So a guy I follow on Twitter (who will probably want to remain nameless after he reads this, hence my preemptive honoring of that desire) who sent me this article by Justin Davis who is a site pastor at Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN, according to this page.
After a story about his son failing at something (a legitimate problem all of us have, so no problems with the illustration), we read this quote:
Maybe today this picture [striking out] is a picture of your life and your relationship with God right now. You have struck out. You have messed up. God was writing His story with your life. He was using you and you had purpose and you had dreams and you had a vision for what your life could be…but you struck out.
This is problematic. First…”maybe”? Romans chapters 1-3 says that all of us have “messed up;” in fact, the bible calls this sin. Second, “He WAS using you…but you struck out.” I’m at a loss, really. The idea that a sovereign God is some how derailed by my disobedience…well…that doesn’t make him a very good king, does it? In fact, it makes Him impotent.
Now, let’s give this best construction. We (as Christians) have an innate sense that we do not measure up to God’s standards…that He has expectations of us that we do not fulfill. This is true. But the way this article conveys that idea in language which flatly denies the supremacy of the God of the Bible.
But it doesn’t really end here. We continue,
Two of Jesus’ best friends failed him. Judas betrayed Jesus. Peter denied Jesus. Both failed. Both struck out. One chose to be defined by his failure. One chose to be re-created after his failure.
The trouble with this summary is that it doesn’t deal with the text of Scripture. Judas didn’t choose to be defined by his failure; he didn’t turn to God in faith and trust. This wasn’t a psychological Debby-downer sort of complex that ended in his suicide: it was instead the final rebellious act of a man who refused to repent.
Peter, on the other hand, repented–an act, interestingly enough which was prophesied by Christ Himself when He said, “…but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:32, ESV).
Just to emphasize: this wasn’t an instance where two people failed and one allowed them to be defined that way. No, this is about repentance which Peter displayed and Judas did not.
God longs to re-create you today. God longs to give you a new vision….a new dream…to restore your passion and your purpose.
Does Pastor Davis have a verse for this? Because if it’s Jeremiah 29:11, that’s not in context. What about the other stuff? Joseph in Egypt with dreams? Joseph’s dreams don’t mean much as such…even the chief baker had a dream…and it involved him getting his head lifted off his body. So where does this assertion come from? I’d be interested to find out. If Mr. Davis would like to tell me, he can comment.
I get that Mr. Davis is trying to encourage others. But encouragement which is not derived from the Scripture is temporal at best…and false comfort at worst. If only people would encourage each other with the Gospel which says “you have sinned greatly…and been bought by a greater Savior who gives you his own perfect obedience to God to cover your sin.”
So…there’s the assessment.