31 March 2014

Because Everyone Else Is Doing It: Noah (and VeggieTales)

This is not a post about why you should or should not see Noah, but, since everyone else is writing about the film whether or not they have seen it, I have decided to join the crowd. 

It is rather unbelievable how many posts are out there proclaiming why we should or should not see Noah, and most were written before the movie's release. "This movie is inaccurate. It does not follow the Biblical account." "We should reject the Hollywood machine." Or something like that. Or the flip side, "This is art, not a Biblical interpretation. We should watch it with an open mind." 

There are different ways to enjoy a movie, but one way for me not to enjoy a movie is for it to have Russell Crowe in it (there are few exceptions). Because of that, I don't know that I would have chosen to see this movie to begin with, but, because of all the hype, I find that I am intrigued. I want to be informed, to have intellectual conversation about the film,and for a person to do that, they have to see the film. I think that all my fellow evangelicals, if we must use a label, have caused me to sway toward seeing it. I want to see what all the hype is about. 

Plus, there's the whole double standards thing, and that's the biggest takeaway in this post. I'm calling it what it is. Our reaction to this film reveals a double standard that I don't like, especially since social media is absolutely buzzing with it. We are plastering our ugly side all over our Facebook accounts for the world to see, and they're calling it like it is. They're noticing. I promise you that.

Let's go back a few years to when my cherubs were tiny and my son was obsessed with VeggieTales. Oh yes, I could sing along to every silly song Larry could articulate,a nd I was proud of it! How many Christians do you know who happily view VeggieTales with their children? Are you one of them?

Since the big deal in recent weeks has been Noah's lack of Biblical accuracy, let's also consider the VeggieTales, a show most of us believe is safe for our kids. The only vegetables I remember reading about in my Bible were used for food. We could start there, but I don't really care that the creators of VeggieTales are dressing up vegetables and pretending they are Bible characters. Neither do most of you, but I have been a little bugged at times by their twisting of Biblical stories as if they need to be embellished. Why do we need vegetables to cause kids to be interested in the Bible? Why aren't the stories good enough on their own? As I am finishing a chronological reading of the Old Testament, I have been reminded of stories that include everything from talking animals (serpants and donkeys!) to zombies (did those bones Ezekiel saw come to life have souls? I think not.) to sex, adultery, incest, witchcraft, talking with the dead, and more! If the Bible were literally portrayed on the big screen, the movie would be rated R, and none of us would take our children to see it; yet, we feel like we have to embellish the G-rated stories to make them more interesting? David killed a giant with a sling shot. That's pretty astounding on its own, don't you think?

But almost no one complains.

Let me interject something before I continue. My son really was enthralled with VeggieTales, and we are still fans. I once made Bob the Tomato cupcakes and Larry Boy twinkies for a birthday party. I don't believe my children were harmed by them. They are not accurate stories. They were not created to be exact accounts of Biblical truth. This is not an anti-VeggieTales post.
It's a double standards post. Stick with me.

VeggieTales are sold in your local Christian bookstore. They're sold at on-line Christian retailers. Because of that, we don't take the time to pause enough to think about what we're putting into the minds of our children. We decide that they must be safe. Maybe they are, and maybe they aren't. My point is that our double standard isn't fair. We are expecting something of Mr. Aronofsky that we don't even expect of our own brothers and sisters. We are trying to hold a non-believer to a higher standard than we have placed on Big Idea Productions, a company created and run by Christians! How unfair is that??? At least Darren Aronofsky has not tried to pull the wool over our eyes. He does not claim Biblical accuracy. He was aiming for a blockbuster film. He was aiming for his film to get a lot of attention, and we have certainly given him that!

Will I see Noah? I don't know. Maybe. Maybe not. What I won't do is be a part of the double standard. You can't have it both ways, fellow believers. If you don't want to see this film, then I support your decision fully, but I hope you take some time to think about holding your other media choices to the same standard.

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