Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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Revisionist History

Mel Gibson, a famous Hollywood actor and director, recently made a movie entitled “The Passion”, which purports to accurately depict the biblical accounts of the crucifixion. Without defending the movie, (Hollywood is hardly known for “accuracy”), it is interesting to note that the movie has incited quite a tumult as many groups are protesting the film’s depiction of Jews.

In the October 4, 2003 edition of the Fort Worth Star Telegram, R. Scott Colglazier, the senior minister of the University Christian Church in Fort Worth, wrote an article titled “Gibson movie opens old wounds of anti-Semitism.” Among other things, the article states:

“…in making this film, he has unwittingly opened a deep theological wound by portraying the Jews as killers of Christ.”

Readers of the New Testament are no doubt aware of the gospel accounts, which detail the events surrounding the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. (cf. Matthew 27; Mark 15; Luke 23; John 19).

The divine historians agree that the Jews were the instigators who were responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus. The apostle Peter agreed with that assessment, proclaiming to an audience of Jews in his gospel sermon on the day of Pentecost, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). 3,000 Jews on that day, realizing their culpability in bringing about our Lord’s death, were pricked in their hearts, and repented of their sin (cf. vss. 38-41).

Colglazier, mirroring the attitudes of political and cultural “correctness” in our time, denies the validity of the gospel accounts. Note the following amazing and disturbing quotes from his article.

“Gibson seems oblivious to the fact that biblical “accounts” of the Crucifixion are not really accounts at all, at least not in the journalistic sense of the word…”

“The villainization of Jews found in these narratives reflects, as much as anything, a strained relationship between the church and synagogue at the end of the first century…”

“Gibson has claimed he was trying to make a movie true to the biblical account of the Crucifixion, but what he winds up doing is proliferating one of the most haunting falsehoods in Christian interpretation, namely, that the Jews murdered the son of God…”

Note this last quote especially. In using the term falsehood, Colglazier goes beyond mere intimation, and boldly proclaims the gospel narratives to be lies. Hence Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, because of the conflict they were having with Jews in the years following the death of Christ, either concocted the story, or concocted the blame, unjustly claiming the Jews were responsible for the death of Christ.

It is the height of intellectual arrogance to claim a better understanding of an event than that had by an actual eyewitness. In adding the 2,000 years which have transpired since the event, and that there were many eyewitness who weighed in regarding the events, such arrogance is seen to be foolish as well.

The bias of Colglazier and his ilk is readily seen. They are not willing to accept the eyewitness testimony because it interferes with their present world view. This fact becomes obvious in this quote from the article.

“With only a modicum of biblical and theological sophistication, Gibson could have understood the theology of the church as an ongoing process, and that any portrayal of the Jews as Christ killers is not only historically questionable but also reprehensible, in that it harms Jewish-Christian relations. We are living in a post-Holocaust world, and any theology the church articulates must take seriously the tragedy of the Shoah…”

In other words, we have to translate the Bible in light of the Holocaust of the 1940’s, and any interpretation that is unfavorable to the Jews must be rejected. This is modernism at its rankest!

Finally, Colglazier wrote:

“It seems to me that Christians have a responsibility to avoid all anti-Jewish thinking, recognizing that Jesus himself was a Jew and that the Christian faith is an offshoot from Judaism.”

Many points could be made concerning such modernistic thinking. Perhaps most disturbing is that this writer is a minister in the Christian Church. It is amazing that in only about 100 years such a digression could take place. Where once we shared the same respect for the word of God, there is no longer any common ground. Brethren, if we are not careful, such modernism can work its horrific influence among us as well. And such influences are already afoot among us.

The next time you hear someone say that the “days” of Genesis are not really days, or that the serpent in the Garden is only a metaphor, or that Jesus was only a man; or, especially if you hear anyone say, “It doesn’t matter what you believe on these things”; remember how quickly the canker of modernism works among the people of God.

“…Indeed, let God be true, but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4).