Skip to comments.Churches Make 'Stunning' Show of Support for Gibson's 'Passion'
Posted on 02/06/2004 1:42:49 AM PST by nickcarraway
Protestant and Catholic churches nationwide have stepped up an unprecedented effort to promote and benefit from Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ."
"Churches are reserving entire theaters for opening day. A national evangelical organization is helping sell tickets from its Web site. Pastors are planning sermons timed to the movie's Ash Wednesday release," the Associated Press reported today.
'Best Evangelization Opportunity Since the Death of Jesus'
"It's the best evangelization opportunity we've had since the actual death of Jesus," Lisa Wheeler, associate editor of Catholic Exchange, a Web portal dedicated to Internet evangelism, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
"This is a window of opportunity we have. Here's a guy who's putting his money into a movie that has everything to do with what we do," said pastor Cory Engel of Harvest Springs Community Church in Great Falls, Mont.
"Churches used to communicate by having a little lecture time on Sunday morning. People don't interact that way anymore. Here's a chance for us to use a modern-day technique to communicate the truth of the Bible," the Rev. Engel said.
Arch Bonnema, the insurance executive and Southern Baptist from Plano, Texas, who spent $42,000 to reserve all 20 screens of a cineplex for Ash Wednesday after seeing the movie weeks ago, told AP: "As a Christian, you hear the term 'Jesus sacrificed his life for us.' We say it so many times that it's routine. I walked out of the theater and thought, 'This is incredible.' I thought, 'Man, this really puts it in perspective.'"
In the Atlanta area, when St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church and St. Brigid Catholic Church reserved 1,500 seats for two showings Feb. 23, they were told that 40 other churches had competed for the same time slot. The Rev. Frank McNamee, pastor of St. Peter Chanel, told the Journal-Constitution: "Our tickets just went like that. It was unbelievable."
'They Attack Millions'
An attempt by foes to "mute" Gibson's movie has backfired and only increased interest. "When they attack him, they attack millions of people in middle America," said Jennifer Giroux, a Cincinnati nurse and Roman Catholic who created seethepassion.com.
"They're going to bus them to theaters. They will give assignments in many churches: Go to the movie, we're going to talk about it," said Josh Baran, a New York public relations executive who promoted another controversial movie, "The Last Temptation of Christ."
"I think it's going to be one of the big movies of the year," Baran said.
From 'Dismal' to 'Stunning'
AP reported, "The groundswell is stunning considering the once-dismal expectations for the film, which is in Latin, Hebrew and Aramaic with English subtitles and is rated R for violence."
Outreach Ministry Inc. says it sent DVDs with a trailer for the movie to "most churches in the United States."
"National Association of Evangelicals, which represents more than 50 denominations with 43,000 congregations, has posted a link on its Web site for buying tickets," AP reported.
Christian Booksellers Association has asked its 2,500 U.S. retailers to consider selling tickets and posting displays.
"Religious broadcasters and publishers have put discussion of the movie in heavy rotation on television, in magazines and on Web sites. Leaders from the Rev. Billy Graham to movie reviewer Michael Medved have given 'The Passion' two thumbs up," the Atlanta paper reported.
Norm Miller, chairman of Interstate Batteries, replaced his company's hood-sized logo with an ad for "The Passion" on NASCAR driver Bobby Labonte's Chevrolet. The car will carry the ad during the Daytona 500 race Feb. 15.
"It's probably the highest demand that we have seen for group sales this early," said Dick Westerling of Regal Entertainment Group, which owns 555 theaters. Callers trying to place orders on Regal's toll-free number have been put on hold for up to 10 minutes.
Gotta love Norm Miller and Interstate for doing this.
Stunningly bad taste, in my opinion.
Poorly stated, and probably not entirely correct, but she's correct in the sense that it will reach a lot of folks who are searching, but unwilling to enter the doors of a church. I think it's a good way to reach people.
We like to think the RESURRECTION is the reason for our faith; NOT His death.....
And who had "dismal expectations for the film"? The writer for AP, of course. Who is stunned? The same person.
Paul is writing the Romans and using Abraham's faith as an example of saving faith and he says
"This is why "it was credited to him as righteousness." The words "it was credited to him" were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness--for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. " - Romans 4:22 - 25
Yes, Jesus had to be sacrified and experience death - both physical and spiritual (i.e. - judgment and separation from the Father and the Spirit) death, but the resurrection means that the sacrifice made on the cross was an acceptable payment for our sins.
There is no Resurrection without the Crucifixion. There is no Crucifixion without the Incarnation. It's all of a piece, but the Crucifixion is the center of the piece: the total sacrificial offering, once for all, of the God-Man Jesus Christ to the Father. Maybe that's why Catholics and Orthodox prefer a Crucifix. I shan't speculate as to what, other than mere iconoclasm, motivates the Protestants.
1 Corinthians 2:2 "For I judged not myself to know anything among you, but Jesus Christ: and him crucified."
Don't think so, LC.
The crucifix is an appropriate reminder of Christ's sacrifice and, as such, does not deny his resurrection. If the crucifix denies his resurrection, then the empty cross denies his crucifixion. Of course, neither does any such thing.
Christ's mystical Body on earth is still suffering.
Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.
39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
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