Part #1 regarding my analysis of the movie “The Shack” explained the basic plot line and emphasized my objection to God being portrayed in female form. I connected this to the ancient heresies of the Gnostics and teachings of Modalism. But the idea of a female godhead (remember both the Father and the Holy Spirit of “Shack” are female) has also been expressed in witchcraft and many false religions.
The idea of God as a woman has deep pagan roots, usually linked to qualities of love, motherhood, and fertility. Buddhism, Hinduism, and many polytheistic religions, including the Romans and Greeks, elevated female deities to a place of supremacy. We expect this sort of thing from the New Age and witchcraft, but not from an alleged Christian writer in a faith based movie. So, let’s get a few things straight. Though God is a spirit (John 4:24), He has revealed himself to humanity in Scripture, and in the Incarnation, as male. Anthropomorphism is the theology by which God is assigned human characteristics, such as references to his eyes and arms. This communicative device is nowhere in the Bible assumed to be literal. (In their perverted view of sex, Mormons make God into a deity who was once human and still retrains those same characteristics, including genitalia. In Mormonism, Mormons believe that is how Mary became pregnant.)
But what we have in “The Shack” is bald-faced blasphemy, accepted by many evangelical Christians for whom the sentimentality of “forgiveness” and the healing of painful memories takes precedence over Scriptural fidelity. Genesis 1:26 tells us that man was created in God’s image, not only the essence of God’s character but also his maleness. There are 170 references in the Bible to God as “Father.” If the Bible had meant “Mother,” it would have said so. Never once in Scripture is a female pronoun used to reference God. Jesus referred to the “Father” with distinctive maleness 160 times. John 10:30 says, “I and the Father are one.” Not “I and the Mother are one.” From Acts to Revelation 900 verses use masculine nouns (in the original Greek) when directly referring to God. Literary license can be employed in many motifs, but deceiving depictions of God the Father as if He were actually God the Mother isn’t one of them
“Shack” the movie may or may not be good cinema. (I personally felt it was a little sappy and disingenuously aimed at the sympathetic gut. On a human level, I was more inclined to be teary-eyed at “La-La Land,” by comparison.) It may even be emotionally moving. But when the writer of a film, or book, ventures into theological territory, and the author claims a cloak of personal, evangelical faith, he surrenders all rights to misrepresent the attributes, purposes, and gender of God. As for author Young’s sometime comparison to C. S Lewis’s use of allegory, remember that Aslan was a lion, a Lion of Judah (Genesis 49:9; Revelation 5:5). That is a consistent, permissible allegory with biblical roots. God as Octavia Spencer is not. Gender fluidity in secular culture may be a topic of political debate, but gender-bending the Bible is blasphemy! It’s time to tear down the shack!
An encouraging word: WORDS HAVE MEANING
Words are more than a collection of letters on a page or sounds spoken. The word “demons” is bandied about as some vague description of inner emotional torment, with no literal significance. Likewise, “hell” and “damn” are frequent epithets with no objective meaning in modern slang. But words are more than sounds and syllables. Words have meaning and influence. Check out the words you speak today. Speak good words to those around you, remembering Proverbs 16:24: “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
Bob Larson has trained healing and deliverance teams all over the world to set the captives free and Do What Jesus Did® (Luke 4:18). You can partner with Bob and support this vision to demonstrate God’s power in action by calling 303-980-1511 or clicking here to donate online