Why All the Controversy Over “The Shack”?

The Shack Book

 

On one hand I hear from the religious community, “Stay away from “The Shack” it’s isn’t Biblical! Then I hear, “The Shack was the best movie/book. It changed my life!” How could there be such opposing views? Interestingly, I think the answer, of all places, is actually found in The Shack  – if one is willing to hear.

The common ground of most, whether you loved The Shack or opposed it, really lies in each person’s view or interpretation of God. Is He sitting upon His throne ruling with justice and majesty or a God of complete love and relationship? It all depends on ones view of God.

When Jesus was made flesh among us He came saying, “ I come to show you the Father.” Why would He say that? Apparently, people had a skewed view of who God really was or Jesus wouldn’t have mentioned it. Historically, He was a God of wrath, death and judgment to them. Apparently, that view did not represent the reality of the Father and Jesus came to change it.

It was love, relationship, compassion, healing, hanging with the sinner and redeeming all from sin that Jesus displayed. It was a side of the Father that they had never seen. Frankly, Jesus short-circuited their belief system. Some believed Him, others claimed He dishonored God. They didn’t know how to handle the challenge of their traditional understanding of God.

Also, today some people don’t know what to do when their traditional understanding of God is challenged by The Shack. Much like the Pharisees of Jesus day some aren’t seeing the aspect of God being presented in The Shack.

People get up in arms over God’s gender in this movie. Don’t miss the point! It has nothing to do with gender but everything to do with the character and attributes of God and His desire to touch every single person. He is neither male nor female, He is God! He will come to us in whatever manner that gets our attention.

Honestly, God isn’t offended to be represented by a female for He has both within Him. Wasn’t Adam made in God’s image and contained both male and female before Eve was taken from His side? After all, it was God who likened Himself to a mother hen drawing her chicks to herself and hiding them under her wing. God even chose to call the first female ezer which is used to name Him in a number of scripture in the Old Testament. God doesn’t have an identity problem…it’s man misunderstanding of God’s identity.

To God it isn’t about what form He presents himself in. Because His desire is to tap into the very heart of man, in whatever fashion one will receive Him best.

The same religious ideas of Jesus’ day is the same religious mindset that is speaking against The Shack. Just like the Pharisees were upset Jesus was representing the Father, so those today are upset a female is representing the Father. Let’s not miss the beauty of God’s call beyond our limited belief into a deeper understanding of Him.

The Shack gives freedom to people. Free from rigid manmade parameters that keep us inches away from a Father of complete, perfect love.

Let God out of the identity box you’ve created and you will find yourself free from your box. Selah…

1 Comment

  1. terrygmurphy

    Well done, Sheila. I loved The Shack. It wasn’t written as theology (and shouldn’t be interpreted the way theology might be) but as a way to describe God’s character to a child. And aren’t we all children in His sight?

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