With the release of Noah there has been a lot of “controversy” from Christians, upset by the non-biblical re-telling of this well-known story. In one sense, I get it. The Bible is held in the highest regard by believers because it is God’s word to mankind. So, hearing the director compare it to the myth of Icarus, or a parable, is frustrating. But, is it worth all the arguing?
Cards on the table, I have not seen Noah yet (review coming soon). However, I have seen enough of the previews to know that this movie is not a verse-by-verse re-telling of the Biblical narrative. I will go into the movie with that in mind. I am actually looking forward to seeing this movie with a few of my non-Christian friends, and getting their opinion of the movie, and sharing mine. It is likely that my opinion will differ; the things I dislike may be the things they loved most. It’s weird how different people have different views… But, how great as it that we’re having a conversation about the Bible?
This brings me to my point: People seem to be more interested in being right than allowing disagreement. Why are people so bad at having intelligent, grace-filled conversations? A conversation is not a failure just because both parties walk away believing different things. Christians, people are going to disagree with you and possibly even mock you because of your beliefs. Deal with it! Jesus said it was going to happen (Matthew 10:22), it should not be a surprise, so buck up, and love them back. Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, is addressing a similar issue. Here we see a church divided on the importance of God-given gifts. Paul’s response? Without a foundation of love, these gifts are fruitless. In the same way, our conversations without a spirit of love will do more harm than good.
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
It’s good to speak truth, it’s good to be knowledgable and serve others, but not to the detriment of loving them and letting the light of Christ shine. Don’t be so heavenly minded that you are no earthly good. Do your conversations turn into debates, and end with hurt feelings and broken fellowship? It is possible you’re saying the right things in the wrong way.
“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” Ephesians 4:15
I have conversations all the time with people who believe drastically different things about life and God than I do. Some of these things are upsetting, confusing, and very sad to my heart. That’s okay, I can carry that. I realize that everyone is on their own journey of faith. We’re all in different places, and shaped by our lives. How then can I beat someone down for believing differently than me? I can’t and I won’t. I have never heard a new believer’s testimony end with, “They debated with me until they were blue in the face, and I decided to follow Jesus.” My guess is you have not either. It is not our job, as believers, to change the world’s hearts. It is our job to present the Gospel through actions and words. Leave room for the Spirit to work. He’s been in the heart changing business for a lot longer than you.
I believe that God’s Word is inerrant. I believe God is Three-in-One. I believe the only way to salvation is through Christ. I believe that my God is big enough to shoulder the criticisms of the world, and the Bible has outlasted it’s skeptics. I don’t need to prove the Bible right because the Bible has been proven. I need to live the Bible, and I’m still learning how to do that. I’m learning how to stand on a foundation of Biblical living, and Christ-like love, for those I encounter, I could use prayers as I try to figure this out. Having walked with Christ, I don’t want to look back seeing those broken and beat down by my stubborn hurtful words.