republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:
circa 1650 by Il Cavalier Calabrese
The Baptist shows up in all four Gospels and is mentioned several times in Acts. The picture painted of this greatest prophet (Luke 7:28), foretold by Isaiah as one who would “prepare the way of the Lord” (Matthew 3:3), is one that depicts a rugged, adventurous sort of fellow whose message positioned him as an iconoclast against the prevailing religious culture of his day.
Bedecked in a “not appropriate for a fancy Jerusalem soiree” garment of camel hair, girded about his torso with a leather belt, John is described as a character much better suited to the Judean wilderness than to acceptable Jewish society. His diet of “locusts and honey” seems highlighted to make apparent his unorthodox lifestyle. For even the most adventurous Jew, you wouldn’t just find “locust and honey” flavored granola at the nearest kosher market, in the event one wanted to emulate the Baptist’s outdoor lifestyle.
But John wasn’t merely a rugged, wilderness living, outdoorsy adventurer. He was the prophet of God who would, after a four hundred year drought of prophecy, usher in the actual sandals-on-the-ground ministry of God in this world. He was the final forerunner to the One who would be greater than Moses. (Hebrews 3:1-6).
Though we are not given the details of exactly where the Baptist lived during his Judean wilderness ministry, his eccentric presentation and his unapproved religious message present him as a social and religious outcast who could easily be seen living in some remote “shack” by the edge of the Jordan River.
Regardless, though, of his abode – whether a shack, a cave, a tent, or merely under the immense twinkling canopy of God’s heaven – the Baptist attracted attention. His ministry brought out the curious and the concerned. It brought authentic believers and self-righteous detractors. They came from the towns and villages of Judea, including Jerusalem, to hear this man as he proclaimed his novel message.
Where John the Baptist identified himself as “the voice of one crying in the wilderness” (John 1:23) the modern story from the modern Shack is anything but … The Shack message seems to be basking in the glowing praise of the multitudes. But it was the message that John proclaimed – whether from a wilderness “shack” or not – that distinguishes him from the wildly popular current thing which is equally drawing out believers and detractors. But in the modern case of The Shack, it is John’s message which is so glaringly absent and which so easily identifies it as a dangerous theological dalliance more common to the wide path than the narrow way (Matthew 7:13-14) which the Baptist came to announce.
“Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.” (Matthew 3:1-2)This latest contemporary “Christian craze” drawing the masses – The Shack – is being lauded as the greatest thing since the crucifixion and resurrection. But if John the Baptist’s message has been increasingly disregarded in our day, it has been disregarded most epically so in William Paul Young’s book and movie. The wrongful detractors of the Baptist in his day don’t find their counterparts in the rightful detractors of The Shack today. Those warning against this Hollywood heresy do so because it disregards the message and the path which the Baptist came to proclaim. The Shack exudes and amplifies what is so rampant in the Bible-barren wilderness of the modern church – the lack of a clear presentation of the rightly understood Gospel and the echoing of God’s command for all men to “repent and believe.” (Acts 17:30)
Young’s latest book, Lies We Believe About God reveals the fundamental lies behind The Shack. The lies presumably refuted are, in fact, themselves deceptive. In Lies’ 28 brief chapters – one for each “lie” believed by Christians – Young lays out his -for lack of a better word – theology that drove the faux faith flick. In a word – in a single word – an appropriate review of this latest book, as well as The Shack, would be the word: UNCHRISTIAN.
“Be assured, there is nothing new in theology, except that which is false.” Charles SpurgeonThough throngs of “faith leaders and influencers” have endorsed the flick, their praises of it actually serve to provide some providential clarity, distinguishing – for the “abide in my Word” disciple (John 8:31)– the narrow path from the wide path. The thousands upon thousands thronging to the movie, lauding it as emotionally powerful and provocatively Christian, have done exactly what Young’s theology has done with John the Baptist’s entreaty. They have forgotten the Gospel and its call to “repent and believe.”
Of the many, many “lies” in Lies, this lack of apprehension and proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is most fundamental to the multitude of errors that necessarily follow and flow from its absence. NOTHING can be considered Christian if it does not first proceed the Gospel. Though Christian terms, church words, and the names of “God,” “Jesus,” and “The Holy Spirit” are bandied about with casual frequency, these things – apart from the Gospel – merely become, in Young’s “theology,” recitations of the imaginative (and damning) mental constructions of pop, religious culture.
Lacking a fundamental understanding of the Gospel, Young’s latest book, then, propounds a number of lies about God and Christianity. Second only, perhaps, to the lack of a Biblical Jesus recognizable through the Biblical Gospel, it is the disregard for Scripture itself that marks Young’s illicit theology. Though he cites Scripture, his interpretation is uniquely his own, perverting the meaning intended by God and as taught, preached, proclaimed and believed throughout two millennia of authentic Christian orthodoxy.
Once Scripture has been given over to this “what’s this verse mean to me” form of interpretation, any and all manner of error and heresy will flow as the result. Such is the case with Lies. From an egregiously faulty view of God, Young necessarily presents an equally faulty, unscriptural view of man. The Gospel’s absence precipitates the need to avoid, explain, or dismiss such necessary, and fundamental to authentic Christian faith, doctrines ranging from sin, to atonement, to justification, to the afterlife. Heretical views of God and man, though touted to be Christian, are infused with healthy doses of post-modern subjectivism, new age reflectiveness, and eastern concepts of humanity’s “divine spark.”
With Scripture dismantled by faulty interpretation, or completely discarded at crucial points, as it is in Young’s latest book, there is no threshold against which to measure right from wrong. And, in Lies, there is no evident right from wrong. All is subjective, personal, and to be tolerated as individually acceptable. A sort of “what I think” or “what you think” about God is okay, so long as we’re thinking about God.
A line from its dust jacket gives a flavor of Young’s theological incertitude and serves as an ample warning of what theological atrocities in the name of Christianity lay ahead in the book: “The goal of this book is not controversy but conversation. Mostly, it’s about the unconditional, relentless, and everlasting love of God.”
While the Biblically-offensive “Jesus loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life” is hallowed as evangelical doctrine, its noxious presence in Lies – in which “plan” really implies “God just wants a relationship with you” – is no less Scripturally invalid than when it is touted from your nearest Sunday morning pulpit. Indeed, be it a controversy or a conversation, the Lies‘ absence of the rightly handled Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15) as the threshold against which correct understanding may be had make Young’s efforts illicit, unhelpful, and patently heretical. The reason of man cannot conceive the mind of God, apart from the Spirit-illuminated, special revelation of His Word. What results from Young’s “conversation” is nothing short of what the apostle would call the “teaching of demons.” (1 Timothy 4:1)
No Gospel, No “Repent and Believe” Because … Universalism
In Lies, Young explicitly avoids the opening divine command of the New Testament, introduced by the prophet John The Baptist. There is no need to “repent and believe” because Young promotes universalism, a notion deemed heretical throughout the annals of orthodox church history. Even though we live in a post-modern, subjective world, we can be certain that the abiding attribute of God’s immutability has persisted. His message, His method, and His Gospel – like Himself – have not changed. But for Young and his post-modern, emotions-first, mystic-embracing, esoteric religious readers, it has. And it has changed to support that pagan-favorite heresy of heresies: universalism. Everybody gets to go to heaven.
“Papa is especially fond of you” is a resounding divine affirmation from the book and movie which Young repeats in his Lies. He closes out one chapter with his own quaint agreement of this universal view of God for each man saying, “Darling, that is all any of us need to know.”
But the notion that we are all God’s children, all loved relentlessly by Him, regardless of Christ’s atoning work, and certainly regardless of the “repent and believe” command of God, leaves Young wrestling with the Scripture-present reality of the saving Gospel. Though modern evangelicalism has folded, spindled, and mutilated it, the “Gospel” is familiar to most pew-dwellers. Many will even know that it means “Good news,” while the full counsel of its implications may otherwise go to the wayside. Still, for most, the Gospel is an expected component of Christianity. So Young doesn’t disregard it but instead contorts the Gospel to accommodate his heresy of universalism. His chapter entitled “You need to get saved,” – which is, remember, a “lie” – includes the following:
“The Good News is not that Jesus has opened up the possibility of salvation and you have been invited to receive Jesus into your life. The Gospel is that Jesus has already included you into His life, into His relationship with God the Father, and into His anointing in the Holy Spirit. The Good News is that Jesus did this without your vote, and whether you believe it or not won’t make it any less true.”While the historical reality and God-empowered spiritual efficacy of the Good News don’t, in fact, hinge on “whether you believe it or not,” the deceit in Young’s description is evident. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is – singularly – the power of God to save. (Romans 1:16) But Young’s interpretation leaves that pre-eminent command of God to all men, everywhere, to “repent and believe” an unnecessary complication.
“God does not wait for my choice and then ‘save me.’ God has acted decisively and universally for all humankind.”Near the close of this chapter’s “lie,” Young adds the italicized comment regarding the work of Christ, “We have all been included.” (Emphasis original)
“Here’s the truth: every person who has ever been conceived was included in the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus.”
Young further emphasizes the heresy of universalism in a chapter refuting the lie that “Not everyone is a child of God.” Says Young, “Every human being you meet, interact with, react and respond to, treat rudely or with kindness and mercy: every one is a child of God.”
But this insanely popular notion stands in direct contradiction to Scripture. While “every one” is a creation of God, “every one” is not a child of God. Scripture clearly defines the “child of God” to be the one who believes. (See John 1:12, Romans 8;16, Romans 9:8, 1 John 3:1-10)
“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12We’re All In, Because God Is Good, and So Are We
In order to (in)effectively dismiss the perspicuous teaching of Scripture about man’s fallen nature, endemic to “every person who has ever been conceived,” Young denies Scripture’s Genesis-to-Revelation testimony of human depravity. Scripture teaches that we are brought forth in iniquity, conceived in sin (Psalm 51:5), and apart from the atoning, substitutionary work of Christ and being brought to repentance, belief, and faith through His Gospel, we remain in a “condemned already” condition. (John 3:18)
Young’s Lies unfolds this perspective in chapter two, “God is Good. I Am Not.” In presuming to shatter this “lie” that we believe, Young opens with “This lie is huge! And it is devastating!” Saying, “Yes, we have crippled eyes, but not a core of un-goodness,” Young declares “I am fundamentally good because I am created ‘in Christ’ as an expression of God, an image bearer, imago dei. (Ephesians 2:10)”
Here’s what that verse from Paul to the Ephesians, cited by Young, says:
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.Though Young would like to postulate that Paul’s use of the word “we” implies “for every person ever conceived,” his citation as such is Scripture-twisting extraordinaire. Typical of his mishandling of Scripture, Young fails to recognize the target audience of Paul’s epistle:
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,Paul addressed his letter to the “ faithful saints” in Ephesus, not to unbelieving pagans. The “we” means “we” the church, “we” the believers, “we” the ones who have repented and believed the Gospel, given faith by the regenerative work of God alone. “We” isn’t universal; “we” is exclusive … by the grace of God.
To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: (Ephesians 1:1)
Young’s belief in the intrinsic goodness of man is explained further when he refutes the “lie” that “sin separates us from God.” He opens this chapter by offering a cutesy perspective of sin not as man’s willful, prideful violation of Holy God’s righteous law, but merely as sorts of “oopsies” we naturally make. He says that “making mistakes is not only okay for human beings but is also indeed essential.” (emphasis original)
“Do we really think that Jesus never made a mistake on His homework, or never forgot someone’s name, or as a carpenter always made accurate measurements? Jesus didn’t have a reputation for being the ‘best carpenter’ in Nazareth, making perfect doors and always level tables.”Young goes on to explain that the notion of sin as “missing the mark” really means that we’ve missed a “relational reality” with God that creates a “distortion of the image of God in us.” The post-modern esoteric language is intended to say that sin isn’t about our violation of the moral demands of God’s righteous expectations for us. The “mark” that we missed is not, says Young, “perfect moral behavior. The ‘mark” is the Truth of your being.”
“There is a truth about who you are: God’s proclamation about a ‘very good creation’ is the truest about you. That very good creation is the form or origin of you, the truth of who you are in your being. Sin, then, is anything that negates or diminishes or misrepresents the truth of who you are, no matter how pretty or ugly that is.”Young also states that:
“We Christians have long espoused a theology of separation. A lot of ‘my people’ will believe that the following statement is in the Bible, but it isn’t: ‘You have sinned, and you are separated from God.” (Emphasis original)Young’s Bible must be missing a number of books, chapters, and verses. Here are two notable ones that teach the theology of sin-induced separation:
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23But for Young, separation from God because of sin is a “lie.” “If separation is a lie, does it mean that no one has ever been separated from God? That is exactly what it means. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. (Romans 8:38-39)” Of course, once again, Young forgets the rather important context of his citation of Romans. Paul had a very specific group in mind when he used the word “us:” “To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints” (Romans 1:7)
“Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.” Isaiah 59:1-2
God Isn’t Really, Fully God – Sovereignty Denied
For Young, the attributes of God – besides His salvific, universalistic decisiveness – are simply echoes of popular pagan sidewalk theology, so often mimicked in evangelical pulpits in order to keep goat pews occupied. God is good. God is love. God wants the best for you. God, in Young’s theology, has no glaring attributes of justice, righteousness, wrath, holiness, etc. Like a television commercial marketing some indulgent, but healthy, crave-able, guilt-free treat, God is all the good that you want, and none of the bad you don’t. But there’s one attribute of God that Young must wrestle with, an attribute -while yet so misunderstood among pew dwellers and pulpits – that remains intrinsic to the idea of “God.” God is sovereign.
But according to Young’s Lies, God is anything but sovereign. Though he apes much of what the pagan world claims to believe about God, Young’s argument for a less than sovereign God not only betrays common opinion (If there is a God, then He must be totally in control, right? The ultimate characteristic of God is that He’s unlimited in scope, power, and authority, right?), but his opinion also defiles Scripture itself.
“God is a God of relationship and never acts independently.”Young’s need to have a less than fully sovereign God is driven by his inability to accommodate evil in the world with his God who is all love and nothing but love. “One can’t run to God,” says Young, “if God is the perpetrator” of evil.” So Young has undertaken to defend God from evil in the world and he does that by making God less than sovereign.
“Do we actually believe we honor God by declaring God the author of all this mess in the name of Sovereignty and Omnipotent Control?”Young calls such a notion “grim determinism,” “fatalism” and cannot be used to “justify evil.”
Young cites a “German friend” to help explain the notion of a God who is not in control. His friend’s comment seems legitimately evangelical enough, but in reality, it posits a God more common in the theology of open theism, one who inherently lacks control and must learn as He goes.
“Scriptures show me that God has the heart of an artist, not a grim construction planner. If the world were the work of a cosmic engineer, he would be in a constant state of discontentedness. We would all suffer from the constant nagging of a dogged designer who’s plans just never work out like he intended or expected. Reality could never live up to his spotless construction plans. But a true Creator knows he not only has to shape, but also endorse and allow. Wisdom allows things to grow and unfold.”Young applauds this “learn as you go” concept of God, which alleviates for him some of the evident realities of suffering, hardship, and evil in the world. “The sovereignty of God is not about deterministic control. So how does God reign? By being who God is: love and relationship.”
To put a fine point of Scripture forth in response to this very unchristian and unbiblical -yet culturally-pervasive – notion, consider a verse from the Old Testament and one from the New:
“I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,” Isaiah 46:9-10Scripture makes it clear (in numerous places – see such texts as Psalm 90:2, Colossians 1:17, Psalm 97:9, Hebrews 1:3, 1 Chronicles 29:11-12, Psalm 135:6) that God – the God of authentic Christianity – is absolutely sovereign. Perhaps though, Young and those who have difficulty reconciling God’s sovereignty with earthly evil should ponder this verse from the inspired wisdom of Proverbs and a corollary verse from the New Testament.
“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” Colossians 1:16
“The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.” Proverbs 16:4No Hell Below Us … At Least Not One That Isn’t Redemptive and Palliative
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
Having jettisoned the gospel and the nearly ubiquitous New Testament call to “repent and believe,” having inculcated a heretical notion of universalistic salvation for all men who are inherently good, and after de-attributing God of His pre-eminent characteristic of sovereignty, the one other notable thing that Young destroys in his unchristian theology is another fundamental New Testament concept. There is no hell.
In his chapter entitled “Hell is separation from God,” Young attempts to dismantle the erroneous belief of many about a subject very common in the teaching of Jesus. But, according to Young’s explanation, Jesus may have gotten a few details wrong. Young recounts how he applied his human reason to the difficult concept of hell in The Shack.
“In The Shack, I tried to move the conversation about hell from the head to the heart by putting the main character, Mackenzie, in the crosshairs of a terrible dilemma. In the cave where Mack faces the Wisdom of God, Sophia, she demands that he take the position of Judge, a role that he, like all of us, assumes daily. But Sophia turns the tables unexpectedly.”The problem with Young’s attempt to eliminate eternal punishment from a God who is all love – a pursuit he seeks to accomplish vicariously through his blasphemous female character representing God – exposes fundamental problems borne from the lack of a truly sovereign, utterly Holy God. Without the belief in a sovereign, holy God, the ability to reconcile hell, as well as the reality of evil in the world, is impossible. Such things cannot be comprehended without a sovereign God, without Whom – in His sovereignty – we are left to grapple with Biblical realities, such as hell and evil purely on the basis of our fallen understanding of not only what true, divine love looks like, but also what true, divine justice looks like.
“Choose two of your children to spend eternity in God’s new heaven and new earth, but only two … and three of your children to open eternity in hell.”
“Sophia is driving the reality of this issue away from a disengaged, heady debate and down into the deepest recesses of the heart and soul – the visceral love of a parent for his or her children. It also exposes the lie that God is not a loving Father – not even as good a parent as we are – and the lie that this remarkable, unreasonable love we have for our children originates in us and not in God.” (Emphasis added)
Thus Young’s eradication of hell is built on a framework of human reason, with disregard to Scriptural insights. The reality of parental love may express a sense of divine love for “those You have given Me,” (John 17:9), but it cannot nearly presume to adequately define it. God’s characteristic of love sits fully aside His other, equal-in-measure attributes of righteousness, holiness, wrath, etc. These immutable qualities of God do not change over time nor compete with one another in their expressed fulness. The paradox that God can be loving yet damn his creatures to hell does not speak to a momentary lapse of divine love, but to the paradoxical reality that the full force of all His attributes are always present, and that as the potter to the clay, He alone has the freedom to do with His creatures as He wills.
“Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?” Romans 9:21-24So while a parent would never damn a child to hell, the sovereign God who is the creator of all certainly has, does, and will. Love is not God’s only attribute, despite Young’s and much of the evangelical church’s teaching. God is love, indeed, but that feature does not negate, offset, or eliminate the righteous exhibition of His other fully divine attributes. Yet Young finds the Scriptural truth of hell- proclaimed most frequently by the Lord Himself – to be untenable. He attempts to further justify the erroneous notion of hell believed by most Christians. And he intentionally does it by use of twisted Scripture and human reason.
“Consider this simple line of reasoning. Either hell is a created place or it is not. If it is not created, then it must by definition be God, who alone is uncreated. In this sense, hell would be God, who is a consuming fire. You destiny would not be apart from God but directly into God, who is Love, Light, Goodness.”(Young’s “simple line of reasoning” – no doubt intensely appealing to the subjective, post-modern mindset of humanly conceived “fairness” brings immediately to mind the words of God through the apostle Paul, “For who has known the mind of God … “ 1 Corinthians 2:6 or, perhaps, from 1 Corinthians 3:19 … “the wisdom of the world is folly to God.”)
“The other alternative is that hell is a created place or thing. Consider this passage: “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39)” (Emphasis original)“This is a list,” says Young, “of all the realities that cannot separate you from the love of God. What isn’t in the list, keeping in mind that it includes ‘any created thing’ or any ‘thing to come?” Young makes sure you get the answer, his answer, “Nothing. There is nothing absent from the list.”
Far from an outright denial of the reality of hell, Young’s theology attempts to reconcile hell with a loving God. His attempt is nothing short of a sort of Roman Catholic purgatory in which post-death redemption, and the experience of God’s love, may yet be realized. Indeed, for the universalistic Young, hell can only be a post-death mechanism that results in heaven for all.
“So, if we continue this thought … perhaps hell is not hell because of the absence of God, but because of the presence of God, the continuous presence of fiery Love and Goodness and Freedom that intends to destroy every vestige of evil and darkness that prevents us from being fully free and fully alive. This is a fire of Love that now and forever is ‘for’ us, not against us. Only if we posit that we have existence apart from Jesus can we believe that hell is a form of punishment that comes to us in our separation from Jesus. I propose the possibility that hell is not separation from Jesus but that it is the pain of resisting our salvation in Jesus while not being able to escape Him who is True Love.”“You are of your father, the devil … the father of lies.” (John 8:44)
Young’s theology of “Lies” undergirds his fictional work The Shack. But his theology is aberrant, mishandles Scripture, denies fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith, and serves merely to regurgitate the false understandings of the world about God, slathering his presentation of them sufficiently with Bible verses and church words that makes those understandings seem Christian. Yet Young denies the gospel, denies the sinfulness of man, diminishes the sovereignty of God, promotes an “all roads lead to heaven” universalism, and warps the doctrine of eternal punishment so that it becomes a second, certain chance.
There is nothing remotely, authentically Christian about Young’s Lies or about Young’s Shack, an abode that John the Baptist would certainly point to as being the nest of a “brood of vipers.” (Matthew 3:7) Indeed, with the Baptist, we should certainly turn to Young and to those who laud his work as “Christian,” and say, pointing to the authentic Jesus of the authentic Biblical Gospel, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 3:2)
As of the moment of this writing, Lies We Believe About God is noted as a “best seller” on Amazon, ranking at the #1 Spot in the “Christian Meditation Worship & Devotion” category. As for The Shack, four versions of this heretical novel show up in the top 50 best-selling evangelical books, with two being in the top ten. (Source) The theology of Lies which undergird The Shack, though, must be recognized for the abject heresy that it is. That these two tomes show up on “Christian” or “evangelical” bestseller list is a testimony to the failure of churches, pastors, and teachers to “Preach the word” (2 Timothy 4:2) and to “teach what accords with sound doctrine.” (Titus 2:1). It’s also a sad testimony of those who might claim for themselves the moniker “Christian” but are not doing the fundamental thing which distinguishes a disciple of Jesus: “abide in my Word.” (John 8:31)
Though these books arrive on a Christian bestseller list, the astute, authentic, Bible-abiding disciple of Jesus will quickly recognize that they are “best” because they are “selling,” not because they are “best” for your faith, edifying to your soul, or helpful to the cause of Christ. The “Christianized” notions proffered in Young’s works are distinctly UNCHRISTIAN. His theological “lies” have the same source as all lies, and Jesus identified that source with divine, authoritative clarity:
“You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44