Watched the Shack this weekend with Family. A great movie in terms of today’s Hollywood productions, but with some Scriptural twists. I wasn’t as disturbed with the portrayal of Father God by a female as some are. There was also a male portrayed in this role, but there were three main biblical themes misrepresented.
But before I get to them, I should say that when I watched the movie there were parts of it that touched me deeply emotionally, and even spiritually. Gods love stood out as being very real, but that was not the first time I was made aware of God’s great love for me. God is able to us many things to accomplish that result. And the fact that this movie had that impact does not change the fact that Scripture is an important part of the Holy Spirits truth to us.
William Paul Young in his book downplays doctrinal truth. He disregards belief vs non-belief in what Paul calls the Gospel. And another gospel will not suffice. So there are actually three areas where I feel based upon Scripture he fails.
I say three, but two are closely related. First Papa (God) was involved in an answer to a direct question concerning God’s wrath. The answer was stated in such a way so as to make His wrath a non issue, the second related twist was to “imply” that all men are Gods children, and therefore there will be no punishment for anyone in hell. This was subtly done, and in such a way so as to make one suspect of anyone who might think that hell actually exists for God’s children. This fact of course is correct, God’s children will not see wrath or hell, but even though Jesus loved and died for the world’s sin He Himself made it clear that all are not God’s children and that God’s children are not disbelievers in Bible doctrine, but lovers of Him, and His word.
John 8:42-44 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
This passage brings out the third major area of scripture twisting. Satan himself and his children are left out of the scenario presented within the plot of this tale. But as Jesus said he is a liar, and he has children who do not know or want to know God’s word (His truth). In Satan there is no truth, but there is deception because He uses the truth and twists it. So, although every man is given the same opportunity to love God and His truth, many do not want anything to do with Him. Leaving out the fallen nature of man tends to make God personally responsible for the actions of men who possess a free will to either follow Him or the father of lies. God is not responsible for your or my choices — we are.
So do I recommend the movie. I would recommend it just like I would the Notebook, or Sleepy in Seattle, but as a source for God’s truth — No, it misrepresents the Word of God in these subtle ways. Using it as a teacher of religious truth may in fact lead one to destruction in hell. Loving God and His truth (His word) is a basic fruit in the life of God’s children. Do you love God as He portrays Himself in His word, or are you creating your own god, who turns out to be a false god full of untruths? This is a question each of us must ask ourselves. Serving God involves the communication of His truths. The shack has created another different God from the true God of scripture.
The Shack does a great job of communicating one aspect of God. That being that He loves us. Understanding that He loves us can be life changing if we accept His love. But unless we accept and return His love, it has no meaning to us. For God is looking for a people who will love Him,who will be contrite, and to be contrite produces in us a cleansing when it meets with the reality of Gods love for me a sinner. And nothing expresses that love for us any more than Jesus death for us, individualized — for me and for you — Those who have been overwhelmed by that love.