PASTORS INSIGHTS:  a journal of the pastor's studies
For Heavens sake do not lock me in a Shack with Papa\Mama god!
Or the false doctrines run amuck.

Philippians 4:8-9 (NLT) 8And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and heard from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you.

        It is so sad to me how easily false doctrine invades the church today.  It tells me just how many people do not have a real relationship with their Savior and the Word of God.   The book "The Shack" was given to me by a very good pastor friend of mine.  I have hesitated to say what I think of it,  but like many others the Lord is calling me to hold true to my watchman status.  Sadly I will probably loose this pastors friendship but I would rather loose mans friendship than God's.   Not only is this book straight from the pits of hell, filled with so many half truths about God's word and even God Himself.  But,  many whom I consider well versed in God's word have told me it is changing their theology.  If they are so easily deceived how easy will it be to deceive the worldly into thinking of papa\mama god.     Nothing my friends, I repeat nothing should change your theology but a deep relationship with Christ and God's Word.  What startles me is the following e-mail  "My church is starting a Bible study on the book "The Shack." I've e-mailed my pastor to find out how exactly he plans on approaching this study. "The Shack" seems to have some very big theological problems:  How would you feel about your church doing this? What are your thoughts on the book and how it represents the Trinity and other issues?"   This was a bible study using "the Shack" not about "the Shack".  Sounds like an oxymoron to me.  Since the two are totally opposed.  Even though the Shack is a fictional tale if one reads the forward, which is also fictional, it claims that the story is a real account of Mack's life.  Hum a real fictional account. 
        The Shack has just the right timing, how many times I have heard the old excuse
"I cannot believe in a God who would allow all this suffering and pain!"  So along comes the shack to give us the answer.  Well at least the answer that the dark side wants you to believe, a loving papa\mama god loves you and you do not need Jesus to get to she\he.  I am not going to go into the whole story.  The main character is in great pain because his daughter was abducted and killed.  She was never found yet conveniently, at least for the story, the police find evidence in a old shack that she had been killed there.   So one day the main character Mack gets a note from God to show up at the shack hence the name.  Here Mack meets God who shows up as a Matronly African-American woman who conveniently turns into a old hippie with a pony tail at the end of the book.  So then continues the saga.  Let's just take a look at a couple of the many passages that worry this old pastor.  
        The Shack is very good at subtly perverting or subverting the truth.  In Chapter 12 pages 176 to 178 Jesus is explaining about the church, heaven and how to become part of the bride of Christ or as Mack describes it.
"This woman you seem so gaga over"   In response Jesus says " It's simple, Mack. It's all about relationships and simply sharing life.  What we are doing right now --- just doing this --- being open and available to other around us.  My church is all about people and life is all about relationships."  (p. 178) I am still looking for this one in the Word of God!  John 14:6 (NLT) 6Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.     Can you see where this is so dangerous?  All the Christians expounding on how this book has changed their theology and then giving it to an unsaved individual that reads that all they have to do to be part of the Bride of Christ is "be open and available"    Let's take it one step farther and look at what Jesus says about his followers.  Jesus says;    "Those who love me come from every system that exists." (p. 182)   So far so good all men can come to Jesus.  We will skip the list of those coming to Jesus and go to the meat.  "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 into my beloved."(p. 182) If you have studied the Greek you know that the term Christian simply means " a follower of Christ.   So Jesus is telling Mack that He does not want to make anyone a follower of Himself, He just wants to help them let Him help them along the road.  Jesus is asked by Mack "Does that mean, that all roads lead to you?"   Jesus answers "Not at all, Most roads don't lead anywhere."  (p. 182) Suggesting that there is more than one road to Jesus.  Notice He does not even use His own words.  Matthew 7:14 (NLT) 14But the gateway to life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it.   The Greek here for road is singular, one way only.  But, again an unsaved individual could easily read this passage and get the idea that there are several ways to God.  Not just through Christ. 

        What I find to be one of the saddest or may I say most deceptive things,  is that the book spends an adsorbent amount of time having papa\mama god, Jesus and the little Asian woman telling Mack how they just do not like religions and religious structures, which I have to agree to.  I do not think our Lord and Father in Heaven ever planned on having all the divisions created by all the different denominations.   But, where this book is so deceptive or subversive to the Word is that all this time spent on how paa\mama god hates being put into a box is used to create the writer's own little picture of God and if you read the book, (which I do not recommend!)  then you will find that it very successfully puts papa\mama god into its own little box of just how most people want their god to be.  An all loving benevolent god who would never punish anyone for their sin.  Let me give you a few examples of the authors and all those who love this books little boxes characteristics: 1) all loving God;  papa\mama god speaking
"… I just want you to be with me and discover that our relationship is not about performance or you having to please me.  I am not a bully, not some self centered demanding little deity insisting on my own way.  I am good and I desire only what is best for you."  (p. 126)  Sound familiar?  The happy gospel, God loves you and just wants to make your life better, no repentance, no change just accept and have a happy relationship! What happened to David's your "thoughts are so far above mine",  or be holy as I am holy?  2) evil and hell are not real; this is the little Asian woman speaking: " 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 be only understood in a relationship to Light and Good; they do not have any actual existence"  (p. 136) Again sound familiar, ask the average unsaved on the street about heaven and hell.  They will tell you that hell does not exist, if it does it is only for the most evil people.  But heaven does exist and all or most are going if they are good.   I have even had people tell me that there is no such thing as evil.  So here again the author has put God in his little box that says there is no real evil, it is just a lack of relationship with good and light. Notice it is not a relationship with a living GOD but good!  3) and the most dangerous!  Here is Jesus speaking. "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 into my beloved."   So to be a follower of Jesus you do not even have to be a Christian ( i.e. a follower of Christ) which means everything said by Jesus, Paul, Peter, John etc. in the New testament about what is required to be a Christian really is not needed.   Jesus loves us so much He just wants to helps us in our transformation without us doing anything.  Finally 4) the most damning.  This is papa\mama god speaking. "I am not who you think I am, Mackenzie,  I do not need to punish people for sin.  Sin is it's own punishment, devouring you from the inside.  It's not my purpose to punish it; it's my joy to cure it." (p. 119-120) Oh! Please someone show me in the word of God that there is no punishment for sin.  Please just one place.  The word of God is all about how sin leads to eternal death.  Romans 6:22-23 (NLT)22But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. 23For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.  Sure sounds like there is a punishment for sin and an expected change in our lives and course if we want to avoid it,  we become slaves to God, not the I just want you to be with me and discover that our relationship is not about performance or you having to please me.  Please explain to me how we become slaves to God and do nothing?

                   So with four little examples we have now an all loving god, who admits that evil is not real just imagined, we do not have to become a Christian (follower of Christ) to come to God and finally there is no punishment for sin.  What a great confining box that this book puts God in.  What unsaved individual wouldn't love to come to a god who admits there is not evil, no punishment for sin, no need to follow Jesus and just wants to give them a better life?  Can't get more happy gospel than that.  But, again if you want to send people straight to hell give them the Shack the tell them it will answer their questions about God, Jesus and a little Asian woman the Holy Spirit.
        If you take the time to read the authors interview's concerning the book you will realize that he wrote the book as a strange  form of self  therapy for his abusive childhood and used that therapy to put God in his box that helped him understand his past so his children could understand his past.  So he has done nothing more than many Christians,  they create a God that fits their preconceived ideas and not the God found in the Word of God.  Sadly,  the author of the shack has created a seductive god in a box that many unsaved and lukewarm Christians will find attractive.  This, along with the happy gospel of no change will send countless people straight into the non-real evil and  straight to hell.
        I could go on and on with the deceptions and subversions of the gospel found in this book. This book was written to put God in a happy camper box that requires no repentance, no change of our lives and worst no punishment for sin.   It is your choice my friends but if you read this book and let it change your "theology" I pity you when you have to stand before a holy and fearsome God.  But, worse if you pass it on to some unsuspecting unsaved individual claiming it will help answer their questions about God, I would not want to be in your shoes on judgment day.

God Bless