Saturday, March 29, 2014

Why Are Christians So Up In Arms About The Noah Film?

This has been a question buzzing around social media for several weeks, stemming from early reports, some even pre-release, of the grossly unbiblical content of the story.  The filmmakers have even touted this unbiblical content as a selling point for the film.  So if this is no mystery, why are Christians still lining up to see this film.  And why are other Christians so angry about the film and so determined not to support it financially.  This blog post isn't going to be about the Noah film in particular, but about the dangerous mindset of acceptance and the message that sends to exploitative filmmakers.

The whole point of the objection, from my perspective at least, is the idea of letting filmmakers milk the wallets of the faithful by putting together any form of godless drivel they want, but as long as they put a biblical character in the story, doe-eyed Christians with more money than discernment will line up to hand it to them.  The point is not whether or not one movie will corrupt our faith as believers, it is the message we send to these types of exploitative filmmakers.  Basically it tells them that Christians are rubes and they can get rich passing off whatever they want to them as long as they use at least the thinnest thread to tie it to the Bible.

I grew up during the time of the blacksploitation films.  They were horrible caricatures of African Americans, and basically cast them as either slaves, dullards, pimps or thugs.  The filmmakers made a mockery of an entire race, but you know who lined up at the theaters to give their money away to these exploitative filmmakers?  Blacks.  Why?  Because it was their only chance to see someone even remotely representative of their race on film.  It wasn't until well after the civil rights movement, decades later, that blacks actually began to start getting serious dramatic roles in film and television.  But in the meantime, these huckster filmmakers made a mint exploiting the fact that they had a brand new market that would line up to line their pockets.  The filmmakers had to make blacks look ridiculous in these films, or else they would have lost their mainstream, largely racist, white audience.  But by making these exploitation films, they got the best of both worlds and raked in profits from both whites and blacks.

These godsploitation type films are exactly the same thing.  These filmmakers don't want to alienate their secular audiences, but the commercial success of truly God-based films like Passion of the Christ, Facing the Giants, Fireproof, etc, have put these greed-hounds on the scent of a whole new pile of money sitting in Christian wallets.  So how do they tap into that cash without alienating their normal film-goer base?  Easy, make a film that is as ridiculous and outlandish as any secular film, but put a Bible character in the story and watch these undiscerning Christians line up to empty their wallets to these filmmakers.

If Christians are not willing to stand together, to unite to send a message that "hey, you aren't getting our support making these ridiculous godsploitation films", then they are going to keep on doing it, and keep on getting rich, and generations of unbelievers are going to be forming their opinions of what God has to say to them from these types of films.  They certainly aren't getting it from Christians, because the overwhelming majority are too busy making themselves comfortable inside the church walls to be out in the neighborhoods, the parks, the workplaces and the schools telling others about Christ.

I'll climb down off my soapbox now, but as a Christian author, I care as much as anyone about things like this.  If I write things that DO glorify God, and I want to win the general public over with glimpses into the truth through both non-fiction and our fiction work, then why in the world would I want to help the enemy establish his stronghold in the marketplace.  If I, and other Christian authors, and Christian readers, aren't willing to take a stand on moral ground, we ought to at least be willing to stand on self-preservation as Christian authors, readers and film-goers.

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