AÃ‚Â very controversial movie based on the book The Shack is coming out on March 3rd. This is a very easy statement for me to make: Do not waste your money to go see this movie, do not buy a ticket for a lost person to go with you to see this movie, and do not purchase this book or give this book away to anyone. Yes, I know those are strong words. HereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s another statement that is even stronger: This book is easily one of the worst books written in the history of Christianity. Yes, I wrote that, and I meant that.
There has been so much written about the false teachings found in this book that researching its errors is pretty easy to do. David Cloud of Way of Life Literature (www.wayoflife.org) has written the article, Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Shack’s Cool God,Ã¢â‚¬Â which is a comparison and contrast between the god of The Shack and the God of The Bible. The following quotes are excerpted from his article:
Regarding sinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s punishment:
The god of The Shack: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t need to punish people for sin. Sin is its own punishment, devouring you from the inside. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not my purpose to punish it…Ã¢â‚¬Â (p. 120).
The God of the Bible: Ã¢â‚¬Å“And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terribleÃ¢â‚¬Â (Isaiah 13:11).
Regarding the BibleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s truthfulness:
The god of The Shack: Ã¢â‚¬Å“There are lots of people who think it [Eden] was only a myth. Well, their mistake isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t fatal. Rumors of glory are often hidden inside of what many consider myths and talesÃ¢â‚¬Â (p. 134).
The God of the Bible: Ã¢â‚¬Å“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majestyÃ¢â‚¬Â (2 Peter 1:16).
Regarding manÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s heart:
The god of The Shack: Ã¢â‚¬Å“[Your heart] is wild and beautiful and perfectly in processÃ¢â‚¬Â (p. 138).
The God of the Bible: Ã¢â‚¬Å“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the manÃ¢â‚¬Â (Mark 7:21-23).
Regarding GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s love:
The god of The Shack: Ã¢â‚¬Å“To force my will on you is exactly what love does not do. … True love never forcesÃ¢â‚¬Â (pp. 145, 190).
The God of the Bible: Ã¢â‚¬Å“For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receivethÃ¢â‚¬Â (Hebrews 12:6). Ã¢â‚¬Å“Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouthÃ¢â‚¬Â (Revelation 2:16).
Regarding HeavenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s gates:
The god of The Shack: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Our final destiny is not the picture of Heaven that you have stuck in your head–you know, the image of pearly gates and streets of goldÃ¢â‚¬Â (p. 177).
The God of the Bible: Ã¢â‚¬Å“And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glassÃ¢â‚¬Â (Revelation 21:21).
Regarding the Christian church:
The god of The Shack: Ã¢â‚¬Å“My church is all about people and life is all about relationships. … You canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t build it. … I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t create institutions–never have, never willÃ¢â‚¬Â (pp. 178, 179).
The God of the Bible: Ã¢â‚¬Å“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against itÃ¢â‚¬Â (Matthew 16:18).
Regarding the exclusivity of Christianity:
The god of The Shack: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Those who love me come from every system that exists. They were Buddhists or Mormons, Baptists or Muslims, Democrats, Republicans and many who donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t vote or are not part of any Sunday morning or religious institutions. … I have no desire to make them ChristianÃ¢â‚¬Â (p. 182).
The God of the Bible: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be savedÃ¢â‚¬Â (Acts 4:12). Ã¢â‚¬Å“Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bondsÃ¢â‚¬Â (Acts 26:28-29).
Regarding the sinnerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s reconciliation:
The god of The Shack: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Through his death and resurrection, I am now fully reconciled to the world … The whole world. … In Jesus, I have forgiven all humans for their sins against me … When Jesus forgave those who nailed him to the cross they were no longer in his debt, nor mineÃ¢â‚¬Â (pp. 192, 225).
The God of the Bible: Ã¢â‚¬Å“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on himÃ¢â‚¬Â (John 3:36). Ã¢â‚¬Å“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the deadÃ¢â‚¬Â (Acts 17:30-31). Ã¢â‚¬Å“He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not lifeÃ¢â‚¬Â (1 John 5:12). Ã¢â‚¬Å“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fireÃ¢â‚¬Â (Revelation 20:15).
Regarding the Christian walk:
The god of The Shack: Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Bible doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t teach you to follow rules. … Enforcing rules, especially in its more subtle expressions like responsibility and expectation, is a vain attempt to create certainty out of uncertainty. … That is why you wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t find the word responsibility in the Scriptures. … because I have no expectations, you never disappoint meÃ¢â‚¬Â (pp. 197, 203, 206).
The God of the Bible: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord JesusÃ¢â‚¬Â (1 Thessalonians 4:1-2).
Ã¢â‚¬Å“In Ephesians 4-6 alone there are more than 80 specific rules and obligations that believers are exhorted to keep.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The god of The Shack: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do humiliation, or guilt, or condemnationÃ¢â‚¬Â (p. 223).
The God of the Bible: Ã¢â‚¬Å“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evilÃ¢â‚¬Â (John 3:19). Ã¢â‚¬Å“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before GodÃ¢â‚¬Â (Romans 3:19). Ã¢â‚¬Å“Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the LordÃ¢â‚¬Â (1 Corinthians 11:27). Ã¢â‚¬Å“My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnationÃ¢â‚¬Â (James 3:1). Ã¢â‚¬Å“And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earthÃ¢â‚¬Â (Revelation 11:18).Ã¢â‚¬Â
James De Young, a former colleague of the author of The Shack, wrote an entire book critiquing this book titled Burning Down the Shack. You know you are in trouble when someone can write an entire book about the false teachings in the book you have written! http://www.wnd.com/2010/05/156873/
James De Young states:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Indeed, the need for Christ to die a sacrificial death for people’s sins is dissipated and eventually erased. But the greatest danger is that universal reconciliation redefines who God is by insisting that the attribute of God’s love trumps his other attributes of justice, holiness and righteousness. Love limits his other attributes. In so doing, some attributes are not fully expressed or perfect. In this way God ceases to be God. Instead we have a man-created, man-centered god.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬Â http://ppsimmons.blogspot.com/2017/02/latest-christian-film-blasted-as-not-so.html
Universal Reconciliation is the false belief that Ã¢â‚¬Å“all souls will one day be reconciled to God.Ã¢â‚¬Â This belief is not biblical and is a heresy that must be opposed in the fiercest way possible.
Years ago, someone sent me a review of The Shack that piqued my curiosity and prompted me to do some more research about it. I found that many people had written critiques because there is so much false teaching in the book. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s always good to pass a newsletter like this along to others. They might read it and start doing their own research and be equipped to help others.
So there is no need to take two hours of your life or a $10 bill to go and see this movie. Instead, use the time this weekend to go witnessing at the mall and use the $10 to order some tracts away to give away or to bless a homeless person or to send to a missionary.
If someone wants to read a book about the God of the universe, give them a Bible or a good, biblically-solid book that explains Him correctly.
Remember to keep telling people about the mansions in Heaven that God has planned for us and keep telling them to stay away from that Ã¢â‚¬Å“shackÃ¢â‚¬Â out in the woods where GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s wonderful character is misrepresented. The mansions in Heaven will last forever, but The Shack in the woods will one day go up in flames.
Until the nets are full,