Really, no one know’s what God looks like, but that hasn’t stopped racist Christians from getting upset over Octavia Spencer’s role in an upcoming film called The Shack, based on William P. Young’s 2007 novel.
In the film, Spencer portrays “the physical manifestations of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and God” in the faith-based film and according to Indiewire, many Christians are heated. Joe Schimmel, the pastor of Blessed Hope Chapel in Simi Valley, California told one Christian outlet, “Young’s pretentious caricature of God as a heavy set, cushy, non-judgmental, African American woman called ‘Papa’ – who resembles the New Agey Oprah Winfrey far more than the one true God revealed through the Lord Jesus Christ in Hebrews 1:1-3 –…lends itself to a dangerous and false image of God and idolatry.”
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James B. DeYoung, the Christian author behind Burning Down the Shack: How the ‘Christian’ Bestseller is Deceiving Millions agrees, “If the film is a faithful portrayal of the events and the theology of the book, then every Christian should be gravely alarmed at the further advance of beliefs that smear the evangelical understanding of the truth of the Bible.”
Last year, Spencer remarked that those who may object to the film should remember that this is just one person’s manifestation of God.
“It’s like, ‘Oh, my God! Someone is playing God,'” she said. “But people have to remember it’s a manifestation of God. How [the film subject] sees God. Not necessarily how or who or what God is.”