Mel Gibson’s Passion Of The Christ Sequel Could Alienate Evangelicals
May 22, 2020
Source from Newsweek:
CUL_Resurrection_BannerOnce upon a time, Mel Gibson was box-office gold as the face of the Lethal Weapon franchise and as star and director of Best-Picture Oscar winning Braveheart. In 2004 he reset the record books with The Passion of the Christ, his intense and bloody depiction of Jesus’ crucifixion, which became the most successful R-rated movie of all time. But after several PR nightmares, starting with a 2006 DUI arrest accompanied by a rant about Jews, Gibson became persona non grata in Hollywood.
What is unclear—and likely key to whether the film succeeds or fails—is how Gibson will navigate the tricky question of what Christ was up to between his death and resurrection. The world’s Christians are divided: millions of Catholics believe Jesus visited hell while millions of Protestants—including the evangelicals who Gibson courted carefully for Passion—do not. If Gibson, who is Catholic, chooses to portray what’s known as the “harrowing of hell” or the “descent of Christ,” he risks turning off a sizable portion of his intended audience. According to Pew Research, Protestants, at 43 percent of the population, are the largest Christian group in America while Catholics are second at 20 percent.