Movie Chit Chat:
15 Whoever has ears, let them hear. 16 ‘To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the market-places and calling out to others: 17 ‘“We played the pipe for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.” 18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, “He has a demon.” 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, “Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.’
My mum told me about the shack earlier this year and then when I went to look it up I found that it had been made into a movie. Like the massive book reader that I am 😐 I decided to read the book and then watch the film. I did not make it far into the book before stopping. I then came across Hillsong – Heaven Knows a few days after it was released and I loved the song, I was obsessed with it, “then sings my soul.”
I then read some of the comments (I don’t normally have YouTube on unrestricted mode.) and one person said something about how the book was controversial and it was heretic this was not fun to hear at all. It made me more curious about the story but I didn’t think to turn back to the book and find out what this person was saying or to see if it aligns with the Bible. I brushed it off because I didn’t think it mattered too much.
Anyway fast forward a few months and I watched the movie (I used a dodgy site. God please forgive me.) Whilst I was watching the movie I was falling asleep I’m not going to lie, but I watched the whole thing. I may not have been focused on some parts of the film but I made it to the end.
Spoiler alert!! Stop reading if you intend to watch the film or read the book.
The part that really stood out to me was when Mack was speaking to wisdom. Wisdom asked Mack a series of questions to try and lead Mack to forgiveness. Wisdom asked him if the person who had murdered his daughter should be punished for what he did and initially Mack said yes. But then wisdom somewhat talks Mack through the killers past asking him if he should still be punished for what he did even though he was brought up terribly by his father, that his father made him the way that he ended up being. (This is not a direct quote.) In the end Mack says the words I forgive you, and we see him walking carrying his daughters body to bury her saying the words I forgive you over and over. (If I remember correctly.)
To me this part of the movie was really powerful because the writer took on unforgiveness from an angle that we rarely see or hear about in today’s culture. Joyce Meyer’s story is one of the very few stories out there that I know about that shows this kind of forgiveness. (Watch anyone of her more recent videos and you’ll know what her story is or google it.) Society tells us to hold onto unforgiveness especially the big things and society also finds it weird when people can forgive atrocious things but God tells us to forgive because what we are owed is nothing compared to what we owe God.
This part of the story made me really think about myself and my own thoughts on punishment. I am guilty of thinking about people being punished by God but all that shows is that I am quite naive about God and his plans for His creations. Me thinking about other people being punished or judged harshly by God shows that I am forgetting that God forgave me for my sins past and present. If I didn’t have this forgiveness working in my life I would be one of those people that God would be punishing for bad; evil or sinful actions.
It’s easy for us to remove ourselves from punishment because we are saved by grace but we could have been the very people that we want God to punish.
Thinking about it now I can see that wisdom was speaking to Mack on a personal level, she was telling Mack that it so easily could have been him but with someone (his dad) saying “yes, punish him.” His back story was of a child who lived in an “Christian” abusive home, his dad was an alcoholic and was physically violent to his mother and Mack would sometimes be on the receiving end of his abusive behaviour. This story speaks to all of us because we could have so easily been the same as the people we hold unforgiveness towards. We could become abusive parents; partners, selfish, self centred and self serving but thanks to God working in our lives we aren’t those people and we never will be.
When I read the comment that said the book was heretic all I could think about was that I may get to heaven (as a full time resident or “Lord, Lord” crew,) and find that some of the people who I think are not heaven bound will actually be there. This made me a little bit uncomfortable but it also made me remember that we do not know God’s plans. Reading my Bible more and more makes me see that there is a lot that we do not know or understand about eternal life and what is yet to come we only have a small glimpse of what is yet to come.
Assuming that we know who will and who wont be in heaven is not something that we should be concerning ourselves with. We should be concerning ourselves with praying asking God to forgive those who have hurt us and for them to find God and his forgiveness. We would not like it if the debts we owe others were held against us but we are OK with remembering other people’s debts.
We see many people in the Bible pleading for those who God was getting ready to punish and God spares some / all of them. (Exodus 32, Genesis 18:16-33) These are two of the examples that are fresh in my mind.
I thought that the movie was a great source to learn from. It helped me to think a little bit more about my own thoughts on forgiveness and punishment. In terms of the other topics that people say are heretical, I don’t know if this is true or untrue because like I said I was not focusing whilst watching the movie / have not read the book when Mack is with the trinity.
Would I recommend this film? YES I would. I gained from it and I am thankful that I did.
Like I said in the post “All Things” God made everything so He can use whatever for His good plan. People may focus on this movie and say it is heretic and they may not want to watch it or recommend it to anyone BUT I am not going to turn the speakers off when God is using them to reach those who are in the back of the room.