If you are on social media at all, you know that this weekend the internet was blowing up about a movie called Noah. On my Facebook feed, probably 10 reviews were posted. This will not be one of them, in case you are wondering.
People argued both sides of the fence – pretty passionately. I even chimed in a few times over the absurdity of holding this film to a biblical standard even though it is a remake of Brian Godawa’s graphic novel Noah Primeval. I had a few people get rather cranky with me about it.
I actually don’t care if you go see Noah. I probably won’t see it at all, and if I do, it will be with a free redbox coupon. I’m not much for those movies where everything is in a sort of gritty realism that makes you feel like nobody has ever showered. I don’t really like watching things that are disturbing and the story of Noah, at it’s core IS disturbing because EVERYONE but Noah and his family dies. Every. Single. Person.
I can’t imagine how that would have felt to be sealed in the ark and hear the cries and pleas and screams of the people outside, knowing they were dying. It makes me shudder, and I know watching it on the big screen would probably give me nightmares. After all, I am the person who after seeing the Titanic, dreamed about it over and over until I had dreamed a happy ending. Yet, numerous people were surprised that the movie was disturbing.
There are arguments – from good people – on both side of the fence about why you should or shouldn’t see Noah. Since I assume most of you are adults and can think critically, I’ll leave it to you whether you choose to go or not.
What I am bothered by is WHY we feel the need to spend so much time and energy on Noah. It’s a movie. Entertainment. Yet, believers are spending time, energy and emotion on something that in a month or two won’t even matter.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I get why faith-based films are a great thing. I get that wonderful people work hard to bring them to the big screen so people can have quality entertainment, and I understand the importance of that because I am a big believer in the power of stories (even fictitious ones) to impact people.
But bringing faith-based films to the big screen really won’t do anything if our actions send a different message.
The fact is, the unbelieving world is watching us. They are watching us argue with each other and treat each other unkindly. They are watching us cut down and harshly criticize a director that at least is curious about Biblical narratives. They are watching us act hypocritically (after all, how many believers loved Evan Almighty or let their kids watch Veggie Tales – both of which were less than Biblically accurate)
They are watching us expend energy on something that, ultimately, does not matter, while ignoring things that desperately do. It makes believers appear small-minded, petty and in many cases, uninformed. A movie that is based on a book written by an atheist and directed by an atheist whose last film was The Black Swan, is not a faith-based film. It’s just a movie.
Each day we argue about Noah, thousands of people die and go to hell.
Each day we argue about Noah, thousands of children die of starvation.
Each day we argue about Noah. thousands of women and children are enslaved.
Each day we argue about Noah, thousands of hurting people despair of going on.
We have the answer. We have the Good News – and it’s not that Noah is or isn’t a good movie to see.
Maybe instead of spending all our time shouting to the world and at each other, what we don’t stand for and what we are against, we should spend more time sharing what we DO believe in and what we DO stand for.
Imagine what would happen if we expended as much energy sharing the Gospel as we have spent debating the merits of a movie.