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.

COMMENTS

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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.

Running the race of life

Hebrews 12:1. . .”THEREFORE THEN, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us.”
Since the christian life is like hills and valleys with all the tribulation, the only real way to grow in the christian life is to run the race that the blood of Jesus has opened for those that claim Christ as their personal Lord & Saviour.

As life progresses, you’re either getting closer to God or further away from Him. If you’re riding the fence then you’re probably highly unstable because you don’t know what you want to do.

Like Joshua said, ‘choose today whom you will serve, as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.’ (Joshua 24:15). The only way to know what God’s will for your life is is to surrender your life completely to the Lord Jesus. ‘Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.’ (Psalm 37:4).

So in closing, make the wise decision and GO AFTER GOD. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. (Prov. 1:7).

Becoming a little more open minded thanks to a motel stay

I know they still place Gideon bibles in motel rooms, but this is a new twist. I was staying at a motel that had a stack of Bhagavad Gitas in the lobby.

My curious nature couldn’t resist picking one up. Plus the Hindus I met are the most humblest people I ever met.

Plus if you really have faith, then you shouldn’t fear anything that opens your mind up a little. Especially if you are confident of what you believe.

Not every Christian who professes to know God actually does. Likewise the church can’t really assume that every non-Christian is lost.

God works in mysterious ways right?

I’ll take it a step further:

What if Krishna is sanskrit for Christ?

The Christ is a title for an annointed person. The angelic being who appeared throughout the Old Testament was a Christ figure. The Christ lived through Jesus (not even his real name) during his short life on earth.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, anybody who walks in the Light of the Divine for any length of time will inevitably become a Christ figure.

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.

Embrace diversity by embracing tribalism. It’s okay to be different

I saw an articles recently that talked about how Democrats and Republicans are not only divided, but they have two different worlds.

It is also known that the public education system prepares us for a world that doesn’t even exist. This is why so many college graduates, after spending years in school, have breakdowns and mental health issues when they get out in the real world. If they grew up in the proverbial middle class family, reality will hit them even harder if they were sheltered by material comforts.

My point in this blog post, is why do we assume that something isn’t working just because everyone doesn’t do it?

  • Christianity (or any religion) fails because it can’t convert the whole world? Maybe not. Maybe the person is disenfranchised with the established church but still trust in the Divine indirectly. Especially since God, Jesus and other names have been changed so many times.
  • Capitalism is a failure because it didn’t make everyone rich? It doesn’t promised to. It only promised those with capital can enrich themselves. You can live richly with little or no money if you know how.

That’s just the two biggest examples. We view success and the so-called American Dream as being one sided. What if someone’s dream is to live off the land or live in an airstream down by the river?

It’s a big world. There is plenty of room for us to all co-exist and live differently. But different tribes have always fought each other, and even killed each other, because they couldn’t convert each other to their way of life.

The only way to have a peaceful world is to live and let live and respect each other’s decisions, as long as they aren’t hurting anyone. That is the definition of a free society. It’s okay to pursue wealth. It’s okay to be poor as long as you don’t mooch off people and have the wisdom to to know how to survive. In this sense you are not really poor. Just look up how third world countries chose sustainability over capitalism.

The worst thing one can do is create a god that will pronounce judgment on someone who doesn’t live up so certain societal expectations. But apparently we all do this to some degree.

I saw a quote by former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher that said “There is no such thing as society. There are only individuals and families.” Society puts the notion of expectations on us. This can lead to anxiety and depression. We are not promised tomorrow. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do things today that will ensure tomorrow is better.

Why do we push everyone into one category? The world would be boring if we were all the same. Embrace diversity and your own individualism. You don’t have to conform to any status quo. Life is inherently meaningless. We give our own life meaning by pursuing whatever gives us purpose.