Monday, January 7, 2013

An Urban Legend in the Pulpit: Mel Gibson as "The Man Without a Face"

In an old posts, Trevin Wax presented this list of pulpit urban legends (most of which I read or heard about myself):
  • The “eye of the needle” refers to a gate outside Jerusalem.
  • The high priest tied a rope around his ankle so that others could drag him out of the Holy of Holies in case God struck him dead.
  • Scribes took baths, discarded their pens, washed their hands, etc. every time they wrote the name of God.
  • There was this saying among the sages: “May you be covered in your rabbi’s dust.”
  • Voltaire’s house is now owned by a Bible-printing publisher.
  • Gehenna was a burning trash dump outside Jerusalem.
  • NASA scientists have discovered a “missing day” which corresponds to the Joshua account of the sun standing still.
Read the post in its entirety HERE

On Youtube, I lately found an interesting case involving a Filipino preacher sharing an urban legend through the pulpit:

 Pastor Larry Tan

Here are the facts: One day , Mel Gibson got drunk at a party and got involved in a fist fight with three men. He suffered from head stitches, busted nose and dislocated jaw, but he never lost that face. Also, he never worked in a circus and his first big break as an actor is not as the Man Without a Face. Long before that film, he had already appeared in films such as Mad Max, Mad Max 2, Gallipoli, The Year of Living Dangerously, The Lethal Weapon trilogy, Tequila Sunrise, Bird on a Wire, Air America, Hamlet, Forever Young, and the The Chili Con Carne Club.

Lastly, the story of The Man Without a Face is not based on Mel Gibson's life story but on a work of fiction of the same title by Isabelle Holland first published in 1972.

See  HERE and HERE and HERE

What's the big deal? Trevin Wax said it well:

"Those of us who are entrusted with the task of expositing the Scriptures in a local church must take care to verify our sources, illustrations, and stories. No matter how helpful an illustration may be, it is dishonoring to God if it is untrue."

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