Monday, August 3, 2009
The Shack - Authority and Institutions
The book is utterly anti-authority. It says that there is no authority in the Godhead contra 1 Corinthians 11:3 “But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God”.
Young basically says that all authority is an evil perversion, wherever that authority is found, in a family, a state, society, God to man, anywhere. Authority hurts people, it uses and abuses them. I am sure I don't even have to bother quoting scripture to prove that this is wrong.
This was a long section so I had to take short excerpts. If anyone thinks that I took them out of context feel free to post a fuller version.
“Hierarchy would make no sense among us [the Trinity]. Actually, this is your problem not ours."
"Really? How so?"
"Humans are so lost and damaged that to you it is almost incomprehensible that people could work or live together without someone being in charge."
"But every human institution that I can think of, from political to business, even down to marriage, is governed by this kind of thinking; it is the web of our social fabric,: Mack asserted.
"Such a waste!" said Papa, picking up the empty dish and heading for the kitchen.
"It's one reason why experiencing rue relationship is so difficult for you," Jesus added. "Once you have a hierarchy you need rules to protect and administer it, and then you need law and the enforcement of the rules, and you end up with some kind of chain of command or a system of order that destroys relationship rather than promotes it."...Authority, as you usually think of it, is merely the excuse the strong use to make others conform to what they want."...
'the will to power and independence'...is the matrix; a diabolical scheme in which you are hopelessly trapped...
So are you telling me that whenever we humans protect ourselves with power..."
You are yielding to the matrix, not to us," finished Jesus.
"To force my will on you," Jesus replied, "is exactly what love does not do. Genuine relationships are marked by submission even when your choices are not helpful or healthy."...Submission is not about authority and it is not obedience; it is all about relationships of love and respect. In fact, we are submitted to you in the same way."
Mack was surprised. 'How can that be? Why would the God of the universe want to be submitted to me?"
"Because we want you to join us in our circle of relationship. I don't want slaves to my will: I want brothers and sisters who will share life with me."
A) He is redefining the word submission. Definition of submission from answers.com
The act of submitting to the power of another: “Oppression that cannot be overcome does not give rise to revolt but to submission” (Simone Weil).
The state of having submitted. See synonyms at surrender.
The state of being submissive or compliant; meekness.
B) Although we are brothers and sisters of Christ we are children of the Father, and we submit (proper definition) to Him. Although we are brothers and sisters of Christ we also obey and serve Jesus as well. Paul called himself a bondservant of Christ. Christ is called the head of every man. There is love and obedience in our relationship with God.
"Jesus" said, "I don't create institutions-never have, never will" pg. 179. He doesn't like politics, economics, religious institutions, or religious activity. He has followers who are Muslims and Buddhists and he doesn't seek to make them Christian. pg. 182
"Those who love me come from every system that exists. They were Buddhists or Mormons, Baptists or Muslims,...Some are bankers and bookies, Americans and Iraqis, Jews and Palestinians. I have no desire to make them Christian, but I do want to join them in their transformation into sons and daughters of my Papa, into my brothers and sisters, into my Beloved."
"The Bible doesn't teach you to follow rules" referring to things like "doing good things and avoiding evil, being kind to the poor, reading your Bible, praying, and going to church." pg. 197 We are not under any laws, and I don't care what kind of view you have of the Bible, most Christians agree that murder, for example, is still wrong.
Maybe I am too cynical but I think that if a man who was caught in adultery later writes a book in which he says that marriage is not an institution, there is no law, responsibilities and expectations ruin relationships, and no one is allowed to judge anyone else, well, I would just call it very convenient. I would not however want any prospective husband to think that way.