When the Messenger Falls

It was tragic when the man who is responsible for introducing Jesus Christ to more people than anyone else in our generation demonstrated great public sin and enormous personal problems.

That man, of course, is Mel Gibson, the film star, director of The Passion of the Christ, and evangelist, who accomplished a late night trifeckta—-public drunkenness, driving under the influence, and scapegoating an ethnic group, the Jewish people.

I grieve for Mel Gibson, because he clearly has deep personal issues that have now destroyed his reputation. And I grieve for the impact this has on the fine work he has done bringing the message of Jesus through the thicket of Hollywood opposition to millions of people. When God’s messengers prove to have feet of clay, it gives courage to those who would tramper upon the message.

But much has been written about this incident. I appreciated a column from Terry Mattingly, which included this thought from film critic Michael Medved, an Orthodox Jew.

“When a long-married, 50-year-old father of seven gets arrested for drunk driving at nearly twice the speed limit at 2:30 in the morning,” noted Medved, “it’s safe to assume that he faces even more serious problems than exposing his anti-Semitic attitudes.”

I like Mel Gibson and I honor him for his courage. I pray for his restoration and healing. He found a way to bring the story of Christ to the big screen; perhaps he’ll find a way creatively to help diminish the anti-Semitism that is a curse in the world and a unsavory legacy of Gibson’s own family.

–Jim Jewell

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About Jim Jewell

I am a writer and consultant on faith and public life, active for many years in management and communications in the evangelical community. I now work as the director of the nonprofit practice at The Valcort Group (www.valcort.com). Everything on this blog, however, is my personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. Opinions, conclusions and other information expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Valcort.
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