The Shack- Should Christians Watch the Movie?

The Author Behind The Shack 

William P. Young, author of The Shack, was a son of missionaries in New Guinea and even went to Bible College. He later got a degree in religion. But in 2004, this man wrote a declaration where he denied Evangelical Christianity and blasphemed Christ by saying the following:

“evangelical faith and its teaching about judgment makes God ‘grossly unjust’; ‘Jesus is a million times more vicious and vindictive than Pharaoh, Nero or Hitler put together’; Jesus Christ is ‘not the Savior from sins’; Jesus died ‘a failure and in vain and never saved anyone’; thus Jesus ‘is not even a good man but a liar, a rogue and a deceiving rascal’; ‘Calvary is a farce, a travesty and a sham.'” (De Young, 2017). 

“By the time I wrote The Shack, I was convinced I had been wrong about the ‘Gospel’ I grew up believing. You know the one about the human race in Adam sinning itself into separation from God, and Jesus being sent on a rescue mission by God to build a bridge back, offering us the possibility of salvation. If we received Him into our lives, we went to heaven. If we didn’t, hell.
I was wrong about this gospel. And I wrote the novel for my children to describe the true ‘Good News’. (Author of The Shack).

– His statements are absolutely despicable and grossly blasphemous. This immediately disqualifies him from receiving any attention from true Christians. But if you’re not convinced, here is more evidence. 

-The editor of The Shack, was Wayne Jacobsen, a promoter of emerging church and contemplative mysticism literature (Lighthouse Trails Research, 2017). Wayne Jacobsen worked with the author on The Shack for 16 months! The Bible says “Shall two walk together, except they have agreed?” (Amos 3:3)

-We can logically think that Wayne Jacobsen had quite a bit of influence on the theology in The Shack. This should be a huge red flag that we cannot trust the theology presented in this movie and book. 

“But, it has a Christian message” 

A lot of Christians think The Shack novel and the movie are good because they teach people about forgiveness and helps them “better understand God”. Others compare it with the Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan, saying they are similar in style. 

James B. De Young, professor of New Testament Language at Western Seminary, Portland, Oregon said: 

“…the two could not be more different. Bunyan took the teaching of Scripture and allegorized it, but the theology promoted in [The Shack] is of a particularly sinister and heretical variety” (Foust, 2015).

“William Young [author of The Shackdeparts from an evangelical understanding of God, in whom holiness and love are equally balanced, to a universalist understanding of God, in whom love is paramount and judgment and holiness are considered to be in conflict with his love. In comparison with Bunyan, [The Shack] denies that there is future punishment and that God punishes sin” (Foust, 2015).

Through the Biblical lens: Heresies in The Shack 

We have to compare the “Christian” message in The Shack, to true Biblical theology and see if they line up. For the sake of brevity, I will only list a few of the problems in the movie. 

  • The movie message: Blasphemous misrepresentation of God & the Trinity- God is represented as a fat African-American woman and there is no structure in the Godhead, just “a circle of unity”, and the Holy Spirit is represented as an Asian woman.
    Scriptural view of God & Trinity:  For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim 2:5). The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Cor 13:14)
  •  The movie message: Universalism- Everyone goes to heaven because Christ is not the only way to God-  and there is no hell.
    Scriptural view: “I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one will come to the Father but by me” (John 14:6).
    The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matt 13:41,42)
  • The movie message: Denying Scripture- The Bible is not true because it reduces God to just paper.
    Scriptural view:  All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16).

     

“But, it’s just a movie”

We can rationalize it and say that it’s just a movie, and it’s just fiction. But is that a worldview that does not align with God’s Word.

Abstain from every form of evil. (1 Thess 5:22)

A little leaven leavens the whole lump. (Galatians 5:9)

But test all things. Hold fast to what is good. (1 Thess 5:21)

 For More Info Read: 

http://bereanresearch.org/listen-haters-hate-shack/

http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/theshack.htm

http://www.movieguide.org/news-articles/reel-change.html

http://www.christianexaminer.com/article/the-shack-with-film-pending-called-greatest-deception-to-church-in-the-last-200-years/49431.htm

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/emergent-church-what-is-it/thirteen-heresies-in-the-sha

What Does God Say about Books & Reading?

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I love reading; I’m a book collector, and a constant scout for new stories to read. I have a growing list of books I want to read this year…but I might need to get creative with my time to plow through them all.  If you have any title suggestions to add to my reading list, I invite you to share! Then I can blame you if my list grows so long it has to wrap around the earth twice 😉 Nah, I’d be thrilled! I’m not endorsing the books on my list, I still have to check them out and see if they are good books, but the titles and descriptions look solid! 

But what does God think about books and reading? Have you ever wondered? I read an interesting description by Institute for Creation Research on this topic, and I encourage you to read it too! After that, check out my book list below and see if you recognize any book titles, or if you’d be interested to read any of them yourself. 

THE BOOK OF BOOKS

“This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him.” (Genesis 5:1)

The Bible (literally “the book”) contains over 200 references to books. This implies, among other things, God’s approval of communication by books. Our text, containing the first mention of the word “book” in the Bible, indicates that the very first man…. (Continue reading). 

 

A Few Books on my Reading List for 2017

  • For the Glory: Eric Liddell’s Journey from Olympic Champion to Modern Martyr by DUNCAN HAMILTON 
  • Operation Thunderbolt: Flight 139 and the raid on the Entebbe Airport, the most audacious hostage rescue mission in history by SAUL DAVID 
  • Beyond the Call: The True story of one World War II Pilot’s Covert Mission to Rescue POW’s on the Eastern Front by LEE TRIMBLE WITH JEREMY DRONFIELD 
  • When God Looked the other Way: An Odyssey of War, Exile and Redemption by WESLEY ADAMCZYK 
  • The Forgotten 500: The untold story of the men who risked all for the greatest rescue mission of World War II by GREGORY A. FREEMAN 
  • No Greater Ally: The Untold Story of Poland’s Forces in World War II by  Kenneth K. Koskodan 
  • Let Me Be a Woman by Elisabeth Elliot 
  • Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman and Andrew Postman
  • Violins of Hope: Violins of the Holocaust–Instruments of Hope and Liberation in Mankind’s Darkest Hour by  James A. Grymes
  • The Gulag Archipelago by Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr Isaevich
  • Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World by Mark Miodownik 
  • Periodic Tales: A Cultural History of the Elements, from Arsenic to Zinc by Hugh Aldersey-Williams
  • A Good Place to Hide: How One French Community Saved Thousands of Lives in World War II by Peter Grose

Can you tell I’m fascinated by WWII stories? 

This Christmas- Give To These People!

Last week, I had a post about gift ideas for Christmas for those difficult people that you can’t find a gift for. (Note, it is updated with a few more ideas).

Remember the Poor

But, of course, Christmas is not about material things or about presents and all the outward decor and celebration. It is about Christ- the Ultimate gift of all eternity, our Redeemer and Savior, God-Man. It makes sense to share the joy with those who need it most this season. Let us remember the poor (Gal 2:10). 

Remember the workers in ministry

In addition, let us remember ministries that help spread the Gospel or defend the faith with integrity. Below are a few of the ministries I like and recommend that you consider to give to during this Christmas season. 

Samaritan’s Purse by Franklin Graham Ministries

I was personally blessed by Samaritan’s Purse as a young child. There were a few times at Christmas when their gift boxes that they give to children were about the only Christmas present I received as a missionary child. Click on the title to see their Christmas gift guide. You can give even as little as $8 and help a family plant a fruit tree, or send a missionary doctor, or give a lamb that sings “Jesus Loves Me” for a blind child.

Operation Heal Our Patriots

Another one of Franklin Graham’s ministry is Operation Heal Our Patriots. This is for my countrymen here in America. You can show your support for the troops by donating to this ministry that reaches out to veterans with PTSD and have a struggling marriage. I love this patriotic type of giving! 

HeartCry Missionary Society

The ministry of Pastor Paul Washer. If you look on their website you will see a map of their ministry all over the world, in US, Africa, Europe, Asia, South America, China, Russia.

I praise the Lord that brother Paul Washer is a humble man of prayer and integrity and may the Lord keep him that way. So it is a ministry of integrity.

Bible Society in the UK

I just recently learned more about this ministry. I am not familiar with the leadership, but the story of how they began is very touching. Many years ago, a young Welsh girl desperately wanted to have a Bible of her own and traveled 26 miles to get one from a Reverend. That inspired the Reverend to start a society to spread Bibles in Wales and around the world.

Now they’ve been spreading Bibles in more than 200 countries, including Communist countries. You can get some lovely free stickers from them for Christmas too! I think it’s a lovely idea to donate something to spread Bibles in countries where they are not easily accessible. 

Romanian Orphan Ministries

This ministry reaches out to many orphan children in Romania, a country in Eastern Europe that was under Communism until 1989. The founder of this ministry is an American. Read his story on the website- it is quite amazing to see the round-about way the Lord has brought him to start such a ministry. They are a Christian organization that seek to disciple and help young Romanian orphans. 

Institute for Creation Research

This amazing ministry offers resources for Christians all around the world. They provide videos online, books, DVDs, magazines, articles, devotionals, and a free monthly magazine. They help Christians defend the Biblical worldview of how God is the Creator.

The organization is made of highly skilled Christian scientists with Ph.D’s and science degrees who humbly teach churches and laypeople logical ways of defending the faith. They travel all around the United States and hold seminars and conferences. They have also sent some scientists internationally to a conference in South Korea to teach! I have been supporting them for years, and I praise God that he has godly men of integrity teaching the about Genesis- the first book of the Bible, which is the foundation for the rest. 

Science Saturday: Was Adam a Real Person?

This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created. [Genesis 5:1-2]

What a question to ask! Was Adam a Real Person? This question may seem ridiculous to people like me and you, because it’s obvious- Adam was a real person, it’s written in the Bible! But did you know that there are Christians out there who question the Bible and do not take the book of Genesis literally? They believe Genesis is just a story- a myth, and Adam was not a real person. How do you answer them?

Learn more from this article.

Was Adam a Real Person?

Our anti-Bible world ridicules those who insist that Adam was a real, historical person, and consequently many Christians doubt Adam too. Old Testament professor John Walton recently wrote that perhaps “God chose one pair from the rest of the early hominids.”1 Do we come from apes or Adam? Two links between Adam and history reveal the relevance of the world’s first man.

Evolution’s defenders from inside and outside Christian circles reason that since science has

(Continue Reading Here)

Science Saturday

I wanted to inaugurate this series yesterday, but I let the day slip away from me. So I’m doing it today. For some of us it is Sunday night, for others in different time zones it is already (blue) Monday right now.

Every week I would like to share some Creation Science from Institute from Creation Research, and I will name the series “Science Saturday”. We will be learning a lot of interesting and informative stuff from Christian scientists!!

It is important for all Christians to build strong Biblical worldview, starting from the foundation- from Genesis. Here are some of the benefits you will get from this:

  • Build a Bible-based worldview
  • Encourage and strengthen you spiritually
  • Help you learn new things you never knew before!
  • Provide you with strong arguments when you need to give a reason for your Christian faith
  • Teach you about Genesis and how it ties into the real world
  • Give you reasons to praise the Lord for His workmanship
  • And much more!

Watch this short testimony from one of the ICR scientists, and how he came to realize the importance of Creation science. Then read the article below.

So Many Skin Tones from Adam and Eve? 

twins

After viewing the mixture of widely different skin tones at a recent church gathering, a long-time Acts & Facts reader asked how so much variety came from only three pairs of human beings—Shem, Ham, and Japheth and their wives. How could all these skin tones come from just these people? Winding the clock back even further, ….

(Continue Reading Here)

Why you should avoid the Noblesse Band- Exposing the Cult Behind the Music

The Band

The Noblesse band is composed of three ladies who are gaining popularity on Youtube, Facebook and among some Evangelical Christian circles. They are originally from Romania and they borrow songs like “In Christ Alone” by Keith & Krystin Getty, and sing renditions of Christian hymns that they borrowed from Evangelicals. Why do I say “borrowed”? Continue reading and you will see. 

With professional videography and sound recording, Noblesse sounds like a band that offers some wholesome music without the worldly “Christian Rock” so many contemporary bands sing. At first glance it seems like they are just like other bands such as The Wissmann Familyor the Pettit Team who are Evangelical bands, but behind the Noblesse band hides a dangerous cult

They look like a Christian Evangelical band- but they are not. If you look on their Facebook page you will see the members of the band come from a Seventh Day Adventist Church (SDA church).  

So who are the Seventh Day Adventists?

Aren’t they just another branch of Christianity?

Why should you avoid them? 

Behind the Mask-  Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Founder 

Ellen G. White was the founder of Seventh Day Adventism. She was hit in the head with the rock when she was 9 years old and it took her 3 weeks to recover. Since then, she started having “visions” and claimed they were from God and she was God’s prophet and her prophesies were “inspired” (source). She only had a 3rd grade education

Here are just a few of her many, many problems, deviations, heresies and blasphemies: 

  • Ellen White claimed to have visions from God she was demonically controlled and had numerous occult transes. Read more in the resources links below. 
  • Ellen White plagiarized extensively- and claimed to have written 5000 articles, 49 books and 57 manuscripts. The SDA church was sued on plagiarism in her book Sketches from the Life of Paul, and they lost the case and had to take the book out of print (Let Us Reason, 2012). 
  • Ellen White was racist-  She claimed some people like the African bushmen or Native American Indians were a combination between animal and man (source)
  • She forbade her followers from eating meat while she herself gorged on venison, fish, chicken, mutton stew, oysters, dried beef and bologna sausage! (source and source).
  • She made ridiculous scientific claims that costs her followers their lives-  she made “scientific” statements in areas such as pharmacology, medicine, zoology, geology, astronomy, etc. (source)
  • She made many prophesies that all failed  (source)

Behind the Mask-  Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Beliefs 

These are just a few of the many, many doctrinal heresies that the SDA have

  • They claim Ellen G. White’s writings are equal to the Bible, that they are infallible, authoritative and that she was a prophet.
  • They demand that followers keep the Sabbath on Saturday. They promote the blasphemy that Sunday is the day of Antichrist and is “the mystery of lawlessness” according to Ellen G. White (Conflict of Ages, by E.G. White, p. 54). 
  • They published their own version of the Bible “The Clear Word Bible” where they edited the Bible to fit their Adventist beliefs and cut out portions of Scripture that contradict them
  • In early stages, due to the husband of Ellen White (James White) the SDA denied the diety of Christ. But since they’re on a constant quest to be in the mainstream, they changed their views. 
  • They do not believe in Hell. They claim the non-believers will be annihilated- go out of existence. 
  • They believe the heresy that you can become “perfect” or reach “sinlessness” on earth (Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1118)
  • They believe Salvation is by Sabbath keeping, doing good works and keeping the 10 Commandments 
  • They gain followers by promoting “healthy living” and telling people to become vegetarians, but they always hide who they are. They do not tell people they are SDA. 

NOTE:

  • The Jehovah’s Witnesses Cult are an offshoot of the SDA church.

NOTE: Christians do not worship on Saturday because we are not under the Old Covenant, and do not keep the Sabbath. We are under the New Covenant and worship on the first day of the week, Sunday, when Christ rose from the dead. The “Sabbath” and the “First Day of the Week” are two distinct days with two distinct meanings. Sunday is not a Christian Sabbath. If you want to read more details see here (Is Sunday the “Christian Sabbath”?)

 

More Resources about Seventh Day Adventists 

http://www.exadventist.com/Home/Intro/tabid/64/Default.aspx

http://ellenwhitefalseprophet.org/

http://www.letusreason.org/7thAd40.htm

http://www.eaec.org/cults/seventhdayadvent.htm

http://www.clearwordexposed.com/

http://www.exadventist.com/Home/Articles/tabid/58/Default.aspx

How do you support your Christian worldview?

Are you looking for good rational arguments to bring when you defend your faith in the college classroom? 

Are you seeking for a solid way to defend your Christian worldview? 

This is a brief outline that you can refer to when needed. It is based on a Sunday sermon by Phil Johnson. 

“God doesn’t ask us to suspend our rational faculties to believe in Him… Our faith in God is a supernatural certainty, an understanding of spiritual realities, not wishful hope or thinking. If faith were merely a human decision, there would be no confidence at all because the human mind can be mistaken. – Phil Johnson. 

Rational Arguments for God’s Existence

1. The Cosmological argument: everything that exists must have a cause. The universe must have a cause to explain it’s existence, even the “Big Bang” must have a cause/beginning. This leads us to believe that the universe was created by someone with a purpose, and that someone is obviously, God. 

2. The Teleological argument: This argues from design to designer. Since the universe is orderly and makes sense, it must have been designed by an intelligent being, who is God. We have laws of nature that must have been put in place by a designer. 

3. The Ontological argument: It focuses on the nature of being. You cannot prove that God does not exist. Also, self-existence is a necessity of being God. A good question to ask an atheist is “Where did you get the idea of a perfect being, if you cannot prove no such thing exists?” The Bible teaches that the existence of God is a self-evident truth: “I Am that I Am” (Exodus 3:14) 

4. The moral argument: Every society has some sense of right and wrong. Moral laws do not make sense if there is no original lawgiver. The original lawgiver is the one who is God.  

5. The Ethnological argument: All known people and tribes have some religion and if religion is universal, then it must be that there is a true God. (Romans 1:19)