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A Moron Reviews The Passion (2004-02-24 - 5:11 p.m.)

I have stated earlier that my new target for MORON is Christopher Kelly of the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I don’t yet have a link to put in under the word “MORON,” but I’m working on it. Well, not working too hard.

Anyway, his last couple of articles concerning Mel Gibson’s Passion of Christ movie have removed any doubt in my mind that this man is a complete and utter idiot. His movie reviews are bad enough, but when he starts to dabble in theology and history, they get even worse.

In his latest article, he complains that Gibson made the scourging scene in Passion way too gruesome and detailed. After all, Kelly states, the Gospels don’t depict it that way. If Kelly had done his homework (as anyone who wishes to set themselves up as any type of scholar would have done), he would know that the target group to which the Gospels were written already KNEW what happens in a scourging and the ensuing crucifixion! They didn’t have to be reminded that the whipping literally ripped pieces of flesh off of a man’s back. They didn’t have to be reminded that, sometimes, men didn’t even survive the scourging to get to the cross that awaited. It was one of the most brutal forms of punishment ever known to man. But, obviously, Kelly chose not to be aware of these facts. And it’s not like the information isn’t readily available. Over 20 years ago, when I was in college, I read papers that depicted the gruesome, brutal nature of scourging and crucifixion. It’s enough to make one nauseous. And I applaud Gibson for having the boldness to depict it on the screen. As the Pope has been quoted as saying, “It is as it was.”

Another thing that boggles my mind is all this talk of anti-Semitism. Balderdash! I am sure that Gibson doesn’t hate Jews and doesn’t want anyone else to. As a Christian, I don’t hate Jews. But for some reason, telling the truth as it was gets us branded as “anti-Semitic.” Yes, the Jewish leaders were the impulse behind the Roman engine that did, technically, crucify Jesus. Kelly complains that Gibson’s Pontius Pilate tries every way imaginable to get out of sending Christ to the cross. That, too, is how it is recorded in Scripture. Pilate did not want to crucify Jesus. But the Jewish leaders threatened him with underlying insinuations that if he didn’t hand Jesus over to them, they would cause trouble for him with Caesar. And the leaders DID, indeed, say “His blood be on us and on our children.” Kelly complains that this is only recorded in Matthew. So what? Does this make it invalid? Matthew’s Gospel was written directly to the Jews, so Matthew makes it a point to include that statement. Another fact that Kelly is blatantly ignorant of.

As I said earlier, I don’t hate any Jews. Matter of fact, I’m kind of glad they rejected Jesus as their Messiah. After all, had they not rejected Jesus, I would have no hope in this life. It was necessary for the salvation of all for the Jews to reject Christ and have Him crucified. The point of all of this is not so much to place blame as just to be historically accurate. Mel Gibson has done a very bold, courageous thing. I pray that the Father will bless him for it. As for Christopher Kelly…what can you expect from a man who thought that “Jackass” was a good movie??

Today’s reading in My Utmost for His Highest discusses sacrifice. It talks about how we begin to identify ourselves with Jesus Christ’s interest in other people. “We have no right in Christian work to be guided by our affinities; this is one of the biggest tests of our relationship to Jesus Christ.” What he means is that we are to lay down our lives for Christ and for His interest in others, not for some cause. Paul’s mission was to attract people to Jesus, not to himself or a particular cause. “If we are abandoned to Jesus, we have no ends of our own to serve.” And once again, Chambers mentions this word, “doormat.” I don’t think I have ever met a man or woman totally abandoned to Christ. I wish that I could be.

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