Friday, February 18, 2011

The trial of John Piper

Without going into any more detail, we can agree that John Piper is aware of, and has publicly refered to three types of abuse which are more frequently experienced by women than by men. These consist of physical assault, alternative sexual practice under coercion, and restriction of movement.

In this video, which has been transcribed here, we can hear of his awareness of these issues. In this article Piper refers to the control and coercion which a woman might also experience. He is not unaware of these challenges to a woman's well-being.

I recognize that Piper has written much which makes it appear that he is sensitive to and concerned about the well-being of women. He does not condone any of the behaviours which I mention. He is horrified by them. I am also aware that men experience abuse, in ways which are both similar to, and different from that which is experienced by women.

So the issue is not about who abuses, and who experiences abuse. We can, everyone one of us, be on either side and on both sides of this equation. However, it is wrong to counsel the weaker, the one who is in danger, to submit in the long term to the aggressor. While one may submit in the short term, for safety sake, submission will encourage a continuation of the aggression. It is wrong to submit to, or be counseled to submit to any aggression and restriction of basic human rights.

We all agree that Piper knows that these restrictions against the human rights of women happen in Christian marriages. So now, we must observe with accuracy how he responds. I would like Piper to speak for himself. Here is a significant sermon, in which Piper addresses 6,000 women at one time.
Some of you God is going to touch so profoundly in these days. You won't want to go home, because he's letting you down so badly. So let's pray for each other. I would like to be speaking to 6,000 men. I would, and I would get in their face big time (a lot harder than I'm getting in your face). I would tell them, "You're the main problem in most of these situations. Your women would rise to this if you would do it like Jesus." ......

I'll say it again. Submission is the divine calling of a wife to honor and affirm her husband's leadership and help carry it through according to her gifts.

Now the point here is not to go into detail about how this gets worked out in every marriage, and every marriage looks a little different. The point is that these two, headship and submission, correspond to true manhood and true womanhood in marriage. They're not the same, and these differences are absolutely essential, by God's design, so that marriage will display more fully the glory of the sacrificial love of Christ for His bride and the beauty of the lavished reverence and admiration of the bride for her Husband.

I know that leaves 200-300 questions unanswered. What about unbelieving husbands? What about believing husbands who don't do this leadership, protection, provision? What about wives who resist leadership, don't like the idea of being led, think it's all 50/50 always? What about wives who do receive it but never express any appreciation for it?

There are hundreds of questions that we could take up now, and I apologize that I won't. But here's my comfort: If you could embrace this true, that as married women (and I'm turning to singles in one minute), if you as married women could embrace this magnificent truth, that your true womanhood ultimately means that your distinctive role in marriage is meant to magnify the glory of God's grace supremely expressed in the covenant-keeping love between Christ and His church, you would have a compass with which to navigate hundreds of questions. You have a lifetime to ferret them out.

Please read the rest of the sermon. Read John Piper's words. I am not trying to demonize him. But I do want to say that John Piper has nothing at all to offer women but a lifetime of misery. He has nothing to contribute to marriage counseling. It is negligent not to instruct anyone who is aware of violence to go to the police.

While it is true that many women do not want to go the police, a witness of violence is obligated to counsel this as a prefered response. Piper did not do that. He does not recognize the basic human rights that we all have under the law in our society, not to be violated. Paul himself appeals to Roman law, and insists on his right not to be assaulted. What business does Piper have diminishing the rights of women? Do the rights of women have less value than the rights of men? Than the rights of Paul? No, they don't. Piper should have preached Acts 22:25 to women.

But the important thing is not to belittle John Piper, or to demonize him. We must simply ask if what he says has value. Is his word good, and does it provide benefit to his hearers? If not, we have to move on. We simply need to testify to the positive value in our lives of moving past this kind of thinking and leaving it to the side where it belongs. We have to show other women that a true woman is not interested in the word of John Piper. Whatever intentions he has, whatever motives he has, these are irrelevant. His word is not healthy and life-giving.

25 comments:

EricW said...

Barf.

He has the woman venerating - no, worshiping - her husband.

I don't think he understands how condescending and demeaning that is and sounds.

Ugh.

Kristen said...

This whole "marriage is a picture of Christ and the church" business is getting Paul's words all wrong. Men are not little gods to their wives, and wives are not supposed to treat them as such. Paul does not actually say, "Marriage is a picture of Christ and the church." That's what they take his words to mean-- but I'm convinced that's not what's really going on in that passage.

Anonymous said...

You are right, Kristen. The way they teach it turns husbands into little "christs". It is a unity metaphor of love.

Suzanne, You are very kind towards Piper. I have a tendancy to analyze his very words and if we do, we find much wrong. He does really promote the worshiping of man and ignores that adult believing women also have the indwelling Holy Spirit AND are given a minstry.

The very wrong teaching is that he teaches the consequences of sin as virtue. he counsels women to 'turn to their husbands' instead of Christ. He teaches by proxy that turning to their husbands is the SAME as turning to Christ. Therefore making the husband a "christ figure". It is the worst of human worship. He counsels them to follow their husbands instead of Christ.

The best relationship between believers is where both are following Christ. And neither one has an earthly mediator.

We simply must warn people about the heresy he is teaching that puts a male human before Christ.

Hannah Thomas said...

Suzanne you need to fix the link for the 'significant sermon'. You have two http parts, and it doesn't land where you want it to!

Anonymous said...

On this issue, I think Piper is dead wrong, he has been blinded by his belief in gender hierarchy so that it ends up distorting other principles of the Kingdom.

This is extremely sad, it is not just one Kingdom principle (that of equality in Christ) that gets distorted, others do also, as they are connected in the way we we work out our lives.

I wish Paul and Jesus were around to rebuke Piper, but I guess that will need to wait for later.

Don Johnson

EricW said...

Unfortunately, via groups like the Acts 29 Network, Piper's teachings, whether in hard or soft fashion, are apparently being spread through vast swaths of Evangelicalism.

From http://www.acts29network.org/plant-a-church/faq/

What authors do Acts 29 pastors tend to appreciate?
One way to better understand our beliefs is to also consider some of the authors which many of our pastors appreciate. Among the older authors are such men as Augustine, John Calvin, Martin Luther, the Puritans, Charles Haddon Spurgeon and Jonathan Edwards. Contemporary authors include such men as John Piper, Wayne Grudem, Tim Keller, Lesslie Newbigin, and David Bosch. In addition, some of our men are now publishing such as Mark Driscoll and Darrin Patrick and their works are obviously also widely read by the pastors in Acts 29.

Gem said...

In the country where I live, abuse is illegal, punishable by law, and child abuse is subject to mandatory reporting be anyone who is aware of it (such as teachers, pastors, doctors, etc).

1 Peter 2:13-14 clearly states "Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right."

Someone who is being abused should NOT feel obliged to protect and cover for the one who is breaking the law. She/he should understand that they have biblical permission and God's approval to report it to the appropriate governmental authorities. As you said and ITA: "It is negligent not to instruct anyone who is aware of violence to go to the police." (at least in Western countries where spouse and child abuse is illegal).

Anonymous said...

I just had a guy on another blog (A SBC seminary grad) tell me that young male seminary grads are attracted to Acts 29 because it is more of a masculine and red blooded American male culture for churches.

And this makes the point that these movements are more about secondary doctrines than the pure and FULL Gospel. Which many of us have known all along.

Gem said...

Oh and JFTR, a child watching a parent being battered is considered abusive to the child. So if a mother is "putting up with it" (because JP or anyone else taught her to do so) she becomes complicit in wounding her child.

Anonymous said...

Gem, Check out your "state" law. In my state, pastors do not have to report spouse abuse because of confidentiality. So, they are not liable for their counsel of a battered woman comes to them for help and he tells her to go home and submit more. Even is she is killed, he is not liable.

In some states, they are held accountable for reporting known abuse.

To give a perspective on this...California Supreme Court would not hear a domestic violence case until 1962. That is how recent the disparity of equality has been even in one of the more progressive states.

Check out your state'slaws on this concerning spouse abuse. Child abuse is another matter.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

I don't think it helps to say negative things about these men. The important thing is to realize that it is not these individuals, but the power of groupthink, that is so bad.

We need to show that a woman can just laugh off everything these men say about God, and it does not actually affect the relationship a woman has with God. Women do not need to relate to God through the counsel of these men.

Anonymous said...

I think the leaders of this anti-women nonsense should be held accountable. I would also like to see the trials of Patterson, Grudem, MacArthur and others for their false teaching with the consequences it has had.

We know they will be convicted on this subject eventually, but the sooner the better as I see it.

Don Johnson

JaneDoeThreads said...

The problem isn't John Piper or any other preacher/scholar who promotes this patriarchal dynamic...it's the basis of the belief system in of itself that Seriously needs to be deconstructed and shown for the Lies it is,

in that, the whole basis for the submit to slavery is THE Holy Roman Empire of the Orthodox/Catholic church of 300 A.D., FACT, and until That is deconstructed and shown for the b.s. that it is, the slavery will still be perpetuated as well as protected.

I Do believe there was Jesus as well as early Christians, I also believe they were not Roman friendly AS depicted [they were Jews as well as other Slaves from that region] in scriptures written 300 years later based on not even written texts, who Knows what was legit what wasn't, and they took the knowledge of the Christian resistance via Martyrdom to cripple the Roman economy Which was slavery/sex slavery as well as the Only means to escape the Hell [crucifixions, cutting off hands, gouging out eyes, all very common of All slaves, treatment that is, the branding in forehead the number and name of the Roman master so when they ran away they could be returned, FACT, that All slaves had, the shorn hair on All non-Roman women who were slaves/and repeatedly gang raped, FACT, because to be veiled was against Roman slave law and WOULD GET YOU CRUCIFIED and they crucified women in high numbers, facing forward on the cross, FACT, the fact that it was Impossible to take a body down from cross not only that, they were Left there until Vultures ate the bodies as a Terrorist sign to ANY SLAVE WHO DARED FLEE/RESULT, FACT, and NO Roman was except a few exceptions of traitors crucified, another FACT...therefore,

numerous of the parables/allegories [esp Jesus Barnabas] depict a Resistance, to the rule of Rome [the demons, the guards at the tombs, the mental illnesses caused by the horrible treatment of slaves, etc., the Judas who were slaves who Sold other slaves out in the hierarchy for Redemption money to buy their way UP the slave ladder, FACT], all known historical FACTS in Roman antiquity under slave laws, Rome later takes these,

and perverts them to set up, a protected Egyptian-Rome empire, One world order under a One world combined religion, using Christian beliefs and Judaic resistance, to do so, under a book--quite cleverly I might add,

and forms a friendly slavery called Feudalism, with the Pope at the head with the King, the noble Plato Lord...Illuminati,

and the house Jack built, is falling down all over, and so many Still refuse to see it, the Beast,

con't

JaneDoeThreads said...

the whole thing is nothing But a clever opiate to force slaves into submission to tyranny, aka Rome. [Washington D.C. the Roman city on the hill/Rome merged with Greece]

this is Why there are So many other parables taken from other beliefs OF ancient Mesopotamia of that time, to create a one world hegemony under the rule of Rome, and why so much is So contrary to the God of OT,

and I believe, though yes there is so much truth In the Bible, that there is also the keys to deciphering the mystery, that Paul [letters of, those that Weren't forged that is] the allegory to discern, the difference between good and evil,
and that of

life.

The Reason there is So much abuse, that is growing, is that because it is the following of the Babylon whore, the Roman Empire, a.k.a. through doctrine and dogma, that was all founded and cleverly 'masterminded' by the Dogs of Rome,

back in 300 A.D., and they fooled everyone, almost,

to those who Insist on not seeing truth in contrast with Rome myth [the pantheons and cult of Bacchus--the cult rituals I might add that are IDENTICAL to the whole emotional frenzy/tithe later garbage in So many churches today]

of course Bacchus cults relied on Women, submitting to being Beaten [and raped] for de 'god' which today transfers over to Husband,

gee, is it Any surprise? Do some reading on the cults of Ancient Rome, the Cults of Egypt, and how those were transferred over to Catholicism, early church rule and Then, tear Those apart,

then you'll see the ROOT of the problem, but Beware,

it will challenge your faith, shake Every single foundation, because you'll see, just how much of it is pure unadulterated cultism...and Why it's been so powerful and So damaging, to the lives of countless millions.

Piper isn't even the tip of the iceberg

Jane

btw, yes I still read the Bible, but with Caution, I no longer rely on it as THE source of final truth, but on the Holy Spirit, but that's where I'm at...

Hannah Thomas said...

When I look at John Piper's transcript about "they deny women more opportunities than the bible denies them"?

The way he answers questions he tends to hip hop around them again them.

You notice he refuses to address the 'sickness' as he puts it. WHY he would think most women wouldn't wish him to go down that road is beyond me! lol I mean how silly they would rather speak about 'women ministries' instead!

Sadly, I think they are afraid of the big stuff and the women ministry is easier to handle. Being that 'sick' minds believe that women don't bother themselves with such things - I'm sure he felt it was okay to move on.

If we look at how the firm comp women response to such conversations? They don't acknowledge the sickness to much either - they beam with the though their 'husband' is good Godly man instead.

If you push the card a bit - it goes into how everyone is man haters or woman haters. They never address the sickness they know is there.

He refuses to confront those that claim to value complementarianism, but have a 'sick' vision of it. He will 'acknowledge' them, but I have to giggle because where are all the 'conferences, books, articles, and bible studies' to demonize this type of man as they do their version of the 'sick' woman?

Their complementary balance is lending to much to one side.

When God places something on your heart and spirit to do for his purpose? Its not the men's job to deny them. Granted women may have to leave the place they felt they were called to serve, because it seems they have something similar to Jesus. Her place - his home town - rejects them, and they never to return. Strange thing to think about isn't it? They have to serve elsewhere.

I do believe man and women are to complement each other, but to be honest their view is more about 'man' than it is God. Their speeches to women surround their beliefs on how men are to be treated, and their venom towards the world is about how they aren't.

The sickness denies more than women if you truly think about it. It infects all areas. It infected his advice to the abused woman for example. If effects the man that received the sugar sweet speech about HOW she would love to follow him, instead of just calling out the sin for what it is. When we worry to much about the leadership's ego, and their love of hearing such things? How in heaven's name is that doing them any good either?

I think he is afraid of the Pandora's box personally. I have to be honest if I built an empire on such teachings? The thought of being honest, and it may crumble down due to it? I think it would scare the pants off anyone in his shoes.

JaneDoeThreads said...

Hannah, this is why I am grateful for those such as exchristian.com and others, because frankly,

I don't care about this Acts this or that Acts that or this sickness here or that sickness there, or this law is this in This state and vice versa,

this religious garbage has to Go, women are dying, children are being raped and abused, and I have absolutely zero tolerance for appeasing it nor putting up with it anymore, and thank God the numbers of people FED up with religion are growing,

the whole dang bastion of it is SICK, a disease Beyond curable. [Islam far worse, and will need WWIII to purge that demon cult from the existence of the planet]

And while I detest the whole evolution psychology moral relativist crap, I have to say,

sometimes, more than nought, I think the Only help for thousands of VICTIMS of religious backed ABUSE will have to come from yes, a crack down, from the State powers. Because it's obviously, that the majority of religious minds,

are

pure

sick. [the fruits are just too evident and just in the face, it's like we're sitting here, discussing the torture techniques of the Inquisition comparing them as to which ones are bad and which ones aren't too bad and well, Good grief, are we That mentally warped these days?]

Kind of sad but calling a spade a spade.

Jane

Lin said...

We need to show that a woman can just laugh off everything these men say about God, and it does not actually affect the relationship a woman has with God. Women do not need to relate to God through the counsel of these men.

9:31 AM

This is EXACTLY what my mom always counseled me. And how she handled it as she went about her missions work.

Mara Reid said...

This is true, Suzanne and Lin.

And in my day to day life I'm alive and free in my relationship with God and I let God define me and what our relationship should look like and what my attitudes should be toward others in my life, men and women, Christian or not.

It is a freedom no man can take away from me because no man stands between God and me except the God/Man Jesus. And He stands there to make a way for me to Him and the Father and the Holy Spirit.

But when I enter the fight over what men like Piper and Driscoll say, I'm not in it for me. I can walk away and live my life and never give them another thought.
I enter the fight for the masses of women who are being held captive by this deep deception. These women's spirits have been sung to a deathly stupor by a poisonous song drenched in high fructose corn syrup.

We, who have escaped the deathly song, have the power to pull back the curtain and reveal this deception for what it is. We have the power to break the spell.

I am encouraged that so many men and women have risen up and are doing so.
Some have for many, many years like Kroeger.

JaneDoeThreads said...

I agree with Mara but I would go a bit more than that, it's not simply a matter of being able to 'laugh it off', that's like telling Muslim women who are not abused to just 'laugh off the millions raped, killed via honor killings, butchered, horribly abused, sold into pedophile marriages, etc',

these teachings don't operate in a vacuum, for the ten that can laugh it off,

there are Thousands of children-girls who CANNOT JUST LAUGH IT OFF, and by the Time they can Get free, if they can, from these teachings with enforcement,

the damage is often so far gone that it's too late,

this isn't a laughing matter, REAL lives are DESTROYED,

and no fairy tale myth or prince on a white horse is saving them, there are people who commit Suicide trying to live up to the abuses, there are hundreds of damaged ones who revert to far more dangerous ideals for either revenge or escape [one of them being Islam I might add, case in point, Mexico, women Catholics fed up with sexual abuse that is Sanctioned by scriptures under the ole 'women inferior' to men b.s. seek solace in Islam because they are led to believe that they will be more protected [though we know this isn't true, but then we don't live in a machismo culture/poverty where the Church has been Notorious for supporting regimes that thrive on mass rapes/forced prostitution either]

that's just one example, we don't count the numbers of children butchered and horribly raped/tortured with the aid of Evangelicals in Africa, accused of witchcraft, because hey exploiting through religion is Good money for both missions [corrupt] and developers, and these children join far more Violent revolutionary groups that we might well one day have to Contend with, FACT,

we can't just Laugh these teachings off, they Have a tendency to spread, to both the social as well as Legal,

in this nation alone, we have the rise of mothers in poverty, many who left horrid abuse who Didn't die, under so called Christian Piper like teachings with a right wing Christian backed anti-welfare reform agenda, that put Thousands of women Back into abusive homes, THESE things IMPACT,

they may not touch Privilege but they touch the marginalized, impoverished and dis-empowered,

they kill, they abuse, they maim,

we not only have to Do something, as Humans, we have a DUTY to do something,

unless, we have truly bought into the whole Elitist privileged notion that hey, heaven is fine for us, no matter how many weak suffer in hell next door...spoken like the true elitist Slave owners and Oppressors, of the Pyramid Cults. Bottom line,

these teachings KILL, there ARE no such thing, as harmless teachings, the Victims are real, blood breathing human beings, many of whom are Women,

if WE can't do better than laugh it off, our morality,
is no better

than the rapist, murderer, serial killer sitting on death roll,

no better at all...we can tell Hitler, to move over, why, after all, we're just following orders, not rocking the boat, just being good old boys and girls, while the bodies keep a piling in the camps down the street.

Jane

JaneDoeThreads said...

Another thing, I'd rather burn in hell myself, saving or trying to save humans, the weak, from the oppression caused by gross blatant indifference to suffering/human right abuse types of religious Dogma,

than go to Heaven, on the backs of the bruised and oppressed,

because if THAT is what Heaven is,

forget it. I realize this is the whole elitist white Calvin Euro-centric Roman KaKa ideology,

that backed the genocide and slavery and witch hunts that killed MILLIONS, and still does [the twin of Stalinism in my book]

but to simply ignore and laugh it off, NO, if I can betray with indifference to horrible suffering that I KNOW teachings are causing here, in THIS lifetime,

I say this to God, then what's to say, I won't betray Heaven later?

And if Any God would accept that, HE's not a God I would worship anyway,

no, these teachings need to not only be challenged, they need to flat out GO, they are the equivalent of HATE SPEECH

against half of humanity, of which I am one, WOMAN,

they are hate speech, I don't care HOW much scripture they wrap around it, it's Hate Speech, taught through Dogma
and it's no damn different

than the Protocols of Zionism or the 'Greater Serbia Mass Rape propaganda of Milosevic' or the Jihad's Hadith's used to Justify mass rape, killing of all infidels, enslaving, etc., or Hitler's Mein Kampf,

[which I stand firm, the majority of these ultra patriarchal Hate Speech religious dogmas ARE just excerpts from Hitler and other Nordic Pagan-Christianity/Christian identity teachings, that Yes will and do kill]

if I am to follow such a God or religion, then why not Allah? Same thing in my book,

so no, I don't think, we can just 'laugh' and go on, while countless others are left to fend off, the devouring vampires of death cults,

no way. I won't, and I'll pay the price, if need be...

sometimes I think you have to draw the line in the sand, no matter what.

Jane

Anonymous said...

Mara,

That is why I do it also, to help free others. After all, that is one reason the Master came here and I am just trying to follow him.

Don J.

Paula said...

I'm sorry, but I see no difference between enabling and encouraging abusers by women being more submissive, and enabling and encouraging the foul teachings of Piper by egals bending over backwards not to attack him personally.

We, by being kind, are encouraging more abuse of the Body of Christ at the hands of men like Piper. We are sending them the message that we are weak. These men only understand power and rule, so it is only power and refusal to be ruled that will stop them. Kindness can be the worst solution.

Lin said...

"This is EXACTLY what my mom always counseled me. And how she handled it as she went about her missions work."

I want to clarify this statement. I am not like my mom. Perhaps that is unfortuanate because she was very comfortable in her skin and who she was as a follower of Christ with FULL inheritance. This issue meant nothing to her as she went about teaching men, witnessing to young muslim men at the University, etc. She just did it. She never asked permission and she ignored a lot of stuff thrown at her. All the while doing it in love. But she was known to laugh at those who dared to confront her about her "proper place".

The difference is she spent her time in places few wanted to go. Intercity dying churches, immigrant shelters, University students, where they were desperate for workers and teachers. She led many a worship service and preached in nursing homes to men and women.

To me, we must send the message to these patriarches that they have no power over us. And we do that by studying and speaking truth. We must analyze their public teaching and warn others. They are not used to being questioned closely by pew sitters and "lay" people (of which there are none in the Body). They expect us to be ignorant and hang on their every word.

Blogs and social media have changed all that and it really bothers them.

Mohler recently spoke at a pastors conference telling these pastors they are "God appointed agents to save His people from ignorance".

But what they are preaching is mostly ignorance. Everything from gender roles, ESS to tithing in the New Covenant! What many are preaching...they are preaching to benefit themselves. All of it deserves to be analyzed and critiqued publicly.

We must be Bereans and we must encourage all we come in contact with to be Bereans.

Mara Reid said...

This is probably going to get lost here, but that's okay.
We've talked a lot about some of the bad things Piper has said about women and submission.

Here's something he says that I found very encouraging about what Christian women should be.

Wish he could keep to this and leave leadership/submission alone. But we know that's not going to happen anytime soon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7PvEhfUDz4&feature=related

SingingOwl said...

I'm reading this a bit late. You are right, Suzanne, that our role is not to demonize John Piper. I know, he is a fellow-believer, and I know that he has said and written much that is of value.

But...

Sorry, but reading this message to all those women, this message of idolatry, and a life of bondage and misery and perhaps danger (not that following Christ is supposed to be easy, I know--but NOT bondage and misery) just makes me want to throw up. It is disgusting. And all those myriad of questions arise largely because this teaching is error.