A recent post on From the Lighthouse talks of a new movie Noah:
“A new Hollywood epic on the life of Noah has stirred controversy among Christians, Jews and others who have pre-screened the film, as they state that the movie largely leaves out one important foundation: the Bible.
“Noah is the brainchild of producer Darren Aronofsky, who says that he has wanted to make a film about Noah and the ark since his childhood. With a $125 million budget, the film is said to be more of an edgy action epic that depicts a man who fights off his enemies as he prepares for a coming apocalypse, rather than a story of a “preacher of righteousness” who calls the world to repentance from sin.
“Russell Crowe, known for his roles in Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind and Robin Hood stars as Noah in the film, and Anthony Hopkins, known for his roles in Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal and The Legends of the Fall appears as grandfather Methuselah, who provides advice to Noah.
“Man corrupted this world and filled it with violence, so he must be destroyed,” Methuselah explains to Noah, who has a dream of “death by water.”
The remainder of the article is available on the Christian News Network website.
Okay, so here’s the thing: I’ve looked at the trailer and frankly it’s appealing to me as movies go. But then I like apocalyptic movies. I sorta think they’re glimpses of possible realities.
The movie critic complains the movie producer Darren Aronofsky didn’t use the Bible in the story. Well, Mr. Aronofsky used the idea of a man named Noah and a flood that destroys wicked people. Hummmmmmmm! So a movie is made as a fictional account of a Biblical person and a Biblical event and that account isn’t what the author of the article seems to think it should be. That’s the problem with the movie; it doesn’t fit the idea the critic has of Noah. As I understand it, the author says that Noah was a preacher of righteousness. This seems to me to mean that the critic wants Noah to stand around preaching the Gospel of Righteousness to a people who were only doing evil because they were uninformed of the truth. The critic seems to think there is something inherently wrong with preparing for the flood. Wait. Am I missing something here. Wasn’t Noah instructed to build an ark? What part of building an ark to house his family is Noah doing that isn’t preparing for a coming disaster of epic proportions?
In the trailer, we see Noah facing angry hordes that want nothing more than to take the boat, even if they swamp it trying. After all, the hordes don’t just stand around and say, “Oh, we’ve been bad. We deserve to drown.” Why is that so controversial? Oh, sure, the Bible didn’t go into great specifics about the flash mob at Noah’s boat as the rain came pouring down. Here the foundation for the epic flood, from the Bible:
When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown. The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God. And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks. For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive. Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them.” Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.
Genesis chapter six
The idea that Noah was a preacher of righteousness comes from the Apostle Peter when he wrote: “. . .”if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly. . .” 2Peter 2:5.
The movie critic spoke of people critical of the movie wanting it to be more scriptural, and the movie has been assailed as not being a Christian movie. Okay. Was Sound of Music a Christian movie? Look, just because a movie gives a fictional account Noah, why does it have to have the approval of Christians? And even if some producer said he wanted Christian input and approval, to whom would he go? There is no single Christian church on Earth at this time. Had Mr. Aronofsky said he was making a scriptural account of Noah, perhaps he’d ask for assistance from a major Christian denomination in America. Perhaps it would be the same denomination that approves of marriage between two men or marriage between two women, or practicing homosexuals as church leaders.
I think the controversy comes from our “feel good” world of the Twenty-First Century. We are led to belief that G-d wants nothing more than for us to feel good about ourselves. As such, we must see G-d in our “feel good” image. G-d is put into a box, contained. We perceive of Him as a peacenik without the flowers in His hair. In this case, I think the movie critics wants Noah to preach Peace and Love and throw flowers to that poor, misunderstood mass of humanity.
Other critics of the movie say it’s just another environmental-disaster movie that is part of a whole agenda that wants the mass of humanity to be scared of the way the Earth has been treated, and that the Earth is somehow trying to overthrow its caretaker, namely humans. In this light, Hollywood is supporting the propaganda of the “Green Movement.” This theme isn’t brought out in the trailer, that I can see.
The reality of Noah is far different. Noah found favor with G-d when G-d saw only a fallen humankind. As such, G-d decided to give humanity another chance, wiping the slate clean. In wiping the slate, a whole bunch of wicked people went down kicking and screaming in a flood of water. If only CNN had been around to document the Flood, we’d see if the wicked hordes attacked the ark or not.
Mr. Aronofsky’s account of Noah is as good as anyone’s account. It’s a story. We live in a secular world with lots of stories. So as long as Mr. Aronofsky doesn’t say it is the Word of the Lord, then it’s just another secular movie depicting a lot of blood shed centered on the theme of survival.
That said, there is one movie that is either out or coming out that I do think is over the edge. It is a movie about Abraham storming an army that surrounds his nephew Lot, and rescuing him. Now that one got it all wrong. And that might have crossed the line from just secular movie-making to deception. There are lines. I don’t see the story of Noah crossing over that line to deception. Then again, I’ve only seen the trailer. Maybe the actual movie does so. Most likely I’ll see it when it’s shown on television, then I’ll know.
Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .