2013 and 2014 will see a large number of Christian-themed movies hit the big screen and one of the most anticipated of them is Noah, directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Oscar-winner Russell Crowe. While there will be much hype and excitement for this movie, the early reports indicate that the Noah film will not be in line with the Biblical account of Noah’s ark and the flood, but instead will push a liberal, political message focused on the environmental agenda. Christians and those interested in a Biblical story thus need to be warned to use discernment and not support Hollywood as it exploits the Bible for gain and promotes a film that casts the God of the Bible in a bad light.
Noah as The “First Environmentalist”?
“Be warned, though: Aronofsky’s Noah might be a bit different from the bearded boat-builder most remember from the Bible. Aronofsky told us back then that he sees Noah as the “first environmentalist,” a man tormented by survivor’s guilt after living through the flood.” (source)
The story of the Flood, as told in Genesis chapter 6-8 deals with humanity’s rebellion against God becoming so great that it threatened any chance of salvation and incurred God’s wrath.
And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. – Genesis 6:1-6.
In the pre-flood world, a group of rebellious angels or “sons of God” as they are terms in the Bible, interacted with humanity openly on Earth. In doing this, they sinned against God by taking human women as wives and having children with them. These half-angel, half-human hybrid offspring, known as the Nephilim, were giant, super powerful beings who then overran the Earth (these beings have been described in other ancient historical accounts as “demi-gods”, titans and other names, hence them being called “men of renown.:). Soon humanity found itself far from the knowledge of God and steeped in violence, immorality, occultism and sinful rebellion against The Lord. This was the true Biblical backdrop for the world Noah and his family lived in before the flood.
Despite being surrounded by a sinful, lustful society, Noah was still a faithful believer in The Lord. The book of Hebrews called Noah a “preacher of righteousness.” As a result of the Nephilim hybridization taking place, the potential existed for the entire human gene pool to be corrupted by fallen angels. God already judged the first two humans, Adam and Eve for their sin, by banishing them from the Garden of Eden. This initial rebellion brought sin and death into the world. But even back at that time, The Lord, in His mercy, promised Adam and Eve that one day a child would be born who would redeem them and destroy Satan.
And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. – Genesis 3:14-15.
It was this prophecy that out the Devil on notice that his judgment would come at the hands of a human savior. Eliminating the Messiah became the first order of business in Satan’s war against God. And the illicit relations between fallen angels and human women were a means to prevent a fully human savior from being born. God’s response to this was unexpected – a global flood that would destroy every creature on Earth except for Noah, his family and the animals on the ark. Rather than just acting in pure anger and rage, The Lord used the flood to preserve the human gene pool, punish those sinful angels, eliminate the Nephilim and preserve the chance for the Messiah to be born and for humanity to escape eternal damnation. Thus in the flood account, there is sinful rebellion, an ongoing battle between good and evil, the rewards of the faithful and God’s mercy towards those who believe in Him. None of this has anything to do with environmental movement whatsoever.
An Early Script Review
“It’s about environmental apocalypse which is the biggest theme, for me, right now for what’s going on on this planet. So I think it’s got these big, big themes that connect with us. Noah was the first environmentalist.” – Darren Aronofsky (source).
Hollywood writer and director Brian Godawa wrote a review of an undated script of the Noah film and was disturbed by its story:
Having got a chance to read an undated version of the script for Noah I want to warn you. If you were expecting a Biblically faithful retelling of the story of the greatest mariner in history and a tale of redemption and obedience to God you’ll be sorely disappointed. Noah paints the primeval world of Genesis 6 as scorched arid desert, dry cracked earth, and a gray gloomy sky that gives no rain – and all this, caused by man’s “disrespect” for the environment. In short, an anachronistic doomsday scenario of ancient global warming. (source)
Godawa’s review of the script also falls in line with the Noah graphic novel that Aronofsky co-authored in 2011 in advance of the movie. Below is the synopsis of the novel:
It was a world without hope, a world with no rain and no crops, dominated by warlords and their barbarian hordes. In this cruel world, Noah was a good man. Seasoned fighter, mage and healer but he only wanted peace for him and his family. Yet every night, Noah was beset by visions of an endless flood, symbolizing the destruction of all life. Gradually, he began to understand the message sent him by the Creator. He had decided to punish the men and kill them until the last. But he gave Noah a last chance to preserve life on Earth… (source)
Rather than follow the Biblical account, Aronofsky is taking the story in his own direction to suit his own environmentalist agenda. There are many glaring differences between the Biblical narrative and Aronfosky’s version. Even Cain and Abel, the first sons of Adam and Eve, make an appearance and apparently befriend Noah as a child. The danger in this is that it distorts the Biblical message and only leads to further confusion about God and His plan of salvation for humanity. In the movie, God is portrayed as an angry Creator who wants to punish humanity permanently for not taking good enough care of plants and animals. Humans have compassion, while God in the film only has irrational wrath. This type of gnostic interpretation of Scripture that turns the Biblical account upside down to cast the God of the Bible in a bad light, has been done in many Hollywood films (we featured an article on the movie Legion that used this same tactic with a plot centered on the book of Revelation).
Isaiah 5:20 says: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” Rather than change the Bible, it should be respected so the real message of God’s forgiveness, grace and mercy can be conveyed.
Noah As A Hippie
“Noah is a kind of rural shaman, and vegan hippy-like gatherer of herbs. Noah explains that his family “studies the world,” “healing it as best we can,” like a kind of environmentalist scientist.” (source).
In the Bible, Noah is no Shaman or mage, but a believer and follower of the true and living God of the Bible, Yahweh. When The Lord decided that He was going to judge the world for its rampant sin and punish those angels who sinned, He told Noah:
And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. – Genesis 6:13-14.
God then proceeded to give Noah specific instructions and dimensions for the construction of the ark. What is telling about the heart of Noah was his response to God’s very detailed instructions:
Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he. – Genesis 6:22.
Rather than seeking the spirit realm, or his “inner knowledge”, Noah heard the Word of God and believed it. This is the sign of faith. So Noah’s spiritual state was clear, he believed the Lord. This is confirmed by the Lord in chapter 7:
And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth. For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth. And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him. – Genesis 7:1-5.
God saw Noah’s faith and declared him “righteous before me in this generation.” And with a week before the flood, God gave Noah his final instructions and informed him that it would rain for forty days and nights. This is very significant – up to this point in world history it had never rained. Prior to the flood, the moisture in the environment came from geysers in the ground:
And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. – Genesis 2:5-6.
A mist from underground pressure provided water for plant life. The pre-flood word in short had a hyperbaric environment. (B&E: Some Christian researchers have theorized that this environment contributed to the long life spans of the people before the flood, where some people lived over 900 years. However, after the flood, there is a sharp decrease in life spans down to the lengths seen today. For an excellent study on this, see geologist Gaines Johnson’s article which can be found here).
To hear the judgment would be in the form of a massive rainfalls all over the whole earth would be something no one in the world could fathom. Yet Noah, once again believes God and obeys. The Book of Hebrews explains the importance of faith and cites Noah as an example:
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. — Hebrews 11:6-7.
Rather than seeking God, Aronofsky is using the Bible to push an environmental agenda. This film reflects a lack of faith and promotes the idea of doubting God, rather than believing.
Wildly Unbiblical “Facts” About Noah’s Life
“I don’t think it’s a very religious story,” Aronofsky told us at the 2011 Provincetown International Film Festival, where he was receiving career-spanning honors. “I think it’s a great fable that’s part of so many different religions and spiritual practices. I just think it’s a great story that’s never been on film.” (source).
Here are some of the changes to the Biblical text that Aronofsky’s script makes:
- Noah maintains an animal hospital to take care of wounded animals or those who survive the evil “poachers,” of the land. … Be that as it may, Noah is the Mother Teresa of animals.”
Nowhere are we told in Scripture that Noah ran an animal hospital.
- Though God has not spoken to men or angels for a long time, Noah is haunted by recurring dreams of a rainstorm and flood that he surmises is God’s judgment on man because as Noah says, “At our hand, all he created is dying.” The trees, the animals, and the environment. “If we change, if we work to save it, perhaps he will too [save us].
In Genesis Chapter 6, it is clear that God is indeed speaking to humanity. The Lord addresses Noah directly and gives specific details about the coming judgment and how to prepare the ark to survive it. Nowhere does Noah have any dreams. Additionally, it is the sinfulness of humanity along with the Nephilim invasion of the Earth that brought God’s judgment, not mistreatment of the environment. And nowhere is it said if humanity helps the tress and animals, God would reverse the impending flood.
According to the Bible, humans are not animals. We are made in the image of God Himself. After creating the first man, The Lord gave Adam dominion over all animals and nature. Jesus Christ confirmed humanity’s superiority to animal’s in God’s eyes to demonstrate God’s love for all people:
Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. – Matthew 10:29-32.
God is aware of everything that happens in the lives of animals. But He is much more interested in human beings, His special creation. Jesus illustrates this in beautiful fashion, nothing that God knows the numbers of hairs on the head of every person ever born. And this theme seems removed far from the Noah movie: that God loves us and worked out a plan to reconcile us to Him through Jesus Christ.
- Noah seeks advice from his grandfather, Methuselah, the oldest man alive, who lives in a cave. Unfortunately for fighting pacifist Noah, he has to go through the Watcher’s Land to get there. The Watchers are angels who came down from heaven to help fallen humanity by granting them wonders of knowledge from magic to science to stars, metal, and fire. But when mankind turned that knowledge into weapons of war and tools of environmental devastation, God banished the Watchers to earth and turned his back on them. Now, they reside as 18-feet tall, six-armed grumpy angelic complainers who resent mankind.
None of this is ever in the Bible. Noah has no interaction with angels or watchers (angelic beings who are mentioned in the book of Daniel). And while Methuselah is indeed his grandfather, Noah does not seek him out for “advice.” God gave Noah a clear plan of action for salvation for he and his family and Noah faithfully followed it. And while there was indeed open interaction between angelic beings and humans in the pre-flood world, we are not given these details in Noah’s story, nor is there any description of angels matching the script draft. (B&E: in our article on the movie Prometheus, we explore the idea in Scripture of angels possibly sharing knowledge with humanity, specifically the lineage of Cain. For more information see here).
- Noah convinces the Watchers to help him and he receives a magic seed from Methuselah that blooms a magical forest in the desert. It’s really a quite imaginative and powerful scene that shows God’s miraculous provision. Noah uses this timber to build his boat (Wait a second. Wouldn’t that make him an evil clear cutting lumberjack?). So the Watchers help him build the craft
Once again, these ideas are not from Scripture. Nowhere in Genesis is there ever any hint of a tree shortage or environmental crisis. And the Watchers, who are not even mentioned in the book of Genesis, do not built the ark for Noah.
Noah As Homicidal Maniac?
Meanwhile, Noah has himself become a bit psychotic, like an environmentalist or animal rights activist who concludes that people do not deserve to survive because of what they’ve done to the environment and to animals. Noah deduces that God’s only reason for his family on the boat is to shepherd the animals to safety, “and then mankind disappears. It would be a better world.” He concludes that there will be no more births in this family so that when they start over in the new world, they will eventually die out, leaving the animals in a human-less paradise of eco-harmony and peace. As Noah says, “The creatures of the earth, the world itself, shall be safe.” His ethical reasoning? The same as all environmentalist activists: The ends justify the means. “We must weigh those [human] lives against all creation.”
There’s only one problem. One of the women on the ark is pregnant, and Noah decides that if it is a boy, it can live, but if it is a girl, he must kill it. We can’t have more of those nasty little virus-like humans swarming the earth. So most of the last half of the script is a family killer thriller like Sleeping With the Enemy, that asks the dark dramatic movie question “will Noah kill the child if it is a girl or not?” Ancient sex-selection infanticide.
The woman gives birth to twin girls, and Noah gets all the way up to killing not one but two female infants, after killing evil meat-eating Akkad. But in the end, he fails. He says “to himself, to the Creator,” “I can’t. I can’t do it. I am sorry. I am so sorry.” He is just too compassionate to carry out God’s cruel plan. Noah is more loving than God. (source).
This is the most disturbing part of this script. The idea that Noah would want to kill his own family, is not only never stated in Scripture, it is just blasphemous to the Biblical account. In warning humanity about changing parts of the Bible, Jesus said:
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. – Revelation 22:18-19.
This stern warning, in the last chapter of the Bible, underscores how seriously, the correct handling of the Bible is to The Lord. Unfortunately, we live in an age where Jesus Christ, the Bible and the Christian faith can be openly mocked, disrespected and twisted to suit the needs and purposes of the world. What would the reaction be in the Muslim world to a movie that cast Muhammad in a negative light? Well there is no reason to imagine since the trailer of a low-budget film on YouTube caused massive protests, public destruction of property and according to certain officials in the office of President Obama, was part of the reason four Americans were murdered in Libya. Yet when it comes to Christianity, a big-budget major motion picture can be made that completely twists and distorts the Biblical account and portrays the God of the Bible as a cruel, homicidal God who is more concerned with preserving plants and animals over human beings.
By now Lord willing, it’s clear that Noah is not a Christian film. Yet when this movie hits the theaters, it will not stop the film company behind from marketing the movie to churches and the Christian community in hopes of conveying the idea that it is a movie celebrating a Biblical story when it is not. Do not be deceived.
Jesus Christ described the days before His Second Coming with a reference to Noah: But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (Matthew 24:37). Jesus pointed to the times Noah lived in before the flood as a type and shadow of the last days. And certainly the rampant sin, idolatry and disrespect for God and His Word is on full display in society. A judgment from God is coming on this sinful world. But just like the ark, God has prepared an escape for those who will put their faith and trust in Him: Jesus Christ.
The ark itself was a foreshadow of the protection from eternal judgment that comes from believing in Jesus Christ as the Son of God who died to take the punishment for the sins of the world. Pray for the makers of this movie to repent and believe the Word of God, rather than abusing it. And spread the Word to other Christians to not support such a blasphemous, anti-Christian film. The good news is that for all this disrespect, Darren Aronofsky can still be forgiven of his sins. There is still time for society to get into the ‘ark’ that saves us from hell. It just takes hearing the true Word of God, not a Hollywood distortion.