I don’t think it’s heretical to not love Passion. At all. I personally thought it was a good, but not great movie. I was deeply moved in parts, but it still wasn’t fantastic, I thought. But good.
You know my favorite part of the movie. You’ll think it’s random. It’s when he’s interacting with (Virgin) Mary and he splashes water. I liked that. I dunno, most Jesus movies always make Jesus this super solemn guy all the time, but that can’t be right. The scriptures say he was accused by some of being a glutton and a drunkard. Basically a party animal. So he must have been a fun guy. But you never see that side in Jesus movies. So I really liked that brief scene where it showed him being playful.
I have no idea how good an outreach movie it is. The whole time watching, I felt like a nonbeliever would just be totally lost. The power of the movie for me came from the context, and there wasn’t much of that in the movie. And from what I’ve read, secular reviewers seem to feel that way. Confused, not moved.
re: the anti-Semitism thing, the worst thing we can do I think is get angry at Jews who object to the film. That’s just perpetuating the anti-Semitic mindset they’re angry about – *they* crucified Jesus, and now *they’re* persecuting us. If we respond like that we give credence to their fears. I dunno, I just feel like we have to respond another way. Something more respectful, more loving.
I also don’t think we can just brush aside their concerns either. I dunno. Anti-semitism is a real and unfortunate part of the Church’s history, and it’s naive I think to say it just came out of nowhere. Lots of famous people expressed anti-Semitic sentiments. Martin Luther is a big example. He clearly knew Scripture. It’s not like he didn’t know Jesus and most of his friends were Jews. But he still wrote what he wrote. I dunno, I just think it’s better to say, yeah, there are things in Scripture that can and have been taken in history to support anti-Semitism but we recognize that to be wrong and repent of it. I dunno, my take.