Monday, February 9, 2009

The Shack: My Thoughts

I’ve heard it often said that the greatest evidence against Christianity is Christians. Is that not true? Too often Christians try to associate rules and regulations with a relationship. When really God is about forgiveness, God is about redemption, God is good, God is love. We show people the adoration of Christ by condemning them? I’m confused and this very mentality is what strayed me away from church during my highschool years. The cliques just muddled the message. Where did this higher than though attitude come from?

I think the book gives such a great illustration during the garden scene, when Sarayu (the Holy Spirit) and Mack (the protagonist) are working in the garden. Mack learns that the garden is his soul shortly after commenting on how messy it was and Sarayu reiterates how beautiful it is. How together they will shape the garden into something grand. Is this not a great picture of redeeming love? Loving in spite of wrongs and loving in spite of faults. Notice too how the work Mack and the Holy Spirit do is on himself and not others.

Another powerful scene is the talk with Jesus and Mack must go into the cave to see Wisdom. He is commanded to judge humanity by choosing to save 2 of his children and send 3 to hell. Mack can’t because he loves his children too much. Even though I don’t have children of my own I connected with this. To think that God must let people out of his presence for eternity must be difficult, painful, and heart wrenching. Judgment is merely giving humanity God’s greatest gift, the true choice to be 100% totally independent of God.

The reconciliation of Mack to his father is one that helped me see the burdens that all of us carry. How can we understand the pain, the environment or the challenges that others face. We can’t. There is no way that any of us will ever become a better expert on someone else than God. In fact, the only person we are an expert on is ourselves.

So what is the Christian’s mission? I believe we are to be lanterns that luminate a pathway to the heart of God. We should be able to show others the love of Christ in how we treat them. To roughly quote the book “God isn’t about religion, God is about a relationship.”

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