How to avoid making Christians appear legalistic & unintelligent to the world.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’d rather reason with a devout Atheist than try and reason with a self-righteous, religious, legalistic man who thinks too highly of himself.

The legalistic backlash leading up to the movie The Shack has already begun. Never mind that the book is an allegory telling a story of God going out of his way to bring an individual broken by tragedy closer to him, repair him, restore him and then reveal himself for the loving Father he is. Never mind that millions of people read and love the book and testify how it either introduced them to thoughts of God and higher things or brought them closer to God and gave a better understanding of his deep love for us. The film must be boycotted because it depicts God as persons. One highly vocal critic had a particular issue with that person being a black woman. Maybe it would have been ok if George Burns were alive to play the part. I am not sure where he finally ended on that debate.

Anyway, irrespective of how you feel about the book or the movie (I neither recommend or condemn it) PLEASE consider how you make Christians appear to everyone else when you spread the legalistic viewpoints of those who don’t feel Christians have the mental capacity to distinguish their bibles from fiction novels or movies. I am so tired of being embarrassed by these ridiculous arguments. Their result is always the same, people and relationships are damaged as well as reputations. Don’t invite that upon yourself. If your God is afraid of a movie or a book, your idea of him is much too small. My God is above all and can use anything for his purpose. If you are studying your theology, I suggest you put down the fiction novels and get into the bible. If your motive is entertainment, see a movie or read a book and try not to stress out over it. Life is too short for all that.

We all need to follow God to the best of our ability, allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us and not the rigid prodding from men. If he tells you not to see the movie, by all means avoid it. Just consider he may not have us all within the same boundaries so it isn’t our duty to round everyone up and herd them into the same fence.

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