Deuteronomy 6:13-15 (New International Version)13 Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. 14 Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; 15 for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land.
Aren’t you so glad that we aren’t like those crazy Israelites in the Old Testament? I know for a fact that there is no chance that we would ever be found bowing to a golden cow, or a pig, or really any kind of hand crafted idol. Give those Israelites five minutes of time to tinker, and it seemed like somehow an altar was built and a foreign god was worshiped. God got a bargain with us. No need for him to repeat all this business about “other gods” where we’re concerned.
We’d never be so easily deceived. By a golden cow.
But what if it was a god that looked and sounded much like the God who has been proven, yet with just the slightest of adjustment? I would submit that a good many people who claim to worship “God” are actually worshiping a god created in the image of both man and God. He is a god who conforms in so many ways to the notions of modern man, be it in the way of women’s rights, global warming, or absolute evil of war. He is easier to understand because he approaches this world in the way man would. This god is presented beautifully in “The Shack”.
After very careful consideration, I have chosen to focus on only one statement made by the “Jesus” of “The Shack” in a conversation with Mack, the main character. I think that I could use any one of several, but isn’t it true that one lie is enough to ruin it for proper instruction as to God’s person?
“Remember, the people who know me are the ones who are free to live and love without any agenda.”
“Is that what it means to be a Christian?” It sounded kind of stupid as Mack said it, but it was how he was trying to sum everything up in his mind.
“Who said anything about being a Christian? I’m not a Christian.”
The idea struck Mack as odd and unexpected and he couldn’t keep himself from grinning. No, I suppose you aren’t.”
They arrived at the door of the workshop. Again Jesus stopped. “Those who love me come from every system that exists. They were Buddhists or Mormons, Baptists or Muslims, Democrats, Republicans and many who don’t vote or are not part of any Sunday morning or religious institutions. I have followers who were murderers and many who were self righteous. Some are bankers and bookies, Americans and Iraqis, Jews and Palestinians. 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. 181-182)
So, it turns out that Jesus is not interested in us becoming Christians. He is not a Christian. Why would we want to bear a name He doesn’t bear?
The name “Christian”, meaning simply, “follower of Christ”, was first given to the disciples at Antioch. This is recorded in Acts 11:25-27. Christian is a Biblical term, not something contrived by people who create religious terms to make sense of things unclear.
I believe that Jesus, the Jesus of the Bible, made clear his intentions.
Mt 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Mt 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Mt 28:20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
We are to obey everything He has commanded us. We are to follow Him. We are to be Christian.
What harm is a little lie?
“Did God really say that you would die if you ate of this fruit? You won’t die.”
Some of you rightly called this book a piece of fiction which should be handled as such. I completely agree. The problem is that this piece of fiction is being peddled from pulpits as being “inspired” fiction to the hands of people who would rather have their ears tickled by all things lovely and magical instead of solid Truth. The problem is that the god of “The Shack” is becoming the god of many who have no clue they have eaten the cake.
My final thought on “The Shack” is that you can read it if you want to. I don’t think it is necessary to show you any side of God that is not revealed in His Word. If there is any new “truth” about God revealed to you in “The Shack”, I deeply implore you to test it against the Word. And I encourage you to avoid the urgings of the publisher to purchase more copies for your friends and family. They’ll just have to settle for a plain ol’ Bible.