Noah: The Movie and the Christian Right – My Contribution to the Noise

There’s lots of “hubbNoahs_Ark_2ub” in the culture on the Noah movie. Here’s my contribution to the noise.

I think evangelical Christians that get all flustered on the Noah movie,  just need climb off the wall, take a deep long breath, take their blood pressure medication, spend some time in a nice relaxing sauna, and go home and pet their dogs. There are far more important things in this life to give our attention to than a product of Hollywood.

Is Michelangelo’s David sculpture biblically accurate? It’s not. The statue is not circumcised. Is Charlton Heston (blond and blue eyed) as Moses biblically accurate? or the Sistine Chapel? or a blond Jesus in a white robe with a blue sash (stock fare of every Sunday school program and flannel board) biblically accurate? Sheesh, we can be such reactionary fools sometimes.

Shoot, it’s just art. It’s just Hollywood. It’s not a seminary class. In a free society and culture people are free to produce anything they want without getting a seal of approval from the Christian right! The Christian right is free to criticize it and not support it if they are so inclined, and move on to more important things. We are not living in a theocracy, never have, and I hope never will, as I do not personally want the right wing thought police controlling art and the media.

So, Mr. Evangelical, you don’t like something in the culture? Put out a better, more empowered, more attractional,”product” yourself.

You are the one who professes to be filled and transformed by the Spirit of the resurrected, living, God-man. It is you who professes to be a member of the pillar and ground of all truth. Where is “the beef?” Where is the power you profess to have? Why are you so impotent that the only thing you can do is rage against what you don’t agree with? Provide a quality alternative instead of lifeless and tired cliches and stultifying, moribund, religiosity.

The early church attracted hundreds, if not thousands of pagans to join it and transformed a totalitarian culture without the advantage of the ballot box and without leveraging secular political power through legislation to their advantage. What is your excuse, other than finger pointing and blaming the pagan culture for being, pagan? What do you expect them to be? What were YOU before Christ transformed you?

There are so many more profound and worthwhile things to focus on and engage in rather than go hyper on these sorts of things. To me it is hypocritical, compensatory conscience, and “selective outrage,” to go all agog over what the culture is doing, when our own house is full of nonsense, corruption, and darkness. Shoot, like many of the activities that go on during a Sunday morning are “biblically accurate?” Of course they’re not. They are just traditions of men.

I understand how it is helpful to engage the culture by talking about these things, but argumentation and apologetics wins very, very few people to the kingdom. Almost none. That is a statistical fact.

I would rather watch a “biblically inaccurate” movie that touches me and makes me think about spiritual realities of His kingdom and never mentions the Bible or Jesus, than watch a poorly produced, woodenly acted, poorly written, artistically inept, cheesy, piece of “biblically accurate” Christian junk.


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17 comments on “Noah: The Movie and the Christian Right – My Contribution to the Noise

  1. Really Good Steve My sentiments exactly here is my post after seeing the movie:
    “Wow just saw Noah two parts had me in tears! When Ela got the Fathers blessing and when Noah tells his grandchildren to “be fruitful and multiply” 10% was goofy but the Holy Spirit will touch many hearts through this movie.”

    • Thanks Jose. Isn’t it amazing how we can see what we want to see, hear what we want to hear based on the condition of our hearts? How easy it is to “make a man an offender for a word” (movie) and miss the Holy Spirit?

  2. Loved the Noah movie – and so did our whole family. And for the same reasons I would recommend Son of God (spinoff of the Bible series). I saw all these self-appointed regulators of the faith pan that film for similar reasons. “Inaccuracies” like “When Jesus teaches the disciples to pray He leaves the last line of the Lord’s Prayer out!” I could feel the gnashing of teeth behind each pointedly obtuse blog-piece. Sadly, even that comment shows that some of these folks know just enough about scripture to be DANGEROUS – and obviously haven’t done enough research to know there are differences in the original manuscripts. This behavior reminds me of “the scribes” in the New Testament stories, clinging to the “letters” and missing out on Christ. Many times it was the “experts of the law” in fact, who were misinterpreting or flat out wrong about scripture in the first place! Stories and film outside of scripture should not pretend to, nor can they, profess to accurately reflect scripture in its fullness, but rather should effort to accomplish both the goal of entertaining us while delivering us this theme: We need Jesus. He is at work through us in the world in spite of us by His grace. And He is faithful to finish. Why else read Lewis or Tolkien. So, the same with Noah. The idea of Tubal-Cain hiding in the ship…evil still lurking in our midst us, despite our attempt to seal ourselves away from “society”….was brilliant. Noah’s revelation (acted by Crowe) that sin was within us all was handled well…and Noah’s revelation that the only reason God had chosen him was that he would be OBEDIENT and faithful – and not because he was more loved, wise, or skilled than his fellow man…was dead on. I love the moment with Methusaleh and the berry. PURE GRACE. I thought it was handled well and with all of the ire by Christians toward it it is a wonder to me why anyone non-Christian would go see it. And so we lose out! Someone we should want to reach, someone who has misunderstood who Christ is or that we NEED Him, should be encouraged to engage by us – not pushed away. Deep down I think it is because we have preachers jealous that congregations might rather see this film than hear them expound on tithing. I have heard WAY MORE BIBLICALLY INACCURATE SERMONS PREACHED IN OUR CHURCHES! Have a look at the film for yourselves people – and see if you are not moved by seeing the Gospel, through no intent of the director, weave its truths into your mind’s eye.

  3. Since when has hollywood ever made a book inspired movie that actually followed the book? The book is always better than the movie every time.

  4. ‘Right on!’ …all of you! :o) If my ‘unsaved’ adult children offer to go see it with me, I will, gladly … with the hope that their hearts might be stirred toward the True and Living God. The writer/director has been infatuated with the story of Noah since he was a child, as I have heard. I think that pure simplicity of purpose and intent might come through this film, in spite of inaccuracies, and in spite of Hollywood’s sins … and just might bless many, including myself. We all love a good movie, if we are honest! :o)

  5. Stephen,

    I am not at all concern about the “facts” (if that is what they are) of your recent comments regarding the “evangelical Christians ” concerns regarding the movie Noah. Although I am not sure who this group of people are. Apparently they are Christian believers who don’t happen to agree with you. I am more concerned with the “sprit” behind your comments. They seem to go beyond simply disagreement to condemning and judgmental. I might even call it “church” bashing. I am wondering where this is coming from. What kind of unforgiven hurt have you experienced from the church that has brought you to this point. Hopefully I am mis-reading your heart in this matter.

    Seems like we in the body of Christ can disagree and still “honor” each other by carefully choosing our words.

    Pat Moore

    PS: I am not sure what category I fall in: Am I “evangelical Christian”, Christian right, Christian left or am I simply a follower of Jesus? Perhaps you could enlightened me in which category you are in .

    • Pat, I assure you I am neither in unforgiveness nor hurt, and you are misreading the post. You confuse direct, confrontational, challenging of religious hypocrisy, something Jesus did more aggressively (including name calling) than I did in this piece, with “church bashing.” I re-read the piece based on your comments, and if confronting religious hypocrisy, challenging those who profess to have sight to live up to their calling, and to put away their judgments of the culture, deal with their own junk first before calling unbelievers blasphemers for producing a movie they don’t like, and offer a better alternative is “church bashing” . . . well, I guess I am guilty as charged.

  6. Hello, again! Just read quite a thorough review and synopsis of the movie, Noah, and do wonder at its complete mixture of mysticism and the occult with the Biblical account of the flood. Of course, this is to be expected … Hollywood. But I retract my confirmation of the movie as possibly ‘having some good’. But then, I also have much concern for the modern Christian’s obsession with Lord Of The Rings, if that tells you anything about me! :o) The mix today of new-age thought into the gospel is alarming and very insidious. I may see the movie with family … but to be honest, only to point out the difference between the Holiest Of All – and the occult version of the supernatural (even if it does concern the battle of good & evil). Thanks for all the good comments and thoughts on this movie. It is a small issue ….. but young Christians might be led into a dreamy, fantastic version of God by it; and the unbelieving might be further confirmed in their loosely connected thoughts of God with ‘everything and anything’ – with a little bible added in (I have been in both these places, spiritually, when younger). Thanks for allowing my comment again!

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