When Doctrinal Error Becomes Entertainment

Why do you watch the movies and TV shows you watch?
Why do you read the books you read?
Why do you listen to the music you listen to?

Do you realize that entertainment is much more than entertainment?
Writing about “entertainment” choices is tricky because many “entertainment” choices touch our hearts.  They make us feel good.  “Entertainment” choices also impact our thinking.  They educate us.  I have used quotation marks with the word entertainment because what we watch or listen to is usually so much more than mere amusement.  It is my prayer that each of us would carefully consider our entertainment choices in light of Scripture.

“The Shack,” a  movie coming out on March 3, is based on William P. Young’s 2007, best-selling (20 million) book.  There has been much written about the book and the upcoming movie.  Tim Challies wrote a 13-page review that deals with specific doctrinal errors the book contains.  I would strongly recommend reading this review.  One of the most important sections of the review is on Scripture & Revelation.  One of the two biggest problems in the book and thus the movie is the downplaying of Scripture and the overemphasizes of personal experience.  Challies writes “When we admit God has not, in the Bible, said all that He needs to say to us, we open the doors for all manner of new revelation much of which may contradict the Bible.”

In “The Shack,”  Young tells the tragic story of Mack and the subsequent renewal of his faith through an experience at the same shack where his murdered daughter’s clothes were found.  At the shack, Mack has a face-to-face encounter with God the Father – a woman, God the Son – a middle-aged man and “God the Holy Spirit” – a woman.  This representation of each part of the Trinity in human form is the second major problem with the book and especially the movie.  

In another post about the movie, Challies writes this “to portray the Spirit is to vastly misrepresent the Spirit; to portray the Spirit is to blaspheme the Spirit.”  The same could be said of portraying God the Father. I understand this post may not keep you from watching “The Shack.”  I also know that as a pastor of a local church it is my responsibility to equip the church to think and act Biblically.  

I am writing this post, not as a slam against a movie but rather out of a desire to make much of God and a desire to help others make much of God.

At the beginning of this post I tried to explain the challenge of writing about “entertainment.”
I know people who have read “The Shack” and said, “It is just a book.”
I also know people who have read “The Shack” and said, “It is a great book that gave me a different perspective of God.”

Here is a quote to consider...


Self - Esteem: Looking Up Instead of Looking Inside

Last month, Mom's Matter was going to cover the topic of self-esteem
but the meeting was canceled because of bad weather.

This month the moms will receive a copy of the booklet Self Esteem.

I wanted to share  a couple of things I was planning to share in January.

Leslie Vernick "Instead of looking to God to tell us who we are, as fallen human beings we seek external sources to tell us who we are.  When we do that, instead of feeling secure and loved, we become self-concious, self-focused, self-centered, and self-absorbed."  (p. 7)

The booklet goes on to address two big ideas:
The six false voices we allow to define our value and worth
The one way we are truly changed.

As part of my message I was going to share a personal experience in which God used His Word to change my thinking from self-focused to God-focused.
Here are two blog posts where I shared this time.

Part 1:  God spoke to me today!
Part 2:  Blessed by a forgotten Bible reading!

Now I want to remind parents of an important very practical point.
We need to model this God-focused thinking to our children AND we need to help them think this way.

Here is a quote and some Bible verses to help parents do this and teach this...
"How God thinks of us is not only more important [than how we think of him], but infinitely more important."  C.S. Lewis
Psalm 8:3-6
Psalm 139
Romans 5:6-8
Ephesians 1:4-5

Here is the bottom line.
All of us are worshippers.
Who are you worshipping?
Who are you training your children to worship?

Watch this video...

False Gods - A Gospel Principle for Parents, by Paul Tripp from Paul David Tripp on Vimeo.