Leesville United Methodist
Saturday, February 22, 2020

Leesville United Methodist

Bruce Sayre, Pastor 
510 East Columbia Ave
Leesville, SC 29070
Phone: 803-532-3817
Fax: 803-532-9315
Worship: 9:00 and 11:00



The Shack

Is it heresy?
Well, according to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary heresy is defined as
"dissent or deviation from a dominant theory, opinion, or practice b: an opinion, doctrine, or practice contrary to the truth or to generally accepted beliefs or standards." (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heresy)
This book definitely challenges some accepted beliefs that I had....but I don't think that was all bad. I liked the book. I told lots of people about it, but I couldn't really decide on how to write about it. I hope the others who read it will add their thoughts when they finish.
The image(s) of God in the book were so different from what was in my mind, but their message (s) made a lot of sense to me. The idea of God as a parent really resonated with me. I felt uplifted when reading the book--less guilty about what I wasn't doing right and more accepted for the right things I always try (but sometimes struggle) to do. The part in the book that talked about God as our parent and judgement (loves us enough to give us freedom and independence, always loves us even if our actions disappoint, and never gives up when we make bad decisions--pgs 154-165) was especially powerful.
Probably my favorite quote from the book was one that I'm sure is also one of the most controversial.
"I don't need to punish people for sin. Sin is its own punishment, devouring you from the inside. It's not my purpose to punish it; it's my joy to cure it." (p120)
As someone who has frequent "guilt issues" I can completely understand this statement. I can also see how this message (and so many similar ones through the book) are so disturbing to some people. There is no wrath or vengeance in this book, and it does challenge many beliefs that some of us have always held as Christian.
Whether this book is just good fiction or divine insight I don't know, but I know I did learn some valuable ideas from the book. I learned that we aren't perfect, and God doesn't expect us to be. God forgives us when we ask him to, no questions asked and he doesn't hold a grudge. I don't think that this gives us a "free ride" through life but it does mean that we don't have to beat ourselves up so much when we sin. We are human--and there was only one human who made no mistakes. That human--Jesus-- took the burden for all of our sins when he died for us on the cross. God sure had to love us a lot to sacrifice the one perfect being that he created. I think that this was the main message of the book. HE is love, and it is HIS love that we show to others through our daily interactions and relationships with them that really counts.
I'd like to read this book again so that I could really absorb some of the thoughts that were so shocking the first time I read them--maybe I'd change my mind and hate it the next time I read it, but I don't think so.

Post Index:

Response-RMBRIG (2009-03-08 19:57:52)