Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves. -- Matthew 23:15 (ESV)
There is this terrific line from the original Jurassic Park movie when Jeff Goldblum's character says, "you were so busy asking if you could, you never bothered to ask if you should." With each passing stage of crazy, the purpose driven church movement seems to embody this disconnect. It directly ties into the key verse taken from the seven woes Jesus pronounced over the false teachers of His day. We should never take these lightly beloved as the term "woe" means judgment. Jesus is passing judgment upon the Pharisees when He pronounces these over them. This particular judgment is quite prescient of the times we are living in today and the false teachers of the church that have been wrongly trained in the purpose driven church model. You see, the Pharisees had zeal. They were motivated and probably convinced themselves that what they were doing was all for the Lord. They would travel across the land and sea to win a single convert but they never bothered to ask themselves if they should. If what they were converting them to was truly of God. Jesus makes a very bold statement here that misplaced zeal will only lead people to eternal damnation. Making people twice the son of hell. Why twice? Because there is nothing harder to convert than someone who has already been convinced they are converted. In Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Life he offers up an absurd nine word sinner's prayer and then literally says in the book -- "if you said that prayer -- welcome to the family of God!" Joel Osteen routinely preaches for a half hour devoid of scripture and barely mentioning Jesus. No mention of the cross and the need to repent and then looks in the camera to lead people in an equally vacuous sinner's prayer. The same thing happens in churches across this country every single Sunday. Salvation has been dumbed down to the point that people are being told they are saved when they cannot be. We know they cannot be because the Bible tells us that only the true Gospel has the power of god unto the salvation of man.
One of the other facets of the purpose driven church model is to embrace the NAR obsession with blending the church with contemporary culture. The church seems absolutely giddy whenever the world stares in its direction. We saw this when they went head over heels for the heretical Bible Miniseries that refused to take any doctrinal stand on creation, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and even the exclusivity of Christ. They followed that up with embracing the AD Miniseries, which was worse. They even bought the church kits for teaching this series that was not true to Scripture at all. Zeal? Sure. Correct doctrine? Not so much. Churches across the nation also hold movie nights to show movies such as War Room, which is co-produced by heretic Beth Moore and plays with subtle yet dangerous theology. Now the latest heresy-fest is upon us in the movie The Shack. Let me say up front that I personally know people who were moved by The Shack. People who feel The Shack helped them in some way spiritually. It matters not beloved. What matters is that the book and movie pretend to be something they are not. The problem is that Christians flock to it and thus lend their credibility to it. Look, perhaps you can see the heresy and separate it out but the people who know you are a Christian may not be able to and who are you leading them to? Are you gathering or scattering?
Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. -- Matthew 12: 30 (ESV)
So how bad is The Shack? Discernment ministers get accused all the time of making too big a deal of sound doctrine and certainly we do not wish to engage in spiritual hairsplitting. But it seems that the Seeker Friendly Industrial Complex employs the same zeal philosophy that the Pharisees did. Often we hear the refrain, "how far would you go for the cause of Christ?" Of course what they forget is once you compromise the Gospel it is no longer the cause of Christ. The purpose driven models of church growth are designed to grow the individual church into a thriving business but not to grow the kingdom. So there is this constant search for anything we can compromise to relate to the world. Several years ago when the book was released there was an analysis that identified the thirteen worst heresies found in the Shack. Think about these when you imagine your unsaved loved ones going to see this movie. Think about it in light of the Scripture that teaches us that people can believe in vain and place their faith in a false gospel and a false christ. These 13 areas of heresy are:
* God the Father was crucified with Jesus
* God is limited by His love and thus cannot practice justice
* Universalism -- The Shack teaches that everyone goes to heaven with or without repentance
* Hierarchical structures whether in church or government are evil
* God will never judge people for their sins
* The Godhead is not hierarchical; just a circle of unity
* God submits to human wishes and choices
* Justice will never take place because of love
* There is no such thing as hell or eternal judgment
* Jesus walks with all people in their different journeys; it doesn't matter how you get to Him
* Jesus is constantly being transformed along with us