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  • 07 Oct 2017
    Amos the Farmer October 1, 2017/0 Comments/in Weekly Devotional /by David Guzik “The words of Amos, who was among the sheepbreeders of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.” (Amos 1:1) What kind of person does God use? We sometimes think God uses the brightest and the best. He must choose the most holy and talented to deliver His message or to advance His kingdom. The writings of the prophet Amos show us that this isn’t true. The name Amos means burden or burden bearer. Since most of the prophecies of Amos concern coming judgment on either the nations surrounding Israel or judgment on Israel itself, he was a man with a burden. The man God chose to carry this burden was among the sheepbreeders of Tekoa. It seems that Amos had no formal theological or prophetic training, though there was a “school of the prophets,” whose members were known as the sons of the prophets at that time (for example, see 1 Kings 20:35 or 2 Kings 2:3-15). Amos was a simple man, a farmer, who had been uniquely called to ministry. He was not a priest, a Levite, or a professional pastor, but just among the sheepbreeders of Tekoa. Amos spoke of his background and calling in Amos 7:14-15: “I was no prophet, nor was I a son of a prophet, but I was a sheepbreeder and a tender of sycamore fruit. Then the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to My people Israel.'” Amos used an unusual word to describe his occupation. Instead of calling himself a “shepherd,” the literal ancient Hebrew used here called Amos a “sheep raiser.” Amos probably chose this title to emphasize the fact that he really was a shepherd, and that he did not mean “shepherd” in a symbolic, spiritual sense. The way God used Amos reminds us of the way He used the twelve disciples of Jesus, who were common working men God used to do great things. God gave this simple man a big job to do. Amos was a prophet to the 10 northern tribes, the kingdom of Israel. In the days of Amos Israel had one wicked king after another. Yet because of the weakness of their larger neighbors, this was a time of peace and prosperity. Do you see the picture? God called a simple farmer to preach to a prosperous nation who had forgotten Him. We might think that the successful times needed a sophisticated preacher, a smooth talker who graduated from a top theological academy. Yet God had another plan. God knew He could use this unlikely man in a great way. Perhaps it is time for you start thinking outside the box. Perhaps you have thought that God could only use you in ways that seem logical and reasonable. God can and will use you in ways that makes sense; but you need to also think outside that box, considering that the most important qualification is the call of God. Not only can God use humble people like Amos, He specializes in it. Remember the principle: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5).
    1213 Posted by Faith M
  • 12 Dec 2016
    WHAT GOD WANTS FOR YOU   That their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:2-3)   In these two verses Paul expressed what he wanted for the Christians in Colosse and Laodicea. He had never met them yet, yet he still prayed for them and wanted specific things for their spiritual life. These things explain what God wants for each of us.   God wants your heartto be encouraged. God is concerned about your enthusiasm. God knows that discouraged, downcast Christians are easy prey for the world, the flesh, and the devil.   God wants your heart to be knit together in love with other people. God is concerned about our unity. The unity God wants doesn't come from force, but love. God wants you to receive real riches that are found in the believer's full assurance. Many lack full assurance about the character of God and are unconvinced that He is really good and loving. Others lack full assurance of their salvation and wonder if their Christian life is for real. Great freedom and confidence comes when we come to this full assurance.   God wants you to have something of the knowledge of the mystery of God. The term mystery of God is used in a few different ways in the New Testament. Here, Paul used the term regarding the character and person of God - something we could not know unless He revealed it to us.   More than anything, God wants you to know Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. It seems that the Christians in Colosse were influenced by teachers who told them to seek after treasures of wisdom and knowledge, but not to seek them in Jesus. Paul wrote, "You will only find all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge in Jesus. He has them all."   Notice that Paul used words like riches and treasures to describe what we can find in Jesus Christ. Words like that remind us that God's truth is precious and worth whatever price it may take us to seek after it. People will dedicate a lot of time and effort to find riches and treasures, and we should give our all to seek them. But remember, it doesn't matter how sincere or hard working a treasure hunter is, if they don't look in the right place. Jesus is the right place to find all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Seek Him for those things today. Free Christmas E-Book by David Guzik I've prepared a series of Christmas thoughts in ePub, Kindle, and pdf formats. It's free for you, and feel free to pass it on to others.   Click Here for the Free Christmas E-Book
    548 Posted by Faith M
  • 03 Jul 2016
    GODLY PARENTS:   Dr. Robert Jeffress, a Texas pastor, was invited to a panel debate about Godly parenting vs. Worldly parenting.  Many renowned psychiatrists, new age gurus, and worldly counselors expounded tirelessly on the BEST parents were those who ALLOWED their children to grow as they wish; to be free spirits, to choose their own way, without parents imposing their antiquated morals, respect, and Christian beliefs on their children in challenge and outrage to Dr. Jeffress who referenced the Bible and what King Solomon, Jesus, & the disciples taught on the BEST parents were those who taught their children moral absolutes, respect for authority, parents, and others, and those parents who stayed involved in their children's lives from birth and gave them Jesus from the cradle.   Dr. Robert Jeffress said none of these Biblical teachings guarantees a parent that their children will grow up to be Godly, morally accountable, respectful adults, but the LACK of all striving to be Godly parents guarantees their children will NOT be respectful, moral, Godly adults.   One Christian panelist invited all the panelists to come visit his home and see his gardens.  Even though they all thought it was an odd request, all panelists reluctantly agreed to come to his home the next day.   When they got to his home the next day, he led them to his back gardens.  The panelists looked on in horror and disbelief as they saw the overgrown garden that was a weed choked, dry, bug-infested, and a withering 5 acre garden.   They said this is NO garden...this is a mess.   And he looked at them, and said, "Exactly. This is the garden that I allowed to grow as it wished, without tending, watering, protections, cleaning, and daily maintenance or imposing my will desires, wisdom, Godly teaching, and talents upon it."   Then he led them to his other garden, where the soil was dark rich, turned, watered, weed-free, bug free, well-tended, and all in it was thriving green and producing amazing vegetables.   He said, "Our children are like gardens, if we do not tend them well, if we allow them to raise themselves, free of care, protections, guidance, and tending, what we will ULTIMATELY produce is nothing but weeds."
    528 Posted by Faith M
  • 03 Jul 2016
    PRAYING TO DEAD SAINTS OR MARY IS BLASPHEMY IN THE EYES OF GOD   The Bible NOWHERE instructs believers in Christ to pray to ANYONE other than God. The Bible NOWHERE encourages, or even mentions, believers asking individuals in heaven for their prayers. Why, then, do many Catholics pray to Mary and/or the saints, or request their prayers? Catholics view Mary and the saints as "intercessors" before God. They believe that a saint, who is glorified in Heaven, has more "direct access" to God than we do. Therefore, if a saint delivers a prayer to God, it is more effective than us praying to God directly.   This concept is blatantly BLASPHEMOUS AND UNBIBLICAL.   Hebrews 4:16 tells us that we, believers here on earth, can "approach the throne of grace with confidence." First Timothy 2:5 declares, "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."   There is NO ONE else that can mediate with God for us. If Jesus is the ONLY MEDIATOR, that indicates Mary and the saints CAN NOT be mediators. They CAN NOT mediate our prayer requests to God. Further, the Bible tells us that Jesus Christ Himself IS interceding for us before the Father: "Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them" (Hebrews 7:25).   With Jesus Himself interceding for us, why would we need Mary or the saints to intercede for us? Whom would God listen to more closely than His Son?   Romans 8:26-27 describes the Holy Spirit interceding for us. With the 2nd and 3rd members of the Trinity already interceding for us before the Father in heaven, what possible need could there be to have Mary or the saints interceding for us?Catholics argue that praying to Mary and the saints is no different than asking someone here on earth to pray for us.   Let us examine that claim.   (1) The Apostle Paul asks other Christians to pray for him in Ephesians 6:19. Many Scriptures describe believers praying for one another (2 Corinthians 1:11; Ephesians 1:16; Philippians 1:19; 2 Timothy 1:3).   The Bible NO WHERE mentions anyone asking for someone IN heaven to pray for him. The Bible NO WHERE describes anyone IN heaven praying for anyone on earth.   (2) The Bible gives absolutely NO INDICATION WHATSOEVER that Mary or the saints can HEAR our prayers.   Mary and the saints are NOT omniscient. Even glorified in heaven, they are still finite beings with limitations. How could they possibly hear the prayers of millions of people?   Whenever the Bible mentions praying to or speaking with the dead, it is in the context of SORCERY, WITCHCRAFT, NECROMANCY, DIVINATION,—activities the Bible strongly condemns AND CALLS BLASPHEMOUS AND ABOMINATION IN GOD'S EYES. (Leviticus 20:27; Deuteronomy 18:10-13).   God does NOT answer prayers based on who is praying. God answers prayers based on whether they are asked according to His will (1 John 5:14-15).   There is absolutely no basis or need to pray to anyone other than JESUS CHRIST alone. There is no basis for asking those who are in heaven to pray for us. Only God can hear our prayers. Only God can answer our prayers. No one in heaven has any greater access to God's throne than we do through prayer (Hebrews 4:16).
    443 Posted by Faith M
4,215 views Dec 04, 2016








JOHN 8:32, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."


“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16

“Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:20-21




1. LESSON FROM THE SHACK, PAGE 22: God does NOT punish 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.”)


1. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: Sin is most certainly its own punishment, as the consequences of sin are most likely to go unrelieved even in the presence of genuine forgiveness, however sin is definitely and finally punished. We condemn ourselves through our persistence in sin, and He finally punishes our persistence in sin. (See Num. 14:18, Ecc. 11:9-10, Jer. 12:17, Jer. 34:17-20, Ezekiel 38:17-23, Isaiah 33:13-16, Isaiah 53:5-6, Micah 1:13-15, Hos. 8:11-14, Hos. 9:7-9, Nahum 1:3, Matt. 10:28, Matt. 13:49-50, Matt. 18: 7-9, Matt. 24:50-51, Matt. 25:33, Matt. 25:41, Matt. 25:46, Mark 9:42-48, Luke 3:9, 16-17, Luke 10: 13-15, Luke 13:28, Luke 16:23-24, John 3:18, John 5:28-29, John 12:48, Romans 4:25, Romans 6:23, 2 Cor. 11:15, James 2:12-13, James 4:19-20, 2 Peter 2:1-10)


2. LESSON FROM THE SHACK, p.124: There is NO absolute authority present in The Trinity. (“Mackenzie, we have no concept of final authority among us, only unity.”)


2. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: All must submit to Our Great Father, Christ included, though He does not have to be made to submit, as in His sinless perfection, He does so willingly; and submission implies authority, though you may be volunteering to allow that authority. (Matt. 26:39,42, Matt. 14:35-36, Luke 22:41-43, John 6:38, John 8:28-29, John 10:18, John 12:49-50, John 14:30-31, John 15:10, John 17:1-4, 1 Cor. 15:28, Philip. 2:5-8, Heb. 5:1-7)


3. LESSION FROM THE SHACK, p. 121: It is NOT okay for God to hate. (“I don’t like a lot of the choices they (my kids) make, but that anger-especially for me- is an expression of love all the same. I love the ones I am angry with just as much as those I’m not.”)


3. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: God allows Himself to hate, and He is sinless in it. He is pure as He hates. The fact that God is Love does not imply that He can not hate. We are not allowed to hate anything but sin, because we are not perfect. We can not remain pure in our hatred of anything other than sin; our own sin, as well as that of others. We must accept our own limitations, and we must refrain from re-designing God into a being of our own desiring. We must remember: It is not God’s character that is on trial- it is our own. (Psalm 5:5, Malachi 1:1-5, Romans 9:6-21, Ps. 11:4-5, Ps. 45:7, Ps. 97:10, Amos 5:15, Rom. 7:15, Rev. 2:6)


4. LESSON FROM THE SHACK, p. 124-125: Authority is BAD. Authority destroys relationship. (“Once you have a hierarchy you need rules to protect and administer it, and then you need law and the enforcement of the rules, and you end up with some kind of chain of command or a system of order that destroys relationship rather than promotes it.” “Don’t confuse adaptation with intention…”)


4. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: Authority is good. The presence of authority is not the evil. The abuse of authority is the evil. Furthermore, lack of submission to the authority of God is the ultimate evil which will send many to hell.
It is true that we should not confuse adaptation with intention. We must intentionally submit to the authority of God, through Christ, and in The Holy Spirit. We must intentionally submit to all authority placed over us that is not sin; however we must not submit to sin for any cause! Therefore, we certainly must not merely adapt to our position. We must readily evaluate all authority in The Light of God’s Holy Scripture; we must submit to that which is not sinful, and we must resist or flee that which is sinful. While we will not be perfect in this, and God stands ready to forgive in the face of confession and genuine repentance, still it is a mandate. (2 Chron. 30:8, Jer. 42:6, Matt. 8:5-13, 27, Matt. 10:28, Matt. 12:30-32, Matt. 14:40-43, 49-50, Mark 1:27, Luke 4:36, Luke 7:1-10, Luke 9:1-2, John 3:30-31, Rom. 13:1-7, John 5:27, John 10:18, John 14:30-31, John 17:2, Eph. 1:18-23, Eph. 2:1-2, Eph. 6:5-6, Eph. 1:15-23, Philip. 2:5-8, Titus 2:15, 1Peter 3:10-17, 1 Peter 5:8-9)


5. LESSON FROM THE SHACK, p. 126-127: God does NOT exercise His power over human will. (“As difficult as it will be for you to understand, everything that has taken place is occurring exactly according to this purpose without violating choice or will.” “If you could only see how all of this ends and what we will achieve without the violation of one human will- then you would understand.”)


5. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: God does exercise His power and authority over human will. He chooses us, and He saves us from our sin, not only the inherited condition of being born in sin, but also the condition of our slavery to sin. God frees the one who is a slave to sin that he may volunteer to become a slave to righteousness! Oh, and we can see the way it all ends- Revelation- Jesus wins! (Exodus 9:15-16, Ex. 10:1-2, Ex. 11:9-10, 1 Chron. 1:13, Daniel 4:28-37, Ps. 14: 2-3, Ps. 51:5, Ps. 58:3-5, Ps. Ps. 65:4, 105:43, Ps. 106:4-5, Is. 44:1-2, Jer. 7:24, Jer. 11:8, Jer. 17:9, Jer. 32:33-34, 39-40, Ezek. 36:26-27, Matt. 1:21, Matt. 4:19-22, Matt. 11:27, Matt. 22:14, Mark 3:13-14, Luke10:22, Luke 24: 32, 45, John 5:6-9, John 5:21, John 6:39, 44, 55, 65, John 8: 34-36, 44, John 13:18, 26-27, John 15:16, John 17:2, John 17:6, 9, John 18:9, Acts 1:1-2, 24 Acts 10:41, Acts 13:48, Acts 16:14, Rom. 2:4, Rom. 6:5-7, 16-18, Rom. 7:14-15, Rom. 7:25, Rom. 8:6-7, Rom. 9:15-18, Rom. 11:1-6, Gal. 3:22, Eph. 1:4-12, Philip. 2:5-13, 1 Peter 2:4-10, 2 Peter 2:19)


6. LESSON FROM THE SHACK, p. 128-129: It is NOT necessary to please God. (“For now I just want you to be with me and discover that our relationship is not about performance or your having to please me.” “Mackenzie, you cannot produce trust, just as you cannot ‘do’ humility.”)


6. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: It is all about our having to please God. As slaves to sin, we are incapable of pleasing a Holy God, and as slaves to righteousness, but not yet made perfect, we are unable to please God perfectly. Therefore, Christ willingly laid down His life in perfect submission to God as an atoning sacrifice for our sin- past, present, and future sin. His act of perfect obedience satisfied God’s requirement for justice. Now, this is why faith is absolutely necessary, because without it, it is impossible to please God; as without faith there is no salvation -no mercy- and God requires mercy as well as justice. Trust begins with faith- that is our believing in His ability and willingness to save. Humility begins with our understanding of who we are in relation to a Holy God; it begins with our comprehension of our need for rescue. Humility is the catalyst urging the plea for saving faith, without which it is impossible to please God! (Psalm 69:31, Job 42:5-6, Dan. 10:12, Luke 2:52, Luke 11:28, John 3:36, John 5:44, John 8:29, Acts 13:22, Rom. 3:10, Rom. 6:14, Rom. 8:1-8, Rom. 12:1-2, Rom. 14:17-18, 1 Cor. Gal. 1:10, Gal. 6:7-8, Phillip. 2:12-13, Col. 1:10, 1 Thes. 2:4, 1 Thes. 2:14-16, 1 Thes. 4:1, Heb. 11:6, Heb. 13:16, Heb. 13:20-21, 1 Peter 5:6, 1 John 4:10)


7. LESSON FROM THE SHACK, p. 129: God is NOT justifying His own; He is only redeeming the earth and humanity in general. (“We are not justifying it. We are redeeming it.”)


7. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: God is both justifying His own and redeeming His own, as it is His plan to save His creation in this way. (Is. 44:24, Is. 53:11, Acts 13:39, Rom. 5:1, Rom. 8:30, 1 Cor. 6:9-11, Titus 3:4-7)


8. LESSON FROM THE SHACK,, p. 147: God is SUBMISSIVE to humanity. (“To force my will on you, is exactly what love does not do. Genuine relationships are marked by submission even when your choices are not helpful or healthy.” “In fact, we are submitted to you in the same way.”)


8. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: God is submissive to no one. He is Sovereign Lord of All. {If you will permit me a bit of fun here- I was beginning to feel really sorry for poor Mack at this point. He is perfectly clear on the fact that he needs a HIGHER POWER to RULE him, but God just refuses to be it.} (Isaiah 44-45, Job 38-41, ENOUGH SAID!)

Also on p. 147: In this scene, “Jesus” seems to contradict himself as he states “Well, this blue-green ball in black space belongs to me.” Mack then asks, “So why don’t you fix it?” To which “Jesus” replies, “Because we gave it to you.”


9. LESSON FROM THE SHACK,, p. 148: Men turned to the work of their hands. Women turned to men. Men and women have chosen to declare what’s good and evil. (“Most men have expressed it by turning to the work of their hands and the sweat of their brows to find their identity, value, and security.” “…so the woman’s turning was not to the works of her hands but to the man, and his response was to rule ‘over’ her, to take power over her, to become the ruler.” “By choosing to declare what’s good and evil, you seek to declare your own destiny.”)


9. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: Men were forced, as a consequence of their sin, to do work with their hands to eat, and to feed their families, and the earth would not be cooperative toward men (Man and woman may have worked in the garden before, but it would not have been in order to stay physically alive. Physical death was ushered in at this point.). Women were forced, as a consequence of their sin, to long for relationship with their husbands (whose nature it would be to deny relationship and to abuse their authority) and to bear the children of their marital unions in a state of pain. Also, we were made aware of good and evil- its existence, and which is the one and which is the other. Therefore, we became accountable for that knowledge, accountable for our sin; which is anything that displeases God, and is therefore evil. (Genesis 3, John 9:41, Rom. 1:18-20, Rom. 7:7-13)

Also on p. 150: A contradiction is apparent here as ‘Jesus’ states “We want male and female to be counterparts, face-to-face equals, each unique and different, distinctive in gender but complementary, and each empowered uniquely by Sarayu (The Holy Spirit), from whom all true power and authority originate.” Please see #4.


10. LESSON FROM THE SHACK, p. 151: Jesus did NOT intend to be an example for us to follow. (“Seriously, my life was not meant to be an example to copy.”)


10. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: Jesus meant to be an example for us to follow. (Matt. 10:37-39, Mark 1:16-17, John 12:26, Eph. 5:1-2, Heb. 13:7-8, 1 Peter 2:21, 1 John 2:6)


11. LESSON FROM THE SHACK, p. 166, 192: Man and woman, in eating the forbidden fruit, demanded their independence from God and He GRANTED it. (“Your world is severely broken. You demanded your independence, and now you are angry with the One who loved you enough to give it to you.” “All evil flows from independence and independence is your choice.”)


11. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: Man and woman, in eating the forbidden fruit, earned humanity’s enslaving to sin and God granted it. God did grant our independence from relationship with Him, but it did not result in free will, but rather in our becoming slaves to our flesh- to our sinful nature. ( John 8:34-36, Rom. 6:6,14,18, Rom. 7:14-18, 1 Peter 2:19)


12. LESSON FROM THE SHACK, p. 166: Justice and mercy are competitive, with the one OVER-RULING the other. (“She (God) chose the way of the cross, where mercy triumphs over justice because of love.”)


12. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: Jesus satisfied God’s wrath in His perfect sacrifice. He satisfied God’s justice, and earned God’s mercy for us, and so God’s mercy was also satisfied. Mercy triumphs over judgment, which is different than justice. Judgment is the process of determining justice and is not always just; particularly in the hands of sinful men. (Nahum 1:2, Jer. 13:14, Eph. 2:3, Rev. 14:9-10, Deut. 16:20,Is. 42: 1-4, Is. 56:1, Is. 59:9, Is. 61:8, Ps. 89:14, Ps. 99:4, Hos. 2:19-20, Hab. 1:4, Matt. 12:15-21, Deut.4:31, Luke 6:36, Heb. 2:17, 1 Peter 2:10, James 2:13)

The scene on p. 178 of “Jesus” and Mack fishing together is cute and I’m convinced that it could play out just the way Mr. Williams has described it, however I would hope that it will not be lost on the reader that Jesus did in fact command the fish to fill the nets of Simon Peter, James, and John; as well as on a separate occasion, commanding a fish that had in ‘some strange manner’ obtained a coin- to hold it in its mouth, until the the proper time for Peter to take the four-drachma (coin) from it. Now that’s awesome! It’s in The Bible with many other beautiful and consistent, non-contradictory Truths of our Amazing God!


13. LESSON FROM THE SHACK, p. 183: God requires ONLY that we love Him and others. (“It’s not your job to change them or to convince them. You are free to love without an agenda. “Remember the people who know me are the ones who are free to live and love without any agenda.”)


13. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: God requires that we love Him above all others, and that we love Him with our entire being. Next, He requires that we love ourselves in an appropriate manner, and that we love others likewise. He then requires that we express that love by obeying His commands; one more time- we will not be perfect until we are glorified, but the mandate is to make an honest attempt at it!
We are instructed, also, to examine ourselves for evidence of His ownership of us, and to inspect for that same evidence (fruit) in others; not for the purpose of judgment or hostility, as this right belongs ultimately to God alone, but for the purpose of reassurance that we are saved and for the purpose of knowing to the best of our ability, who is our brother with whom we should share fellowship, and who is outside the faith that our primary focus will be our witness to that one.
His agenda is to be our agenda, just as His agenda was Christ’s agenda- which is to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. While I agree that God will do the changing and the convincing through His Spirit in us, and through His Word, we are not free from the responsibility to be available to Him for His use. (Matt. 22:36-40, Matt. 28:18-20, Matt. 7:13-20, Matt. 13:22-23, Gal. 5:22-23, Mark12:29-31, Luke 8:21, Luke 10:26-27, Luke 11:28, 1 John 2:17, John14:15, John 15:2, 10-11, 16, Mark 11:12-14, 1 John 2:3-6, 1 John 3:10, 18-24, 1 John 5:2-3, 2 Cor. 4:11, 2 Cor. 13:5-6, Gal. 6:1-4, Is. 4:2, Eph. 5:8-17, Heb. 13:15)


14. LESSON FROM THE SHACK, p. 184: The term ‘Christian’ is one with which Jesus does NOT associate Himself. (“Who said anything about being a Christian? I’m not a Christian.”)


14. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: The first church-goers were proud to be identified with Christ in spite of the terrible persecution that they would undergo for that identity. This famous and beautiful group, portrayed so vividly in the book of Acts, named the disciples of Jesus, therefore us- Christian, literally ‘little Christ’. While I agree that the term is used much too loosely these days, I am persuaded that the label is not the problem, but rather those of us wearing the label who do not spend enough time examining ourselves, confessing and repenting of our sin, and therefore becoming right with God, then others. This is known as our sanctification and is an on-going process, not a one time event. (Acts 11: 25-26)


15. LESSON FROM THE SHACK, p. 186: There is NO need to grieve over our sin. (“But that is in the past now, where it belongs. I don’t even want your sorrow for it , Mack.”)


15. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: Blessed are those who mourn over their sin. We are blessed, meaning favored, or selected out for something altogether good, when we are sorry for our sin. We are not only instructed to grieve over our past and present sin, but to take care not to grieve the Holy Spirit with future sin. Though we will be imperfect in this, it is nonetheless a mandate. (Ps. 38:8, Matt.5:4, Eph. 4:30, 2 Cor. 7:8-13)


16. LESSON FROM THE SHACK, p. 192: God’s love for His creation, including humanity in general, is THE SAME as His love for His own children. (“Just because you make horrendous and destructive choices does not mean you deserve less respect for what you inherently are- the pinnacle of my creation and the center of my affection.”)


16. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: God’s love for His creation, as in the world and all of humanity, is different than the love that He has for His own children. A parent may love all the children of the world, but he will love his own differently, in a way that is reserved especially for them; and His expectations of them will vary from his expectations of the whole group. Humankind are the pinnacle of God’s creation; but it is the elect, God’s own children, who are the center of His affection. This is not to say that God does not love His creation; but it is to say that there are varying degrees of love that differ in origin, intensity and result. (John 1:12-13, Rom. 8:12-17, Rom. 9 :6-18, 2 Tim. 3:8, 1 John 2:15-17, 1 John 3:10, 1 John 4:4-5, 1 John 5:19, Jude 1:1-2, Heb. 3)


17. LESSON FROM THE SHACK, p.194: God is reconciled to ALL of humanity, through Christ. (“The whole world, Mack.)


17. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: God is reconciled to His creation which includes a portion of humanity, through Christ. (John 3:16- Obviously not everyone will believe.)


18. LESSON FROM THE SHACK, p.194: It would be UNLOVING of God to over-ride our free will to bring us into relationship with Him. (“It is not the nature of love to force a relationship…”)


18. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: It is the nature of Love to pursue the object of Its affection, and Perfect Love does not return empty from that pursuit. Love finds its home in the relationship that can not be forced, but will instead develop as a result of Its perfect labor. (What free will? Please see Scripture references for #5.)


19. LESSON FROM THE SHACK, p. 199: The principles in the Bible are NOT important. (“Just don’t look for rules and principles; look for relationship- a way of coming to be with us.”)


19. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: Relationship with God, through Christ, is the definite point, however the principles found in The Bible are to be sought after as well, and to be highly valued. Christ is seen in the principles found in The Scriptures, and the “rules” or the law is an arrow to point us to Christ, as our inability to keep the law illustrates beautifully our great need for a Savior. Christ explained that there was absolutely nothing wrong with the law, but that through Him we will understand why the law exists. It is for the best good of the world, as is, ultimately, everything else. (Psalm 119:45, 129-136, Rom. 15:4, 2 Tim. 1:2, 15, 3:16, 2 Peter 1:20-21)


20. LESSON FROM THE SHACK, p. 205: The law NO longer has the power to accuse or command. (“The law no longer has the power to accuse or command.”)


20. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: The law is perfect, and does still command. Christ, in His sinless perfection, fulfilled the law in the sense that He is willing and able to free one to keep it, however imperfect one may be in the attempt. We are unable to keep the first and greatest commandment and the second which is like it, without being saved from our sin; also, the original ten, when kept perfectly, are simply a fulfillment of the two greatest commandments spoken of by Christ in the New Testament. (Matt.5:17-19, Mark 7-9, Rom. 8:1-4, Rom. 13:8-10)


21. LESSON FROM THE SHACK, p. 207-208: We ARE free from ANY responsibility in any relationship, as well as being free from expectations in any relationship. (“Responsibilities and expectations are the basis for guilt and shame and judgment, and they provide the essential framework that promotes performance as the basis for identity and value.”)


21. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: We are certainly not free from responsibility in relationship, or from expectations in relationship. God does not free us from these things; He empowers us in these things! He enables us to carry out our responsibilities and to meet the expectations that He has of us- and at the risk of beating a dead horse, of course we will not be perfect in our attempts but we are forgiven when we fail, are again reminded of our need to subdue the flesh and walk in the Spirit, and are restored to right relationship. Also, an expectation is not a demand, and the fulfilling of an expectation does not mean that one is not free (A close consideration of the Scriptures may indicate that freedom in Christ is not freedom- as in what we normally think of as free will.). In fact, if one practices the meeting of God-given responsibility and living up to the expectations of God consistently, that one has the potential to become a servant-leader, as was Christ, Himself. Furthermore, God is a loving Father and is fully aware of each of our individual limitations and never expects more than we are capable of giving; thus guilt and shame occur for us only when we fail to live up to our God-given responsibilities. (Please see #6.)


22. LESSON FROM THE SHACK, p. 217: Repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation can occur AFTER physical death. (“Daddy!” yelled Mack…)


22. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: God does not allow or endorse necromancy, in fact it is strictly forbidden; and this scene from The Shack may reinforce the unfounded idea that people may be pardoned after physical death. Reconciliation between humans requires confession and true repentance of the offender, and forgiveness by the offended, while both parties are living on the earth. (Lev. 19:31, Deut.18:10, 11, 14, 2 Kings 21:6, Is. 8:19–20, Acts 19:19, Rev.9:21, Rev. 18:23)


23. LESSON FROM THE SHACK, p. 225: God is NOT involved in the humiliation (humbling), guilt, or condemnation of anyone. (Son, I don’t do humiliation, or guilt, or condemnation. They don’t produce one speck of wholeness or righteousness…”)


23. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: God is involved in producing humiliation, guilt and condemnation, as well as conviction in the form of The Holy Spirit. However, it appears from Scripture that He prefers that we humble ourselves before Him; and also from The Bible, it appears that we condemn ourselves when we stand against Him, as well as the fact that at judgment, many will rise and stand to condemn those who have finally opposed God. (Lev. 14:25, Lev. 26:41-42, Deut. 8:3-4, Deut. 19:13, Ps. 44:9, Ps 107:39, 2 Chron. 28:19, 2 Chron. 33:23, Jer. 51:5, Is. 2:12, Hos. 5:15, Hos. 13-16, Malachi 2:7-9, Luke 14:11)


24. LESSON FROM THE SHACK, p. 226: God needs for us to forgive those who have offended us for Him to be able to redeem THEM. (Mack, for you to forgive this man is for you to release him to me and allow me to redeem him.”)


24. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: God redeems His elect, ultimately, without any help from us. God does not need for us to forgive another person for that person to be saved. He wants us to forgive so that we will know the joy of it and we will be released from the bitterness that grips us when we are unforgiving; however whether or not we forgive someone does not determine that one’s final destiny, though there is some evidence to suggest that the decision may affect our own. (Luke 17:1-4)


25. LESSON FROM THE SHACK, p. 227: Jesus has FORGIVEN all humans for their sin, but only some choose relationship with Him. (“I have forgiven all humans for their sins against me, but only some choose relationship.”)


25. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: All humans are not forgiven for their sin; precisely because not all humans choose relationship, because not all are drawn and persuaded to choose Him, or are chosen by Him. (Please see #5 and #6.)


26. LESSON FROM THE SHACK, pp. 131, 140, 166, 193: Chaos Theory, the existence of fractals, and time-dimensional coupling (a term I am assuming Mr. Williams is associating with String Theory), present new and different truths about God.


26. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: These theories and discoveries in the realm of physical science being presented, considered, and discussed among modern physicists can not and will not change The God of Scripture into someone other than He has so perfectly, carefully and consistently revealed Himself to be in Holy Scripture. We must never believe or fear that The Creator and Designer of All while being dynamic and unlimited, will be undermined by the discoveries and accumulating knowledge of His created beings. The discoveries of new Truths in any scientific realm will ultimately and finally agree with The Holy Scriptures. (Ecc. 12:9-14, Is. 40:8, John 1:1, Hebrews 13:7-8, 2 Timothy 3:16, Jude 1:3-4)


L.L. SHELTON says it well, "Within The Shack, Mr. Young has created a God quite different in many respects from The God of The Bible- thankfully, he does not claim to be a prophet or claim his book to be Truth; for we are to love The God of The Bible as He has there revealed Himself to be, and we are never to attempt to re-design Him according to our own desires and preferences. As is beautifully illustrated in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30), and as I have previously pointed out, it is not the character of God that is on trial- it is our own."