“Watchmen” for the Church

Letter from Ken, May 2014

by Ken Ham on June 3, 2014

I must admit: there are times when I believe I have gotten an inkling of what the prophet Jeremiah felt after he warned people about their departure from God’s Word. He was probably hitting his head against a wall!

Upholding God’s Word

Back in February, a number of Christians were upset with me about my debate with Bill Nye “the Science Guy.” I made a very public stand on the Bible’s authority in the debate and proclaimed the gospel a few times. These Christians argued that I should have just used what they called “scientific evidences” during the debate.

Of course, AiG has already answered every one of the supposed “scientific evidences” that Bill Nye brought up. Instead, I had prayerfully decided (and with the counsel from others) to concentrate on helping people understand that the creation/evolution conflict is a battle between two world views with different starting points (i.e., God’s Word vs. man’s word).

In addition, at Answers in Genesis we will never divorce the apologetics arguments from the Word of God as we engage evolutionists. After all, “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). Yes, our Creator was also our Redeemer—and we will never separate those two truths!

Non-Christians will be saved by the power of the Word and its gospel message, not by evidence.

You see, we are not just in the ministry of seeing people converted to become creationists. We want them to be converted to be born-again Christians. Non-Christians will be saved by the power of the Word and its gospel message, not by evidence. (Evidence can be used in evangelism, but it’s God’s Word that ultimately convicts.) That’s who we are at AiG. We make no apology for proclaiming the Bible from the very first verse.

Second, I’m still perplexed and greatly concerned at the number of Christian leaders who supported the movie Noah—and even encouraged Christians and non-Christians to go see it!

You know, every time I read through the books of the prophets or the minor prophets in the Bible, I am convicted about something: the importance of boldly standing on God’s Word as the prophets did, even as they received varying degrees of opposition.

For example, when I read Ezekiel, I am challenged about whether we as God’s people are being the watchmen we need to be, as we contend for the faith in this secularized culture:

When he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life.

But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.

So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me. (Ezekiel 33:3–7)

Warning the Church About the Noah Movie

The amount of national media attention Noah received before it was even released was remarkable. More remarkable was the promotion it received from Christian leaders, who claimed that the movie would spur a dialogue with non-Christians regarding their need for a Savior.

One of our staff members had the opportunity to see a preview of the movie (not the final cut) a few months before its release. Later, I attended a discussion at the National Religious Broadcasters convention where I heard a discussion led by Christians who had watched a final cut of the movie and mentioned specific details about the film’s plot.

Because I knew that the movie would be unbiblical, blasphemous, and an attack on the character of Noah (and on God’s character), I could not keep silent before Noah was released. As the movie was being heavily promoted to churches, I believed we had an obligation to be “watchmen”—to warn Christians about what we had discovered about the film’s content.

After watching this movie myself (along with some AiG researchers), I wondered if some of those Christian leaders who had been heavily promoting the movie had really watched it. Or were they just shown snippets which made it look like a “Bible” movie? If you read the Genesis narrative and watched the Noah movie, there is no way to conclude that this Hollywood production stayed true to the Scriptures—except for using some of the same Bible names!

Observations Regarding Christians Who Promoted This Movie

AiG and me personally were on the receiving end of some very negative statements because of our warnings to the church (and culture in general) about this unbiblical movie. Let me share a few of my observations regarding Christians who promoted such a disturbing film:

The Director Deliberately Deviated from the Biblical Narrative.

Can we as Christians truly expect humanists in Hollywood to produce a movie which explains the biblical narrative in a way which upholds Scripture and promotes the gospel of Jesus Christ? Obviously not! In this case, the director/producer of the film is an atheist whose obvious agenda was to distort the account of Noah under the guise of “artistic license” and deviate from the true biblical narrative. He borrowed from extra-biblical sources to depict the events surrounding Noah and a global flood.

We Have Better Gospel Witnesses.

Can Christians use a movie like Noah to point people to the true narrative of the Scriptures? Well of course it is possible—but that doesn’t mean we should be promoting it!

While it is true that Christians can use things in the culture to point people to the Scriptures, they should show how the gospel is true because it’s based on the history presented in the Bible (going back to Genesis 3) that is true.

Of course, Christians need to be a “gospel witness” not just when a movie like Noah comes out, but every day in our walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. The church has been given the tremendous responsibility of carrying out the Great Commission to the uttermost parts of the earth. This commission predates the Noah movie or any other supposedly “Bible” movie. We already have numerous tools to enable us to be actively witnessing to people, including many evangelistic resources produced by AiG.

The Movie Grossly Distorted the Man Noah.

The Noah movie is not just inaccurate, but a major distortion of the true biblical narrative. In Genesis 6:9, Noah is described as “a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.” Also, the writer of Hebrews describes Noah as a man of faith. Hebrews 11:7 states, “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

In this movie, Noah is pictured as a homicidal psychopath whose main mission is to save the animals, while having no regard for human life. At one point, Hollywood’s Noah almost kills his own granddaughters because their survival would go against his plans of reducing (or really eliminating) the human population. I truly fear that churches who took their young people to watch this movie and failed to do a thorough follow-up using resources like the ones Answers in Genesis produces will cause a great deal of harm to the next generation. The culture is already indoctrinating our children with evolutionary and post-modern beliefs, and the last thing we need is churches and Christian leaders promoting such an anti-biblical movie.

Also, most non-Christians who watch this movie will not check out the Bible. If anything, the gross distortions to the biblical text will do more damage than good concerning how they view Christianity.

We Live in an Increasingly Godless Culture.

Finally, distortions in Noah remind us of Jesus’s words in John 15:20: “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.

The church in America needs to wake up and understand that the increasing secular attacks against Scripture are only the start of the persecution that is headed to America. It is inevitable for the church. Our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world are already being attacked for their faith and commitment to the Word of God.

Christians have the option of simply ignoring the blatant distortions of God and the Bible in the culture in the hope that it will fade away like many trends—or they could choose to equip themselves with God’s truth in order to better share the gospel and defend the Word of God to an increasingly godless culture.

“Watchmen” for the Church

We are losing this and future generations from the church. The church is not influencing the culture as it once did—in fact, the culture has actually infected the church.

Not only is Answers in Genesis providing great resources to help believers defend the Christian faith and proclaim the gospel, we are doing our best to be “watchmen.” AiG seeks to warn the church of the dangers that can undermine God’s Word and our ability to reach people with the saving truth of the gospel.

A reporter recently asked me, “Now that you’ve seen the reaction to your debate with Bill Nye, would you have changed your approach or some of the things you stated?” My answer was, “No, of course not. The preparation was done with much prayer and the counsel of godly people. I was determined to unashamedly honor God’s Word and proclaim the gospel message. That’s what I did—and that’s what we’ve always done at Answers in Genesis.”

And I wouldn’t change a thing about what we’ve said in our warnings about the Noah movie. In fact, after a staff member summarized the film for me a few months ago before it was released to the public, I regret after watching it for myself that our warnings about the film weren’t even stronger.

My father would never knowingly compromise the Word of God. He was a “watchman” for his family. He reminded me (many times) that:

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men. (Colossians 3:17, 23)

That’s who we are at Answers in Genesis. Your prayers and support are vital to continuing this ministry.

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Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.