Below are some negative and positive feedback on the "Passion", movie:
Change of date! It's actually starting earlier-March 12th-since the owner of the local theatre noticed how BIG this movie is and everybody is heading out of town to see it. He decided to do it 2 weeks earlier and prayfully, it might be in Morris for a month-a very rare occasion for this small city!
-20+ from IVCF went on Friday, February 27th as a group to Alexandria
-5+ from Chi Alpha went on Saturday, February 28th
-Coach Reese, UMM Wrestling Coach, took some of his wrestlers
Good or Bad News?
Word of Mouth:
-someone ended up speaking in tongues towards the end of the movie in New Orleans
-someone got a heart attack and died the first week the movie was played (Associated Press)
-a baby's left eye that wasn't in good condition was healed, which the mother notice after she was going to put some regular eye drops when the lights turned on after she was watching the movie (Trinity Broadcasting Network-Monday, March 15th @7pm CDT Show-this evening!)
-a Neo Nazi confesses of previous bombings he did in the past after watching this movie (heard this from Steve at homegroup on 3/30/04) according to ABC Radio yesterday)
Christ movie sparks neo-Nazi confession
Mon 29 March, 2004 13:37
OSLO (Reuters) - A Norwegian neo-Nazi has confessed to two bombings a decade ago after a pang of repentance triggered by watching U.S. director Mel Gibson's controversial film "The Passion of the Christ".
Johnny Olsen, 41, went to police after watching the movie about the death of Christ to admit that he was behind the previously unexplained bombings against anarchist squatters in Oslo in the mid-1990s.
....more News, from the Passion-Movie Website
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2004 08:48:58 -0600
Here is part of the article on THE PASSION that was in today's NY Times. I have to believe that Satan really doesn't want people to see this movie. Read the spin here:
"The Passion of Christ is so relentlessly focused on the savagery of Jesus' final hours that this film seems to arise less from love than from wrath, and to succeed more in assaulting the spirit than in uplifting it. Mr. Gibson has constructed an unnerving and painful spectacle that is also, in the end, a depressing one. It is disheartening to see a film made with evident and abundant religious conviction that is at the same time so utterly lacking in grace.
Mr. Gibson has departed radically from the tone and spirit of earlier American movies about Jesus, which have tended to be palatable (if often extremely long) Sunday school homilies designed to soothe the audience rather than to terrify or inflame it.
His version of the Gospels is harrowingly violent; the final hour of "The Passion of the Christ" essentially consists of a man being beaten, tortured and killed in graphic and lingering detail. Once he is taken into custody, Jesus (Jim Caviezel) is cuffed and kicked and then, much more systematically, flogged, first with stiff canes and then with leather whips tipped with sharp stones and glass shards. By the time the crown of thorns is pounded onto his head and the cross loaded onto his shoulders, he is all but unrecognizable, a mass of flayed and bloody flesh, barely able to stand, moaning and howling in pain.
The audience's desired response to this spectacle is not revulsion, but something like the cowering, quivering awe manifested by Mary (Maia Morgenstern), Mary Magdalen (Monica Bellucci) and a few sensitive Romans and Jerusalemites as they force themselves to watch. Disgust and awe are not, when you think about it, so far apart, and in Mr. Gibson's vision one is a route to the other.
By rubbing our faces in the grisly reality of Jesus' death and fixing our eyes on every welt and gash on his body, this film means to make literal an event that the Gospels often treat with circumspection and that tends to be thought about somewhat abstractly. Look, the movie seems to insist, when we say he died for our sins, this is what we mean."
I am going to the movie this afternoon. But I was reminded of a few scriptures that should be noted before seeing the movie.
Zechariah's prophecy "They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. (Zechariah 12:10)
Eventually all people will realize that Jesus, the man who was pierced and killed, is indeed the Messiah. There will be an awakening, with sorrow for sin and genuine revival. (When you go to the movie, be thoughtful and listen for people crying and weeping following the film (I might be one of them) - this will be a conformation to the verse in Zechariah). The crucified Messiah will be clearly revealed (Philippians 2:10, Revelations 5:13).
Maybe the great hurrah by Jewish leaders is because Satan realizes that looking on the cross will convert Jews... Also read this from Isaiah Chapter 53 - which talks of suffering of Christ years before it happened.... 1Who believes what we've heard and seen? Who would have thought GOD's saving power would look like this?
2The servant grew up before God--a scrawny seedling, a scrubby plant in a parched field. There was nothing attractive about him, nothing to cause us to take a second look. 3He was looked down on and passed over, a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand. One look at him and people turned away. We looked down on him, thought he was scum. 4But the fact is, it was our pains he carried-- our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures. 5But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him--our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed. 6We're all like sheep who've wandered off and gotten lost. We've all done our own thing, gone our own way. And GOD has piled all our sins, everything we've done wrong, on him, on him. 7He was beaten, he was tortured, but he didn't say a word. Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered and like a sheep being sheared, he took it all in silence. 8Justice miscarried, and he was led off-- and did anyone really know what was happening? He died without a thought for his own welfare, beaten bloody for the sins of my people. 9They buried him with the wicked, threw him in a grave with a rich man, Even though he'd never hurt a soul or said one word that wasn't true. 10Still, it's what GOD had in mind all along, to crush him with pain. The plan was that he give himself as an offering for sin so that he'd see life come from it--life, life, and more life. And GOD's plan will deeply prosper through him. 11Out of that terrible travail of soul, he'll see that it's worth it and be glad he did it. Through what he experienced, my righteous one, my servant, will make many "righteous ones," as he himself carries the burden of their sins. 12Therefore I'll reward him extravagantly-- the best of everything, the highest honors-- Because he looked death in the face and didn't flinch, because he embraced the company of the lowest. He took on his own shoulders the sin of the many, he took up the cause of all the black sheep.
Be mindful of this scripture when you watch the movie. I believe in my heart that Jesus doesn't want you see the violence of the Roman scourge, or the intense suffering and pain with death on the cross. No, He doesn't want you to see that at all. He desire for you is only to see how much He loves you. He went through it all for you. The pain, the suffering, the humiliation, the separation of the Father was all for one reason: to show you His intense love for you! He wanted to save you from eternal separation, He wanted to have fellowship with you, He wants to spend eternity with you. To Jesus you were worth it all!
Fw: The Passion Hits the Middle East!/MUSLIMS HEAR IT IN AHHHH.
Mar 26, 2004
"The Passion" Hits the Middle East! MUSLIMS HEAR IT IN AHHHH.
Sent: Sunday, March 21, 2004 9:26 AM
Subject: The Passion in the Middle East
Today very possibly was the most significant day we have seen in nearly 12 years of living in the Middle East. To everyone's shock and surprise, "The Passion" was released here in xxxxx. Just a few days ago when xxxxx prayed for it to come to xxxxx in our prayer meeting (we knew it was opening in the United Arab Emirates in about a week), I honestly had no faith whatsoever that her prayer would be answered. You have to realize that until now we have only been able to show the "Jesus" film in Arabic to a handful of xxxxx in the secret of a home setting. In the coming weeks, potential 10's of thousands of Arab Muslims will see this powerful portrayal of Christ's suffering and death.
Today at 4:30 PM, our entire team went to see the film. Since all of us have heard many different reactions and responses to the film, I won't add very much to that discussion here.
However, I don't think anybody who has seen this film saw it in a theater which was full of Gulf Arab Muslims - both men and women. In two short hours, more xxxxx heard the Gospel than I have been able to reach in nearly 5 years of living here. The Arabic subtitles were completely accurate - they didn't water ANYTHING down or change any language that Muslims would not agree with. All of us watched the film in absolute amazement in what God had done. The Muslims sitting around us were being moved - gasping, crying and reacting with disgust to the brutality that Jesus faced.
Now - if you have heard anything about why the Arab Muslims would want to see the film, you know that it is because they "heard" it was anti-Jewish, and since they hate the Jews, they want to see it. How interesting that God is using this film to communicate the Gospel and the very opposite spirit that might be motivating them to go and see it. The message to LOVE YOUR ENEMIES, and Jesus praying for them to be forgiven while on the Cross would hit the Muslim theater-goer in a powerful way.
Just as Satan surely felt that he was winning when Christ began to suffer, ultimately it was the plundering of his house and his complete defeat. Muslims are going to see this film because of their hatred and in the end, the message they will hear is to LOVE. Is it not just like God to do something like that? They mean it for evil, and God means it for good!!
Below is an excerpt from the newspaper article that was run today in the local newspaper:
" xxxxx ."
There is yet another motivation that xxxxx had in releasing this film and that was to be "the first country in the Middle East" to show the film. xxxxx is trying to change its image and portray itself as a tolerant Muslim country. Little do they know that this film is exposing their people to many truths that their faith categorically denies (The sonship of Christ, the fatherhood of God, the atoning death of Christ for the sins of the world, and of course, the commandment to "Love your enemies").
We are still shell-shocked by what has happened and what will happen in the coming days. Please pray for these urgent requests:
1. That this film will be allowed to be shown for a significant period of
time. It is being shown in 3 different theaters, up to 4 times a day.
Fundamentalists will surely be in an uproar about this unprecedented event.
Just when we thought satellite television was going to be the most
significant way for the Lord to sow the seeds of the Gospel, this film
arrives in Muslim nations!!
2. That this film will cause a major shaking and stirring in the hearts of xxxxx Muslims leading them to salvation.
3. That God will lead us to men and women who have been/will be impacted by this powerful film.
P.S. Also mentioned in the newspaper article today: "Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat watched "The Passion of the Christ" at a private screening in the West Bank city of Ramallah yesterday and said it was not anti-Semitic. He watched the film with Palestinian Muslim and Christian leaders at his headquarters in Ramallah."
I know I sent out the report of xxxxx sharing the Gospel personally with Yasser Arafat a few months ago. May this film help him to come to Jesus and learn to "love his enemies," too!!
We'll keep you updated - it should be VERY INTERESTING.
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