Despite the heavy controversy surrounding the biblically influenced film Noah it shot right to the top of the box office this weekend. Noah brought in $44 million in ticket sales because so many people were talking, whether positively or negatively, about it. Due to film director Darren Aronofsky’s loose interpretation of the biblical story many Christians found themselves very skeptical.
The film’s headliner, Russell Crowe, called people “absolutely stupid” for making such drastic judgments about a movie they had not seen. The actor said they have received very harsh criticism for more than a year from people who have stamped their name on an opinion without validation. Crowe stood by his work and watched it pay off.
True to its biblical reference Noah weathered a sea of storms to come out on top. This was an imaginative take on the story of Noah’s Ark and was not meant to be a direct interpretation. This however led some religious groups to complain that the story had been depicted inaccurately and persuade people to avoid it. This division of opinion paid off and propelled Noah to the number one spot for movie goers this weekend.
Phil Cooke, an internationally known speaker and writer, addressed the controversy directly and unapologetically. This media guru has produced nationally known inspirational and religious media programming in nearly 50 countries world-wide. Cooke has worked for clients such as Oral Roberts, Joyce Meyer, Billy Graham, Joel Osteen, The American Bible Society, YouVersionBible App and The Salvation Army.
When addressing the controversy of the film Cooke said it is fascinating that God made the choice to introduce himself to his creation in Genesis as a “creator.” He said even though humanity is made in his image so many Christians fear creativity, the very reason for existence.
Cooke said so many Christians grow up and trade their God-given creativity for what they think is maturity and discipline. He said it is as if people assume that God is weak and in need of assistance in policing other folk’s theology and doctrine. Cooke said they spend their time as “theology cops” as opposed to creators in God’s image.
This well-known speaker went on to say Christians feel every creative act must have the end result be an altar call. They believe if a filmmaker, musician, writer or other creative force does not live a life of perfection they cannot be distributed, published or funded. Cooke said the artist has his hand full and is fulfilling their calling when they attend to their craft, which is art.
Cooke said to diminish their calling would be to cripple the Body of Christ and fall short of what the church is actually called to become – a creative force in the earth. An artist’s calling is not the same as a pastor; they are doing their duty and can safely leave evangelizing to the “evangelists.”
This media personality ended his refute by saying God revels in the creativity and imagination of artists working in his service. Rather that condemning and criticizing their efforts while trying to force them into a box of limitations perhaps Christians should try God’s outlook and allow them to run with the vision.
The film, which also features Jennifer Connelly and Emma Watson, also did well in 22 international markets earning $33.6 million. Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore said it has been a very interesting journey leading up to this point, but definitely a spectacular launch.
Despite the heavy controversy surrounding a loosely interpreted biblical story, Noah shot right to the top of the box office this weekend with $44 million in ticket sales. Many Christians may have been skeptical but others found the film to be fascinating as well as one that honored their faith.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)