The Folly of Attempting to Portray a Christ-figure in a Culture of Death

Dennis Palmu
From the e-mail responses I have received so far, it is obvious that there are those (I suspect many) who call themselves Christians who have a difficult enough time grappling with the question What is reality?, let alone being able to present a cogent argument on Pilate's question What is truth?  In this age of virtual reality and so-called Reality TV, is it any wonder?  Despite the clear warnings in scripture, we have "Christian" young people and adults flocking to the tattoo parlours, falling under the mood and mind altering influence of prescription drugs, flocking to "Christian" raves, attending a Pentecostal church in eastern Canada, where the pulpit was replaced with a wrestling ring, and where former W.W.F. wrestlers the "Legion of Doom", among others, performed their antics in front of an adoring crowd. Who can forget the theatrics of the Toronto Blessing or the menagerie at Brownsville?  The label "Christian" is tacked on to just about everything, as if it somehow makes blasphemy and wickedness pleasing to God, or at least "okay". So-called Contemporary Christian Music embraces such disgusting acts as P.O.D. (Payable on Death), which I suppose would fall under the label of "Christian" Rastafarianism.  The "purpose-driven church" franchises have marketed the gospel to address the wants of Christian consumers; the "seeker-friendly" church advertises spirituality and religious expression in a relaxed non-threatening environment.  Other churches have adopted the late-night TV approach, with an opening monologue and a top ten list.  It's into this cacophonous chorus of confusion that The Passion of the Christ has now descended.  
Let's look at ten elements regarding this movie, as if we were building a house, keeping in mind the words of Jesus Christ, who equated building on rock with wisdom and building on sand with foolishness (folly). 

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

With Jesus' words in mind, how would you, the reader, categorize these elements - rock or sand? 

(Hint: If you think apparitions are rock, you may as well skip this section.)

1.   The money to finance The Passion came from profits generated through movies filled with gratuitous violence, brutality, profanity and sex.  See character profile of Mel Gibson by Joseph Herrin on this website.

2.   The belief system of the co-producer, co-writer and director is a sect of the heresy of Catholicism, i.e. the "traditional" Latin unholy sacrifice of the Mass form of Catholicism.

3.   The belief system of James Caviezel, the actor who attempts to portray a Christ-figure, is a naive form of Catholicism, i.e. relies on "seers" such as Ivan Dragicevic, who are part of the "Medjugorje cult" and the Catholic "feminist spiritualists".  (The "Medjugorje industry" of "apparitions" and "messages" "has enriched those involved in it, including Dragicevic, who owns homes in Medjugorje and Boston, drives luxury cars, and married an American beauty queen".)  Medjugorje is such an embarrassment to many Catholic leaders that two of them, Malachi Martin and Paul Marx , have branded Medjugorje as "Satanic from the beginning" and a "hoax" respectively. 
4.   The filmographies of all of The Passion's main actors and actresses are easily found on search engines such as Yahoo and Google, and many have appeared in movies with graphic sex, violence, horror and profanity.  (Could not Christian spokesmen such as James Dobson and Billy Graham have told just one out of their dozens of staff people to spend a few measly minutes to check out the background of these actors and actresses before giving their ringing endorsement of this Catholic/Hollywood production to their unwitting followers?)
5.   Three out of the four leading actresses in this movie are international hard-core pornography stars.  (By the way, the colloquial term for willfully blind is "dumb on purpose".)

6.   The movie's framework is based on the writings of the Catholic, mystic, stigmata-affixed nun named Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824).  The trance-induced visions relating to the Roman Catholic Church's teaching regarding the Stations of the Cross play a predominant role in the movie. See

7.   The Catholic/Hollywood "Jesus" in this movie (a Lord of the Rings/Aragorn look alike) must continually gather strength from "Our Lady of Perpetual Help", the Catholic virgin-goddess and "Mediatrix, Advocate and Co-Redemptrix". See The Daily Catholic and Order of the Magnificat of the Mother of God.

8.   The Satan-figure appears in locations not indicated in scripture, and is cast as an androgynous being with a man-child.  

9.   Other imaginary Catholic/mystic scenes are given prominence, such as St. Veronica helping Simon of Cyrene, and Mary wiping up the Jesus-figure's spilled blood with a linen cloth.  The Roman Catholic Church, we are told, was entrusted by Jesus' disciples to add this to their collection of icons and relics (alongside the infamous shroud of Turin), being as it supposedly had the image of Jesus face in his own blood.

10.  Judging by the reactions of many movie goers interviewed on TV as they exited the theatres, Mel Gibson's production leaves many in a state of trauma, no doubt induced by all the gratuitously-graphic images of violence, brutality, gore and blood. Is this the type of satiation Jesus Christ meant when he said to Simon Peter, "Feed my sheep"?

My conclusion, based on these ten elements, is that this movie is a "house" built on sand.

That being the case, if it is inspired as Mel Gibson claims, it is inspired not by the Holy Ghost but by the ghostly figure portrayed by Rosalinda Celentano, the vampire-like creature who visited James Caviezel in the Garden of Gethsemane and is satiated (along with the viewing audience) by the blood of the Christ-figure.  Lest you think I've really "lost it", consider these lines from Martin Day's Antonine Killer: Brides of Christ, Daughters of Dracula...Religion and the Hammer Vampire Film:

"Film critics and social historians have often attributed 18th century Europe's almost obsessional interest in the vampire to the teachings of the Catholic Church.  Perjurers, magicians, excommunicants, suicides - anyone buried without the sanctification of the church - were said to be in grave danger of returning to life as a vampire.  Just as 'good folk' drank the blood of Christ in Mass to appropriate the virtues of Christ, so sinners might have their blood drained by vampires and be filled with the power of the Devil."  

The fact that Maia Morgenstern (Mary, the mother of Jesus), Monica Bellucci (Mary Magdalene) and the aforementioned Rosalinda Celentano represent a troika of evil in real life (not in the fantasy world of movies) will no doubt be explained away by James Dobson and others as irrelevant to the "gospel" presentation (the gospel according to Mel and the mystics, that is) in this movie.  By endorsing this movie, Dobson, Billy Graham, and others have effectively made the movie theatre an ecclesiastical building.  Consider these further lines from "Antonine Killer":  

"(I)t is perhaps not surprising that ecclesiastical buildings are often shown being penetrated by the evil of the vampire...Despite Muller's claim that 'there is no evil in the house of God', it becomes clear that buildings can be 'spiritually' attacked and abused as easily as the people that attend the services. The church building is no more than a 'shell' encapsulating the attitudes of the populace (much use is made in later Dracula films of the desanctified church), and thus the 'un-Christian' attitudes of the populace (ignorance and superstitious fear) find an expression in the defilement of the local place of worship." 

A final quote from Martin Day shows the powerful influence that the director of a film (in this case Mel Gibson) has on the viewing audience.

"Those familiar with film theory will have recognized some of the hallmarks of auteur theory. This basically sees (some) directors as 'authors', shaping a range of work to conform to a personal vision.  To be sure, the script is the vital spark that ignites any film, but movies are primarily visual and it is difficult to over-estimate the importance of the director in fanning that flame."  Note that Mel Gibson is not just the director, but co-producer, co-writer and sole financer of this movie...which gives him total control, without recent precedent, over a blockbuster movie, a movie that is highly controversial (good for business) and steeped in religious iconography and metaphor (good for deception).

Again, lest you think no Christian could possibly find common ground with respect to the gospel and a vampire movie, think again!  Consider these pronouncements to a variety of young people from "MarkWar", a self-described Christian publisher, in a forum under the heading "Dracula 2000: An Evangelical-Themed Vampire Movie"! 

"I was shocked and thrilled to discover that the film had a profoundly Christian take on the vampire myth and a wonderfully evangelical take at that!...But it's the Christian content that really sets this movie apart for me!  It's really wonderful!
"Though I haven't seen it, I regard The Last Temptation of Christ as Christian exploitation.  BUT I did see Dracula 2000 (and I plan on seeing it again!) and I recommend it to everyone.  It is not trash and it is not exploitation.  Within the context of the horror genre it touches on the issue of being 'born again'." 
"That's why I was so thrilled with 'Dracula 2000' --to my eyes it's both a well-made movie that can entertain people while at the same time being powerful testimony about the ISSUES of evangelical Christianity."


"Dracula 2000 is the first vampire movie I saw which took the vampire myth one step beyond something like 'The Hunger' or 'Blade' and actually looked for a Christian, spiritual context to deal with the issues... It was a great pleasure to see and recommend a movie that--to my eyes had at least a little complexity and a complexity that was spiritually affirmative rather than dark." 

A reply is posted from "abigail2" which reads, "Thanks for telling me about Dracula 2000.  Sounds good.  I guess what I liked about The Addiction, was it was a no frills vampire movie.  Just like life without Jesus, we are slaves, doing what we want to do and compelled to corrupt others endlessly.  I mostly remembered how people couldn't resist the bite of the vampire".
Others in this forum praised the Matrix trilogy, and similar films extolling the "virtues" of the underworld.
How many, I wonder, not knowing about some of the suppressed elements of Gibson's movie (see above item #3, 4, 5, and 6), will be able to resist "the bite of the vampire"? 

"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 Authorized (King James) Version.

Editor's Note: During the first half of the Tribulation Period, those who are not in communion with Rome will be martyred and the blood of the martyrs will be used in blood rituals for sorcery and occult enlightenment. During the Great Tribulation, the Antichrist will use the blood of the saints and prophets for his Satanic blood rites.  Vampirism, however, is not a new phenomenon, but human sacrifice and blood rituals have been the custom of pagan societies from remote antiquity. For information on the history of Vampirism and its manifestations during the Tribulation period, please see Blood of the Martyrs: Vampirism in our report Heeding Bible Prophecy .