'Counting On' Co-Star Ben Seewald Warns Christians About 'The Shack'

A still shot from 'The Shack,' a movie based on William Paul Young's New York Times best-selling novel.
A still shot from "The Shack," a movie based on William Paul Young's New York Times best-selling novel. | (Photo: ScreenCapture/Lionsgate/Summit Entertainment)

Ben Seewald is cautioning his social media followers against watching "The Shack" movie.

Seewald, the 21-year-old television personality who appears with his wife Jessa Duggar on the hit TLC reality television show "Counting On" which stems from shows "19 Kids and Counting" and "Jill & Jessa: Counting On," said a false god is being presented to viewers of "The Shack."

"There is a God presented to us in 'The Shack' — a false god. A god of human imagination that directly contradicts--this idea of God directly contradicts a God who reveals himself speaking of Himself in His Word," Seewald said in an Instagram video. "There's going to be a lot of people unfortunately walking out that theater with a false idea of God. Don't let it be you."

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A post shared by Ben Seewald (@ben_seewald) on

He began the video by urging people to click a link in his Instagram bio that led to an article written on The Leading Way ministry website led by Dr. Michael Youssef.

In the February 24 article titled, "Six Major Problems with The Shack," the best-selling book by William P. Young is dissected to show the ways it differs from Scripture. The representations of the Holy Trinity as a black woman (Father), Middle Eastern man (Jesus Christ) and Asian woman (Holy Spirit) are called "caricatures" in the article.

The article also takes issue with the book insinuating that God will not judge sins, while implying that Jesus is not the only path to salvation.

"According to Young, justice and love are at odds and cannot be reconciled. He reasons that God will never judge people for their sins because He is limited by His love," the article states as the first problem before moving on to the second. "Another theme in The Shack that doesn't square with the Word of God is the idea that God forgives all of humanity, regardless of whether or not they repent and believe in the redeeming work of Jesus."

The Leading Way goes on to speak about the third problem in the film concerning the idea of submission to God, while speaking about the book's implications of God being limited by the Bible.

"In The Shack, the god character tells Mack that submission is not about authority or obedience" and that the Trinity is even submitted to Mack (145)," the article states before outlining the fourth problem. "Young alleges that the Bible limits God, implying that it was man who reduced God's voice to paper: 'Nobody wanted God in a box, just in a book.'"

The last two problems that the ministry lists have to do with the casual portrayal of God who will change for a human being.

"The God portrayed in The Shack seems casual and unconcerned with holiness, which is inconsistent with what we see in the Bible," the ministry argues.

Also, "Young tries to answer the important personal question of suffering — and he thinks the answer is to change who God is."

While The Leading Way online ministry speaks out against Young's work, the film has also received some public support from Christians. One of those believers is Darren Mulligan, the frontman for the Christian band We Are Messengers whose song "I'll Think About You" is featured in the film and on its soundtrack.

In an interview with The Christian Post, Mulligan explained why he believed people could benefit from watching the film even if it is a fictional interpretation of Scripture.

"The movie doesn't have to be doctrine, it's a fictional movie about hurt and where God is in that. But if we got behind it, we could have conversations with millions of people in popular culture who never have conversations about faith," he told CP. "What an opportunity for Christians [to be] known for the things that we are for, not the things that we are against. It's an opportunity and a beautiful one."

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