I watched Mel Gibson’s interview on ABC last night with great interest. I must say that generally I was impressed with the way he handled himself. Though at times I became half convinced that he had overdosed on caffeine before the interview, I thought he remained composed and fielded questions quite well.
However, he did stumble in one very important area.
Diane: When we talked with Gibson and his actors, we wondered, does his traditionalist view bar the door to heaven for Jews, Protestants, Muslims?
Mel: That’s not the case at all. Absolutely not. It is possible for people who are not even Christian to get into the kingdom of heaven. It’s just easier. I have to say that because that’s what I believe.
As a matter of fact, that is worse than stumbling. Gibson effectively proved that he has no real understanding of the Gospel message. To say that it is possible to non-Christians to get to heaven is in direct contradiction to what Jesus taught. It is in contradiction to what the epistles teach. It goes against the very basic tenets of Christianity.
Another concern that this interview reinforced is that the movie is being presented as an accurate representation of the gospel story. As Diane Sawyer mentioned, Gibson seems to believe that he had the guidance of the Holy Spirit in writing the movie. At the same time he says that many of the “details” of the movie were inspired by the writings and visions of Anne Catherine Emmerich, a 19th-century German stigmatist and mystic. So Gibson is presenting extra-Biblical revelation as being synoymous with Biblical revelation and is making no distinction between the two.
To echo what I have said before – it is not the movie I have problems with as much as the laud that Gibson is receiving where his faith is being held up by the Protestant world as an extraordinary example. The movie in and of itself may be a wonderful opportunity to reach unbelievers, but indicating that Gibson’s faith is no different from traditional Protestant faith is to make a mockery of Protestantism.