Dear Mel Gibson,

I’ve been around the block enough to know not to judge a man by his reaction to crazy-making family dysfunction. Yeah, there’s a thin line between love and hate; I get it. Some of the best men I know lost their minds they day the lost their children. Or when they felt the knife in the back from the woman they loved. Literally, they lost their minds. I’ve seen it happen.

I hear that pain in your jacked up phone calls.

Just so I can put my cards on the table… I’ll say this right up front: there’s no justification, EVER, for intimidating, threatening, scaring, or doing violence to another person — especially man to woman. Powerful emotion, yes. Threats of violence?  Not cool under any circumstance.  To say that if your ex- didn’t pick up the phone you would wind up on her doorstep is totally out of bounds, a veiled threat that you shouldn’t have made, no matter how you felt, or how altered your state was.

I’m just being honest with my opinion.

At the same time, I think you were set up. You were caught on tape, and the woman catching you on tape played to the tape. She made sure she pressed your buttons and got it all recorded and stayed totally cool and above reproach… on tape.  That’s my opinion — I may be wrong, but you’ve been had.

It’s still no excuse, though.

In you, I hear the roar of a wounded lion. A near fatal knife to the heart. The ferocity, the anger, the panting… the sound of a man on the brink of destruction.

It doesn’t have to play out that way.

I also hear the bellow of a chemically unrestrained (alcohol?) madman. That’s what they’re saying on the radio. I hope they’re wrong, but I suspect not. Your dark side is scary big. I imagine it scares you on some days.

God is bigger than it.

Mel, you brought Jesus to the masses, so can I bring Jesus to you?

  • When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” (John 8:10, 11, NKJV).
  • When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Mark 2:17, NKJV).
  • Then they went out to see what had happened, and came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. (Luke 8:35, NKJV).

I love to imagine you, sitting next to me, clothed, at the feet of Jesus, and both of us in our right mind. A good picture.

And it can happen. I believe that. Your quest for Jesus has been tumultuous, intense, and public. Your sins are on the record for us all to see. You live in a fishbowl — as a pastor, I get that. You can’t take a step without being scrutinized, analyzed, judged, and misjudged. I can only begin to imagine how intense that is for you. Your life with Jesus makes me think of Peter. Loyal to a fault one day, denying him three times the next.

As a flawed brother in Christ, whose failings have not been splashed across the tabloids, can I invite you deeper into a life-giving connection with Jesus?

Can I invite you to watch your own movie again, only this time to see it from a new perspective? From the perspective of his work for you, rather than your work for him? You alone know the price of making that movie. He alone knows the price of living that crucifixion. The price tags are worlds apart. Can you revisit Calvary’s Cross in your heart and mind, and go back to the basics of your faith?

Can I invite you into a church — a community of wounded warriors just like you, stumbling arm in arm toward abundant life Jesus promised? You need a community of saints around you — not perfect saints, but forgiven ones, resting their hearts in the finished work of Christ.

Can I invite you into a healing community?  Where you will receive prayer, and the freedom to tell your broken story as many times as you need to… and receive the support you need to face life without alcohol or drugs or violence or whatever it is you might turn to?

Mel, your life has been about performance.

It’s time to change that. Get off the stage. Let Jesus’ performance count for you. Let him take center stage. Rest in Jesus. Quit performing, and just BE. Disappear. Quit serving, striving, acting… doing. Sit at his feet, and watch him act.  You have Martha’s heart and you need Mary’s. Bring that anguish we hear in your phone calls to the foot of the cross, and find wholeness and reconciliation there.

You don’t have to be a star to be precious to God.

Hollywood’s approval isn’t heaven’s approval. In Christ, you have heaven’s approval, and that’s enough.

“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18, NKJV).

Mel, brother to brother… you need help. That’s not a judgment against you. It’s a reality check. You’re in so deep, you’re not gonna pull out on your own. Welcome to the human race. There’s nothing you face that ‘s insurmountable. That life you’ve always longed for — that clean, free, satisfied, abundant life — is right there. Jesus makes it possible. One day at a time… back to Jesus, back to the Bible, back to prayer, faith, and the brotherhood of fellow-Christians.

I don’t condemn you. I don’t like what you did, but I get it. I hope you make it. I hope you go through this fire and come out clean. I hope you find the love and peace you crave. You’ve been giving out for so long; I hope you get out of the limelight and spend your days receiving from Jesus, sinking deep roots into him, and filling up on his grace. Grow mature in Christ. I’m praying for you. I’m rooting for you. I’m believing God’s best for you. It sounds ridiculous for me to say it, but I’m here for you, if there’s anything I can do… or offer… or say… or be… I’m here.

Your Imperfect Brother,

Bill Giovannetti

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19 thoughts on “Dear Mel Gibson,

  1. I hope, beyond hope, that by some incredible chance, Mel Gibson actually gets to read this. Because I doubt he’s hearing much grace right now. Thanks for this Bill.

    Josh

  2. I like it a lot. I once heard a preacher on TV defending his flock by agreeing that many were in need of help, many were sick and had issues. Instead of getting upset he merely asked the reporter “Where else would you have them go?”

    We should pray that Mel comes to church and finds the peace that he obviously needs. He seems to have lost his way and in the end I believe the Lord will do whatever it takes to bring him back. The sooner Mel makes the right choice the easier it will be for him. Let’s hope this was his bottom.

  3. Thank you Bill for writing this letter. It says so much. I pray that Mel does get to read it, that God has softened his heart, and with a clear mind he is able to realize the love the Father has for him…and us!

  4. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” (John 8:10, 11, NKJV).

    This verse just so darn beautiful, so powerful; it literally brings me to tears. May we always remember what it looks like to emulate Jesus in the presence of our brothers and sisters. May we, ourselves, walk in utter humility when confronting others in their sin. May we imagine, for one second, our foibles, failures, thoughts, sins and shortcomings broadcast on a billboard for all to see. Are any of us so superior? Surely not! Study Jesus! Study him! He is the only perfect example for us to follow.

  5. WOW…that’s all I have to say! It ‘s because of this heart you have for people and your teaching about God’s Grace that keeps me on my knees…and keeps me coming back to NCR.

    Bill, thank you for your heart & thank you for what you do!

  6. I find myself praying that Mel Gibson actually does get to read your letter, somehow… by God’s grace and for His glory, and for Mel’s sake that he would receive the amazing offer of forgiveness and reconciliation as well as hope for a more fulfilling future than what he’s experienced in the past. If he only knew how many people would be willing to rally around him and pray with him…

  7. Hi Bill,

    I once wrote a similar type letter to Jimmy Buffet only I did it by re-writing one of his own songs (he never got it I suspect). His song was called
    “He went to Paris” (actually a beautiful song)
    I renamed it:

    He came to Jesus

    He came to Jesus looking for answers
    To questions that bothered him so
    He was agnostic, just a bit caustic
    Writing some rules of his own

    But his child’s adoption
    His business stock option
    Erased his reflections one day
    The seeds that were planted
    Were taken for granted
    “I’ll find God some other day”

    He took up golfing, played every weekend
    And lowered his handicap so,
    He had a good time down on the back nine
    Most of his friends said “Turn Pro!”
    And all of the answers to all of the questions
    Stayed locked in his attic that day
    Cause he liked the “Hyatt” country club living
    And twenty more years slipped away

    Well, cocaine took his baby; partner stole his lady
    And left him with only a tear
    His business was battered; his whole world was shattered
    For the first time he felt real fear
    While the tears were falling, he was recalling
    The answers he never found
    So he found his old Bible and fell to his knees
    And slowly, yes, he came around.

    Now he lives by the Spirit, even can hear it
    And he prays for his golf friends each day
    He’s learning what faith is and how not to fear it
    And he don’t care what old hackers say
    Through all the years and cynical notions
    God led him and touched him that day.

    So often he wonders where he would be now
    Had he not heard what God had to say.

    He came to Jesus looking for answers
    To questions that bothered him so

    I don’t expect you to post this

    Alan

  8. Dear Bill,

    Thank you for extending grace and refuge to the beleaguered. I stand with you as a fellow flawed brother.

    Dear Mel,

    Bill’s offer is a good one. I stand with YOU as a fellow flawed brother – and need you to stand also. Will you stand in this and again receive grace? I’m glad we’re on the same team… but could ya’ quit running into the opponents’ knees face-first? That’s gotta hurt! In brotherly love…

  9. The truth is powerful in the words you have written. May God get them to Mel Gibson in some way. We serve a God of miracles and forgiveness.

  10. This open letter sort of reminds me of Rev. Ted Haggard, and what he went through.

    Grace,
    Joe

  11. Beautiful! Everything you wrote! I hope this message is found by Mel and he takes the message to heart.

  12. Good stuff Bill, sounds like Mel could use a copy of “How to keep your inner mess from trashing your outer world”.

  13. This is a real Jesus message. Thank you, Bill. My prayer is that Mel Gibson would hear and respond, but that many others who are suffering the same hurts and reactions will also take it to heart and seek TRUTH, from whom all love, forgiveness and redemption flow.

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