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Stigmata (1999), (R)
CAP Score: 37
CAP Influence Density: 1.78
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SUMMARY / COMMENTARY:
*Stigmata* (R) -- placed Jesus in a very dark and sinister light
*Stigmata* used a few points of accuracy to give credence to sinister darkness. The movie also tried to justify questioning the Holy Bible: that there were many Gospels from which Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were chosen; that all Gospels were "opinions" and personal beliefs; that the true Gospel was written by St. Thomas -- and says nothing about the holy inspiration which wrote the Gospels. Rev. 22:19 says "And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." While that verse is speaking to the Book of Revelation, I suspect it has application for ALL books of the Bible.
This movie is built around the claim that St. Thomas' accountings of Jesus' teachings stated there is no need for a building to have a church (which has always been true). The movie portrayed the Vatican fighting such teachings viciously in fear they would lose their opulent and vast "empire." The church is not the building you enter on Sunday morning to worship Christ and receive His Word through the pastor or minister. No. The Church is the people in it. The Church is the Bride of Christ [Isa. 62:5]: it is all Christians [Acts 20:28]. Jesus did not purchase any buildings with His Precious Blood, He paid the price of sin with it. And those who believe on the shedding of His Precious Blood as atonement for their sins are Christians, not buildings.
*Stigmata* placed Jesus in a very dark and sinister light -- everything that was supposed to be holy seemed evil. The death of a priest was portrayed as causing a statue to bleed from the eyes. The stigmata (the five wounds of Christ) were graphically inflicted by unseen forces on a non-believing contemporary woman. Sequence, choreography, and dialogue seemed to lead the viewer to believe that she was some kind of resurrected Jesus, even in the final scene showing her walking off in a glowing white full garment (after a 'miraculous' healing, of course). Dialogue in this movie included "The nearer [men of God] come to God, the more open to temptation", "I do not believe in God" and "Believing in God is scary. He hates me..." God hates sin [Prov. 6:16] but He hates no one. Lots of unholy possession and *Exorcist* style imagery augmented by modern graphics peppered the movie. Several flash images of pounding nails into the hands and feet of Christ gave force to the invasiveness of this movie to the Christian child (and, yes, there were several children under 12 in the auditorium) and a full meal of violence to the non-believer. Just remember, the darkness of His death was not the message He brought us and there was nothing sinister about it -- it was fulfillment of the Law -- it was a blessed gift of Love. His message was the joy of personal salvation and everlasting brightness and glory through His Life, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension. This movie is a severe distortion of Reality and a formidable source of confusion to those who are developing an understanding of the Gospel [Is. 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!]. .
FINDINGS / SCORING:
NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below are likely.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
Offense to God (O)(2):
(1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.
(2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication. As required of the Holy Scriptures, unless God's name is used with reverence to His glory and praise, its use is considered in vain.
(3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.
Additional reviews of this movie may be located at "Movie Review Query Engine at Telerama."
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Thomas A. Carder
ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)