Mel's Meltdown: A Cautionary Tale for Christian Artists
- Tuesday, August 10, 2010
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12 NIV
I've been praying for Mel Gibson recently. These crazy phone recordings of he and his ex-girlfriend that have surfaced on the Internet are just heartbreaking. He sounds like a man on the edge; cursing, ranting and threatening… tormented by his choices, lack of friends, possibly alcohol or medication and—most certainly—satan.
Why wouldn't he be attacked by satan? Even without his failings and bad choices (some possibly even criminal), he makes a delicious target for the enemy. Mel's masterpiece, The Passion of the Christ, must have had a major effect in the spiritual realm. It was a proclamation to satan that his time is short, a vehicle for millions of believers to grow closer to their God and non-believers to be exposed to the gospel, and a major attack against the stronghold of evil in the arts.
Mel was the main human force who made it happen. He was aware that there would be spiritual attacks when making the film in 2003 and said, "Imagine: There's a huge war raging, and it's over us! … For some reason, we're important in this thing. I don't understand it. We're a bunch of [expletives] and idiots and failures and creeps. But we're called to the divine; we're called to be better than our nature would have us be. And those big realms that are warring and battling are going to manifest themselves very clearly, seemingly without reason, here—a realm that we can see. And you stick your head up and you get knocked" (The New Yorker, 10/15/03). And later, "There is a spiritual dark force that didn't want us to make the film. It's so completely palpable while your doing it" (EWTN, 1/24/04).
Steve Turner talks eloquently about spiritual warfare in the arts in his excellent book, Imagine:
"I'm convinced that the world of the arts, media, and entertainment, because of its access to the imaginations of so many millions, is a place of great interest to the spiritual forces of evil. As a movie director recently observed, 'L.A. is the town that controls world storytelling for both children and adults.' Artists have no special protection. In fact, because of their tendency to be curious about all forms of experience and their need to avoid rigid forms of thinking, they are probably more vulnerable to temptation. The standard protection kit offered to all Christians is the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of readiness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit and prayer (Ephesians 6). We can't survive with the T-Shirt of Sunday school memories and the baseball cap of personal vision."
For some of us, talk of having to deal with spiritual warfare is overwhelming or frightening. But remember, regardless of what the horror movies say, God is exponentially greater than the devil. Satan is only a finite, created being; God is the infinite, uncreated, multiple "omni" being. And His power living in us enables us to stand against the enemy.
As Christians, when we step into the destiny God has prepared for us we can be assured that:
- Spiritual attacks WILL come and,
- God WILL provide everything we need to be victorious.
God doesn't expect us to fight the battle on our own power; He gives us protection and weapons that we can become adept with. Many Christians know little about appropriating the armor of God in their lives. I often actually go through the motions of putting the armor on in order to bring it to life for me. It may look goofy, but it works.
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