Another Special Life in Christ
These testimony lives are not stories of "role models". Jesus is the
These are lives wonderfully touched & changed by Jesus!
Mel Columcille Gerard
He was born 3 January 1956 in upstate New York
(Peeksill) into a devout Irish Catholic family, one of 11 children. His mother, Ann, was
Australian; and daddy Hutton Gibson, a railroad brakeman, moved them to Australia in 1968
(partly to keep his sons safe from the draft into the Vietnam War).
Mel married his wife, Robyn, in 1980; and they
have 7 children.
A friend of my stepson was at our home for a
grandchild's birthday party and told me of having met Mel (as an advisor) during the filming
(in South Carolina) of the "Patriot". He described a short, cocky man who chain-smoked
cigarettes. Very un-Christian-like, I thought, "Not anybody I want to hear about!" Mel admits
to a highly addictive personality which had him in trouble as he arose to the top heights of
fame and fortune. Upon his mother's death, he realized how empty, unfulfilled, and boring his
life had become...enough material wealth and fame had become never enough. He stood near a
high opening and thought about jumping and ending it all. "I don't want to live...I don't
want to die...I don't know..." Instead, he went to his knees, looked up, and asked for
The actor's quest for truth began when his mother
died in December 1990.
Mel is one of the most admired (and therefore
influential) entertainers in America. He is a member of a conservative "Tridentive
traditionalist Roman Catholic" church which he built in Malibu, a branch which does not go
along with Vatican II and which still does the Mass in Latin. He has produced a movie, "The
Passion of the Christ", of the last 12 hours and the crucifixion of Jesus. Acting uses the
almost-dead languages of Jesus' day, Aramaic & Latin. The movie clearly & graphically
demonstrates the brutalization of Jesus. There are widespread fears that anti-Semitism will
thereby be stirred up. Mel simply wants to produce a movie which visually tells the
truth...the imagery transcends the language barrier. He affirms that he is not
anti-Semitic and that to be so is un-Christian. "When I hear their fear, my heart goes out."
He notes that Jesus was a Jew and so were the disciples who wrote the 4 Gospels [what is the "good news"?] on which his
movie is based...all early Christians were Jews until Paul (after the death of Jesus) later
took the message to the gentiles.
Mel: "I'm not a preacher, and I'm not a pastor.
But I really feel that my career was leading me to this [movie]. The Holy Ghost was working
through me on this film, and I was just directing traffic. I hope the film has the power to
evangelize... Everyone who worked on this film was changed. There were agnostics and Muslims
on set converting to Christianity6."
Mel points out that no one took Jesus'
life...Jesus willingly gave it...all of mankind sinned to the point that it was necessary for
a sacrifice to atone for those sins before almighty God. The Jews and Romans may have been
material agents. But Mel puts himself at the head of the list of those saddled with
responsibility or fault for the death of Jesus. As to the movie, Mel notes, "I wanted it to
be shocking and extreme...and to push the viewer over the edge...and to help the viewer
realize the enormity of the sacrifice." At the end of the TV interview, my Christian
missionary friend, Ken Moore, exclaimed, "I think that man is saved...I can't believe it...I
think he is saved!"
I note (my close friend first mentioned it to me)
that the Jews correctly work hard to memorialize (they must fight against "revisionists" who
want to create a historical record that casts great doubt that the Holocaust even occurred)
the awful Holocaust in Germany in the 1930s; and, I assume, that they feel that the
importance of keeping that memory alive in the world transcends the pain and embarrassment
such memories may cause modern Germans. Christians have no less of a motive in proclaiming
the fundamental event in the Gospel...that one item in the overall proclamation (Mel's movie)
be so shocking is simply an educational element of the whole truth. Was Mel true to the Bible
in his movie? Pope John Paul II is quoted, after seeing a private showing, as to the
faithfulness of the cinematic production, "It is as it was."
The last minute of the movie contains the rolling
away of the stone to the tomb, a view of Jesus' still-collapsing, empty grave shroud, and a
glimpse of the arisen Jesus. Diane O'Connell, raised a roman Catholic, notes that Mel, a
Catholic focused on the Passion of Christ because that is a focus of the Catholic Church...as
is their veneration of Mother Mary. A Catholic crucifix often still has Jesus on
The movie opened to huge audiences on Ash
Wednesday, 25 February; and Betty and I saw it on the 27th. There have been a number of
discussions of the movie and Mel's motives on the O'Reilly Factor TV show during the summer
of 2003 up until now. The movie had to be self financed by Mel (as Robert Duvall had to
do...$5million...with his movie, "The Apostle") for over $30 million dollars!. To open/debut
about 25 February 2004.
Apologetics Resource Center newsletter
July-August 2003 page 3.
Mel conversation with Kay Arthur Jan.
Diane Sawyer TV interview of Mel Feb.
various O'Reilly Factor interviews,
various websites, newsletters, and
James C. Dobson, "Family News"
newsletter of February 2004, page 2, referenced to an 8 July 2003 piece by David
Limbaugh, "Mel Gibson's Passion for 'The Passion'", Creators Syndicate,
***give me your comments about this
(posted 1 Sept. 2003; latest update 28 February
You have just read a very brief example of the
powerful, supernatural transformation of a person's life which is possible through the
acceptance of Jesus as your savior. Are you tired of life as it now is for you? He will
accept you just as you are right this second! Consider accepting Jesus now