First is the fact that this movie is ecumenical in its scope, and has persons of all religious persuasions working on a common project. While it always seems good to have people put aside their differences to serve who is jesus christ together, there is always the danger that many of the converts, as in Graham crusades, will be ushered into Romanist or liberal Protestant churches.
Second is the issue of reliability. The difference of this movie from the ones which have preceded it is that all of the others were billed as imperfect, where this one seems to carry a weight of authenticity that is misleading. How many years will it take even the best of saints to unlearn all the false additions to the life of Christ here portrayed. As is typical of Roman concoctions there is a deadly mix here, portrayed by a powerful medium. One thinks immediately of the Left Behind movies that have people absolutely convinced that Jesus is going to make them bypass the Tribulation, though not one Scripture clearly indicates such.
The following internet article is insightful: “The scholars have had a field day. They say the soldiers of imperial Rome would not have spoken Latin, as they do in Gibson’s film, but Greek. Then there is the question of sourcing. Gibson has admitted that his screenplay was based not so much on the Gospels as on the reinterpretation of a 19th century nun… whose hypnotic visions of the Passion included frankly anti-Semitic details missing from the Gospels. According to his critics, Gibson has the Jews clamouring for the death of Jesus in ways that neither the Bible nor the historical record suggest.” No one can take blame away from Jews or any Gentile groups either for the death of Jesus. But the Scriptures are sufficient to prove this point.
Third is the unprecedented union of Church and culture, Church and Hollywood. Is Mel Gibson a born again Christian? One doesn’t know for sure, so “judging” is not allowed. He seems to be a man of some measure of faith, but is he associated with the spreading of the Gospel in other aspects of his career? And is it not true that the same man who wrote the musical score for Bruce Almighty is writing for The Passion of Christ? This is a world that hates Jesus Christ, by and large. Why is it suddenly in love with Him? Why do we need worldly methods to bring people to Jesus? Recently in my Church, the pastor preached a simple but powerful message exposing the truth of God and the hearts of men. Five people responded to the invitation. Is this not any longer acceptable ?
Fourth is the violence. How bloody is the Bible story? The blood has been saving men for these many centuries, without Gibson’s, that is, Emmerich’s, blood and guts portrayal. God has gripped the hearts of men with a still small voice about His undying love. As Bill Jackson of Christians Evangelizing Catholics says, “even graphic photography cannot capture the reality of Christ’s atoning sacrifice.
Fifth, consider the mysteries associated with this film. What of lightning striking the main character, and his full recovery? What of the healings purportedly associated with the making of this film? I can only answer with another question: What of the healings and other attested mighty miracles associated with the alleged appearances of Mary throughout the world and throughout history?