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You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? It certainly isn't God, for he is the one who called you to freedom. This false teaching is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough!I am trusting the Lord to keep you from believing false teachings. God will judge that person, whoever he is, who has been confusing you. -- Galatians 5: 7-10 (NLT)
I have written several devotionals about the heretical movie and book called The Shack. I do so recognizing that the compromised purpose driven church has embraced this movie fully. They have developed sermon series' and small group curricula, despite the glaring theological heresies that are throughout the story. To willingly do so because it pulls at our heartstrings, makes us cry, or even provided some sense of completion outside of Christ is to be selfish. Even if we are able to separate out the heresy from the saliency, most cannot. The Bible makes it clear we are our brother's keeper and we are not to cause any to stumble. I chose the above verses for the key verses to remind us the power of false teaching within the body of Christ. The Church at Galatia had been infiltrated by a group known as the Judaizers who taught you still must be circumcised as part of salvation. Paul teaches that if you add anything you actually sever yourself from Christ! The key verses show the exasperation Paul has with the Galatians. You were doing so well! Who held you back from following the truth? It certainly could not have been God who calls you to freedom! Now comes the key part of the key verses. This false teaching is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough.
Now what does this mean? I am sure that the argument made by the Judaizers was convincing. I am sure to the former Jews who now embraced Christ it seemed a small thing. What's the big deal? We have faith AND we believe in circumcision. It is just a little leaven. Just a little yeast. The nature however of false teaching is parasitic. It spreads. It opens the doors for more and more little compromises until you end up with full blown heresy. That is why the expression goes that there is no such thing as a little heresy. One of the arguments in favor of The Shack from the Christian world is that it is not that big a deal. One article from a pastor suggested that the universalism clearly on display was merely "hinted at." Beloved when we turn a blind eye to the heresy of The Shack we open the door for William Paul Young's latest book and evisceration of the Bible -- "Lies We Believe About God." God help us if our Facebook posts, tweets, or casual conversations have led anyone to this man because while The Shack disguises its disregard and hatred for the God of the Bible, Lies We Believe About God proudly embraces it. William Paul Young lists 28 lies he says we believe about God and my intent here is to simply review two of them to show us what we have really been cozying up to. Let us start with:
1) God is good and I am not. Yes beloved, Young believes this is a lie we tell ourselves. He claims that we suffer from "crippled eyes but not a core of un-goodness." Now I am unsure where he thinks this condition of crippled eyes comes from because it sure is not supported in Scripture. What is supported however is the notion that we were born dead in our trespasses. The entire Bible confirms this. I know it is a tough pill to swallow and probably one of the top reasons why people reject the Gospel but that does not make it any less true. Do you want to see how we look standing before a holy God without the blood of Christ?
What then does this mean? Are we Jews any better off? Not at all! For we have already accused everyone, both Jews and Greeks, of being under the power of sin. As it is written, "Not even one person is righteous. No one understands. No one searches for God. All have turned away. They have become completely worthless. No one shows kindness, not even one person! Their throats are open graves. With their tongues they deceive. The venom of poisonous snakes is under their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. They run swiftly to shed blood. Ruin and misery characterize their lives. They have not learned the path to peace. They do not fear God. - Romans 3: 9-18 (ESV)
Beloved. Think critically for a moment. Does anyone with any discernment actually think that people think too little about themselves? Do you honestly believe that everyone you meet on a daily basis has a core of goodness in them? God is good and worthy of or praise and worship because while we were still sinners He died for us. As if the depraved sin nature of man was not enough, Young also attacks and redefines the Gospel itself.
2) "The Gospel is not that Jesus has opened up the possibility of salvation and you've been invited to receive Jesus into your life. The Gospel is that Jesus has already included you into His life, into His relationship with God the Father and into His anointing in the Holy Spirit. Whether you believe it or not will not make it any less or more true. God has acted decisively and universally for all humankind. Are you suggesting that everyone is saved? That you believe in universal salvation? That is exactly what I am saying." -- William Paul Young
Is this more than a hint now? Can we all openly admit that we allowed ourselves to be duped? William Paul Young is a Universalist and proud of it. So proud that he calls it a lie we believe about God to think that not everyone is saved. As we have seen and will continue to see, every time Young speaks about something he thinks is a lie, the Bible proves that he is the liar:
"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' Then they also will answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?' Then he will answer them, saying, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.' And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." -- Matthew 25: 41-46 (ESV)
It sure doesn't sound like everyone is saved Mr. Young. Jesus makes it abundantly clear here there will be two groups. Goats and sheep. Righteous and unrighteous. Those who will go on to eternal life and those who will go on to eternal punishment. To deny this truth is unbelievably cruel to those who need to repent. To provide false hope that everyone goes to heaven is a lie straight from the pit of hell. What does Young think happens to the five foolish virgins? What happens to the man who buried the Master's talent? How does he explain the torment of the rich man and the comfort of Lazarus? Beloved you can embrace Universalism but you cannot do it with an open Bible. What Young does here is mash together something that is true, the fact that Christ died for everyone, with something that is false, that everyone is saved.
These are only two of 28 beliefs that Christians hold dear that Young calls lies. He also claims no one needs to be saved, eliminating the role of Savior from Jesus Christ. He eliminates hell by claiming hell is only when we resist salvation while being unable to escape His love. He claims that another lie is that the cross was part of God's redemptive plan. Are we getting the picture of who we have led people to through The Shack? To Young, Christ is not the Savior, hell doesn't exist, and the cross is meaningless. You want more? How about the fact that he refers to the work of the cross as "child sacrifice?" Not enough for us yet? How about that we do not need to urge people to respond to God before they die or that sin separates us from God? So the cross is child sacrifice, death is irrelevant and God can coexist with sin. Oh and just for kicks, God is not sovereign, He is not Christian, and did not create religion.
Are we getting the picture yet?
In The Shack the main character loses their child when they are lured to a deserted shack by a serial killer. A horror to unimaginable for most of us. In our real world however, William Paul Young has lured Christians everywhere to that same deserted shack with just as nefarious intents in his heart. If we follow him into that shack he will try to bludgeon our faith and beat our Christianity to death.
Run beloved. Run like your life depends on it because it does.