Churches are Growing Passionate about an Upcoming Movie

February 5, 2004 -- Posted at 10:16 pm CST

PARAGOULD—It's being described as a powerful epic that truly demonstrates what Christians have learned about the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Pastor Greg Addison of East Side Baptist Church in Paragould says he was speechless when he left the movie. He is one of a few people who has seen a rough cut of "The Passion of the Christ." Addison attended a pastor's conference in Florida two weeks ago where the movie was shown.

"When it was over there was just silence and then awe and then the sounds of tears," said Addison.

Addison entered the movie skeptical, thinking this was going to be just another Hollywood depiction of the crucifixion.

"It was done to be true to scripture and what I read in scripture and what I saw, they match up," said Addison.

Some groups however are concerned about how accurate this movie is. The Anti-Defamation League takes issue with a portion of the movie taken from the Gospel of Matthew. They say it could "fuel hatred, bigotry and anti-semitism." It's possible though, the scene may not even be included in the finished version of the movie.

"There is no over-arching Anti-Jewish feel," said Addison.

Addison has already rented out 2 movie screens for his Church when "The Passion of the Christ" premieres. Other Churches like Ridgecrest Baptist in Jonesboro are doing the same.

"I'm excited because we're using it as an outreach from our Church to the community," said Pastor Gary Henderson, "I'm encouraging our Church to invite people they know who are not going to a Church or in other situations in life to bring them even of they have to pay for their way to go."

"The Passion of the Christ" opens February 25th.