As a rule, I stay away from Christian fiction, either in the form of a book or a movie. Christian fiction usually depicts fictional theology. The Shack is not exception. The movie version of the book The Shack will be in theaters starting this Friday. Anyone who has a minuscule modicum of discernment knows that this movie is full of heresies, the primary one being a blasphemous illustration of the Trinity. Most of know people who call themselves Christians have read the book and will go see the movie. We need to communicate to them that this movie and book are not even remotely close to what orthodox historical biblical doctrine.
The purpose of the literary form used by William Young is to be able to teach his man-made doctrine about his idea of the trinity without being caught. If he had written this as academic volume it would be collecting dust in the back corner of some obscure book store. No one would probably read it except those who agree with him. He intentionally wrapped his theology up in a heart-wrenching story about a father losing his daughter in a violent way, while under his watch, to a serial killer who has yet to be caught and has yet to leave much evidence or a victim’s body to be found. Rip the heart out so the head can be filled with false teaching. The book is like a two hundred plus page fallible parable. And it worked.
To help educate friends and family I developed a list of questions that could be asked to start a conversation about the false teaching embedded in The Shack. This is by no means an exhaustive list.
- How many dead animals does it take to spoil the water in a well? One.
- How much leaven is needed to leaven a whole loaf of bread? Very little.
- Does the bible ever state that God the Father or God the Holy Spirit ever appear in anything other than a spirit form? Never. Jesus teaches that the Father is Spirit and must be worshiped in Spirit. He also teaches that the Holy Spirit is a Spirit.
- Will all people go to heaven regardless of what they believe or how they live? No, the bible does not teach universalism. Only the elect will go to heaven.
- Does one need to believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, in order to go to heaven? Absolutely. Jesus says I am the way, the truth and the life. No one gets to the Father but through Me.
- Will God punish sin? Yes He will, both while on the earth and in eternal conscious punishment in hell.
- Will there be a hell where people will be suffering for all eternity the wrath of God because of their sin? Yes, Jesus teaches that Hell will be a real place where unbelievers will suffer eternally with Satan and the fallen angels.
- Where does Jesus reside now in Heaven? He sits on a throne at the right hand of the Father.
- What is Jesus doing while in Heaven? He is our advocate and mediator to the Father. He is not toiling away in a wood shop making birdhouses and flower boxes for the Holy Spirit.
- Does God hate anyone? Yes, “Jacob I love but Esau I hated.”
- Is God dependent on us? No. He does not need to wait for man to make decisions before acting Himself. He knows the beginning from the end, and everything in between.
- Is God sovereign over His creation? Yes He is.
- In the Book of Job, what did Job have to say when God met him? Job 42:1-6
- Does Jesus ever refer to God the Father as God the Mother? Never!
- Was God the Father and/or God the Holy Spirit crucified with Christ on the cross? No, only Jesus died on the cross. He was the propitiation for our sins.
- Does God need us for any reason at all like we need Him? No, He does not. He is content without humans.
- Does God need our permission to do anything He wishes? No, He does not. He absolutely powerful.
- Do we need an explanation from God for anything that bad that happens to us? None, again, read Job.
- If you were able to meet God face-to-face, would you feel comfortable to swear in His presence? I would hope the answer to this would be in the negative but with the flippancy that exists in the evangelical church today it is hard to say.
- Is Jesus the only way into heaven or will people from other religions, like Mormons, Hindus or Buddhists, be able to get into heaven? Yes, see question 5.
- Is the bible the only book where the Christian is to find and learn to understand the nature of God? Yes, the canon of the bible is closed. There neither has been nor will there ever be any additional special revelation directly from God until Jesus comes and reveals Himself on the clouds of glory to claim His bride.
I hope that they would be able to answer all these questions correctly. People have swallowed this poison pill of blasphemy without questioning it. We must educate those who cannot discern what is bad and what is good because they are victims of the teaching that appeals to the emotions and bypasses the brain.
But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. –Jude 17-23
[Contributed by Michael Hall]