The Shack proclaims a particularly insidious form of false doctrine, because in many respects it comes so near to true doctrine. But the Devil can also quote Scripture (cf. Matt. 4:1-11). The values of love and forgiveness among neighbors are worthy, but when this is put into the mouth of God, it must be either Scripturally sound or rejected. “If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:9). I will not presume to judge the faith of the moviemakers or of William P. Young (who claims to be a Christian), but I will judge what they preach. It is a gospel contrary to the one we have received. It does not preach a Jesus who died to take our sins upon himself. It does not preach that Jesus is the only way to life (John 14:6). It gives strength to man himself to produce the faith that saves, to do the works of kindness and forgiveness. The Shack is about our feelings, not about God.
That defense was given of the movie: “It’s only dangerous if you don’t know the Bible, because then you’ll think it’s real.” If you know the Bible, however, you ought to know all those warnings given by Jesus, Peter, and Paul, such as: “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them” (Rom. 16:17). While for some this movie may be feel-good, beware, for that is exactly what it seeks to do: by making you feel good, it preaches a doctrine of a God who wants only to make you feel good. This movie is best avoided, as Paul said; and as Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matt. 7:15). Don’t be deceived by the fuzzy sheep’s wool that covers this film. It is a wolf: “be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith” (1 Pet. 5:8-9).
Do not welcome this film into your life, into your home, into your heart. That is all reserved by God for the truth. He proclaims forgiveness, life, and salvation on account of Christ Jesus who took our place under his wrath, because God is both just (he must punish evil) and merciful (he is rich in steadfast love, forgiving us in Jesus’ name). The God of The Shack is a sham, an idol, and a wimp. The God of Scripture is almighty and merciful, who promises, “Whoever believes in [Jesus] is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (John 3:18). Believe in Jesus, as he is revealed in God’s true Word, not in this heretical trap.