The latest criticism thrown at Mel Gibson’s movie “The Passion of the Christ” (in addition to anti-Semitism and excessive violence) is that the film violates the Second Commandment against making graven images. This was news to me, but so says Ochuk, who links to an article by Rob Gleason.
I think Ochuk’s response is well-supported by Scripture:
If one studies the passage of the second commandment one will find the context as a valuable interpreter for what it means. The commandment is speaking to the issue of using images that would rival God. This is why it says, “You shall not bow to them.” This does not mean, “You shall not make an image to express anything.” It means, “You shall not make anything with the intent of religious worship to God.”
Movies tell stories and that’s it. They are not made to be worshiped or used as a means to worship. In fact, I will go out on a limb and say that they are not made to be preachy.
And while I’m on the subject of “The Passion,” Jared of Mysterium Tremendum is planning to write a series of reviews on Jesus movies. The “Jesus of Nazareth” miniseries is my favorite — I own it on VHS and we usually watch the pertinent sections during the Christmas and Easter seasons. Among the all-star cast, Ernest Borgnine is just wonderful as the Roman centurion. I also like Anne Bancroft as Mary Magdalene, but again the filmmakers follow the tradition of mixing up Magdalene with the adulterous woman. That annoys me, but her portrayal of meeting the resurrected Christ and telling the disciples is spot-on.
What's your favorite Jesus movie?