Sunday, March 30, 2014

Righteously Indignant!

I wanted to see this movie today. Due to scheduling conflicts and an unusually warm, spring day in Minnesota, I opted to enjoy Creation and some of the promised seasonal changes that, I doubt, are referenced in this movie. For those whose interest might be sparked by that statement, you'll have to wait.

While I wait to see the movie, which, honestly, will take a back seat to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, if there's another scheduling conflict (just to note how I prioritize movies in regard to my walk with Christ), I am drawn like a magnet to all the reviews screaming across the internet.

The debate is furious! I was surprised at the level of dogmatic fervor that seems to rest on the side of the hard-line Muslims and Evangelical Christians ... let that sink in.

I've seen the "Judge not lest ye be judged" debate fly around, devoid of context. I've seen the whole idea of "Defending the accuracy of the Bible" issue shot across the bow. Adjectives like EVIL, BLASPHEMY, HERESY, PAGAN! and a host of allegations about people's motives, character, visual acuity, sleep apnea, memory, ability to enter the correct theater screening and so on bandied about.

It has become US vs. THEM!

Yeah for Christian love and mercy! We have linked arms with the Muslim countries and we can proceed to burn Darren Aronofsky in effigy or trample the burning corporate logo for Paramount Pictures in the streets while we shout how vile and hate-filled they are.

Then we can go door to door and lynch any Christian who says, whoa, let's remember this is a movie and not go crazy.

I'm all for people having opinions about movies. I love the Rocky movies. Pretty much all of them. Even #5. There are those that most certainly do NOT like them (though, thoughtful, well-studied and educated, refined folks will admit the first one was a work of art). I loved Sam Raimi's Spider-man films. Yes, I said "films!" I like 3 better than The Amazing Spider-man with the A&F underwear model or his chain-smoking girl-friend. Others think that is lunacy!

Movies will generate like or dislike for a million different reasons. As do books. I have some great 5 star reviews of my book The Next Chapter (an excellent thriller, by the way, which will keep you turning those pages). Someone told me they don't like "wordy" stories. I did what any self-respecting author would do, thumbed my nose at her, blew raspberries at the computer screen and went on with my life.

The point is, whether one likes or dislikes Noah, it's a movie. It's not the Bible.

But, they twisted the Bible story and undermined the message and make God out to be vindictive and evil and ... there's the whole vegan vs. meat eater thing!!

It's a movie. And it looks more like an action epic movie, to boot. You want the Bible, go to church.

Oh, wait, that opens a can of worms, doesn't it? See, here's what gets me about this whole 'Righteously indignant' crap. We've got tele-evangelists and major Christian leaders who are twisting the scripture, perverting God's character and promising God-as-a-genie theology, but ... there's no outrage. There's no adjectives of DECEIVER! EVIL! PAGAN!

Why not? Maybe because there isn't a product to sell during a smear campaign like that. The people smearing Hollywood seem to end their castigating with a product pitch or an exultant "My review is still #1" or "I have 200k views in 2 days!" Good for you! I'm glad for your success and I hope it builds up the Kingdom of God.

But the indignation has to go. If we actually believe God calls us to be railing against people who twist His word, then we'll have a 24/7 job.

On the contrary, I think we're called to love one another. We're called to treat people with respect. We're called to demonstrate the peace of God and rain down God's love and mercy on the righteous and the wicked alike.

Let's try that. Let's see if loving people (which doesn't mean you are endorsing their sin or excusing it) is how God will increase our usefulness in increasing His Glory.

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