Worldnet Dailyby Joseph Farah Posted: May 31, 2010 1:00 am Eastern
A parable in Matthew 25 tells the story of 10 virgins awaiting their bridegroom.
Five are wise and five are foolish. The wise virgins had oil in their lamps, while the foolish virgins did not. When the bridegroom came, he met the wise virgins who were prepared, but the foolish virgins missed him because they had to go buy oil.
The foolish virgins with no oil were shut out of the marriage feast.
What does this story have to do with the church in America today?
For Christians, the marriage feast represents redemption with Yeshua, our Messiah and Savior. The oil is the Holy Spirit, which provides believers with discernment about biblical truth. The virgins â€“ both wise and foolish â€“ represent the church.
And I believe this parable has special meaning for today's church.
Just as there are in this story, there are a lot of foolish virgins in the church today â€“ superficial believers who are not utilizing the discerning spirit God provides us to understand and interpret His Word.
Here's proof: The most popular book in so-called "Christian" bookstores over the last two or three years is one called "The Shack," a paperback novel by Paul Young that represents unmitigated heresy in its view of salvation, an anti-biblical portrait of the Creator of the universe as our buddy and a thoroughly paganistic message that there really are no consequences for sin.
How a book like this could be sustained high on the nation's best-seller lists for two solid years, mainly by "Christians," is a profound indictment of the American church and its spiritual and intellectual sophistication.
Worse yet, hundreds or thousands churches and Bible study groups have used "The Shack" as a teaching tool.
That's why I jumped at the opportunity to publish an enlightened critique of the this dangerous and spiritually subversive book called "Burning Down 'The Shack: How the 'Christian' Bestseller Is Deceiving Millions,'" by James De Young.
It officially releases tomorrow, but you can get it right now, autographed by the author, at the WND Superstore.
De Young brings some important credentials to the project. He is professor of New Testament Language and Literature at Western Seminary, Portland, Ore., where he has taught for 34 years. He has served as chairman of the hermeneutics section within the Evangelical Theological Society. And he's also personally well-acquainted with Young, the author of "The Shack," having been part of a small-group Bible study with him for years prior to the latter's break with orthodoxy.
Why is it important to dissect the theology behind "The Shack"?
Because it has indeed deceived millions â€“ and continues to mislead more every day.
It embraces a universalist creed that suggests everyone is saved. It rejects the clear biblical condemnations of sinful behavior. It preaches the false "I'm OK, you're OK" gospel and rejects the reality of eternal damnation.
The wholesale acceptance of this book by the Christian establishment â€“ radio networks, publishing houses, churches, bookstores and clergy â€“ is alarming to say the least.
I think I can safely say that no "Christian" publisher would touch "Burning Down 'The Shack'" because it might disrupt the profit stream. Opposition to this thoughtful and enlightening and scrupulously documented book has been vehement â€“ not from the secular world, mind you, but from within those who consider themselves part of the Body of Christ!
That's why I urge you to read "Burning Down 'The Shack.'" It's about a book that has had a profound and negative influence on the church and the culture at large. You need to share it with your friends. You need to make "Burning Down 'The Shack'" part of your Bible studies. You need to share it with your pastors and fellow believers.