Thursday, August 10, 2006

the chronicles of a purpose driven passion

Okay kids, today we are going to talk about how to ruin your reputation. Actually, it is really quite easy... or so it would seem. Here is all you have to do:

1. Drink a lot of alcohol.
2. Drive a car very fast.
3. Tell a cop you hate Jewish people.

I know that he is only an actor. But I also know that most of the American church wanted to make him a saint a few years back when he made a little movie about a passionate 1st century carpenter. Congregations hung posters above the baptistry, ministers encouraged their flocks to go to the movie over and over again, and some probably even wanted to re-write the order of the New Testament to read, "Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Mel". Needless to say, as an organization (if I can call the church that) we invested a lot into Mr. Gibson. And with good reason. For nobody else had made a "Christian movie" that was good. I mean seriously, did anyone see "Left Behind"? And as a result of the Passion-Mania he made a lot of money from our support.

Now, I'm not bitter and I don't think that his arrest is the end of the world. I don't even think that it hurts our image, even if Entertainment Weekly put his mug shot next to a Passion clip. Afterall, there are bigger Christian celebs and it isn't like Rick Warren has opened up a chain of "Purpose Driven" Strip Clubs. Mel will find help (which I hope he does) and probably make money off of the book about it (it worked for Martha Stewart). But really, what is the point anyway? I could honestly care less about what MTV says about us, because Christianity has never been about being cool or having the right spokesperson. The church does not need Mel Gibson, the church does not need any one person. I've always thought that it was bigger than you or me or the latest fad. So why yearn for these temporary things? Does it really mean anything if "we" have a movie in the theaters or a book on the Best Seller list? We shouldn't be so eager to be hip that we sell our soul to the devil. Or in this case, Mad Max.


wink said...

Good points. Christianity is far bigger--and has much more depth--than celebrites and movies.

If you look beyond pentecost, the gospel has nearly always been spread through the life on life interaction of the common folk. True, Constantine acknowledged it as the official religion in Rome early on, but much ground work had been laid before that by ordiniary people having dinner and discussing life and worldviews with their ordinary friends. Lives rubbing on lives is what cultivates and exemplifies true Christianity.

Epp said...

true, and the organization of christianity by constantine could be viewed as negative. one, it mixed politics and religion, which is a slippery slope. and two, it lowered the quality of the typical beliver. you can't legislate holiness.

md neely said...

interesting.......we are obsessed with watching celebrities fall, and especially if they hold to some kind of conviction (specifically religious). that makes the fall so much sweeter. i think the media likes it too because then they can make the blanket "christians are hypocrites" statement, or at least imply it.