[The Shack by William Young is a major bestseller and worthy of comment. This is the third of five quick looks at The Shack from my perspective.]
Papa (God) tells Mack that she was powerless to interfere in the brutal rape and murder of his baby girl because if she were to stop the crime she would be robbing humanity of free will, and without free will we humans are nothing.
At first this may make sense to you, and it certainly placates Mack, but it bothers the hell out of me. When God talks about protecting free will she subtly shifts our focus from Missy to Missy’s murderer. The only free will God is protecting by allowing the brutal rape and murder of little Missy is the free will of the murderer. God robs Missy of her free will without batting an eye!
Of course if you believe in The Secret and its backwards Law of Attraction (like attracts like), then you might say that Missy’s free will was also honored because she brought about her rape and murder by thinking thoughts of rape and murder. According to The Secret everything that happens to us happens because we attract it to ourselves through our thoughts. How a little kid has such thoughts, however, is beyond me, and only a heartless fool would imagine that little Missy chose to be raped and murdered, but if heartless idiocy is what it takes to excuse God of the crime of callous indifference then millions of The Shack readers are willing to do just that.
So which is it, Papa—whose free will are you really concerned with: the murderer’s or the victim’s? Papa’s logic demands that we see that she is siding with evil. Unfortunately, Mack doesn’t see this. He is content to let God squeak by with this silly argument about free will. But you shouldn’t!
Hold on a second, Mack might object. God is talking about the big picture—human free will in general and not the murderer’s in particular. If Papa were to save Missy she would have to end free will for all of us!
This is absurd on at least two counts. First, if you believe the stories in the Bible as most of The Shack’s readers do, then you know that God overrides free will. What, for example, is the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart if not the theft of his free will? Second, if God refuses to intervene in life because of free will, and this callousness allows the free will of the powerful and wicked to override the free will of the weak and innocent, then God is simply enabling survival of the fittest at its most brutal. In fact if this is the theology of The Shack, the its author is a deist of sorts believing in a God who created the world and then leaves it to its own devises.
The simple fact is that little Missy died because God let her die, and if Mack let’s God off the hook for this murder he is just enabling God to perpetrate further evil while pretending to be powerless to stop it. The God of The Shack suffers from a type of Munchausen’s disease. She let’s evil happen so she can pretend to suffer with the tormented and thus earn the love of the survivors. Papa/God is one sick black lady. How can people find this comforting?