Reflections on Passion 2010 – Part 1

This past spring, we decided to take our entire student leadership team to a campus ministry/young adult conference called Passion 2010. In my time at DWU, we’ve never taken the leadership team together to a training event so we felt this would be a very appropriate use of our time and resources, especially as we gear up for the spring semester that starts Tuesday.

We are here in Atlanta with 25,000 of our closest friends enjoying some loud singing, good small group discussions, large group teachings, and opportunities to serve in the four days we are here. This morning we heard from Beth Moore and we quickly discovered, as I had know previously, this event does have Reformed roots and leanings, which the students and I discussed over lunch. I think it is very healthy to learn from other theological traditions (i.e. remembering the importance of God’s glory in the Reformed vein) if for no other reason to spell out where you differ.

She had great things to say about the primacy, place, and priority of your relationship with Jesus in your life. Where I and most of the students disagree, however, is with her view of God’s plan in your life. Beth made a statement this morning to the effect that anything that happens in your life is God’s plan and will be used in some future ministry endeavor, if not already. She used this in the context of telling her personal story of physical and sexual abuse.

I can agree with her that God does not waste any event in our life. I recently read one of Rob Bell’s books “Drops Like Stars” and loved his quote that we follow “the God who wastes nothing.” Not one hurt, not one suffering, not one joy, not one hope, not one person. Our God wastes nothing.

I cannot agree that to be sexually or physically abused by anyone is part of God’s plan for your life. I firmly believe that God does not “waste” any event, that God can restore you and bring wholeness and health, and that perhaps you can use that experience to help others. But God did not approve nor ordain that happen. It was the result of fallen, sinful human beings that made a choice that affected a poor, innocent child.

I suppose that is why I am a United Methodist (Wesleyan) and not a Reformed (Calvinist) pastor.

Truly, it is a good event and I look forward to all that God brings today and tomorrow.


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