Because heresy and false teaching should never be allowed in the Church, we need to take seriously the call to….test everything. (1 Thess 5:21)
The first question we must decide upon is, Did God really say…….thou shall have no other gods before me? Think about this question and make sure you really know the answer to it? Did you answer yes? If so, think again and make sure that is what He really said.
Now, what just happened? Did you rethink or check to see if you were really sure? Did you doubt if you really read or heard that command right? If so, then you have learned the old trick of the serpent from the garden. Always make people doubt what God has said and what He means. Of course I hope you stuck with the answer yes to that question, but now we need to understand what it really means.
As Christians, we must be on guard against assuming that “other gods” means just another god in a religion or a statue/idol that is worshipped. A god is anything that takes our attention away from God and comes ahead of Him. But, it is also any god that we create in our own image to project as God.
Turn to your bibles in Acts 17 and read verses 25-25 and verse 29. Notice what God is NOT. He is not whatever image comes out of man’s idea or skill. In other words, regardless of your artistic ability, God is not defined by your artwork, sculpting, script, book writing, movie making or any other artistic ability you feel at liberty to take to describe Him as you see or feel. We learn this very lesson in Exodus 32:1-6. Open your bibles and turn to that section of Scripture. What outcome do you see taking place here as the Israelites begin to doubt who God was?
Now, pay close attention to verse 5 in that passage. Aaron clearly having some great artistic ability wants to help the people in their frustration and confusion about who God was and where their “leader” was. After Aaron created this image of their god for them, notice in verse 5 who does he attribute it to? What specific name does he use? Why does he use the name LORD? Because they were not changing the name of their god and his intention was to point people to the God of Israel. By verse 6 we find they are having a church service to their image of God. They see nothing wrong in what they are doing and they certainly don’t see it as worshipping another god….but they are. They had merely merged the worldly pagan practices with the worship of God. Of course, we know what the LORD though of this behavior as we read on, and He wasn’t pleased!
Because the LORD has given us the warning, we need to test everything that promotes God back to His Word, lest we end up like Aaron and the rebellious Israelites.
Now, lets first look at some quotes from the book The Shack and then see what scripture has to say. This way we can discern who we are following after and supporting.
Because the LORD warns us in 2 Cor 11:4, we need to be very vigilant about it.
The Shack pg 112- God, who is the ground of all being, dwells IN, around and through all things. (This first teaching in The Shack is called Pantheism. It is a pagan, worldly teaching that states that God is in all and is all. It is why people worship creation, rather that the Creator. It is the belief that God is in a tree or an animal or a flower or any object, therefore that object is God. Of course this idea got it original start in religion where? I hope you will remember what we just read in Exodus with Aaron and the Israelites believing that their calf was God. Because this is what The Shack portrays as the image of God, we need to look to scripture to see what it teaches. Turn in your Bibles to Psalm 139:7-14. This is one of the scriptures twisted to give pantheism it’s idea. But what is the scriptures really telling us here? That God is everywhere and that we were created by God, as He spoke and formed things through His Word, but it does NOT teach us that God placed Himself in all things, making them God or like God. If that were the case, there would be no need for that command in Exodus, to have no other gods before Him or against making anything on heaven or earth as an image of God, as God would be in and would be all of those things to begin with. But God is NOT in things made my human hands and is not in ALL things but is creator of them all.)
The Shack pg 182- Those who love me come from every system that exists. They were Buddhists or Mormons, Baptist or Muslims………. I have no desire to make them Christian, but I do want to join them in their transformation into sons and daughters of my Papa, into my brothers and sisters. (Next we continue to see this pagan idea of Pantheism carried even further into Universalism with this statement. While The Shack seems to imply that God is not interested in making people Christians, He is instead interested in making them all His children regardless of what system they are coming from. Now, while at first that seems loving and pleasant and even a little vauge, if you really read the statement in context you will get an understanding of what it is teaching you, otherwise, you would just stick with what Scripture says. Notice the main point is that God is not interested in making them Christians, but in transforming them. But what will they be transformed into? And what does Scripture say about that? Turn to Matt 7:21 and read what it says. Now, what is the WILL OF THE FATHER? Turn to John 6:40 and tell me what it says? So, if His WILL is that we look to His Son Jesus to believe in Him and be saved and confess that Jesus is the only way, the only truth and they only way to eternal life and we must obey Christ if we love Him, that would mean His will is that we follow who? And what were the disciples that believed in and followed Jesus called at Antioch? Thus it would teach us that the WILL OF THE TRUE FATHER is to make us Christians (disciples of Christ).
Next we see that God is seen as a woman named Papa offering us a version of gender confusion or gender fluidity. Do you recognize this from society today? Of course Scripture repeatedly calls Yahweh, “Father” and Jesus the Son of God/Son of Man declaring their masculinity. Israel and the Church are always referred to as the wife/bride, thus showing us God’s original plan in making them male and female and His original plan for marriage between a man and a woman.
The Shack pg 95- The Father has scars on his wrists, like the crucifixion wounds of Christ. (God has no wounds as He is not flesh and was not crucified. Instead turn to John 4:24 to tell us what God is. Then turn to Luke 24:39 to tell us who was crucified.)
The Shack pg 120- I don’t need to punish people for sin. Sin is its own punishment, devouring from the inside. It’s not my purpose to punish it, it’s my joy to cure it. ( Now why this tickles the ear and sounds comforting to those who want no rules or accountability for their actions lets look at what Scripture has to teach to see if the god of The Shack if the God of the Bible. Turn first to Romans 6:23. What does it tell us about sin? Now turn over to 1 Cor 5:12-13. What is God going to do to the sinner here? Finally turn to Jude 14-15. What is God going to do to sinners here?)
The Shack pg 225- In Jesus I have forgiven all humans for their sins against me, but only some choose relationship. ( Well, the first question you need to ask yourself based on the god of The Shack is…..are all humans sins forgiven because Jesus died? Based on this teaching in The Shack they are, but only some will choose to enjoy the relationship with Him on earth. Regardless of whether you choose to fellowship with Him or not, the main point is are ALL humans sins forgiven now? Let’s look to Scripture to see if the God of the Bible lines up with the god of The Shack. Turn first to John 8:24. What does this verse tell us and whose sins have been forgiven? ALL? Next go to Matthew 6:14-15 and Mark 11:25. What is going to happen here according to Scripture if you don’t forgive others? Therefore, based on the study of these Scriptures, a Christian would have to conclude that the god of The Shack who forgives ALL humans sins through Jesus is not the God of the Bible. While Jesus’ death OFFERS everyone forgiveness of sins if they repent and put their faith and hope in Him, He does not just randomly forgive ALL for their sins, otherwise His death was the only thing needed and the Bible and the Gospel are irrelevant. Why preach a gospel when His death already purified ALL of mankind from it’s sin?)
The Shack pg 136- Mackenzie, evil is a word we use to describe the absence of good, just as we use the word darkness to describe the absence of light or death to describe the absence of life. Both evil and darkness can only be understood in relation to light and good; they do not have any actual existence. (Here we have crept into a form of humanistic philosophy. The very kind Col 2:8 warns against. Let me assure you, evil and darkness do exist. Again, lets look to Scripture to see what it has to say. Turn first to 1 Thess 5:22. What does it say to us? Of course if evil or darkness don’t actually exist what do we need to resist? Next turn to John 3:19 to see what it points out for us. What is mentioned here? Next look at Eph 5:11. What does it say? Finally lets look at Eph 6:12 which to me is by far the best reason Satan would want this teaching in The Shack to take root. What does it say to us? Of course if they don’t exist, then guess who else doesn’t exist????)
The Shack- Papa says to Mack; We (the trinity) have limited ourselves out of respect for you. (This teaching comes from Open Theism which says that God is not Sovereign and is not in control of this world or the things in it. He has limited Himself, so He does not know all things and cannot do all things. Of course no where in Scripture does it teach us that God is limited. In fact as we read today in Psalm 139, God is everywhere and we can not go anywhere to get away from His presence.)
The Shack continues on to say: In fact, we (the trinity) are submitted to you Mack in the same way. ( God does not submit to us, instead we are called to submit to Him. While Jesus humbled Himself to come onto this earth to serve us by giving us His life as a ransom, He never submitted to man and his emotions or desires. Turn to John 2:24 to see what Jesus did in submission to man while He was on earth. Now look to James 4:7 to see what God requires in regards to submission.)
Finally The Shack tells us that Jesus says: I am the best way any human can relate to Papa or Saryu. (Of course the Bible never tells us that Jesus is just the best way, as if there are other choices to discover God and get to Him. John 14:16 tells us the Jesus is the ONLY way. No one comes to the Father except through Him.
There are many others problems with this artistic rendering of a modern day “calf” to lead others to what one would consider god. Of course Scripture teaches us just the opposite and never gives us a pleasing picture for those who follow after such things. The only thing you must decide now is if you are following after another god and supporting the idea of one being put on display before God.
Of course if we think God would be pleased with this or happy with us for at least trying, you need only to look to Aaron and the Israelites to find out what His response was to that. Instead, test everything and flee from that which is false. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness (which does exist), but rather expose them, and if another Jesus, or Spirit or Gospel is preached to you….consider it accursed (meaning from the devil himself).