Last week I went to see the movie "Noah". For weeks leading up to the release I had read dozens of reviews ranging from "the best movie ever" to "the biggest pile of crap ever put on the screen". Needless to say my interest was piqued. So, I gathered my family into the van and we drove the sixty miles necessary to get to a theater where it was playing. During the ride we discussed what we expected of the movie and how far it was going to go off the rails in its depiction of the Biblical account of Noah. I was armed with the knowledge that the film's director is an atheist and had commented that the film he had made was "the least Biblical movie ever made about the Bible". So, with background and reviews as my guide I sat down to watch this "epic" movie.
I have to say I enjoyed the cinema of the whole thing. First of all, I am a huge movie lover so I appreciated the scale of the movie Noah. I disagreed with its representation of "Noah" in some (OK, most) areas but it was watchable. My family and I then returned home and went about our lives. The next day I log on to my computer and begin reading a fresh batch of Christian writer, pundits, and bloggers, once again blasting the movie. It is there that I want to begin.
As our society moves further and further away from traditional Christian values we are seeing a shift in the attitudes towards Christians. Just last week our President met with the Pope and was questioned on religious liberty being squashed in America. There is no doubt that the attitude towards believers has soured in our country today. Unbelievers, like Bill Maher, like to mock our beliefs and call us idiots for believing a story like "Noah". Do you ever wonder why some people hate us so much? Do you ever wonder why they think we are idiots? I believe one of the reasons is that sometimes we act like it.
I don't like the word "idiot". I find it degrading and insulting. So when I say we act like idiots what I really mean is that we, as Christians, sometimes come across as these wide-eyed, gullible, uninformed, fanatics that are out of touch with the world. We are sometimes perceived as goofs who can't seem to understand why the rest of the world is laughing at us and, sometimes, we deserve it.
Take for instance this whole blowup over the film "Noah". Films are made everyday that ridicule, mock, or misinterpret the Holy scriptures we hold so dear. Hollywood is no friend to the Christian faith and this shouldn't be news to us. We should not be surprised when a movie that claims to be an interpretation of a classic Bible story comes out and is full of inaccuracies and theological errors. What would we expect a Hollywood so-called Biblical movie made by an atheist to look like? But, instead of saying, "Obviously, this is not the story of the Noah in Scriptures", we freak out and claim that Hollywood has hijacked our faith!
Listen, I get it. I know that Christians want the world to know that what is up on that big screen is not the true story. I do too. But it's when we act as if we believed that it was ever going to be accurate in the first place that we begin to lose credibility. It's then that we begin to become all of the things that the world believes of us.
I believe this world needs more Jesus. I also believe that the world needs more common sense. And whether you agree with me or not I believe that the world needs to see more followers of Jesus who display common sense. We need to apply that common sense to the movie "Noah".
If Christians are planning to go and see "Noah" in hopes of watching a great movie depicting a great Biblical story then I would hope that they would go and watch something else because they will only be disappointed and that saddens me. But, what saddens me even more is that we, as Christians, would be gullible enough to believe that we were going to watch a Biblical account of Noah in the first place. Blockbuster Hollywood doesn't work that way. Some independent films might, such as the makers of "God's Not Dead", but not big Hollywood.
In the end, "Noah" turned out to be exactly what I thought it would be and I am OK with that. I came out of the theater with my faith intact and my belief strong and in some cases stronger and I think that was worth the six bucks I paid for admission!
I think the main lesson we all need to learn from this is that we shouldn't look for the message of the Bible on the big screen, we should look for it in scripture!