The Church and the Passion of the Christ
After screening Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, T. A. McMahon set about writing a book evaluating the enthusiasm generated for the film among evangelicals. The movie was touted as the greatest opportunity for witnessing since the death of Christ. Could that be true? Or could the church be enthralled with something that might have a host of problems beyond just a popular motion picture about Jesus Christ?
Tom observed a connection between The Passion and trends taking place among professing Bible believers such as the increasing use of entertainment in presenting the gospel, the ecumenical relationship between Catholics and Evangelicals, the use of imagery verging on idolatry, and the major drift away from the objective Word of God in favor of the subjective, "feelings" oriented treatment of the Scriptures.
My family and I just finished reading the book. It is what we knew as soon as the movie came out and we saw the pastors fawning and the people following. The movie was a visible turning point for me. I knew that the churches were in trouble, but I never knew just how much they were in bed with the Catholic Church, nor for how long. The chapter on ECT really gave a feeling of betrayal. I had heard of one pastor announcing that there would be some changes, but they would be 'painless' and he used that old 'frog in the pot' story. I guess that we've all been in the pot a long time and the movie just made us say 'ouch' . . . . There are no churches in our small area that did not root for Mel's movie, and so we are 2 or more gathering in His name at home. Our love for the Lord just grows stronger as we look for His coming. (Nevada)
This is a great book and I regret that I cannot afford to buy thousands to give away. Most of us are so used to seeing 'Jesus' movies that it will be very difficult for many to realize that it is wrong for someone to play 'God' on the screen or to draw pictures of Him. May God continue to bless people like you who warn us of the danger in many things that are (unfortunately) accepted by the majority of Christians.' (New Mexico)
I just finished Tom's book. I plan to read it again, soon. I was aware of much of the information in the book, but Tom has a way of looking at the heart of a matter, and so I feel that I gained additional insight through reading his book. I found the book both encouraging (because of his discernment) and discouraging (because I believe that the overwhelming acceptance of this movie by the evangelical world will play a major role in bringing about the end-time, ecumenical church). The book was very well structured; the issues were addressed with the underpinning of sound doctrine, and yet it was presented in easily understood layman's language. I would definitely recommend it to others; in fact, I hope to keep it permanently loaned out. To be truthful, though, I fear it will not be accepted by the majority of evangelicals. Yet, hopefully, some will have their eyes opened by this book, and perhaps they will be able to help others see the very real dangers of this movie and of the ecumenical movement. We evangelicals are truly sheep who are led by many false shepherds. I am an old-time, ultra-conservative Southern Baptist (I am really rather out of place within my denomination - I have not changed, but it has), and I am shocked and appalled at the way the SBC has blindly and passionately accepted The Passion. Good for Tom for writing the book. So what if the majority of evangelicals do not accept it? God doesn't tell us we have to succeed, does He? We are simply called to be faithful, which both of you -- Messrs. McMahon and Hunt -- are, unceasingly and unfailingly. You have been an inspiration and an encouragement to us for many years. God bless both of you, and all who are affiliated with your ministry. (Georgia)
Excellent-shows the real danger of entertainment, opened my eyes to just what we call good TV. Does not exist. Thank you. (Minnesota)
I thought that "Showtime for the Sheep?" was a very interesting and informative book. It did clarify some issues for me . . . . I would recommend the book to others who are concerned with the subject of Mel Gibson's movie as well as the issue of whether or not entertainment should be used to spread the Gospel to the unsaved. (Nevada)
I am a senior pensioner (widow) and still prefer reading from a hardcopy. However, about your eBook: I love it!!!! It confirms so much what I already researched from various sources and as I have received your newsletters I was already familiar with some of the chapters. However, your teaching about the dangers of images really has opened my eyes and like you I realize that I have been blind to accept many previous movies with a false Christ . . . . I am standing rather alone in my objection of this movie, which has been a great exercise in self-examination and dependence on the Lord. Thanks to your book also I am now well prepared to fight the good fight in speaking up and to have no fear of man. The Lord is my all in all and I am very jealous for His Name! (Australia)
A disaster. Goes all the way to discredit a very moving motion picture and its impact on believers and non-believers. It should never have been written. One wonders when Dave and T.A. will find fault with fault. This book casts doubts on the sincerity of their heretofore admirable ministry. The One Who goes before us taught us to love one another, in love. Otherwise, we're just a clanking cymbal, banging brass. (Oklahoma)
Excellent could not be any better. And it's totally biblical. Thank the Lord for your ministry that gives out truth about deception . . . . If you ask me, [there is] a great delusion on the film that they would believe a lie. I can see that through so-called Christian leaders. How they can say a movie is biblically sound when it really is not? It's not only that, but [was] based on an occultist nun's visions. (Texas)
Poorly done basis for a book, saint bashing. (China)
Although I agree with most of McMahon's comments, the Purpose Driven Life comments are out of order. I have been through the Purpose Driven Life study and am guiding others in this study, using our Bibles for deeper study, and find this a timely study very needful for this late hour before Lord Jesus comes. Perhaps T.A. McMahon needs to dig a little deeper before he digs at someone else's labor for our Lord. I pray that we all dig deeper in these last days. (Texas)
There comes a point when you have to choose your battles wisely. While your opinions about The Passion may be correct, when was the last time in your life that Jesus was talked about more openly? Can you ever remember a time when everybody from your neighbor, to your boss, to your postman was asking you about Jesus? I certainly can't. Am I going to tell a nonbeliever not to see a movie that shows the death and the resurrection of Jesus, while at the same time boldly proclaiming that Jesus died for our sins and that the He is the Way the Truth and the Life, and the only way to the Father? Not a chance. That's the Gospel! It's important not to lose sight of the goal in our endeavors to be Bereans. (California)
Tom; I have read your book, and agree 100% with you. I would like to add these comments....When people say, "Look at the good that will come from this," I am reminded of "And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just" Rom. 3:8. To those that say that people will be saved.....they are right! From the scripture on the screen!!!!! "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." Is. 55:11 In closing, I might add that as a former "altar boy" who now knows the LORD JESUS CHRIST as his Saviour--keep up the good work. "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. 2 Tim. 4:2-5...and thou wilt most certainly hear " ..... Well done, thou good and faithful servant:" Matt. 25:21 (New Jersey)
This book is powerful, profound and right on!! Tom was truly inspired by the Holy Spirit. As a former member of the cultic, Roman Catholic Church, I learned things about that church which I never knew. Thank you Dave and Tom and may the Lord continue to abundantly bless your ministry.(California)
Showtime for the Sheep is available for Kindle at Amazon.com.