“The Shack” to be the next blasphemous blockbuster film

Let’s cut right to the chase:  Are there heresies in The Shack?  Yes. Scroll down. There are more than a dozen of them. Movies about God always make big bucks at the box office, and the film adaptation of The Shack will more than likely be a top ticket seller when it hits the big screen. Now the official trailer is out, and the emotional impact in just this two minute clip already seals the deal that this film will be a blockbuster.

The film hits Theaters March 3, 2017.
I can already imagine The Shack Bible studies, sermon series and of course the social media hype, not to mention busloads of small groups fellowshipping and praising “Papa” for another opportunity to share Jesus. But which Jesus? We know that the Jesus of the Bible is very different than the one author William P. Young wrote about in his mega-bestseller.

Yes, I know it’s fiction. And I get that the story of forgiving a heinous, unspeakable crime against a child is powerful. I never tell people what not to read or what movies they shouldn’t see. That’s your business. But here’s the thing. If you’re looking for the God of the Bible in this book, or thinking that this is a great film to give your kids a “whole new perspective on God” (we hear that one a lot), then I’m going to speak up and say that there are some things you ought to know about how and where this story veers off track into dangerous waters.

First there is the matter of Universalism. Everyone gets into heaven in Young’s story. No sin or repentance, no need for a savior, and no need for a Gospel at all. Last year we interviewed an old colleague of Young’s, James B. De Young, professor of New Testament Language and Literature at Western Seminary in Portland, Ore., who wrote the book, Burning Down The Shack: How the “Christian” Bestseller is Deceiving Millions.

You may also want to check out the Thirteen Heresies in The Shack, written by Michael Youssef. Here is what he wrote about those 13 concerns along with what the Bible says about them:

1. God the Father was crucified with Jesus.

Because God’s eyes are pure and cannot look upon sin, the Bible says that God would not look upon His own beloved Son as He hung on the Cross, carrying our sins (Habakkuk 1:13; Matthew 27:45).

2. God is limited by His love and cannot practice justice.

The Bible declares that God’s love and His justice are two sides of the same coin — equally a part of the personality and the character of God (Isaiah 61:8; Hosea 2:19).

3. On the Cross, God forgave all of humanity, whether they repent or not. Some choose a relationship with Him, but He forgives them all regardless.

Jesus explained that only those who come to Him will be saved (John 14:6).

4. Hierarchical structures, whether they are in the Church or in the government, are evil.

Our God is a God of order (Job 25:2).

5. God will never judge people for their sins.

The Word of God repeatedly invites people to escape from the judgment of God by believing in Jesus Christ, His Son (Romans 2:16; 2 Timothy 4:1-3).

6. There is not a hierarchical structure in the Godhead, just a circle of unity.

The Bible says that Jesus submitted to the will of the Father. This doesn’t mean that one Person is higher or better than the other; just unique. Jesus said, “I came to do the will of Him who sent me. I am here to obey my Father.” Jesus also said, “I will send you the Holy Spirit” (John 4:34, 6:44, 14:26, 15:26).

7. God submits to human wishes and choices.

Far from God submitting to us, Jesus said, “Narrow is the way that leads to eternal life.” We are to submit to Him in all things, for His glory and because of what He has accomplished for us (Matthew 7:13-15).

8. Justice will never take place because of love.

The Bible teaches that when God’s love is rejected, and when the offer of salvation and forgiveness is rejected, justice must take place or God has sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for nothing (Matthew 12:20; Romans 3:25-26).

9. There is no such a thing as eternal judgment or torment in hell.

Jesus’ own description of hell is vivid … it cannot be denied (Luke 12:5, 16:23).

10. Jesus is walking with all people in their different journeys to God, and it doesn’t matter which way you get to Him.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one will come to the Father but by me” (John 14:6).

11. Jesus is constantly being transformed along with us.

Jesus, who dwells in the splendor of heaven, sits at the right hand of God, reigning and ruling the universe. The Bible says, “In Him there is no change, for He is yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 11:12, 13:8; James 1:17).

12. There is no need for faith or reconciliation with God because everyone will make it to heaven.

Jesus said, “Only those who believe in me will have eternal life” (John 3:15, 3:36, 5:24, 6:40).

13. The Bible is not true because it reduces God to paper.

The Bible is God-breathed. Sure, there were many men through 1,800 years who put pen to paper (so to speak), each from different professions and different backgrounds, but the Holy Spirit infused their work with God’s words. These men were writing the same message from Genesis to Revelation. If you want to read more about the place of Christ in the Scripture, read “We Preach Christ” (2 Timothy 3:16).

Here is a brief video of Yousseff that is well worth the watch:

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61 Responses to “The Shack” to be the next blasphemous blockbuster film

  1. Manny1962 says:

    And millions buy into the deception, this is very typical of the “don’t judge, don’t divide” crowd……..their “god” is a god of love, a god that doesn’t judge, is not pure, after all he/she approves of every sexual abomination under the stars, makes room for every false religion created by man, accepts anything as long it’s done in “love.” Remember, scripture is clear, there will be a massive deception in the end days, it’s not coming from the outside, but from within the dead church. This mess will not be turned around it will culminate as a religious abomination that will ultimately deny God, Christ, The Holy Spirit and will worship the Antichrist. There’s no other explanation why so many are falling by the wayside and apostasy is growing by leaps and bounds.

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    • Bryan says:

      Christianity over the years has become one of the most divided religions in our country. Jesus said himself, by this all will know that you are my disciples, by the love you have for one another.(John 15:35) Not by how well you correct another brother or sister, Or call someone out on their mess, or how much theology we know, what seminary we went to, how many scriptures we can recite, how many chapters we can quote, the Pharisee’s were able to do all that.. I think that we’ve fallen away from love if anything, the Bible says love COVERS. First we should take the plank out of our own eye, like ‘Jesus said’; so that we can see CLEARLY, to remove the speck that is in our brother’s eye. Unfortunately a lot of us in the church think that we’re God’s police man of the hr. Or maybe even God’s fruit inspectors. It’s sad when you look across sea’s , and you see millions of muslims praying together who don’t believe in Jesus as Lord. And yet we can’t even have an agreeable disagreement in the church with out some one wanting to go and start their own church, or their own movement, or their own reformation. It saddens me greatly as an Christian, to see how some of us in the church can spot sin , more than we can see Jesus at work in the life of the believer. And we say we are spiritual. It doesn’t take someone who is spiritual to see sin my brothers and sisters. Even Jesus called Judas a friend , and rebuked Satan working through Peter. We are more schooled in sin, than we are about Jesus. We here a lot about the law, and the commandments, than we do about the Lord Jesus on tv,at church,amongst believers. Even in the mainstream church , theirs a lot of Catholicism mixture being preached, along with behavioral modification disguised as obedience.Wht happened on the mount of transfiguration,with Peter, James , and John, and Jesus? You had Moses, and Elijah show up, along with Jesus standing in the midst, who did the father point to? Was it Moses(representing the law)? Was it Elijah? Representing the prophets? No, the father said ; this is my beloved son(Jesus) Hear ye Him. As the apostle said; behold the Lamb of God; who takes away the sin of the world. ( John 1:29) We can make the Bible say what we think it means, or we can allow the Holy Ghost to teach. We are not the Holy Spirit, or the judge. The apostle Paul said ; and I quote, judge NOTHING before it’s time. A lot of us in the church know a lot of bible and scripture, but we’ve forgotten the most important commandments ( love God with all we are) Love each other,and love people. In doing this , Paul says we fulfill the royal law. The LAW of love. And love always first, believes the best.

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      • Ken says:

        Amen! Well said, Bryan. For those who accuse me of making it all about love and nothing else, I say, “Guilty as charged.” That’s as it should be. If I’m proven guilty of loving to much, then I know I’m on the right track.

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      • Bruce says:

        Love without truth is not love at all.

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      • Bruce says:

        What bothers me is that too many Christians are not offended by heresy. Just because it is a fictional book does not excuse the false teachings about the true God. Would you be offended if a book or movie came out that taught that Jesus and the devil were brothers? Or that God condones pedophilia? Would you read the book and go see the movie, after all it’s only fiction. I’m surprised that all these false teachings about your God, and your Jesus, does not offend the Holy Spirit that dwells in you. You will not find in Scripture any place that God uses error, and falsehood to draw people to himself. Error, and falsehood comes from The Dark One. 1 John 1:5-7; ” this then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no Darkness at all.
        6. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not the truth.
        7. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have Fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his son cleanses us from all sin.
        Paul says in Ephesians 5:8-11; ” For you were sometimes Darkness, but now are you light in the Lord, walk as children of light.
        9. For the fruit of the spirit is in all goodness, and righteousness, and TRUTH.
        10. Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
        11. And have no FELLOWSHIP with the unfruitful works of DARKNESS but rather REPROVE THEM”.
        As Christians we are supposed to reprove Darkness, not support it. We as Christians are not supposed to take into our spirit anything that is false or offensive unto our God. If you are a Christian and the deception an error of this movie does not offend you, I think you need to check yourself. The ideal portrayed in the shack that Jesus is not the only way to Salvation should be enough for any Christian to reject this movie and book.

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      • P caldon says:

        One thing to add to this discussion is that God does not ignore sin and error in order to love us. Sin had to be paid for, hence the cross. While we should not judge the world we are called to accountability in our lives towards each other regarding our sins as Christians. We do not ignore Truth in order to embrace God’s love. God will not compromise His word, which is truth in order to save us. While this movie may bring up discussions and such that can lead to salvation for some, the lies about central truth about God must not be ignored. The errors in this book are no mistake and strike at the core of who God and Jesus are. Christians aren’t Pharisees if they call out the lies that are perpetrated in this work of FICTION. Rather, they are standing for God’s TRUTH. There is one way to God, Jesus! Any other gospel (good news) is not of Godand should be resisted no matter how loving it makes us feel.

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    • Dennis says:

      Slow down on all the judgement! 🙄 You sound like those haters of Joel Osteen preaching only good news or people that bash catholics for baptizing infants. If they’re not against our Savior Jesus Christ, they’re on our side. Regardess of the trivial details you all are fretting over. Bottom line is, if people who don’t know Jesus goes to see The Shack movie or any christian movie that speaks of Jesus and portrays Him to be love, and if those people have their eyes and heart open to desire to know more about Him and then go home and open up and read a bible or on Sunday seek out a church to attend, then every single complaint and criticism and worry you have is a waste if time. You people do know that God is all powerful and can and does use sooooooo many different ways to bring us to our knees, in repentence and thanksgiving, to new life in Him. STOP thinking we’re sinking in water!! START praying wholeheartedly for these “stories” to be steppng stones to person’s salvation when they seek God through His word in the bible and through us followers of Jesus who should not be criticizing the fine details but simply preaching the good news to everyone, all the time and the AFTER we pant the seed, we can point to the Holy Bible for specifics.

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  2. Lorilee says:

    Point number 1…. if God cannot look upon sin, why did he go looking for Adam in the garden after he sinned?

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    • berlorac says:

      Lorilee, you are correct. Of course, God can view sin. We have an abundance of Scriptures that prove this.

      What the Habakkuk verse means is that God cannot look upon sin with approval. The prophet is seeing evil all around him and wonders why God, who cannot approve of sin, is allowing the evil to continue.

      The looking in this verse means looking with approval, or blessing. The imagery of God turning His face toward someone means that God is blessing that person. When He turns His face away, it is disapproval or a removal of blessing.

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  3. David says:

    God is sovereign. Man is responsible. What comes with responsibility? Accountability.

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    • Manny1962 says:

      Correct, accountability and what did man do when he met his Maker? He lied……he tried to blame the woman for the whole affair. Even in that God was gracious to man, He could’ve killed them both and started again, but He didn’t, think of all the things we’ve done, now hold up that up to the standard of a perfect Holy God, He’s been beyond gracious and patient with us. How many of us will give up their one and only begotten son in exchange for the lives of ungrateful people?

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      • berlorac says:

        Hey Manny, good word. God was not surprised when Adam and Eve disobeyed Him. He was ready to shed blood for them and cover over their sins until the Seed came to shed His blood once for all. We cannot thank Him enough for His grace. And yet man is responsible. False teachers like Young will receive according to their works because they do not believe the Gospel of the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord Yeshua.

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      • Manny1962 says:

        Good afternoon B! God is never caught unawares, He always has a witness and He is gracious, just and holy beyond our mere human comprehension, we will never be worthy of our Lord’s grace and mercy. Hope you had had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Grace, peace and blessings to you and yours brother.

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      • berlorac says:

        Manny, if we were worthy of His grace, it wouldn’t be grace. Praise God for that, my friend. He has concluded all under sin that He may save us by grace. Much to be thankful for.

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    • Bryan says:

      The only responsibility we have is to respond to God’s ability. I.e. The Holy Spirit . For God has made Him(Jesus) who knew no sin, to become sin for US, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. The problem is not accountability, or responsibilities, but believing that God excepted Jesus as your payment for sin. Any other way , were doomed . Only Jesus , God would except as a payment to purify our conscience form DEAD works, to serve the living God.

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  4. Manny1962 says:

    Another thing………. I’ve noticed that “spiritual” people avoid the holy scriptures, but flock to these “feel good” books in order to justify their broken theology.

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  5. Don says:

    2Cor.5:19 God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself ! God is love who are you ?

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    • Manny1962 says:

      Who am I? A simple person who only follows Jesus Christ, the One and only true God of Israel. And follows the way He has chosen to reveal Himself. I follow no man, much less one who reduces God to a feel-good, human inspired celestial psychotherapist. You seem to forget what scripture, not William P. Young says about God’s attributes, He does not sacrifice one for the other. God’s ultimate love toward His creation was the sacrifice of His Son.

      2 Corinthians 5:19

      19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

      God is love, He is also righteous, holy, perfect, and reconciled us to Himself ONLY BY HIS SON!

      The world does not mean everyone, He says THE WORLD TO HIMSELF IN CHRIST. No Christ, No reconciliation! Reject Christ, reject reconciliation.

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  6. Maggie says:

    The “God” of The Shack is just another idol that man has made.

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    • Manny1962 says:

      Amen Maggie, seems as the days close, man wants God to obey him and his preconceived ideas of what God should do, be like and of course it’s all about love. No consequences. Truly the bible says it’s frightful thing to fall in the hands of a Holy God. Thanks be to Jesus Christ! Who has taken upon Himself the penalty due us!

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  7. Ken says:

    Actually most of those 13 points are heresy. But since they are popular and “approved by the Western church” heresies, nobody recognizes them for what they are.

    The Shack will shine some much-needed light on the darkness that the church has been floundering in for the past 500 (actually closer to 1500) years, and because of which it is now flailing around in it’s last gasps for significance.

    The true gospel was lost LONG ago. What we have now is a mishmash of Jesus lip-service married to Jewish law, Greek Gnosticism, and a love for and service to religion and empire. It is NOT the radical, life-changing message that Jesus came to show us in His life and death.

    It may take another 500 years, but eventually the true gospel will be once more preached and the light and love of God will have reign in many hearts.

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    • Manny1962 says:

      So The Shack is inspired! And the texts we have received are all incorrect?

      “It is NOT the radical, life-changing message that Jesus came to show us in His life and death”

      So where can we find this mystic life changing message? Obviously all the saints have gotten it wrong over the centuries!

      If the “true” gospels were lost long ago, who has the true gospels? William P. Young? The Shack is the new bible?

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      • Ken says:

        Way to put lots of words in my mouth.

        I never said the Bible was incorrect. But it IS read subjectively, and as such, can be made to say what men wish it to say. The twisting of scripture to serve man’s agendas began in earnest when Constantine turned Christianity into the state religion, and Christians into a “holy army”. While there has been some light shed here and there since then, things haven’t changed all that much. The “religious right” is the new “holy army”, trying to gain political power by whatever means in a bid to create a theocratic state that legislates good morality for all the “heathens”.

        None of this is the “good news” that Jesus preached, nor is it taught in the Bible. But the Bible is sure used to support it.

        I did not equate The Shack with the Bible, either. I said it was like a breath of fresh air, a light to pierce the darkness of what Christianity has BECOME, not what it originally was as taught in the Bible. The Shack is like a modern-day parable that gets people thinking outside their the religious box that the church has put God into based on a literalist Bible interpretation, the longstanding marriage of church and state, and a church based on man-made authority structures.

        Is it SO ludicrous to believe that centuries of “Christians” have “got it wrong”? Centuries of JEWS got it wrong before Christ came. After He came it only took 500 years for religion to hide the good news by attaching other agendas to the story of Jesus Christ. The Reformation reversed SOME of the damage, but didn’t go far enough. I believe, now, about another 500 years after the last reformation, that another one is coming, and this one will be far more radical and hopefully will return us to the true gospel, as taught by those who penned the New Testament. Not a turn AWAY from the Bible, but a return to a Biblical narrative uncluttered by the “noise” of 1500 years of religion and empire.

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      • Manny1962 says:

        Good morning Ken,

        To begin with, I did not “put words in your mouth,” my questions were rhetorical in light of a cryptic statement.

        “.The twisting of scripture to serve man’s agendas began in earnest when Constantine turned Christianity into the state religion, and Christians into a “holy army”.

        That is Roman Catholicism, not Christianity.

        Fortunately, the real narrative is still there, sola fide, sola scriptura, no one comes to The Father except through The Son. We are saved by grace through faith, this has never changed, these words are eternal and it’s the only way we can be saved, we didn’t earn it, we can’t lay for it, we don’t deserve it.

        It seems to me, you’re lumping the fake, fallen, quickly apostatizing church with the bide of Christ.

        The Shack is full of errors, one just needs to hold it up against scripture and they’re obviously to see.

        There is a separation happening in Christendom, it’s so glaring many are calling it a paradigm shift, what they’re failing to see and understand is what is written in scripture, God always separates good fruit from bad, since the old testament it’s been obvious. Now mega churches implode, false teachers run rampant, a people with itchy ears gathers amongst them to hear the musings of their minds! The Great Apostasy is being revealed, I believe this along with Israel back in her place, the political and social turmoil in the world, are clear indicators that time and history are quickly wrapping up.

        Thanks Ken for your reply, God bless, maranatha!

        Israel is hardened till the fulfilment of her judgement, Jesus said they did not see the time of her “visitation.” Revelation is judgement on the world, the dead church and the revealing of The Christ to Israel, as they will week and mourn for the One whom they pierced.

        The religious right has evolved into what I call politicized Churchianity, look at what the NAR, Kingdom Now, Latter Rain advocates espouse, again Churchianity mixed with political world.

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      • Ken says:

        “That is Roman Catholicism, not Christianity.”

        It always cracks me up when Protestants claim they have no common ground with Catholicism. Protestantism and all it’s denominations was born from The Reformation, which came directly from the Catholic church. Admit it or not, but nearly all of our doctrinal theses came from the minds and pens of CATHOLICS. which, BTW, simply means “universal”, as in the Universal Church.

        So, unless you are an Anabaptist, Eastern Orthodox or a couple of other very ancient denominations, you are ROOTED in the Catholic church, which Constantine started, and which still bears many of his ideas (like “winning souls” – something Jesus never talked about) to this day.

        I agree there is always a remnant, but I don’t think it’s to be found within the mainstream Christian churches (and that includes small congregations, not just megachurches) of America or Europe. Like I said, with the exception of the Anabaptists, the Eastern Orthodox and a few others, the gospel has been so distorted as to be nigh unrecognizable. It’s just that our current religious system is all that most people, myself included, have ever been exposed to.

        For instance, I didn’t even KNOW, until three years ago, that there were different ORTHODOX ways of looking at the atonement besides Penal Substitution. Why? Because the Western institutional church considers any other views “heretical”, even though they are actually more strongly rooted in the early centuries of Christianity. PSA is a fairly new doctrine, only being formally and widely understood during the time of Calvin. But it’s ALL the church today even knows about, and that’s sad, because I think PSA paints a terrible picture of God.

        As for “errors” in the Shack. It’s a parable. It’s not theology 101. It’s not saying “God is a woman”. It’s saying, “God is genderless in character, so what feelings does it engender in your heart to consider God with female attributes/emotions?” It’s stuff to make you think. And it has brought a great deal of healing to tens of thousands of people who have been hurt by the institutional church. I call that a good thing, regardless of it’s doctrinal challenges.

        As for Christian Universalism. It is also an orthodox teaching that has been around as long as the church. It is hinted at over and over throughout scripture, though we are brainwashed to overlook or change the meaning those passages by the keepers of our popular systematic theology. CU does not claim that people receive an eternal reward apart from Christ, but that, while we do not know how this will be accomplished, all will eventually accept Christ and understand the gift of salvation, repenting of their error, and bowing out of love to Him. It is a HOPE, not a dogmatic belief, and only in the last few hundred years has it been labeled heretical by Western churches.

        I totally agree with your “paradigm shift” statement, though we probably disagree as to who will be left standing when the smoke clears. 🙂

        Blessings on you, brother.

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      • Ken says:

        Here’s an article that discusses a few of the things I mentioned.

        http://www.christianuniversalist.org/resources/articles/salvation-conspiracy/

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      • Manny1962 says:

        Good morning Ken,

        Nice try with strawman argument, but you my friend are promoting Universalism! No wonder The Shack appealed to your senses.This is something Billy Graham was pushing for a long time under the guise of evangelism!

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      • Manny1962 says:

        Good morning Ken,

        Got questions site has a discussion on what you’re arguing for:

        https://gotquestions.org/universalism.html

        “Question: “Is universalism / universal salvation biblical?”

        Answer: Universalism is the belief that everyone will be saved. There are many people today who hold to universal salvation and believe that all people eventually end up in heaven. Perhaps it is the thought of men and women living a life of eternal torment in hell that causes some to reject the teaching of Scripture on this issue. For some it is an over-emphasis on the love and compassion of God—and the neglect of the righteousness and justice of God—that leads them to believe God will have mercy on every living soul. But the Scriptures do teach that some people will spend eternity in hell.

        First of all, the Bible is clear that unredeemed men will dwell forever in hell. Jesus’ own words confirm that the time spent in heaven for the redeemed will last as long as that of the unredeemed in hell. Matthew 25:46 says, “Then they [the unsaved] will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” According to this verse, the punishment of the unsaved is just as eternal as the life of the righteous. Some believe that those in hell will eventually cease to exist, but the Lord Himself confirms that it will last forever. Matthew 25:41 and Mark 9:44 describe hell as “eternal fire” and “unquenchable fire.”

        How does one avoid this unquenchable fire? Many people believe that all roads—all religions and beliefs—lead to heaven, or they consider that God is so full of love and mercy that He will allow all people into heaven. God is certainly full of love and mercy; it was these qualities that led Him to send His Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to die on the cross for us. Jesus Christ is the exclusive door that leads to an eternity in heaven. Acts 4:12 says, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” “There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). In John 14:6, Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” If we choose to reject God’s Son, we do not meet the requirements for salvation (John 3:16, 18, 36).

        With verses such as these, it becomes clear that universalism and universal salvation are unbiblical beliefs. Universalism directly contradicts what Scripture teaches. While many people accuse Christians of being intolerant and “exclusive,” it is important to remember that these are the words of Christ Himself. Christians did not develop these ideas on their own; Christians are simply stating what the Lord has already said. People choose to reject the message because they do not want to face up to their sin and admit that they need the Lord to save them. To say that those who reject God’s provision of salvation through His Son will be saved is to belittle the holiness and justice of God and negate the need of Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf.

        Recommended Resource: Four Views of Salvation in a Pluralistic World by Dennis L. Okholm & Timothy R. Phillips”

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      • Manny1962 says:

        Also, Matt Slick over at CARM wrote a treatise on the dangers of UNIVERSALISM:

        https://carm.org/danger-universalism

        “The Danger of Universalism
        by Matt Slick

        Universalism teaches that all people will eventually be saved through the atonement of Christ. It says that all mankind, even those who have openly rejected Jesus, those who have willingly committed horrible crimes and died without repentance, and without the covering of Christ’s blood, will enjoy a future with God. This belief is based upon the idea that God’s love is so infinitely great, that His grace in Christ is so awesome, that everyone will be saved. This simply is not true.

        The danger of universalism is that it to can give someone a false sense of security about their eternal destiny. It can remove the need of accountability. It can remove the fear of judgment. It does not require repentance. A person who adopts universalism can easily conclude that if he is going to be saved no matter what he does, then why be concerned about repentance or accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior? This potential error is most dangerous. Especially because if universalism is not true, then the false sense of security it has given to those who have not trusted in Christ, will lead them to damnation. This is a very serious danger.

        Of course, simply because it is possible that people will become lax in accepting Christ if they adopt universalism, it does not mean this is what will happen. Nor does it mean that all Universalists think they can go out and sin willfully. On the contrary, most Universalists are very moral. But, there is the inherent danger in universalism that reduces the need for repentance and salvation. This is a great risk. Eternity is a long time to be wrong and hell is a terrible place to be forever.

        What does Satan want?
        Satan wants the destruction of people. Satan wants people to die in their sins and go to hell. He is utter hatred and complete evil. But, he is also extremely cunning with an intelligence that is vast. Universalism may very well become a tool of the evil one in the last days. It weakens the need to trust in Christ in this life.

        In Universalism, Satan can work his false doctrines through its adherents. This is clearly the case since many Universalists deny the Trinity and the deity of Christ. But in universalist theology, it really doesn’t matter. Why? Because ultimately, in the after life, people will come to a true knowledge of God and repent and be saved. So, even if they are wrong now, they will be right later.
        Satan says, “Don’t worry about receiving Jesus now. You can do that later.” But it is Christ who says,

        “At the acceptable time I listened to you, And on the day of salvation I helped you”; behold, now is “the acceptable time,” behold, now is “the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2).
        “He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, “Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts” (Heb. 4:7).
        What would be a uniting religious concept that would tend to unite different religious systems? Universalism! Think about it. If everyone is going to be saved, then Buddhism, Islam, Catholicism, Mormonism, Hinduism, etc. will not keep people out of hell. If all religions adopted universalism, then each could look at the other as being a different belief (or even error) that would, nevertheless, lead a person to redemption in the after-life.

        What does Jesus save us from?
        Jesus saves. But what does He save us from? Does Jesus save us from ourselves, our thoughts, our actions, our temperament, or even our sins. No. He saves us from the wrathful judgment of God upon us, due to us because of our sinfulness. There is a natural consequence to being a sinner: judgment. God will punish the sinner (Hosea 8:13; 9:9). The one who rejects Jesus does not have a covering for sin, does not have forgiveness of sins, and has the wrath of God abiding upon him:

        He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him, (John 3:36).

        Jesus saves us from that wrath. Jesus saves all those who receive Him (John 1:12; Rom. 8:1) so that they can escape the judgment to come.

        He therefore began saying to the multitudes who were going out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” (Luke 3:7).

        Jesus warned us about hell (Matt. 5:22, 29-30; 23:33; Mark 9:45; Luke 12:5). In fact, He spoke more of it than He did of heaven. He does not want you to go to that place of torment. That is why He said, “And if your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the eternal fire,” (Matt. 18:8). If universalism is true, then where is the power in Jesus’ warning? If universalism is true then there is no eternal fiery hell, no dread of being cast into it, no wrath to come — but there is!

        Hell is the real place. Jesus came to save us from it. But you must trust Christ and His atoning sacrifice in order to escape the wrath of God.

        Does universalism lead us to urgency? Does it lead us to fear the wrath to come? No. It doesn’t. It removes the urgency. It removes the fear of God.

        Now, I am not saying that we must live in fear or that fear is the only motive to be saved. But, Jesus Himself warned people about hell and the Bible tells us that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” (Prov. 9:10).

        Conclusion
        Universalism can lead to complacency. It can easily lessen ones concern for salvation and repentance. In this, there is danger.”

        Like

      • Manny1962 says:

        By the way Ken, the church of Jesus Christ has but one name, the bride. You can argue all day about name tags, church leaders, reformations, etc., etc., At the end of the day what stands is scripture. Your rejection of eternal punishment and approval of universal love and salvation clearly stands opposite of the written word.

        You must riundly reject eschatology and these days of unfolding turmoil must be normal?

        Like

      • Ken says:

        What “straw man” argument.

        I agree, I am promoting Universalism, but not the kind that the articles you posted are arguing against. As the article I posted pointed out, we are talking about Christian Universalism, which does not promote any “Christ-less” way of salvation, but merely a hope that in some fashion, by some means, all will be reconciled, through repentance and faith, to their creator.

        This is a perfectly orthodox theology that was very prevalent during the first 500 years of the church. It does not “deny scripture” or “reject Christ” or “mess with the Trinity” or any other heretical label you care to throw at it.

        I could explain point for point, and passage by passage how a CU position understands these issues and the verses referenced (and we fully admit there are some verses that teach other afterlife scenarios – the Bible is multi-vocal on this issue), but I’m not so sure it would be worth my time in this particular forum as most here seem to pretty much have their mind set and don’t plan on considering any other viewpoint. Most CU proponents don’t hold DOGMATICALLY to this belief, but see it as a hope. A hope we should be allowed to hold given the great deal of biblical evidence that does in fact support such a view.

        As for The Shack, I have not read the book. I have heard things about it and know the basic plot, but that’s all. I only know the FRUIT that the book has produced, and have not seen anything but good come from that.

        Not sure what the reference to Billy Graham has to do with the discussion, but I DO agree with you that Billy has moved towards a more inclusive gospel in his later years. Unfortunately, his son has gone in the opposite direction, promoting a very hard-line, exclusive, condemning “gospel” that is likely resounding part of the death-knell of the mainline church in America.

        “Standing on scriptures” is a very dangerous and, well, idolatrous place to be rooted in. Even scripture itself never says we should be rooted on scripture. We are to be rooted in CHRIST, who treated scripture as the tool and resource it is, not as a teacher or a roadmap for living. He chided the Pharisees for holding to tightly to it and missing Him. I think the church has gone back to the exact same paradigm, especially in the past 300 or so years. The Bible has become the Western church’s god, and it will keep holding fast to it as it sinks into irrelevance and destruction, just as the Pharisees did in 70AD.

        The “bride” is always alive, yes, but it is not the universal church. However, it can be found in EVERY denomination and creed of all of them. The ekklesia is the called-out ones. I believe the Spirit is calling them out right now, from all over the world. And they are becoming wise to the gospel that the 1st century church believed and taught. And it wasn’t about “going to heaven when you die”.

        I know you’ll write me off as a “kooky universalist” or worse, a “dangerous false-teacher”. But then, that’s what they said about Jesus, too. No, I’m not equating myself with Jesus, merely pointing out that just because a doctrine is radical and unpopular does not necessarily mean it’s wrong. But there’s always those “Nicodemus’s” in the crowd that actually might decide to think outside of the religious box they were born into and question, think and explore on their own. And I encourage them to do so. What you will find CAN change your life.

        BTW, I think The Shack will do the same for many stuck in the box of dead religion.

        Like

      • Rhonda D says:

        Ken, Protestants are NOT rooted and grounded in Catholicism as they have lead us to believe. Catholics tried to wipe out the true Christians long before the Reformation because they shed light on how far they were from the Bible.

        “The two chief groups were the Waldenses and the Albigenses. Rome waged the most dreadful and bloody persecutions against these Bible believers for centuries, almost completely wiping them out; but not before they had powerfully influenced the Reformers.” This is a quote from a new documentary shedding light on the true remnant of Christian believers which the Catholics have tried to hide for centuries. Check it out http://www.adullamfilms.com/Waldenses%20and%20Albigenses%20Article.html

        Like

      • Jessica says:

        Jesus said all should come to repentence. Jesus is the only way to the Father not all roads lead to heaven. Jesus says wide is the gate to hell and narrow is the gate to heaven. Everything in the Bible the Holy Bible is true in 2 Timothy 3:16,17 all scripture is inspired by God profitable for teaching for reproof for correction and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be attiquite and equipped For every good work.

        Like

  8. Karen says:

    I’m not posting to argue with anyone but there is something to take into consideration here. The author wrote the book in a way to try to help his younger children understand God the Father, Jesus the Son of God and the Holy Spirit. I met Mr. Young a few years ago and he explained why he made them the way he did. (I read the book and apparently I missed all these horrible things being mentioned here) Mr. Young was trying to find a way to explain the Trinity to his kids. To make it so a child’s mind could grasp something hard to explain to an adult, let alone a child. We have never seen God. Genesis 5:2 says “Male and female created he them; and blessed them and called their name Adam, in the day they were created”. How do you explain that? No I am not trying to say I think God could be a woman. I’m just saying we know very little about God, what He looks like, etc. But I do know when in heaven there is no male/female, we are all the same in His eyes. But how doesn’t one explain things to a child that even we struggle with?

    Like

    • Randy says:

      Your basis for there being neither male or female in heaven comes from what passage? Angels are neuter as they don’t have souls or personalities.

      Like

    • karen Bouwens says:

      I picked up the shack when it was at my daughter’s house and my spirit had no witness to it other than revulsion and asking God again not to let the devil use use Christianity. It’s obviously blasphemous and I believe that Young was channeled this book–possibly via Warren Smith I knew of this? God describes Himself repeatedly in the Bible through His rules, His parable via Jesus, what He does and doesn’t like, that He (male) has the Word who became flesh, become His Son (male) and the Holy Spirit though I believe is equal yet chooses to to be in the background and point to Jesus. If the Holy Spirit points to Himself it is not the HOly Spirit going by His role described in the Bible. The Holy Spirit points to Jesus. People who like The Shack couldn’t possibly know the Bible. Angels appear to be male although there will be no marriage in heaven.

      Like

      • berlorac says:

        Well said Karen Bouwens. The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin and points us to the Lord Yeshua Messiah. He indwells all believers, taking us from glory to glory, that we would have the mind of Christ.

        Like

    • berlorac says:

      Karen, The Shack is wrong not only because it falsely teaches the Trinity as a male/female entity, but because it teaches universalism. If Young’s only fault was that he set out to teach the Trinity to his children but made a mess of it, that would be bad enough, but his teaching that Christ died for all so that all are saved and are making their way to God through all religions is just as bad, if not worse, than his Trinity presentation.

      Like

  9. Manny1962 says:

    Good morning Karen,

    I understand where you’re coming from, but to be realistic the concept of a triune God is hard for even the most discerning Christians to understand, let alone a child. When I was explaining to my son the concept I made it very clear to him that there are mysteries about God’s person that we don’t understand and in this mortal body that capacity to. I explained to him like many things in scripture that seem impossible, are possible with God, wether creating a universe or man, it seems to me that many Christians have forgotten there is a component of faith we must have to know and believe in these miraculous things……. remember ……”by faith Abraham, by faith Abel, by faith Enoch……..Hebrews 11

    If there’s something in scripture we don’t understand, it’s better to be left as it is written than make up something that we speculate could be the reason. The bible does say we don’t know the mysteries The Lord has in store for us when we depart to be with Him!

    God bless you Karen! Keep on praying for the saints, the time is very close, Maranatha sister!

    Like

    • Clark1961 says:

      First time I have seen someone write so much like me, that I thought it was my writing at first. Nice job of defending our faith brother Thank you! I also like Matt Slick’s CARM site. Got to meet him at a apologetic’s debate in N.C. a few years back. It is so hard to find people that will truly stand up for Christ now days even in the church. I live in Arizona.

      Like

      • Amy Spreeman says:

        Hi Clark, for your own safety and security I removed your phone number from your comment you posted. You can never be too careful these days!

        Like

      • Manny1962 says:

        Amen, Clark, there are many out there that would do Christians harm, it’s better to know who the person is. I do thank you for your thoughts, but Amy is right.

        Like

  10. Molly says:

    As related to God being portrayed in The Shack as a woman, Glennon Doyle Melton of the Momastery blog just called God a “she” 4 days ago in an Instagram post!!!! https://www.instagram.com/p/BNbzkivBlz9/

    Like

  11. The problem is that everyone loves to make a God that meets their own personal needs, since the real Jesus Christ is love, mercy, forgiveness…and unfettered vengeance in his day(Revelation 19:11-18).
    God the Father and God the son are obviously male, and the Holy Spirit is referred to as male in John 15:
    “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:”
    ‭‭John‬ ‭15:26‬ ‭KJV‬‬
    http://bible.com/1/jhn.15.26.kjv
    This obviously doesn’t diminish women…it simply is what God said and therefore, is true.

    The only way anyone should ever teach or define Jesus and the trinity, is by using he scriptures…and as in the practice of law, the specific (Father, son, he) trumps the general. If we stay in the word and get to know all of it…we cannot go wrong, for it alone is truth.

    Like

  12. John K Langemann says:

    You may read a comprehensive refutation of what The Shack stands for here:

    Like

  13. John says:

    And it says hate the sin but love the sinner and the sin is the Lie and the Lies told to deceive and steal one away from the True Scripture. Enough Said.

    Like

  14. Manny1962 says:

    Read BURNING DOWN THE SHACK, by James B. DeYoung. Mr. Paul Young the suthor of The Shack has managed to dupe millions of sentimental, undiscerning christians, Mr. DeYoung has said Paul Young is an open new ager, he doesn’t hide it, and seeing how God is portrayed in The Shack it’s obvious the roots of The Shack are not based on scripture. Stay away from that demonic counterfeit, be it fiction or not it insults God and His holy person.

    Like

  15. Jacquelyn says:

    I have been a Christian all my life. I love God, and I loved the Shack, I loved the explanation of the three in one, it was a beautiful description. It is not a perfect book, but it does help people to understand what Christianity is all about. How it is not about church or book, but about relationship, relationship with God! I have shared this book with so many of my non Christian friends and it helps them to understand me a little better!! I am so excited about the film. I think it will be beautiful too!

    Like

    • Manny1962 says:

      2 Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”

      How can you love God and The Shack? The Shack dishonors God, it lies, He did not reveal Himself as portrayed in The Shack. How can The Shack help anyone understand Christianity and God if it’s based on a false premise? Knowing God is is knowing truth, something The Shack fails in. You should approach your non Christian friends with the truth, tell them the consequence of not having Jesus Christ in their lives! Please don’t use a false book such as The Shack!

      Like

  16. Father God, we thank you for your Amazing Grace, your Abundant Mercy, your Compassionate Love and your Righteous Judgement through The Truth of Your Holy Word.
    We know the enemy is running scared, Christians are rising up & Praising Your Mighty Name across the Globe.

    However, we ask most humbly for the Discerning of Your Holy Spirit.
    Continue to uphold your blessed Servants in Michael Youseff, Manny 1962, Jarrod Collins (who initially alerted me to similar articles) & all others who promote Your Truth – Biblically, Scripturally & Wholly of You & You Alone.

    Thank you Jesus Christ for being my best friend, My Saviour, My Lord.

    Like

  17. Jennifer says:

    This review is a bold faced lie! Period. This man’s story is not fiction, he lost his daughter and this is the story behind it. It also does not say we do not need Jesus or repentance to get into Heaven. This review is ridiculous and he obviously did not even tale the time to read the book. So sad

    Like

    • Manny1962 says:

      A universalist view, paraphrased from above, This is The Shack in a nutshell:

      1. God the Father was crucified with Jesus.

      Because God’s eyes are pure and cannot look upon sin, the Bible says that God would not look upon His own beloved Son as He hung on the Cross, carrying our sins (Habakkuk 1:13; Matthew 27:45).

      2. God is limited by His love and cannot practice justice.

      The Bible declares that God’s love and His justice are two sides of the same coin — equally a part of the personality and the character of God (Isaiah 61:8; Hosea 2:19).

      3. On the Cross, God forgave all of humanity, whether they repent or not. Some choose a relationship with Him, but He forgives them all regardless.

      Jesus explained that only those who come to Him will be saved (John 14:6).

      4. Hierarchical structures, whether they are in the Church or in the government, are evil.

      Our God is a God of order (Job 25:2).

      5. God will never judge people for their sins.

      The Word of God repeatedly invites people to escape from the judgment of God by believing in Jesus Christ, His Son (Romans 2:16; 2 Timothy 4:1-3).

      6. There is not a hierarchical structure in the Godhead, just a circle of unity.

      The Bible says that Jesus submitted to the will of the Father. This doesn’t mean that one Person is higher or better than the other; just unique. Jesus said, “I came to do the will of Him who sent me. I am here to obey my Father.” Jesus also said, “I will send you the Holy Spirit” (John 4:34, 6:44, 14:26, 15:26).

      7. God submits to human wishes and choices.

      Far from God submitting to us, Jesus said, “Narrow is the way that leads to eternal life.” We are to submit to Him in all things, for His glory and because of what He has accomplished for us (Matthew 7:13-15).

      8. Justice will never take place because of love.

      The Bible teaches that when God’s love is rejected, and when the offer of salvation and forgiveness is rejected, justice must take place or God has sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for nothing (Matthew 12:20; Romans 3:25-26).

      9. There is no such a thing as eternal judgment or torment in hell.

      Jesus’ own description of hell is vivid … it cannot be denied (Luke 12:5, 16:23).

      10. Jesus is walking with all people in their different journeys to God, and it doesn’t matter which way you get to Him.

      Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one will come to the Father but by me” (John 14:6).

      11. Jesus is constantly being transformed along with us.

      Jesus, who dwells in the splendor of heaven, sits at the right hand of God, reigning and ruling the universe. The Bible says, “In Him there is no change, for He is yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 11:12, 13:8; James 1:17).

      12. There is no need for faith or reconciliation with God because everyone will make it to heaven.

      Jesus said, “Only those who believe in me will have eternal life” (John 3:15, 3:36, 5:24, 6:40).

      13. The Bible is not true because it reduces God to paper.

      The Bible is God-breathed. Sure, there were many men through 1,800 years who put pen to paper (so to speak), each from different professions and different backgrounds, but the Holy Spirit infused their work with God’s words. These men were writing the same message from Genesis to Revelation. If you want to read more about the place of Christ in the Scripture, read “We Preach Christ” (2 Timothy 3:16).

      Like

  18. Susan McClain says:

    I loved the book and am fully aware that it is fiction not theology, I will watch the movie objectively and covered by the blood of Christ. Perhaps these God themed movies might just make someone seek Him and His truths. Just my thoughts

    Like

  19. Manny1962 says:

    Good morning Susan,

    The problem with these books and movies is they appeal to the heart strings not the mind, Paul said “come let’s reason together,” he was appealing to the intellect. The pitfall for a young believer is confusion and the wrong view of God. This book is a poisoned apple, very sweet, but follow what’s cleverly hidden between the words and it’s lethal. God is beyond reproach, He is perfection and utterly holy, why would anyone read a book or see a movie that completely misrepresents His person.

    I wonder how the militant, vociferous supporters of this book would feel if someone wrote a book about them and said things that were blatantly untrue about their character and how they manifest themselves. They’re so tied up with their emotions they can’t taste the poison.

    Like

  20. Manny1962 says:

    An observation:

    It just dawned on me, this movie has a “Hallmark movie” recipe, all fluff no substance and they’re made to get people emotionally invested. It appeals to what I call the post-Oprah, overtly emotional segment of Churchianity, the touchy-feely seeker movement adherents must be giddy with hankies and tears. Yet Paul describes faith as a preparation for battle, the helmet, the shield, and finally the sword, he didn’t say the stems, the leaves, the petals and finally the flower! Christianity today is hard, it gets harder to be a Christian with each passing day, those that call themselves brethren continually fight against us, if one stands for the word of God one is called judgemental, narrow minded, highly and any hateful word these supposed “christians” can think of. Remember, the Bible says the first to turn on us for standing up for righteousness will be family members and the so called brethren.

    Like

  21. Stuart59 says:

    Manny1962, thank you for your excellent defense of the faith. I enjoyed reading your biblically sound comments and I agree that we who hold to the truth are called many evil things and it will only get worse as we approach the culmination of all thing. I think we in the United States who hold to the truth will soon face the persecution that is happening right now in other parts of the world.

    Like

  22. Bruce says:

    What bothers me is that too many Christians are not offended by heresy. Just because it is a fictional book does not excuse the false teachings about the true God. Would you be offended if a book or movie came out that taught that Jesus and the devil were brothers? Or that God condones pedophilia? Would you read the book and go see the movie, after all it’s only fiction. I’m surprised that all these false teachings about your God, and your Jesus, does not offend the Holy Spirit that dwells in you. You will not find in Scripture any place that God uses error, and falsehood to draw people to himself. Error, and falsehood comes from The Dark One. 1 John 1:5-7; ” this then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no Darkness at all.
    6. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not the truth.
    7. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have Fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his son cleanses us from all sin.
    Paul says in Ephesians 5:8-11; ” For you were sometimes Darkness, but now are you light in the Lord, walk as children of light.
    9. For the fruit of the spirit is in all goodness, and righteousness, and TRUTH.
    10. Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
    11. And have no FELLOWSHIP with the unfruitful works of DARKNESS but rather REPROVE THEM”.
    As Christians we are supposed to reprove Darkness, not support it. We as Christians are not supposed to take into our spirit anything that is false or offensive unto our God. If you are a Christian and the deception an error of this movie does not offend you, I think you need to check yourself. The ideal portrayed in the shack that Jesus is not the only way to Salvation should be enough for any Christian to reject this movie and book.
    P.s. love without truth is not love at all.

    Like

  23. Lori says:

    Amy, thank you for all you do to expose error and particularly here, The Shack. However, Michael Youseff is an Anglican Eucharist serving false teacher himself. Thought you would want to know.

    God bless, Amy

    Like

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