When I wrote about the major Hollywood film Noah starring Russell Crowe as the arkmeister that is being released next month, I suggested that the filmmakers would have a tough time making Yahweh acceptable to the many religious people whom they need to buy tickets because there is no question that the story reveals him to be a monster. I said that I would be curious to see to what extent the filmmaker would go to sanitize Yahweh.
From reader Gordon, I received a link to an article written by someone who is also concerned about how the film will portray god but her concerns are opposite to mine. She is worried that the well-known story of Noah actually gives too benign a picture of god.
When I was in Sunday School as a wee little child, I remember being taught the Biblical account of Noah and the flood. I remember being taught that God was going to flood the world and he commanded Noah to build a massive ark. So Noah and his family built the ark and along the way they warned people that there was a great flood coming and they only way to be saved was to be on the ark. But the people mocked Noah and his family, not believing him one iota. So when the rains finally came and God flooded the earth, they all perished because they didn’t believe Noah.
I think this story paints god in a pretty bad light but the writer says that this story of god giving people a chance to avoid disaster is misleading and glosses over the fact that god set out from the beginning to kill everyone. She quotes chapter and worse to make her case, concluding:
So the world had no idea that the flood was even coming until it was already upon them. And this was obviously by design. God intended that all should die except Noah and his family.
She ends by saying that what she perceives as the contemporary idea of a namby-pamby god needs to be changed.
After all we live in a day and age where many people think that everyone will be welcomed into the gates of Heaven no matter how foolish they were on the earth. They believe that God can’t be so unloving that he would send people to eternal damnation just because they didn’t know Him. Surely, they think, He will have compassion on his own creation.
But this doesn’t represent the God of the Bible and I think people have a hard time with this.
There is a reason a film about Noah has not been made before. People are going to dislike it from all sides. Let’s see how director Darren Aronofsky makes his way through that minefield.