Monday, June 1, 2009

Is There Still Passion?

I had a post all set to go for today. In fact, I still have it minimized on my computer.

But I woke up this morning thinking about Mel Gibson. No, not like that. I was thinking of a recent interview I saw him do on The Tonight Show. Mel talked about his impending divorce from his wife of 20-something years and the fact that they've been separated for the last 3. He admitted that he'd done a "hatchet-job" on his marriage and he was willing to take the blame for its failure.

Then he confirmed the rumors not only that yes, he is dating that beautiful woman people have seen him with, but yes, she is pregnant with their baby.

I thought of all that and then tried to reconcile it all with the man who wrote, produced and directed the movie, The Passion of the Christ. It is without a doubt the most heart-wrenching, powerful, emotionally raw and most realistic movie -even using the Latin and Aramaic languages- ever made about Jesus Christ. I've only been able to watch it again one more time since we saw it in the movie theatre and my eyes were closed for much of the scouraging scenes and my stomach was sick for most of the movie.

That was my Lord suffering and dying for my sins.

The man who made that movie had to have poured out his heart and soul into it. He reportedly spent millions of dollars out of his own pocket to make the movie because no movie studio would take a chance on it. He endured criticism for everything from holding private screenings for certain individuals, to the opinions held by many that the movie was too violent, to the controversy surrounding his original desire to have no subtitles, to the attacks of others who claimed that the movie was anti-semitic.

But he made the movie anyway. It seemed there was a passion that moved Mr. Gibson to make that movie. He even thoughtfully chose to be the hand who hammered the nail into Christ's hand because, he explained, it was his guilt that nailed Him to the cross.

Indeed. And it was mine.

So what has happened? How has he gone from a man who so desperately wanted to tell the story of Christ's crucifixion, giving us all a glimpse into what it could have looked like for an innocent Man to be nailed to a cross for our own sins, to a man who admittedly ran his marriage into the ground, and now, before he is divorced, is openly dating another woman, and has gotten her pregnant. And he's on a talk show talking about it.

Of course everything I just wrote I thought about this morning in a matter of seconds. And the thought that lingered, that led me to the computer to write something different to you today was, what has happened to our love for God? What happened to the love that Mel Gibson seemed to have? What is happening to the love of self-proclaimed believers in Jesus Christ in this world?

How can we say we love Christ and hate our brother?

How can we say we love Christ and get divorced - something that God says He hates!

How can we say we love Christ and harbor unforgiveness?

How can we say we love Christ and go about our merry way, doing our thang, never even considering if that thing is God's will, never even going to Him and asking the Lord what His thing for us is?

Are there people left out there who still love Jesus Christ with all their heart, with all their soul, with all their strength and with all their mind? We don't even seem to respect God anymore. I hear Christians use God's name in vain; I hear Christians whine about having to go to church (which is anywhere believers in Jesus Christ gather), I hear Christians complain about helping a brother in the Lord.

Where is our love for the God Who sent His Son to die for our sins?

Has our love grown cold? Have we tip-toed into the world just a little bit too much? Have we been affected by the world rather than us affecting the world? Are we just afraid to look different? Are we afraid to have some of the types of attacks that were aimed toward Mel Gibson directed at us?

The Lord has increasingly put on my heart that times for all of us are going to get more and more difficult. The world is going to turn against the Christian faith more than it ever has. There is going to be a shaking of our faith, and if we're sitting on the fence when it happens, we may not know on which side we'll end up.

Please, I implore you, if you have been on the fence with your faith, one foot in the world and one foot trying to live a Christian life and yet not doing very well at either, get off the fence and get back to your first love - loving your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let's ask to be so filled with the Holy Spirit that we are overflowing with His love so that it spills out all over everyone around us. Let's love God enough to desire to do His will, to be Jesus' eyes and ears and arms and feet on this earth. Let's have the mind of Christ.

Ask God for forgiveness for the sins you've been committing and for going your own way.

Love your brother.

Work on your marriage.

Forgive those whom you need to forgive.

And then lets get back to regular prayer and ask God what He wants you to do today, and then do it! How does He want you to spend Does He want you to take the time to tell someone, maybe a co-worker, maybe a neighbor, maybe a relative, that God loves them and sent His Son to die for them, too?

If you find that your love for God has waned, ask Him for it back.

Let us be the salt and light in this dark and lonely world. Let us be the example of loving unconditionally, not just when everything is going our way or when others are loving us.

I pray we seek to be Spirit-filled and love as Christ loved - passionately, joyfully, wholeheartedly, unabashedly, sacrificially, without thought for ourselves, but thoughts only of others and for their good.

And if you're hearing for the first time that God loves you so much that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for your sins and you want this relationship with Him, click on the How to Know God tab at very top.

"Therefore since we also are surrounded with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily besets us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest you be weary and faint in your minds. You have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin." (Hebrews 12:1-4)


  1. What do you think Jesus would say to Mr Gibson were He to dine with him tonight?

  2. That is a really good question, Deb.

    I think He'd give him the biggest bear hug. Then He'd look straight into his eyes, deep into his soul, and say, "I love you. Do you love Me?"

  3. I think so too Dorci.
    I think Mel has forgotten how much he is loved and is failing to love himself and others out of this love.
    I think the whole world and many christians have forgotten how much they are loved.
    I forget too.

    love you
    Deb xxx

  4. So do I, sweetie. So do I. This post was as much, if not more, to myself as to anyone else.

    Love you, too,

  5. It was a good thoughtful post.

    There is a famine in the land and I sense it in my own soul and most days I want to pray like I used to and yet I don't - I have this underlying 'so over it all' attitude.

    It is like I want to enjoy the life I have been given and be a vessel of 'joy' for God and a beacon of light yet I feel so weighed down all the time. It is like I hardly ever hear anyone talk about Jesus because we are all busy trying to get the Bride pure.

    Ya know what I mean? I in no way mean to offend by saying that - you would be about the only person I feel safe enough with to say it out loud to and the other VOTDer's, yet even there I haven't found the courage to talk about it yet.

    Love ya Dorci.

    P.S - I have been wondering if the teachings of the Catholic Church play a part in Mel's backslide? I was moved by The Passion yet disturbed by some of its theology.

  6. I do know what you mean, Deb. I feel the struggle within myself, too. I love God and I feel Him drawing me more and more but it's hard to be consistent.

    One thing I had to do was ask the Lord to give me a specific time during the day to spend with Him because my schedule is kind of weird so it was hard to nail down a specific time. If I just waited till whenever, many days I wouldn't do it. So now 4 pm is my time to spend with Jesus.

    Maybe you could ask the Lord to give you a certain time to have a date with Him every day to help keep you consistent, too.

    We need to be spiritually fed but we forget to eat.

    I have heard that there were some concerns about the possible Catholic undertones to the movie, but didn't really see it myself. Maybe it's just that I'm not very versed in that specific theology.

    Is there something specific you can think of?

    I'm sure a lot of his issues are the same as all of us, and maybe it's even more difficult for him because of the harder pull he feels living among the worldly environment being in the spotlight and all. But I'm sure he gets busy with his life, too, rests on what God did in his life way back when, and forgets to eat his spiritual supper every day. :)

  7. Gosh...I am disappointed by Mel, too...and I say that as a Catholic. :) I think Hollywood is just a destructive force for most people. I always hoped...and until now was proud...that he was an exception.

    Guess we'll have to pick up his slack. :)

  8. Thanks for stopping by Bridget. This post was really not so much about Mel Gibson (and certainly not about shining a light on the Catholic faith) as it is about all of us brothers and sisters in the body of Christ re-examining our faith in Jesus Christ and if that faith is being lived out in our every day lives or if it has become simply a name by which we call ourselves.

    I know the Lord put this on my heart because I struggle with issues that you'd think my 20-year old faith would have gotten me past already. But here I am, still struggling. But I guess the main thing is that I am struggling. I haven't given up on my faith or my Lord and I'm still working with Him on letting Him heal my heart in ways that He shows me I need. And having this blog gives me the opportunity to encourage others in their walks with the Lord, too.

    God bless you, Bridget!

  9. Dorci...I like what you said...

    "if that faith is being lived out in our every day lives or if it has become simply a name by which we call ourselves."

    That's good. :)

    I forgot to say...thanks for stopping by my blog...I always love seeing your smiling face in the comments. :)

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  11. Believe me, the pleasure of stopping by your blog is all mine!

  12. Hi Dorci,

    Just want to weigh in on the Mel Gibson topic. I believe that the battle is always powers and principalities not flesh and blood. In my personal experience, any time I have done some serious ministry using my giftings, the enemy comes at me full force. Thank you Lord for your covering and protection. The enemy is thwarted every time. But that doesn't stop him from feeling the sandpaper chaffing that I am giving him and the lashing out that he tries to give me. But God is faithful and therefore I am able to laugh in the face of the devil. Like the pastor ( very well known evangelist- sorry can't recall his name at the moment) that was woken in the middle of the night in a hotel room with satan sitting in a chair at the end of his bed. He raised his head from the pillow, looked straight at him and said, "oh, it's just you." and returned to sleep. I have taken that stance with satan now. How does this all relate to Mel Gibson an on the bigger picture, the world? I believe Mel was a major target for satan for what "The Passion" brought to North America. I don't believe any movie has had as greater an impact as a ministry tool prior. Imagine the irritation to satan. Imagine his deep desire to destroy Mel Gibson. Now realize that Mel Gibson, with a heart for God, is still a man. Satan is an expert at human psychology. He knows where the chinks in our armour are and like a dirty fighting foe will go for any opening he can find, regardless of how underhanded his fighting methods are. But God is in control. The song that says "You take the wheel, I'll adjust the radio" is where we need to be. When we have total faith, when we get out of the way, God can deliver the punches to bring satan down. Our world may appear to be going in the direction of the book revelations, and I too believe it is, but I do not look to it with a heavy heart. I will rejoice in my Lord and his wonderful victory.
    "Behold he comes
    Riding on the clouds
    Shining like the sun
    At the trumpet's call
    So lift your voice
    It's the year of Jubilee
    For out of Zion's Hill salvation comes"
    That fills my whole chest,... body,... soul with overwhelming excitement!!!!

  13. Oh, I'm more than excited about the Lord's return, too. What makes me sad is that there are Christians who are not redeeming the time. They are not living for Jesus but for themselves. They are not using their God-given gifts but rather going the way of the world and indulging themselves in their own selfish desires. They are forgetting to live this life in such a way as to bring God glory. Yes, we all fall, but I pray we get back up again before it's too late.

  14. My uncle was in WWII. I'll try to give a readers digest version of his story. As he ran across an open field to a place of safety he was hit by a sniper on the side of his knee. He immediately blacked out and the impact caused him to spin as he was falling to the ground. Two of his fellow soldiers caught him under the arms before his body hit the ground and ran him the remainder of the way across the field to the safe ground.
    This is exactly what we as Christians are supposed to be doing. When we see one of our own hit by the enemy we are not to wait until he falls to the ground.(or worse yet to run past him to keep ourselves safe) I understand what you are saying Dorci about praying that they get back up when they fall (I truly believe in the power of prayer - but I also believe in righteous action) but I see a greater responsibility for Christians. We need to recognize when those around us need our help. When they has succumbed to the enemy's blows and are about to fall and are no longer able to help themselves. It is then that we are to run in with confidence and grab them BEFORE they hit the ground and bring them to a place of safety. No man left behind! I believe that to be OUR responsibility as Christians.


Thanks for sharing!