A buddy of mine went to the hospital in April for chugging soy sauce. I had no idea a large amount of it could be lethal. Thankfully, he didn’t drink nearly enough to kill him (I believe 2 liters is lethal.)
While my Youth Pastor was at the hospital, the Doctor spoke with him about all the seemingly harmless foods that can be lethal if consumed in an irregular way. One of which was peanut butter.
This was a surprise to me, and a great many others. It turns out, that if you choke on peanut butter, there is no hope for you. Without bread, apple or some other food to keep it company, it can lodge in your throat and suffocate you despite all the efforts of Doctors or Nurses.
Now let us look at a book that has swept across the Nation, and gripped many hearts young and old. A book that is so cleverly written, you hardly have a choice but to become a part of the story. After only a few pages, you laugh when the characters laugh. You cry when they cry.
What is this book? The Shack.
I am afraid to say, that my comments for the most part will cease. I have very little to appreciate about this book.
As I have said, it is well written. The Author, William P. Young, puts his thoughts and opinions on paper in a way few people can.
But opinions are like peanut butter. A wonderful thing when spread on foods like bread, bananas or apples. But without any substance, with no scripture to back his opinion up, it is lethal.
I wanted to read this book so badly partly because I heard of the controversy surrounding it. However, I never exposed myself to outside opinions aside from quick remarks made from my friends. The following is the result of a non-biased reading.
“Again silence, then, so is Jesus dying a legend?” Mack could hear the wheels turning in Kate’s mind.
“No Honey, that’s a true story; and do you know what? I think the Indian princess story is probably true too.”
“Is the Great Spirit another name for God–you know, Jesus’ papa?”
Mack smiled in the dark. Obviously, Nan’s nightly prayers were having an effect. “I suppose so. It’s a good name for God because he is a Spirit and he is Great.”
There it is. Our first sign of universalism. First He acknowledges the human sacrifice to Indian gods as okay and possibly true, then he melds Jehovah God and the “Great Spirit” god into one.
This is only a hint of what he writes in later chapters.
“The kids, startled awake by the clatter and under-the-breath expletives,”
This is the first time Mack swears. He is supposedly a christian man, but is somehow comfortable swearing in front of his own children.
“Nobody wanted God in a box, just in a book. Especially an expensive one bound in leather with gilt edges, or was that guilt edges?”
Wow. Did the Author just describe the Bible as a box? That it somehow confines God to a certain way of thinking? Not only that, but he also says it is full of guilt.
You will notice as we continue, that he uses the word “guilt” without ever taking time to examine conviction.
“Who sent the **** note?”
There he goes again. At least this time he isn’t in front of innocent ears. But does that excuse him?
“…the door flew open, and he was looking directly into the face of a large beaming African-American woman.”
Here’s the kicker. The thing I heard most about this book. What people seam most outraged about is the fact that he would describe God as a woman.
However, that does not bother me so much as all these other things. The Author writes later in the book that God does not have a gender, which I agree with.
In the beginning, God created Man AND Woman in his image.
But he still chose to display him as over-weight. That is unacceptable. All throughout the scripture, drunkeness and gluttony are listed side-by-side. God obviously looks down on gluttony just as much as he does drunkeness. But for some reason he condones it by appearing over-weight?!?
Will he next appear to him as a drunkard?
Too sketchy for me.
“Now see here Mackenzie. You don’t have to be lookin’ out for me. I listen to everything–and not just to the music itself, but the hearts behind it.”
God listens to everything? I suppose he also has some Kiss, Korn or some other demonic music in his library?
In this passage, Papa (the books name for God) also says she listens to the hearts behind music, not so much the music itself. But what does scripture say about this?
“…for the imagination of man‘s heart [is] evil from his youth…”
Young is undermining the very righteousness of God. He has brought him down to the level of man.
Pages 91 & 92
“…and this weekend is not about reinforcing your religious stereotypes.”
Another subtle reference to universalism.
“Mackenzie, the Truth shall set you free..”
Maybe I’m being a little picky. But I would expect God almighty to know every word of scripture to the letter. After all, Satan does.
Here he just quoted John 8:32, which says the truth shall MAKE you free.
Not a big deal. Unless your God.
“His gaze followed hers and for the first time Mack noticed the scars on her wrists, like those he now assumed Jesus also had on his.”
“We were there together.”
Whoa! Huge violation of scriptural truth. The Author has come up with a lot of pretty words that feel good. He claims that God did NOT forsake Christ on the cross, but was instead hidden from him. And God was not only there, he was with him on the cross, and was crucified.
Where on Earth does he come up with this? All he has to back this up is emotional argument put forth by “Papa.” Here’s a piece of scripture:
“You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and can not look upon iniquity:”
When Christ was on the cross, the sin of the entire world was upon Him (Isaiah 53:6, 2 Corinthians 5:21). Go forsook Him, because He became the embodiement of sin itself.
Pages 95 & 96
“You, on the other hand, were created to be loved.”
Where would we be without The Shack? Somehow he knows the very purpose for our existence, despite all the scriptures that say we are to exhalt God.
It’s not about us. It is about God. It is about Jesus Christ.
“I live in a state of perpetual satisfaction as my normal state of existence,”
God lives in a “perpetual state of satisfaction”?
What about all the times God has been angry, sad or grieved?
“And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.”
“The God who is-the I am who I am-cannot act apart from love!”
“Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.”
God got so angry at the Israelites that he wanted to wipe them off the face of the earth. I don’t think he wanted to do this in a loving kinda way.
Although Moses talked him out of it, we musn’t forget Sodom and Gamorah. God can act out of hate and wrath.
“I am the best way any human can relate to Papa or Sarayu.”
Jesus Christ is the only way to God. Not simply the best way.
“I don’t need to punish people for sin. Sin is its own punishment,”
I would LOVE to see what scripture verse Young has for this.
If God would overlook all the sins of this world, and never bring them to justice, he would be a tyrant. An unrighteous and unloving tyrant.
“You are yielding to the matrix, not to us,”
Jesus Christ just stated, after a speal about government being wicked, that submitting to government authorities is not submitting to God.
This isn’t the Jesus I read about.
“I’m not a great swimmer and besides, the water looks pretty **** cold,” complained Mack. He suddenly realized what he had said and felt his face flush. “Uh, I mean darn, pretty darn cold.” He looked up at Jesus with a frozen grimace on his face, but the other man seemed to be actually enjoying Mack’s discomfort.
This is insane. Mack can swear in front of Jesus Christ, and Jesus ENJOYS it?!
Young seams to be scratching itchy ears with this one.
One of my favorite songs is “I can only imagine.” I love the line, “Will I sing Hallelujah? Will I be able to speak at all?”
Obviously Young plans to cuss curse and swear when he gets to heaven.
“The world, in many ways, would be a much calmer and gentler place if women ruled.”
Don’t get me started on femenism. God has given men natural leadership. Not women. This is etched all through scripture!
Can women have leadership roles? That is another question, for another post.
The point is, Jesus Christ would never speak like this.
“Seriously, my life was not meant to be an example to copy.”
That was Jesus who said that.
What does scripture say?
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:”
Pages 153 – 166
These pages envelope a “Court Room” like scene. Mack is asked to pick 2 of his children to go to heaven, and 3 to go to hell.
Mack says he cannot, bcause he loves them too much. God says that is good judgement, and then explains why “she” feels the same way.
And for future reference, God refers to himself as Sophia in these pages.
“Oh my God! Missy!”
Mack uses the name of God in vain, with no rebuke from God who is standing right there.
“They are here, but they aren’t. Only Missy is truly here.”
After the judgement scene, Mack is taken to a waterfall where he communicated with his reincarnate daughter. The Author suggests that people who have passed away can come back and visit us through our dreams.
Didn’t Saul try to contact a prophet who had died, only to be rebuked for it later?
Wasn’t the “prophet” who he had seen, truly a demon?
“It would be her nature to forgive,”
It is NOT natural to forgive.
“Mackenzie, judgement is not about destruction, but about setting things right.”
Nope. it isn’t. It is about punishment being dealt to those who deserve it.
Here is another little peak at what is comming.
“Sophia is a personification of Papa’s wisdom.”
Although the Author denies it, this is a fourth addition to the God-head.
“Well Mack, our final destiny is not the picture of Heaven that you have stuck in your head-you know, the image of pearly gates and streets of gold. Instead it’s a new cleansing of this universe, so it will indeed look a lot like here.”
William Young claims that all the scriptures about heaven, the pearly gates and streets of gold are only a description of the bride Christ is comming back for.
Again, twisted scripture and nothing to back it up.
“Who said anything about being a Christian? I’m not a Christian.”
Here it comes people!
Jesus Christ has just distanced himself from his own teachings. And we are only paragraphs away from the most devastating thing in the book.
“Those who love me come from every system that exists. they were Buddhists or Mormons, Baptists or Muslims, Democrats or Republicans and many who don’t vote or are not part of any Sunday morning or religious insitutions.”
Here we are. the source of everything the book has only hinted of until this point. If this is true, then Muslims are going to be ticked offwhen they don’t get their virgins. Mormons will be devestated when they don’t get to rule their own universe. Atheists will be bummed about not taking a big cosmic nap.
How can everybody be right?!?
Here are some verses from the Koran:
Infidels are those who declare: “God is the Christ, the son of Mary.”
Infidels are those who say “God is one of three in a Trinity.”
They don’t love Jesus.
Man oh man I need to post about universalism sometime. This will have to do for now:
“Guilt’ll never help you find freedom in me.”
“Will you please forgive me,” Mack finally offered.
“Did that a long time ago, Mack.”
Mack is trying to repent, but Papa blows him off and says she already did. Before he even repented.
“All evil flows from independance, and independance is your choice.”
The Author gets through the entire book without any mention of Satan. Maybe it’s because he isn’t universally accepted?
“Jesus laid the demand of the law to rest; it no longer has any power to accuse or command.”
Jesus Christ made the law much more difficult.
Before he came, we simply couldn’t commit adultary. After he came, we are no longer allowed to even lust.
Before he came, we had to love our neighbors. After he came, we now have to love our enemies.
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.”
“Rules cannot bring freedom;”
“What shall we say then? [Is] the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.”
“As they mature and grow to become who they are, the colors they exhibit will become more distinctive, and unique hues and shades will emerge.”
In another reincarnate experience, Mack is surrounded by long-dead saints. Young and old.
But they odd thing about this, is he can see their personality and emotions as a colorful aura surrounding each person and between persons. The children however are only white, because they do not have a unique personality yet.
Doesn’t God create us unique in the womb?
“Before I formedthee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, [and] I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”
“…how can I ever forgive that son of a ****…”
Again, Mack swears in front of God almighty, who is unable to look upon immorality.
“I have forgiven all humans for their sins against me, but only some choose relationship.”
God also says that even the Child abductor, who has not yet repented, is his child.
All in all, this is a book I will never suggest to even my worst enemies. My brothers father-in-law placed a sticky note on it reading: “fly swatter.”
Are there some good things in it! YES! Is it worth it? NO!
Imagine passing through a mine-field simply because there is more land than there is mines.
Thank you for reading everybody! I know it was long.