The Shack - Mistaken Assumptions about God

Quote Originally Posted by Sally
I read the book about a year ago and found it very moving & well written. I watched the trailer & it looks like a tear jerker. I'm glad it resonated with you so much. I love that Jesus was a strong, kind black woman (what I've always suspected ;) My son has always believed that God is female. He still believes this to this day & he has a strong faith/connection to God.

I believe God is both genders and neither genders. I believe God is in everyone, connecting us all to each other & the universe. God is our life force & whatever the very best of us is, that is God. I don't connect to churches, temples, mosques or to bibles, the Koran, etc... because I see those as man made. To me, my relationship with God is private, solitary & intimate. I feel that relationship the strongest when I'm deep in nature with no one else around. That's why I go hiking a few times a week.

I remember having a lot of difficulty/conflict with how much that little girl in the book suffered as she died. It didn't help me that she was in a happy safe place now because I knew in her human form her last moments were terror and her life was stolen from her. It makes no sense to me why she had to die like that or that some people want to hurt & kill children, animals or anyone really. If your that sick & you know your likely going to hurt an innocent person, why not just end your own life? This is where I get confused about God's role or lack of role in these people's existence. I see how one of gods children could end up doing terrible things if they have been taught to hate by those around them or they have been abused themselves & I can also see how psychosis could cause violence. These people all still have God in them despite their atrocities. But I can't understand pedophiles, sociopaths, or mass murderers. How could God be in them? If God isn't in them, what are they? I will likely never understand this. On that note I need to go to sleep. Have a good night Troy & thanks for the movie recommendation.
This is a bit long as I try to touch on all points but you don't have to read it all at once. To me what's interesting is your issues are already answered in the movie so why ask again those questions? It's a state of rebellion. What else can it be? It's like someone tells you something then the next day you ask them again the very same thing.

Of course God is neither male nor female. God is spirit. But for the purposes of relating to us, He showed Himself as the Father, Son and the Spirit. A woman name Sally never entered creation and claimed to be God and died for the sins of the world. Jesus did. Nothing is more personal than that. Let us humble ourselves to this fact then since Jesus is not a liar or lunatic, so he must be God. He has to pick one gender and He chose male. In the movie for sake of dramatic effect woman was chosen, but the Son of God was still male. The 3 Persons of the Godhead have perfect fellowship. Perhaps this is part of your rebellion that you don't accept the God who entered creation as male. You have male-female issues. Why should that be so difficult to accept really? In the Bible the Holy Spirit has female terms in Greek. I have no problem with that just as you should have no problem with God entering His creation as male.

The Holy Spirit doesn't enter someone unless they are born-again. So for an extreme example, a mass murderer or rapist doesn't not have the Holy Spirit because they are not born-again (we know them by their fruits). Just as a 20 year old that is loving the world is not born-again does not have the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit restrains a person from doing such things if they are saved. We see our limited view; it is on a ruler as one inch, but the ruler is 6 feet. Sally the equivalent of what you are trying to do is jump across the grand canyon. It's impossible relying on your own strength. You can get 5 feet maybe. An Olympic athlete can do 10 feet, but look how much further is required! That's why Jesus died for you and all you need to do is trust in that fact. He entered His creation to condescend to us and relate and show perfect obedience to the Father. You don't want a world that doesn't have a God who is willing to do this for us because that world would be Hell.

You've called yourself God which is not being humble when you said "whatever the best of us, that is God." No! You are not God. By saying you are God in that roundabout way you are not placing your trust in God. God created you. You are made in God's image with a spirit, soul and body (Heb. 4.12, 1 Thess. 5.23). You will never cease to exist. The destination is either Heaven or Hell. Heaven and earth come together is the New City on the New Earth which is in this natural universe. Mars makes for a great New Earth one day as we know this earth will burn up in about 2 billion years.

We know Jesus is God, fully God and fully man, because you are unable to find a naturalistic explanation to account for the eyewitness testimony of the Apostles. Remember we talked about this, group hallucinations are impossible and people don't willingly die for what they know is a lie. There is no plausible naturalistic explanation so give into this evidence. It's God's perfect proof! He can't make the proof better. This is God's very best! There is great release when you accept who He is.

Unless you accept who Jesus is, you can't have a relationship with the Father for you reject His only begotten Son. I am reminded of John 17.3, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." To have a relationship you have to accept who He is.

You have created a God with unique qualities that only you follow so aren't you worshiping self? He is an absentee landlord. I would call you a Deist Theist because I find no presence of your god on earth. How can a Deist be better than God who enters His creation to atone for sins?

Remember the point in the movie or book is that you don't see the big picture if you don't understand some detail right now yet still trust in Him. I understand why that girl died and suffered because I see the connection from the sin of the first Adam (around 4000 BC) as we are all born into sin. You have to accept this basic fact of reality! This world is not the best the world it can be if such a thing could never happen by the free will of rebellious men. We would be more like robots than human beings. A robot world does not glorify God. The little girl will be resurrected at the end of this age.

1Th 4:16-18 KJV] 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

You stated God is in you and that God is not in these rapists, murderers, etc. Can you see how you are PLAYING GOD, because you set the rules who God is in and who God is not in. That's the point in the movie in the cave scene. Actually God is not in you (it's what Jesus said) nor those rapists. You are focused on your narrow view that you think you are a good person, but God sees everyone and they are infinitely all separated and in need of redemption, not just the rapist. The first step is the new birth. I can never go back to being what you are (what I once was) since I am once-saved-always-saved (John 10.28), but you certainly can become a Christian. You get this one life to decide. After death your decision is final.

You are speaking the same way as Sam Worthington. His issues are your issues yet you don't see what Sam sees by the end of the movie. You asked how can God be in some people by their atrocities and how can God not be in other people despite their atrocities? God is in neither of them, because you need to be born-again. You need a new spirit of eternal life.

How does one become born-again? They need to come to the cross as helpless sinner and receive the Lord Jesus as Savior. It's a complete letting go of self which you are afraid to do and place complete trust in Him. It's scary, I don't deny that. It should be scary since you have clung onto self all your life. But when you come out the other end, you are a new woman and you would never want to go back. God is in a person born-again who goes to the grocery store not just some secluded prayer session.

I have one suggestion why God presents Himself as male and not female. I don't recall any women rapists and murderers. So like the movie God presented Himself according to the need. Humankind needs a Father and Son more than a Mother and Daughter.

How glorious it is God was able to preserve the word of God--the 66 books of the Bible over 1500 years--in complete agreement by 40 different writers by the Holy Spirit. That's a miracle in itself.