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." ......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.
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.
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.