Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Shack Attack

My name is Todd, and I don’t like The Shack!

And somehow, I am being made to feel like less than a true believer by voicing my concerns.  That’s my problem and no one else’s, but that’s how I feel.

I didn’t have the same heart-rending reaction that many Christians had after reading the book.  I wondered why.  Is there something wrong with me?  Am I cold-hearted and insensitive to human pain?  Do I not want God to be forgiving and merciful? Am I not forgiving and merciful? Why don’t I love The Shack? But then I found relief when I read of others who likewise felt uneasy about the portrayal of God in The Shack.

I feel that the concern has been misinterpreted or perhaps it has been miscommunicated, so please indulge these confessions of a Shack dissident.
  • I’m thinking The Shack may be like a song or a painting.  Some people love songs that I don’t, and I love some songs that others don’t.  Some paintings speak to some but fall mute to others.  It’s like modern art – I just don’t get it, but, obviously, some people do.  The Shack is a song I just don’t get.  It didn’t move me but that doesn’t mean I’m not moved by the immense love of God.
  • My concern about The Shack is not that God is portrayed as loving and forgiving.  My concern is that The Shack’s portrayal didn’t seem consistent with biblically revealed truths about Him. My concern is that in trumpeting God’s love and mercy that other spiritual truths may have been compromised.  God’s love and mercy need to be shouted from the mountaintops, but not at the expense of other truths about Him.  Others have expressed that same concern and that’s a legitimate concern.
  • I’m not calling for a ban or boycott of the movie.  I’ve not heard that from anyone.  There’s been a simple and legitimate call for discernment.
  • Just because something is moving doesn’t make it true.  Some reviews seem to give approval of the movie primarily based on its emotive effect. It seems that The Shack passes the “did it make me cry” test.  That’s neither good nor bad.  That doesn’t make the story true or false.  However, emotion cannot be the litmus test for truth.  I'm typing these words and I sound like some hard-hearted, passionless, old-school Christian.  I’m not anti-emotion.  I cry.  Contemplating God moves me to tears. But in a “post-truth” world, we must always be on guard of letting our emotions determine what is true.  That’s good advice for The Shack or anything else.
I may be totally wrong about all of this. And I’m truly glad that God’s love and mercy are being spotlighted.  But please, don’t assume me or others who don’t like The Shack don’t like the idea of a loving and merciful God. We’re really not bad people.

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