Noah flooded with controversy ahead of release date — is it founded?

Paramount Pictures’ silver-screen interpretation of Old Testament epic “Noah,” starring Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly, opens nationwide next month but is already garnering mixed reviews, especially among Christian audiences, for allegedly straying from the biblical account of the story.

“Extensive and detailed reporting over six months, information provided to us by insiders in the film industry, and feedback from those who participated in test screenings of Noah, informs us that the film, as currently configured, deviates from the core biblical message and replaces it with a modernistic, revisionist one,” Chris Stone, founder of Faith Driven Consumer and a certified brand strategist, said in a statement released Thursday.

Faith Driven Consumer calculates the viability of Hollywood faith-based productions by advocating, through research and polling, on behalf of 46 million faith-conscious Americans who resonate with messaging that has a biblical worldview.

Those at the organization gathered material from a variety of sources before determining the film misrepresents the story of Noah and his family.

“Because we serve as a consumer resource, we gathered exactly this kind of data for our community. We aggregated reviews on Noah and included links to two significant articles from The Hollywood Reporter, providing exhaustive background on the movie. We then asked our community — people who are keenly aware they are members of the target market — if they would like to voice their opinions and provide candid feedback,” said Stone.

Furthermore, the brand strategist told OneNewsNow 98 percent of Christian consumers polled said the movie doesn’t fulfill their understanding of the Genesis account of the flood narrative.

“The story of Noah is God’s judgment on man and, if you take away that reality, then the story is just not true to God’s intention for it,” Stone tells OneNewsNow. “The whole beauty of the gospel story is that man is inherently evil … that God is perfect, and that only through Jesus can we be redeemed.”

If the film deviates from the heart of the biblical account, Faith Driven Consumer is concerned those who hear the story for first time will not be exposed to the actual redemption story Noah and his family’s struggle represents.

“Stone suggests the Hollywood account of the flood may be the only story about Noah some people ever see. That is why it is critical to get the biblical message right,” writes OneNewsNow.

And, while speculating on the unknowns in the story isn’t necessarily out of line, Christians would do well to remind themselves and peers of the actual account of Noah’s ark should the creators prove to have deviated from the knowns of the biblical account.

What, other than the basic storyline of flawed men and women in need of a savior, is up for debate?

Author Donald Miller in his book “Blue Like Jazz” reminds readers that, before Eve is formed from Adam’s rib, God instructs Adam to name the animals, but few specifics are given on how Adam actually accomplishes the task:

Now I had read this a thousand times, just glancing over it you know, but this time, reading it without looking for a magical formula, I actually thought about what would be involved in a job as big as naming the animals. In my mind, this had been such an effortless action; Adam sits on a log with his hand on his chin, God parades the animals by rather quickly, Adam calls out names under his breath: Buffalo, chimp, horse, mouse, lizard, buffalo … Uh, wait — did I already say buffalo? Um, well — how about cow; did I already say cow?

Similar philosophical liberties of, say, how exactly Noah gathered the animals in twos and herded them on to the ark is nothing to be up-in-arms about and, even if it turns out the filmmakers did piece together a more politically correct version of the story — which is completely in the realm of possibility — Christians ought to take the movie for what it is and either 1) not purchase a ticket to the film or 2) use the reel as an opportunity to say, “Well, there are elements of truth in this film, but the story actually goes like this … ”

“Noah” opens in theaters nationwide March 28.

Watch the trailer
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