'The Last Temptation of Christ'
Wells Cathedral is being criticized for showing 'The Last Temptation of Christ.' (Universal Pictures)

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Martin Scorsese’s controversial film The Last Temptation of Christ is planned to be shown Saturday as part of the Bath Film Festival at the Wells Cathedral in England.

The decision by the Diocese of Bath and Wells to screen the film will be interpreted as the church endorsing a blasphemous film that distorts the gospel message.

Andrea Williams, CEO of Christian Concern, warns that not only has the film caused worldwide offense among Christians since its release 25 years ago, but that the planned screening at the Wells Cathedral will spread a wholly false message and obscure the New Testament history of the life and purpose of Jesus Christ from His birth to His death on the cross.

“In an age when many people may have the sketchiest knowledge of the gospel and history of Jesus Christ, the screening of this blasphemous film, which challenges the perfection of the life of Jesus by introducing an offensive dream sequence, will spread misunderstanding of the tenets of the Christian faith and give the impression that the church endorses such false teaching,” she says.

In the dream sequence in which Christ is taken down from the cross, He is shown to marry Mary Magdalene and go on to have children with her.

“We have received calls and correspondence from concerned churchgoers not only in the Somerset area, and the Western Daily Press has reported that some worshippers have described the film as ‘appalling’ for introducing the ‘theme of debauchery,’ ” Williams adds. “It is difficult to understand how screening such a film in a hallowed cathedral serves the kingdom of God. For that reason, we have urged our supporters to make their views known to the dean, who is principally responsible for the administration of the cathedral.”

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