Mar. 14, 2017

The Shack (and other controversies)

My pastor taught today that we should not be contentious Christians. I realize there are many, MANY verses in the bible that talk about controlling the tongue, softening answers, and not stirring the pot – especially among Christians.

I also know there are verses that talk about iron sharpening iron, standing firm, speaking with boldness, addressing sin in fellow Christians lives, and standing up for truth. So, the ongoing battle of “to be or not to be nice” continues….

I want to blog about the book, “The Shack,” today. The book came into play many years ago and just about everyone I knew (including my dad and my husband) read the book. I didn’t read the book. I am more of a non-fiction-kind-of-girl. I heard lots of great reviews on the book. I knew nothing other than it was a fictional story about a hurting man meeting God. That’s all I knew.

I ask my husband to take me to see the movie once it was released. Again, I went into the movie totally oblivious to what the movie was about. I was surprised. I was surprised. I was touched. I was moved. I felt the imagery was beautiful and made very valid points about the Holy Trinity and the character of God. I shared with several friends and my family that I saw the movie and the conversation grew contentious.

So, if I were a good Christian girl, I guess I’d let it go. But, being a bold Christian writer, I’m going to address it.

You don’t have the like the book. You don’t have to like the movie. But, I hope we will lighten up a little. The author and the movie makers never advertised the book or movie to be scripturally sound. The author and the movie simply provide a launching pad for spiritual conversations to occur. That’s all. Conversations.

I think, as a believer, I often see life through my “saved” lens. I seem to forget that there are people out there who have no clue what “saved” means. I think I examine everything – be it politics, entertainment, food, friends, a church, - everything with “saved” eyes. I look for what it means to me or how it affects me without being open to the possibility that God can (and does) use anything and everything to speak to people. If He isn’t speaking outside of the church walls in an understandable language, we’ve got problems because most of us aren’t either.

I am not being very evangelical when I choose to see the world through saved eyes as opposed to reaching out to the unsaved.  What would happen if I chose, instead, to see God in everything? What would happen if I chose to believe that God speaks to people outside the church in non-church ways? One time He used a burning bush and another time He used a donkey (very scriptural). Instead, I am guilty of trying to make everyone and everything see God the way I want to see Him and the way I want Him to be seen.

Christendom is certainly at a pinnacle point in our existence. I hope and pray we will allow God to move – anytime, anyplace, and with any tool He chooses.