The Traveller’s Rest- “…the people thought it such a lark.”

The Rain came down in torrents.

Don’t you just love it when a movie comes out that gets Christians up in arms. I remember the fuss over The Last Temptation of Christ and now here comes Noah. I have yet to see the later, but will be with my family as soon as possible, the former I watched and wondered what all the fuss was about. I found it moving, challenging, gritty and yes at times disturbing, but wonder if this account had more to do with reality than Robert Powell’s blonde hair, blue eyed adaptation. Funny no one was up in arms about Jesus not having dark skin and not looking remotely Jewish. That image has probably done more harm to our image of Jesus than any wild imagination in the story of Noah. But all that is another story, this is not a comment on a film I have never seen, unlike so many people at the moment. Amazing how many people draw conclusions from second or even third or fourth hand reports. No one is allowed to watch for themselves. Is our faith so weak that we have to be stopped watching a film that may challenge our belief systems? Is that old fear factor involved because people who watch the film may start asking questions, that is not allowed in evangelical or charismatic circles, our Popes told us so. Many will flock to see the violence of Rambo 10 when it released but watch a film that does not portray our Biblically held beliefs, avoid like the plague you may catch something, like a mind that questions and ponders stuff. We cannot have that now can we? It is funny when I think about it, I actually question more of what we say did go on, (mass genocide of everyone apart from one family, is that my God?) than I do someone using the Biblical story as a launch for something of artistic licence and entertainment. Noah never mentions God! But neither does the book of Esther and we have some good old fashioned preaching on that about God being in and through everything, strange that. We may not like to admit this but flood legends and stories are a part of many tribes and religions histories, we do not have a monopoly on such a story. But I forgot ours is the only true one because someone said it was and put it in the Bible, which just out of interest is not a holy word just a word meaning collection of books.

The Animals Came in Two by Two.

As I have been reading all of these comments about the film I feel myself nursing a bit of a rage. Why? Because the attitude of Christian’s stink and because they are so hypocritical. The thought brewing inside me is that if they stop going to see this film for distorting the Scriptures they need to get back to doing all the Biblical things they love doing like celebrating Easter and Christmas with bunnies and Santa Claus. They need to get back into going to church every Sunday where one pastor or priest will get paid to lead them. They need to get back to singing worship songs with worship teams and song writers who will tell them what the order of service is. They need to have a nip of bread and sip of wine and call it communion. They need to read the Bible and say their prayers every day. They need to fill their book shelves with good Biblical books and stories like the Left Behind series and This Present Darkness and what prophets have seen for them in mystical realms to give them a better life of escapism. They need to get back to filling diaries with meetings and churchy stuff. What did someone at the back say? None of this is really Biblical? All of this is having a bit of artistic licence, oops I mean a bit of Biblical interpretation? But hey it may not say it but we know that is what the apostle Paul really meant when he wrote the epistles. I find it amazing how much of Christian life that has been built for us is not even found in the Bible but we have no problem with that because the Pastor or the church or history tell us it is all good stuff. So who are we to argue? But have a bit of licence on the Noah story, that is nothing but blasphemy. It is not blasphemous to talk about the prosperity Gospel or having men dress as Old Testament priests, but add a bit to the story of Noah and you will go to hell. As someone said people should not watch this rubbish and instead watch a good Biblical film like The Ten Commandments or Ben Hur! My account of Ben Hur must be in that bit of Chronicles where I got bored and didn’t read it.

Only Eight Were Saved.

My final question, I think and for now anyway. Did Jesus ever ask us to be Biblical anyway? Yes He read from the Scriptures I know that, but He talked about them being fulfilled. But I never see anywhere the mention of putting together a Bible and being Biblical. And anyway which bits do you have to believe to be a Biblical Christian? The bit about not wearing clothes that have more than one fabric in them? The bit about stoning someone who questions a priest? The bit about gouging your eye out if you look lustily at a woman? Maybe it means if I think just like you I must be Biblical? Are we really called to do this stuff by the book? If so how did they cope in China for all those years without the book? Must you own a Bible to be a Christian? What about all those centuries when it wasn’t in English were we lost without hope unless someone spoke some Latin and then told us what it said? Maybe we watch films like Noah with the wrong eyes and wrong questions, it is not is this film Biblical but what of the heart of God do we see through it? (That is where I have issue with the genocide thing but I shared on that before). Jesus loved to walk amongst people and tell stories and I think as a storyteller He used loads of artistic licence. If we had a portion of that imaginative way of communicating the heart of God and heaven then maybe more would listen to something. He loved to reveal His heart in the things around Him and everyday life and activity. Yes He showed them where He was in the Scriptures but not to teach them chapter and verse but to say ‘here I am’, the book revealed me. I am at this moment making my way through the autobiography of Morrissey, imagine if he sat in this room and all I did was refer to and read the book when I could have walked and talked with him for a while. Instead of saying to others on page 25 it says I could say Morrissey said to me. He’s really like this. As you can see the conversations have got me on loads of trails, I think all healthy trails of getting us all talking and thinking. That can only be good. But please draw your own conclusion and not someone else’s. Think for yourself, it is allowed. Use the licence the creator has given you and creatively discover stuff you may never have seen before. Here is to a couple of hours in the presence of Noah…

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4 thoughts on “The Traveller’s Rest- “…the people thought it such a lark.”

  1. Robert Ashong

    I remembrer a guy standing up in a meeting once , instead of giving a helpful answer , he grumbled, THE CHURCH IS NOT REACHING THE WORLD , I failed ,because i should have stood up and said , yeh mate ,and its because there are people like you in it. I decide to watch some of revelation TV one night , the debate was incredible to the point , i wondered who of my non christian friends would be watching it , my mind reminded me ,probably none , the impact we have on this world will be meeting people as Jesus did , where they are ,pharisees did not like jesus ,or his parables , but i do… Right ,ime off to watch Noah.

    Reply
  2. markrandallpixley

    Thanks for this Paul, loved it. It seems we have become really adept at creating a safe little sub-culture…it reminds me a bit of growing up and hearing people talk about “those people” who lived on the other side of the tracks…I did not learn until I was an adult that I was those people.

    I think the idea of questions is a NOW idea…it will become commonplace in culture to start asking difficult questions right out in the broad daylight…and the questions will reveal the fear before they reveal the truth…

    Fear is the Auschwitz of faith, it keeps you on a prison diet and starving for hope…but people can get used to even death camps…routines, hiearchys, meaningless efforts…

    I sat and listened to a recent mp3 from a place I was once a leader at…the message was about how to measure spiritual growth…the speaker said “did you change” was the metric…funny…without being there for several years I could recognize the same laughs in the background of the same people, and I knew that the 35 minute message would end precisly at 11:55 so that schedule could be kept…

    And I had no way to measure my growth because everything in my life has changed since I was last there…nothing left to compare it to.

    A Hebrew Rabbi would be much more interested in how you lived the bible than what you had memorized…

    Reply
    1. pleader05 Post author

      Mark as always love what you share and blessed to know you as a fellow pilgrim. Funny now the only measuring stick we have is Him. And surely that is enough, because when He is in us the measure would always be the same.

      Reply

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