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More on the False Teaching of “The Shack”

The Shack” as referred to in the post Why is God Referred to as Male?, is reviewed at Steve Camp’s site in THE SHACK REVIEW…a call to discernment. My husband said just last night that “The Shack” was still on the first page of the CBD catalog, it has been for months.

For more information on “The Shack” see:

“The Shack” – A Warning

“The Shack” for Sunday School?

The Shack – still a best seller with “Christians”

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Why is God Referred to as Male?

Both Conversations With God by Neale Donald Walsch and The Shack by William Young portray God as female although God is typically portrayed as male by Bible believing Christians.

Conversations With God

“You’ll spend your whole life looking for God and not finding Her. Because you’re looking for a Him.” page 40

“Yet the thinking mind begs to ask: if God has a way She wants me to be, why didn’t She simply create me that way to begin with?” page 82

“I am Goddess as you now comprehend Her.” page 117

The Shack

For me to appear to you as a woman and suggest you call me Papa is simply to mix metaphors, to help you keep from falling so easily back into your religious conditioning.” Page 93

God is referred to hundreds of times in the Bible with Masculine pronouns and Masculine names. The majority of references to characteristics are masculine. God is portrayed as masculine in most analogies.

God as Father

Ps 103:13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. KJV

Luke 15:11-32 The Prodigal Son

God as King

Ps 10:16 The LORD is King for ever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land. KJV

God as a Warrior

Neh 4:20 In what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us. KJV

God as a Husband

Jer 3:1 … but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD . KJV

Jesus as a Shepherd

Matt 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: … KJV

Jesus as a Bridegroom

Matt 9:15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast. KJV

Jesus as a Son

1 John 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. KJV

God has no body or physical form.

God Is Spirit

John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. KJV

Num 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? KJV

Deut 4:15-19

15 “Take careful heed to yourselves, for you saw no form when the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, 16 lest you act corruptly and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of any figure: the likeness of male or female, 17 the likeness of any animal that is on the earth or the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, 18 the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground or the likeness of any fish that is in the water beneath the earth. NKJV

John 5:37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. KJV

Jesus is God in human form.

Phil 2:6-8

6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. KJV

Jesus referred to God as his Father

John 2:16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. KJV

John 4:23-24

23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. KJV

There are a few instances that describe God’s characteristics as similar to a females. But God is just comparing His actions to those that are typically displayed by women.

Isa 42:14 For a long time I have held my peace; I have kept still and restrained myself; now I will cry out like a woman in labor; I will gasp and pant. ESV

Isa 66:13 As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. KJV

Matt 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! KJV

What difference does it make if you refer to God as masculine or feminine?

If all of Scripture is inspired by the hand of God, then even His names and His pronouns are inspired. We cannot change even the gender references to make God more acceptable or appealing to others.

 

Why do others, such as Walsch and Young, desire to change the masculine gender references to God? 


Changing the gender of God appeals to many women and encourages feminism. When the gender of the Lord is changed from what He has chosen then every part of the Scriptures is put in question as to its meaning.

Gen 3:1 Yea, hath God said, … KJV

 

If you do not stick to the gender which the Lord chooses for Himself, then it is very easy to question the gender specific verses for men and women.

Eph 5:22-23

22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. KJV



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Taize Services

There is a Presbyterian church we pass regularly that on their sign every so often it will say Taize Service for a particular date. This isn’t a type of church we would even go to because the pastor’s name is Peggy! But we always think what is a Taize service? Even though we aren’t Catholic we do have a little understanding of Catholic services, but we’ve not heard of this type service. This is what I found out about Taize services.


Taize


Taize is an ecumenical group started in France. They have spread world-wide now. The services utilize candles, incense, icons, and stress silence. When songs are used they are often chanted.


Today, the Taizé Community is made up of over a hundred brothers, Catholics and from various Protestant backgrounds, coming from around thirty nations. By its very existence, the community is a “parable of community” that wants its life to be a sign of reconciliation between divided Christians and between separated peoples.” The Taizé Community

comm166bTaize Service

“Brother Roger has said many times how important a role music and singing have played in Taizé from the very beginning. There are pages here on meditative singing and learning the songs in the way they are intended to be sung. There is an outline for a typical “prayer with songs from Taizé”, pages on the value of silence; how to arrange the place where the prayer will take place; the use of icons in worship; sound clips, and much more.”

See also: Taize – Another Avenue Through Which Contemplative is Entering the Church

So now you know what Taize is.

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The Shift !?!

I got an email from Slice of Laodicea entitled The Shift is Underway. I would have probably not paid any attention to it except I had just recently seen a local church which has a pastor’s blog named Shift. I am not sure if they are in anyway related but it was interesting to me since I knew nothing about “The Shift“.

Some of the supporters of “The Shift” are:

Al Gore

Marianne Williamson

Deepak Chopra


Willow Creek’s Emergent & Mystical Youth Conference

Willow Creek’s “Shift” Youth Conference 2008 features the emergent & mystical…

A “Shift” Is Coming {Link no longer available}

Such New Age luminaries as Marianne Williamson, Dennis Kucinich and Deepak Chopra are featured on this short film, The Shift. (Note the title.) Brian McLaren’s site is called DeepShift.org. They’re all about a shift into a new paradigm.


Turns out I did know about this from Oprah and Tolle earlier this year. I just did not realize that “The Shift” was a movement and an upcoming movie.

Paul Proctor’s OPRAH AND THE GOSPEL OF ME had mentioned them together way back in April.

If you break it all down, the New Age is, at its core, just spiritual narcissism – cloaked in charity, compassion and unity.

Remember this next time you see celebrities, authors, books, movies and commercials promoting The New Earth – The Secret – The Shift and The Moses Code.


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What Idol Have You Made?

We studied about the Ten Commandments Sunday night. That particular night was focused on Exodus 20:4-6. Sitting there reading the verses while everyone was discussing the idols we make and worship, I was drawn to the portion that is usually left out of the Ten Commandments Exodus 20:5-6. Here are the KJV and NIV versions.

Ex 20:4-6
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
KJV

Ex 20:4-6
4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments. NIV

The biggest problem facing the church today is the lack of true Biblical faith. Our churches have made an idol of God – the God that they like, as opposed to the God revealed in the Bible. Years ago the God that people believed in was mostly the jealous and judgmental God of the “fire and brimstone” preachers. But today the God that most churches worship is the Loving God. The slogan verse for these churches is 1 John 4:16 “God is love.” Which God is. But when you ignore everything else His Word reveals about His character, then you have created an idol.

When you focus on one portion of the character of God to the exclusion of all others than you have something different than the whole. It would be similar to describing me to another person and only using the adjective female. That would be accurate but would fall far short of the truth of who I am.

I found it very interesting that the Lord pointed out two specific characteristics of His in the commandment to not create and worship idols. He was clear that He was a jealous God who will punish those who sin. He was also clear that He is a merciful God to those who love him and keep His commandments.

Unless the God you worship is both Jealous, Merciful (Loving) and all other characteristics described in the Bible then you have created an idol to worship.

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Candy Coated, Romantic Gospel Appeals

 
“If the professed convert distinctly and deliberately declares that he knows the Lord’s will but does not mean to attend to it, you are not to pamper his presumption, but it is your duty to assure him that he is not saved. Do not suppose that the Gospel is magnified or God glorified by going to the worldlings and telling them that they may be saved at this moment by simply accepting Christ as their Savior, while they are wedded to their idols, and their hearts are still in love with sin. If I do so I tell them a lie, pervert the Gospel , insult Christ, and turn the grace of God into lasciviousness.”
~~~~~~
C.H. SPURGEON

Those kinds of words fall on deaf ears today.


They are not cool, contemporary, relatable, winsome, attractive. They sound too harsh, too judgmental, too defining, too narrow, and… too biblical. Compare the above with the following attempts in addressing a lost world.

Just tell an audience

that God is crazy about you; that He doesn’t want to punish you; that the dread Sovereign of the universe is a powerless lover down on one knee begging you to be His bride and has to wait to see if you choose to accept Him; that the whole universe is proposing to you; that He wants you to fall in love with Him; that His law is designed just to make this world a better place; and as you proclaim the gospel to insure the highest success from as many nonbelievers as possible, make sure you don’t speak about repentance from sin; justification by faith; the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ; submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ; don’t ever mention Scripture specifically, open up a Bible and actually read it, or use Bible sounding words; just carry a surfboard against the backdrop of beautiful scenery, walk along a beach and show that you’re a regular guy who can relate by talking about how fast the planet earth revolves around the sun, get all giggly that God created laughter, and make it as comfortable as possible for people to hear some things about the gospel; but don’t ever mention that you must come to the end of yourself–deny yourself; take up your cross and follow Him; don’t ever tell them that God is angry with them and His wrath abides on them; don’t mention Hell (to negative); don’t ever tell them that they have to hate their own lives, their father, mother, brother, sister, son and daughter and love Him more than all other loves or they cannot be His disciple; just reassure them that God loves them just the way they are and wants to give them a better life if they would cry out and say “I love You too.”

This is from Steve Camp’s post yesterday which I think fits well with the

I Asked Jesus Into My Heart … from yesterday.


Click below to read the rest of Steve Camp’s post.

SOME PURPOSE TO REMOVE THE OFFENSE OF THE CROSS…the ineffectualness of candy coated, romantic gospel appeals

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I Asked Jesus Into My Heart …

jesus-knocking

Are you saved and going to Heaven because you “asked Jesus into your heart“?

How many times have you heard someone say the following sentence? Or, maybe even you have said? “I asked Jesus into my heart.” They may add that they did this as a child, maybe even during VBS (Vacation Bible School). They walked down the aisle at church or that they prayed a prayer. What exactly does that mean?

Did a little miniature Jesus actually move in? Is there really a microscopic Jesus that has “filled the God-shaped hole in their heart“? Which ventricle did he pick? Nevertheless, maybe you would contend that this is just figurative. That it symbolizes believing in Jesus.

There is no basis for statements like these in the Bible. Where can you find anything that even possibly resembles this? This verse is often used as a basis for these statements.

Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. KJV

That is similar to “Jesus is standing at the door of your heart knocking. If you will open the door He will come in.” Doesn’t sound bad at first glance. Yet it is wrong. The full context of the verse is in relation to the church.

Rev 3:14-22

14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. KJV  

See this is referring to the door of the church not to a person’s heart. Hearts do not have doors!

If you have ever seen a picture of Jesus standing at the door, often the door is shown without a handle. This Jesus can’t get in unless you open the door. They have reduced the Powerful, Almighty Lord to handwringing and begging for anyone to let him in. This is not the Lord and Master of all creation – this is a different “Jesus.” As Paul Washer has been known to say, “Jesus would kick the door in if He wanted in“.

2 Cor 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. KJV

What must you do to be saved?

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. KJV

John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. KJV

Acts 16:30-31 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?   31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. KJV

If you asked Jesus to come into your heart you should reevaluate your salvation.  Are you encouraging others to “ask Jesus to come into their heart?”

 

Jesus doesn’t just want your heart – He wants all of you!

 

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The Shack – still a best seller with “Christians”

The shack is still listed as the number one seller on Christianbook.com. I do not understand why so many “Christians” are busy reading this book and yet don’t have time to read their Bible.

Open Mind, Closed Bible by Tim Challies at Challies.com.

Almost eight months after my review of The Shack I continue to get daily emails about it. This is proof, I suppose, of the book’s continued success. I do not know if the novel’s popularity has peaked yet but can see that it is still at the top of its category on many of the bestseller lists. The emails I receive typically fit into one of two categories: the “thanks for the review” category or the “how dare you?” category. Today I want to address just two of the more common critiques of my critique of the book.

Here is how one reader expressed herself: “Hello Tim. I read your review after I had already read The Shack and I think your review is ridiculous. Your review reminds me of exactly why ‘stodgy old religion’ is so unappealing to masses of people. …

Here are more links to information about The Shack.

Christian Research Network in the article A Preliminary Critique of “The Shack”


After listening to the audio interview below and more critically perusing through this book, I am led to think that the author of this book holds to some type of “Christian universalism”, i.e., a person that believes that all people eventually will be saved through Jesus Christ even though they never repented and believed in
Christ in this earthly life.


Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry in the article The Shack.


On page 145-146 we find, “Mack was surprised. ‘How could that be? Why would the God of the universe want to be submitted to me?'” “Because we want you to join us in our circle of relationship. I don’t want slaves to my will; I want brothers and sisters who will share life with me.” We have to ask. Is there any place in Scripture where God expresses a desire to be submitted to an individual human being? Nope. But, we have the incarnation of Christ where Jesus was made under the law (Gal. 4:4) and was therefore in subjection to his earthly parents. But, this is due to the incarnation and was part of the process of the atonement. Where in Scripture do we find God desiring his submission to individuals? I know of no reference. If anything, we the creatures are to be in subjection to the Holy and Majestic God of the universe, not the other way around. I found this to be a reduction of God’s glory and an elevation of man’s stature — something false religious systems do.

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Beware of “Conversations with God”

I got an email about the book Conversations with God just today. Beware of this book! This is the link to the email I got. Emails nowadays can not always be trusted and even Christians are often bad about saying things and forwarding things that they can not back up with facts. After a couple of hours research here is what I found. A different version of this email went around for a while and it was signed “by James Dobson”. That was a fake email although the content of the book was accurately portrayed. Dr. Dobson has discussed this book several times on his radio show.

Dr. Dobson has expressed strong feelings regarding the book Conversations with God for Teens, which Scholastic, Inc. marketed to unsuspecting students at Christian schools and their parents in 2002. […] To ensure that his audience knew what to expect from this marketing ploy, Dr. Dobson taped a broadcast which included information about Scholastic, Inc. and Conversations with God for Teens. The broadcast cassette, titled “Pulling Kids from Public Schools” (CT464) is available for a suggested donation of $7.00 in our online Resource Center. The e-mail message you may have seen did not originate from Focus on the Family, but represents someone else’s synopsis of Dr. Dobson’s comments.” (I didn’t find the tape.)

Because of protests by Dobson and some families, Scholastic no longer sells these books to Christian Schools, nothing was said about public schools that I could find.

From http://www.apologeticsindex.org/370-conversations-with-god-neale-donald-walsch-2

Q. In reading the first “Conversations with God,” I recognized much from James Redfield, Marianne Williamson, Wayne Dyer and other authors. I could imagine some people saying you simply adapted their materials, then added your own.

A. They’re right. Marianne and James Redfield got it from God, too. It’s not unusual that we say the same thing. And I wouldn’t be surprised if some priest said, “Hell, that’s what I told him in a sermon as a boy.” God made it clear that he has been teaching me all along.

Marianne Williamson is the author teaching The Course in Miracles for Oprah Wynfrey.

From the author Neale Donald Walsch’s own website: http://www.cwg.org/main.php?p=About&sub=Vision

Vision – …we envision a planet where world peace and global sustainability is a reality. We believe that this can be attained through the embodiment of the Conversations with God material,…

Mission – The mission of the ReCreation Foundation, Inc. is to create an environment in which a new form of spirituality can emerge upon the planet.

Neale Donald Walsch was deeply inspired by the message that “the purpose of life is to recreate ourselves anew in the highest version of the grandest vision we ever had about ourselves.”


If the author is Neale Donald Walsch stay away from his New Age false teaching.

Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue (Book 1) (October 1, 1996)

Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue (Book 2) (May 1, 1997)

Meditations from Conversations With God, Book 2: A Personal Journal (December 1, 1997)

The Little Soul and the Sun: A Children’s Parable Adapted from Conversations With God (April 1, 1998)  

Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue (Book 3) (October 1, 1998)

Neale Donald Walsch on Relationships (September 30, 1999)

Neale Donald Walsch on Holistic Living (September 30, 1999)

Neale Donald Walsch on Abundance and Right Livelihood (October 1, 1999)

Friendship with God: An Uncommon Dialogue (October 1, 1999)

Questions and Answers on Conversations With God (October 1, 1999)

The Wedding Vows from Conversations With God (April 1, 2000)

Recreating Your Self (June 1, 2000)

Signals: An Inspiring Story of Life After Life (April 9, 2001) (by Joel Rothschild, foreword by Neale Donald Walsh)

Moments of Grace (July 2001)

Conversations With God for Teens (November 1, 2001)

The New Revelations: A Conversation with God (September 30, 2002)

Communion With God (October 1, 2002)

Tomorrow’s God: Our Greatest Spiritual Challenge (March 2, 2004)

What God Wants: A Compelling Answer to Humanity’s Biggest Question (March 22, 2005)

The Little Soul And The Earth: A Children’s Parable Adapted From Conversations With God(August 1, 2005) (with Frank Riccio)

The Complete Conversations with God (October 20, 2005)

Home with God: In a Life That Never Ends (March 29, 2006)

Happier Than God: Turn Ordinary Life into an Extraordinary Experience (February 29, 2008)

Listing from Wikipedia

In October, the movie Conversations with God came out. Quotes from the movie: http://www.cwgthemovie.com/main.html

There is no judgement in what you call the afterlife… there is no accounting, no one giving ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down.’ Only humans are judgemental, and because you are, you assume I AM. I cannot tell you MY truth until you stop telling ME yours.”

“Neale, you’ve got me all wrong… and you’ve got YOU all wrong too. I don’t want anything from you to be happy. But, you think you are below ME, when in truth… we are all one. There is no separation.”

“To say that something — a thought, a word, an action — is ‘wrong’ would be as much as to tell you not to do it. To tell you not to do it would be to prohibit you. To prohibit you would be to restrict you. To restrict you would be to deny the reality of WHO YOU REALLY ARE, as well as the opportunity for you to create and experience the truth.

Many “Christians” who would go see it just because it says God. We must encourage everyone to be Berean and compare everything to the Scriptures.

See also:

Neale Donald Walsch Caught In Plagiarism

“Conversations with God” – response to a comment

What if you don’t like the Bible?

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Christians Judging Others?

“Judge Not”

How many times does a Christian hear this if they say anything negative about anything or anyone? I think this is the most popular verse. Most people know this verse even if they have never read a Bible? In the following article these quotes about judging caught my attention.

The Dangers of Todd Bentley Theology

BY Hank Hanegraaff

This raises the question: Should Christians judge the teachings of their leaders?

Not only is judging permissible – it is a responsibility. Nobody’s teachings are above sound judgment. Especially those who have influence and power. Biblically, authority and accountability go hand in hand. The greater the responsibility, the greater the accountability. The precedent for making right judgments comes from the Bible. In the Old Testament the Israelites were commanded to practice sound judgment. They were told to thoroughly test the teachings of their leaders. In the New Testament the Apostle Paul commands the Thessalonians to test all things and to hold fast to that which is good. Paul lauds the Bereans for doing just that, for testing his teachings.

While our Lord cautioned followers not to judge self-righteously, He also counseled them to make judgments based on right standards, and in the contest of oft-quoted commands by Jesus such as “Judge not or you too will be judged,” Jesus also exhorted us to judge false prophets whose teachings and whose behavior lead people to abject misery. Thus, while we’re commanded not to judge hypocritically, we are, nevertheless, called to judge.

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