Phylicia Rashad is not here for the critiques about Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer being cast as God the new film The Shack. Rashad recently told Page Six, “Oh, please, God is in all of us. It does not matter what color you are or what gender you are, there is God in all of us.”
Her comments were in response to Christian groups who are upset that a Black woman was tapped to play the Heavenly Father. According to IndieWire,Joe Schimmel, the pastor of Blessed Hope Chapel in Simi Valley, California, recently told Christian News Network, “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.”
Christian author James B. DeYoung, who wrote Burning Down the Shack: How the ‘Christian’ Bestseller is Deceiving Millions, echoed Schimmel’s statements.
“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,” he told the Christian News Network.
But as Spencer’s Israeli co-star Aviv Alush who plays Jesus, says: “You do know that Jesus did not have blond hair and blue eyes. He had hair of wool and skin the color of brass.”
The Shack, which debuted on March 3, is based off the 2007 best-selling book of the same name. The faith-based fantasy drama film follows a man whose daughter was murdered during a family camping trip and later sinks into a deep depression and begins to lose his faith.