Read Instructions before Viewing Passion

(Three posts today--a new record)

If you go see The Passion and are a Christian or Jew, you might want to read Dennis Prager's column, Mel Gibson's Two Movies on his website or at Beliefnet.com.

"When watching The Passion," he writes, "Jews and Christians are watching two entirely different films."

"For two hours, Christians watch their Savior tortured and killed. For the same two hours, Jews watch Jews arrange the killing and torture of the Christians' Savior."

Prager's got some good insights on the different ways Christians and Jews might see the film, and how they can avoid being divided by it.

And for my Christian friends who can't figure out what all this Anti-Semitism fuss is all about, some parting words from that father of the Reformation, Martin Luther and his work, The Jews and Their Lies.

"I shall give you my sincere advice," wrote Luther. "First to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians, and do not condone or knowingly tolerate such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of his Son and of his Christians . . . "

"Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. For they pursue in them the same aims as in their synagogues. Instead they might be lodged under a roof or in a barn, like the gypsies. This will bring home to them that they are not masters in our country, as they boast, but that they are living in exile and in captivity, as they incessantly wail and lament about us before God. Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them."

Justification by faith, Luther got. It's loving thy neighbor--and even thy enemies--that Luther forgot, to the Church's eternal shame. Father forgive us, for we know not what we do.


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