Summary: The Darren Aronfsky film NOAH has created interest in the Bible. This sermon compares the story in the film with the biblical account and provides a way to discuss the film with friends.
I went to see Darren Aronofsky’s “NOAH” last Saturday Night. Kim was away at the ladies retreat and when the movie was over, she sent me a text. “Was it true to the Bible?” I replied, “well, they did spell NOAH right!” That my friends is about where the similarities end. Oh, there is a flood, and a wooden boat, but beyond that the film is a fantasy based on a biblical story whose purpose is to promote secular environmentalism.
So today I want to speak on the Real Story of Noah. Some might wonder, “why preach a sermon just because there is a controversial Hollywood film?” I understand that question. I have two primary reasons for addressing this in a Sunday morning sermon.
First, NOAH the film is a reflection of our culture and as such, we should understand its message.
Second, because this is cultural issue related to our faith, I want to equip the Church to share the truth of the Bible with our friends. Aronofsky’s film has generated a great amount of interest in biblical story of the flood. I think that use that interest to point people to Genesis 6-9. If God can use a donkey to get the attention of a false prophet (Balaam), he can use an atheists film to get the attention of millions of people and stir their interest in the true story of Noah.
Should you see the film? If it allows you to share the gospel, YES! Don’t go for the entertainment value - we don’t need to support Hollywood when they twist the Bible into something it is not. I don’t think that NOAH will not cause you to lose your faith, BUT I am very concerned about Christians who are not able to discern and interpret film, TV, books, music, news and politics. We do not recognize how much that Worldview is more influenced by the culture than the Bible.
Before we look at the issues we should ask who is Darren Aronofsky? He is both the writer, and director. The idea for NOAH was his own, so he is really the central figure when it comes to understanding the film and the world-view it presents. Aronofsky comes from a conservative Jewish home. He grew up on Long Island, where he filmed major portions of NOAH. Some of the filming was interrupted by hurricane Sandy in 2012.
Aronofsky is a self-professed atheist. Themes from Jewish Kabala and mysticism come through in the film, but it was not his intention to use the medium of film to explain or tell the biblical story of the flood. We will say more about this. The secular nature of his work is reflected in an interview he did with a British paper. “To the delight of the atheist and the concern of the pious however, Aronofsky's film is pushing an environmentalist rather than religious agenda.” “He described Noah to The Telegraph as "the least biblical biblical film ever made", and sees its protagonist (played by Russell Crowe) as the "first environmentalist". independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/noah-is-the-least-biblical-biblical-film-ever-made-says-director-9214686.html
The FIRST QUESTION to consider in comparing the film with the Bible concerns the character of Noah. Was Noah an Environmental Crusader, or a Preacher of Righteousness? According to the film, Noah was the first true environmentalist, saving the earth from the destructive, polluting, resource-using sons of Cain. Noah is morally flawed in the film. A major conflict in the film is whether Noah will kill his own grandchildren to prevent the earth from being re-populated with humans. Noah is shown as a warrior, fighting off the attackers who sought to get into the ark.
But the Bible tells us that Noah was a man of faith, a preacher of righteousness. Genesis 6:9 offers this character description: “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.” 2 Peter 2:5 describes Noah as a “preacher of righteousness.” The people of his day were night fighting to get on the ark. In Matthew 24 Jesus tells us that they were “eating and drinking” not aware of the coming destruction.
The SECOND QUESTION is Why did God send the flood?
According to the film, humans were using up all of the earth’s natural resources.
The scenes show that the Earth is a barren landscape. The Trees are all cut down, the minerals all used up. People were carnivores, eating all of the animals. The opening of the film starts with Noah lecturing SHEM for picking a flower to look at its beauty. The environmental message is clear from the beginning to the very end.
According to the film, God sent the flood to save the innocent animals from destruction at the hands of humans. The film NOAH is an apologetic for Secular Environmentalism! Aronofsky twisted the biblical story to promote a 21st century view of environmentalism that teaches that humans are equal with animals and that we should all be vegans and not do anything that interferes with the environment.