Less than a week ago I began to see advertisements for an upcoming movie that portrayed Russell Crowe as the Biblical hero Noah. After the sheer excitement from seeing “the Gladiator” as a beloved Bible character began to wear off, I started to wonder how long it would take for Christians to begin ripping it apart. As it turns out, less than a week!
To the point, I just finished reading an article about the movie. The author of the article had not yet seen the movie, but had reached the following conclusions from the research he had done about the movie…
-The movie is a “gnostic interpretation of Scripture that turns the Biblical account upside down to cast the God of the Bible in a bad light.”
-The movie pushes “an environmental agenda,” “reflects a lack of faith,” “promotes the idea of doubting God rather than believing,” and portrays Noah as a “wicked hatchet-man.”
-“Noah” openly mocks, disrespects, and twists the Bible to “suit the needs and purposes of the world.”
-Christians should “Pray for the makers of this movie to repent and believe the Word of God, rather than abusing it.”
Wow! My preview will not be as well researched, but let me offer 2 simple things that I expect to be true about the movie…
It will not be Biblically accurate.
If you ever expected this big-screen depiction of the Biblical account to be true to the original text (something, I might say, that not even the first “Hunger Games” was able to accomplish), you are living in a fairy tale. Even if keeping true to the text was a goal (which I highly doubt that it was), in order to compensate for a get-to-the-point, Jewish style of writing, the movie would certainly endure a heavy dose of disapproval from critical Christians for making a movie that lasts for more than 10 minutes. The account of Noah only spans across 2 chapters! Certain liberties, assumptions, and errors are to be expected in a secular depiction of a sacred text.
So if accuracy is not, and has never been the goal, what is the spiritual significance of a movie like this one? I mean, after all, if we can’t replace our quiet time with the movie, what purpose could it possibly serve?
Good or bad, it can be a tool for Christians.
Despite its flaws, how often is the Bible portrayed on the big-screen? How often is a sacred text made popular? How often is it politically correct to talk about Christianity in the lunch room or work place? As Christians, we would be foolish to view this movie as an opportunity to start a spiritual war about the details. Instead, we should view this movie as an opportunity to share the truths found in the Bible with people who would never otherwise be interested in what the Bible has to say.
Ask people what they think of the movie. Ask them if it met their expectations. Ask them what they saw as the main point of the movie. Ask them if you can share the original version the movie was based on.
My advice? Don’t rely on Hollywood to teach the Bible, but use the fact that they started the conversation to point people towards the real thing!