I watched the movie “Noah” this weekend with my wife. And I have to say in spite of some of the inaccuracies of the familiar Bible story; it was still a powerful film.
Some have criticized that Noah is portrayed as a dangerous religious-extremist who blames people for destroying creation and makes no mention of man’s sinfulness. I suggest that these people watch it again. Because in the very beginning of the film it gives a short synopsis of the story written on the screen and mentions that what happens is the direct result of sin.
I have absolutely no problem with a filmmaker taking a biblical story and adding or subtracting from it as a way to craft a compelling film. There are all kinds of artistic license that have been taken as far back as Cecil B. DeMille’s 1956 masterpiece “The Ten Commandments”.
Critics complain that the Noah film portrays Noah as a schizophrenic who goes off the deep end in a fit of self-righteousness that ends with a promise to kill himself and his own family; including his newborn granddaughters. Although this is not mentioned in the Bible, is it possible that Noah had these suicidal thoughts? Would these critics conclude that Abraham was a self-righteous schizophrenic as well? Personally, I don’t know how I would react if I was stuck inside of an ark with a bunch of animals with no idea of when I would find solid ground. Throughout history, people have done terrible, terrible things believing that they were following God’s instructions. (The Crusades come to mind)
Many Christians I know would also have a problem with the “Rock Angels” portrayed in the Noah film. (Sorry for the spoiler) They are more comfortable with their own version of angels portrayed as these huge heavenly beings who fly around with the use of their great wings. Interestingly, whenever the Bible describes angelic visitations, there is no mention of them having wings.
I have no problem watching Bible-based movies produced by unbelievers for the sake of making money. And that’s all the Noah movie is. What I DO have a problem with is self-professed Christians who say they produce movies to show the truth of the Bible in a dramatic way, but have just as many, if not more, biblical inaccuracies as those done by Hollywood’s elite atheists.
When I was a kid all I had was a King James Bible with a small concordance in the back. But today my kids and grand-kids have a ton of resources to help them at learning some of the best stories in the Bible. (Including Hollywood movies) As a Christian, I find this to be truly amazing. If there are things that don’t line up in these Bible-based movies with your opinions on what happened, then you have a great chance to follow up at dinner with your family or friends or small groups and talk about it.
Talk about what you agree with and what you don’t. (Remember, you also have a ton of resources for Biblical truth) And then bring the conversation back to Jesus. As Christians, that’s supposed to be the point, isn’t it?
Imagine what would happen if, instead of a heated debate about the inaccuracies of the Noah movie, we just had people from all walks of the Christian faith share the great stories of faith from God’s Word. What if we embraced these movie versions and used them to point people to the Gospel? Wouldn’t that look a lot like Jesus?