Will you be seeing the Noah movie? Have you been asked that question yet? I have been asked it several times in the past three weeks. My initial answer was “Yes”, then my answer was “No”, and then my answer was “Good grief stop asking!” In the past three weeks I have read numerous blogs, opinions, and gripes about the Noah film. I’ve read credible authors on most sides of the argument. I’ve read several articles full of disdain for the film, few articles that gave positives and negatives about the film, and zero that I would classify as positive. The most popular blogs are without a doubt in the negative category.
So naturally with all the controversy surrounding the Noah film I have waffled about from “I want to see it” to “Should I see it?”. My most logical conclusion is that I will not see the film in theaters. My reason for not watching the film is that I don’t want to hire a baby-sitter, stay out past 10pm, and drive 45 minutes to watch the film, when I am 3 miles from a Redbox that charges me $1.50 a day for a movie. On a side note, have you noticed that Redbox is allowing the price to creep up? It was $1, then $1.20, and now $1.50. Nevertheless, I continue to swipe my AMEX and pray I remember to carry the movie back!
I digress… My reason for writing about the Noah film is that I opened my email this morning to find this email from youversion.com. The email is a picture of a full page ad found in the New York Times. The ad specifically invited the audience to read the story in the Bible.
After seeing the image I had an answer for all the controversy surrounding the film. Seeing the email reminded me of my favorite Old Testament story, Noah… No, it is the story of Joseph. The story of Joe is covered over 13 chapters in the book of Genesis. The story of Noah is covered in 4 chapters. Noah’s story reveals a God of judgment and grace, who is perceivably fed up with a world that is full of evil, so he reboots it. The story of Joseph is a story of betrayal and evil, like Noah, but God plays a different role in the story. In short, God chooses not to destroy evil, but to do something much more insulting to evil. He takes evil people, doing evil things and makes good happen.
At the end of Joseph’s story he shares the purpose of his struggle, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” The principle factor in Joseph’s life is not that he stands for his rights or the rights of God, but that God uses actions meant for evil to do good. Let us not forget our history. We should remember that the Bible has been burned on numerous occasions, God has been proclaimed dead throughout all generations, and that atheism, higher criticism, and skepticism have existed since the day a man and woman in a garden wanted to be like God. But God has remained, used the evil for good, and will “be” forever.
After remembering who God is, we should note what will happen as a result of the film. The film will serve its purpose for Hollywood making money. The director will take the blame, but become more wealthy, more famous, and more atheistic. The hard core philosophical atheist will be validated in their disdain for close minded Christianity by all the hate spewed about by Christians. The Church will alienate and hurt skeptic people outside of its walls by condemning the film and all associated with it. But God will use it all to lead people who watch the film, read the blogs, and see the ads to read the story in the Bible. The story will be different and the Holy Spirit will draw people that are far from God near to God. God will save them from themselves and they will be looking for a church that answers their questions instead of ignoring or condemning them.
The question for us is the same question that Joseph had to ask himself in the story. How does God want to use me?
And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.