This is some pre-Vatican II Roman Catholic blood cult. It is populated with medieval-type caricatures, screaming out of context, laughing at suffering. Everyone is gruesome and grotesque, apart from a handful of people such as the Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene and the apostle John. Mary, by the way, is hardly off of the screen, when in fact she is seldom mentioned in the Gospel accounts... I wanted majesty and pathos but was given clumsiness and thumping. Yet God's grace and His love still surround me. If the movie works for you, I am happy. For me, it is prayer, Bible and a dwelling in a God-given imagination that this hyped Hollywood product can never rival.
The church, some insist, is not some mere voluntary arrangement that we can abandon just because we do not happen to like some of the other people in the group. God calls us to the church, and that means that God requires that we hang in there with each other, even if that goes against our natural inclinations. I agree with that formulation.It always amazes me that my tribe thinks they have the luxury of splitting over secondary issues. If we're the church, what exactly do we think we're splitting? Worth thinking about. (Found through Jordon from whom all good links flow)
If it does nothing else, Gibson's film will break the tradition of turning Jesus and his disciples into neat, clean, well-barbered middle-class businessmen. They were poor men in a poor land... I myself am no longer religious in the sense that a long-ago altar boy thought he should be, but I can respond to the power of belief whether I agree or not, and when I find it in a film, I must respect it.Ebert also calls the film the most violent he's ever seen. A summary of reviews, along with links, can be found at Metacritic (which called it The Passion of Mel Gibson on its homepage). It's fair to say that the reviews are polarized.