Cru gives students free tickets, mixed messages about The Shack

Should Christians ever use and consume entertaining apostasy like the heretical The Shack movie to witness to those who aren’t Christians?

Cru™ (Formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ), is promoting its free ticket giveaway to college students to see the film and take their friends. And in an almost apologetic way, the ticket site includes a caveat stating that Cru “does not endorse the movie.” That's the small-font italicized quip at the very bottom of the website's page. A footnote.

Free tickets. Not endorsing.

Without giving any warning or explanation as to why they don’t endorse, the site provides four videos from Cru and Family Life leadership clearly endorsing and encouraging movie lovers to not miss this “wonderful” film.

Why no explanation, and why the endorsement/non-endorsement? Because:

It is a “thought-provoking film that opens the door to an important dialogue.”

What discussion will the students be having with their friends? Is it the Gospel of the real Jesus Christ of the Bible? Well, not exactly. In fact not at all.

Here is the list of questions Cru is using to equip students to share about…their feelings and emotions. Note the lack of any discussion about the true nature and character of Jesus Christ.

Just like Cru’s new shortened name, there is no mention of Jesus Christ at all.

Mark Stewart, Staff Effectiveness Director at Cru, says there is “a lot of humor in this thing, and urged students to let God speak to them:

“Personally I didn’t care for the book, but when I saw this movie I absolutely loved it because I saw God in a way that He deeply wants to meet each person where they are…and speak into their heart.”

Chris Randazzo, Cru partner and ministry leader of FamilyLife, says being in step with Cru, he would not hesitate to take anyone to see this movie.

“For anyone worried that maybe this is not a theologically sound movie, there are such minor issues that to me, the main message of the movie is something you don’t want to miss.”

That sounds like endorsements to me, but I’m wondering what those minor issues are.

To cover its bases for the critics who are sure to come out of the woodwork to attack, Cru says this:

“If you have reservations or concerns about using the movie, you may find Dr. Alan Scholes’ (Cru Theology Professor) perspective helpful:”

Let’s see how helpful Dr. Alan Scholes is.

“Now it’s not perfect, we should never take our theology from a movie,” says  Scholes. ”However if you go to this movie you will see God in a new – and mostly biblical – way.”

Mostly biblical?

In this clip, the professor says that his “only quibble” is a scene with the Father and the Holy Spirit depicted with nail wounds in their hands, implying that the Father and Spirit died on the cross with Jesus.

“However, the rest has very sound theology in it!”

No, Professor, the Shack’s theology has been examined in the Light of Scripture over, and over, and over again. One of the most viral articles came out when the book was first published, titled, the Thirteen Heresies in The Shack,.

Which leads me to this question: Cru has clearly bought into the Hollywood hype to the point of spending a whole lot of money to provide free tickets, fuzzy study guides, and promotions. If you have students in Cru or you are financially supporting Cru, how much damage are you prepared to undo?

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