Wednesday, March 23, 2016

This Is One Book We Can Not Recommend

My husband, Rick, reviewed the following book for you. he did not mince any words in this one.

Pastor Matt Bays has not experienced the healing and comforting power of God. This book, in which he shares his story of pain, doubt, and eventual comfort, is full of stories, honest expressions of doubt, and open speculations about God's fairness, wisdom, and love. He attempts to give people who are struggling with emotional traumas and low self esteem reason to feel hopeful and find positive aspects to their suffering. But his “answers” fall far short of what God offers.

He feels betrayed by people who have offered him what might be termed empty pious platitudes. He feels slighted by the advice to trust God and be at peace when, in pain, he is angry at or doubtful of God. But in seeking answers to the problem of pain, Bays looks in the wrong direction: his book is not an attempt to apply the wisdom of the Word to his questions. Instead, he embarks on a highly imaginative and self-centered examination of incidents involving great emotional hardship in his life and the lives of others.

The lessons he learns from these experiences – that is, the principles for healing and self-acceptance and peace with God that he tries to share -- are not important, because they are not based on looking at life through a biblical lens. After trying to escape his negative self-concept through alcohol abuse, he chose to “listen to the inner voice that always tells the truth.” Turning from alcohol to inner voice is just trading one deceiver for another, for the heart is deceitful and wicked. Bays would know this if he applied a biblical perspective [Jeremiah 17:9] to the concept. Instead, he has followed principles from the current cultural disease of selfism. He examines himself by arbitrary standards and chooses to interpret events based on what makes him feel good. He puts whatever “spin” he wishes on biblical passages and life experiences, choosing whatever interpretation will bolster his ideas and make him feel better about himself. Peace as the test of truth.

This leads to such groundless speculations as “Maybe when it comes to pain, God prefers Psalms to Proverbs.” and “There are times when doubting God's existence or his involvement in our lives is appropriate and perhaps even the right thing to do.” [How something can be appropriate but not necessarily right is not explained.] Bays also teaches that “[God's] song is potent, but not pretty. And it's only beautiful sometimes.” – making his personal preference the standard for beauty. He complains more than once about the misuse of the scriptural reminder that “all things work together for good” but never tries to tell us what this really means.

Bays is heavy on feelings, on poetic musings, on living with mysteries that he believes cannot be solved. He walks away from “traditional” Christian teaching to such a degree that he admits feeling uncomfortable around believers who are “eager to punctuate their pain with an exclamation point before it's time.” This is a dangerously arrogant form of judgmentalism, deciding that such Christians cannot truly be at peace unless they have wrestled with their past, agonized as deeply as he has, and rewritten and told their personal stories to others.
The Apostle Paul urges Pastor Timothy to “keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings.” This book shows the end result when a man who, turning away from what he was told as a child, does not turn to the Bible for answers. The source of wisdom is judged by his corrupt heart, peace is made the test of truth, lessons from the lives of Job and David are irresponsibly mangled, and words of Carl Jung and Maya Angelou treated more reverently than scripture.

The author actually reaches the point of suggesting that “maybe the moment you flip God the bird is the exact moment he looks into your eyes and says, 'Well done my good and faithful servant.'”

Profane and vain babbling. Following Bays' path yields only the healing and comforting power of man, peace built on the sand of human imagination. Turn down this book and turn to the Bible.

About the book:
If God is love, why do we hurt so much?

When the reality of your pain doesn't line up with what you've been taught in church, then what? While many abandon their faith or embrace hopelessness, it is possible to discover the God who heals your heart in the midst of the pain.

Matt Bays has been where you are. His unforgettable stories of loss and healing will usher you into a life where gratitude overpowers anger, hope overcomes despair, and hunger for God replaces indifference to God. With a fresh and original writing style, Bays demonstrates that true redemption is far more powerful than the temporary fixes of sanitized Christianity.

Purchase a copy: 

About the author:
Matt Bays is a writer, speaker, and musician with a passion to call people out of their hiding places. In ministry for twenty years, he and his wife, Heather, live in Indianapolis with their fun-loving and insightful teenage daughters.

Connect with the author on Facebook, and Twitter

This reviewer received the product free or at a discounted price in order to bring you an honest review. No other form of compensation was given. All opinions are those of the reviewer.

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