you Pastor Martin Thank you for this thoughtful study and warning to Protestants who might be swept away in the media frenzy surrounding this movie. I found both the study and the extra resources at Trinity's website very helpful.
R. Davis (2/25/2004)
from Tulsa, OK
Viewer Beware! How quick we "christians" are to turn our backs on the true gospel of Jesus Christ. How could we so easily be deceived (our scriptures foretells of this mass deception). How dare we fall prey to the "whore of babylon". I praise Pastor Martin for his uncompromised view of this blantant promotion of the catholic agenda (the false church). If this church allows homosexuality as common place.....how much more will it belittle and demean our true and living Savior. I to, will be with Pastor Martin, in sitting this one out! God have mercy on us for our blind ignorance!
phil holland (2/25/2004)
from burbank california
Great Sermon! excellent sermon from pastor Martin
and should be shared to all the evangelical community . May we have the proper biblical discernment for the subtle deception that is taking place in the world today .
from Athens, GA
Be Careful I think we all need to be careful about what we say about this film before we view it...especially if we do not plan on viewing it. Who are we to limit the means that our Lord can use to reach the lost?
from South Carolina
Right on the mark! Listen up! I found this sermon to be right on the mark! Give it a chance and listen from beginning to end. You will think twice about what "The Passion" is all about. This is a must-hear for all who are wondering what to think about this new film... and who may be on the border of opinion.
Charly Garza (2/24/2004)
from Hughson, Ca.
Great Sermon! What a teriffic message on the reasons not to view this blasphemous film. The fundamental elements of repentance/forsaking of sin that our Lord taught are not focused on in this film. We should not be ENTERTAINED by something that adds or takes away from holy scripture, which this film does. This film has a catholic and presents an image of our Lord that is not the emphasis of scripture. This is nothing more than a tool used by satan to send nonbelievers out of a theatre convinced that the spiritual aspect of their life is somehow more taken care of than before viewing the film. THANK YOU Pasor Martin!!!!!!
Mike Compton (2/24/2004)
Sermon makes important points! Admidst the tsunami of prostestant evangelical celebration for this film, Martin remains unswept in his committment to the biblical gospel. With respect for the popular sentiment being expressed for Gibson's movie, this pastor articulates many critical concerns about the film's effect on our understanding of the real savior. As we begin the 21st century, we see that the spiritual issues that defined the 16th century reformation are move relevant then ever. Mankind's spiritual feet are ever prone to slipping down the slippery slope of pragmatic and self-authenticated truth. This problem can manifest itself in the mystical priestcraft of the Roman church, or the material emotionalism of the American church. Thus a meticulously graphic depiction of a crucifixion becomes only an empty container waiting to be filled with whatever gospel our carnal hearts desire.
For over forty years, Pastor Albert N. Martin faithfully served the Lord and His people as an elder of Trinity Baptist Church of Montville, New Jersey. Due to increasing and persistent health problems, he stepped down as one of their pastors, and in June, 2008, Pastor Martin and...