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Weekly Message To The Masses (February 22, 2004)         

       Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" opens in theatres this coming week and I am sure there is not one of us who has not seen at least some of the promotions for this movie.  Many Catholic and Christian church leaders are looking to this movie to increase their congregations ... ignoring the fact that this movie is rated "R" for graphic violence.

        Mel Gibson has stated that the graphic images are to show people how much this man went through for them.  He is assuming that it is necessary that we see a bloodied Jesus in order to get our attention.  However, to feed our subconscious with images of violence and gore, will in truth, separate us even further from the Truth that Jesus taught.   As we continue to accept this literal interpretation of scripture and the life of Jesus, we will find it increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to transcend the physical as Jesus taught, and realize the resurrection of Life, Truth and Spirit in our lives.

     "You are my friends, and the greatest love a person can have for his friends is to give his life for them."    - from the splash page of "The Passion of the Christ" web site, Mel Gibson's movie based on the literal interpretation of the Bible.  This statement is worthless without understanding what Jesus was teaching.   In order to understand what the word "friends" meant to Jesus we can read the following from John 15:11-27, Key Verse:  15:14
“You are my friends if you do what I command.”

Now, let's take a look at another statement from the teachings of Jesus"There is no credit with God if you love only friends and not sinners."  (Matthew 5:43-48; Luke 6:32-36)

    Looking at the two statements above are we to assume that Jesus contradicted Himself or perhaps was confused?  Of course not.  Our only conclusion can be that the Bible as we know it, is an interpretation not a translation and many of the statements in the Bible were not meant to be taken literally.

    Why would Mel Gibson be so adamant in making a movie of the literal interpretation ... rather than do the work and find the Truth of what Jesus was teaching?  I believe it is because the literal interpretation validates Mel's personal beliefs and judgments.  Mel Gibson has made many statements in the past that show that he has missed much of the value of the true teachings of Jesus.  This week his father stated that the Holocaust was mostly untrue.  I am sure there are those who can also state that much of what we know of the crucifixion is untrue.  Why?  Because every Bible that we possess is an interpretation rather than an accurate translation ... the words of the Bible have been manipulated to sanction slavery, racism, anti-Semitism, anti-interracial marriage, and even now to diminish the lives of gay and lesbian people.  The Bible has been changed and re-arranged to validate and support the religious power structure rather than the people it was written to serve.

     Jesus taught using parables (stories) ... and was speaking from the "subjective" ... not the literal.  WE CANNOT TAKE THE BIBLE LITERALLY AND REAP ANY REAL BENEFIT FROM IT.

     The Master Mind Jesus is the most powerful teacher that has walked on this earth .... would He approve of "The Passion of the Christ" movie?  I don't think so.  His Life's work led to the "Resurrection" ... dismissing the false judgments and the concepts that separated us and kept us from God.  "Fear not, little flock, it is the Father's Good pleasure to give you the Kingdom."  This "Kingdom" can only be found as we transcend the "physical" and the "literal" interpretation of the Bible ... and embrace our One-ness with God.

 And So It Is! 
Letting Love Use Me In Its Own Good Way,
Henry Lee Bates                          

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