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Chuck Hinman: IJMA. Review of The Passion Of The Christ

Chuck Hinman: Review of "The Passion Of The Christ." Chuck exposes a glimpse of his spiritual thinking and development, brought on by viewing Mel Gibson's movie.
Next earlier Chuck Hinman column - The Old Gray Mare (She Ain't What She Used To Be)

By Chuck Hinman

Review of "The Passion Of The Christ"

I have been blessed with some abilities in writing about the memories of my life. To compliment that ability I am pleasantly surprised there is an increasing circle of people who seem to enjoy reading my scribbling. I am flattered.

To keep the things I write balanced and interesting, most of the subjects are suggested by members of the ImPeruvians Writing Club via one of the members. I enjoy writing and many times branch out into some uncharted water, not suggested by the Club. This is one of 'dem.'

Memories Not Written Down Fade

In writing, my son Paul, daughter Mary Ann, and granddaughter Kasi are in my mind as the beneficiaries. It is a tragedy when a person spends as much time in this world as I have, 82 years, and passes, and leaves a few personal memories but not much in writing. These memories are soon forgotten or dimmed with the passing of time.

I have determined with my writing ability, that by darn, I'm not going to let my family forget Connie and me, just because I didn't take time to jot down some things. What you read from me generally is What That's All About, Nothing More.

Aversions to Writing About Spiritual Development

You may not be particularly interested in reading me today or next month while I'm still hobbling around, but maybe, just maybe, there will be a time when you will want to hear that story again about the disastrous meal when Connie and I tried to have an 'old-fashioned Thanksgiving Dinner' by cooking a danged old goose that never did cooperate.

All of that to say this. I have found that people have an aversion to putting anything in writing about their spiritual development along life's way. Perhaps for good reason. Perhaps there wasn't any and there is nothing to write about. My own spiritual development got off to a slow start.

An old letter recounts Chuck's coming to know Jesus

I saved an eight-page handwritten letter from me to an old friend, Eddie Johnstone, in which I thanked her and her husband for their part in making it possible for me to know and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. They held a weekly Bible Study class in their home for many years. She returned the letter to me forty some years ago thinking that my family might treasure it in years to come. I think they will.

The only ones who have copies of that handwritten letter are my pastor, Rev. Tom Cox (for when he preaches my funeral service), and a former pastor, Rev. Bill Dudley, who helped nourish my spiritual development in the early days. Oh Yes, I believe I gave a copy to long-time friends, Ray and Maxine Lewis. They were long-time caregivers for Eddie Johnstone until her recent death. And still another thought, I'm sure I gave a copy to our long-time home Bible Class teacher, Rev. Chuck McCarthy. I believe that is all the copies floating around of that most significant event in my spiritual life. I may some time put that writing on the computer and circulate same.

Seeing movie motivates Chuck to tell his story to more people

Now, I am going to write to the wider circle of my family, peers, and friends, meaning you, exposing a glimpse of my spiritual thinking and development. It was brought on by my viewing the long awaited movie, "The Passion of The Christ" a few nights ago.

I recognize in giving my comments, I will alienate and offend some of you. You may think, "old Chuck is off on some religious kick, he will get over it." You may feel, as I used to, that your spiritual being is personal and not to be displayed like the Monday wash. I came from that kind of background where parents didn't speak of spiritual things.

Connie and Chuck decided spiritual development would be normal family talk

Connie and I determined long ago, that our family wasn't going to be run like that, that spiritual development is important and can and should be talked about normally and without embarrassment.

I restate, my primary purpose in writing is for my immediate family to know: What Their Mammy And Pappy Were All About; What They Believed; What Made Them Tick; and Any Important Lessons Or Legacies They Want To Leave From A Long And Happy Life. Any fallout from that to others is just 'additional gravy on the taters.'

My Review of "The Passion Of The Christ"

I preface this review with my statement that I believe that the Bible is the Word of God and is true and trustworthy.

As I sat in the theater watching the movie, I remembered having read in the well known daily devotional book, C. H. Spurgeon's Morning by Morning (given to us by Eddie Johnstone) about the terrible fate of people who reject (or do nothing with) the reason God allowed Jesus to be crucified. The movie is about that. But strangely and unfortunately, many people have heard the message of redemption before but it still hasn't 'sunk in' or they think they will look into it later. How many more times will there be? I think a prudent person would become a little antsy -- just in case the Bible is true (and it is).

Jesus' passion a preview of unregenerate's punishment

According to Spurgeon, (he quoted Bible references) such people's punishment will be as bad or worse than Christ's as depicted in the movie. So in a way, the terrible things that played out in Christ's life could be a preview for many unsuspecting viewers chomping away on popcorn. Scary? I think so!

As I was repulsed by the cruelty shown in the film, I couldn't help but shudder (an understatement) over the fate of my own family members and friends, who as far as I know have not received Christ as their "sin-bearer for their own sins" and as per the Bible as detailed by C. H. Spurgeon, their fate and punishment can be expected to be as bad or worse than what I viewed for two hours. This review covers a combination of the movie and Spurgeon's writing on the subject many years before the movie was made.

Quotations from Spurgeon and comments by Chuck

Here is what Spurgeon said for April 8 (His writing is indented):
"If they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when the wood is dry?" Luke 23:31 When God saw Jesus in the sinner's place, He did not spare him.
If you saw the movie, you are well aware that God did not stop the punishment.
When He finds the unregenerate without Christ, He will not spare them.
That is scary -- are you unregenerate without Christ -- if so, like Christ in the movie, you will not be spared?
Oh, sinner, Jesus was led away by His enemies, so will you be dragged away to the place appointed for you.
That is scary -- does this describe you or anyone dear to you, a family member, a close friend?
Jesus was deserted by God, and if He, who only imputedly a sinner was deserted, how much more will you be deserted!
That gets my attention Big Time. I have not only read it in the Bible with my eyes but saw it graphically depicted in the movie. Realistically now, doesn't that strike you, the unregenerate, as Serious. What more does it take to convince you?
"Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" Mark 15:34 What an awful shriek! But what will be your cry when you say, "Oh God! Oh God! Why have you forsaken me?"
Imagine your feeling when someone, such as a family member or close friend passed up the opportunity to be in right standing with God and frittered away the opportunity. Chilling? Very!
The answer will come back "Because ye have set at naught all my counsel, and would none of my reproof. I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh." Proverbs 1:25-26
This is sobering. Can't you see that time is running out like never before?
If God spared not His own Son, how much less will He spare you! Self-righteous sinners, who would stand in your place when God says, Awake, O sword, against the person that rejected me, smite him and let him feel the pain FOREVER!
Up to now, God has held the door open, but there comes a time when God says, "Enough!" Then it's all over and the wrath of God falls -- like in the movie, on Jesus. Now it will be on the unregenerate person the way the Bible reads. How dreadful And How Unnecessary.
Jesus was spit on. Sinner, what shame will be yours? We cannot sum up in one word all the mass of sorrows which met on the head of Jesus, Who Died For Us.
But Mel Gibson who created the picture did a very graphic portrayal of what the Bible says in this regard and it was dreadful, almost more than my senses could assimilate.
Therefore. It is impossible for us to tell you what oceans of grief must roll over your spirit if you die as you are now.
They will be every bit as intense as what you saw happen to Christ in the movie. Chilling possibility? Absolutely, if you believe the Bible is accurate and true.
By the agonies of Christ, by His wounds and by His blood, do not bring on yourselves the wrath to come.
Still not convinced, see the movie and let it chill you if you are unregenerated (not born-again)
Finally, trust in the Son of God, and you will never die.
I (Chuck Hinman) have and I recommend it to you on the basis of God's simple promise in John 3:16 -- "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that Whosoever Believeth In Him would not perish, but have everlasting life"
My conclusion is this. If the movie is just viewed as bloody, gory entertainment for a couple hours, it was a Waste!

If on the other hand, it (the movie) causes one person to rethink their preparation for heavenly life, and Do something about it, it was The Best Investment Of Two Hours They Will Ever Make And That -- With Eternal Benefits.

Written by Chuck Hinman, ImPeruvians Writing Club, Monday, 22 March 2004

This story was posted on 2014-04-13 05:44:48
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