The Passion of The Christ -- Will It Bring the U.S.A. to the
"Fork in the Road?"
"I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days..."
February 24, 2004 -- Tomorrow a movie will officially open in the theaters across the United States. Mel Gibson's film, "The Passion of The Christ," has been the topic of discussion and comment for months. Controversy has often swirled around Gibson and the making of the film. High profile media people just had to jump into the "pool" of commenting and, if possible, land an interview with Gibson himself. To say the least, this film is capturing attention unlike any other -- even making "Titanic" fade into the background!
And most decidedly unlike any other, could this film be one which brings United States society to a "fork in the road" -- that is, the forcing of the kind of very wise decisions on the part of a majority of citizens which will then take us down the road of healing, health, blessing, protection, and prosperity? OR will the majority decisions be such that the doom of the U.S. will be sealed and the wrath of an angry God will be poured out on a culture steeped in idolatry and rebellion which exhibits a dominant spirit that brazenly cries out daily, "No! We will NOT repent of our sins!"
Stop and think for a moment -- there has not been an event of this kind ever in the history of the republic -- an event where millions of us citizens all across the land will be graphically confronted with the shocking truth that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, voluntarily died a brutal death on a Roman cross for our sins! And in making such a sacrifice and rising from the dead three days later He has made forgiveness and reconciliation with God available to every human being on planet earth.
If indeed the vast majority choose the path of repentance which leads to unprecedented blessings, what might be expected? Here are some shocking possibilities:
Elected officials will apologize for the abuse of their positions -- there will be an adjustment of salaries and "perks" so they more accurately reflect the fact that they truly represent the interests of the citizens -- the common good of the citizens will always be the priority and not political posturing in order to gain popularity, buy votes, and retain office and power!
Greed will be acknowledged and deliberate choices made to forsake all efforts that have been motivated by greed -- in addition to elected officials, this will involve those in the petroleum industries, health care delivery systems, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, manipulators in the stock market, price fixing practices, trial lawyers and their high pressure campaigns to persuade citizens to sue anyone for anything to the tune of tens of thousands, or better still, hundreds of thousands of dollars, and a host of other issues in which the attitude always is, "I will do anything to make a buck no matter who gets hurt in the process!"
Moral, ethical, and spiritual issues will be honestly faced, confession made, and 180 degree changes implemented in the following:
Honest soul searching will take place in order to expose every form of idolatry existing in our lives at the personal level and also at the corporate level. The idols take many forms, ranging from rich and famous personalities to accumulated possessions and money!
As a nation, we will cease and desist in causing the daily mass murders of thousands of unborn children -- all who have been directly guilty of such acts and all who have supported the practice will express remorse and the intention to immediately stop committing these murders and support of the same -- actually, if such genuine remorse and regret were to sweep through the citizenry and its leadership, no legislation to stop abortion on demand would be needed!
All of us will begin to respect the boundaries God has established for sexual expression and experience. This means no more fornication, adultery, sodomy, lesbianism, prostitution, incest, bestiality, child sexual abuse, etc. It also means no more involvement in the production, distribution, sale, and purchase of pornographic materials.
There will be a dramatic change in basic teaching in all of our institutions of leaning -- a shift from a humanistic heathen approach that instills in our young the idea that we humans have simply evolved from a lower form of life to teaching that life has its origin in the creative work of Almighty God! Implied also in such teaching is the fact of personal responsibility for one's actions and ultimate accountability to this God with eternal destiny an issue over which one needs to be deeply concerned!
There will be radical changes made in order to establish the first day of the week as a day limited to providing opportunity for families to publicly worship God together and relax together in an experience of renewal of body, soul, and spirit. Such a change will transform the day from one where the majority has pursued pleasure, entertainment, viewing of professional sports events, and business interests to one in which the God Who created this mighty universe becomes the focus of attention and desire!
Another critical matter is the question of how the church, which claims to follow Jesus Christ, will be impacted by this graphic witness of the final hours of Jesus on this earth. If the right choices are made, it will mean:
Remorse and a change of heart for even daring to suggest that the revelation of God given to us through the Scriptures is not trustworthy coupled with raw unbelief concerning what God has done in the past, what He is doing now, and what He plans to do in the future in all of His interaction with the members of the human race!
Remorse and a change of heart concerning our practice of being "tolerant" not only of immorality but in accepting just about any religious "twist" anyone wants to give to most anything, since we have promoted ourselves as being in the position to set any "agenda" that suits our fancy!
Remorse and a change of heart concerning our lukewarmness in playing the game of religion at our convenience. Our lack of discipline so that for most of us the vital experiences of intense exploration of God's Word and communicating with God in prayer are extremely limited -- the result is spiritual poverty! If we ate and drank for the nourishment of our physical bodies to the same degree that we eat and drink spiritually for the nourishment of our spirits, our faces would reflect sunken glazed eyeballs and our bodies would be nothing more than skin covered bones!
Remorse and a change of heart concerning our pride in our "accomplishments" as we heap to ourselves our impressive temples of worship, our financial gains, and increased numbers of "members" -- shades of Laodicea! (Revelation 3).
Remorse and a change of heart concerning our indifference to Jesus' parting command to take the message of Himself and the salvation He offers to all humans into the entire world with no exceptions -- we have too often bought into the heresy that it is not our business to invade other cultures and disrupt their way of life with the radical claims and call of Jesus Christ Who died for the sins of the entire human race!
Will it happen? If it does, we will witness the greatest change in United States society since the republic was established in the latter years of the 18th Century! We citizens will indeed love one another, treat one another fairly and honestly in all dealings and transactions, and will seek the will of God in all activities and relationships. Not only will this occur on a personal and individual basis, but on all corporate levels as well!
But if the wrong fork in the road is taken by the majority -- if the response is identical to the frequent responses exhibited in the ancient Roman Coliseum --
a "thumbs down" defiantly and boldly displayed in response to God's call to repent and believe on His Son as Savior and Lord, then look out -- we will know for the first time the harsh reality of what the expression, "All hell is breaking loose!" is all about!
"Yet the house of Israel says, 'The way of the Lord is not fair.' O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair? Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways," says the Lord GOD. "Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies," says the Lord GOD. "Therefore turn and live!"
Ezekiel 18:29-32 NKJV
February 24, 2004
by Clayton D. Harriger
Elder in Full Connection
W. PA Annual Conference
The United Methodist Church
and presently pastor of
Gipsy Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
For further reference on issues related to Jesus, see:
- About That Mel Gibson Movie on the Passion of The Christ...One More Thing!
- The Way -- The Truth -- The Life!
- God Dressed Up in Bones, Flesh, and Blood!
- Reminders When Mansion Shopping!
- Jesus Meets the "Committee!"
- Were Jesus and His Cousin, John, Pharisee-phobic?
- But doctor, I feel good and people say I look great!
- Allah, and Other Deities Slated for Elimination!
- See how to overcome the pressure to conform to today's culture -- go to
How to Become a Christian
For further reference on moral, social, political and church issues related to our culture, see:
- Invitation to Judgment!
- Popular Deities of American Culture!
- Ripe for Judgment???
- Trashing Sacred Gifts -- 21st Century Style!
- Worse Than the "Black Death" -- It's the Porno Plague!
- How to Dismantle a Culture in 3 Easy Steps!
- God Bless America? Really Now, Why Should He?
- Atrocities? Well, It Depends on Your Definition of What Is or Isn't!
- United States Holocaust Gallery!
- Imploding Our Culture by Destroying the Young!
- A National Rage Against Violence, BUT Not Always!
- Portrayal of the U.S.A's Hidden Horrors!
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To win the battle over pressure to conform to our present culture, see
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