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Richard Bennett, a former Roman Catholic priest who is now a Christian, provides a strong biblical warning against Gibson's new Roman Catholic/Jesuit movie (which is based on the visions of the Catholic mystic Anne Emmerich).
Bennett shows how this movie violates the second commandment and is an idolatrous, blasphemous and deceitful film, fully in keeping with Antichrist's (the Papacy's) aims to replace the authority of the Word of God (and salvation by sovereign grace) with the authority and idolatrous images of the Papacy (and its false religion of works, which God hates).
This film also renews the classic battle between the historic Reformed Faith (on the side of the Word of God and Sola Scriptura) and Romanism (and this harlot's images, idols and superstitions).
Moreover, Bennett notes,
"In Catholicism and in the Passion movie, willfully putting together the sacrifice of the cross with the sacrifice of the Mass produces a dramatic and a theatrical lie."
Greg Price's "Pictures of Christ and Idolatry" expands on this message and is free at http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=32401164443 on this site.
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Great Sermon! it has always been hard for me to listen to another man whether in a movie or someone who is not associated with hollywood, to boldly say "I am the way the truth and the life". i try to avoid movies where a mere human is saying "i and my Father are one" and "those who do not believe in me will die in their sins". what Jesus said on the cross can never be repeated by sinners pretending/believing they can save other sinners.
from Houston, Texas
FLEE IDOLATRY!!! William Meyer,
You have hit the nail on the head. The ChristMass celebrations are BLASPHEMY! This annual festival of Rome is pagan idolatry "Christianized" for public consumption! God is not glorified in it, neither is He pleased by it!
This orgy of maudlin sentimentalism and hedonistic pleasure is a satanic substitute for true worship! The fact that so many professed believers continue in it show it for the golden calf that it is!
"Narrow is the way that leads to life and few there be that find it!"
from Washington, DC
Excellent Sermon! "God gave us a Word book...not a picture book". As Mr. Bennet generally conveys, Exodus 20:4 says it all! God forgive me because I was caught up in the moment at that time...but as His Holy Spirit does - brought light to my darkness. Praise and blessed be the Name, Person, and Will of Almighty God [forever]!
Great Sermon! This is a Great Sermon in my book! To you who embrace this apostasy I say Please hear me. I pray your eyes be opened and the Holy Spirit convict you of sin, righteousness and judgement. To you who perpetrated this evil I say"Oh you blind guides, shall the deaf make the blind see? Or how about can satan cast out satan, or can the author of death give birth to life? Not so my friend" It is very clear to me that my Bible says the motive and hidden agenda of the Papacy is the lowering of standards and breaking down of convictions that the Great Whore of Babylon may gather unto herself all the stray sheep and ride them to hell on the back of the beast. This my friend, is the movement of ecumenism headed up by what my bible says is the Mother of all Harlots namely the church of Rome. I do not doubt that God can take what is meant for evil and reap a harvest from it, but my bible says that faith cometh by hearing, and if any come bringing another gospel to reject and warn others. I think we would all do well to stay away from this apostasy and call it what it is.
Johnette Basinger (4/23/2004)
from Magnolia, Arkansas
Great Sermon! I thought there was no one that agreed with me on this issue!! Thank you! God have mercy on our nation!! and those who call themselves preachers of the word of God!!
Man's Created Image of God is Sin and his revengeful indignation against all false worship, as being a spiritual whoredom (1Cor.x.20-22, Jer.vii.18-20, Ezek.xvi.26-27, Deut.xxxii.16-20); accounting the breakers of this commandment such as hate him, and threatening to punish them unto divers generations (Hos.ii.2-4); and esteeming the observers of it such as love him and keep his commandments, and promising mercy to them unto many generations (Deut.v.29).
Original Westminster Larger Catechism is on this site at: http://tinyurl.com/2m8y3 or at http://www.sermonaudio.com/sea rch.asp?SpeakerOnly=true&currSe ction=ser monsspeaker&keyword=Westminste r%5EDivines%5E%2F%5EAssembly
Deut. 5:8 Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth:
Deut. 5:9 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,
Deut. 5:10 And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.
Man's Created Image of God is Sin or received by tradition from others (Matt.xv.9), though under the title of antiquity (1Pet.i.18), custom (Jer.xliv.17), devotion (Isa.lxv.3-5, Gal.i.13-14), good intent, or any other pretence whatsoever (1Sam.xiii.11-12, 1Sam.xv.21), simony (Acts.viii.18); sacrilege (Rom.ii.22, Mal.iii.8); all neglect (Exod.iv.24-26), contempt (Matt.xxii.5, Mal.i.7 & 13), hindering (Matt.xxiii.13), and opposing the worship and ordinances which God hath appointed (Acts.xiii.44-45, 1Thess.ii.15-16).
Q.110. What are the reasons annexed to the second commandment, the more to enforce it?
A. The reasons annexed to the second commandment, the more to enforce it, contained in these words, For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments (Exod.xx.5-6); are, besides Godâ€™s sovereignty over us, and propriety in us (Ps.xlv.11, Rev.xv.3-4), his fervent zeal for his own worship (Exod.xxxiv.13),
Man's Created Image of God is Sin Q.109. What are the sins forbidden in the second commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the second commandment are, all devising (Numb.xv.39), counselling (Deut.xiii.6-8), commanding (Hos.v.11, Micah.vi.16), using (1Kg.xi.33, 1Kg.xii.33), and any wise approving, any religious worship not instituted by God himself (Deut.xii.30-32); tolerating a false religion (Deut.xiii.6-12, Zech.xiii.2-3, Rev.ii.2 & 14-15 & 20, Rev.xvii.12 & 16-17); the making any representation of God, of all or of any of the three persons, either inwardly in our mind, or outwardly in any kind of image or likeness of any creature whatsoever (Deut.iv.15-19, Acts.xvii.29, Rom.i.21-23 & 25); all worshipping of it (Dan.iii.18, Gal.iv.8), or God in it or by it (Exod.xxxii.5); the making of any representation of feigned deities (Exod.xxxii.8), and all worship of them, or service belonging to them (1Kg.xviii.26 & 28, Isa.lxv.11); all superstitious devices (Acts.xvii.22, Col.ii.21-23), corrupting the worship of God (Mal.i.7-8 & 14), adding to it, or taking from it (Deut.iv.2), whether invented and taken up of ourselves (Ps.cvi.39),
Man's Created Image of God is Sin Question 107: Which is the second commandment?
Answer: The second commandment is, Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
Question 108: What are the duties required in the second commandment?
Answer: The duties required in the second commandment are, the receiving, observing, and keeping pure and entire, all such religious worship and ordinances as God has instituted in his Word; particularly prayer and thanksgiving in the name of Christ; the reading, preaching, and hearing of the Word; the administration and receiving of the sacraments; church government and discipline; the ministry and maintenance thereof; religious fasting; swearing by the name of God, and vowing unto him: as also the disapproving, detesting, opposing, all false worship; and, according to each one's place and calling, removing it, and all monuments of idolatry.
Man's Created Image of God is Sin Thomas Watson (17th c.)
The Ten Commandments
"Nor the likeness of any thing" means, "All ideas, portraits, shapes, images of God, whether by effigies or pictures, is hereby forbidden to be made." God is to be adored in the heart, not painted to the eye. To set up an image to represent God is to debase him. Idolatry is devil worship."
Francis Turretin (17th c.)
"Any religious worship should not be paid to images; thinking piously before an image is forbidden. We condemn here the treatment of sacred or religious images that are supposed to contribute something to the excitement of religious feeling. God forbids the making of them and the worship of them."
Matthew Henry (17th c.)
"Our religious worship must be governed by the power of faith, not by the power of imagination. Idolatry is spiritual adultery."
John Gill (18th c.)
"No image of God was to be made at all, since no similitude was ever seen of Him, or any likeness could be conceived; and it must be a piece of gross ignorance, madness and impudence to pretend to make one; and great impiety to worship it."
Charles Hodge (18th c.)
"Idolatry consists not only in the worship of false gods, but also in the worship of the true God by images."
Man's Created Image of God Is Sin Augustine of Hippo (4th c.)
"Thus, they erred, who sought Christ and his apostles not in the sacred writings, but on painted walls."
John Calvin (16th c.)
Treatise on Relics
"As soon as anyone has devised an image of God, they have instituted false worship. The object of Moses is to restrain the rashness of men, lest they should travesty God's glory by their imaginations."
It appears, however, that the use of pictures was creeping into the church already in the third century, because the council of Elvira in Spain, held in 305, especially forbids to have any picture in the Christian churches. (Page 11)
Works of Owen, Volume 1
"So do the Papists delude themselves. Their carnal affections are excited by their outward senses to delight in images of Christ, - in his sufferings, his resurrection, and glory above. Hereon they satisfy themselves that they behold the glory of Christ himself and that with love and great delight. But whereas there is not the least true representation made of the Lord Christ or his glory in these things, - that being confined absolutely unto the gospel alone, and this way of attempting it being laid under a severe interdict, - they do but sport themselves with their own deceivings." (Page 372)
Great Sermon But ! Very good sermon and for those who know nothing of the catholic faith, perhaps an eye opener.
But I see little point in condemning something which God is able to use to see souls won to Him.
To say an image on a screen is idolatry can be substantiated by the scriptures but surely it is and always has been our heart that the Lord is concerned with. Not a legalistic interpretation of scripture that the pharicees of Jesus day were very good at doing.
Idolatry can be anything that stands between you and your love for God. Pornography, a car, a nice house, a statue.
When I was a teenager I watched a "Jesus" movie on TV by myself. At the end of the movie with no prompting from any person I knelt beside my bed and committed my life to follow Christ.
When I think back about that night it can only have been the Holy Spirit that led me to know and understand that this was truth and not a fictitious story.
Perhaps Mels movie misses out on some of the facts but the Holy Spirit is able to add as required.
I applaud Mel's movie. The testimonies of people within my church have all been positive and comments like "It increased my love for the Lord".
Does this sort of response sound like idolatry.
Matthew Ward (4/9/2004)
Great Sermon! I liked the sermon. But have believed for years that the TV and Movies would have something to do with the image that speaks.
Adilson Silva (4/5/2004)
from Sao Paulo-Brazil
Great Sermon! Believers don't need to see Mel Gibsons' idolatrous film to realize the deep sufferings of Jesus on His way to the cross. We have the accurate word of God, the bible, to teach us and guide us. Mel Gibsons' roman catholic film is for catholics who do not understand the main importance of Jesus's death on the cross. Mere emotions don't take anyone to heaven.
Anita Austin (4/5/2004)
from Lake Stevens, Washington
Great Sermon! Keep it up I am glad to find this site to reveal the origin of the movie the Passion. The small church I attend in the most unchurched state in the Union is all clamouring about it and to tell you the truth I am a bit sick of hearing it.
I smelled Catholic when I viewed a wee bit sent out to all the pastors in the land and saw Mary too young to be the mother of a 33 1/2 year old male child and a nun type head covering and said it is not for me.
My husband and I refused to see it and where we feel we stand alone it is nice to see there are those out there who will reveal the truth for sheep who only sense something is amuck.
I see the Catholic Missionary Project (my name for it) as a huge money maker for the Catholic Church to pay off huge court fees, refurbish the Vatican and renovate new golden robes and all at the cost of dumb Christian sheep.
My cry for years has been â€śWhere are the teachers who will rightly divide & compromise at nothing?â€ť
Real love is ones who will rightly divide and compromise at nothing, anything less is not love but man pleasing. Thanks for your site & for standing up for truth, Anita
Matthew G. Bianco (3/26/2004)
from San Angelo, TX
Great Sermon! It is almost humorous to me to hear people say that picturing God or Christ or the Holy Spirit is not idolatry because God did it. God is the only one that CAN do it! God revealed Himself as a burning bush and in other ways but gave us a specific law against doing it ourselves. Without express command to do so, WE have NO right to make images representing God in ANY way. The Romish church only claims to have that authority. We must honor God by obeying His commandments, heeding His Word, and trusting that He gave us everything we need to do His will in this life - no help from Hollywood films will EVER be needed.
Jed Carson (3/26/2004)
from Clinton, Mississippi, USA
Great Sermon! I am quite surprised that the comment was made that Paul's Athenian address justifies imagery.
As Paul tarried in Athens, he was so grieved from the "idolatry" that he broke out speaking boldly, disputing with the religious "I go to church" crowd, and the pagans of the city in the grocery store. He probably preached for 3 weeks, as was his custom (17:2). Only after 3 wks of solid preaching about Jesus and the resurrection (v18) did he mention the image and that to rebuke imagery. In his address, he stated: "Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent" v29-30
The reason that this movie is so popular among many churchgoers is that we departed from Sola Scriptura long ago and that we as a whole have no confidence in the gospel. If we add to it, we make it of none effect. 1Cor1:17 For we walk by faith and not by sight 2 Cor 5:17, Whatsoever is not of faith is sin Rom 14:23, They that are in the flesh cannot please God. Rom 8:8, They that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth Jhn 4:24 See Ex 20:2; Deut 4:15; and also Ezekiel 8:7-12 (TV rebuked in OT!)
Alvin Crofts (3/26/2004)
from Plano Texas
Great Sermon! Actually the celebration of Christmass did not start until mid fourth century (although its observace predates Christianity.
Pagans were legislated Christians into the new church/state religion of Rome. It was made an official "Christian" holiday in mid fifth century basically because while you could legislate Christianity with pagans they were not able to get them to stop behaving as pagans.
Drunkeness and gift giving and more was the halmark of Saturnalia.
Visiting London (which was founded by Romans and was part of the Roman empire) during the holidays you see that Christmass/Saturnalia is celebrated today the same as it was when it was known by Saturnalia.
You can even find the remains of a temple to Mithras there.
If you look at the days that the "Eastern Orthodox" (that are in reality Romans once removed)
celebrate it you find that day was observed long before it became the birth of Christ.
Clement of Alexandria set forth some guess's in late second century on the birth of Messiah (none around December or January BTW) and he did not know for sure.
While we have pictures of Kings that predate Christs arrival there are none that depict him the aposles knew that it was idolitrus to do so.
William Meyer (3/25/2004)
from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA
Great Sermon! By the direct application of the principles of this surmmon, one MUST conclude that Christmas Celebrations in our Church Sanctuary ALSO are BLASPHEMY.
They TOO Represent Christ in an IMAGE, that may or may not be an exact revelation.
Why don't we look at what a IDOL really is, NOT an image, but something that stands between us and God.
Lorin Smith (3/14/2004)
from Devonshire, Bermuda
Great Sermon! Praise the Lord for this message from Brother Bennett.If Jesus Christ is a member of the Triune Godhead, who spoke from Mount Sinai, prohibiting the material representations of His person in Exodus 20:4, how can He be pictured? Did He not claim in John 8:24, 58 to be the I AM, the Yahweh God of the Old Testament? (Exodus 3:14) I pray that the Lord will use this timely message to open up the eyes of evangelicals to the idolatry of picturing Christ. An excellent book on this topic is Christ Can't Be Pictured: God Is Not Like Art by Virgil Dunbar. He can be contacted by email at [email protected]
james lawson (3/13/2004)
from Tacoma, WA.
Great Sermon! Thankyou for this sermon. I saw the movie, but now must identify Mel's true heretical identifications with it. If it is the movie maker's agenda to unite it inseparably with the re-crucifixation of the Roman Catholic Mass and that it is one with the very altar of that Mass... We all need to repent of any affection we ourselves may give it. Thankyou.
from Middle Tennessee
Great Sermon! Thank you Brother Bennett for your boldness to tell the truth and your heart's cry for those still in the clutches of Rome. You convicted me of my need to pray for those who are still blinded by the enemy. May God have mercy on them. May God have mercy on all of us. We must tell the truth of what really happened the day our Lord was crucified and He became our sin. I will continue to pray for you and your ministry.
Susan M. (3/1/2004)
from New Hampshire
Biblical support for his position! This is not a man ranting and raving against a movie, but one calmly quoting the Biblical passages which show us the true Messiah and His deity which can not be reproduced on film. God saw it sufficient to give us His Word, not a film, as "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." Many would promote this film as an evalgelistic tool, but God has provided the Gospel in His Word for this purpose. How would we suppose to improve upon this?
howell davis (3/1/2004)
from Brighton, Michigan
Great Sermon! Dear Brother Bennett,
I spoke out yesterday in my Church of Christ against this film after our minister endorsed it. I have been admonished by an elder and queried by brothers and sisters. Some got up and left during my confession of committing false witness, i.e. previously endorsing the film to all.
I pray that the Lord will guide and protect us. It is idolatry and ego.
Jonathan McAuley (2/29/2004)
from Northern Ireland
Great Sermon! Thank you Mr Bennet for a clearly exposing the idolaltry of this much publicised production. Your sermon is in keeping with men like John Knox who did not fail to expose the error and idolatry of the Romish Mass.
Jerry Palumbo (2/27/2004)
from Akron, Ohio
Great Sermon! There was something about this movie
that was not right in my spirit in the weeks prior to its release. Thanks to Richard Bennett for boldy proclaiming the truth of God's word and the errors of Roman Catholicism that have contributed to the making of this movie. God bless you, Mr.
Paul Porter (2/26/2004)
from 538 Bedell Route 555N.B.E7M5A8
Great Sermon! I thinkthis movie may be right on for the "end times".It appears to me that itfits in with Romanism and Ecumenical movement
A. W. (2/26/2004)
Excellent Sermon! Thank you Mr. Bennett, for presenting the truth so clearly, and so timely.
Peter Gordon (2/26/2004)
from Perth Scotland
Great Sermon! Brilliant sermon by Richard Bennett... Many more need to listen to this!!! And get right with God...Would i be able use this message for my website?
Benjamin Meng (2/25/2004)
from Indianapolis, IN
Excellent! A Must Hear, dealing with this subject. There is a lot of information here that I have not heard elsewhere. Definitely a Christ Honoring presentation. Thank you Richard Bennett.
Richard Bennett spent twenty-one years as a RC priest in Trinidad, WI. After a serious accident in 1972, he began to study seriously the Bible. After fourteen years of contrasting Catholicism to Biblical truth, he was convicted by the Gospel message. In 1986, he saw that...