TruthKeepers

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This is not a Review of “The Shack”

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I’m not going to write a review or detailed critique of William P. Young’s book or movie both entitled “The Shack.” The reason is because there are already a number of good reviews available. You can access plenty of information on LightHouse Trails Research. What I will do is present a warning.

First, I want to point out that there are some heresies and deceptions that one should not need a review to recognize and reject. The televangelist selling God’s favor, which increases with the size of the donation, is one. Another one is a preacher smoking pot or getting drunk on video while claiming that it is the way to get closer to God. One more is the preacher that declares that God has entrusted only him with new revelation essential to understanding the Bible. Likewise, does anyone really need to inform a true Christian about what is wrong with “The Shack”?

Now for the warning. God’s word declares that the end times will be very dangerous for Christians. There will be many spiritually wicked individuals masquerading as servants of God. They will present heresies and other lies for the purpose of deceiving God’s people. However, some professing Christians declare that it is impossible for Christians to be deceived and apostatize. If that is true, then who is Satan deceiving and who is apostatizing? The lost are already deceived and cannot apostatize from faith that they do not have.

Obviously, the deception has to be very clever. If it were disguised as an orange, it would appear exactly as a genuine orange. Therefore, we can expect lies disguised exactly as truth. However, if people accept enough false oranges loaded with a mind-numbing drug, it stands to reason that false oranges will no longer be needed. Then whatever is being disguised by the falseness will be offered without pretense.

Leading Christians accepted and promoted movies such as the “Son of God” and “Noah”. Now professing Christians are accepting “Silence” and “The Shack”, movies, which are more obviously wicked. Does anyone want to know what is coming next that professing Christians might support?

William Paul Young, author of “The Shack”, wrote another book, “Eve.” Young explains about his book:

“As The Shack awakened readers to a personal, non-religious understanding of God, Eve will free us from faulty interpretations that have corrupted human relationships since the Garden of Eden.”

Any warning bells going off yet? If one is deceived by “The Shack” one is probably unaware of the diabolical boasts in Young’s explanation. Remember, this is not the author of a timeless Christian classic, but the author of a heretical book that blasphemes the Holy Spirit.

What is it that Young intended to set us free from with “Eve”? Here are a few links in the chain of our “bondage.”

  1. The story of Creation is replaced by the Big Bang.
  2. Adam was an infant nursed by the breasts of God.
  3. Adam was a sinner before Eve was created.
  4. Adam became pregnant and gave birth to Eve.
  5. Adam and Satan conspired to deceive Eve.

But it gets even worse. Young has a new book entitled, “Lies We Believe About God.” Here are some of what Young calls lies about God.

  1. “God wants to use me.”
  2. “God is in control.”
  3. “God is a prude.”
  4. “God does not submit.”
  5. “Hell is separation from God.”
  6. “Sin separates us from God.”
  7. “God is disappointed in me.”

If professing Christians accept the blatancy of that satanic deception, their fate is sealed. When one of these books also becomes a movie, professing Christians will fawn all over them and declare that anyone that opposes them is ignorant or just plain mean-spirited.

The false orange is no longer needed. Professing Christians are significantly deceived by number and intensity to consume the raw lies.

However, the subsequent deception does not stop with convincing them to believe the lies. Additionally, they believe that the fact they can so easily line up for the feast is not proof of deception. Instead, they consider it to be evidence that they are superior in spirituality and knowledge to the ones who refrain.   Tragically, those feasting masses can be warned, but they are unable to receive the warnings.

 

 

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40 Comments

  1. Hi Cedric,
    Thanks for your well-timed warning! As we see society and particularly our so called “Christian” society is going from bad to worse. And yet there are too many Christians who fail to see it happening. Like the watchman on the city wall how many warnings will go unheeded. I have noticed a big acceleration in apostasy lately. What was subtle and somewhat hidden a few years ago is now blatant. Even my wife is horrified by what is happening and lies awake many nights fearing for us, our children and grand-children. We are comforted by knowing that this is a sign of the very last of the last days.

  2. I agree professing Christians can be deceived, but not true born again Christians. If a born again Christian can be deceived how can we have assurance? Truly apostasy is rising and the difference is being seen more by both professor and possessor.

    • JESUS WARNED THE DISCIPLES TWICE IN MT 24 TO ‘BE NOT DECEIVED’. SATANS PRIMARY TARGER OF DECEPTION IS THE TRUE BELIEVER—ALL OTHER ARE ALREADY DECEIVED.

  3. Why are they deceived? They have never received a love for the Truth so as to be saved. They have NO foundation in God’s Holy Word! They have no standard to measure things by and therefore are easily deceived. Linn

  4. Exactly Cedric. It is a step stair path to total apostasy. We see the apostasy, the deception in the church, but those in the fog don’t see that they are in it. They have bitten the fatal forbidden fruit and fallen like Snow White before the serpent. I have been watching this for some time now and here is what I see. Please read through to the end. It is a gradual road to destruction.

    The devil has convinced the church that…
    1. It is ‘okay’ to compromise with the culture of the world to ‘win the lost.’ All manner of appeals to the flesh are used in church to entertain the goats rather than feed the sheep. (False. Moving to the culture of the world; wins the church to the world, not vice versa. Checkmate.) This just pollutes the church in sin and the world, what we are to be separate from.
    2. Mystical practices are promoted as ‘new’ and ‘exciting’ to quench the thirsty and these include from other religions such as yoga, contemplative, eucharist, etc. (Fact: We are blessed in our relationship with God when we repent, it won’t happen otherwise. That is how it began.) This introduces other religions to the church.
    3. The ‘big revival’ has been sold to the church, that is supposed to be global. (Fact: The Bible states that in the end there will be apostasy, what they take as revival is only a golden calf festival and not a true revival.)
    4. They diminish the authority of the Bible and erect an idol of whatever they want to think is ‘of God.’ They call those who hold to the Bible and use discernment ‘meanies’ because we won’t embrace sin and heresy but rather expose it. (Fact: They have been deceived by satan “did God really say…?”)
    5. They have been sold a false package of goods about the end times, that they can ‘bypass’ the judgment somehow and ‘usher in the kingdom’ (dominionism) if they would only ‘awaken to their purpose’ to bring in world peace and utopia in every way. Purpose driven intentional deception. (Fact: All end times bible prophecy will come to pass as it is written and only Jesus can bring the kingdom at His return.) They will instead be embracing the one world government under antichrist.
    6. Ecumenism and interfaith movements have been digested in various ways, the Shack is a platform on wheels for this. The Together event last summer brought unity with the catholic church, I presume there will be some equivalent for the ‘coexist’ campaign. These movements unite all denominations, cults, and false religions into one. At this point the true church ceases to be such because they have apostasized upon crossing that boundary. This ushers in the one world religion under antichrist, and the embracing of it.
    7. With Hebrew Roots and similar heresies, the focus becomes Jewish and about Israel in an unbiblical way and people start thinking there will be an earthly restored kingdom in Jerusalem prematurely. (Fact: The Church is the New Jerusalem coming down from heaven.)
    8. With Calvinism you get doctrines like: 1. We have no freewill or responsibility, it is all up to God. 2. We are in a privileged group for salvation. 3. We could not turn away from this even if we wanted to, we are compelled to remain and can’t ‘lose our salvation’ due to ‘eternal security.’ This opens the door to ‘anything goes’ and you will still be ‘okay’ in the end. (See Revelation 3; 4-5 for refutation).
    9. With the heretical books like ‘Left Behind’, the foundation was laid a long time ago for such deceptions. From Darby and the Scofield bible, many of these heretical seeds were planted. One of them is the pre trib rapture. (See 2 Thessalonians 2; 1-12 and Matthew 24 for refutation, it is towards the end of the tribulation.)
    10. Now the stage is set for full apostasy, and thanks to movies like Silence, they now have the green light that they are even doing something ‘noble.’ They can deny the Lord that bought them, no hesitation at all. Then there is the one world economy under antichrist; via the mark of the beast. Along comes John MacArthur on the stage just in time to announce that ‘you can take the mark and still be “okay” ‘! What great news! Apostasy? No worries, thanks to eternal security you should fare just fine! (See Revelation 14; 9-11; all who take the mark go to hell, no second chances.).

    One special thing about the Shack is the ‘all is one’ new age lie, all is ‘divine’ and so on, the final layer for all of these deceptions.

    They will be in the middle of it all, but thanks to the carefully laid path, they won’t even know it! They will be IN the one world religion, government, and have the mark of the beast, be in full blown sin and the culture of the world, all while thinking it is a great global revival! It’s the biggest hoax ever. They will be worshipping the antichrist all while thinking they will never see him or any of this because ‘the rapture hasn’t happened yet’ and all of this antichrist stuff comes afterwards if they still believe it will at all. Thanks to the pretrib myth they won’t have a clue that they are in the biggest deception of human history, all carefully and craftily orchestrated over a long time. And exactly, the unsaved are already lost, the devil’s target is the church and all of this is possible hence the fierce attempt at deception towards the church and it is subtle indeed. It is possible to apostasize and many already have and will continue to. The solution is to be on guard and be determined to abstain from sin and the world and never deny Jesus no matter what. That is how we overcome. There will be persecution and martyrdom; all those references in Revelation refer to us. Even if you don’t believe me yet, just be loyal to Jesus, that is our calling.
    God bless!

    • Good points. Disagree on points 7 and 9. If an earthly kingdom is not restored to Israel, then the Bible is a lie (which it isn’t). Mostly agree on point 8 except your opinion on eternal security that it “opens the door to ‘anything goes’ and you will still be ‘okay’ in the end” which is bogus. If a born again believer can lose their salvation, then the Bible is a lie (which it isn’t).

    • Yeh you are in some error yourself, fella….but I’m not gonna argue over it…no point

    • Sue Anne Perez

      March 12, 2017 at 9:01 pm

      Please tell me where in “The Shack” is it mentioned that all is divine and all is one. Even in the dialogue of the book Jesus explains to Mackenzie that Jesus wants all of us, not just a part of ourselves. Jesus wants to be in the center of everything we do everyday.

    • Thank you Lydia, that was quite refreshing. Keep going on with Jesus.
      Those that refute some of your points need awakening.
      Blessings.

  5. In the days when the Shack was trending I was warned by the Holy Spirit when we as elders were encouraged by our “pastor” to read the Shack. He was so adamant that we should read it that I became suspicious and after doing some research on the author etc found myself gobsmacked at the fact that our pastor had bought into the book so wholeheartedly. He said the book will “blow your mind “and change your theology forever. Well I was happy with my mind and theology, still am. However I became the loner amongst our elders and although some paid lip service to my warnings I walked a very lonely path and looking back believe it was the Shack that ended my relationship with the fellowship. The others felt I was going too far and after all it was just a book. One long standing friend said to me that I “was rediculous and the Shack had helped so many people in their understanding of God for the first time”. My reply of “well the Bible has done that for me” was met with absolute disdain.
    Now to think there is a movie and more books by Young makes one shudder. Thanks for your report
    God Bless Trev

    • Hello Trev,
      I had a similar pushback from women in the church, who bought into the book. It was very sad to watch them.

    • I once read a book called “Burning Down the Shack”, written by a guy who personally knew Paul Young at church for an extended period of time….from what I read, Paul Young is spiritually adrift at best and possibly a non-believer at worst….with these other books he has written, I have to say his delusion or unbelief hardly out do each other in saying the man is lost…

    • The price for standing for solid truth is high and few want to pay it. Being the “Loner” is the the result of being a Truthkeeper! Keep standing strong!

  6. The rate of change is increasing rapidly. Our church is marching quickly and deliberately down the path of acceptance of all kinds of heresy and falsehoods. Mostly because our leaders no longer (i am currently an elder in the congregation) protect the flock. We don’t seek the pasture that our congregations need. We are lazy and fat and content. I have stood up but my voice is not heard, ears have been closed and eyes blinded.

    This movie is just the latest in the campaign to remake the Christian movement into something that eventually withers and dies. But I’ve read the back of the book and in the end the Messiah wins. We are heart broken and grieving, but our hope and our focus has to remain on the King and we must remain solid in our resolve to follow him where ever that path leads.

    • Lazy, fat, content…,like Laodicea….

    • Sue Anne Perez

      March 12, 2017 at 8:50 pm

      How is this remaking the” Christian Movement”? You have not expressed one example of this movie being blasphemes or wrong on any doctrine. Give me one line in the dialogue that is wrong or deceptive. I have yet to hear a specific explanation regarding this story as being wrong. I’m hearing conjecture based on pantheism and the archetype of the black madonna, yet I find none of it in the book. The story brilliantly demonstrates our inability to judge, it mentions hell, it reminds us of how dependent we should be on Jesus and when we look to ourselves we sink. It’s emphasis on forgiveness is unmatched by any fictional story, it explains how we wither without love and upholds the Holy Trinity. How is this bad and how is this deceitful?

  7. Well, now I’m going to have to know more about the book. Some of the negative points mentioned here seem too obviously contrary to scripture for a Christian to write them. I’m wondering if there is even the slightest bit of exaggeration. On some others the objection is not clear. For example, does the Young deny Gods hand in creation, or does he suggest that God cold have used “the big bang”? Does Young say that dam had sinned before his eating of the tree of the KOGE? Or does he suggest that Adam would not have sinned if he hadn’t already had a nature capable of sin? Are listed concerns of the book “Lies We Believe About God” quotes? Or are they perceptions of the author of this post? Thank you for the post, however, We need to know about these things.

  8. When does the author blaspheme the Holy Spirit?? Can you give examples??

    • Sue Anne Perez

      March 12, 2017 at 8:27 pm

      Cheryl, as far as the movie and the book, I can’t find anything blasphemes. I don’t know where any reference to pantheism, the “Black Madonna” archetype, or denying of Satan can be construed. I think the commentaries are base on other books Wm. Paul Young has written. The book or movie doesn’t mention Satan and because of that should not be construed as Denying Satan. I watched the true story, turned movie, Miracles from Heaven, Satan isn’t mentioned there. The whole message of judging God, and others, as we so often do was brilliantly demonstrated. It even demonstrates how only God can decide who goes to Hell. Of course Forgiveness is a huge part of the Holy Bible. I don’t know what is wrong with the story.

    • The best scriptural rebuttal I’ve seen is by Michael Youssef (Church of the Apostles Atlanta) at: http://www.ltw.org/watch/features/the-shack-uncovered
      He also has a pdf guide for download. And another sermon on it in Feb 2017 when the movie released. You cannot sugarcoat heresy.

  9. Well the biggest red flag of all is distorting God and distorting His plan of salvation. If one knows the Bible well, these red flags will jump out at you. One thing in there is the validation of other ‘paths’ to God. There are NO other paths to God. That is another lie of the devil hidden well in an ‘appealing to the eye’ fruit! The problem is, people are so far off course that they don’t even recognize it, they can’t see the main road anymore. Anyone who points this out is bewailed as ‘negative’ and the ‘aw come on! Aren’t you being a bit harsh?!’ type of reply. It’s like that fog engulfing church and steeple, you don’t see the fog until you come out and go far up on the hill and look down. The way to do that is by getting regrounded in God’s Word; the BIBLE alone, and heeding it earnestly. I see the fog continuing to roll in too, and if you don’t have the armor of God’s Word on, you will be helpless against the apostasy.

    These are the days they have replaced the Word of God with other texts and elevate them far above when it comes to authority. That book is false and the Bible is true. I could quote a stack of bible verses about the narrow way, but at this point you either already know it, or you don’t believe it anyway even if someone quotes them to you.

    Thanks again for this post and your ministry Cedric!
    God bless you!
    ( :
    Read your Bibles! Do not be deceived!
    “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.” Matthew 24; 24

    • Amen to everything you’ve said, sister Lydia! If it weren’t for the Internet and websites such as TruthKeepers, I would be forced to believe that my husband and I were the only truth seekers left. My question for you is if you have time and energy to keep in contact with me? I’m trying to learn to be a Titus 2 woman without ever actually having someone to teach me to be such. If you don’t have time, or if my question is too weird, I understand. Could you at least keep me in your prayers? I’m very tired and would truly appreciate ANY companionship (with the right people). Every time I think I’ve found someone who has truth, or at least wants to, it blows up in my face.

      My email is jessica.hughes381 (at) gmail (dot) com. Thanks in advance and God bless!

  10. Oh, and another item I forgot to list is the ‘all is one’ new age pantheism globalist utopia lie, that ‘oneness’ is in the shack and his other books too.
    The ‘lies people believe about God’ come from believing what William P. Young has written, the truth about God is in the Bible and I’m willing to bet he has that backwards.
    ( :

  11. And their concept of ‘oneness’ includes divinity, which is being sold to all the markets right now. I hate to keep adding things but just when I think I’m done there is another item. I have access to what is going on behind the scenes in the public schools and see the yoga creeping in through ‘fitness,’ and ‘relaxation’ (more personal godhood nonsense), and so many books read to kids have occult symbolism and content now and include indoctrination into their ‘oneness spirituality’ lie. If you have kids in public school, beware. Indoctrination has kicked into high gear on all fronts to accept their agenda. Even this pope has come out with his own set of ‘beatitudes,’ and they include ‘personal divinity.’ It’s the same lie from the devil in the garden of Eden and just like Snow White who ate the poisoned apple; the church is asleep.

  12. Matthew 7:13-24……

  13. Now for the warning. God’s word declares that the end times will be very dangerous for Christians. There will be many spiritually wicked individuals masquerading as servants of God. They will present heresies and other lies for the purpose of deceiving God’s people. However, some professing Christians declare that it is impossible for Christians to be deceived and apostatize. If that is true, then who is Satan deceiving and who is apostatizing? The lost are already deceived and cannot apostatize from faith that they do not have.(C.H.Fisher)

    People just do not get it these days, brother. They haven’t for a long time. This apostasy has been around a long time and it just gets worse as time goes on. It is like the proverbial snowball rolling downhill, gathering mass and momentum as it gets larger. It think it is called “critical mass” in scientific terminology. I am not a “thorough” researcher of church history and it’s “pet peeve” doctrines, but I do know in my heart (discernment) that Calvinistic theology was one of the primary sources of the “doctrine of the eternal security of the believer”; once saved, always saved. There has never been a bigger heresy to invade the Church than OSAS, in my opinion. Denominations, reformed or otherwise, have been spreading these seductive, easy-believism , false teachings for a long, long time and it is getting worse by the hour. That is why you will get shouted down by most professing Christians at the mention of the possibility of Christians apostatizing from the faith. It (OSAS) is ingrained into the fabric of the their faith, so called; into the seminaries, Bible colleges, hymn books, CCM, etc., etc. If you want to listen to a further expose’ of this heresy, look to YouTube, Kenneth Hall-“Grace-What it is and what it is Not”.

    My encouragement to you, Cedric (and all your readers), is to keep fighting the “good fight” until Jesus returns or you physically die. Then you will get your “assurance” and the “hope of your salvation”, a glorified body (at the first resurrection and rapture) and eternity with our redeemer, our Lord, Jesus Christ.

    Amen?

    Amen!!

    Ken

    • Good Word, Ken!

    • “This apostasy has been around a long time and it just gets worse as time goes on.” Yes, Ken. This is not the beginning of the great apostasy, but we are rapidly coming to the end, which is a great delusion. When people cannot even recognize blatant heresy and blasphemy, or further, if they defend it much more than they have ever defended truth, then it is beyond critical mass. They are warned in the Scriptures, they are warned still today, but they have no fear of God. The vile heresies, now widely accepted in Christianity the religion, are the cause of this lack of fear.

      I have stated it many times and will do so again; “Any doctrine that does not compel one to live righteously, that does not motivate one to become more intimate with God, or that permits one to wallow in sinfulness and call it salvation, that promotes godliness as optional, is of Satan.

      Christ said that the false ones would be so cleverly clad in sheep’s clothing (the appearance of salvation) that we would know them only by their fruit. All one needs to do to understand the cause of the great and final apostasy is to consider the doctrines of soteriology that produce the worst professing Christians. Consider that the most popular soteriology produces professing Christians who have no fear of God. They will commit any sin without fear. Their spiritual wickedness is not hidden. That fruit is exactly what we are supposed to recognize and identify them by.

      Is it so difficult to recognize the truth here? These blind followers of blind guides actually despise and even hate the ones who love truth. I can tell which denomination they belong to by how they respond to truth. However, according to God’s word a true child of God is filled with the Holy Spirit. He is the Spirit of truth that leads them into all truth. They cannot a defend wickedness, defeatism, heresy, et cetera and be at the same time filled with the Spirit of Truth. That is why they cannot recognize the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit in “The Shack”, why they love and support it, and cannot understand the total wickedness of such a position.

      We are not discussing taking a sip of whisky, or erupting with some vulgarity, or committing adultery, et cetera. Those actions are bad enough. However, we are warning people repeatedly about deception, deadly heresy, and now blaspheming the Holy Spirit. Their response is to rise up in offense and defend a vile book/movie as if it were contemporary tablets of stone carved by the finger of God and sent to them by a new “Moses.” It is so very sad and tragic.

    • I think Calvinism is the bane of the Christian church.

  14. Why do Christians run after, buy into, defend, rationalize the content of books and movies that present a counterfeit god, a counterfeit spirit, and a counterfeit savior? Why? Are they so easily entertained? Deceived? Bored? Counterfeit truth is of the evil one. If they desire to go play in satan’s playground, then go, but beware of the consequences.

    Someone on this thread keeps asking for proof of blasphemies presented by the author. Go read his own words given during interviews. Go read what he ‘approves of’. Ask yourself if you can bring your time spent , under this author’s teachings , to our God and ask Him to bless that time. Do you honestly think God will bless the teachings of this counterfeit representation of Himself?

  15. “But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.” Matthew 24; 13

    Logical translation: If you endure to the end, then you will be saved.

    “So because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of My mouth!” Revelation 3; 16

    “But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” Revelation 3; 4-5
    Translation: If you do not overcome, then your name will be erased.

    [Jesus talking to the church. The Word of God does not lie.] Funny. No mention of eternal security. Hmmm. I guess He didn’t have access to your reference library? Because those can’t lie of course, right?

  16. Gillian Jackson, Ontario

    March 14, 2017 at 8:05 am

    Yes, the “theology” of The Shack, Eve, and all Young’s books/movies are completely unbiblical and must be avoided. A bigger threat, and one that prevents even more lost souls to find Jesus, and one which has deceived even more, is the diabolical deception called Calvinism, or Reformed “theology.” The same sinister force sits behind them both.

  17. Although the original article was in regard to Young’s second book, “Lies…” There seem to be several comments favorable to The Shack in this blog. So I have attached my review of the first book The Shack.

    After my first read, I felt that The Shack was “good.” Even after three revisions of this review, I felt that compared to Jesus Calling, The Shack was much less harmful. However after further consideration of some of its teachings, and based on the way that The Shack has been embraced by tens of millions of people, many of which are undiscerning Christians, I have realized that its ability to mislead Christians is nearly that of Jesus Calling, which is complete heresy. After looking over my earlier review, the Family Ministries pastor of my son’s church, Mountain View Community Church, in Maryland provided my son with an article on The Shack written in 2010 by Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I have attached a link to it at the bottom of my review. I believe that all Christian pastors, shepherds, home group leaders, etc., should also read Mohler’s review. If they do not find it convicting, well, that is a different problem.

    After I got over the emotion evoked by the story, I reconsidered its presentation and representation of God. Although there are many good statements about our relationship with God in The Shack, it sidesteps or misrepresents many issues that are significant. It also includes a significant New Age principle that God is in everything. If The Shack is the only “bible” people read, they will be seriously misled. My review has as its foundation the bible, both Old and New Testaments. It must be realized that the bible is the source of everything we know about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. If anything is changed or taken away, it is by a man’s decision. If anything is added, it is of man’s imagination and decision. Let me repeat: A Christian’s only source of information about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit is the bible. Other beliefs have other texts. A Christian must ignore them because they are made up by men, perhaps moved by some spirit other than God. They all have fabrications to one extent or another. Some are ancient; some are more recent.

    The Shack is not meant as merely a story to enjoy – a story in which we can skip over “minor” errors or omissions. One of the collaborators for The Shack, Wayne Jacobson, has defended the theology in The Shack in an article, “Is The Shack Heresy?” He is very clear that The Shack presents accurate theology. He states:
    “We are all still growing in our appreciation for him and our desire to be like him, and we hope this book encourages you to that process as well. In the end, this says the best stuff we know about God at this point in our journeys. Is it a complete picture of him? Of course not! Who could put all that he is into a little story like this one? But if it is a catalyst to get thousands of people to talk about theology—who God is and how he makes himself known in the world—we would be blessed.
    “Does The Shack promote Ultimate Reconciliation (UR)?”
    [UR is also called universal salvation, Christian universalism, or simply universalism. This comes to some degree by taking Jn 3:16 and Jn 12:32 out of the context of the rest of scripture, for instance John 1:12, Matthew 7:23 and 25:31-46, and Rev 20:11-15.]
    “It does not. While some of that was in earlier versions because of the author’s [Wm. Paul Young] partiality at the time to some aspects of what people call UR, I made it clear at the outset that I didn’t embrace UR as sound teaching and didn’t want to be involved in a project that promoted it. In my view UR is an extrapolation of Scripture to humanistic conclusions about our Father’s love that has to be forced on the biblical text.”
    [Note: This is important to keep in mind when reading or looking at any other product from Young.]

    Additionally, the authors and publishers have included numerous people in the front of the book, in “Praise for The Shack,” who praise it for its theology.

    Some people have a problem with the word “heresy.” One definition is – “Belief or opinion contrary to orthodox religious (especially Christian) doctrine.” You can decide for yourself, based on the definition, whether or not some of the theology in The Shack is heretical.

    My more careful reads have shown me that The Shack’s dialogue has sidestepped or misrepresented quite a few scriptural issues listed below. (The page numbers are from the paperback copyrighted 2007. If you have a different hard copy, to facilitate you finding the references in your copy, I have provided the chapters vs. page numbers at the end of my review.)

    1. The story line has God the Father and the Holy Spirit appear in human form (Papa, as an African woman and the Holy Spirit as an Asian woman p 84-86). In the bible Jesus makes it very clear that the Father is spirit and cannot be seen by anyone other than Him. [John 6:46] The Holy Spirit is usually thought of as spirit, although at Jesus’ baptism John the Baptist saw the Holy Spirit come down as a dove and settle on Jesus [John 1:32], and at Pentecost the disciples saw flames like tongues of fire [Acts 2:3], which were not identified as the Holy Spirit, settle on each of them.

    2. God as He revealed Himself in the Old Testament and the book of Revelation is completely ignored and to some degree spoken against p 124-125.- His values and justice [Ex 9:13-27, 32-35, Num 11:33, 14:37, 16:46-49, 21:6, 25:4-9; Dan 2:38; 4:(3) , 34; Micah 5:4]; how He shows Himself [Gen 15:17; Ex 19:18, 24:15-18], His character [John 14:9] and His authority [Is 3:8, 5:16, 8:13, 19:21; Jer 2:20, 5:5, 31; 22:24; 26:12-13; 29:9, 21, 23; Lk 12:5] and Jesus’ authority [Matthew 9:6-8; 10:1; 28:18; Lk 12:5; Jn 3:35; Col 1:16]- are misrepresented in The Shack.

    3. Papa (God the Father) explains that the Trinity (God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit) was in Jesus on earth p 101 (to the degree that in The Shack, Papa has nail-scars on Her wrists.) p 97 “When we three spoke ourselves into human existence as the Son of God, we became fully human.” p 101 Jesus of the bible clearly does not have the Father in Him. [Mt 9:8; 10:32-33; 24:36; 26:39, 42, 53; Mk 1:11; `13:32, 14:36; Lk 23:46; Jn 1:18; 5:17-26, 36-37; 6:37-40, 44.] [OBTW this is internally incongruous with the equally fallacious statement further down the page that while on earth Jesus “has never drawn upon His nature as God to do anything” (healing, miracles, etc.) p 101 since Papa has stated that all three, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, were equally part of Jesus.]

    4. The bible states in Is 7:14 and Mt 1:23 that Jesus is Immanuel “God with us.” The Shack uses that name to create a Jesus who never left the earth. p 101 This is counter to much basic scripture regarding his ascension and second coming including what Jesus says himself in John 17:11.

    5. Papa states that God the Father had not forsaken Jesus on the cross as Jesus is quoted in the bible. Jesus merely “felt” that way. Papa says: People just “do not understand the mystery.” p 98
    Papa says: “He found his way through it, to put himself completely into my hands. Oh, what a moment that was.” This ignores that the sin of the world was on Jesus and separated Him from the Father. 2 Cor 5:21

    6. Papa says: “The God who is – the I am who I am – cannot act apart from love.” p104 This is certainly not biblical, either in the OT or NT. [The scripture listed in paragraph 2 above is just a tiny subset of scripture that contradicts this.]

    7. God “dwells” in all things. p 114 The bible says that He created all things. (Col 1:16) He does not dwell in all things. This is different than God being involved in all things (not sinful). This is a New Age foundational belief. See the link at the bottom for more detail in the article “The Shack and its New Age Leaven.”

    8. When Mack asks if there are any people with whom Papa is “not especially fond of,” Papa responds: “Nope, I haven’t been able to find any. Guess that’s just the way it is.” p 120-121. This statement runs counter to much of the Old Testament, the Gospels, especially with regard to the Pharisees [Mt 12:24-32], John 3:35; James 3:1, Jude 13 and much of the book of Revelation.

    9. When Mack makes the one allusion in the book to God’s wrath in the book of Revelation and to hell/Hades [without calling it that, but which biblical Jesus mentions and is in the New Testament nearly 2 dozen times] Papa completely sidesteps it. Papa says: “I don’t need to punish people for sin. Sin is its own punishment, devouring you from the inside.” See the scripture in issue 2.

    10. “Yielding to the matrix” p 126. [Is this a nod to The Matrix?] In The Shack the matrix is humanity’s “will to power and independence” that results in “survival of the system, whether political, economic, social or religious – any system, actually.” p 125 “A diabolical scheme in which you are hopelessly trapped even while completely unaware of its existence.” p 126

    11. The existence and influence of Satan and demons is sidestepped, not even mentioned, by defining “evil” as the absence of good. p 138, “Evil is the chaos of this age.” p 192 This choice ignores numerous references by Jesus, Luke, Paul, and John just to Satan (32 references) and to his demons.

    12. The term “Christian” is backhandedly ridiculed by “Jesus.” p 138

    13. Jesus says that God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are submitted to humans in the same way they are submitted to each other. p 147 [This is worse than many pagan religions being reached by missionaries today, and is part of witch craft.]

    14. That Jesus says that God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are submitted to each other is not biblical and disregards Jesus’ description of the Son’s relationship to the Father in Jn 17:1-18.

    15. Eve’s temptation in the garden is sidestepped – not mentioned. p 149 Gen 3:1-7

    16. The existence of sin is sidestepped. It is replaced by our “independence.” Adam chose independence. p 191-193 Gen 3:17; Hosea 6:7; Rom 5:12

    17. Sarayu (the Holy Spirit) says: “The bible doesn’t teach you to follow rules. It is a picture of Jesus.” p 199 Then it masks that false statement with the truth that we cannot follow rules on our own. The “rules” discussion continues through p 204. Mt 5:17-19; Mt 28:20; John 14; Read Psalm 119 about God’s “rules.”;

    18. So, will I see you again?” he (Mack) asked hesitantly.
    Sarayu: “Of course. You might see me in a piece of art, or music, or silence, or through people, or in creation, or in your joy and sorrow. My ability to communicate is limitless, living and transforming, and it will always be tuned to Papa’s goodness and love. And you will hear and see me in the Bible in fresh ways. Just don’t look for rules and principles; look for relationship – a way of coming to be with us.” p 200

    At first I had this in the parts of The Shack that appeared to align with the bible. It has a romantic coating that grabbed me. However, upon further reflection, I realized that at least the first part is identical to God “dwelling in” everything. p 114. You do not see the Holy Spirit in art or music, etc., even though you might be inspired, or the person who created the art, etc., was inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit dwells in believers. [1 Cor 2:12; 1 Cor 6:19] There is no mention of “vetting” the experience of seeing God in art, music, etc., (or any other experience mentioned in The Shack) against what the bible presents, for example p 197

    19. The author has Mack give a specious discourse about the 10 Commandments so that Sarayu can easily dispute it and declare them to be rules that have no relevance for people now. p 204-205. Mt 5:17

    20. There is no mention of the need to confess/repent of sin and “all things are lawful.” p 205 This disregards 1 John 1:8-10, and is a misuse of 1 Cor 6:12.

    A quote from “Changing Jesus Calling” appears applicable to The Shack.
    “To those who would argue that there is a lot of truth in (The Shack) and that the book has comforted many people, former Moody Memorial Church pastor Dr. Harry Ironside warned that ‘truth mixed with error is equivalent to all error, except that it is more innocent looking and, therefore, more dangerous.”

    A friend at our church W. Lewis provided me recently with this progression which is germane.
    He wrote:
    “The second one came to me (actually the Lord gave it to me) while driving down B-Road on Site. I pulled over and wrote it down. It deals with the stages of a value change and describes the progression

    “(1) TOLERANCE…….every value change begins with tolerance.
    (2) Next comes ACCEPTANCE
    (3) After acceptance comes ACCOMMODATION,
    (4) The next stage is ENDORSEMENT
    (5) After that is CELEBRATION (note: at this point in the journey, reversal is difficult if not impossible)
    (6) By this time, the value is ESTABLISHED.
    (7) The final stage is PERSECUTION OF DISSENT. In other words, how dare you disagree with the value.”

    Based on #13 alone, I have to wonder if The Shack is not Satan’s vacation home.
    ————–
    Parts of The Shack that appear to me to be, at least to some degree, in line with the bible that would lead people to embrace The Shack’s theology are:

    p 73 Willie, Mack’s friend states: “But God doesn’t do stuff like that. At least I’ve never heard of him sending someone a note. Not that he couldn’t, but, you know what I mean.

    p 86 describing Jesus: “His features were pleasant enough, but he was not particularly handsome – not a man who would stick out in a crowd.”

    p 89 Then, Mack struggled to ask, “which one of you is God?” “I am,” said all three in unison.

    p 91 Jesus laughed. “She’s (Papa) a riot! She loves surprises and even though you might not think it, her timing is always perfect.

    p 94 Papa (God) says: “Honey, there’s no easy answer that will take your pain away. Believe me, if I had one, I’d use it now. I have no magic wand to wave over you and make it all better.”

    p 95 He believed, in his head at least, that God was Spirit, neither male nor female, but in spite of that, he was embarrassed to admit to himself that all his visuals for God were very white and very male.

    p 105 Papa says: “And I would have done it (Jesus’ death) even if it were only for you, but it wasn’t!”

    p 111 Jesus says: “I created it (the universe) as the Word even before the Word became flesh.”

    p 113 Mack says: “I expected you to be more humanly striking” conversation with Jesus.

    p 126 Jesus says: “As the crowning glory of creation, you were made in our image, unencumbered by structure and free to simply be in relationship with me and with one another.”

    p 127 Papa says: “But your choices are also not stronger than my purposes, and I will use every choice you make for the ultimate good and the most loving outcome.”

    p 144 Jesus says: “Mack, do you realize that your imagination of the future, which is almost always dictated by fear of some kind, rarely, if ever, pictures me there with you?”

    p 147 Jesus says: “Well, this blue-green ball in black space belongs to me.”

    p 148 Jesus says: I don’t want slaves to my will; I want brothers and sisters who will share life with me.”
    Mack responds: “And that’s how you want us to love one another, I suppose? I mean between husbands and wives, parents and children. I guess in any relationship.
    Jesus responds: “Exactly! When I am your life, submission is the most natural expression of my character and nature, and it will be the most natural expression of your new nature within relationships.”

    p 151 Jesus ignored Mack’s question. “Mack, just like love, submission is not something that you can do, especially not on your own. Apart from my life inside you, you can’t submit to Nan (his wife), or your children, or anyone else in our life, including Papa.”

    p 167 The woman Wisdom states: “Papa has never needed evil to accomplish her good purposes. It is you humans who have embraced evil, and Papa has responded with goodness.”

    p 176 After sinking into the water without Jesus beside him, Jesus comes near, and Mack starts to rise as he walks, in and then on, the water. Jesus asked smiling: “This always works better when we do it together, don’t you think?”

    p 184 “Does that mean, “ said Mack, “that all roads will lead to you?”
    “Not at all.” Jesus smiled as he reached for the door handle to the shop. “Most roads don’t lead anywhere. What it does mean is that I will travel any road to find you.”

    p 187 Papa speaking: “Mack, just because I work incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies doesn’t mean I orchestrate the tragedies. Don’t ever assume that my using something means I cause it or that I needed it to accomplish my purposes. That will only lead you to false notions about me.

    p 192 Papa speaking: If only it were that simple, Mackenzie. Nobody knows the horrors I have saved the world from ‘cause people can’t see what never happened. All evil flows from independence, and independence is your choice.

    p 194 Papa speaking: “Honey, you asked me what Jesus accomplished on the cross, so now listen to me carefully: through his death and resurrection, I am now fully reconciled to the world.”
    Mack speaking: “The whole world? You mean those who believe in you, right?”
    Papa replying: The whole world, Mack. All I am telling you is that reconciliation is a two-way street, and I have done my part, totally, completely, finally. It is not the nature of love to force a relationship, but it is the nature of love to open the way.”

    p 197 Mack asks Sarayu (the Holy Spirit): “Will I always be able to see you or hear you like I do now, even if I’m back home?”
    Sarayu smiled. “Mackenzie, you can always talk to me and I will always be with you, whether you sense my presence or not.”
    “I know that now, but how will I hear you?”
    “You will learn to hear my thoughts in yours, Mackenzie,” she reassured him.
    “Will it be clear? What if I confuse you with another voice? What if I make mistakes?”
    Sarayu laughed…. “Of course you will make mistakes; everybody makes mistakes, but you will begin to better recognize my voice as we continue to grow our relationship.” [However no mention is made of comparing/vetting what an inner voice says to what is in the bible.]
    “I don’t want to make mistakes.”
    Oh, Mackenzie, mistakes are a part of life, and Papa works her purpose in them too.

    p 209 Papa again interrupted. “You see, Mackenzie, I don’t just want a piece of you and a piece of your life. Even if you were able, which you are not, to give me the biggest piece, that is not what I want. I want all of you and all of every part of you and your day”

    p 226-7 Papa speaking: “You (Mack) don’t have a relationship with this man (the one who kidnapped and killed Mack’s daughter), at least not yet. Forgiveness does not establish relationship. In Jesus, I have forgiven all humans for their sins against me, but only some choose relationship. (Although partially true in a way, this disregards 1 John 1:8-10.)

    Articles that go further into the New Age connection than I do in this review and the second and third below. (If any of the links are no longer active when you read this, please contact me. I have downloaded all the articles and will send them to you.

    A must-read for pastors -FIRST-PERSON: ‘The Shack’ & the missing art of evangelical discernment

    http://www.bpnews.net/32295/firstperson-the-shack-and-the-missing-art-of-evangelical-discernment

    –Deceived by a Counterfeit Jesus

    http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/08/shack.htm#christian

    -THE SHACK & Its New Age Leaven

    http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=12290

    To help you correlate your edition to mine:
    In mine chapter 1 -starts on page 16; 2-26; 3-35; 4-45; 5-69; 6-90; 7-106; 8-117; 9-130; 10-141; 11-53; 12-172; 13-185; 14-196; 15-211; 16-220; 17-233; 18-241; After words-249

    I will look on this blog for any comments, corrections, etc. 3/6/17

    Bruce

    • Look out for Al Mohler, though! I would be careful about recommending him to anyone. He’s a strong Calvinist apologist, and he too, recently and enthusiastically endorsed a book promoting the Roman Catholic “Benedictine Spirituality” for which he makes no apology. He is heading down the road of mysticism. You can check Lighthouse Trails website for a recent article about this.

  18. As usual, amen, Elder! Many years ago, and at the request of my mother, I started reading The Shack. Although I liked it at the time, for some reason I never finished it. I believe that God was watching out for me, even then. These are very scary lies and it’s even scarier that people, namely professing Christians, buy the junk. You’re so right in saying that a true Christian should not need to be warned about books and movies such as these. God bless you and your wife! Keep up the good work!

  19. I received a copy of The Shack when it first came out, from my sister and mother (professing Christians) who asked me for my opinion of it. After I read it I was horrified and sick to my stomach. I then respectfully pointed out the many errors in the book. To my horror (again), they became angry with me because I didn’t “understand” the allegorical message of the book and was labeled judgmental.

    I was also accused of being judgmental after watching The Passion of the Christ with my brother (who has already seen the movie and was excited to take me to the theater to watch it again). A couple of times I just wanted to run out of there. And the extra-Biblical license that Gibson took, was unbelievable. Of course, my brother couldn’t understand why I was so disturbed by the film. I spoke with my pastor privately about the glaring errors in the movie, since he had promoted it in our church. He listened, but respectfully disagreed.

    As a teacher in a private Christian school, I expressed my concerns with all three principals throughout my career at the school, about the dangers of the Harry Potter series in our library. None of them understood, or agreed with me. Unbelievable.

    I received a copy of Jesus Calling, out of love, from my sister a couple years ago. I prayed about it, then expressed my appreciation for her thoughtfulness, but how the book was deceptively in serious error. Thankfully, she received it well and both she and my mom are much more discerning than they once were.

    My other family members are professing Christians who either attend Bible studies in bars, practice reiki and other mystical activities, or go to highly seeker sensitive churches. They all consider me to be very knowledgeable about the Bible and know that I love the Lord and express my concerns out of love, but I’m either accused of being too judgmental, or stuck in the past.

    I sent my brother a loving email expressing my concerns about my sister-in-law’s involvement with reiki, yoga, contemplative prayer, etc., and even included an article written by a reiki master who explained the spiritual aspects of reiki. He did read my email and considered it carefully. But he respectfully disagreed and suggested I express my concerns to his wife (which I had already done). She told me that she knew I only warned her out of love and my own convictions, but that she was at peace with her relationship with God and the path she was on.

    Professing believers are truly the hardest to witness to. It’s so sad. Especially when it’s your own family.

  20. I am saddened when I see these movies and books being embraced and brought into the home. The family is under attack by satan and the leader of the house (whether it be: father, husband, mother, wife) is Allowing the enemy in!! Where are the spiritually strong fathers?, husbands? They are the ones Who should be protecting the family and the wife! Where are those gatekeepers to the house? These books and movies are just tools being given to satan to destroy the ‘hedge of protection’ that these same people pray God will encircle their family with. They are hypocrites and weak-kneed fathers/husbands! Such shame. Should I mention pastors as well?

  21. Wow, Janine, I hear you loud and clear. Our extended family has been going through this very struggle for three years now. I have warned about yoga, Ann Voskamp, Brennan Manning, Sarah Young, Gary Thomas, the Message Bible and others, and the response has been that I am a big meanie, a bully. Five of the men in my family are pastors. Two of their wives do yoga and one is an instructor. No one wants to listen. I am the bad guy for threatening family unity, which is upheld as the highest good that God wants for us. Any separating of myself and my husband and children from the extended family’s emergent theology is considered “diabolical.” Yes, they use that word.

    My daughter reminded me today that the Bible doesn’t say “watchmen on the wall,” it says “watchman on the wall.” As in, singular–not plural. Guess that’s why we all feel so alone against the tide.

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