Question and Answer

Mel Gibson's movie The Passion of the Christ

Question: has just published an article, The 2nd Commandment and "The Passion of the Christ" by Ron Gleason, regarding the upcoming movie by Mel Gibson, "The Passion of the Christ," and concludes, I believe rightfully, that the movie violates the 2nd Commandment. It seems to me that the Scriptures warrant such a judgment and historic Reformed theology as summarized in the Reformed confessions agree. What is your take or the take of the OPC on the upcoming movie in relation to the 2nd Commandment?


I would fully agree with you on this. Why? Because it will not be a film that tells the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. And anything less than exactly that is dishonoring to God and to Christ. In the Bible we have the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. And it is the will of God that our faith - and our concept of Him and of His Son Jesus Christ - be formed by that Word alone. That is why God chose the foolishness of preaching - not painting and not dramatic play acting - to save sinners. Just as the greatest artist who ever lived (lives, or will live) cannot really paint a picture of Christ (but only a picture of his own imagination of what he thinks Christ looked like), so no film maker can really depict the person and work of Christ. Always in representations of Christ (other than the divinely inspired account of the Bible itself) there is error, distortion and untruth. It is also, always, an evidence of apostasy from the truth when men want this sort of thing (images, pictures, dramatic representations,and the like) instead of churches that faithfully preach God's Word.

John Calvin was right when he said the sinful mind of man is a veritable factory of idolatry. People love to worship a Christ of their own creation instead of the Christ of Scripture. And it is clear evidence of the decadence of the times in which we live that so many Evangelical Christians are enthralled with such things. The ironic thing is that Islamic people seem to have more consciousness of the evil of trying to depict God than many Christians.

Thank you for your concern! (GIW)

See also "Outline of Adult Bible School Class on Mel Gibson's 'The Passion of the Christ'" by the Rev. William Shishko, pastor of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church of Franklin Square, New York and a member of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church Committee on Christian Education.

About Q&A

"Questions and Answers" is a weekly feature of the OPC website. The answers come from individual ministers in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church expressing their own convictions and do not necessarily represent an "official" position of the Church, especially in areas where the Standards of the Church (the Scriptures and the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms) are silent.

The questions come from individuals like yourself. If you have questions about biblical and theological matters, you are invited to send them by e-mail by using the "Pose a Question" link on the OPC home page or by clicking here.

At least one new question is posted each week, so there should always be something new here for you to read. (For those people who would like to look at previous questions and answers, they will continue to be available as well.)

The purpose of the OPC website's "Questions and Answers" is to respond to biblical and theological questions. Matters of church discipline, disputes, or debates go beyond the scope of our work. We recommend that you present your concerns in these areas to the appropriate judicatory. In most cases this will be to a local pastor, elder, or session. We do not want the website to replace personal involvement in, or commitment to, the local, visible church.

While we will respond to every serious questioner, we are not bound to give a substantive answer to every question, should we deem the question to be beyond the scope of our purpose or our own ability to answer.

You will receive an answer by e-mail. Please be patient as many of our respondents are busy pastors. The response to your question may take up to two (2) weeks. Some of the questions submitted will be chosen to be posted here, along with the corresponding answers.

Note that the "Questions and Answers" posted on the site have been edited—all personal references are removed, Scripture references or from some source may be added, and sometimes portions are expanded—to make the questions and answers more useful to a larger audience.

Return to Formatted Page