Scriptural Analogy Fail

My wife sent me the quote below which is attributed to Paul Washer. While he teaches many godly principles that are too often neglected in the Western church, I couldn’t help but smile at this snippet:

The question is not whether you would like to pray this prayer and ask Jesus to come into your heart — after all, you know, the handle to your heart is on the inside and if you do not open it Jesus cannot come in. My friend, Jesus is Lord of your heart and if He wants to come in, He will kick the door down.

The first thought that hit me upon reading the quote was that we need to rewrite Revelation 3:20:

“Behold, I stand at the door and kick….”

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11 Responses

  1. Except Rev 3:20 is not about Jesus standing at the door of the individual heart.

    He is standing at the door of a lukewarm church – on the OUTSIDE wanting to be admitted.

    But the point you make is certainly valid.
    He doesn’t force entry. He leaves it up to those on the inside to let Him into their fellowship.

    Just another example of the mixture and confusion that accompanies the good parts of Washer’s gospel.

  2. Seems Washer confuses God with the mob.

  3. This made me think of a great post by Kevin jackson: http://wesleyanarminian.blogspot.com/2009/04/quiz-for-your-calvinist-friends.html. Check out the bonus round for the relevant part.

  4. Scripture has man doing the kicking (Acts 9:5, 26:14).

  5. For the record, I think that is terrible theology and I’m a Calvinist.

    Even from a standpoint of predestination the love isn’t forced. Jesus doesn’t kick in the door, grab you by the hair, and pull you kicking and screaming into heaven.

    I’m with the Seeking Disciple: apparently Washer is mixing God up with the Mafia..

  6. SD/Corey, yes, in my past discussions with Calvinists, a vast majority have agreed that God doesn’t force His way into the sinner’s heart, but changes them so that they willingly allow Him in. Washer’s comment sounds more like something an over-zealous young Calvinist would say before having studied the system much.

    Arminian, love that post by Kevin. Besides being funny, it’s a good counter to those who complain that we “don’t let the text speak for itself.”

  7. The point to Washer’s response is not that God kicks the door in, but that God is God. He can and will do as He please. If He wants to “kick in the door” so to speak He can. Consider Paul the apostle on the road to Damascus. God encounters Paul against his will. God blinds Paul against his will. In Acts 9:6 God told Paul to “rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” I don’t see God giving Paul an option or asking him if he approves or agrees with His command.

  8. Stephen,

    No one’s disputing what God can do, it’s His methodology we’re talking about. As for Paul, God doing things that He didn’t get Paul’s permission for has nothing to do with whether He allows one to believe freely.

  9. That Rev 3:20 verse indicates to me the way God works with people even if it may bnot necessarily be about an individual: he is gracious in “knocking” and awaiting response. That is how He is Sovereign, it is how he governs.

  10. J.C. is something missing? Your post ends at “Behold, I stand at the door and kick….” Looks like the rest of your post got cut off?

  11. No, it’s all there. I was just changing the beginning of the passage to fit Washer’s analogy.

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