I have to admit it. I really do like William Paul Young! Yes, I even enjoyed his book The Shack, and I enjoyed immensely his latest book Cross Roads. I thank God for Paul Young. He is a gift to the human race. Could it be that God thought so much of his son Paul and his book that he said, “I want the world to read this! I want the world to hear his heart! I am so proud of my boy! I am especially fond of him!”
Sadly, I know I will get flack for standing with my brother Paul Young. I know many of my Christian friends think he is a heretic. I think many of my Christian friends need to repent for passing judgement on a fellow brother working in such a creative way to reunite God’s lost kids to their heartsick Papa. That’s what I think.
After reading Cross Roads, I went down stairs and picked up the Bible to see if the same relational unconditional-love-filled God that William Young writes about in his books is the same God that the apostle Paul presents in his letter to the Romans. Surprisingly he is, though for years I read it differently. I saw Jesus differently.
This is when I realized the power of paradigms in my own life. The following are some quotes from an interview William Young gave regarding the Shack and his new book Cross Roads:
“When Jesus showed up he was not recognizable inside the paradigm that religion had constructed.”
“Your paradigm will change the words right in front of your face. You will read it the way your system believes it should be rather than what it truly is. How do we read law into words of grace? How do we read performance into unconditional love?”
“God will go down any road to find you. He has come for every last one of his lost kids. Jesus didn’t come to make people Christians or to start a new religion instead he came to destroy religious thinking by introducing relationship. Relationship always moves you away from control and into mystery. The mystery of relationship.”
“It always hurts to get kicked in your paradigm.”
Over the past several years I have moved toward grace and relationship and away from a demonic fear controlled religion. My paradigm has shifted. The way I read Scripture has been transformed. The blinders are off. I see Jesus and he has a beautiful heart!
Legalistic self-righteous religion is a graceless, judgmental, and ugly thing. It makes God into a petty capricious bully with whom you never know where you stand. There is nothing that boils my blood more than to realize how many are being dragged down (and quite possibly to hell) by a form of religion that denies the slave who ascribes to said religion the joyful freedom that Christ offers us in a pure simple loving relationship.
I would propose that Jesus didn’t come to start a new religion but to set humans free to know and be known, to love and be loved by their God who created them to love them. What are your thoughts? Leave a comment.