See it or leave it? First, it CAN be a tool-how? Read On! Second, it is an imagining, perhaps seen as a blending of ancient “Great Flood” stories (Bible, Mesopotamia, Babylonian, Hindu, Sumerian, …). Debates can wage for weeks, open minds might consider another option… Read Genesis 5-10 to give an accurate context.
Looking for another “Passion of the Christ”? Noah is not that movie. Before you tune out.. Over 100+ of our ministry teens and college/young professionals (both in & out of the faith) saw it last night. I’ve been answering texts, and emails for 3 hours this morning (still not close to responding to all). They are actually picking up a bible, comparing and contrasting, getting “all the details”=better than any study!
o The opening gets it right (Adam & Eve, The Fall, … sequence of events). A terrific gig in Eden was ruined when they choose the “fruit”=Sin. Cain and Abel – brother killing brother…
o Man became corrupt, evil, wicked, malicious, …. “The Flood” was not the setting of cute animals lining up for a cruise ship voyage. The depiction of Cain’s offspring could have been achieved in a less industrial and raw meat eating stereotype… the director achieved a despicable portrayal none the less. Wiping them clean from the earth, made their dying screams palatable.
o Noah was 10 generations from Adam… His grandfather, Methuselah and his father, Lamech would have been alive when Adam was! Adam died prior to Noah’s birth, yet he would have heard secondhand accounts of the garden, the fall, …. Just a generation away. Noah was in the direct lineage of Enoch who pleased God so much, he went directly to Him. To say that Noah stood out from humankind was an understatement. Not perfect, but devoted…
o By the account of days lived in Genesis 5, Methuselah died in the flood, or the year of the flood. While Enoch was clearly established as holy, Methuselah’s role and demeanor is assumed. The clear reference, to this day, of long life is his name’s sake…
o As believers, it is difficult to imagine Noah’s frustration at points along the journey. As a human, he must have questioned his task, roles, family …. Looked for advice in a grandfather, and perhaps even misunderstood certain actions he must take. We take for granted that we are able to speak to God directly whenever we choose (His Holy Spirit dwelling within us). Noah didn’t have that luxury.
o Who were the Nephilim? Oh my word, tons of ???? on the rock monsters… Genesis 6:4 talks about the “giants of old”. There is no biblical mention of them coming to Noah’s aid, or angels covered with rock… other myths & cultural stories come into play (Mayans or Native Americans or …), and simply Hollywood magic. Their presence on screen doesn’t under mind the story as some would suggest. Try to put yourself in the mindset of a nonbeliever- a flood, 1 boat, 1 family, all those animals…. What is more far fetched?
o Environmental Emphasis – What is wrong with stewardship of the earth? While biblical accounts clearly detail that Noah’s family were NOT vegetarians, they were given a huge impossible task with ALL of God’s creation (plants, animals, ….). Ever get the chance to speak with a farmer? A zoologist? A park ranger? A vet? Their passion exudes from them like breath. Seeing Noah obsessed with saving God’s creation was spot on-God uses zealots! People have souls with choice, only people! That doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice ourselves, that humans are less; yet we are responsible for the wise use of these valuable resources.
o The Ark - For any who have read the biblical account, the proportions of the set made it real! Sharing in Noah’s family’s excitement as the animals arrived would have been spectacular. Even the side note “the snakes are coming too?” lent a bent of humor, as not ALL animals were welcome? I’m still wondering where the bugs & spiders were (everything that creeps & crawls, right?). So it wasn’t made of teakwood, get over it….
o The Creator –Another hot button, why wasn’t the term God used? Ummm, if we want to get technical, wouldn’t Yahweh be more correct? The whole creation story is told by Noah to his family after the ark is closed “In the beginning”… what a beautiful vision of hope and new beginnings. Perhaps “Creator” was used out of deference to other faiths, yet it fits what their concept of who God was at the time. Remember, 10 generations from Adam and Creation….
o For those that knew nothing of the story of Noah, the movie was suspenseful. For them, it was worth it to see for sheer entertainment purposes…. Will God use their viewing regardless?
A few CONs:
o Noah’s Family was NOT accurate. Several times, the bible references Noah, his 3 sons and “their wives”. There was NO dilemma over a potential wife… there was never any threat to future offspring. Considering all the work, the cramp quarters, the stress, …. There was no mention to the wives’ families, who were clearly left behind in “The Flood”... Did stuff happen? Ahhh Yes, they were human, so sh&*%$ flew a few times I’m sure. Go back to 1 of the PROs, how easy is it for you to find God’s will in your life? Noah had to struggle, he was human.
o It was NOT on the scale, nor worth the comparison of Gladiator, or Titanic, or …. Come on, can’t we be fair, and not be soooo bias just because others hate it?
o Some may only see the movie, not get the full story, and draw totally false biblical concepts.
o For some, God is seen as a cruel judge who punishes. It is only through great prayer and understanding, living a life worth emulating, that they can see the completion of God’s story. Are lives being transformed? Are next generations following, or declining?
o Christian groups will be scrutinized in the handling of this movie. Can we keep our heads? After all, it’s only a movie…. Can a mere movie tear down your faith? Feel your blood pressure going up, then immediately turn the rhetoric down please.
o Many may condemn the movie without seeing it, while others get inspired by the viewing. Think long and hard, before this movie, or any other interaction that others admire is quickly dismissed. Look at all possible perspectives, capitalize on the opportunity without debate. Ask questions and specifics, so understanding can be gained. Pray before responding!
o A lot of discussion on the agnostic or atheist director --- if it was his intention to spend $85 million to say what fools people of faith are, boo to him and wow what a risk by the studio? Plus quite simply, it will backfire! God uses all and everything for His glory, even the atheist!!
The story doesn’t end with Noah. His example of devotion is heralded in the New Testament.
"We can take up the battle between evil and rightness, or miss out by sitting out=Our Choice. By faith, Noah built a ship in the middle of dry land. He was warned about something he couldn’t see, and acted on what he was told. The result? His family was saved. His act of faith drew a sharp line between the evil of the unbelieving world and the rightness of the believing world. As a result, Noah became intimate with God". Hebrews 11:6-8
Help people achieve true freedom! When we say the few, the proud, …
"He went and proclaimed God’s salvation to earlier generations who ended up in the prison of judgment because they wouldn’t listen. You know, even though God waited patiently all the days that Noah built his ship, only a few were saved then, eight to be exact—saved from the water by the water. The waters of baptism do that for you, not by washing away dirt from your skin but by presenting you through Jesus’ resurrection before God with a clear conscience. Jesus has the last word on everything and everyone, from angels to armies. He’s standing right alongside God, and what he says goes". 1 Peter 3:18-20