There is truly something incredible and beautiful in a way about both the book and the film titled, “The Shack” written by William P. Young. As most of us have heard, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor was undoubtedly a beautiful thing to the Japanese. To the Americans that witnessed it, it was the farthest thing from beautiful. Likewise, to the devil, I guarantee this book and film are incredible works of art that he feels very satisfied in having brought about.
I am rarely this publicly confrontational about things, but “The Shack” is anything but a great Christian film. When the truth of the Gospel is being so deviously twisted, I am obligated to speak out, especially when the lies are being delivered through such a powerful medium as film. I will outline only a few key points, and before any of you fall for this tantalizing spiritual trap, I encourage you to do as the Bereans did and test everything you see and hear against the Word of God – that is what we all are to do. And remember that something that is almost truth, or close to it, is far more dangerous than an outright lie.
I honestly don’t even know where to begin about this… film. I believe it is likely one of the most pernicious movies I have yet seen. The book it is based on is far worse. This is a story that will move you emotionally and draw upon the deep places inside of you, but not to drive you to Christ or His Word, oh no. Instead it will drive you to idolatry, deception, and a temporary fix to the pain in this world.
The author, Paul Young, is a universalist. While this may not be quite as apparent in the film, the book makes this quite clear. This is unquestionably the most heretical underpinning of this story, though there are quite a few others. Essentially, universalism states that Jesus is a way, but not the way. Jesus may even be the best way, but He is by no means the only way to heaven. So the Buddhist, the Muslim, and the Atheist are all going to the same heaven together with those who claim to follow Christ – one of the most warped and twisted doctrines (if it can even be called a doctrine) out there. Of course, it blends well with the post-modern idea that “truth is relative.” This is what all the liberal communities in our nation want to say. In fact, they would like to do away with the concept of truth at all.
Next, is the obvious fact that God the “Father” and the Holy Spirit are represented by human women. A complete contradiction to Scripture on multiple levels. All three parts of the Trinity are referred to in the masculine consistently throughout Scripture without exception. Which makes sense if He is the “Bridegroom” and we are the “Bride of Christ.” And more fundamentally is the issue that they are represented by physical human beings at all. God is unquestionably a Spirit and does not have a body, and we are commanded not to create any graven images of God. It is one thing to represent Jesus in a physical body, which He did indeed have and has, but the Father? The Holy Spirit? It is approaching blasphemy to think, let alone purport the idea that God the Father could be confined to a limited, physical, human body.
Additionally, there is no sense of hierarchal structure at all within the “Trinity” in the story, only a circle of equality and unity. Even though the Bible clearly shows that Jesus only did what His Father willed, and that the Holy Spirit only came a result of the mandate of Jesus.
Apparently, according to “The Shack” we are also never going to truly be punished for our sin, and God doesn’t have to punish sin, because “sin is its own punishment.” I’m sure that Ananias and Sapphira would disagree. I am fairly certain that dropping dead is not the automatic result of lying. In the film, “Papa” also says that He doesn’t “orchestrate” tragedies. Again, a total contradiction of Scripture. There are a good number of unquestionable instances of God definitely orchestrating, if not outright ordering great tragedies where many thousands died, or diseases spread, or other terrible things took place.
And right in line with that, “Papa” or God the Father dismisses the notion of God’s “wrath” and states that God is not really who we think He is… Absolute heresy. Not that it is possible that we might misunderstand or perceive Him incorrectly, but that He is not who His written Word has said He is. Hebrews 13:8, says He is, “the same yesterday, today, and forever.” And no one need look very far to see the wrath of God all over the Old Testament, and even in the New Testament as well.
Also, the film draws a line between the justice of God and the love of God, as if they are somehow incompatible with one another. That justice isn’t really something that comes about, because everyone has a past that caused them to do the terrible things they do, and so judgement can’t take place. The “love” of God somehow erases all sin so completely that even without repentance the forgiveness of God covers you. Another lie.
Probably one of the biggest things that disturbed me to the core, and actually caused tears to well up in my eyes, was the absolute disrespect for both God, and His Word by the main character in the story, “Mack.” In the film, there is even a moment that very pointedly shows the Bible sliding off a bed and dropping to the floor. That may seem a small thing, but anyone who understands film knows that nothing like that is incidental. It was so obviously an intentional decision by the director, it made me sick. Mack swears in the presence of God, snaps angrily more than once at God, and is even brought to a place where He puts God on trial! Again, such an abhorrent lack of reverence for the nature of God. When every situation we have in the Bible, both in the Old and New Testament of a man being in the presence of God, even the Apostle John, who was the closest to Jesus, has the man falling upon his face in utter humility and awe of God. Nothing could be further from the arrogance and disrespect shown in this story.
On a small side note, God the Father and the Holy Spirit are dancing around at one point to a song titled, “Gimmie Little Sign” by Brenton Wood. It is a song that is essentially all about sex and “getting it on.” Not a song that my Father in heaven would be dancing to, I think.
So, let’s recall that there are numerous Scriptures that warn against adding or taking away from the Words of God. (Deuteronomy 4:2, 12:32; Proverbs 30:5-6; Matthew 24:24; Mark 7:13; Revelation 22:18-19) And this is exactly what “The Shack” does with arrogant impunity. This story is one that touches your heart and “feels so right.” But so does sex outside of marriage if you aren’t walking rightly with Christ. This is work of fiction that brings a sensual and emotional solution to a problem that is only revealed in the true and wonderful nature of our heavenly Father. As well, just a simple grasp of why sin and death are in this world to begin with. I will attach a short clip from Ravi Zacharias below that nails the answer to the question that this demonically-inspired book and film asks, and heretically tries to answer.
This story is one of spiritual deception and doctrines of demons. It is darkness and lies wrapped in golden foil with flowers and rainbows surrounding it. It is literally laying down the stones upon which many will stumble, and in case we forgot what Jesus had to say about those who are responsible for doing that – check out Matthew 18:6, Mark 9:42, or Luke 17:2. They all say slight variations of the same thing, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”
I encourage you all not to be swept to and fro with every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:14) that is pleasing to the ears or soothing to the soul. Allow the Holy Spirit to be your Guide, and always checking all against the Word of God. Without the Word, we can never learn to truly know the voice of our Shepherd.
Below is the link I mentioned earlier, be blessed: