Last summer I attended a conference in which an interview was conducted with Mark Burnett. If you have ever watched Survivor or The Apprentice you see his name at the end of the show as the Producer. He talked about the struggle of getting a network to show "The Bible" miniseries. He also told us that when something becomes popular Hollywood jumps on board. Think about it. How many zombie and vampire movies have there been in the past few years. Enough said.
So here we are in a time when the Bible or Biblical themed movies are becoming increasingly more present. In fact there will be 5 faith based movies released in a 4 month span starting with Son of God and ending with Mom's Night Out. But we must understand that not all movies are created equal. We need to be wise in the way we approach each film and we must be able to think critically about each one.
This past weekend my family decided to pass on Noah in favor of God's Not Dead and I will explain why. I read many reviews about Noah and read some very disturbing things which have since been confirmed by more people I know who have seen the movie. On the other hand everyone I know who has seen God's Not Dead has raved about it. So what is the real difference between these 2 movies? Truth. While it is true there is little written about Noah at least be truthful to what is written. From the Rock People to Tubal Cain hiding on the Ark they got much wrong. I have had people tell me I don't know what I am talking about and I can't expect Hollywood to get a Bible Story right. Is that where we are right now. We want so badly to be on the big screen we don't care how the story is butchered to get us there? We should not be surprised. An proclaimed Atheist did this movie so we can't expect someone who doesn't even believe in God to tell God's story. God's Not Dead on the other hand reflected biblical truth and told a good story in the midst of that reflection. So we are going to have to pick and choose and do so wisely.
You will have other chances to choose this spring. Heaven is for Real is getting a lot of buzz and I imagine a large opening weekend. We have to think through critically the story being told to see if it is accurate and true to Scripture. Yes there are places to take artistic creativity and freedom, but not when it changes the heart of the story.
So may we be careful in our desire to make the big screen to not compromise the heart of the story. May we ask questions and think critically rather than acting like mind numb robots going to a movie because a Bible character is in it. And May we recognize we don't need to improve God's story we simply need to tell it to a world in darkness.
Jesus Follower, Husband, Father, and Pastor and trying to keep those in the right order....