Revisiting the Shack

I finally got around to reading this book by Wm. Paul Young and even found his blog (everybody has one these days). I can’t figure out why many professing christian’s disagree with the theology of this book. Maybe because it borders on being a Universalist?

Jesus, in the book, referred to people of other religions seeking to follow God. When Mack (the lead character) asked if that meant that all roads lead to Rome (heaven), Jesus said not at all. When you think about it you can find God in any religion so you are held accountable if you choose to reject Him by being self-reliant and making yourself a god; i.e. establishing your own righteousness rather than seeking after the Righteousness and the Kingdom of God.

Even though you can find God through any religion, all the world’s wisdom trace back to Ancient Judaism which promises the coming of the Messiah whom the Jews are still waiting for and Christians are waiting to come again. You can find God in any religion so all roads to lead to God but salvation comes through faith in the Messiah.

As the Lord Jesus/Yeshua declared to the Samaritan woman in John 4, salvation is of the Jews but a day is coming when true worshippers/followers will worshippers worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth for He seeks such to worship & follow Him.

It doesn’t matter what religion you practice. Paul says in Romans 10:9,10 that all you have to do to be saved is believe in your heart and confess your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ (or Yeshua Mashiach). Matthew 7:21 is perhaps the scariest verse in the Bible because Jesus (the real one) declares “not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord will enter the Kingdom of Heaven but only those who do the will of the Father.” His half-brother says the same in James 2:24-26 when he says that we are justified by our works and not by faith alone in contradiction to Paul. Paul and James were actually agreeing because James was basically defining what faith is. Faith is an active trust in a living God.

We are saved by God’s Grace & Mercy. Grace in the Strong’s Concordance is defined as “a divine influence on the heart that is reflected in the life.” Now that’s a definition you’ve never heard in the church. They have it half-right. It is unmerited and unearned because you don’t have to merit the love of you parents if they love you unconditionally. Also no human can love you unconditionally like your Heavenly Father.

God has mercy on whom He has mercy. You can’t respond to the call of salvation unless you hear His call which you won’t if you get too deep in your own sinful and selfish way of living. God doesn’t show favorites. Jesus said “many are called but few are chosen.” The chosen are those that stand on the Word of God. The ones who possess and not merely possess salvation.

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  • Lori Colbo 7 years ago from Pacific NorthwestWow, I have a few comments. First of all, I read the book a couple of years ago, against better advice. Although there was stuff I really loved in this book, what bothered me most was the depiction of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The God of the Bible is nothing like the Jamacian woman and the Holy Spirit is not an etheral weirdo.Your declaration that God can be found in any religion, and all roads lead to God completely contradicts that salvation can be found by faith in the Messiah. The problem with those statements is that other religions do not worship or consider Jesus Christ as anything but a good moral teacher or benevolent prophet. Buddists do not claim Jesus Christ as God in the flesh, and Lord and Savior, they don’t even look for Him, so how can you say they can find God in their religion? Nor do Hindus, Jehovah’s Witnesses, New Age, Wiccans, Muslims, and many cults. Chrisitanity is not just an intellectual acknowledgment that Jesus is your Lord and Savior. It is a whole being, whole life belief that He is Lord of their lives and they will give up all to follow Him. One cannot serve two Gods. I have an acquaintance who says Jesus is her Lord and Savior, but follows are kinds of New Age practices in which she claims to find all sorts of enlightenment in objects and other nonsense. If one claims faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior, they will not deviate from His teachings. Paul’s writings are very definitive as well as to how we are to live unto Christ. Your view is very universalist.Having said all this, I did not wish to come out in attack mode. Just to explain what I know of walking with Christ for 30+ years and studying His word. Paul warned the churches not to follow any other gospel other than the one he preached. I see in your message that you have a great heart. Thank you.
    • DenyStatus: Approved.

The Eternal Word

John 1:1. . .”In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Now here is a hard concept to understand, but can only be understood if you have the Holy Spirit of God in your life. The Word refers to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was with God in the beginning, and is also the spirit of God manifested in human form.

Now how can the Son of God be God incarnate an unbeliever might ask? Is He His own Son? It’s a hard concept to explain how one God can exist in three distinct persons, but it shows the difference between christianity and the other world “religions”, which are all man made.

As a christian, you might have a hard time understanding the concept of the Trinity but if you’ve been again of God you won’t be able to deny that Jesus is God. If a person confesses that Jesus is God, then they have come to know Him personally.

You become a christian when you realize that Jesus is Lord and Saviour and ask Him into your life-and of course no one asks Him into their life unless they’re unhappy living in sin and want to change but recognize their own inability to do so in their own power.

Why Jews are God’s chosen?

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Galatians 3:28. . .”In Christ, there is no difference between Jew or Greek, slave nor free, male and female, you are all the same in Christ Jesus.” New Century Version

I may have made myself a heretic the last decade or so when I started questioning Christianity. As a freethinker and intellectual, I can’t just accept things on blind faith. Nor do I think God expects me to since He gave me a brain. While I believe proof of God does depend more on faith, there are things in the natural world that point a Creator.

Why did God choose the Jews?

All the world religions trace back to either Judaism or Hinduism. Modern new age philosophy has its roots in the latter, while the moral standards that society has come to embrace have its roots in the former. The pagan world has no moral absolutes, which is why they embrace relative morality; i.e., “if it feels good do it.”

I read the Bible because much wisdom of the world comes from the Old Testament. I can tell this by studying Deism or Stoicism. I begin to ask myself why God would choose the Jews. I saw a comment on Quora from a Jewish person that said there wasn’t anything special about the Jews; God merely chose the Jews because they chose Him. How did they choose the Lord? By embracing Torah, or God’s divine instruction.

Who were the Jews?

So, who exactly are the Jewish people that God chose? They are the ancient Hebrews; the direct descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. There are only fourteen million Jews today and most, if not all have been converts over the last few centuries. There may be a few who are directly descended to the father of their faith.

While you have to physically convert to become Jewish, you can be become spiritually Jewish by embracing Torah. This is why the early Church was a Jewish sect, before Constantine took over the Roman Empire and made Christianity the state religion, making the religion more of an empire that is currently in decline today.

The Early Church

The first followers still embraced Torah and practiced the Jewish faith. Over time Christianity got further away from the truth and eventually embraced more of a prosperity gospel and other dogmatic teaching which is contributing to its decline even today. This is why Islam was created, because Jews and Christians both went their own way, and so did Islam when it got caught up in its own dogmatic teaching. The world religions still fight over this even today.

In the last century, Jewish philosophy is making a comeback through Kabbalah and the nation of Israel. I have to admit, after studying these through sites like My Jewish Learning and Chabad, Judaism is way more interesting, and deep than Christianity. The Sufi sect of Islam is just as deep, with its poets like Rumi and Osho.

In closing, it doesn’t matter which outer religion you follow. It is all about a relationship with the Creator. The Bible says Torah is written on our hearts. It is all about being led by the Spirit, which will be reflected by a deeper understanding of Torah. Following Christ is all about following God’s commandments. God already knows you can’t keep all the Laws. It is about your heart’s attitude toward Him. The Christ is the manifestation of Torah. The more people embrace Torah, moore light gets released into a dark world.

The Preterist Reformation

As Christianity declines in western culture and the United States in general, many who still defend the church think it’s time for a another Reformation. The Protestant Reformation exposed the churches lies with regards to selling indulgences and the office of the Pope. The latter was technically an abomination with calling the supreme pontiff the “holy father.”

Also the Catholic Church was known for keeping the public from reading the actual biblical texts, so no one could think for themselves. Of course, even in Protestant world many people who attend church still don’t read the actual text; they just rely on whatever their preacher tells them.

So what would the next reformation be? It’s been 2000 years and many are starting to wonder about this whole Jesus coming back thing. I know for me, I started reading the book of Revelations about 20 times in one years back in 2013.

Here are some of the things that led me to the conviction that Preterism was true:

  • Read the Bible with a first century mindset; how the text in the first part of Revelation said “these things which must shortly come to pass.” Of course God’s timing is different than man’s but no one in the Old Testament ever waited several thousand years for a promise. Also the word for second coming, aka parousia, referred to judgement on Jerusalem which could have easily been AD 70, if the book turns out to be written during the 60’s and not towards the end of the century like the established church proposes.
  • Ask yourself “what if these events already happened?” I asked myself this multiple times and that’s when it slowly dawned on me.
  • Read historical accounts outside of the Bible and find out about a war between the Romans and the Jews that took place from AD 66-73; note the fall of the temple took place at the midpoint. It turns out the Left Behind series was accurate, though it was basically historical fiction.

If you think Christianity will become more popular when the lies get exposed, think again. It was the lies that held it together; the biggest one being the hellfire and brimstone which was taken right out of Dante’s Inferno. It was the lies that held it together this long. But if it hadn’t been for the lies, we never would have heard the truth, for those that can see through it.

What does this mean for the nation of Israel?

I am still researching about Turkish-Mongolian settlers that raided the ancient hebrews thousands of years ago and borrowed the ancient texts which was subsequently used to build a false religion of Judaism around. This religion later was taken over by Christianity when it became the state religion of the Roman Empire. Islam would have never started if it hadn’t been for the corruption of the first two.

So what is this so-called Israel today? Mostly just a historical site. Jewry is more of an ethnic group. The Zionists are a political movement, mostly European atheists from what I read, who are using bad theology to rule the world from Israel.

The Catholic Church

The nation of Israel exists along with the Catholic Church to preserve the religious texts which point to the one true God. The ancient Jews, people of Judea, were chosen to reveal the one true God through the Christ. The current state of Israel exists to preserve the Torah which even the prophetic writings say is written on man’s hearts, and even Jews say one can practice their religion anywhere; the law boils down to simply loving God and loving one’s neighbor.

The Catholic Church simply means “universal church’. While the Judeo-Christian faith is the basis for truth, the one true God can be found anywhere.

The Future

Sadly, in another 2000 years there will still be people who are still waiting for the soon return of Jesus Christ. I wouldn’t doubt if there was another group waiting for the soon return of Donald Trump along with it. American Evangelicals seem to only support the nation of Israel so they can kick the Jews out of the United States and make Christianity the state religion of the U.S.

A comment on Quora under the topic of Preterism said that if this was all true, that would make true Christians just another form of Deism. Much of the Quakers profess to be Deists. It simply favors rationality of blind faith and doesn’t really believe in an overly personal God. Just because God is sovereign doesn’t negate your freewill, which most people don’t really believe in anyway.

The best argument as to whether we have freewill is to compare our relationship with God to a marriage, just like the Bible does. Who chooses who? Both choose each other. I am sure many hyper Calvinistic types will still twist this. And even atheists say that if a God exists then man doesn’t have freewill. My only conclusion is that giving man freewill was a sacrifice on God’s part because He didn’t want machines.

How the law sets us free

It is safe to say that no one likes laws. That is unless you are getting paid to make them. In some strange way laws keep us free. Although they can feel restrictive when you realize there an estimated 20,000 laws in society. The result being nearly everything we do is illegal.

But rather than live in fear just note that despite all the laws, we have very little chance of being caught for anything. This is mostly because most of the laws are unenforceable, or most police officers aren’t even willing or interested in enforcing most of the laws.

When it’s all said and done it all boils down to the golden rule. As long as we treat others the way we want to be treated and don’t hurt anyone we will be okay. After all the only laws that are really enforced are the ones that hurt someone else; stealing or killing.

What about divine law and the legalist that counted all 613 of them? The purpose of the law is to show God’s moral attributes which are meant to humble us before Him. The message of the New Testament is that we are not under the law of God if we are led by the Spirit.

Jesus taught that those who love God (or have a reverence for the Divine) keep the whole of the law. If we keep the law God will bless us, as long as we don’t do it legalistically and judge others.