Jesus probably wouldn’t enjoy historical movies very much. They’re all reruns. He probably wouldn’t enjoy reality television either. After all, he knows the hearts of all the characters. Fear factor would be pretty boring for Him, because after all, He’s not afraid of anything. He definitely wouldn’t watch anything with the typical sex and violence that are so prevalent in our culture. Any real life mystery shows wouldn’t be worth watching, since He already knows what happened.
So, if Jesus did watch movies or television, what would he watch? How about the new movie Noah? Would Jesus like that movie? Let’s all start by admitting that we don’t know for sure. The Man surprised His own disciples quite often.
Before I went to see this movie I was under the impression that it was an intentional mockery of the Bible, God, and anyone who believes in God. I read that it was made by a crazy atheist and that it was basically a comic book version of the story from the Bible.
When no one was looking, I got out of line, quit marching and allowed myself to form an independent thought. It occurred to me that some of the people criticizing this movie had a stake in this movie failing. I think it’s a virtuous goal to make movies that teach God’s word, and I believe that it’s wise to realize that the entertainment industry is a very powerful teaching aid. There are good people who’ve invested a lot of their time, energy, and money to offer alternatives to the typical crap that comes out of Hollywood. That being said, I’ve heard some of those people ridiculing the boycott of Chick-fil-A over refusal to support gay marriage. I’ve seen those people standing up for Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame and blast The Cracker Barrel for bending to pressure to boycott products associated with him.
That’s why I’m confused about why they’re supporting a virtual boycott of this movie, supposedly because it isn’t exactly congruent with the Bible verses we have to compare it to. Since I know they wouldn’t use their fame, fortune, and audience to combat their competition in an unfair way, I’m having to assume that they are just absolute purists in their beliefs. They obviously don’t sing the hymn “I’ll Fly Away”, since there’s no Biblical reference to us actually flying on the day Jesus comes back to claim His own. They don’t celebrate Christmas, since there’s no record of Jesus ever celebrating His birthday, and even if He did, it certainly wasn’t in December.
There’s nothing wrong with being an absolute purist if that’s what your faith requires of you. If you need to walk around in a robe and sandals speaking in low tones through your long beard in order to have a good relationship with God, then I support you in that 100%. I believe there’s nothing more important in this life than having a personal relationship with God, but do I have to wear the robe too? Is it possible that I could just wear a pair of jeans without going straight to hell? Is it wrong for me to tell the story of creation and include references to atoms and cells, even though there’s no such reference in the Bible? Is it ok for me to assume that someone did the dishes after the last supper? Is it ok for me to imagine what thoughts Jonah was thinking while he was in the belly of the whale? Dare I even consider that God created other humans at some point after he created Adam and Eve, or does believing the Bible force me to believe that incest is OK?
My point is that there are a lot of things we just don’t know, even if we’ve read and completely understood all 783,137 words of the King James Version of the Bible. I believe a song about loving and caring for one another can be glorifying to God even if the artist wrote it from a completely secular viewpoint. Do the robins glorify God with their melody on a peaceful spring morning? Is that their intent or is that God’s intention? Do giant redwood trees glorify God with their ageless strength? Did they sprout from a seed eager to do His will?
Does the movie Noah glorify God? I believe that it does, even if the maker doesn’t realize it or care if it does. The movie has a lot of very good messages in it. Start with the acknowledgement of The Creator and our duty to please Him. That is the first line in The Lord’s Prayer. Move on to the message of doing God’s will even if you don’t completely understand it. Then we get to acknowledging that everything good comes from God and we’re lucky to have what He gives us and we should appreciate it. If we want to keep looking there’s a strong lesson of humility, which it would serve a lot of people to study.
There were some liberties taken, that’s true, but did they add entertainment value to the story? I’d say that they did, since there are obvious gaps in the story that we all know. The Bible doesn’t tell us where Noah bought the tools he needed to build the ark. The Bible doesn’t tell us what Noah ate for dinner every night. We assume that God provided the strength and resources needed to complete the task. It’s up to the story teller to make up the rest. Would I have done it a little differently? Yes, I would have. Could I have gotten Russell Crowe to star in my movie? Probably not.
My main negative criticism would be that the artist’s perception of Noah’s state of mind and understanding of the task was incorrect. If the artist was correct the story would still have worked with the correct number of people on the ark.
The bottom line is: lighten the heck up. God doesn’t need you to go around chopping anyone’s ear off. Put your sword away. You might get kicked out of your church, but you won’t go to hell for enjoying this movie.