NOAH

Along comes Noah. There are so many things wrong with what I am hearing and reading about this movie that I doubt I will ever want to see it, though I shudder to think it will be as bad as the 1999 TV miniseries, Noah’s Ark. One ad line does say that if I liked Gladiator and Braveheart, I will love Noah. That tells me where the emphasis lies. For his part, star Russell Crowe has publicly blasted opposition to the movie as “bordering on absolute stupidity”. He would be content to have the public commentary die down long enough for everyone to go see the movie and make their own judgments while making him richer.

First among the problems is the fact that the producers felt that they needed a disclaimer, “This 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”. Such words as “inspired by”, “story”, and “true to the essence” do not do much to instill confidence. Why specify that this “story” is a cornerstone of faith for millions? Don’t those millions already know? Or are they speaking to non-believers? And I’m sure glad they let us know that Noah’s “story” can be found in Genesis.

Second, and very unnerving for me, were the recent comments of Crowe. Leaving his personal life aside for the moment, his comments baffled me at first until I read more about the movie. While on a publicity tour in Russia, when he was not leering at the beautiful, Russian women; he said this: ‘The funny thing with people, they consider Noah to be a benevolent figure because he looked after the animals: “Awww, Noah. Noah and the animals”. It’s like, are you kidding me? This is the dude that stood by and watched the entire population of the planet perish. He’s not benevolent. He’s not even nice.’ He’s also said that his depiction of Noah would go against the grain of common belief. His thinking seems in line with a tagline I saw that read, “When the end comes, who (sic) will you save?”, as if Noah decided which individuals would live and which would die.

Third, we have the fact that the director, Darren Aronofsky, an atheist, has called the movie, “the least Biblical film ever made”. How does that square with the subject matter unless, possibly, it reflects the amount of divergence from the true text? After all, he also referred to Noah as the “first environmentalist”. Nothing like inserting today’s politically-correct agenda into a several thousand year old account. One critic stated that “God” is not mentioned anywhere in the movie. Anthony Hopkins, playing Methuselah, does tell Noah what “the creator” says.

From the New York Times come these gems: “Once the waters have covered the earth and the ark is afloat, a clammy fear sets in, for both the audience and the members of Noah’s family: We’re stuck on a boat full of snakes, rats and insects, and Dad’s gone crazy” and “Tubal-Cain (Noah’s nemesis) may be a brute and a deceiver, but his nemesis is, at least potentially, a genocidal lunatic. The way Noah sees it, he has been chosen not to save mankind but to ensure its annihilation”.

It is Crowe’s comments about Noah that got me thinking on this subject. God told Noah “the end of all flesh has come before me”, Genesis 6:13, and not without reason as “the earth was filled with violence” (v11) and “all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth” (v12). Noah, however, “found grace in the eyes of the Lord”, Genesis 6:8. I suppose what I have never really stopped to ponder is how such a statement from God would affect a man, even a man of faith. Was Noah a man who saw his mission as the condemnation of all other men, as Crowe suggests, or was he a compassionate man who felt intense sadness over such a lack of faithfulness that would bring great destruction? If the former, then we can assume he went about his business as if the physical death of all the evil were his mission. If the latter, we can assume that he saw his mission as trying to urge men to repentance, as has been the pattern of God through the ages and even to our day.

It is said that Noah was “a preacher of righteousness”, 2 Peter 2:5. While the debate rages on about how long Noah preached and what he preached (in other words, did he warn of the coming flood?), as a human being, it is hard not to imagine that the weight of what was coming bore heavily on him. It must have been an excruciatingly painful realization that Noah had to live with and then witness when the doors of the ark were closed. I have no doubt that Noah was, indeed, a benevolent, caring person whom God sent to an impudent and hard-hearted (evil) people and who sorrowed, as God does, at the loss of souls.

Since penning these thoughts, I have heard from two Christians whose comments have been in agreement, that the movie is unbiblical, offensive, and evil. So much of the story, they say, is not only made up but completely contrary to the story of God. One even walked out. Such is not a surprise to me and should not be to anyone who paid attention to the press prior to the release. I think it seems clear that Christians should not patronize such a movie. Giving your dollars to Crowe, Aronofsky, and company is not just wasting them but it is giving credence to the further production of such garbage.

 

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