By Karen Bledsoe
When the movie “The Shack” began showing in theaters a couple of weeks ago, I was shocked by how many of my Christian friends, and leaders within the Christian community loved this movie and thought it was entirely biblical. No matter what you tell them or show them from the Bible, they still believe this movie is a wonderful representation of the Gospel. They defend it, ridicule fellow Believers for not liking it, call those who do not approve of it names such as “Pharisees” and “Broods of Vipers,” “Judgmental,” Dissenters in the Body of Christ,” the list goes on and on. No matter what you say, you are a terrible person for speaking against this movie and the gospel that is presented in it.
I posted the above graphic in a debate on Facebook. Most everyone involved think the movie is excellent, but there are those who do not, and I am one of them. When I posted this graphic that I had seen elsewhere I was attacked and told that I did not prove what the graphic states, and that I did not post any Biblical verses to refute its claims. I admit they were right so I am writing this article about the heresies listed in the graphic above. Then I will end the series with a reply to some of the things that have been said to be wonderful about this movie and the “gospel” it shares.
This movie is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a false gospel, and it is to be, as the Bible says, cursed.
“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!” ~Galatians 1:8 (NIV)
That’s not good. Actually, it’s extremely bad. As bad as it can get because a curse is someone invoking evil upon another person, but when God does it, He invokes whatever punishment He sees fit to punish someone for doing something heinous or for being rebellious against Him. When you are cursed by God no one on this earth can undo it. Only God can revoke it so be careful what you claim is the Gospel because if it is false teaching, and you do not repent of it, you will be cursed by God and God does not curse anyone lightly. By claiming something is the Gospel when it is not, it misleads others into believing it instead of the true Gospel because it is a lot easier to be a “Christian” if there weren’t any hard rules to live by.
“The Shack” has a lot of these misleading lies in it, such as Jesus not being the Only Way to heaven. That is a lie, and it is one that most non-believers love to believe. Another is that “a loving God will not send anyone to hell.” This is dangerous! Why? Because God can and does send unbelievers to hell, including those who have preached that He wouldn’t! If whatever teaching you are reading, listening to or watching does not line up with Scripture it is false teaching, and you need to steer clear of it because the lies are so much easier to believe, there are no restrictions, you can go to heaven without accepting Jesus and you can do whatever you like because God will not send you to hell. These are lies that most people choose to believe rather than believing the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.
If you listen to false teaching and declare it is the Bible then you have just taught false doctrine and are in danger of hell. If you believe it over the Bible then that is God’s judgment on you and you will be deceived and in danger of hell. There is no middle ground here. It is either one or the other. Which one will you choose to believe and share as the Gospel. If you share the message of “The Shack” and declare that it is truth, then you are a false teacher and are in danger of being cursed by God and condemned to hell. If you share the message of the Bible and declare it as Truth, and you are saved, you will be blessed by God and will spend eternity with Him. It’s one or the other. Not a combination of both. There is NO COMPROMISE when it comes to the Gospel and if you choose to listen to false teaching, you will become deceived and that is your curse, your judgment, and you will go to hell. It’s as plain as that. Can you do this and then repent and be saved? Yes, you can, but it is very rare for someone to be saved after teaching a false gospel. With God, all things are possible but that does not mean it will be possible for you. You are taking an awful chance by representing a false gospel as the true Word of God and claiming the True Gospel as heresy.
Acts 20:28-34 tells us this:
“Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard!…” (NIV)
The above Scripture warns us to be on guard for false teachers in the Church but are not actually part of it. These false teachers are mingling with real Christians, taking notes, watching mannerisms. They are listening to all the verses that they have difficulty with because they do not understand them or accept them. Everything we do and say is being observed by those who pretend to be of God but are wolves in the fold, seeking out ways to destroy God’s people, His Church. They will learn to imitate Christian so well that you will not be able to tell the difference if you are not discerning. They are the agents of Satan sent to kill and destroy. They say false teachings are 99% truth, and 1% deception, which is enough to deceive and spiritually kill you because you cannot discern the deception from the Truth.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” ~1 Peter 5:8-9 (NIV)
Satan hates those who belong to Christ, devising many ways to destroy them.
2 Peter 2:1-3 is actually speaking about the above verses of Acts 20:28-31:
“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them–bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.”(NIV)
Peter made it very clear that what was taught in Acts 2:28-31 was a warning about how deceiving false teachers can be. Even Jesus warned about them in Matthew 24:24:
“For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” (NIV)
Christians are the elect. Jesus states that those who do not have a solid foundation in His Word can be deceived. Only His Word can equip us to recognize the truth from the lie. And herein lies the problem, most American Christians go to church three or more times a week; they sit in their pews with their Bibles open to the corresponding Scripture, underling and highlighting, taking notes, reading along and throwing in a few amens along the way. When the service is over what have they really learned? For most, it will be absolutely nothing. They set their Bible and notes down, not to be picked up again until the next service. A wise Christian will sit down with their notes and compare them against the Word, and in doing so find a discrepancy, there may be a problem with the pastor’s teaching. In order to alleviate any false teaching or doctrine, they should contact their pastor to discuss their concerns.
If at all possible, they should meet and review the notes and teachings against the Word, and correcting any discrepancies and erroneous facts. The pastor should also publicly announce these corrections.
The above scenarios would be wonderful, but sadly in the real world, the pastor may become offended, refuse to discuss it with them; he may preach sermons against them, shun them, and may even encourage the Church to do the same. Man is prideful and hates to be told it is wrong, especially those in leadership positions for fame and fortune. When this happens, leaving is the only option. Those who choose to remain under the teachings of this wolf in the fold will one day face their own day of destruction. They choose to stay because when the Word of God is compromised, it gives them the ability to live in their sins, feeling good about themselves, never facing or dealing with their sins.
Today most Christians take their pastor’s word as truth, never checking to see if his teachings agree with the Bible. They never touch their Bibles unless they are going to church. They are not grounded in God’s word and therefore cannot discern between what is false and what is truth. They are apathetic and this is what has destroyed most churches in this country.
This is more than evident when it comes to this movie, “The Shack,” which first came out as a book. It was condemned as false teaching even then, but people weren’t listening and are now drawn to watch this movie and be further deceived.
In this series, we will cover each heresy listed in the graphic and hopefully those who are in doubt about the theology of “The Shack” will see the deception and be brought to back to God’s Word. To know the Scriptures, you must read them! You must study them! Eat, sleep and breathe them and most of all, submit to them! Those who do not know the Scriptures will be deceived by false teaching, and God’s judgment will be upon them.
The next installation in this series will cover questions 1 to 3. I hope you will join us again. God bless you!