Thursday, April 3, 2014

To See or Not to See the Noah Movie: That is the Question

This is an interesting year in the film industry. I have heard it referred to as "the year of religious-themed movies." 

I am not the kind of person who goes out to see movies every week for reasons that you could easily guess. One of those reasons is the fact that I am particular about my film choices. I usually listen to what other Christian people have to say - even checking the opinion of Focus on the Family on their media review site pluggedin.com.

As a believer, I agree with the idea of "voting at the box office" to encourage the making of more family-friendly films (though I rarely am able to actually do this). But I also believe in the very opposite - to vote at the box office by NOT attending those films which are in opposition to everything connected with Christ. I rarely have trouble differentiating between the two and making a decision.

But the movie Noah has me stumped.

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I am well aware of the controversy surrounding this film.

One day as I listened to the Christian radio station, I heard a group of people discussing this movie. One of them said that the movie's producer had visited a pastor's convention and had shared how he felt that the movie would be true to the Biblical story. This pastor was not opposed to seeing it, nor was he inclined to discourage his congregation from watching. A woman mentioned how she had seen Jesus Christ Superstar as a young, unsaved woman and that movie, strange depiction of the Saviour though it was, opened the way in her heart to find the real Saviour.

It reminded me that God really can use anything to bring people to Him.

IN THE SAME DAY, I heard Ray Comfort discussing the reasons why Christians should NOT be inclined to see the movie.

Normally, this would not affect me, since we rarely attend movies, but the Noah movie showed up on the list of possible things for our church youth to attend, so I began to wonder whether I should allow my children to see it.

Some of the points of contention over this movie have been the obvious omission of God from the entire story (!) and the fact that the purpose of the flood has been changed from the judgment of said righteous God on the wickedness and depravity of humanity, to a resulting consequence of mismanagement of the environment.

My typical reaction would be to steer clear, but there has been one nagging thought in the back of my mind.

One of the objections to this movie had to do with the fact that this is the way in which many people (especially Christians) get their theology so muddled!

We have become such a lazy society, so concerned with what people think of us, so enamored with ease and comfort, that we have allowed our theology to be shaped and formed by popular culture rather than truth. We do not put any effort into finding the truth, living in truth or defending the truth!

My husband and I are committed to teaching our children HOW to "be in the world, but not of it." I am more terrified of the alternative since I have seen so many families shelter their children from the world so entirely throughout their childhood, that when they do go out into this big, scary world, they are either completely unprepared, or they easily succumb to temptation and go full-tilt into a life of evil.

So this is what I have decided to do. We will "vote at the box-office" by NOT seeing the movie when it is out in theaters, but I WILL allow my children to see it later on television - with one caveat:

That they first seek out the truth.

My Mom always told me that when bankers teach their tellers about counterfeit currency, they do not show them all of the known versions of the counterfeit, they show them the real thing. They are expected to familiarize themselves completely with legitimate currency - - how it feels, how it looks, how it smells...  so that when something illegitimate passes through their hands, they can tell the difference.
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Think about how differently you view a movie made from a book you have read. If the producers stay very close to the original story and seem to depict it accurately, you are delighted (like the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice). But if they take too many creative liberties or veer off from the story line (like the Disney/Walden version of Prince Caspian), your stomach tightens and you find yourself correcting the movie. Out loud. To the dismay of everyone else in the room. (Am I the only one who does this?)

That is the reaction that I want my children to have. I want them to be so familiar with the truth that they can spot a lie a mile away.

How will I go about doing this?

By handing them The Book, then going back to middle school English class and asking the pertinent questions:

Who?
What?
Why?
When?
Where?
How?

I want them to know who so that they will spot the fact that God (a KEY player) has been omitted.

I want them to know why so they will not think that all of this "global warming" is going to produce a similar event - they will know that the great flood was a judgment of God on the wickedness of mankind.

I want them to know how so that they will see that, in His mercy and grace, God made a way of salvation for anyone who would believe and enter into that ark - just as He did for you and me through Jesus Christ who said, "I am the door, if anyone enters by ME, he will be saved." John 10:9

Maybe you, your children, or someone else that you know is planning to see the movie. If so, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the true facts of the story so that you will be prepared. It could be an excellent teachable moment, an interesting Bible study, or it could simply equip you to have an informed conversation with a co-worker or friend.

For a printable "cheat sheet" of these questions and answers, click here.

...And if you like to see a movies in the theaters, "vote at the box-office" with movies like Son of God and  God is not Dead.



2 comments:

Gary April 3, 2014 at 2:14 PM  

A very well thought out post!

Andrea April 10, 2014 at 12:00 AM  

Excellent post!! You are so right; if they were to make a movie like pride and prejudice and call it the most non-victorian movie ever made it would probably be hated by reviews! It just wouldn't make any sense. Remember the Romeo and Juliet version with Leonardo Dicaprio in the 90's. Reviewers hated it and couldn't get over the modern twists...but it was still true to form! Hello! Such a good point! Thanks for visiting today! So glad you came by!

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