Tuesday, March 21, 2017


The Shack

It's warm and fuzzy. It's
colorful and entertaining.
It's a bona fide family-
friendly feel-good. Then,
why on earth is The Shack
such a dangerous film?

Directed by Stuart Hazeldine, the film adaptation of The Shackauthor William Paul Young's 2007 bestseller, arrived in cineplexes nationwide just a few days ago. And it's causing quite a stir.

At first glance, this big-budget blockbuster is spot-on. Despite involving the tragic and painful death of a child, the story succeeds in presenting a bigger picture — one that's a bold, entertaining and biblically accurate message of peace, love, hope, kindness, patience and forgiveness — everything Jesus stood for. Bravo!

"A great story. But I doubt
anyone is getting saved
as a result of seeing it."
-Bryan Dumas
(Co-author of Shout it Out Loud)

Don't get me wrong — I love a family-friendly feature as much as the next guy. But, contrary to the underlying feel-good theme, "everything" is not, in fact,"gonna be alright." Not necessarily, anyway. Personally, I became so awash with the film's "snot-bubble" emotion-factor, that it didn't hit me 'til the next day how The Shack rather cleverly omits the Cross — as if filmmakers didn't want to offend folks with too much truth. But, truth be told — no Cross = no Crucifixion. No Crucifixion = no Resurrection. No Resurrection = no Salvation. No Salvation = everything is not gonna be alright.

Oh sure, the human manifestation of God, played (beautifully) by Octavia Spencer, does reveal holes in her wrists — suggesting Christ's crucifixion. And main character, Mack Phillips, played (less convincingly) by Sam Worthington, is seen falling asleep while reading a King James Bible —  pointing further in Christ's direction. And while I'm TOTALLY on board with how Jesus is portrayed (superbly) by Aviv Alush — especially the scenes when he's downing religion and sitting in the living room, laughing and drinking coffee — the film stops short of "closing" the deal.

As a public service, here's what the film sidestepped — Jesus Christ IS the Son of God. He was crucified on the cross. He rose again, three days later. His blood paid the FULL price for ALL the transgressions of the world — but we MUST accept Him as our personal Savior. He said so, himself...

“I am the way, the truth, and the
life. No one can come to the
Father except through me."
-Jesus Christ
John 14:6 (NLT)

If the intention was merely for The Shack to be entertaining, then I applaud the effort. We need more family-friendly, fantasy-type feel-goods. But I would have dressed the cast all in mouse ears, or as wacky sea creatures or something. Now THAT'S really fun! But if the intention was truly to advance the Kingdom of God, then The Shack is, for me — a heartbreaking, epic fail.

-Christopher Long
(March 2017)



C'MON! -

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