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Please take the time to watch this very important message and look at the list of heresies found in The Shack, it’s well worth the time.  -Dani

“After reading the popular novel, The Shack, I find it necessary to bring to light some of its errors. The book is like a deep ditch covered with beautiful flowers — sadly, many Christians are falling into this ditch.” –Dr. Michael Youssef

Thirteen Heresies


Watch Dr. Youssef’s sermon on The Shack and read a concise list of 13 heresies he’s discovered through a careful reading of the book. Includes Scripture references.

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Everything we see, hear, and read must be examined before the mirror of God’s Word. This is how we discern Truth from error. This is particularly true if something sounds almost right, but is dangerously wrong.

After reading the popular novel, The Shack, I find it necessary to bring to light some of its errors. The book is like a deep ditch covered with beautiful flowers — and sadly, many Christians are falling into this ditch.

Whether you have read the book or not, my prayer is that you will develop a sense of discernment so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ (see Philippians 1:10).

As I read The Shack, I tried to find out as much as possible about the author, Paul Young. He was the son of missionaries to New Guinea. He went to Bible school, and he had some pain in his life. He once believed in biblical truth until about four years ago when he embraced Christian universalism.

Universalism declares that Jesus is “a way,” maybe even “the best way,” but not “the only way” to the Father in heaven. So regardless of your belief system, we all get to the same destination — heaven. Universalism destroyed Christianity in England and in all of Europe, and is now at work toward the same end in America.

To his credit, Mr. Young attempts to answer the question, “Where is God in a world full of pain and hurt?” The novel is about a man named Mackenzie (Mack) Phillips whose daughter, Missy, was brutally murdered by a serial killer. Three years after this tragedy, he receives an invitation by mail to meet with the holy Trinity in the same shack where his daughter was murdered.

Each member of the Trinity appears in a bodily form. God the Father is called “Papa,” but his actual name is Elousia, which is Greek for tenderness. Papa appears in the form of a large maternal African American woman who is always cooking in the kitchen. Though, by the end of the book, she turns into a pony-tailed, gray-haired man to assure Mack that God is both male and female.

“One of the most devastating aspects of this book, The Shack, is the absolute disrespect and disregard for God by the main character.”

Jesus is a middle-aged Middle Eastern man, dressed in a plaid shirt, with a tool belt around his waist. The Holy Spirit appears as a delicate Asian woman named Sarayu, meaning “air,” who loves gardening. Mack also meets another woman, named Sophia, Lady Wisdom.

The novel is primarily a dialogue between Mack and the Trinity. Chief among the topics discussed are the nature of the Trinity, the cross, and forgiveness. As the dialogue progresses, Mack’s faith in the God of the Bible falls apart completely and is replaced by a new understanding of who God is — transforming him into a changed man.

The Holy Spirit depicted in the novel declares that the greatest evil is man’s independence from God. Yet this evil is precisely what the author promotes in the pages of his book — declaring his independence from the God of the Bible in favor of a new god, with very little resemblance to the true God.

Thankfully there are others who are just as concerned about The Shack as I am. Some of these have called it subversive and seductive, while Dr. Al Moehler refers to it as “undiluted heresy.”

One of the most devastating aspects of this book, The Shack, is the absolute disrespect and disregard for God by the main character. When Isaiah saw a glimpse of God’s glory, he was so overwhelmed that he cried out, “Woe to me for I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips and dwell in the midst of people who of unclean lips. For my eyes have seen the king, the Lord of Hosts.”

The author of The Shack not only presents a false view of God; he mocks the importance and the uniqueness of the Bible. He makes the Bible equal to whatever your personal imagination says about God.

This is what we know from Scripture: God is Spirit, and He does not have a body, yet He chose to reveal himself in the masculine form. Nowhere does God reveal himself as a goddess.

“The day is coming when Jesus Christ is going to sit on the judgment bench to separate those who have accepted His Father’s plan from those who have accepted another plan.”

The Bible is very clear: Dare not portray God in an image. It is impossible to make the Creator part of the creation. Jesus said, “God is Spirit, and he who worships Him must worship Him in Spirit and truth” (John 4:24). The second commandment forbids us from making a visual portrayal of God. To worship such an image is pure idolatry. To worship an image of God is to worship the creation, not the Creator.

Since Adam and Eve first sinned, there has been one plan for our redemption. God revealed it through the pages of the Old Testament, and then 2,000 years ago, at His appointed time, He fully revealed that plan in His Son, Jesus Christ. The plan was for Jesus to pay the punishment for our sin — for everyone who comes to Him and receives Christ’s payment for himself and for herself. That’s the plan of God.

The day is coming when Jesus Christ is going to sit on the judgment bench to separate those who have accepted His Father’s plan from those who have accepted another plan. He will separate those who tried to stretch His plan, who are trying to make the plan popular, or are trying to rewrite His plan.

The question that you must ask yourself is this: Am I willing to accept God’s gift of eternal life as it is revealed in the Scripture? Your eternal life hangs in the balance and depends on the answer to this question.

Do not be blown away by every wind of doctrine, or by your emotions. Never allow your emotions to control your mind. Let your mind be the thermostat that sets the temperature of your emotions. Cling to the God who loves you so much that He gave His all. Don’t be misled by all kinds of warm and fuzzy descriptions that do not fit His own personal revelation in His book.

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