Thursday, June 24, 2010

"The Shack" Evidence of the Church in need of Renewal....

How 'The Shack' seduced evangelicals

Prof who knew author says book's acceptance exposes weakness in church

Posted: June 16, 2010

10:12 pm Eastern

Thursday, June 17, 2010


As a seminary professor and a former colleague and neighbor of the author of "The Shack," James De Young has a unique perspective on the mega-best-selling work of fiction that has captured the hearts of many wounded Christians and skeptics and become the topic of sermons and Bible classes in churches nationwide.

While well aware of the testimonies of many who claim they have experienced emotional and spiritual healing from the book's portrayal of God, De Young warns in a newly released book of his own that "The Shack" author William Paul Young's primary intent was not to tell a good story that happened to contain theology but to teach an unorthodox view of God he claims changed his life.

Undergirding "The Shack," De Young told WND in an interview, is an age-old heresy – universal reconciliation – that diminishes the work of Jesus on the cross and the holiness and justice of God by asserting that everyone eventually will be saved from eternal damnation.

Get "Burning Down 'The Shack'" autographed by author and professor James De Young now exclusively at the WND Superstore.

Paul Young has vigorously and repeatedly denied he is a universalist, but De Young says he was personally acquainted with Young's spiritual journey over more than a dozen years. De Young points to a 103-page paper Young wrote that presented his embrace of universal reconciliation and rejection of the "evangelical paradigm."

DeYoung's new book, by WND Books, is his attempt to warn of "The Shack"'s seductive theology and present what he believes are the biblical answers to the questions it raises.

"I think it is very clear 'The Shack' is written to teach theology," said De Young, a New Testament language and literature professor at Western Seminary in Portland, Ore. "It's not just written to tell a mystery story."

De Young told WND his hope is "that as the truth is known about the universalist background of the author – and how it can be found throughout 'The Shack' – that people will realize a good story needs to be good teaching as well."

In 1997, De Young and Young, whose families socialized through a Christian school and youth sports, co-founded a Christian think tank called M3 Forum. For the next seven years they discussed and probed topics, doctrine and problems facing the church as it approached the new millennium. Young submitted his surprising paper embracing universal reconciliation in 2004.

Less than two years later, Young asked friends to read the early draft of a novel he was writing as a Christmas gift for his children. Though highly impressed by the manuscript's potential, the friends were opposed to the universal reconciliation they found in it and acknowledged publicly that they spent over a year trying to remove that message. Mainstream Christian publishers declined interest in publishing what became "The Shack," so Young and his friends formed their own publishing company.

In need of revival

Now, with 10 million copies in print, "The Shack" has been on numerous best-seller lists for more than two years and become an iconic work among enthusiastic evangelicals, with many buying multiple copies to hand out to their friends.

But De Young believes the acceptance of "The Shack" by evangelicals and their institutions is evidence of a church in need of renewal.

"I'm really dismayed to see that Christian publishers and radio programs, TV programs have basically imbibed the feel-good spirit of 'The Shack' and have not critically examined the theology," he told WND. "If you point that out to them they feel offended. They feel that you're being overly critical. They feel something like, 'Well, can't you look beyond the doctrine and appreciate the story.'"

De Young laments "a great lack of discernment" in Christian media and publishing that is willing to "look askance at the doctrine" if a book enjoys widespread popularity and makes a lot of money.

Many evangelicals and churches have been seduced by "The Shack," he said, because the story resonates with many who have difficult backgrounds in which they've been deeply wounded emotionally and spiritually.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Where was all this handwringing in 2002-2003?

e-mail from Philip Troutt, Tidbits reader, 6/21/2010

Where was all this handwringing (How wise for US to be in Afghanistan [in 6/21/10 Tidbits]) back in 2002-2003 when "our" president, GeorgeW. Bush, was beating the drums of war and planning the immoral and illegal invastion of Iraq. Make no mistake, it was the knee-jerk support of the "Christian Right" that made this possible.

All the church rallies, all the mindless "pray for our troops" campaigns (dear Lord, please protect our troops while they kill and destroy people in a country that has never done us any harm).

Where was all these questions when Christians were engaging in national days of prayer, calling on their opponents to repent and seek God's face.

THIS IS NOT OBAMA's war. This is George Bush's war and Barack Hussein Obama is George Bush's legacy. The irony is that most of those Christian leaders who supported these wars still think they can be "won" (just like they still think that Viet Nam could have been won).

If Christians hand't been lined up uncritically accepting the president's false information about weapons of mass destruction and Hussien's non-existent nuclear arms program, this could never have happened (I heard Christians spouting this non-sense even after it was known to be false). If Christian leaders hadn't been compromised because Bush offered them a sop on their "moral" agenda, he could not have perpetrated this abomination. There is blood on the hands of every Christian and every Christian who supported this war.

Never fear, nothing will change. The "Christian right" will dutifully line up behind Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney or whoever else their leaders ordain as the "right" choice and things will remain fundamentally the same.

There is one savior and he is not a member of the Republican party.

Stop whining about Obama's election and start asking why this "Christian" nation was willing to enthrone a man who was fundamentally and overtly opposed to all our cherished notions of liberty and law. Stop pretending that you didn't know what was going on. Stop pretending that you haven't been supporting the people who are responsible for this.

Obama didn't run this country into bankruptcy. It was a republican president and a republican Congress that drove this country into war, who squandered our national treasures on fruitless foreign campaigns. It was a republican president who ran up these deficits that will drive us into national and personal bankruptcy. It was a republican president who pushed through the trillion dollar bailout of Wall Street.

Next time there is a day of prayer, Christians need to shut their mouths and get on their knees and confess "their" sins; not the sins of the opponents of righteousness, but the sins of those who knew better and stood by while righteousness was trampled in the street.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

"Profit Hungry" all along....

Swine flu: Who paid the cost for the ghost pandemic?

By Julio Severo

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

During many months I have been following the international news services and, by reading several secular U.S. and English newspapers, a fact was clear: the pandemic swine flu was shrouded in serious ethical and medical problems, including vaccinated youths’ deaths. And now we have the news that the vaccination was unnecessary.

The English newspaper Daily Mail denounced in headline “The pandemic that never was: Drug firms ‘encouraged world health body to exaggerate swine flu threat’”. Then the article says, “Declaring a swine flu pandemic was a 'monumental error', driven by profit-hungry drug companies spreading fear, an influential report has concluded.”

The full article is here.

There is also the article “O conto da vacina suína” (the swine vaccine fable), published by the liberal Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo, which exposes scandals involving the Ministry of Health in Brazil and the World Health Organization (WHO), and the dishonest way how WHO changed the definition of pandemic exclusively to fatten pharmaceutical companies, which profited some 10 billion dollars with the ghost pandemic in 2009.

That is same WHO that also changed the real meaning of homosexuality in the 1990s, removing it from the list of perverted behaviors, in order to serve the interests of multimillionaires lobbies.

When defining what is and what is not, money, pressure and greed are a powerful persuasion. Under that persuasion, perverted behaviors get normalized, and what is not a pandemic becomes a pandemic!

In the ghost pandemic issue, what a lot of people suspected is now coming to light, and it is no wonder that the number of those vaccinated has not been high in the US and England, leaving enormous stagnant and non-used stocks of the useless vaccine that cost millions of dollars that could have been better invested in the population well-being.

Even so, the pharmaceutical companies continue in their crazy race to sell their vaccines to countries foolish enough to buy the story of the pandemic.

I could have informed the Brazilian public much earlier, but Blog Julio Severo (the Portuguese version of Last Days Watchman) has been for years showing the obvious: The socialist Lula administration doesn’t deserve trust. Would you trust a government that supports abortion, which is the cowardly killing of the most vulnerable and defenseless human beings?

The big responsible for the vaccination effort in Brazil was the minister against health, José Temporão, an abortion supporter. He sees abortion merely as a “public-health issue”, so if pharmaceutical companies create a vaccine to eliminate this health “problem”, the maniac for mass vaccination campaigns will be greatly happy to make one partnership else with them.

Nevertheless, the Brazilian population thought that they could trust the would-be butcher. They got vaccinated. The obedience — or should I say foolishness? — was so big that the country that became world champion in vaccination against the inexistent and unreal swine flu pandemic was Brazil. More than 70 million Brazilians were vaccinated.

Now, the Lula administration is smiling. The minister against health is smiling. Pharmaceutical companies, with their pockets full of the money from Brazilian citizens, are more than happy and leaping for joy. And the Brazilian people are smiling, without at least perceiving what is happening. They pay, via taxes, with the money of their own pockets the government’s foolishnesses, and they smile idiotically.

And ultimately it is the government that gets the prize. In 2009, Lula received the Chatham House Prize for “for being a key driver of stability and integration in Latin America”. One of the chief sponsors of that international prize was the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline. In the late 2009, GlaxoSmithKline received R$ 465.532.000,00 (more than 200 million dollars) from the Brazilian government, in a purchase without public tender, of doses of the vaccine against the swine flu “pandemic”.

One good turn deserves another. Pharmaceutical companies sponsor international tributes to Lula’s uncontrollable and insatiable ego, and Lula satisfies the uncontrollable and insatiable greed of those companies by sustaining ghost pandemics that fill their safes.

But the high cost was really paid by the vaccinated Brazilians. See some repercussions of the vaccine in the

Brazilian media:

Young man dies after receiving flu shot in Londrina, Brazil

Student dies after receiving vaccine against flu

Girl dies after receiving vaccine

Child dies after receiving H1N1 vaccine

Baby dies when receiving vaccine against flu

So government and pharmaceutical companies take your money, go on a spree and, to justify so much unbridled spending, in the end you and your family have to submit to the shot prickle and all its consequences.

A country like this is a perfect corral to feed the greed of the powerful and corrupt, which would go through any artifice to stop anything hindering their profits.

During the 2008 Brazilian mass vaccination campaign against rubella, denunciations by Blog Julio Severo (the Portuguese version of Last Days Watchman) drew not only the attention from the liberal media (see article in the major Brazilian newspaper O Dia blaming me for the low vaccination numbers), but also the anger from the Brazilian federal Ministry of Health, which counted on a team of internet professionals to sabotage my articles on the vaccination campaign. The goal was to post texts and comments wherever my texts had been published, questioning them, breaking their force and destroying my credibility. A guerrilla work. I eventually learnt about this because a woman connected to the team talked to her friend, which in turn is my friend!

It was a significant coincidence, which exposed that there were bigwigs interested in sabotaging the impact of my articles on the vaccination campaign. According to the information I received, the Ministry of Health was also planning other actions against me, including legal, but I suppose that there was not time to implement them, because in few weeks I left Brazil. That is the cost you pay for warning people.

Therefore, next time that the government and liberal media appear with a scaremongering campaign trying to convince you of another ghost pandemic, distrust.

How not to distrust a government that is interested only in what is in your pocket?

Portuguese version of this article: Gripe suína: Quem pagou o preço pela pandemia fantasma


What is behind the campaign “Brazil Free of Rubella”?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Recent Primaries a Sign of Improvement...?

I spent the last month at my grandparents' lovely home in Orlando FL. While there, I watched the news (mainly FOX) nearly every evening (and some mornings too!) because my Grandpa enjoys knowing everything that's going on. Primaries for many states took place in late May and I watched along with my Grandpa for who would come out tops in the Republican field. And what I saw deeply disturbed me.

The Bible speaks plainly, as follows, on the issue I am about to address...

9 The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves. 10 Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds. 11 Woe to the wicked! Disaster is upon them! They will be paid back for what their hands have done. 12 Youths oppress my people, women rule over them. O my people, your guides lead you astray; they turn you from the path. -Isaiah 3:9-12

16 In that day the Egyptians will be like women. They will shudder with fear at the uplifted hand that the LORD Almighty raises against them. -Isaiah 19:16

11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But women will be saved through childbearing--if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety. -1 Timothy 2:11-15

3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
-Titus 2:3-5

Feel free to look all of these verses up. None are taken out of context. :)


So back to my story... What deeply concerned me was the number of "conservative" women who came out on top--over other conservative men in the republican primaries. What I am about to state is very anti-cultural, offends most Christians, and nearly all women: Women were not meant to be in leadership over men, but to be in submission TO THEIR OWN HUSBANDS (or fathers). Did you read the Bible verses I posted above? And those are not even all the ones I have found in my studies. Believe me, I didn't enter the Scripture with the firm conviction that women were not to lead men, and then just back up my presupposed thought with these Scriptures. No no, the belief and conviction I hold in this area is a direct RESULT of seeking God's word in this area of what I, as a woman, am to do with my life!

Did I always like this result? NO WAY!! When I was little I used to think to myself they needed someone with SENSE in that legislature, and that maybe, just maybe, I'd be the one to spark the revolution of our political system!

It's very popular in our day and age (it's all over movies and books) to justify our ACTIONS by what the GOAL is. That whatever actions it took to get a "good deed" done were necessary and therefore OK. This is extremely unBiblical! Jesus is always always always looking at the heart of the issue and of each and every one of our actions. I think of the movie Eragon which is actually a great film--minus one MAJOR issue. The lead character, Eragon, is told by his older and wiser mentor to stay put for his own safety and not attempt a rescue of another good guy. Eragon disobeys, completes a successful rescue, and then says to his enraged mentor, "Better to ask forgiveness than permission." We as Christians are doing the same exact course of action in this matter of politics. Men are not doing their jobs, rising up to do the right thing and beat the bad guys, so women are stepping in and doing it for them. Sure it worked out in Eragon, but that is a fictional movie and not ultimately based on the Bible. Just as Jesus condemns disobedience of authority, I firmly believe he condemns women stepping into a man's role. He MADE them different and to have different roles! And when humans step in and say "we have a better way than God's way" ooh my, that is very bad business and I fear for our country....

From the verses above it is clear to me that women ruling a kingdom is a sign of judgment from God. That is what sobers me the most. That Christians are not only taking women running for office lying down and without question, but are actually voting for them in the bargain! I don't claim to have it all figured out, but I cannot reason away the verses above. As for that nonsense about women being submissive to their husbands being a thing of the past/history, if you take that line with part of the Bible, where will it end, I ask you? How many commandments from God are just "cultural" and how many are actually "for life."

The bottom line is that if we TRULY believe that every single line in the Bible is the inspired word of the most Holy and Jealous God, there is not a single thing in that book which we are not required to live by. And I know you're thinking about all those things the Jews did in the old Testament, and do we have to do all that now--no. Christ makes it very clear that he fulfilled the traditions and that they are no longer necessary, as he has bridged the gap which could never be filled, by dying on the cross. But that is a whole other topic :)

A quote from Noah Webster comes to mind...

"The Bible is the chief moral cause of all that is good, and the best book for regulating the concerns of man. The principles of genuine liberty, and of wise laws and administrations, are to be drawn from the Bible and sustained by its authority. The man therefore, who weakens or destroys the divine authority of that book may be subject to all the public disorders which society is doomed to suffer. There are two powers only, sufficient to control the men and secure the rights of individuals: the combined force of liberty and law."

If by trying to bring about "good" in this country, we forsake the law of God and re-write it to suit our own ambitions and vision, we are lost and our country with us... "What good will it do you to gain the whole world and forfeit your soul?" Jesus asks in Matthew. What good indeed...

I ask you to consider this unpopular teaching, and test your own beliefs constantly in this world that wants desperately to turn us from Christ and all that he stands for.

Kingdoms will rise and fall, but what matters is that we obeyed God's commandments with eternity in mind. Not with the next election in mind.