Witness at The Passion
By Pastor Ralph Ovadal The Covenant News ~ February 27, 2004
Last night, members of my church went to the local showing of The Passion. While the movie was playing, we set up banners directly across the street from the movie exit. One banner read, "How shall ye escape the damnation of hell?" and the other read, "Repent ye, and believe the gospel." We had people with gospel tracts waiting on the sidewalk on each side of the exit doors. They also had a special tract for Catholics ready where needed.
The people came out mostly silent. I preached to them from directly across the street. I only preached as loud as was necessary for all to hear, which was not very loud, given the silence of the people. I let them know that we do not assume that all seeing the movie are unsaved but that we were there to share the gospel with the unsaved.
We gave out many tracts and had some good interaction. I believe that the Lord did work among the people through our witness. Quite frankly, those coming out of the theater showed no signs of revival but only worldly sorrow for the man whom they saw tortured. Several Christians seemed upset with us, even though our presence was low-key (for us anyway). Several wicked individuals whom we know said the usual wicked things. I received some angry looks from known Catholics when I preached about the futility of attempting to earn salvation through sacraments, indulgences, purgatory, or good works and spoke of the Catholic church as a false church which is leading many down the broad way of destruction. At the same time, some of the Catholics took our tract An Urgent Plea to Roman Catholics.
A newspaper reporter interviewed me concerning our witness, and I told him that The Passion is against the Bible in that it both adds and subtracts from God's Holy Word.
We did have some good conversations, and I trust that the preaching of God's Word will be used by Him for His purposes. We are going back out to minister at the same theater tonight and tomorrow night. I would encourage those of you who are able to go out and witness of the true gospel at a showing of The Passion. Those who attend the movie surely are not going to get it in the theater. What they will get is a Romanist counterfeit filled with false doctrine meant to subtly turn their hearts toward Roman Catholicism. I would encourage you to visit pcc.sermonaudio.com and listen to a sermon I did last Sunday on The Passion. This movie will reveal the hearts of many. Christians--and their leaders--will take one of three positions on the movie:
1. It is an unbiblical assault upon God's Word on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church.
2. It has some "bad doctrine" or "unbiblical things" in it, but God will use it anyway.
3. It is a fantastic evangelistic tool, a real blessing from heaven.
It will be interesting to watch this issue play out. Brace yourselves to hear about the many conversions to Christ which this movie will supposedly produce. We hear the same from the Billy Graham crusades, but where is the revival? The Lord will not bless a movie that so assaults His Word. May God help us in this hour of apostasy. I am going to preach on this subject again this Lord's Day.
- Pastor Ralph Ovadal is the director of Wisconsin Christians United.