Noah is coming this weekend. No, not the man, but a movie that uses the man's name. Some believe it is the story of the chosen man of God portrayed in Genesis. Some people also believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny. In order to deflect criticism from the Jewish and Christian communities, the studio producing the movie publicly issued a disclaimer.
Here is the statement issued by Paramount Pictures:
“The film is inspired by the story of Noah. While artistic license has been taken, we believe that this film is true to the essence, values, and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide. The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis.”
The disclaimer did not prevent the criticism from continuing or the criticism of the critics by another group of individuals. Thus, how can we construe this as a Biblical story, much less a Christian movie? However, some Christians have supposedly rushed to the support of this movie and claim it follows the Biblical account. Let's face the facts. The facts about Noah's great commission are scanty. One salient fact is unmistakable however. Noah took his wife, three sons and their wives (one each) on board the ark. The movie takes liberty with one of the base facts concerning the only voyage of the first cruise ship in history. I understand the addition of things that are not chronicled in the Bible, but I don't understand this blatant deviation from scripture.
The Bible says that it is folly to judge a matter before you hear it. I concur as do some of the leading Christians in the film industry. They recommend that you see it first before you judge. I suggest reading about it first and then prayerfully deciding whether you should spend your money on this movie. Ted Baehr and Phil Cooke are two of those lending support from a Christian perspective.
The problem is – if you pay your money to see it so you can make a fair judgment, you've already lined the pockets of the venture capitalists who have brought this film to life. That is what they really want.
What does Glenn Beck say about this movie? He doesn't pull any punches in warning people to stay away in droves.
Here's my take on the whole brouhaha: Do you want to see an action movie with some interesting backdrops and computer generated graphics? Go see Noah. If you want something to build your faith and stimulate you to contend for that faith, go see God’s Not Dead. Or find one of the hundred or so Christian filmmakers who are seeking financing for their movie scripts and help bring their visions to reality. If you don't know where to locate such a person, you could always buy a copy of an existing Christian movie online. If you don't know of any such films, try my movie which also deals with contending for the faith against those who believe that science has proven that there is no God or need for God at http://donaldjamesparker.com/ProductDetails.aspx?id=482. Please support a filmmaker who brings God's word to the world not more of the world to the Word.
Now having said all of that – let me be explicit here. The Bible says in the last days there will be many false teachers. Movies are a vehicle for teaching. False doctrine will be promoted through films. The Bible also said that even the very elect would come close to succumbing to the false teachings. And thus every believer must be on the alert (not paranoid though) to discern truth from falsehood. I don't know what danger Noah poses in this area. On the surface, not much in the way of doctrine is involved. Perhaps the main danger is the adrenaline factor. Movie goers of today (in my opinion) are addicted to the adrenaline rush of action. This addiction makes it very hard for those affected people to watch and especially pay attention to a movie which has a down to earth approach – perhaps dialogue heavy where people discuss important concepts instead of participate in fight and flight reactions. The storyline of Noah is exaggerated far beyond the Bible to present that kind of action. Hopefully, that is the only danger for those who view it.