Sunday, April 6, 2014

Noah - A Flood of Disagreement

Have you ever had that one movie you just have to see?  You can't wait to go see it.  You have waited for months to see the song.  You follow the movie Twitter page so you don't miss the newest preview.  Then, you see something posted about how awful the movie is.  Your heart drops as if you just had your job review and it wasn't as positive as you had hoped.  Now you are conflicted if you should see the movie or not.  Never mind that your favorite actor/actress is in the movie.  This review isn't what you expected.  Then you start seeing others praising and condemning the movie all the time.  "Great movie that takes liberty and portrays everything it should," to, "Awful movie that fails to capture the true essence of the plot."  So what do you do?  Toss caution to the wind and go see it?  Or listen to the detractors?

This is what I see happening with Noah. The critics in Hollywood are raving about how amazing the whole movie is.  The actors/actresses in it can't stop raving about the writing, the plot and how fun the project was.  On the other side I see/hear people complaining about how awful the movie is because it isn't true to the Bible.  It isn't a "Christian" movie because it was written by an atheist.  The list goes on from both sides.  Me, I say who cares!  Okay, that might not be true.  Maybe I do care, but not the way you would expect me to care.

My take on Noah has nothing to do with the movie itself.  I don't care if there is artistic liberty (which I've heard has happened) or if the movie is true to the Bible.  Heck, I don't even care if the women speak or not (which I've read they do and some have had issues with this).  I have no desire to see the movie, simply because I just don't want to.  I have nothing against the movie and nothing that supports going to see the movie.  It is one of those movies I look at and think there are better things to spend my entertainment dollars on.  Anyway, I'm not here to encourage or discourage your attendance at the theaters.  Rather, why the disagreement?

Over the weeks I have read and heard many Christians discuss the merits of the film.  Most don't agree with the premise of the movie nor do they agree with a movie being made that doesn't represent the Bible correctly.  Even fewer have stated they want to go see the movie simply because they feel the movie is blasphemy.  Okay....Where, may I ask, did you see that this was a "Christian" movie?  Did you not know the movie was a Hollywood production?  Again, not the purpose of this blog.  I've also seen and heard people voice their disagreement with the movie yet still believe, "If someone eventually discovers the truth..."  Yeah, okay, if that is your take, go for it.

My biggest observation is that none of these Christians see the bigger picture.  Sure you can recognize that God can use anything to bring people into a relationship with him.  Just as he used an ass to speak to Balaam, he could use this movie to speak to people.  I'm not one to discount that outlook and hope.  BUT, why argue about this?  Why argue about this Hollywood movie at all?  What if this is all a grand design of those that wrote and made the movie?

I'm of the firm belief that Christians have gotten so distracted by the fact that this is, "A disgrace of Biblical representation," that we are forgetting the point.  Because of our disdain for the film and the constant arguing and bitterness involved those that aren't Christians would rather go see it simply to distance themselves from Christianity.  They see the arguing and believe us to be the same hypocritical people we always are.  They see us as hating anything that isn't in agreement with what we believe.  What reason would they have to discover the truth after the movie when all they see is hate and bickering before they attend a showing?  Additionally, if you think that your values, beliefs and faith are going to be swayed just by seeing a movie, then maybe you are the one needing to discover what the Bible really says just as much as the ones you believe need to know the truth about Noah.

If you want to go catch a matinee showing of Noah this week, by all means, do.  Enjoy a couple hours away from the pressures of life and indulge in a big old tub of popcorn and large soda with the movie.  If you have no desire to see a movie of any sort, then chill at home.  All I ask of you is to remember, not every Christian you meet hates this movie and some of us are just as fed up with all the bickering just as much as you are.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Change or Not Staying the Same

What is worse?  The fear of change?  Or, the fear of things not being the same?  Aren't these really the same?  Maybe at the surface they are.  But, when you dig into the differences, I see these as similar, but very different.

We have all heard the famous quote from Heraclitus, "The only thing that is constant is change."  I heard it a lot when there was a shake up in management at my office.  Why then do some fear change?  I believe this to be simple - change is an immediate thing.

All of us fear change at some point in our life.  Maybe it is a fear of moving across the country, your pending wedding vows or even a change of jobs.  Despite looking forward the challenges of these changes, the fear is real and unsettling.  Typically though these fears are short lived.  We soon find comfort in our change.  There is that newlywed period we find a bliss with everything we went through to get to where we are.  Then, after a time, we find the small things routine, mundane and at times annoying.  Complacency has crept back into our lives.  We see things so much that we no longer fear those things we did way back when.  Suddenly, many of us find a need for change again.  That which was once feared is now craved.  Sure, we know that once change occurs again, we will run head on into our fears once again.  Maybe, just maybe, this is our need for an adrenaline rush.

But what about our pining for the days gone by?  The days where things maybe weren't simple, but they just flowed like the spring melt off from the mountains.  These days weren't so much completely controlled by anything we did, but we could rely on everything working the way they should.  Even if there were the slightest change, we could rely that nothing much would really change.  All of those you relied on were there to support and aide where needed to make your day go by.  Be it a death in the family, coworkers moving on or friends moving across the country and losing touch with them, you just don't have things like they were.  Now you fear that things will never be the same again (which you know they never will be, but you still fear it) and you are now reluctant to see or express excitement over the future.

So what is it that drives these fears in us?  Why do we have a hard time with change at any level?  And why do we fear the change that is beyond our control?  One is short term and one takes months or years to recognize and build up before we acknowledge it.

God comforts us in Isaiah 41:10 and assures us that he is with us.  Again, in Matthew 6:25-34 we are instructed by Christ to not worry.  If you are a person of faith, then what causes our fear of change?  I'm just curious.  As for me, I don't fear change I just can't say I always enjoy it.  I do indeed miss the days of old but I'm not inclined to allow them to change the way I go about my day.  I work hard at rolling with the punches life throws at me no matter how battered and bruised I might end up.

What about you?  What causes you to fear change?  What do you struggle with the most?  Is it the fear of change, or the fear of things not being the same?