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Not Christian and Not Grey

We were driving down the street, as we came around a curve it came into view—this giant billboard. Not your averaged size billboard. No this was one of the truly gigantic ones, like you see in Hollywood. All it had was a big picture and a few small words. You couldn’t know for sure what they were advertising, but it sure caught my attention.
It was a good looking man, dressed in a suit, looking out the window of a high-rise building overlooking the city. You could tell he was good looking even though you could only see his back. His lines were clean and crisp. They communicated power and authority. He was looking at a grey city as if he owned it. Just the way he was standing said that this was a man on the cutting edge, he has it all together, he is in charge of his own destiny. It is the kind of man that women want.
Even without an explanation you could tell what the billboard was about. This billboard was geared towards women. They would be attracted to this confident man. I was attracted to him too. Not in the same way. I thought, that is the man I would like to be, rich, powerful, young, good looing, confident and in control. I would be the type of man that women would want, even my own wife would look at me with admiration and desire.
The only words on the billboard were “Fifty Shades of Grey”. I guessed that it was for a movie. The movie was a romance marketed to women. “Fifty Shades of Grey” is not about the weather. It is a moral statement. This movie will play on the edges of morality. My guess was that it would be sexual in nature although it could have to do with business. My mind flashed through all of the typical types of rationalization that a mind can do. I thought, I want to see this movie. It will be about sex. I can dabble in the grey zone and it will be alright. It won’t be overtly pornographic so it will be okay. It’s like those Carl’s Jr commercials, or the ones for Victoria’s Secret, or the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Editions. I mean it’s not like I am downloading porn. Besides maybe my wife will want to see it. Then it will be her idea. This guy in the movie will get her all hot and I can reap the benefit. Maybe you didn’t know that this is the way guys think. Well it is.
It ended up that I was right. The billboard is for a movie, and yes this is a movie about sex. Later I learned that this is not just another romantic film. It is about a very controlling and abusive man. It is about deviant sexual behavior. It devalues women and distorts our understanding of romance and sex. The main character in the movie is named Christian Gray, but there is nothing in the movie that is Christian and what they portray is gray is just down right evil.
Even though my thoughts moved through that path of rationalization, the decision to not see the movie came pretty easy even before I knew the details. The movie is rated “R” and as a rule we don’t see “R” rated movies. I won’t say that we never have seen one, but they are the rare exception. There has to be a very compelling reason. We have probably seen less that one every two years.
So we won’t be seeing “Fifty Shades of Grey” on Valentine’s Day. Instead we will see a romance called “Old Fashioned”. I am hoping it has a strong male lead that is confident and takes charge rather than use his power to take advantage of a woman. I hope that he is patient, kind, gentle, not selfish but giving. I hope that he values his woman more than she values herself. I hope that he cherishes everything about her. That is the type of man I want to be, and I hope that it is the type of man my wife wants. I want a good Old Fashioned Valentine’s Day that celebrates romantic love the way that God intends it to be.

How Do We Know There is a God When There is so Much Evil in the World?

Many people struggle with the question of, ‘How can there be a loving God when there is evil in the world?’
Isn’t it funny how everyone can easily tell you when they see evil? How do they do that? I mean, how is it that they know what is good and what is evil? If God does not exists where do we even get the idea that some acts are good and some other acts are evil? It seems that we believe that there is some objective standard out there of good and evil. Not only do we think that there is a standard but we believe that it is obvious to everyone. Even more we believe that if the world were to work like it should that everyone should do the good all of the time.
We do make one exception. We believe that when we do evil that, well that is Okay. We really shouldn’t be judged too harshly.
So when we ask the question of, ‘How can there be a loving God when there is evil in the world?’ What we really mean is, ‘How can there be a loving God, when He allows other people’s evil to go unpunished?’ Well maybe that is not quite right, we really don’t want God to punish people for evil; we want Him to prevent them from doing evil. At the same time we don’t want a God that tells us what to do. We don’t want a God that is controlling and judging when it comes to our behavior.
Isn’t it odd that we would consider a judging and controlling God to be unloving, and yet we want that type of God for everyone else?
Isn’t it true that our ability to identify evil is an indication that there is an absolute standard of right and wrong, and God has written the standard on our hearts? Isn’t it true that even though there is evil in the world and in our lives we recognize that something is desperately wrong; it shouldn’t be that way? Isn’t it true that we yearn for a loving God that will not condemn us for our evil but rather fix the problem? Isn’t it true that the Bible is the only book that explains the problem of evil in a way that makes sense? Other religions fall short. Evolution has an explanation that is empty, unsatisfying and just doesn’t ring true to our experience.
The Bible explains a world as God intended; free of evil where all of creation lives in harmony with God the creator. The Bible explains why we have knowledge of good and evil. Satan coerced us into rebelling against God’s command and eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Evil entered into the world and everything has been out of whack since then. But God didn’t let it remain that way. God intervened into the world. He sent His Son, Jesus the Christ, to take our evil on himself and to put it to death. The death of Jesus ended the grip of evil on the world. Now redemption is available to all of us. We can experience the love of a loving God rather than the condemnation of a Holy God. The choice is up to us. We look forward to the day that God will create a new heaven and a new earth; restoring it to the creation that He originally intended.
Only Christianity has a reasonable explanation for the existence of evil in the world. But we don’t really want an explanation what we want is a solution. Only Christ provides a remedy to the problem of evil.

Virginia Plantation or Plymouth Colony

This was written in 2014, but it is worth repeating.

Duane Vasquez

This Thanksgiving ask the people gathered around your table these questions.
What was the first permanent English settlement in North America? The answer is the Virginia Colony.
If the Virginia Colony was the first permanent English settlement then why do we focus so much on the Pilgrims and the Plymouth Colony as the beginning of our country?
Let the guests discuss this for a while. You may want to talk about the differences between the two settlements. The Virginia Colony at Jamestown was a commercial venture. It was established for the purpose of developing the natural resources of the New World and exporting them back to England. Tobacco quickly became the main product of Jamestown. The colony quickly developed and thrived.
For the Pilgrims at Plymouth it was quite a different story. The Pilgrims didn’t come for financial gain. They came to establish a Bible Commonwealth. That is they were…

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Ferguson

Everyone has their opinion about what is happening in Ferguson. I might as well give my viewpoint. I am not going to comment on the actual case. The truth is I only have some general information. The Grand Jury members are the only ones that have had the opportunity to hear a significant amount of the evidence. They decided to not take the case to trial. I am not about to disagree with them. The truth is, I am glad that I wasn’t on that Grand Jury. I wouldn’t have wanted to have to make that call. Besides, all of the opinion giving and whining and protesting and rioting is not going to change this case. This case is over, but there are still some important decisions to be made.
Whether or not this particular shooting was justified is really a small issue. There is a much bigger issue at hand. The question is why do so many people feel that the police are abusive? When people fear those who are supposed to protect them then we have a serious problem. When people no longer trust the Justice System to produce justice then we have a serious problem.
Oddly enough I don’t know who trusts the Justice System less, the civilians or the police. It seems that the police are frustrated by a court system that is slow and cumbersome and cannot be trusted to produce real justice. The criminals don’t seem to fear the courts enough to prevent crime. It must be frustrating to be a policeman working as one component of a large broken system. Sad to say, but I believe that many policeman and even whole departments have decided that they will maintain control through a system of intimidation. Make the public fear you and obey you.
When I was a child “Officer Friendly” would come to my school and tell us that the policemen are our friends. They are there to help us. We should smile and wave at them when we see them drive by. I used to believe that, but not anymore. Now I see the police as dangerous and unpredictable. They are to be avoided as much as possible. Any time you encounter the police you are putting yourself in harm’s way. I would not dare wave at a policeman as an adult. If I did I could possibly be the headline in the morning paper. “Unarmed Citizen Shot in West Covina”. “Officer says, I saw him wave his hand in a threatening manner. It looked like he had a gun.”
I may be overstating the case but increasingly there is distrust and fear of the police even among law abiding citizens. The police are saying ‘just do what you are told when you encounter a policeman and you won’t be hurt’. Is that really the answer? Should we feel that kind of fear and intimidation when dealing with the police? Is there any possibility that Officer Friendly will get an assignment on a beat instead of in the schools?
I would love to feel that I could call the police and not be risking my life or my freedom. I would love to believe that they really are here to “Serve and Protect”.
Just a few more comments. In Ferguson the animosity has grown to such an extent that it is hard to see that it will ever get better. I am all for people making their feelings known. I am all for peaceful protests. Unfortunately many times it takes big protests to focus enough attention on a problem to get it addressed.
But looting, burning and rioting are only going to make things worse. Officer Friendly is not going to show up to a riot. These people are forcing the police to use intimidation and force. They are creating a situation that reinforces all of the things that we want to change.
It works both ways. If we want officers to serve and protect then we need to be on the same side. We need to do what we can to maintain order, to discourage crime and to cooperate with Law Enforcement.
Ferguson is not the end. We will have other problems but if we are going to fully resolve this we must work to rebuild trust. We must learn to deal with each other in a civil and non-threatening manner. We must cooperate and we must stop blaming each other.

Can or May

I can remember being in first grade, I would raise my hand and ask my teacher, Miss Anderson, “Can I go to the bathroom?” She would correct me, “May I go to the bathroom?” So I would repeat, “May I go to the bathroom?” And Miss Anderson would say, “OK, but hurry back”. And off I would go.

So in first grade I learned that there is a difference between “Can” and “May” and that when you ask to go to the bathroom you are supposed to say, “May”. For many, many years it never seemed important to me that I would get it right. And it didn’t seem too important to anyone else either. Nearly everyone says “can” all of the time.

It wasn’t until I had kids that I began to understand the difference between “can” and “may”. I became aware that “can” has to do with ability, whereas “may” is a question of permission. As a parent I wanted my children to learn the difference. I wanted them to know that just because you have the ability to do something doesn’t mean that you have permission to do it. Over and over again I would have a child come and ask, “Can I go over Tony’s house?” I would say, “If you are asking for my permission then the question is ‘May I go over Tony’s house?” I want my children to realize that they are asking for my permission.

I have no idea if my children ever really got the message. It seems subtle but the difference is critical. Many Christians don’t understand the difference when it comes to dealing with God. They understand that God has given us free-will that is the ability to choose. Somehow they have mistaken that for permission. You see God has given us the ability to sin but He has not given us His permission to sin. There is a big distinction. My children have the ability to do something, but that doesn’t give them my permission. If they were to do something without my permission there would likely be negative consequences. The same is true with God. Just because we can do something (free-will) does not mean that we should do it (permission).

So the question is “can” or “may”. Our lives need to be lived in accordance with God’s will. We need to approach every activity and every decision by asking God, “May I…?” Those who simply ask, “Can I…?” Will likely end up experiencing the negative consequences that God has established for those who disobey.

I still struggle with “can” or “will”. I try to phrase my questions to use “may” when I am asking permission. It is difficult when I am at work and I ask my boss, “May I take tomorrow off?” I sound like I am in first grade again. But I say “may” anyway because the distinction is important. It may not seem important at work but when it comes to dealing with God it has eternal consequences.

 

Mother’s Day Father’s Day

I have heard it said that the biggest day for church attendance is not Christmas, it is not Easter, it is Mother’s Day and that the lowest day for church attendance is Father’s Day. By the way, I don’t think that is correct but there is little doubt that Mother’s Day is a big day and Father’s Day is not. The normal explanation is that Mother’s Day arrives and Mother is asked, ‘What do you want to do today?’ Mother responds, ‘I want to go to church and I want all of my family with me.’ When Father’s Day arrives and Father is asked, ‘What do you want to do today?’ Father responds, ‘I want to sleep in and then later I will go golfing or watch the game.’

Pastors think it is as simple as that; Mothers want to go to Church and Fathers do not. They seldom ask the question of, “why”? What is it about church that makes mothers want to go and fathers want to stay home? Could it have to do with how churches celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day?

At the typical church on Mother’s Day, Mothers are all dressed up; sometimes wearing a new outfit. They may even have been given a corsage. They arrive with their families with the anticipation of being honored. The pastor asks all of the mothers to stand. The mothers all proudly stand, exchanging glances with their families all lined up next to them. Through a series of questions one of the mothers in singled out for special honor. “Which of you most recently became a mother,” or “Which has the most children?”…or the most children in fulltime Christian service, or the most children with you in church today. One way or another some mother receives a special gift for being there.

Then it is time for the sermon. The pastor gushes about the importance on mothers to your development. The congregation is told of the great sacrifices the mothers make for their children. We owe a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid. If the pastor is so inclined he will speak of the special plight of single mothers. He will speak of working two or three jobs and taking kids to soccer practice.

At some point in the sermon the pastor quotes a passage from Proverbs 31 ‘her husband and children shall rise up and call her blessed.’ The sermon will continue with an admonition to the family to praise their wife or mother. Kids will be told to obey and honor their mothers and do their chores without complaining. Father is told to acknowledge all of the hard work his wife does. He is told that when he gets home from work, he should take over watching the kids, or do the laundry, or fix dinner, or say, ‘Dear, I can see that you are tired. Let me take you out to dinner tonight.

The sermon ends with a touching personal story or poem. Everyone is told to take their mothers to lunch and to spend the day pampering them.

It is no wonder that mothers want to be in church on Mother’s Day.

Now let’s take a look at Father’s Day in the average church. Well, to begin with there are no flowers or special gifts. Fathers may get a greeting of, “Happy Father’s Day”. Generally the pastor does not have the fathers stand and award one of them with a special recognition.

The song choices may include “Faith of our Fathers”. As the pastor enters into the sermon, he will speak of the importance of a father’s influence in the family. He will mention how important it is for a father and daughter to have a good relationship. He will also speak of the relationship of a husband and wife.

At this point the sermon will take a turn. Instead of praising Fathers for what they do, they are chastised for what they don’t do. The Father that works two jobs will be told that he is a workaholic and he should be at home more. No mention will be made of his hard work. No one will tell the families that they should stop making demands for more and more things. No one will tell the families that going into debt will result in the father working long hours. There is a simple choice, ‘you can have things or you can have your father’.

The pastor will go on to talk about how fathers need to be there at children’s sporting events and recitals. The assumption will be that fathers are not there. No mention will be made of the many fathers that coach the teams. The one event that is missed will be the focus rather than the many times father is there. Some touching story of heartbreak due to an absentee father will be told.

There will also be the appeal for husbands to have better relations with their wives. They will be told that they need to have a date night. They will also be told how hard their wives have it and they need to help out more around the house.

In addition there will be a call for fathers to be spiritual leaders in the family. Pray with your wife and children and conduct family devotions.

By the time the sermon is over the father feels beaten and dejected. He is worn out and loaded down with the guilt of unmet expectations. Worse yet the wife and children are not taught to honor their husband and father. Instead they are convinced that the father is not doing enough and it is ruining their lives.

It is no wonder that Fathers would want to be somewhere else on Father’s Day.

Pastors, use this Father’s Day as an opportunity to truly honor fathers for the things they do and build their value in the eyes of their families.

A Call for Christian Candidates

Yesterday was Election Day in California. I am ashamed to say, but I waited until the last day or two to look at the ballot. So I started the task of trying to research the candidates. I read their statements in the ballot pamphlet, I went to their websites and read their statements, I looked at their biographical history and endorsements and occasionally I even look at what the newspapers said about them.

In some cases a candidate ran unopposed. That would not be a problem if the candidate were wise and ruling in a way which is consistent with God’s standards. But that was not the case. Often these were people who had no understanding of God’s standards. They had no understanding of standards at all. They were simply doing what seemed right in their own eyes or what the Party said they should do, or what they believed would win them favor with the voters, or supporters.

There were at least a couple of cases where both candidates were just awful. In one case even the LA Times said that both judges were unqualified, and I agreed. There were candidates that made absurd statements. They would be running for an office like State Controller and would make statements against America being at war. Don’t they know that State Controller has nothing to do with the Federal Government or the Defense Department? Maybe they think that if they become the Controller they get to control everything.

To say the least I have never been more disappointed in the selection of candidates we had on the ballot this election cycle.

Where are the Christians! Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that just because a person is a Christian he or she will make a good Governor or Judge or whatever. I am also not saying that a Non-Christian is necessarily a bad candidate. But I would hope that somewhere out there among the millions of Christians in Southern California there should be many capable people. Being a Christian they should be familiar with the Bible and the principles that God laid out for creating and maintaining a successful government. Why don’t they step forward and run for office?

I think Christians have this aversion to politics. Somehow they believe the politics is dirty and Christians should have nothing to do with it. Even Churches avoid politics. There are pastors that will speak on the home and family life, drugs, sex, performing well at work and school. They will talk about handling money and tithing, forgiveness and love. Their preaching shows how God wants to affect every area of your life, except your politics.

Think about it, what would your Bible look like if all of the politics were removed? Moses would need to go. He approached the leader of the most powerful nation on earth and demanded that he free the slaves. Then he went on to lead a nation, deliver the Laws of God (both religious and civil, there really was no distinction), and he acted as the judge for the entire nation. Well there goes most of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Let’s throw out a few other people too: Joseph (ruler in Egypt), Joshua, all of the Judges, Samuel, Saul, David, Solomon, Hezekiah, and the rest of the kings, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, Nehemiah, even John the Baptist would have to go because he was constantly pointing out Herod’s sin to his face. I suppose we should throw out nearly all of the prophets because their messages were to nations not individuals and the messages were often delivered to Kings.

It looks to me like the great majority of the Bible is about politics. There are God’s principles for government in the books of Moses. There is God’s dealing with nations throughout scripture. There is God working through national leaders. There is God’s warning to nations in the prophetic books. All of this and Christians avoid politics. Unbelievable!!!

It is funny that we accept that God accomplished His work through national leaders of His choosing in the Old Testament but we expect Him to work totally differently today. Where are the Christian leaders? Is it that God is not calling or is it that we are not listening?

Wake-up!!! We need qualified Christians to run for office and we need it now. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that we should look to the government to solve all of our problems and politic is not the answer. God is the one that we should turn to, but God has shown that He often works His will through national leaders. Politics is not the answer but nearly every answer has a political component. We need good Christians leading in all aspects of life and in all occupations. We definitely need them in government.

This is my call for Christian candidates. Get your act together, get organized and run for office. And the rest of you Christian brothers and sisters help them out. They cannot do it alone. They need your support through prayer, finances and campaigning for them. I don’t ever want to see another ballot where there are no obvious good choices.

Atheists can’t Think

I know that sounds harsh and it sounds like I am calling atheists stupid. I am not. You may think I am questioning the logic and reasoning of atheists. I am not. What I am saying is that atheists can’t think.

Let me give an example to illustrate my point. Please follow along. As you may know the first computer was built in 1957 to do complex mathematical calculations. Computers have come a long way since then. Now we have computers that are extremely complicated. We even have computers with artificial intelligence and computers that can learn.

With the first computers the technician would input a bunch of data. The computer would crunch the data and output a result. If you always input the same data you would always get the same result. The only things that have really changed are that computers will take data in a number of different ways. We can upload data from databases, spread sheets, text, pictures and audio. There are even computers that can see and hear, simulating human capabilities.

One of the more exciting trends in computers is computers that adapt their programing. Today’s computers can identify patterns and trends and make assumptions. They remember past inputs and relate them to current activates and make decisions based on this greater amount of data.

There is computer research into making organic computers. That is storing information using organic molecules like certain proteins.

When we talk of computers we sometimes use phrases like, ‘the computer is thinking’, or ‘the computer decided’, but do computers think? Do they decide? They appear to, but they don’t really. In spite of the science fiction movies to the contrary; computers don’t think. Computers don’t make decisions. Computers only make some very simple calculations. Then they stack those calculations in very complex ways and output a result. That is all. They can appear to think but they don’t. The same is true of humans at least from a naturalistic atheistic perspective. I am assuming that this type of atheist not only denies the existence of God but of anything that would be considered supernatural. For the naturalistic atheist everything can and should be explained in terms of matter and energy. Human thought is simply the interactions of chemicals and electrical impulses in the brain. Thinking is a complex physical function; that is all.

The best analogy we have is that of a computer. Our bodies, like a computer, take in data from all kinds of sources; basically our five external senses and a few internal senses. All of this information is processed through our brains. Within our brains there are a tremendous number of variables. There is the basic wiring of our brains determined by genetics and developmental factors. There are chemicals which are affected by nutrition and emotions. There are past memories which contribute data to the computations. All of these factors come into play and these variables are changing all of the time. So each time we think about something our thought processes change some because the variables are constantly shifting.

In the end the brain is nothing more than a very complex computer. It is an organic computer so it functions somewhat differently than an electronic computer. There are chemicals which enhance or inhibit electrical transmissions, but in the end the human brain simply makes computations based on the input data and the electro-chemical functions.

We do not think; at least in the way we think about thinking. (I know that is a convoluted and contradictory sentence but you understand what I am saying). We think that we direct our thought. That is, I control the direction and paths of my thought. But the brain cannot do that. The impulses within the brain must take the paths of least resistance. They cannot be directed. Any changes in direction of impulses must come by way of chemical changes, and those chemical changes are caused by other electrical or chemical changes. The point is that the changes are all internal, they cannot be directed. For them to be directed would require a force outside of the brain, body or environment. By definition that force would be supernatural.

There are only two possible conclusions:

  1. We don’t think. We only believe that we think. Thinking is an illusion. Something that developed through the processes of evolution and currently serves some purpose in survival of the species (or it severed some purpose in the past).
  2. We are more than a brain and a body. We have a mind in addition to the brain. The mind is a supernatural element that works outside of the physical realm but somehow interacts with our brains and bodies. Our minds give us all of the elements that we understand as thinking: directed thought, free will, independent decision making, self-awareness, and personhood, even logic and reasoning.

Atheists can’t think. Not that they are stupid. It is that thinking the way we understand it cannot happen within the brain alone; it requires a mind, supernatural component. That leads us to a supernatural realm, something that cannot be explained by matter and energy alone. Not only do we conclude that a supernatural realm exists but we exist in it. We are supernatural.

There is another point that is apparent. If the mind interacts with the brain then the supernatural interacts with the natural in a very “natural” way. This discussion does not lead us to conclude that there is a God; not at all but if there is a supernatural realm and we are part of it, then don’t you think we should at least explore this realm? Don’t you think that we should explore the possibility of God?

I hope you enjoyed thinking along with me. If you were thinking along, then you were doing it from a Christian world view not a naturalistic world view. For those who were approaching this from a naturalistic world view, I hope the data your brain received from reading this created a predictable series of chemical and electrical interactions that were perceived and “understood” as thought.

                                                                  

Noah

It seems that everyone is commenting on the Noah movie. So now it is my turn. I don’t want to take my time to critique the movie or to discuss all of the errors. Dr. Brian Mattson wrote an insightful article on April second at his website “drbrianmattson.com”.

I would rather focus on the many missed opportunities in making a Noah movie. The Biblical account has so much to offer I can’t see why anyone would want to tell a different story. Most Biblical accounts are pretty brief. There is plenty of opportunity to fill in the details and still stay true to the story. If I were a Hollywood producer/director here are some possible storylines I would explore.

The Family Side

Imagine being Noah. You are living in a world that is filled with violence and corruption. It is described with this phrase, “every imagination of their hearts was evil continually”. I have struggled with raising my children in our world. How to you protect them? How do you keep them safe? How do you protect their innocence? How do you teach them right from wrong when the world says that good is evil and evil is good? You don’t want to totally isolate your kids but you want to limit the influence of the world. These are all things that I have struggled with. Can you imagine the conversations between Noah and his wife? Can you hear the Noah’s talks with his small children when he tries to explain why the neighbor kids are so mean? Can you feel the heartbreak of the small child when he is told that he cannot play together with the other children because of the types of “games” they have been playing?

At some point Noah is called by God to build an ark. He is told that the world will be destroyed. How do you share that message with your family? They would go through all of the same stages of loss: Denial, Bargaining, Anger, Mourning, and Acceptance. Noah had to work through all of these emotions for himself, then he had to help his family work through their loss. The fact that they apparently did not hear from God would make the process all the more difficult.

How does Noah enlist his family in the task of building the ark? How does he keep them motivated and on task for a construction that probably lasted 100 years? Can you hear the arguments, ‘God told you to build an ark; not me. Why do you need to drag me into it? I want my own life. You are ruining my life! And for what—this stupid ark? I’m out of here.’

At some point the boys find wives. They choose wives out of a completely corrupt population. And you worry about the girls your boys date. It doesn’t stop there. These daughters-in-law need to buy into the whole ark thing. Don’t you think there were moments where the girls were trying to draw the boys away from their crazy, over protective and controlling parents? Imagine the in-law issues.

A lot of times we as parents have high aspirations for our children. We want them to succeed and we dread the possibility that they would make some horrendous life mistake. Our children feel that pressure and sometimes it becomes unbearable for them. Now put yourself in Noah’s place. The future of an entire new world lies on the backs of your children. Noah must have felt that pressure and so did his children. Imagine the pressure when the destiny of the world rests on your shoulders. Any personal failure on your part has major impact on the world. Those who came before you had failed and you saw the results first hand. Now you have to get it right. Failure is not an option. Every small flaw in yourself or your children is magnified.

Then there are the problems that anyone would have in getting a family to work together. Someone always feels that they are given the dirty job, or that someone else is not pulling their weight.

As you can see there is more than enough material for a successful movie by just exploring the issues that must have been present within Noah’s family.

Without going into too much detail here are a few more possible ways to expand on the Noah story.

Personal Loss and Emotional Trauma

Noah and his family lost everything that they knew. This was not moving to a new city, this is hurricane Katrina on a global scale and you are the only survivors. The loss is unfathomable.

What about the emotional trauma and guilt that persons feel when they survive a disaster and feel that they should have died too.

What about the loneliness. Everyone is gone. Everyone! There are only eight people left.

Frustration

I have no doubt that Noah did everything that he could to prevent the flood. Scripture says that Noah preached. Can you imagine spending a hundred years preaching, trying desperately to avert this catastrophe but without success? In some ways it was an us and them struggle, but I have to believe that Noah had the heart of God, “not wishing that any would perish but that all would come to repentance.”

Logistics

There is plenty of material for a Noah movie just in the logistics and engineering to build an ark, collect all of the food for the animals and figure out how you will care for the animals. Imagine Noah’s understanding of the needs of the animals and how to care for them. The ark must have been filled with innovative automated systems to feed and care for the animals. Hollywood designers and engineers would have a great time coming up with creative ideas.

God’s Perspective

If Noah had a heart struggle, imagine the heartbreak of God. It was not unusual for God to call a prophet to give His message and then call him to live out in real life God’s heart break. Hosea is one of those accounts, but I don’t think anything compare with the story of Noah. All of your dreams and hopes for the world totally destroyed. You are left with only a small remnant to begin again.

There is just way too much good material here. How could you not use it?

Does anyone want to make a real Noah movie?