Christians: Privileged or Persecuted?

According to a seminar at George Washington University, I’ve been getting “Christian Privilege” all my life! That’s on top of my patriarchal, white, gluten/peanut tolerating privilege!

But is that really true? Or is it one of those #FirstWorldProblems things?

Globally, the idea of Christian privilege is pure sophistry. Christians are the recipients of up to 80 percent of religious persecution around the planet, making it the most persecuted religion in the world. Worldwide, Christianity is the opposite of privileged unless you consider it a privilege that the day your faith is discovered in Somalia is the day you die.

“But we’re just talking about the evil empire – the United States, David.”

OK – let’s consider that. Christians in the United States don’t blow people up; they don’t riot in the streets; they do billions of dollars of good work. But they are still persecuted. Examples:

  • Facebook refused an ad from a Catholic University because it was too violent – it pictured a statue of Jesus on the cross.
  • Obama tried to force Hobby Lobby and The Little Sisters of the Poor to fund abortifacients against their Christian belief. Horrible people those “Little Sisters” – caring for the elderly poor and destitute as if they were family.
  • In 2012, Chick-fil-A owner Truett Cathy said he supports biblical marriage: one man/one woman. The mainstream media went ballistic, and his restaurants were vandalized and received threats of violence from homosexual groups.
  • A case is currently before the Supreme Court regarding a baker. The baker will sell homosexuals cupcakes, cakes and brownies, but, believing that same-sex marriage is a sin, won’t bake cakes for their marriage ceremonies. So Colorado is trying to force him to violate his religious beliefs.

None of that sounds “privileged” to me. One could argue that Islam is much more privileged that Christianity these days.

After 9/11, when Muslim terrorists killed 3,000 Americans, U.S. leaders went to GREAT PAINS to distance Islam from those guys who claimed to kill in the name of Islam.
After 9/11:

  • We were told we must watch out for “Islamophobia.” “Phobia” refers to an irrational fear – like the fear that one of the 100 million Muslims sympathetic to terrorism might fly a plane into a building in the name of their religion. Crazy.
  • George W. Bush, confronted with this act of terror, declared, “Islam means peace.” Wrong. Who advised this guy? It’s not a secret – Islam literally means, “submission.” I guess “peace” sounded better.
  • Both Bush and Obama refused to say the term, “radical Islam.” It’s not radical Christianity (they handle snakes) or radical Krishnas (used to accost you with love and bald heads in airports) or radical Girl Scout cookie pushers that are the problem.
  • Obama invited dozens of real Islamic terror suspects to the White House.
  • Obama criticized Christianity for the Crusades, which happened 1,000 years ago, but never criticized Islam for the terror of today.
  • Trump banned travel from seven of 50 Muslim majority countries (they were terror incubators); the mainstream media was apoplectic calling it a “Muslim Travel Ban.” Weakest ban in history since it left out 43 countries. “All Muslims are BANNED. Except for 86 percent of them. But it’s BIG BEAUTIFUL BAN.”

Bottom line?

  • Islamic terrorists kill 3,000 Americans, and everyone runs around making sure no one offends Islam.
  • Faithful Christians refuse to pay for abortion drugs or believe in biblical marriage, and they are the Taliban and must be destroyed!

So in one sense in 2018, anyone that goes around claiming Christians have special “privilege” is cloistered from reality.

But, I must admit, here in the U.S., every single person is a recipient of a specific type of Christian privilege. Here’s the truth. The United States is:

  • the greatest country in the world,
  • the safest country in the world,
  • the most prosperous country in the world,
  • the most secure country in the world, and
  • the freest country in all of history.

Why? Because of the Christian values and principles that informed its founding and governance. Christian values led to the forming of a country unlike any in history – dedicated to protecting the individual’s right to freedom and liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

“But what about all the atrocities the U.S. has committed?” America has her flaws, but those flaws exist in spite of Christianity, when the U.S. has not fully embraced Christian values. And we work hard to right the wrongs: Slavery was the norm around the world, and we were the only nation in human history to fight a bloody civil war to end it.

In every election cycle, Barbra Streisand and her buddies declare they will leave the country if the conservative or Christian or Republican wins. And we wait, and we wait, but THEY NEVER LEAVE. THEY PROMISED! WHY WON’T THEY LEAVE?

Because there’s nowhere better to go.

Instead of “Christian privilege” seminars, there ought to be seminars everywhere on how you should thank your lucky stars if you’re an atheist, your lucky charms if you’re a witch, or whoever it is you worship, that you live in a country that was founded by Christians and/or those who respected Christianity and the Bible. Because you are more blessed than the 95-plus percent of the world’s population that lives elsewhere. You have freedom and liberty unlike any other people in history.

 

-David

This was originally published at WND.com.

 

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Get To Work Forgetting!!

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Beautiful wisdom from The Panda.

 

During the summer in college, I put in sprinkler systems with a New Yorker who was also a Doobie Brother (smoker not rockstar) with a massive walrus mustache. One of the funniest guys I’ve ever known – loved working with him.  And he loved the term “wayback machine” of Professor Peabody fame.  He’d say, “Where you gonna go Professor?” Then answer himself, “I’m gonna go…waaaaayyyyyback!” Then he’d laugh and laugh.

So would I.

But the truth is some people live their lives in the Wayback Machine. And that’s a horrible way to live. Here’s what I mean (illustration is not original with me):

Have you ever seen a really really bad movie? I mean one you REALLY hated? Maybe horribly made, or a comedy that wasn’t funny or maybe it was really offensive. Have you ever seen a movie and thought “that’s 2 hours of my life wasted!”

And did you watch that movie 3 times? 20 times? 50 times? 100 times? Ever watch a movie you hated 1000 times?

Of course not! Because that would be:

INSANE.

“Wow – this was painful the first 300 times – maybe 301st time is a charm!” And then, “I’m SHOOK! I’m WOKE! It was still horrible! Whew. Glad that’s over…wait a minute – maybe one more time – yeah – that’s the ticket!”

But we do just that in our mind.

We’ve all had that bad experience/bad fail/painful event that we rehearse over and over and over and over and over – and in some cases, a ONE-time event can give pain for years and years and years.

The Apostle Paul was an incorrigible man.

Acts 9:1 says “But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord…”

Have you ever “breathed” threats and murder? I’ve never even met someone like that and I’ve been in more than a few jails – that really is a deplorable.

And look one chapter back-Paul watches the murder of Stephen and believes it’s a wonderful service to God! Paul is literally the Taliban – a murderous thug.

But Jesus saves him – he’s radically changed. His sin is forgiven. All of it!

Sadly, for the next 50 years, Paul questions his faith and salvation and NEVER does anything for the Lord, because he keeps taking the wayback machine wayback and reliving his massive moral failure. He’s such a wreck he goes from doctor to doctor and walks around in pharmaceutically numbed state for the rest of his life.

WRONG!  He changes the world! He writes half of the NT. How does he do that? The answer is here:

“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past…” Philippians 3:13a

Paul doesn’t have a wayback machine; he doesn’t go see bad movies more than once; and he doesn’t relive his murderous past over and over again! That’s what Satan wants him to do. God wants him to move forward. Smart guy that Paul is, he listens to God.

How many times have you watched a bad movie from your past?

Maybe someone mistreated you – and you’ve relived it 1000 times. Stop letting that person live rent free in your head. Learn from it. Forget it. Move forward.

Maybe it’s a major fail. You were a complete and utter train wreck! And you keep rehearsing it over and over until it completely defines you. Learn everything you can from it. Make amends if it’s that kind of fail. Move forward.

As soon as that memory begins to play in your mind, seize it – isolate it – and cast it out. Replace that bad movie with praise to God for the sacrifice of Christ that has completely obliterated it. Because here’s the truth: if you’ve confessed it, made any amends needed, and received forgiveness through Jesus, then:

Satan won’t forget it, but God has (Isa. 43:25, Psalm 103:12, Heb. 10:17).
So don’t be like Satan, be like God.

CRITICAL ALERT

And don’t be that husband or wife or parent who makes your spouse or kid relive their failures over and over – that’s Satan’s job – do you really want to do Satan’s job in your marriage or for your kids? “I’d like to apply for the job of Chief Beelzebub in charge of guilt for my wife please!”

Back to You

Some of you will say, “I know I should forget my past, I just can’t.” Stop that – RAISE your standards and CHANGE your mind. Get rid of the “should.”  Replace it with a “must.” Get to work forgetting.

Failure in this is not an option. Your future depends on it. Tell yourself, “I MUST put those events in the past out of my mind because Christ wants to use my future. Paul is a lot worse than I’ve ever been, so like he says, I’ll forget the past and move forward to what lies ahead.”

Jesus is Lord of the future. So look to Jesus and lean in the direction He wants you to go. And get rid of the wayback machine.

Amen amen.

This was originally published by World Net Daily here.

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Can A Christian Be a Doobie Brother?

The following was originally published by  World Net Daily here.

So a CNN reporter was riding the bong bus, marveling at a stoner gas mask and offering a hit on New Year’s Eve – but should a Christian smoke weed?

 A: Obviously not, David. It’s illegal in Texas. Dude!OK. What about California? It’s legal in California now. And Colorado! So it’s OK, right? I mean, “legal” means “permissible,” so it’s OK. Right? Check out the Wordage: Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work (Titus 3:1).

SEE! SEE! “Submissive to the rulers!” Since it’s legal in PROC (People’s Republic of California), let’s be godly submitters. And don’t bogart that joint, my friend! Pass it over to me!

Now, wait just a minute. Don’t get so excited, my doobie brother. Let’s think this through a little bit.

First, a social observation:

Smoke cigarettes? Culture says (I definitely do NOT say this) you’re a demon, a devil and a deplorable, and even if you smoke in your own home, we’ll hunt you down and put you in jail! OK, not yet, but give us time! For now, we’ll just tax your smokes into oblivion – which means we really can’t outlaw it because it’s such a great source of government revenue.

And your cancer-causing second-hand smoke is killing the world! (Full disclosure: smell of cig smoke on a cold, crisp morning fills my mind with great memories of deer hunting with my dad pre-fifth grade.)

I’ve never personally seen a modern movie/TV show where the smoker was the most loveable character in the movie. Maybe the toughest (fire in his mouth, gotta be tough), but not the most loveable.

Smoke weed? You freedom lover! You’re a cool dude who talks while holding your breath! You’re funny and the darling of pop culture – famous to millions like Cheech and Chong and Spicoli! Smoking weed is the subject of humor, and the pothead in a movie is always the most likable, with his “dude” and “tubular” and “gnarly.” I’ve never personally seen a pot smoker in a movie who was deplorable.

It’s perfectly acceptable to say you smoked weed as a kid because even presidents do it (Obama and Clinton). Everyone has done it, right (just for the record, I haven’t)?

So, if smoking a cigarette is so horrendous, and the anti-smoking crowd would love to outlaw it completely, it’s completely illogical that smoking cannabis would be looked at as acceptable in any way! It’s all smoke, carcinogenic and polluting! In fact, the logical response to the legalization of marijuana anywhere would be outrage, panic and hand-wringing. But no, the popular culture largely says it’s a beautiful thing, cute thing, freedom thing … dude. Unless you’re a killjoy, fun-hating narc.

Conclusion? Our crazy world is not the “go-to” for wisdom, logic, consistency or clarity on smoking weed.

What does the Bible say about it?

  1. The Bible doesn’t mention marijuana. Or doobie. Or maryjane. It does mentions grass! Darn! Wrong kind of grass. Just the kind cows eat.
  2. The Bible doesn’t mention “getting high.” Nobody in the Bible ever said, “When I get high I see Jesus.” But I heard someone say that at some time in my life. That is some kind of crazy.
  3. The Bible does say no to drunkenness (Ephesians 5:18). The reason is simple. It robs the individual of the ability to control himself. If you’re “controlled” by drunkenness, you can’t be “controlled” by the Spirit.
  4. Unlike alcohol (you can drink and not get drunk), you can’t smoke a joint (or eat a brownie) and not get high. The whole point is to get high.
  5. Getting high impairs you like getting drunk. “That’s totally bogus man!” Really? Consider this: In Colorado it is illegal to drive while drunk OR under the influence of MJ. Why? Because you are unable to control yourself. You may kill someone.Colorado governmental authorities (and ski resorts) see drunken folks and doobie brothers (or sisters) as equally impaired. (Smoke a joint on the slopes and you’ll be escorted off the mountain.) In this case Ephesians 5:18 (God says no to drunkenness) would come into play. Don’t be controlled by anything (like marijuana or drunkenness) but be controlled by the Spirit of God.

So, besides the fact that smoking weed is:

  1. a poor witness of a person who exalts Christ as King and Lord over all of life,
  2. a stumbling block for folks (nobody ever said, “I got a scholarship to college because of marijuana”),
  3. addictive,

the Biblical principle in Ephesians 5:18 of not being controlled by anything but the Holy Spirit of God would dictate abstinence from the use of marijuana.

Can I smoke weed and be a Christian? Sure. Faith in Christ is the only thing that saves me. But looking at Scripture, I’d have to say I’m a disobedient Christian. I’d be hard-pressed to say in any way that I’m really looking out for No. 1 (Jesus) in my life.

Amen amen.

 

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How Can I Fight ISIS If I’m Not Military, Police or Katy Perry?

The world is a horribly dark place as evidenced by the Islamic terrorist blowing himself up along with 22 kids and parents in Manchester.

And what can I do about horrific darkness like Islamic terrorism?unnamed
If you are in the military, you have a specific role in fighting the darkness.
Do it well. We’re for you.
Praise God for you!

If you’re in law enforcement, you also have a very specific role in fighting the darkness.
Do it well. I’m for you.
Praise God for you!

But if you are not in the military or law enforcement, and following Christ, what can you do? I mean really – what can we do beyond virtue signaling on social media – “I stand with Manchester! At home! I changed my profile pic on Facebook!” Beyond declaring group hugs and no borders and no walls like Katy Perry (who coincidentally lives in a bullet proof bubble with armed security and a wall around her house).

If I’m serious about following Jesus, and I sincerely want to make a difference, isn’t there something I can do?

God actually has a word for you.

In the very beginning, it was dark. In fact, there was nothing. And out of nothing, God created everything. And He said, “Let there be light.” And instantly, there was light.

The darkness was driven back by God’s light.

Fast forward many years, Jesus walked the earth, and He famously said,”I AM the light.” John 8:12IMG_0850

You could accurately proclaim, “That Jesus is lit!”

And about 60 years after Jesus was born there was a very dark city called Ephesus. Half a million people and none of them knew God. Instead, they worshiped the Roman god Diana or the Greek god Artemis. The worship included a lot of dark stuff including temple prostitution and horrific rituals.

Jesus (The Light) showed up in this town, in the form of a little church full of His followers.

And God told says to them in Ephesians 5:8, “For once YOU were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!
And they, “Lit it up.”

So with that all in mind, His word for you?unnamed (1)

Be the light.

Not everyone can get in a jet and drop a MOAB on a hornets’ nest of dark hearts plotting murder and mayhem. Not everyone can go undercover and find people plotting the death of young girls leaving a concert.

But everyone who has Christ can be His light.

So do it. Be the light of Christ to change hearts and minds wherever God has called you to live and work. Ask God every day to use you to shine a light into the souls of people all around you.

Can that really make a difference?

Christ’s light is so powerful that when it shined into the soul of a seething murderous monster named Saul, it changed him into the greatest Christian to ever live – a man named Paul who God used to write half the New Testament.

And here’s the payoff:

The light you shine today might just fight back the darkness in a heart that could do tremendous evil tomorrow.

 

So in this dark and evil world, get lit! And light it up everywhere and every way you possibly can. unnamed (3)

“You are the light of the world—let your good deeds shine out for all to see so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:14, 16‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Amen amen.

 

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Religion is a Crutch!

Madelyn Murray O’Hair (who fought successfully to remove prayer from school) famously said, “Religion is a crutch and only the crippled quote-religion-is-a-crutch-and-only-the-crippled-need-crutches-madalyn-murray-o-hair-117-14-62need crutches.” She was so crippled with hatred for her father that she chased him around the house with a butcher knife, trying to kill him.

Jesse Ventura said religion is a “crutch for weak-minded people.” Before he went out and sued the widow of the American military hero Chris Kyle. He was so crippled with…something…that he sued a widow.

Always a bad plan to attempt to deride religion by calling it a crutch.
First, some of the very best, most excellent people in history were…religious. Washington, Lincoln, Wilberforce, Tolkien, CS Lewis, Martin Luther AND Martin Luther King.

Second, there will come a day in every man or woman’s life when it will be proven that we are all crippled and in need of a crutch.

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Weak-minded people like Washington, Wilberforce, Tolkien, Martin Luther AND Martin Luther King (none of these weak-minded people sued a military widow).
WE all have bodies and minds that are broken and battered and bruised that will eventually die and decay.

WE are all crippled.

Some try to overcome it through bravado and bravery and pompous comments, some just hobble along until they die, and some deny it to the end.

The truth is…if I live long enough to see life beat the arrogance out of me, and I use just a little bit of the wisdom God gave me, I’ll get to that place where I personally realize that I, just like every other human being, am actually crippled.

I’m crippled in a hundred different ways. Do I need a crutch? You bet I do.


In John 6, Jesus does a remarkable thing. He’s massively popular with around 15,000 men, women and children following Him. So He preaches a sermon that DRIVES EVERYONE AWAY. He cuts His own popularity from 15,000 to 12 disciples!

He notices this and asks his inner circle of 12, “Do you want to leave Me to?”

And Peter the bold, Peter the outspoken, Peter the “often wrong but never unsure” has what may be his greatest moment of inspiration and clarity – he just nails it.

Peter says, “Lord, where would we go? You have the very words of eternal life.

The words of Jesus are more than clever prose or poetic expressions, they are life itself…for today and tomorrow and forever and ever and ever.


So I misled you a bit. Kind of.

Religion can be a crutch. Jesus is not. A crutch just helps a cripple hobble along, Jesus will carry us along, and in His Kingdom will heal completely.

Isaiah wrote about Him almost 3000 years ago. Isaiah 35:6 says “The cripple will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will sing for joy!”

I’m crippled in a hundred different ways. Do I need a crutch? You bet I do.  At my best, at my worst, I’m entirely dependent on Jesus…the one whose words are life itself…for today and tomorrow and forever and ever and ever.

Amen amen!

 

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Arkansas, God and Execution-4 Points

Arkansas is big in the news right now because the state is trying to get through some executions before their execution drugs expire. And some Christians are upset about it and arguing that God is against it (for the record, I love prison ministry, I share Christ with inmates several times a year and I love taking Communion with Christian inmates who are my brothers in Christ).

Now to be clear, reasonable people can disagree on the death penalty. It is harder to get executed if you’re rich and can buy the most expensive lawyer around. Every pro-bono attorney is not Atticus Finch. I’d argue those are obstacles to be overcome, not reasons to do away with capital punishment.

But there is one thing you cannot do if you take the Bible seriously:

You cannot argue that the God of the Bible is against the death penalty.

Last week Shane Claiborne, social activist, tweeted that the death penalty is a disgrace to Jesus.

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Sorry Shane. Not the Jesus of the Bible. Read Genesis 9:6.
Is that true? Is the death penalty a disgrace to Jesus?

I also came across an article a while back by a “pro-lifer” pleading that Christians MUST reject the death penalty in the case of people like Jack Jones (he raped and strangled Mary Phillips to death in front of her 11-year-old daughter who was tied to a chair) if they are truly pro-life.

Is that true? Does pro-life equal rejection of the death penalty?

On both questions the answer is, “No.”
Here are four reasons why:

1. God is FOR capital punishment.
No ifs, ands or buts. If you want to oppose capital punishment, don’t use God as your source. In fact, you could preface your argument with “I don’t care what God says about it!” Because that’s where you are. And that’s OK! Just be honest. I’m weary of people claiming Christ is against it. It’s in black and white.

The Words of God Himself:
 “Whoever sheds the blood of man, d8488-gen96
by man shall his blood be shed,
for God made man in His own image.
Genesis 9:6 (ESV)

“But that’s Ooooooold Testament. We’re in the age of grace.” Ok. A statement made from ignorance. But I’ll play along.

New Testament:
For he (the govt authority) is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s
wrath on the wrongdoer. Romans 13:4

That’s New Testament. And God says “if you do wrong, BE AFRAID“. And just in case you’re unclear on the weapon, the sword was not used:

  • to shackle a person,
  • to give a person mercy,
  • to taze them,
  • to rehabilitate them,
  • or to write them a citation.

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Some brutal weapons of destruction.
The sword is a brutal, painful and bloody weapon of destruction, used to “run a person through” so to speak. In short – to execute them. And the sword bearer in Romans 13:4 is God’s instrument of justice and wrath.

So Old Testament, New Testament, God never, ever gives any indication that He is against capital punishment, and in fact, endorses it. Why? Because God values life – He made man in His own image. And He punishes the taking of it. 

2. It is a grave injustice to equate abortion and capital punishment.
When someone argues that to be truly “pro-life” you have to be anti-capital punishment, they are making a horrendously (and I’d argue inhumanly) unjust statement. It’s saying that the murder of an innocent baby is the same as the Biblically endorsed execution of a man who brutally raped and murdered a woman in front of her daughter.

That is sick and twisted and is an indication of a morally compromised mind.

unnamed (4)
This statement is evidence of a broken moral compass.
An innocent baby is not equal in any way to a guilty murderer.

They are not the same. Not in God’s eyes. Not in any sense of justice. Only in a skewed “God’s so impotent and weak that justice is just not even in His framework” sense does this view work.

3. Pleading mercy for a murderer is not necessarily noble OR pro-life.
This point I find most offensive. There’s something particularly unsettling and untoward about Christians who are not the injured party pleading mercy for a murderer.

If you are injured, you have standing to plead for mercy for the aggressor. If your loved one is murdered, I suppose you have some standing to argue for mercy for the murderer.

But if you sit in another state, unaffected by the crime, suffering no loss, suffering none of the pain of the crime, pleading mercy for a murderer does not make you noble or necessarily pro-life. In fact, I’d argue it makes you:

arrogant,
unjust,
lacking in compassion for the true loss of the victim’s loved ones.

And I’d say you have an unhealthy appetite for mercy that doesn’t cost you a thing.

At the very least you have diminished the value of the life taken and the pain and suffering of the victim’s loved ones.

4. Capital punishment doesn’t keep a person from repenting and finding Christ.
Some, with a warped view of justice, argue that when a person is convicted of murder, that we should seek their salvation instead of their just end (according to God’s Word: Gen. 9:6, Romans 13:4).

The two are not mutually exclusive. It’s not either/or. You can give the death sentence in a court of law (no one’s talking about vigilantism here) and still share Christ with someone. As mentioned before, I share Christ with inmates several times a year. I love it when anyone gives their life to Christ!

And the truth is, death sentence for a brutal crime could be a great motivator for repentance. Who wants to stand before God with the stain of brutality and murder on their soul?

You have to look no further that the thief on the cross in Luke 23. It was on the cross, hours away from death…when faced with his own mortality that the thief repented and was granted salvation by none other than Jesus in the flesh. Jesus didn’t save him from execution. Jesus saved him from hell. A much better salvation. 

Why does this matter?

Because Christians need to be people of the Word. People who know it, understand it, and follow it. People who do not misquote it or use it as a shill for their own agenda. And Christians need to be people of justice. Seeking justice and mercy for the victim, whether the victim is a baby killed in the womb, or a man or woman murdered on the street.

God is very clear on capital punishment. He offers salvation to all – the liar, the gossip, the thief and even the murderer. But nowhere in Scripture, NOWHERE in Scripture, does He offer rescue from the just punishment for crime. Rather He sets up governments to institute that justice and defend the defenseless.

God is for capital punishment.

 

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The Shack is Messed Up

 

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  Last line of this tweet kind of says it all. 

I hate to be a frumpy, grumpy old man, but if the new movie, The Shack, is true to the book of the same name, it is really whacked.

 

If you’re not familiar with it – the runaway bestseller was released in 2007 and was simultaneously praised AND criticized across the theological spectrum.

And it is royally messed up. Which is hard to say from watching the previews! Because the previews are heart-wrenching, heart-warming, with good actors, and it looks like it would be a good Christian movie.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Interesting that the star of The Shack is the same guy from Avatar. I like him! And both movies have a religious aspect, neither of which is Christian. Obviously, Avatar has an otherworldly, science fiction religion that the author “made up” for the story.

In the book The Shack ( the movie isn’t out yet), the author also, “made up” the religion for the story. 

How can you say that David?!? It’s a Christian book! It’s been endorsed by some famous Christians! The author says it’s Christian! The MARKETING CAMPAIGN SAYS IT’S CHRISTIAN. NOBODY WOULD LIE IN A MARKETING CAMPAIGN.

Really? I get so weary of folks accepting that everything called Christian just must be. Jesus Himself said people would come in His name – not to save you but to deceive you! Jesus the Son of God said don’t just accept something because someone stamps His name it! You can read it yourself here: Matthew 24:5.

Here’s the bottom line on The Shack: If anyone truly believes God’s Word to be, well…God speaking, then “anyone” should realize that the author of The Shack doesn’t believe what God Himself has already said and he (the author) has made up his own version of a god.

I lost count after about six heresies (beliefs contrary to Christian doctrine) in the book, so I’ll bullet point four major ones.

Here’s a little bit of what I mean:

1. In the book, God the Father presents Himself as Goddess the Mother.  Apparently, the god of the Shack was suffering from the same gender confusion our culture is experiencing!

Think I’m overstating?

God the father/mother speaking, “For me to appear to you as a woman and suggest that you call me Papa is simply to mix metaphors, to help you keep from falling so easily back into your religious conditioning.”

Woman? Papa? Which is it??? The author made God transgendered way back in 2007! Way before Target let men in the women’s bathroom!

This in spite of the fact that God has chosen to verbally and specifically call Himself, “God the Father” from the time of Adam and Eve all the way through His Word to Revelation.

For at least 5000 years God has deliberately chosen to represent Himself as God the Father.

That alone should be enough to trash the book. According to the Shack – Jesus blew it when He prayed “Our Father in heaven.” Jesus should’ve prayed, “Our Mother in the Shack.” 

When we start making God in whatever form WE choose, we might as well make Him into anything – a piece of wood, Chewbacca, Kanye “Yeezus” West, whatever. It doesn’t matter – because we’re making it up as we go along and that’s ALL idol worship.

And personally? I don’t ever want to stand before God and explain why I decided His description of Himself was SOOOO inadequate that I, in my finite ignorance, chose to change it. That’s the definition of arrogance and foolishness.

Note: Later in the book the god the mother turns into a ponytailed old man hippy. I’m really not sure which is more annoying…

2. The Jesus of the Shack is a counterfeit Jesus (kind of a karmic/universalist Jesus).

Referring to Buddhists, Mormons, and Muslims, Jesus of the Shack declares “I have no desire to make them Christian,” (wait, wut?) and paints Christians as religious fanatics and part of a sinful world system. That may be a lot of things, but that’s not the Jesus of history OR the Bible.

Jesus also tells Mack that he is “the best way any human can relate to Papa (god the father/mother) or Sarayu (The Shack holy spirit).”

Best way?

Best way of what? Many ways? Lots of ways? “Best” implies there are options for relating to God.

No way.

Jesus said He is the only way:

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

One way. Not “best” way. Only way.

3. The goddess of The Shack doesn’t punish sin. “She,” says, “I don’t need to punish people for sin. Sin is its own punishment, devouring you from the inside. It’s not my purpose to punish it; it’s my joy to cure it.”

The author is making it up as he goes along….

The real God does take joy in saving people. That’s what John 3:16 is all about. But:

God NEEDS to punish sin because He is a just and good God. 

Crooked evil judges let the guilty go free. Crooked judges must themselves be brought to justice.

God is NOT a crooked judge. He’s a good judge. He’s love and justice. So He must punish sin.

She (the goddess of the Shack) says, “In Jesus, I have forgiven all humans for their sins against me, but only some choose relationship.” If all humans are forgiven, then all go to heaven, even Hitler. Lest you think I’m making too much of this, the author of The Shack has refused to affirm that only the sins of those who repent are forgiven (read more by clicking here-last paragraph).

God has not forgiven all sins. In Acts 3:19 Peter says, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away.” 

God’s punishment: “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.” Matthew 25:46 (NLT)

God really punishes sin. Every. Single. Bit.

But Jesus willingly took my place, so that if I repent of my sin, and follow Him, His sacrifice will wipe all my sins away.

4. It’s irreverent. I’m not quite sure how to communicate this in a way that sounds “right” when I write it, but the Jesus of the Shack is just a little bit of a ridiculous goof. He’s dropping stuff on the floor and chasing fish that He can’t catch and talks like a child at times (according to the author).

66 books in the Bible, lots and lots of words – so wordy! But God never presents Jesus like that. Ever.

 


So those are my top four reasons The Shack is wrong, whacked, wretched and the worst. 

Now you might say:

a. “But David, it’s fiction!”

So if it’s fiction, anything goes? Like I could write a book about how Jesus didn’t die, didn’t rise from the grave but married and had little Jesuses, and the church covered it up for 2,000 years? That would be ok?

Then how come Christians got all worked up about the DaVinci Code? It was just fiction.

b. “But David come on! It has caused some people to hunger for God!”

Ok! All aboard the money train! I’m publishing a picture book that presents Jesus as Ariana Grande! I’m sure lots of the 12 to 30 male crowd will have an increased hunger for my Jesus, and I’ll get rich!

Is that what we’ve come to? As long as the “Jesus” you present makes people hungry, it’s good? I’m hungry for the bacon god!

Here’s the issue that’s critical for our souls:

Run from anyone that tries to sell you a different God than THE One revealed in His Word. Worship God the Father, creator of heaven and earth. God the Son, who died for our sins and rose to give us eternal life, and God the Holy Spirit, our counselor, and comforter.

At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:10-11 (NLT)

Amen and amen.

 

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