By Karen Bledsoe
Recap: 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”, “Broods of Vipers,” “Judgmental,” and “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 thinks 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 Bible verses to refute its claims. I admit they were right, so I am writing this article about the heresies listed in the graphic above. The graphic is hard to read so I will list the heresies here, and today we will cover numbers 3, 5 & 8 as they are basically the same subject. Numbers 4 & 6 will be covered next time.
- God the Father was crucified with Christ.
- God is limited by His love and therefore, cannot practice judgment.
- God forgave all of humanity, whether they repented or not.
- All hierarchical structures are evil.
- God will never judge people for their sins.
- The Godhead has no hierarchical structure, just a circle of unity.
- God submits to human wiles and choices.
- Justice will never take place because of love.
- There is no such thing as eternal judgment or torment in hell!
- It does not matter which way you get to God. Jesus is walking with all people in their different journeys.
- Jesus is constantly being transformed along with us.
- Everyone will make it to heaven.
- The Bible is not true because it reduces God to paper.
Those of you who are discerning and know your Bibles well, will be sickened by these 13 heresies. There are more than these, but I will stick only to those listed within the graphic.
Numbers 3, 5 and 8 are very closely related to the same subject. Basically, they are stating that justice will never happen to those who rejected what Jesus did on the Cross (number 8). God loves us so much (number 8) that He is powerless and unable to judge us for our sins (number 5), therefore our sins will be overlooked, we will be forgiven them whether we repent or not (number 3). This is heresy. A lie of Satan, and it has been a very successful one. Mankind does not want to be under anyone’s authority but their own. They do not want to submit to God. So, by believing Satan’s lies, they do not have to. They can go on with their lives just as they are, never having to submit to God or repent of their sins.
In previous articles, we have already discussed that:
- God cannot be in the presence of sin.
- God does not love sinners.
- His wrath is upon all of those who reject Christ.
If God forgave all of humanity, then why did Jesus have to be born and die?Jesus us is the Son of God, the Word made flesh, a part of the Trinity, He is God! (John 1:1;14). He is One with the Father (John 10:30-33), the fullness of the Deity dwells in Christ (Colossians 2:9) He was before Abraham, before all men, the Great I Am (John 8:58); all of these verses point to the fact that Jesus Christ is God and you will find many more if you search the Scriptures. We have now established that Jesus is the Son of God, so let us discover why God does not forgive unrepentant humanity, why He will most certainly judge people for their sins and why justice will take place (questions 3, 5 & 8).
We know the history of Adam and Eve. They were created perfect. They had no sin in them. They were in full fellowship with God every day, every hour, every second. They lived in peace, free from any danger. Eden was a Paradise, until the Serpent deceived Eve, causing her to eat the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. At this point, only Eve has sinned. Adam is still sinless, and this is important because the sin nature is passed on to children through their father (Romans 5:12). If he had not taken a bite, he would not have been cursed with the sin nature, and neither would his offspring. However, Eve showed him the fruit, told him she didn’t die from eating it, and Adam, realizing what she had done and not willing to let her be destroyed; He ate the forbidden fruit as well, knowing that it was forbidden. Upon doing so, he placed his love and trust for Eve above that of God’s in his heart. The second that apple entered his mouth, and took a bite; all of creation fell. Sin was now found in both Adam and Eve. Man lost fellowship with God. He was no longer perfect; sin came upon them. They were naked; they had lost the spiritual covering and was now naked and ashamed. They were sinners. To hide their sin, they took fig leaves and made coverings for their nakedness. They tried to hide their sin from God, but God sees all, when He came looking for them, He already knew what they had done. After they took turns playing the blame game. Eve blamed the Serpent, Adam blamed Eve, and he even pointed out that God had given her to him, so it was His fault. As for the Serpent, he just sat there, probably enjoying the entire exchange.
God saw their pitiful attempts to cover their nakedness, and their sin, but it was not good enough. The nakedness was not only about clothing, they had lost their glorified bodies, the bodies that were once perfect, were now cursed. Man can try to cover his sins to hide them, but God sees through that folks. He could see their coverings, but He also could see the sin in them. Sin must be atoned for, punished and destroyed. The leaves were inadequate. It was a man-made attempt to hide their sin. Man, still does this. He gets baptized thinking he’s safe now from sin and judgment, or donates large amounts of money to his church feeling secure that he has just bought his way into heaven (he has not), but nothing he does will help in hiding sin from God. No one will ever be able to accomplish doing so. Our pitiful attempt to cover over our sins is just that – pitiful. Sin must be atoned for with blood. Why? Because life is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11). Sacrifice means to give up something of value to you. If we lose a large amount of blood, we will die. Blood is what circulates all that we need throughout our bodies; it carries oxygen, minerals, vitamins, all which is necessary for us to survive. Our blood is what keeps us alive, but it is now tainted with sin. A blood sacrifice symbolically replaces the blood that is tainted with sin and purifies us from sin.
Before Christ, animal sacrifice was practiced. Symbolically, only a clean animal (an animal that is pure, with no spot or defect) could be used for sacrifice. The animal’s life (its blood), is given as an atonement for our sins. God Himself enacted the first sacrifice by killing an animal, and substituting the animal’s blood to atone for their sin. He then clothed Adam and Eve with the skin from the animal as a type of temporary righteousness, because even though a blood sacrifice atoned for their sins, it was not once for all. Man had to keep sacrificing throughout the centuries to atone for sin, because without the shedding of blood, forgiveness for sin is impossible. Jesus was born for the very purpose of shedding His pure, undefiled blood as a covering for our sin. His once for all sacrifice is all that is now needed to make atonement for our sins (Hebrews 9:11-18). No longer do we need to sacrifice animals to make atonement for our sins. It is the Blood of Christ Jesus that sets us free from our sins. Yes, we still do commit them; we are not perfect yet, but if we are saved, Christ’s blood covers the sins we have committed and brings us back into fellowship with Him. Jesus is now the ONLY way to be forgiven of sin, anything else is useless.
This had to be done because sin is abhorrent to God and He cannot be in its presence. When Jesus was on the cross, He cried out asking His Father why He had forsaken Him. It was because the sin of the world was placed on Jesus and He could not bear to be in its presence. Seeing the sin, God’s wrath was poured out on Christ, punishing all of our sins. It is through Jesus’ blood (His Life) that we are made whole. We were bought for a price and that price was the blood of Christ. He gave up every drop of blood He had to cover our sin, to make us righteous and holy, your substitutionary atonement from sin,
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” ~2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV)
Christ’s blood will not cleanse unrepentant sinners from sin, and if you reject this, then you reject Christ and you will die in your sins. No sacrifice has been made for you unless you repent, accept Jesus as your Savior and Lord.
Being a good person will not save you. Good works will not save you; Baptism will not save you, tithing will not save you! Nothing YOU do on your own will save you, including following the Law, called the Ten Commandments, that God gave to Moses to give to the Hebrews, because if you broke just one law, you were guilty of breaking them all. The Law is impossible to keep. It shows us how much we need God, we need a Savior.
“Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.”
~Romans 3:20 (NIV)
Only Christ could obey the Law, only He could keep it. You need Him to save you from the consequences sin and breaking the Law.
Here are some of the Ten Commandments, part of God’s Law given to Moses. I will give examples of what you do that can break each one. You will see that you cannot keep these commandments every hour of every day, never breaking not even one for the rest of your life.
“You shall have no other gods before me”; “You shall not make for yourself an idol” ~Exodus 20:3-4
No other gods mean more than worshipping a false god. Anything you put before God, becomes your god. Money, fame, material things, someone you love, etc., anything you have in your life that you put ahead of God is your god and becomes an idol in your heart. You shall not make any idols to worship, such as a Buddha or a religious token that represents a god to you. If you have done this, you have broken the commandment and therefore, you have broken them all.
“You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God” ~Exodus 20:7
Have you ever used God’s Name in vain? The popular saying “OMG” is taking the Lord’s Name in vain. If you have done this, you have sinned and broken all of the commandments.
“Honor your father and your mother…” ~ Exodus 20:12
Have you dishonored your parents? Have you done things that make them look bad or abusive when they have not wronged you? Have you talked bad about them to others, gossiped or lied to justify your behavior? If you have, then you are guilty of breaking all the commandments. This commandment has been repeated throughout the Bible. God does not take this sin lightly. We are consistently told to honor our parents, not doing so results in the breaking of this Commandment, making you guilty of breaking them all.
“You shall not murder.” ~Exodus 20:13
Murder is the killing of an innocent person, someone who is not threatening you with physical harm. Self-defense is not murder. Execution for a crime is not murder. Killing someone for gain or revenge is murder. Aborting a baby is murder. Even hating someone in your heart is considered murder in God’s eyes (1 John 3:15; Matthew 5:21-22). Murder is a sin and if you commit it, you are guilty of breaking this commandment and therefore, all the commandments.
“You shall not commit adultery…” ~Exodus 20:14
Being unfaithful to a spouse is adultery. Sex with anyone you are not married to is adultery, even if you both are single. Just looking at someone with lust in your heart is adultery (Matthew 5:28). If you do this you have broken not only this commandment, but all of them.
“You shall not steal.” ~Exodus 20:15
Taking anything that is not yours and not given to you is stealing. Taking something home from work is stealing unless your employer gives you permission. Stealing is also taking someone’s spouse in adultery. Taking someone’s child as a kidnapping is stealing; taking a child’s love and affection of the parent over to you is stealing. If you do this you have broken the commandments, all of them.
“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor…” ~Exodus 20:16
Your neighbor doesn’t mean just the people in your neighborhood, it means all those in your community, your life, anyone you meet is your neighbor. False Testimony is lying, gossip, slander, perjury, defamation of character, plagiarism (claiming someone else’s writing as your own is plagiarism. That’s why I use Footnotes and list sources). Giving false testimony can bring someone else harm. Gossip is spreading lies and/or twisting the truth about someone else to cause harm of any kind, physical, emotional, social, etc. Lying to keep yourself or anyone else out of legal trouble or any kind of trouble is lying. Lying to hurt someone or destroy them is false testimony. If you gossip and lie you have broken not only this commandment, but all of them.
“You shall not covet…” ~Exodus 20:17
Coveting is being jealous someone has something you don’t have but want. To covet someone or something they have, often leads to breaking other Commandments, such as adultery, murder, stealing, and kidnapping, etc. A common phrase used for this is “Keeping up with the Jones’s.” For example, your friend just bought a new car, you want that car, it becomes an obsession for you to have that car or one of equal or greater value. You begin to hate your friend because they got a new car and you do not have the means to buy one. Jealousy is another word often used for it. The stealing of someone’s spouse just because they are desirable to you often begins with coveting them. You will do anything to possess the object you desire, that someone else has, and you have no means of obtaining it. Coveting can drive you to steal to obtain it! If you have coveted, you have broken not only this commandment, but all of them!
We are all guilty of sin, the Law proves that, so what does one do to not be found guilty? There is only one way to do this and it is by Jesus Christ. He is the only way, the narrow way and if you accept Him as your Lord and Savior, you are well on your way.
Before Christ was the sacrifice, it took the sacrifice of an animal to atone for sin. Jesus died on the Cross to pay for our sins so we can be forgiven. He is the once for all sacrifice. If you are saved, then you are forgiven of your sins. If you break one of these ten commandments after you are saved, you repent and confess it, and He is faithful and just to forgive you. We no longer have to sacrifice animals to be forgiven, because Jesus’ work on the cross took care of that. When we confess our sins to Him, He will forgive us (1 John 1:9).
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 (NIV)
We are no longer living under the law, but in the days of grace.
“For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.” ~Romans 6:14
We cannot keep the Law. Only Jesus could do that, only He was the perfect Sacrifice, and because He died for us, we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8). Keeping the Ten Commandments will not save you, no matter how hard you try to keep them. It is impossible. The only way you can be saved is through Jesus, He is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one gets to the Father except through Him (John 14:6).
God will judge you and condemn you if you do not accept Jesus Christ as your Savior. He does not love those who are not His own. If you are unsaved, you are already under His wrath (Part 2 in this series covers this). Do not be deceived that you are okay if you do not turn to Christ and repent. Satan has deceived many into hell with this lie. We have already discussed why God cannot be in the presence of sin, and if you are still in your sins when you die, you will never be allowed into His presence. This is why He had to turn His back on Jesus when He was on the cross because at that moment all sin was put upon Jesus. In the garden, when Jesus was praying before His arrest and crucifixion, He asked God if the cup could be taken from Him, He was not praying this because He was afraid to die, He was praying this because He knew that sin was going to be put on Him, and yes, that repulsed Him, because even though He was fully man, He was still fully God. He endured our sins on the cross so we would not have to pay for them ourselves. God’s wrath was poured out on Christ instead of us, but you will bear it yourself if you do not repent and turn to Christ. Hebrews 9:27 says that we are appointed to die once, and then the judgment. Those who are Christians, those who truly are, will be allowed into eternity with God. Those who have rejected Christ, will be condemned to an eternity without God, in hell. Once you die, there are no second chances. Jesus said that He is the only way, He is the Truth and Life. Only through Him can we go to the Father (John 14:6). He used the word “only”, and this removes any chances of getting there any other way. “The Shack” is a lie. It is false doctrine. It is deception and it will not save you from hell. Those who believe it are doomed. Those who teach it are doomed. It is cursed! (Galatians 1:8). There is no hope in this book or its movie, because its teachings are all lies and will keep you from the true Gospel, resulting in your condemnation to hell for rejecting Christ.
Life Application Study Bible (NIV); ©2011 Zondervan & Co-Published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. ISBN: 978-1-4243-5974-8
©2017 Karen Bledsoe