Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Sham (Shack)

Gal 1:6-9 "I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed."

I recently finished reading "The Shack" or as I like to call it The Sham. I normally devour books of this size in about 2 days. This book took me closer to 3 weeks. It was tough to swallow when it got to the main character's weekend with his fictional triune God.

A young lady in my Sunday school class told me she had purchased the book and asked my opinion of it. I immediately told her I thought it wasn't a very good book based on what I had read about it. I have said this about several books in the past without having read them myself, only reviews by people whose opinions I trust. But, as if by Divine Providence, a friend of mine brought a copy of it for me to read the week after I had the discussion with the girl in my class. I begrudgingly submitted myself to the task of reading it, so I could completely defend or change my stance of it.

I attempted to read it with no preconceived notions. By the third page of the first chapter my thoughts of what this book was had surfaced. The main character Mackenzie or Mac for short received a letter from "Papa" telling him he missed him and would like to meet with him if Mac was willing. WHAT?! The Potter asking the clay to meet with Him, through a letter nonetheless.

For more information on the heresies in this book I would refer you to the earlier post with the link to the free download by Dr. Michael Youssef who expounds greatly on this book. I would like to spend a little of your time speaking of this growing trend in the so-called "Christian" book industry. Books such as The Secret, Your Best Life Now, and so on are all on the best-sellers lists and yet full of heresies and blasphemous statements. They attack the very nature of God and just about everything He has revealed about Himself in Scripture. Then again "papa" dismisses Scripture in The Sham anyway.

These authors have the audacity to play on readers emotions and tickle their ears to push their own agendas. The Shack even uses quotes from C.S. Lewis, A.W. Tozer and others. This book has even been compared to John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress". Although Lewis and Bunyan would never depict the Almighty in humanly form as William P. Young does.

Friends this is an extremely popular book; as well as all the new fad "Christian" books that come out every couple of months and downplay the legitimacy of Scripture. It's not that we should purpose to be hated, spit on, and unpopular as Christians; but that is the natural consequence of preaching and expounding on God's true Word. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a condemning and yet loving Gospel. It is about God's grace on undeserving sinners. Yet it is an unpopular, hated and rejected message when presented correctly in light of Scripture.

So with that said I will give this book 2 thumbs down. I fear it will lead many down the wide path that says Heaven, only to realize that wasn't the case. The Lord will not lose any of His sheep, but I fear many will be self-deceived and swept up into the emotion surrounding this book. Possibly doubting everything they have ever heard about God that was taught to them by Christian parents and laypeople. His sheep know His voice and cannot ultimately deny Him, but reading a book like this could lead to much pain and hurt in a young Christian's walk.

The Lord of all creation does not need me to defend Him. But we are called to make a defense of our faith. Jude1:3-4 "Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ."

I could write so much more, but it would be easier for you to download the free message from Dr. Michael Youssef in the earlier post by my brother John and listen and share it with others. Beloved, I pray that you let not your ears by tickled or your emotions played upon.

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