I read an article today on MSNBC.com entitled: “Hypocrisy, thy name is Mel Gibson,” and, while it’s a witty title, I thought it brought up an interesting anthropological point: we are all hypocrites.
Personally, I am a huge fan of Mel Gibson. Braveheart
is one of my top 5 five movies of all time. I still tear up every time he cries out “Freedom!” at the end. And, who could not like his character, Martin Riggs, from the Lethal Weapon franchise? On top of all of that he’s an excellent director.
Still, in recent years Mel has gotten a lot of attention for the proclamation of his faith, think The Passion of the Christ,
as well as his uncanny ability to get caught in more than contradictory behavior according to the very precepts of said traditional Roman Catholic faith. Recently, the news has been all about his split from his long-time wife (mother of his seven children) and the pregnancy of his new, much younger, Russian musician girlfriend. This has inspired many in the media and general public to call Mel a hypocrite, and truth be told he is one, but so is everyone calling him one.
Unfortunately, or fortunately (depends on how you look at it), Mel is the brunt of such harsh judgment because of some his tough stands on divorce and traditional moral values (aka the Law
). People are upset because he has failed to practice what he preached. Sadly, we are all guilty of this. “Let him who is with out sin cast the first stone” right? (John 8:7)
Mel’s case illustrates two things: 1. “Judge not, that you be not judged.” (Matt. 7:1) Whenever we judge someone else for doing something wrong we are setting ourselves up to be judged in the same manner because we are all guilty of breaking the same holy Law. In short, we’re all exposed as hypocrites. So, Mel is getting judged with the same kind of judgment that many thought he dished out.
2. He is living into his faith more than ever. Christianity is for hypocrites. The author of the above article uses Mel’s recent antics to bring into question the validity or sincerity of his Christian faith thinking that one should be able to be consistent with their beliefs. It shows how misunderstood the Christian faith is. It is the only faith that calls a thing as it really is. The Law in the Bible called Mel Gibson a hypocrite long before any of us had the chance, and it does the same thing to you and me. Mel is being consistent with his faith, although perhaps not with his particular traditionalist Roman Catholic flavor, but certainly with the faith that he held up through The Passion of the Christ.
Whenever interviewed about the making of that film, he would always say, “It’s by His wounds that we are healed.” That is the core of Christianity upon which hypocrites like Mel and us place their hope.