Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Last Temptation of Movie Boycotters, Peter Gabriel, Jesus...and us

Michael Pritzl had some excellent comments in his sermon for us a few years ago about
Christians jumping on boycott bandwagon for the "Last temptation of Christ" movie (Sermon:

File Size: 12080 kb
File Type: mp3
Download File)

I (still!!) haven't seen the movie (yet!!), and I didn't boycott it, but I do know part of the controversy was portraying Jesus as being actually tempted sexually...which if we read Hebrews, we know for a fact he was.

(If you want more on this, click the word "posts" on this podcast player to hear sermons by a holy heretic, mesasges called "Jesus: A Tempted Apostle" and "Jesus Went to the Bathroom...and Cried!")

Whatever you have heard about the heterodox/ 'heretical' nature of the film; the movie have called it the most satanic film ever (Though Mark Driscoll has another candidate for that honor...see this!)
...read this below from the prologue to the book, as it is powerful and (ironically) could elicit a hearty "amen" from the boycotters if preached in their churches:

This book was not written because I wanted to offer a supreme model to the man who struggles; I wanted to show him that he must not fear pain, temptation or death - because all three can be conquered, all three have already been conquered. Christ suffered pain, and since then pain has been sanctified. Temptation fought until the very last moment to lead him astray, and Temptation was defeated. Christ died on the Cross, and at that instant death was vanquished forever.
Every obstacle in his journey became a milestone, an occasion for further triumph. We have a model in front of us now, a model who blazes our trail and gives us strength.

This book is not a biography; it is the confession of every man who struggles. In publishing it I have fulfilled my duty, the duty of a person who struggled much, was much embittered in his life,
and had many hopes. I am certain that
every free man who reads this book, so filled as it
is with love, will more than ever before,
better than ever before, love

Then, I heard Peter Gabriel's wonder-ful, joy-filled "It is Accomplished," from the movie soundtrack; at the point of Jesus death. . Evangelicals have often made these dying words of Jesus too trite and too joyful, as if Jesus was just thrillled, as he lay dying, that he was dying for our sins, when in actuality he also likely felt a whole lot more human than that ( see "The Lord Be With You..,,.Even When He's Not!")
But Gabriel brilliantly (as usual) captures the joy extraordinarily well..)
Play it here:

Kazantkis writes of this moment:

Content, he closed his eyes. And then there was a great triumphant cry:
It is accomplished!.
In other words: I have accomplished my duty, I am being crucified. I did not fall into temptation...

Heretics as we are, we played this song (during prayer time!!) at our Sunday gathering. If that's heretical, talk to me about Sigur Ros. (oops, I forgot the singer was gay!) Or how one of the most profound writers on the temptations of Jesus was both Catholic (gasp!) and struggled with homosexual temptation (!!!)..
(That writer's book is used in evangelical schools...schools that likely boycotted the Last Temptation movie).

And....Uh, on that last temptation, the homosexual one, he was in good company, according to a good Book I read:

"Jesus was tempted in every single way humans are..."
(click here for the shocking source...but warning, it's a dangerous book for religious folk!)

PS: I won't even get started (and don't get Corrie Ten Boom on another item the movie got right:

Jesus died naked.
Even Dallas Seminary professors agree with that.
Professors who likely boycotted the movie..


  1. Thanks for sharing this. Remember all the fuss when the film came out. Never went to boycott it, but too scared to go incase I was spotted. When it finally came out on video (remember those?) I rented it because I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I found it challenging, moving, thought-provoking, honest... Infact maybe nearer to the truth than all those 'We love nice Jesus' movies we post through peoples doors.
    Also did you know Michael Been of the Call is in the movie? Now that caused a stir through the Christian music brigade. He also had the nice part of doubting Thomas just to add to the fuss. All the Call albums were burned on the pyre.
    Why oh why do Christians enjoy making such a fuss? Makes more people go and see these things if you ask me.
    Also remember Greenbelt Arts Festival, a Christian based festival that invites gay people and people of other religions to take part, played the movie in it's cinema. No one got struck down. If you have never been to Greenbelt you would love it. Both U2 and the Call have played there in their time.
    Thanks for writing such challenging stuff and not hiding from the hard issues,
    Paul Leader

  2. Paul, sorry i didn't comment earlier! I appreciate being appreciated. I also love Been, so it was awesome to know he was involved..

    Maybe some more honest thoughtful movies will be made,

    keep up the good work


Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!