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Rev. Koole is pastor of Grandville Protestant Reformed Church in Grandville, Michigan.

Gibson’s ‘Passion’—Romish to the Core

(And Therefore,It Is As It Was NOT)

Seldom has there been such a

hullabaloo over a film as there has been over “The Passion of the Christ.” A regular firestorm of controversy, some might say.

The disturbances the film has caused have been worldwide. This writer was in Singapore late February, and even there the film was becoming a matter of public debate. Should it be allowed into the country at all, or should it be banned? According to the Singaporean news media the government at that time was leaning towards banning it. The fear was that that film would be viewed as Christian propaganda and lead to unrest in the Muslim community.

Closer to home, criticism came from the Jewish sector, namely, that the film would incite anti-Semitism. Meantime, various Christian organizations have given it highest accolades and praise. Protestantism itself has been almost universal in its approval. A film that moved viewers spiritually as they were never moved before! One will never view the cross and Christ’s suffering in quite the same way as before! A must see!

However, criticism from within Protestantism, be it a few lonely (wilderness) voices, has not been unknown. This magazine has been one of those voices. Amongst its criticism of and objections to the film has been the assertion that this film, in addition to its being bold blasphemy, is propaganda, Roman Catholic propaganda, written with the express purpose of promoting Romish doctrines and errors. To say that not all have appreciated this line of criticism is an understatement, to say the least.

Be that as it may, this assertion is truth. That this is truth has been demonstrated irrefutably by no less an authority than a certain Romish theologian, Dr. Mark Miravalle, Professor of Theology and Mariology (sic!—kk) at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. In an article entitled “Gibson’s Passion and Mary ‘Co-redemptrix,'” Dr. Miravalle lays out the doctrine of Mariolatry in simplest, one might say crassest, terms and then points out how the theology of Mary, Co-redeemer, is central to the whole theme and message of the film. Read on as the veil is lifted and the true message of the film is laid bare.eldom has there been such a

hullabaloo over a film as there has been over “The Passion of the Christ.” A regular firestorm of controversy, some might say.

The disturbances the film has caused have been worldwide. This writer was in Singapore late February, and even there the film was becoming a matter of public debate. Should it be allowed into the country at all, or should it be banned? According to the Singaporean news media the government at that time was leaning towards banning it. The fear was that that film would be viewed as Christian propaganda and lead to unrest in the Muslim community.

Closer to home, criticism came from the Jewish sector, namely, that the film would incite anti-Semitism. Meantime, various Christian organizations have given it highest accolades and praise. Protestantism itself has been almost universal in its approval. A film that moved viewers spiritually as they were never moved before! One will never view the cross and Christ’s suffering in quite the same way as before! A must see!

However, criticism from within Protestantism, be it a few lonely (wilderness) voices, has not been unknown. This magazine has been one of those voices. Amongst its criticism of and objections to the film has been the assertion that this film, in addition to its being bold blasphemy, is propaganda, Roman Catholic propaganda, written with the express purpose of promoting Romish doctrines and errors. To say that not all have appreciated this line of criticism is an understatement, to say the least.

Be that as it may, this assertion is truth. That this is truth has been demonstrated irrefutably by no less an authority than a certain Romish theologian, Dr. Mark Miravalle, Professor of Theology and Mariology (sic!—kk) at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. In an article entitled “Gibson’s Passion and Mary ‘Co-redemptrix,'” Dr. Miravalle lays out the doctrine of Mariolatry in simplest, one might say crassest, terms and then points out how the theology of Mary, Co-redeemer, is central to the whole theme and message of the film. Read on as the veil is lifted and the true message of the film is laid bare.eldom has there been such a hullabaloo over a film as there has been over “The Passion of the Christ.” A regular firestorm of controversy, some might say.

The disturbances the film has caused have been worldwide. This writer was in Singapore late February, and even there the film was becoming a matter of public debate. Should it be allowed into the country at all, or should it be banned? According to the Singaporean news media the government at that time was leaning towards banning it. The fear was that that film would be viewed as Christian propaganda and lead to unrest in the Muslim community.

Closer to home, criticism came from the Jewish sector, namely, that the film would incite anti-Semitism. Meantime, various Christian organizations have given it highest accolades and praise. Protestantism itself has been almost universal in its approval. A film that moved viewers spiritually as they were never moved before! One will never view the cross and Christ’s suffering in quite the same way as before! A must see!

However, criticism from within Protestantism, be it a few lonely (wilderness) voices, has not been unknown. This magazine has been one of those voices. Amongst its criticism of and objections to the film has been the assertion that this film, in addition to its being bold blasphemy, is propaganda, Roman Catholic propaganda, written with the express purpose of promoting Romish doctrines and errors. To say that not all have appreciated this line of criticism is an understatement, to say the least.

Be that as it may, this assertion is truth. That this is truth has been demonstrated irrefutably by no less an authority than a certain Romish theologian, Dr. Mark Miravalle, Professor of Theology and Mariology (sic!—kk) at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. In an article entitled “Gibson’s Passion and Mary ‘Co-redemptrix,'” Dr. Miravalle lays out the doctrine of Mariolatry in simplest, one might say crassest, terms and then points out how the theology of Mary, Co-redeemer, is central to the whole theme and message of the film. Read on as the veil is lifted and the true message of the film is laid bare.eldom has there been such a

hullabaloo over a film as there has been over “The Passion of the Christ.” A regular firestorm of controversy, some might say.

The disturbances the film has caused have been worldwide. This writer was in Singapore late February, and even there the film was becoming a matter of public debate. Should it be allowed into the country at all, or should it be banned? According to the Singaporean news media the government at that time was leaning towards banning it. The fear was that that film would be viewed as Christian propaganda and lead to unrest in the Muslim community.

Closer to home, criticism came from the Jewish sector, namely, that the film would incite anti-Semitism. Meantime, various Christian organizations have given it highest accolades and praise. Protestantism itself has been almost universal in its approval. A film that moved viewers spiritually as they were never moved before! One will never view the cross and Christ’s suffering in quite the same way as before! A must see!

However, criticism from within Protestantism, be it a few lonely (wilderness) voices, has not been unknown. This magazine has been one of those voices. Amongst its criticism of and objections to the film has been the assertion that this film, in addition to its being bold blasphemy, is propaganda, Roman Catholic propaganda, written with the express purpose of promoting Romish doctrines and errors. To say that not all have appreciated this line of criticism is an understatement, to say the least.

Be that as it may, this assertion is truth. That this is truth has been demonstrated irrefutably by no less an authority than a certain Romish theologian, Dr. Mark Miravalle, Professor of Theology and Mariology (sic!—kk) at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. In an article entitled “Gibson’s Passion and Mary ‘Co-redemptrix,'” Dr. Miravalle lays out the doctrine of Mariolatry in simplest, one might say crassest, terms and then points out how the theology of Mary, Co-redeemer, is central to the whole theme and message of the film. Read on as the veil is lifted and the true message of the film is laid bare.

What does the Co-redemptrix title mean? From the Catholic perspective, it refers to Mary’s unique human participation with Jesus (and entirely subordinate to her divine son) in the historic work of saving humanity from sin. Jesus is the only Redeemer, in the sense that he alone as the one divine mediator between God and man could redeem or “buy back” the human family from the bonds of Satan and sin. But God willed that the Mother of Jesus participate in this redemptive process like no other creature.

In light of her immaculate Conception in which she was conceived without original sin through the foreseen merits of her Son, Mary is the sinless virgin Mother in total “enmity” or opposition with Satan, who becomes the ideal human partner with Jesus in the salvation of the human race. Early Christian writers called her the “New Eve,” who together with Jesus, the “new Adam,” accomplished the work of salvation for all the fallen children of the original Adam and Eve. 

Thus far the doctrine of Mariolatry for beginners, which Mariolatry, under the present Pope especially, has become the heart and soul of the Romish religion. According to Rome it is through Mother Mary that Christianity expresses its real nurturing warmth and has true contact with suffering humanity. Now note what Dr. Miravalle says next.

Mel Gibson has given the world its most powerful cinematic portrayal of the Mother of Jesus precisely as the Co-redemptrix in his blockbuster film, The Passion of the Christ.

From early in the film it is clear that Mary alone has a special participation in Jesus’ saving mission. As the soldiers of the Sanhedrin bring Jesus in to stand trial before Caiaphas, Jesus looks at Mary from across the courtyard and Mary says softly, “It has begun, Lord…so be it.” The Mother knows that the mission of human redemption has begun. She offers her sorrowful “so be it” to this mission to accompany her joyful “so be it” at the announcement of the angel Gabriel which first brought the Redeemer into the world.

Throughout the film, it is only Jesus and Mary who see their mutual adversary Satan, in his androgenized (human-appearing—kk) form….

Earlier, Satan appears during the scourging of Jesus carrying a demonic child, which conveys the Old Testament Genesis prophecy of the battle between the ‘woman’ and her ‘seed’ (Jesus Christ), and the serpent (Satan) and his ‘seed’ or offspring of evil. After the scourging, Mary is inspired to soak up the blood of the Savior, splattered throughout the area of the pillar, with linens. She alone knows that each drop of this divine blood is supernaturally redemptive.

Many times during the savage process of the passion (for example, at the scourging, during the way of the cross, at Calvary), it is the glance of his Mother that gives Jesus the human support that strengthens him to proceed to the next stage of suffering. After one fall on the Via Dolorosa, Mary crawls next to her mutilated son and re-assures him: “I’m here.” Jesus regains some focus and replies to her concerning the mission: “See Mother, I make all things new.”

It is not Jesus alone, but all the disciples (Peter, John, the Magdalene), who call Mary, “Mother” (that is, in the film they do this. The gospel accounts scrupulously avoid such a unique designation, calling Jesus’ mother, “Mary,” throughout. But good Romish theologians have never been known to allow the scriptural record to interfere with their fanciful imaginations and doctrines—kk). On Calvary, Mary receives from Jesus her designation as universal Mother. 

As Jesus, who is affixed to the cross, is being raised up from the ground, Mary, whose hands clutched the rocky ground as her sons’ hands were nailed to the cross, rises from her kneeling position in proportion to her son’s being raised on the cross. She then stands upright as her son is now upright on the gibbet.

After some time, Mary approaches the cross with John, the beloved disciple. She kisses Jesus’ bloodied foot, and pleads for permission to die with him at this climactic moment of redemption: “Flesh of my flesh, Heart of my heart, my Son. Let me die with you!” Jesus responds to his mother and to John: “Woman, behold your son. Son, behold your mother.” 

As the fruit of her sufferings with Jesus, Mary becomes the spiritual mother of all beloved disciples, and of all humanity redeemed at Calvary.

Now, pay special note to Miravalle’s concluding paragraphs!

In The Passion of the Christ, Gibson has accomplished a Marian feat no pastor or theologian could achieve in the same way. He has given the world through its most popular visual medium a portrayal of a real human mother, whose heart is inseparably united to her son’s heart. This mother’s heart is pierced to its very depths as she spiritually shares in the brutal immolation of her innocent son. Hers is an immaculate heart which silently endures and offers this suffering with her son for the same heavenly purpose: to buy back the human race from sin.

Mary Co-redemptrix has been given her first international film debut in a supporting role, and it’s a hit. 

A hit! With whom? Protestants, no less! Why do you think this Roman Catholic theologian is so ecstatic? Protestants, no less, hail this production that obviously plays fast and loose with the scriptural accounts, as gospel truth, hailing it as a wonderful evangelistic tool. Protestants of every stripe, without criticism, have seen Rome’s elevation of Mary to nearly divine status in a most powerful way, and instead of being offended, “Lo, to their (our?) eyes, too, she was very good, and a thing to be desired!” What next but to worship together once the lights go back on?

Those within Protestant circles, our own included, best pay close attention to what this Roman Catholic theologian and film critic has to say about this film before we naively drink it in and call it “a great evangelistic tool” and “food for men’s souls.”

Talk about Satan’s presence at the scene! It is not just disciples of the first century A.D. being tempted to deny their One Only Redeemer and Lord!

Massachusetts’Marriage Amendment

(Portent of Things to Come)

When Pontius Pilates govern

and legislate you can be sure that, in the end, the perverse will rule the land. Rule by expediency and trying to satisfy all parties, all the while trying to preserve one’s own political career, is never the recipe for rule by laws of righteousness and truth. So it has proved in Massachusetts again.

Give the conservative caucus in Massachusetts credit, they succeeded in introducing into their state’s legislature an amendment declaring same-sex “marriages” unconstitutional. What became of the amendment once the legislatures were confronted by the amendment is another matter. Through maneuverings and counter-maneuverings the politicians, governed in the end by expediency and the “best possible proposal under the circumstances,” have crafted a proposed amendment that will reserve the word “marriage” for heterosexual couples, but grant homosexuals the right to enter into “civil unions,” and then grant to these civil unions all the rights and privileges and benefits previously restricted to marriage. And the difference is…??? As R. Albert Mohler Jr. points out in an article entitled “Latest Turns in the Marriage Debate,” “The proposal will disappoint defenders of traditional marriage.”

The Massachusetts’ vote came after weeks of wrangling and turmoil, and the actual amendment adopted by the special constitutional convention may satisfy no one in the end. As finally adopted, the proposed amendment is worded to protect the term “marriage,” but grants to civil unions all the legal rights previously restricted to marriage.

In its final wording, the proposed amendment states: “It being the public policy of this commonwealth to protect the unique relationship of marriage, only the union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized in the commonwealth.” 

So far, so good. But too good to be true. The proposal continues:

Two persons of the same sex shall have the right to form a civil union if they otherwise meet the requirements set forth by law for marriage. Civil unions for same sex persons are established by this Article and shall provide entirely the same benefits, protections, rights, privileges and obligations that are afforded to persons married under the law of the commonwealth.

Is this the shape of the future? The battle in Massachusetts portends a pattern in which “marriage” may be legally restricted to heterosexual couples, but civil unions will be granted full marital rights. The Massachusetts compromise means that homosexuals walk away with civil unions as the legal equivalent of marriage. Will this really matter in the end?

The Massachusetts amendment is, both sides claimed, the best that could be negotiated by the legislators. Supporters of traditional marriage object that the proposed amendment concedes far too much and in mandating civil unions it effectively undercuts the definition of marriage itself. “This amendment stinks,” Rep. James H. Fagan told The New York Times. “But at least it gives the people a chance to vote for something. It’s a lousy amendment.”

Gov. Mitt Romney agreed with Fagan and was reported by lawmakers to have told them, “It was the only one on the table and therefore should be supported.” Rep. Viriato Manuel deMacedo accused his fellow legislators of duplicity in claiming to defend marriage while establishing civil unions. “Is that honest? You know it’s not.”…

The Massachusetts proposal points to the quandary faced by cultural conservatives who are determined to defend marriage as a union of a man and a woman. In state after state, supporters of homosexual “marriage” have used the concept of civil unions to force conservatives to face a difficult choice—accept civil unions or give up hope for an amendment outlawing same-sex “marriage.”

As Mohler points out “…get ready for the future—it’s likely to include a whole series of similar battles [to the one in Massachusetts].” He reports that, according to a recent Gallup poll, 54 percent of those polled favored civil unions, a significant increase in just a few months time. A similar battle is being waged in Kentucky, apparently with similar results to Massachusetts. And this in a state that passed a “Defense of Marriage Act” just a few years ago.

You know the phrase, “The handwriting is on the wall!” There are not many Daniels out there these days, just a lot of Pontius Pilates and Belshazzers. And so the perverse more and more rule the land.