Recently, I went to see the movie 2012 with four non-Christian friends, people I’d describe as seeking for answers. The movie was very spectacular, with jaw-dropping special effects and edge-of-your-seat action at every twist and turn of the plot, which was often way over the top! Many scenes were quite disturbing, showing entire cities being destroyed by earthquakes and then giant tsunamis which covered the whole world in a global flood! Interestingly the mechanism that caused this global flood had some similarities with the Catastrophic Plate Tectonics (CPT) model, of John Baumgardner and others, as a mechanism for the Genesis Flood; one wonders from where the writers have gleaned their storyline?
The film’s premise relies upon a massive ejection of solar neutrinos from the sun which interact with the earth’s core, which in turn increase its temperature—a scenario of doubtful scientific validity, if not scientifically impossible. The increase in temperature causes the earth’s crust to expand and initiates a massive crack which propagates across the earth (similar to the CPT model!). This causes massive earthquakes around the world and horrendous disasters as the entire crust of the earth begins to become unstable and rotate around the poles. This in turn starts massive global tsunamis which spread across the earth.
During this entire process viewers become emotionally involved through the lives of the characters of the plot and their families. It’s a race for survival as they track down four massive (would you believe it) arks, of biblical proportions! During one scene where our heroes have crash landed in a newly-located Himalayan continent, there is a fleet of helicopters transporting giraffes, (the archetypal animal for an ark!), elephants and other animals to the ark docking site. Thousands of other people also flock to the arks, mostly comprising the world’s richest people who have purchased tickets with their entire livelihoods in order to escape the coming disaster and re-populate the earth.
There was one very powerful scene during the film, where the door to one of the arks remained shut, while outside, thousands clamoured to be let on board. This was followed by an intensely emotional dialogue inside the ark among world leaders as to whether to let them board, but mercy won the day. The door was opened and the people surged on board. One touching scene showed a father (who, as a sort of caveat to the storyline of him being a selfish billionaire) sacrificed his life to get his son on board the ark. Then the tsunami breaks over the Himalayas and after further drama and tension, involving selfless actions to save lives, the arks float into the sunset to await the retreat of the waters, from an emerging new world!
There are a number of religious themes running through the film. One is that the Mayan calendar foretold that it all would happen; another is that the Bible prophesies the End of Days. During the catastrophe people around the world began to pray before the destruction came. This included the president of America who was seen praying in his private chapel; he then decided to stay behind with his people and not take ‘Air Force One’ to the arks. I thought faith in God was given a respectful and fair treatment throughout the film and was often contrasted with people’s selfish attitudes and a desire for the survival of the fittest (or the richest!).
After the film I had lunch with some of my non-Christian friends and I made the comment that in the film, people were shown desperately trying to board the ark through the one door which was closed to them—but by grace it was re-opened. I reminded them of what Jesus said in John 10:9: “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
I also quoted Jesus’ prophecy in Luke 17:26–27: “And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.” However we know that the Lord promised not to send another Flood to destroy the world (Genesis 9:11), but has reserved the world for judgment by fire (2 Peter 3:5–7).
In my opinion, there is enough powerful Christian imagery running through the film to enable someone to present the Gospel. I spoke to one of my friends for well over two and a half hours on creation/evolution issues including Catastrophic Plate Tectonics, accelerated nuclear decay and the connection between the Flood, fossils and rock layers, and how it all relates to the Gospel. What a great afternoon out, and if you’re not of a sensitive disposition I would recommend seeing the film with friends and using it as a conversation starter to share the message of salvation through Christ!
[Here the correspondent quoted the review where it provided examples of substantial profanity/blasphemy, including nearly 20 misuses of God’s name and “Jesus’ name is abused twice”. Our correspondent understandably needed to pass on the quote (which had ‘cut-down’ versions of certain words) unedited to make the point. We trust readers will understand our reasons for not republishing even these cut-down forms, thus indicating our agreement with his assessment that they were serious enough to warrant our response below—Ed.]”As regards Mr Cox’s recommendation, should your readers not be warned that part of the package of the “conversation starter” involves exposure to elements not deemed suitable by the Bible to those who are regenerate? Surely we are to keep from these potential defilements, or at least warn the unsuspecting who would pursue necessary holiness of it? In your weekend feature article “‘Missing mass’ of the big bang found?”, Dr Sarfati touched on this when stating “the Bible tells us to flee temptation. This outside article contains good advice, I think.” I agree that this outside article he refers to gives good advice. It starts off with “Avoid places, people, and things that tempt you” and “Flee temptation” etc. Now watching movies is surely avoidable, so I would propose that fleeing temptation would imply abstaining from watching a movie that includes anything contrary to sound doctrine, whether it be corrupt language, or whatever else. If we should suggest that we are not tempted by these things I would respond that we are firstly deceived, and secondly still acting contrary to that which “becometh holiness”, not heeding the words of David, “I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless/wicked”. Apologies, I’m departing from my initial concern, which would be adding a warning to those who may read the 2012 article. Please consider this suggestion of a warning/end note as a possible amendment to the article.