Bill and Gloria Gaither will be hosting the 19th annual Family Fest in May and will be featuring The Shack author William Paul Young. The Gaithers have been a popular Christian music team for many years. Lighthouse Trails is sorry to see they will be including The Shack author in this year’s event. The Shack, a fiction story that has been at the top of the New York Times Best Seller List for 41 weeks, is presented as a Christian book but has serious New Age implications including the Black Madonna (goddess) theme.
The Gaithers aren’t the only popular Christian figures who are promoting The Shack and labeing it as Christian. Speaker and author Gayle Erwin has heartily endorsed the book as have singers Michael W. Smith and Wynonna Judd, and the book is often used in church studies in various denominations. In Rick Warren’s new magazine, The Purpose Driven Connection, in the premier issue, Warren refers to the book as a “notable best-selling Christian” book (p. 24).
In 2005, the Gaithers held their Gaithers Praise Gathering in which they invited Brian McLaren, Leonard Sweet, and other emerging church leaders to be speakers.1. In 2008, at the
Gaither’s Fall Festival, Brian McLaren’s book, The Secret Message of Jesus (see Faith Undone for information on that book) was featured in the Readers Breakfast Club. Gloria Gaither is also on the Advisory Board for the Spirit and Place Festival, an organization sympathetic to the “new (age) spirituality.” McLaren is a featured personality in that organization.
The Gaither’s promotion of The Shack, Brian McLaren, and Leonard Sweet are strong indicators that the Gaithers are attracted to emerging spirituality, and this will no doubt influence many of their followers.
For more on The Shack, click here.