False Christs and the Movies
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We watch little TV or attend movie theaters except for an occasional “decent” movie, special broadcast or news presentation or, on occasion, a really excellent PBS special of our favorite artists. This past week it was interesting to see in perusing the channel lineup how many “false christs” and “false gospels” are portrayed, preached and taught on TV. I was reminded of the article I wrote back in 2004 on the movie “The Passion of Christ” and thought this is a good time to repost it as a reminder to us, our Reformed Women, Theology Girls and to share with those that are unlearned about these things to encourage them to pursue God’s Word for the truth of our God and Savior and not the falsehoods proclaimed and portrayed on their TV sets day after day. Sometimes the error is subtle, other times blatant and sometimes in a poor attempt to share the gospel message . . . Read on…
PASSION OR PASSIONS?
What say ye of the Christ?”
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: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
The Bible teaches that if one part of the man (or his thinking/understanding) is wrong, than his application will be incorrect or skewed. We see this typically in the understanding of the inerrancy of Scripture, baptism, the doctrine of God’s love, and sovereignty. In the present case (the discussion of Mel’s movie, “The Passion”), we see clearly that if one’s “skewed” view of Christ as the Sovereign God of the Universe, with all of His attributes, is not clearly understood or they have “another Christ” such as the Pelagian/Semi-Pelagian/Arminian Idol, they will not see clearly to judge in matters of worship and idolatry. The Scriptural teaching on this will not make sense to them and their “able to reach the masses” with a “pitiful, visual Jesus” will be the way they believe salvation is accomplished, understanding of God’s attributes are understood and thus they will continue in ignorance and idolatry.
When Christ says in His Word that we are to “do all to the glory of God,” that means worship and worship of Christ is every day, in every way and that worship must be prescribed only by Scripture. Where in Scripture does it proclaim His features? No where, and the only reference is that “His visage was marred more than any man.” (Isaiah 52:14) Where in Scripture does it say as He hung on the cross what He was thinking and experiencing in enduring hell on our behalf and separation from God? What man can portray that? What man can portray Almighty Sovereign God that Christ is? Does man not realize that Scripture teaches that Christ is God and that as even the disciples saw Him on the road, in the marketplaces, etc. that He could not be described in detail as we can a person we know? He disappeared, He appeared, He was and is the God-Man. How does a puny, sinful, creature of the Great Creator portray God in the person of Jesus Christ without committing the most horrendous of sins in worshipping “another Christ” and dethroning God and placing himself and his worshippers on the throne? No, it is another gospel, no matter how much you take from the Scripture, it is another Jesus and to be exact, it is a “Jesus” who cannot save, an Idol, made, as sure as the Idols of Babylon, to lead the masses into false worship and idolatry.
Does the Sovereign God of the Universe, who holds each millisecond in His hands and can with one little act or word, destroy everything in a puff, need a film or book or anything else other than what He has ordained in eternity past and the Scriptures, to led men to Himself? No. He has appointed and providentially ordained His elect children from before time and has ordained in what manner they would be brought into the Kingdom of His Son. His means are “preaching of the Word” and the Scriptures. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” He has given us His table, the Lord’s Supper to do “in remembrance of me.” The world is full of false professors of religion and faith in some or other Jesus, but there is only one True Jesus and that Jesus does not use Hollywood or idolatry or sinful means of blaspheming His own Name to accomplish it. He has already accomplished salvation for His people in eternity past to be revealed in them at His appointed time by His Spirit and Word. Man, in his sinful estate, always wants to “climb up” another way and use means, as the children of Israel did in the Old Testament in raising up their golden calf, or today in all of the various cults, other “ologies” “isms” and “psychobabble.” Man, in his natural estate and unlearned man or baby believers, want a Jesus that is of their own liking or “like man.” They violate God’s commandments and as Scripture says, “you thought I was altogether one like yourself” and make God into a false idol of a false salvation.
Conjuring up “images” of God/Christ is the same as the practice of witchcraft. It creates an “idol” and is a clear violation of Scripture and particularly the 2nd Commandment.* Whether one bows down or not is not the question. The question is that you have “added” to and “taken” away from Scripture by adding a man’s image to Almighty God and taken away His attributes and His true image and thus it results in idolatry of the worse kind. There are idols of men, both religious and of the mind or natural life and those are one thing but to take the True Creator, Sustainer and Author of all of life and put a creature’s face to it is the most horrendous of sin and will, most assuredly, result in judgment to the violator, one way or the other. God says, “ye shall have no other gods before Me” and this is serious language and serious business. Mel and his cohorts have now become the “Jesus” to whom one looks for salvation, not the God of the Bible, not the True Jesus of the Bible.
When Christ in His humiliation and suffering, was (and is) very God of very God and at the same time the God Man, no one can portray this. Christ endured an eternity in hell for each and every one of His elect children on the cross, paying for their sins and by His substitutionary death, obtained eternal life for them. Who can portray this substitution? Not one. Who and what could possibly portray a true and biblical “descent into hell”? Not one. Who could portray the “creating, thinking and ruling” mind of God at the cross and the understanding of heaven and earth and all things? Not one. Who could enter into the throne room of God’s eternal counsels in eternity past and “script” what God had accomplished (in its entirety which is unknown to man; “the lamb slain from the foundation of the world”) what God included and encompassed in the cross? Not one, only God Himself. Who can represent what it means to have complete and total separation from God? Not one, only Christ Himself could endure it and portray it.
Questions then indeed arise. Man is looking for “another Christ” and the man-made Christ has always been an idol of the heart and mind, binding the minds of ignorant men and women to a religion of works which only leads to hell and death. Man, in his seeking of a gospel that “tickles” or is visually and emotionally stimulating, will latch onto the Pelagian God represented to the world, the church, in books, plays and movies, and in the pulpits of our churches. Christ has said, “another you will follow” and this is it. Another Jesus is what man follows. True believers, true seekers and followers of Christ are not fooled by this “folly” and disguised “evangelistic” tool of the Evil One. If Christ is portrayed as they would have it, the Evil One would be the victor and the sovereign. Scripture tells us that there is a “broad way” and “narrow way” of salvation. Many we know worship a “false christ” and not the Christ of the Bible. The Christ of the Bible is the Almighty Sovereign God, the triune God, who cannot be made in the likeness of sinful men, nor be worshipped or served by ignorant men, but as He has said, “I AM, who I AM” and thus it is so.
The examination is far deeper than whether we see or partake in the idolatry of this movie, it is where is our heart as believers. Are we following the Christ of the Bible and worshipping Him according to His precepts or are we following a man-made, pitiful, bloody gore, and man-centered-man-type Jesus? We must examine ourselves because it has eternal consequences as God’s Word has said, “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” “What say ye of the Christ”? Don’t be ignorant of the Devil’s devices, proclaim the one true and living God, in His fullness and do not be partakers of the Devil’s evil deeds. If men and women proclaimed Christ with true “passion” as the brethren did of old, in His fullness and sovereignty, we would turn the world upside down for Christ, not through movies, or images, or any other thing of this world but by the power of His Spirit and Word.
Original posting TheologyGirl-ReformedWomen Studies ©2004
Copyright ©2004-2015, TheologyGirl-ReformedWomen, The JoyPals Network, All Rights Reserved.
Our thanks to the Orthodox Presbyterian Church website for their links to the Larger Catechism and Scripture proofs.
*Q. 107. Which is the second commandment?
A. The second commandment is, Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. commandments. 
Exodus 20:4-6. 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: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
Q. 109. What are the sins forbidden in the second commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the second commandment are, all devising, counselling, commanding, using, and anywise approving, any religious worship not instituted by God himself; the making any representation of God, of all or of any of the three persons, either inwardly in our mind, or outwardly in any kind of image or likeness of any creature whatsoever; all worshipping of it, or God in it or by it; the making of any representation of feigned deities, and all worship of them, or service belonging to them, all superstitious devices, corrupting the worship of God, adding to it, or taking from it, whether invented and taken up of ourselves, or received by tradition from others, though under the title of antiquity, custom, devotion, good intent, or any other pretence whatsoever; simony; sacrilege; all neglect, contempt, hindering, and opposing the worship and ordinances which God hath appointed..
The above article is taken from “My Discussion,” a discussion forum of ReformedWomen on the subject of “The Passion” film in 2004.
For further biblical reading/sermons on this subject:
Five Reasons Not to Go See The Passion of Christ
By Andrew J. Webb
The 2nd Commandment and “The Passion of the Christ”
By Ron Gleason
THE BEST TREATMENT ON THIS SUBJECT:
The Passion Movie: To See or Not To See
Rev. Albert N. Martin