Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Mel Gibson's Perspective on Salvation

Salvation is by faith alone through grace alone. It is faith plus nothing. Anything that adds to faith alone is another gospel. Performing certain religious rituals or membership to a certain church is not necessary.

While I respect Mel Gibson’s effort with the film The Passion of the Christ, we need to understand his perspective on salvation. Mel Gibson is a devout Roman Catholic who adheres to fundamental Catholic doctrine. You could classify him as “old school” Catholic, meaning pre-Vatican II. This is not to say that post-Vatican II is really any more Biblical. Post-Vatican II Catholicism, for the most part, just reiterates the traditional doctrines of the Catholic church. The real difference is with the ecumenical dialogue that was the intended outcome of that effort.

Mel Gibson believes that all who are non-Catholic are not able to experience salvation. This includes his Anglican wife. This came out in an interview with the Herald Sun in Australia.

“Put it this way. My wife is a saint. She’s a much better person than I am. Honestly. She’s, like, Episcopalian, Church of England. She prays, she believes in God, she knows Jesus, she believes in that stuff. And it’s just not fair if she doesn’t make it, she’s better than I am. But that is a pronouncement from the chair. I go with it.” Mel Gibson in interview- MSNBC

It is interesting that the Catholic Church, in the outcome of Vatican II, now teaches that salvation is possible outside of the RCC. In fact, they have broadened it to include even sincere Buddhists, Muslims, or anyone from any other faith. This is just as erroneous as the Catholic Church’s previous stance that salvation was for only those within the RCC. The Bible gives us the words of Jesus when He said “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, except by me.” (John 14:16) Biblically, faith in Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation, not membership to any church or religious observance.

I find it amazing how many evangelicals readily confirm Mel Gibson's supposed saving faith. While there have been many changes in his life in recent times, salvation is not merely "turning over a new leaf" in one's life. Genuine salvation also includes embracing the truth of Scripture. While I am certainly appreciative of many changes in Mel Gibson's life, I certainly hope that he truly comes to genuine saving faith in Christ. But it seems that many evangelicals are far too quick to affirm anyone's proclamation of faith, merely because they take a moral stance on an issue or exhibit some change in their life.

The Gospel is by Grace alone apart from any works on our part, whether it be righteous deeds or religious observance. Paul addressed the Galatians concerning the Judaizers who were infiltrating their ranks, adding the works of the law to the plan of salvation by faith. These men were teaching that believers needed to observe the mandates of the Old Testament law including circumcision.

“6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:6-9)

Paul uses strong language condemning those who add anything to faith in Christ for salvation. The term accursed means “eternally condemned”. This is a very strong condemnation. Notice that the Bible does not say that they were denying the trinity or the virgin birth. They were just merely adding to the plan of salvation. But this is a serious point. To add anything to simple faith alone is to interject man’s effort to make himself righteous before God, which nullifies the finished work of the Cross of Christ. Ephesians 2:8-9 emphasizes that we are saved by faith alone, not by any works that we do.

“8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

3 comments:

SoccerReformer said...

Yes, the rush to embrace this film in so many churches was a real disappointment. Even forgetting about issues with the The 2nd Commandment (I won't get into that here as this commandment is virtually ignored in any number of evangelical churches, including Reformed and Calvinistic bodies), the predictacbly ecumenist approach to the script should have warned people off, but instead it was embraced apparently for the suprreme virtue of being a possible means of getting people inside the door.

George said...

Salvation is by faith alone through grace alone. It is faith plus nothing. Anything that adds to faith alone is another gospel. Performing certain religious rituals or membership to a certain church is not necessary.

Do you not agree with this statement?

AuthenticTruth said...

George, I think that I may have been a little unclear in this posting. Of course, yes I do agree with the statment that you quoted from my post. I opened with my comment of the biblical teaching on salvation. This was not Mel Gibson's view. Of course I would hope that the remainder of the post should clear that up.