“The Shack”, the movie

Though a Christian de-convert, I read the book, “The Shack” when it came out in 2007.  I did mainly because so many Christians were condemning it.  It is about a Father who takes his kids camping while his wife is attending a work related meeting.  Their youngest daughter is kidnapped from their campground and found murdered.  He later meets 3 mythical characters , an African American female (God) , a Middle East male woodworker (Jesus) and an Asian female gardener (Holy Spirit) who teach him about grace and forgiveness.

The 3 mythical characters could have been Larry, Moe and Curly Joe from the Three Stooges for all I care.  It was all about forgiveness and grace albeit themes of various religions.

This past week, a movie of the same name debuted in theaters here in the USA.  I took my oldest daughter to see it today.  It followed much of what was in the book .  My daughter and I both wept during several scenes of the movie.

When I returned home, I looked at reviews of the movie and again the Christian Community criticized it for being “Theologically Incorrect”.  Several said, “How could God be portrayed as a Black Woman?”    WTF ???  It is a novel !  Theological Correctness never entered my mind.  I was touched because the theme of forgiveness is something I feel I could improve on in my life.

Forgiveness is not owned by Religion or Christianity in particular.   It’s something I feel we all could extend a little more of…….





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10 thoughts on ““The Shack”, the movie

  1. So true.

    Violet just penned a post on this film and the outrage it has generated. Odd.


  2. I totally agree with you that forgiveness is not owned by religion, including Christianity. However, I don’t agree with the assertion that we all could extend a little more. I would say that’s crossing personal boundaries, which Christianity is notorious for doing.

    “It is equally important for others to refrain from pushing someone into forgiving a perpetrator. Even if the intention is coming from a good place, trying to get someone who has been violated to forgive can feel like being victimized all over again. Instead, it is more helpful to validate that the person is entitled to his or her feelings. Being a listening ear instead of trying to fix the issue is much more supportive and healing. The person needs to be able to have a voice and express what he or she is feeling and thinking without the fear of judgment.

    [snip] It is important to allow the natural process of working through trauma to happen and to remove any barriers that may get in the way. This includes the belief we aren’t supposed to feel “negative” emotions or that we have to forgive. Once we remove that expectation, the natural process moves through. Even if someone doesn’t get to a place of forgiveness, he or she can still move on, unburden themselves, and thrive.”


    One of the best pieces of counseling advice I was given was that I didn’t have to forgive. This enabled me to move forward and heal.

    Regarding the controversy over the movie, as Violetwisp pointed out in her post, the mindset of these Christians is quite disturbing. Quote from her post:

    “They’re happy to accept their god showing love as a father, as a male god on Earth and as any form of male entity. They’re happy for their god to reveal his message through men, but their disgust at the thought of a black woman being used, reveals something really quite disturbing about the mindset.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • “However, I don’t agree with the assertion that we all could extend a little more. I would say that’s crossing personal boundaries, which Christianity is notorious for doing.”

      I always welcome and respect your comments here , Victoria. I never said “we should” extend a little more, I said “we could” . My intentions were not to cross “personal boundaries”.

      I have had more than one occasion in my life where I could have forgiven someone who was truly remorseful for something they did to me. Out of possible anger or wanting to hurt them back, I didn’t forgive them. I regret that because they are no longer here.

      On the flip side, I have been forgiven for things I did where forgiveness was offered but could have been withheld .

      You’re absolutely right when you say you don’t have to forgive anyone. I just happen to feel a lot better whether I’m extending it or receiving it.


      • That’s for your feedback, Ken. I was careful with what I quoted, and understood you to mean would, not should, but the “we” came across as including everyone, and not everyone would find it necessary to forgive in order to heal and move forward. I’m sorry you have regrets, but you were being true to yourself at the time — an authenticity that was important to your healing process.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Charity

      Thank you, V. This is exactly what I’ve known personally for decades. Luckily, my lifelong secular therapist isn’t a big fan of forgiveness. She believes it’s overrated. Most of her clients are traumatized and I think that’s what influenced her position.

      While I was still in church, it seemed as though the women who pushed me to forgive undermined my experiences and value as a person. These same women would tell me I was “bitter” or to “trust God anyway”. Maybe they responded in kind because unknown to me, I was mirroring their own pain and traumatic experiences. Such authenticity among Christian women is not welcomed because of Jesus.

      Christian men have demanded me to submit or reconcile because I simply asked honest questions. These were often the same men who demanded I’d “forgive” or “get over it” because they were the ones who constantly hurt me.

      I know people often say that forgiveness is for the victim to heal and not to benefit the perpetrator/s. However, I have OFTEN found it to be the other way around. A victim trying to convince himself/herself to forgive perpetrators doesn’t benefit him or her. He or she instead becomes an emotional wreck, spiraling into self hatred, addiction and suicidal tendencies. Yet, an abuser takes great solace in being forgiven for they get off scott free. They continue hurting people because no one calls them out on their wrong doing.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I was always a little bothered by how reactive people were in the Christian circles I used to run with about things such as this movie/book, or Harry Potter, or whatever the latest “ungodly” fad causing Christians to get up in arms Eventually, I began to explore how something so seemingly benign might possibly be so threatening to a belief system. This led to some serious personal soul searching and real exploration and some pretty thorough examination as to what I believed and why…and, as they say: once the genie is out of the bottle there is no putting it back. I eventually came to the conclusion that if a belief can be so violently shaken by a little gust of wind such as a statement challenging the belief, or a movie and/or book that differs from the belief system, or even an honest, innocent, and valid question, then is the belief really worth the investment of the believing? It says to me that the belief is very weak in basis and, therefore, is not worthy of the strength of effort to maintain it. And that’s kind of a creed that I’ve come to judge the worthiness of a belief to live by ever since.

    A number of people of similar conclusions have had good things to say about “The Shack.” I was glad to see a movie come out based on the book and am very interested in seeing it – but, as with most films, I’m happy to wait until it comes out in a format that can be viewed in the comfort of my own home. 🙂


  4. Thanks for your comments Curlabyebye ! You took the words out of my mouth ! 🙂
    I was part of organized Christianity for many years. As I traveled this planet for business and pleasure , I realized how “exclusive” the Abrahamic Religions were. Then I realized how many people were not part of those religions through no fault of their own. It only made sense that IF there really was a God who created everything, he would be more inclusive than any particular religion.


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