In an interview with The Shack author Paul Young several years ago, Bethel Redding’s Kris Vallotton asked, “Do you think that this book is really a catalyst for Reformation in the church?”  (27:13 in video)
Paul Young replied, “I think this is part of whatever this is that the Holy Spirit is doing in the world.”  (27:23)
In another interview, given around the time the movie was released, The Shack author said, “I think that’s a move of the Holy Spirit. … I think we’re on the cusp or inside the beginnings of a Reformation.” (emphasis mine)
Great changes have indeed occurred within the visible church due to his books, beginning with The Shack, and now with Eve and Lies We Believe About God. Yet, this is not a Reformation, but a Deformation. This is not a move of the Holy Spirit as…
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A. Do Not Covet — Children learn to covet the gifts of others, to drool over the Christmas catalog, to drag their parents endlessly through toy stores, all in the name of “the Christmas spirit.”
B. Do Not Bear False Witness — “Jesus is the reason for the season!” is the Christian battle cry to “put Christ back in Christmas,” when in actuality, there is not only no Biblical warrant for Christmas, but its roots are in pagan worship systems. Nevertheless, professing Christians lie to their children about Santa Claus, the supernatural, sorcerous false “god” of Christmas, whose “gospel” is one of works salvation along with unconditional acceptance and rewards. Parents lie to their children for years about the god-like character of Santa Claus, in effect asking them to trust in a false god and a lie, and then don’t understand why later in life their children won’t believe and trust in the true God, Jesus Christ.
C. Do Not Steal — Christmas spending patterns could never stand the test of Biblical stewardship; i.e., Christians, in celebrating Christmas, “steal” the Lord’s resources by ignoring their proper use; lavishly spend these resources on worthless and useless trinkets (in many cases); and withhold resources from those in need, while at the same time claiming to never have enough money to buy good Christian books, pay for home schooling, or buy Bible helps for their children. (Christians could also be helping the spiritually needy by buying and giving them tracts, books, etc.) We “steal” from our families what they need and what we owe them in order to buy gifts for those who don’t need them.
D. Do Not Commit Adultery — At this “special” time of the year, lustful thoughts are actually encouraged; e.g., teens are allowed to go to parties and stay out later, thereby having temptations put in front of them that otherwise wouldn’t be there. Christmas parties for adults also encourage evil thoughts through the use of the mistletoe, etc. (According to Matt. 5, such thoughts constitute adultery. At the very least, spiritual adultery is encouraged by the “season.”)
E. Do Not Murder — Envy and hate of my brother (which, according to Matt. 5, is equal to murder) because he has more than me or because he receives a larger Christmas bonus than me, is encouraged at Christmas time. We also tend to spiritually sacrifice our children to the “god of Christmas” via greed, selfishness, etc.
F. Honor Father and Mother — Christmas gift-giving is not an honor to parents; the term “exchanging” gifts (i.e., giving in expectation of a return) is a dead give-away of the mockery associated with this tradition.
G. Remember the Sabbath and Keep It Holy — Although we recognize that the Lord’s Day is not the “Christian Sabbath,” clearly the Lord’s Day is to be kept for worship and observed as such. Yet when Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, or the day after Christ-mas falls on a Sunday, most churches adjust the Lord’s Day to accommodate Christ-mas, usually by canceling the regularly scheduled Sunday evening service. Most of its members are too busy or too tired to attend services anyway.
H. Do Not Take the Lord’s Name in Vain — “Christ” and “mass” are two words that are totally opposite from one another, and to connect the two is to blaspheme the name of Christ. By taking a pagan celebration, “Christianizing” it, and calling it a celebration of the birth of Christ, is most certainly taking the Lord’s name in vain. (A good example of the willingness of the professing church to profane the name of the Lord would be the title of a popular children’s Christmas concert production — The Divine Ornament. Imagine, identifying our Lord with a pagan ornament to hang on a pagan tree! What insult! What blasphemy!) In addition, some professing Christians use religion (“Christ’s birthday”) as a cloak to cover the evils of covetousness, idolatry, greed, immorality, etc. — all excuses to give vent to evil lusts.
I. Do Not Make Yourself Any Carved Image — Nativity scenes, “pictures” of Christ, Christmas cards with “pictures” of Jesus, etc., all violate this command. God has given us His Word, not images, to teach us about Christ (1 Pe. 1:23; Dt. 4:12, 15-19).
J. Have No Other Gods Before Me — The “god of Christmas” is idolatrous! Looking to the Christmas season for happiness, joy, and fulfillment, rather than through a pure, personal, and Biblical relationship with Jesus Christ, is idolatry.
“If you love Me, keep My commandments. – John 14:15
We must not talk about our fellowship with Christ, or our being separated from the world unto Him, unless we make Him our Master and Lord in everything. Some public teachers are not true at all points to their convictions, and how can they look for a blessing? A Christian man, anxious to be useful, ought to be very particular as to every point of obedience to his Master. I have no doubt whatever that God blesses our churches even when they are very faulty, for His mercy endureth for ever. When there is a measure of error in the teaching, and a measure of mistake in the practice, He may still vouchsafe to use the ministry, for He is very gracious. But a large measure of blessing must necessarily be withheld from all teaching which is knowingly or glaringly faulty. God can set His seal upon the truth that is in it, but He cannot set His seal upon the error that is in it.
The Lord is very gracious and pitiful; but yet He is a jealous God. He is sometimes sternly jealous towards His people who are living in neglects of known duty, or in associations which are not clean in His sight. He will wither their work, weaken their strength, and humble them until at last they say, “My Lord, I will take Thy way after all. I will do what Thou biddest me to do, for else Thou wilt not accept me.” The Lord said to His disciples, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature: he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;” and He promised them that signs should follow, and so they did follow them, and so they will. But we must get back to apostolic practice and to apostolic teaching: we must lay aside the commandments of men and the whimseys of our own brains, and we must do what Christ tells us, as Christ tells us, and because Christ tells us. Definitely and distinctly, we must take the place of servants; and if we will not do that, we cannot expect our Lord to work with us and by us. Let us be determined that, as true as the needle is to the pole, so true will we be, as far as our light goes, to the command of our Lord and Master. ~ C.H. Spurgeon