John Piper on Mark Driscoll and the Church and the Gospel

John Piper reflects upon makes excuses for Mark Driscoll. Generic Christians don’t get off as easy.

-by Kathi

For those of you unaware, John Piper has been friends with Mark Driscoll for many years. This is a relationship that he has no regrets about. Is anyone surprised? Which has led to tweets such as this:

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Screenshot 2015-08-05 at 12.40.18 PM

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Recently, Desiring God posted a video of John Piper reflecting on Mars Hill and Mark Driscoll.

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Piper talks about how Driscoll looked up to him as an elder (and an “admired older guy”), and Piper regrets that he was not able to have as much influence on Driscoll. Go ahead and listen if you like. Here is what I learned:

  • Historically, and even now, Christians are failing Jesus every day. We’re all sinners, so abusive bullying behavior is okay and reflects the gospel.
  • It doesn’t matter that Driscoll was a defective leader as long as he preached Jesus. Because preaching Jesus makes abusive bullying behavior okay and reflects the gospel. Piper uses Philippians 1:12-18 as his excusable verse:

Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly. It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of good will. The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

  • Don’t throw the baby of truth out with the bathwater of sin. As long as truth is being preached, abusive bullying behavior is okay and reflects the gospel.
  • God is a general who accepts tactical defeats for strategic victories of the gospel. This was a colossal Satanic victory against Christians, the church, Reformed theology and complementarianism. As long as complementarianism and Reformed theology is being preached, abusive bullying behavior is okay and reflects the gospel.

A show of hands for those of you so saddened over Satan’s glorious victory over Reformed theology and complementarianism.

*Crickets*

John Piper, Mark Driscoll

OOPS, not that kind, these CRICKETS!!!

John Piper, Mark Driscoll

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  • You can’t love Jesus if you don’t go to organized church. Jesus founded the church and ordained the structure of organized church, not men. If you don’t follow Jesus’ words, you’re a liar. Now Piper is being a bully. But it’s okay because he’s speaking gospel baby truth and reflecting the gospel.

Finally, the most important lesson learned:

  • Piper’s cadence really grates on me. The sighing and eye rolling that I experienced over this ten minutes left me a little drained. Julie Anne, I call this “taking one for the team.”

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photo credit: Crickets and DSC_0423 via photopin (license)

77 comments on “John Piper on Mark Driscoll and the Church and the Gospel

  1. I watched the ‘Muppet’s Most Wanted’ last night – the song ‘I’m Number One’, I believe, describes the men’s role in complementarianism, beautifully.

    ‘I’m number one,
    You’re number two
    I believe in equality
    As long as you get less than me!
    I’m one,………………………..
    You may think that you’re smarter,
    But I’m smarter-er than you!
    I’m number one!
    You’re number two!
    You’re lucky to be number two
    Not number three!
    I can see by the look in your eye
    You want to get the bigger piece of the pie
    One day, you’ll get your chance
    But in the meantime, you’ve got to dance monkey dance!’

    http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/I'm_Number_One

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for taking one for the team, Kathi.

    “You can’t love Jesus if you don’t go to organized church.” #ThingsJesusNeverSaid

    I used to think that when Christians saw and recognized abuse that they would condemn it. How silly of me.

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  3. Kathi, Amazing. He’s asked to give an encouraging word to those abused by Driscoll and MH and he just makes excuses for him and makes them feel guilty for judging abusive systems. Then claims if you leave organized church you leave Jesus. This is the fruit of worshipping the Bible, reformed theology, complementarism, and modern church authority. He defends the abusers and ignores the pain of the abused. Piper infuriates me. Just substitute “physical abuse” for the times he mentions spiritual abuse and you can see how outrageous his comments are.

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  4. mwcamp – Yes, I found it interesting how Norm Funk had to reask the question at the end because he was obviously avoiding it. I thought Norm’s question was good…What would you say to those who are coming out of Mars Hills, whose lives were really impacted by what happened and call into question the leadership and the church? He can’t give an answer except to basically say that you’re sinning if you’re not in church. Essentially, Piper lacks compassion and empathy for people. Why they look to him for advice or spiritual answers is beyond my understanding.

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  5. I must like to inflict pain on myself!! This is what I feel each time I see this guy open his mouth. What a disservice he did to a lot of hurting people who need to be uplifted and feel some love coming their way. Sure leaders fail and are human, after all, but MD hurt many, many people along his journey and so has JP. Bethlehem Baptist is sooooooo fortunate to be rid of JP. He ran circles around the question he was asked and didn’t touch base with those that were victims. Abuse is fine with these guys. It amazes me how many people look up to these. Their use of the name of Jesus sounds like blasphemy to me.

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  6. Piper is respected by so many Christian leaders but he looks like a nasty little self-indulged anal orifice to the world at large. As in he shames the Gospel whenever he opens his mouth.

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  7. Exactly, Kathi, Norm Funk was giving Piper the opportunity to give words of comfort and hope to those who were harmed, but this is the way he defaults. He has an obsession with suffering and rejoicing about it, rather than weeping with those who weep. And everything has a gospelese twist: how can I fit the gospel in with my next sentence which truly has nothing to do with the gospel?

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  8. Thanks, Julie Anne! Nice to be seen! You and Kathi are so right about the lack of empathy in such defenders of narrow evangelicalism like Piper. They’re only concerned about making their theology stick. No realization that maybe their theology needs reform in light of suffering people and church leader/structure failures. A circle the wagons mentality. Notice how many times he defends by saying, “this is normal historically,” or “God allows tactical defeats to gain strategic success,” rather than, “this is an outrage and we need to warn people about spiritual abuse and get to the root of the problem in our leaders.”

    I’m hoping my next book will help expose more of this as it shows the historical roots of so many fundamentalist/evangelical religious assumptions (like Piper reading into the Bible that our modern “theologically-correct” churches are “the church” Jesus spoke about). I’ll share my new, improved blog and website with you when I launch it. Keep up the good work, Julie Anne and Kathi!

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  9. Ugh, I actually listened and made it to the end. He didn’t say much of anything to encourage those left hurt and wounded by MD. That should have been first and foremost on his mind of course. That would have reflected Jesus and his Kingdom much better. Set all the other gobbly gook talk aside and just show the wounded some empathy and cut all the shaming talk that walking away from the “church” is walking away from Jesus. Don’t go on and make excuses and minimize the damage. It’s just that his belief about what constitutes a “church” is so vastly different from my understanding and beliefs. And I can’t help but hear his Calvinistic beliefs coming through, especially on the last line that Jesus died for the whole church. I believe Jesus died for EVERYONE, not just a group of elect. But that’s a whole other discussion and not for this thread ☺ (and no I’m not an universalist).

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  10. The sighing and eye rolling that I experienced over this ten minutes left me a little drained.

    Oh Kathi!!! Those precious 10 minutes you can’t get back!!!! 😦

    I don’t know how you do it. I really don’t. I simply cannot bear to hit play on that video. Everything inside screams NO! Noooooooo!!!! Run away! Run away!!!!!!

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  11. John Piper is the liar here:

    “You can’t love Jesus if you don’t go to organized church. Jesus founded the church and ordained the structure of organized church, not men. If you don’t follow Jesus’ words, you’re a liar. ”

    You CAN love Jesus even if you don’t go to an organized church.

    Jesus did not ordain the structure of the organized church.

    John Piper is lying to Jesus’ Church when he makes these statements.

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  12. You can’t love Jesus if you don’t go to organized church. Jesus founded the church and ordained the structure of organized church, not men.

    So, be abused for God by the church Jesus organized because…gospel?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. “You can’t love Jesus if you don’t go to organized church. Jesus founded the church and ordained the structure of organized church, not men. If you don’t follow Jesus’ words, you’re a liar. Now Piper is being a bully. But it’s okay because he’s speaking gospel baby truth and reflecting the gospel.”

    Says the guy who doesn’t even have apostolic succession and is self-appointed as a pastor. (Seriously, how do I know he was *really* called by God to be a pastor? His fruit looks pretty bad….) No, I’m not knocking pastors who don’t have apostolic succession. But I am bringing it up because I had coffee the other week with an Anglican pastor/priest from an ACNA church plant. He heard my life’s story, and why I was between churches and hopping, having a hard time going at all. There was no condemnation from this man. Only encouragement. No pressure to hurry up and get into church or else I might not be saved, or I might not love Jesus, or I’m in sin. None of that. And this is coming from a guy who has apostolic succession, who has a bishop overseeing him, etc.

    Piper is more “popish” and “outside the (organized) church there is no salvation than an Anglican pastor with apostolic succession backing him.

    Needless to say, I went to this Anglican church, and have loved it so far. I felt loved when I went there, by every single individual I met. Can’t say the same for most churches I’ve been to. For the first time in a very long time, I can’t wait to go again. The best part is, the pastor has real day job. He’s the real deal. He actually cares. He has coffee/tea with the people who go there. He organizes for everyone to go out to lunch together after church lets out. He even discouraged the newcomers from joining right away until they’d tried it out for a few weeks. No pressure. Just make sure it’s a good fit. He’s not some rock star pastor like Piper who needs a fan base in order to make a living. He seems to actually care about people’s hurts and needs. I’ve finally found a diamond in the rough. Just a poor little church plant that has to borrow a room in a Methodist church to meet. And the people going there seem to want to model their pastor. I sensed no cliquishness from anyone.

    Maybe it’s time “pastors” like Piper actually started pastoring rather than being judgmental rock stars who expect their fans, er, flocks to buy concert tickets to heaven, er, I mean, get in church and tithe tithe tithe.

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  14. Bridget, you are so right. When you go back and carefully look at the history of the church (and don’t blindly read modern English translations of the NT, ignore original Greek and meaning, and read into it what is not there), you’ll find Jesus did NOT “founded the church and ordained the structure of organized church, not men.” Jesus founded a movement, “church” is “ekklesia” and simply a “gathering” of people, Jesus did NOT establish professional clergy, hierarchy, church authority, etc. etc. He actually taught the opposite: “Don’t be like the Gentiles and lord it over others, rather serve…”

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  15. Amen Bridget. You spoke more truth than this man of educated theology.

    I wanted to go floss my teeth with the rusty barbed wire stored in my barn after I heard John Piper’s interview. One word comes to mind, prideful. And to think I used to listen to his sermons as well via the internet; another foolish admission. Would it be too harsh to suggest that John Piper go out and get a real job like the Apostle Paul did in the New Testament, working with his hands until the blood and sweat flow from his being in setting a godly example for the Body of Christ? I trust a working man of our LORD far more than a craftily spoken hireling.

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  16. I’ve wondered about Gerry Breshears’s reaction to the Mars Hill blowup. He was another “admired older guy” in Driscoll’s pastoral life.

    Breshears is an odd duck. I’ve gone to seminars at Western Seminary where he taught on helping people in pain, and he was startlingly fabulous. But he also would do things like sit in on a seminar on adolescents and depression and offer the recommendation to look for self-harm as an indicator of ritual abuse. ((Crickets))

    He also spoke at our former church (we’re currently Nones) on divorce, where he told the story of helping a wheelchair-bound woman escape from her abusive husband, and that divorcing him was the right thing. So far, so good. But I felt that he spent more time explaining how she then had to repent of her manipulation of her husband, cuz that’s sin. So, sin leveling. And an miserable lack of understanding of the dynamics of real abuse.

    I know he was very close with Driscoll, as well as with Jeff Olson, a Driscoll fanboy and former pastor of a local church that imploded amidst charges of spiritual abuse. Yet he’s an elder at a local church, where I’ve heard him preach amazingly sensitive, well-reasoned sermons.

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  17. Another thought, I think Gerry Breshears has been (still is?) extremely influential with a large group of youngish pastor types. He’s like the silent, behind the scenes John Piper, I think.

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  18. You can’t love Jesus if you don’t go to organized church.
    Sometimes I wonder if you *can* love Jesus and go to organized church.

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  19. “You can’t love Jesus if you don’t go to organized church. Jesus founded the church and ordained the structure of organized church, not men. If you don’t follow Jesus’ words, you’re a liar.”

    I still can’t believe that Piper had the gall to even say this (lie) to people hurt by Mark Driscoll. I think he is a dangerous man.

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  20. Persephone – Do you know if Breshears is associated with Solid Rock? We tried that church out a few times because several people from a church that we left went there. I was just learning about Mars Hill at this time and it was the only church that I’ve ever been to that felt a lot like what I was hearing about Mars Hill.

    Our last Sunday there was when the pastor went off on a rant talking about why women could not be in leadership position at the church (using the church of Tyratira in Revelation as the example). Then he informed everyone that if they had a problem with that stance it was too bad. With a fuming red face I looked at my husband and told him we were never going back there again.

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  21. Always with the ‘we are all sinners’ line. Do they really think they can compare some one snapping at a coworker with an abusive pastors consistent misconduct? Don’t they know that difference?

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  22. I have yet to hear an “exegetical, verse by verse (TM)” treatment of 1 Timothy 5:20:

    “Rebuke before the whole assembly those leaders who continue sinning, as a warning to the others.”

    Never heard it taught, never seen it practiced. Ever. I’d like to know that once a sinning elder (who by definition belongs to a local church) is rebuked, what gives men outside the local assembly (and not even called upon by the local assembly which has been affected by this sinful behavior) the right to interfere and pronounce pardon and redemption upon the sinning leader? Piper must then argue that the peons who have church discipline leveled against them can be absolved and restored by the church down the block. right? Anything less is hubris and partiality.

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  23. Also, Piper’s link to Ortlund’s tweet just reveals the absolutely shoddy (I would call it schizophrenic, but frankly, that implies there is some reason to it) theology:

    Anyone can have salvation!! Really, Piper? Please refer to your pillar #3 (limited atonement). Piper really has no idea what he believes.

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  24. *Like to jkvarin

    So then in John Piper’s world of theology, the sins of the pew sitters are far worse and they are called to public rebuke and repentance, and the sins of the pastors/leadership are glossed over with the wax and paste of mercy and grace?

    Back in the day of Jesus, He said some very strong words to the religious leaders calling them out because He knew what lived in their hearts. The names he called those pious religious folks weren’t too pretty either and when the teachings became more that people could stand, they rose up and crucified our LORD.

    Why are there so many double standards/double mindedness concerning discipline within the organized church systems? Is not even the lowliest among men and women valuable to Jesus – John 3:17?

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  25. Always with the ‘we are all sinners’ line. Do they really think they can compare some one snapping at a coworker with an abusive pastors consistent misconduct? Don’t they know that difference?

    Minnie, that’s a great point. That is what they do – I’ve heard it called sin-leveling, meaning no sin is greater than another sin. That is wrong. Jesus’ verse on those who lead little ones astray should disprove that theory.

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  26. If you think of me, next hour I will be at class presenting part of my blog post on tools I gave my children to protect them from pedophiles in my psychology class.

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  27. Really Piper? Really? You never answered the question! He has the evasive skills of a seasoned politician. What does his ramblings about the Middle East have to do with the question? He uses war imagery (tactical mistakes, warfare, Satan wins) to minimize the pain caused by Driscoll. I can image him thinking, ” Gosh guys, why are you complaining about the Mars Hill fiasco when the Middle East situation is even worse?” In other words the victims of Driscoll’s narcissism are just “collateral damage”.
    He also indicates that it is the “left leaning cool young guys who are leaving.” Guess what Piper!! Even us old conservative females whose marriages are fairly “traditional” are disgusted. Not that we have a vote in your eyes. Go Away. Shoo.
    JA, I hope your presentation went well! Hope your headship was present to “cover” you! -snark- 🙂

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  28. I can image him thinking, ” Gosh guys, why are you complaining about the Mars Hill fiasco when the Middle East situation is even worse?”

    “Gosh, guys, why are you complaining about not having medical insurance when the price of Smartphones is dropping and it’s never been easier to plug into Social Media?”

    In other words the victims of Driscoll’s narcissism are just “collateral damage”.

    “You can’t make an omelet without cracking a few eggs.”
    — Josef Stalin, dictator of Russia (who racked up three times the body count of his German contemporary)

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  29. So then in John Piper’s world of theology, the sins of the pew sitters are far worse and they are called to public rebuke and repentance, and the sins of the pastors/leadership are glossed over with the wax and paste of mercy and grace?

    RANK. HATH. ITS. PRIVILEGES.
    Just ask Caligula, Nero, the Sun King, Comrade Dear Leader…

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  30. Ann, preach it sister! Its infuriating, isn’t it? Defending abusers, ignoring victims and their pain, downplaying critics as young, immature, left-leaning, heretical types, and raising membership in an evangelical church that does the same to the level of obeying God. The prideful attitude is astounding.

    Piper might want to notice that his house of cards is falling and not just young people are seeing it. My 88-year-old parents recommended Mars Hill to me years ago (I came out of PDI/SGM abuse in the 80s and 90s and knew better). Long story short, they recently were similarly spiritually abused in their Evangelical Free church and began to smell the roses. Now they see the problems with churches like MH and SGM and are waking up. Often, people are blind to these problems until they are abused and mistreated themselves. Then they either wake up or become an “enabler.” Thank God more people are waking up.

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  31. So I still haven’t watched the video. But I want to point out that on the screen shot of it that guy across the table from Piper looks for all the world like he’s thinking “He did not just say that! Dear God, somebody help me!”

    I’m pretty sure that’s not me projecting….

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  32. Why does Mr. Piper give Driscoll a pass for leaving the church? Did he not leave MHC in disgrace? Did he immediately take his family into an organized 501(c)3 structure of which Mr. Piper would approve? So again, why does the abusive leader get a pass from Piper but the abused church members who are also taking time off for healing get condemned by Piper?

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  33. mwcamp, Thanks for the positive comment. I feel a little less crazy, stupid, unChristian-you can fill in the blank-when I read other’s comments that also see through this facade. I have four younger brothers, three who are heavily into reformed theology. They have raised their children in it and one of their sons-in-law go to the local neo-Calvinistic seminary in Wake Forest, NC. His wedding to my niece was a farce. I lost count of how many times the pastor said “gospel marriage”, submission and obey. However, the pastor never once explained the gospel. Not once.
    As a female, my thoughts and opinions are totally ignored. One of my brothers was a deacon at Providence Baptist (Raleigh, NC) when a youth minister was caught molesting pre-adolecent boys (you can read about the situation on Wartburg Watch). The church tried to hide it and did not inform the congregation. My family keeps its head buried in the sand and their attitude is, “At least they are spreading the gospel,” No empathy for the victims.
    I am always hopeful when a man is able to express compassion for victims and outrage towards the excuses the neo-Cal clergy use to defend destructive behavior. Thank you. I am a fortunate woman whose (Southern Baptist) husband does use the brain God has given him and doesn’t follow the party line!!!!

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  34. So again, why does the abusive leader get a pass from Piper but the abused church members who are also taking time off for healing get condemned by Piper?

    Because the institution must be protected at all costs, and the leadership IS the institution. Because…gospel.

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  35. @Brian:

    “John Piper ‏@JohnPiper 1h1 hour ago
    Ray Ortlund, consider yourself kissed (in a manly way) for this strong and bright gospel word. http://bit.ly/1Url8KQ

    So exactly what does being “kissed in a manly way” mean, especially when coming from someone who drama-queens using female mannerisms?

    Josie Cotton weighs in on this important question:

    Misheard while previewing, some 40 seconds in:
    “But when I see you
    Fluttering your hands
    I can’t help wondering
    Where I stand…”

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  36. So again, why does the abusive leader get a pass from Piper but the abused church members who are also taking time off for healing get condemned by Piper?

    “These five Kings said one to another:
    ‘King unto King o’er the world is Brother’…”
    — G.K.Chesterton, “Ballad of the Battle of Gibeon”

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  37. Kathi, I’ve poked around at the Solid Rock site and can’t find anything about any of the leaders, elders, pastors, or teachers. I can’t find a statement of faith, or any information about their philosophy of “church.” S I don’t know whether Gerry Breshears is mentoring any of those guys, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he is. He’s the go-to guy for hip young (male) things in the area.

    I find it very weird that they don’t give any info about leadership.

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  38. Oh, and I’ve been told by a friend who attends Good Shepherd Community Church in Boring (OR) that it’s been announced from the pulpit that John Piper will be preaching sometime in the near future.

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  39. As far as Solid Rock, at the Sunday service prior to the “too bad you don’t like our stand on women in leadership” sermon, the new small group “hosts” were being prayed for. The elders gathered around the men and prayed specifically for the men while the wives stood behind them and prayed on as well.

    I sat there with my eyes and mouth opened. I looked around the church and took in all of the young women that were sitting in the audience. Then I was furious that these men had the gall to believe that the women who welcomed people into their homes had no influence at all.

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  40. Marriage being *redemptive* is NOT Reformed theology. Marriage is NOT the gospel. Pastor Chris Gordon ( Escondido United Reformed Church – Escondido,CA and Pastor Michael Brown, Christ Reformed Church, Santee, CA.) discussed this on the Abounding Grace radio program right after the Supreme Court decision. God created marriage before the Fall. Marriage is for all men and women..not just Christians.

    “We cannot avoid admiring the acuteness of the Papists, who conclude from the word “mystery” that marriage is one of the seven sacraments, as if they had the power of changing water into wine. They enumerate seven sacraments, while Christ has instituted no more than two; and, to prove that matrimony is one of the seven, they produce this passage. ( Ephesians 5:32) On what ground? Because the Vulgate has adopted the word Sacrament ( sacramentum) as a translation of the word “Mystery”, which the apostle uses. As if Sacrament ( sacramentum) did not frequently, among Latin writers, denote “Mystery”, or as if “Mystery” had not been employed by Paul in the same Epistle, when speaking of the calling of the Gentiles. But the present question is, Has marriage been appointed as a sacred symbol of the grace of God, to declare and represent to us something spiritual, such as Baptism or the Lord’s Supper? They have no ground for such an assertion, unless it be that they have been deceived by the doubtful significance of a Latin word, or rather by their ignorance of the Greek language. If the simple fact had been observed, that the word used by Paul is “Mystery”, no mistake would ever have occurred.

    We see then the hammer and anvil with which they fabricated this sacrament. But they have given another proof of their indolence in not attending to the correction which is immediately added, “But I speak concerning Christ and the church.” He intended to give express warning that no man should understand him as speaking of marriage; so that his meaning is more fully expressed than if he had uttered the former sentiment without any exception. The “great mystery” is, that Christ breathes into the church his own life and power. But who would discover here anything like a sacrament? This blunder arose from the grossest ignorance.”

    Calvin’s Commentaries, Volume XXl, pages 325-326
    Baker Books,

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  41. First Corinthians: Page 3 ( The Lecto Continua Expository Commentary on the New Testament) Dr. Kim Riddlebarger. Senior pastor of Christ Reformed Church, Anaheim, CA. Visiting professor of systematic theology at Westminster Seminary, California

    This letter is addressed to the church (ekklesia) of Corinth. ” To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus” (v.2). Paul uses the term *ekklesia* twenty-two times in this letter. The word refers to the *assembly* ( which not only means “called out from the nations” as often understood), but especially emphasizes that group of Christian believers who assemble together for public worship, presumably to hear Paul’s letter read aloud. The word *ekklesia* can be used of any large secular assemby, such as that described in Acts 19:32,41, during the rioting in Ephesus when a mob assembled bent on doing harm to the apostle Paul. But the term as used throughout the New Testament has acquired a distinctly Christian meaning. Christians were careful not to take over secular words used to refer to guilds or religious groups. They took the term *ekklesia* because it was the term used throughout the Septuagint ( the Greek translation of the Old Testament) for the people of Israel. These early Christians saw the church as the New Israel. They were no ordinary public assembly. The church is the “ekklesia* of God. (5) It is this particular assembly of people of whom Paul says “those sanctified in Christ Jesus.”

    (5) Morris, 1 Corinthians, 35. Christians bypassed the regular [Greek] words for religious brotherhoods, and made *ekklesia* their self-designation. They were probably influenced by the fact that it is used in the LXX of the people of Israel. This usage reflects their deep conviction that the church is not merely one religious group among many. It is unique. Ordinary religious words will not do. And it is not any ‘assembly’: it is the ekklesia of God.

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  42. Marriage being *redemptive* is NOT Reformed theology. Marriage is NOT the gospel.

    More than likely, Carmen, Piper et al would agree with you. They would agree with you and then proceed to nuance that agreement into irrelevance. Then they would deny they have done any such thing. Then if you insist otherwise they will first say you are misunderstanding them. Then when you continue, pointing out what they have actually said, they will insist you are misrepresenting them….

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  43. Seriously, people are paying $20 each to hear John Piper babble-on??

    Now is that Bo’-ring, Oregon or Bor’-ing, Oregon? No offense, but would like the facts straight.

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  44. Barnabasintraining,
    John Piper is on record, by writing and publishing “This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence”, what he really teaches. No way to sneak around it…and I’d love to talk to him face-to-face at a Gospel Coalition or Together for the Gospel conference in order that many people heard me. For all of John Piper’s “I’m a Calvinist” rhetoric, it’s empty rhetoric at that. This is NOT Reformed theology.

    ” Marriage is meant by God to put that gospel reality on display in the world. That is why we are married. That is why all married people are married, even when they don’t know and embrace this gospel.”

    An endorsement for the book by Raymond Ortland, JR.
    “Theologically, this book exalts human marriage as a metaphor for the ultimate love story in Christ”.

    1). God instituted marriage before the Fall. Marriage is NOT redemptive. Plus, this is NOT Reformed theology: source John Calvin.

    2) Marriage is NOT a parable. The Lord Jesus Christ spoke parables in order to hide what He was saying…NOT to make it clear what He was saying. He then told His disciples what the meaning of the Parables.

    Human marriage is NOT a metaphor in any way, shape or form. ( source: John Calvin).

    The only way John Piper gets away with this are people not understanding biblically what Parables were, and how metaphors were used.

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  45. Brenda – I’m not sure if I should be a pronunciation expert. Where I grew up, we called Oregon, Or-e-gone. And, no, I did not grow up in Ill-i-noise.

    Does anyone remember the 70’s show That’s Incredible? I remember them doing a story on Boring, Oregon. They were so clever about how unboring Boring was.

    I wonder how much that church is paying Piper to come speak. There’s over $10,000 to be made on ticket sales alone.

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  46. Kathi–I looked Boring up to see if I could find out the pronunciation and didn’t find anything, but did find out that their sister city is Dull, Scotland. So there it is…..Dull and Boring. Both say they are neither dull or boring.

    I’m not sure what Piper gets paid, but I think it would be worth it to outbid ticket sales and get him to keep quiet.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. and I’d love to talk to him face-to-face at a Gospel Coalition or Together for the Gospel conference in order that many people heard me.

    Oh, I would love to see how he would handle that!

    However, I expect it would follow the same line of reasoning as “you must be a member of a church to be a Christian, however, you are not saved by belonging to a church.”

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  48. Boring is pronounced just like the word, “boring.”

    Kathi, if you came to Oregon saying Or-e-gone, were you treated well?

    Oregonians used to be quite territorial. That mispronunciation is the dead giveaway that you are a visitor. There used to be a sign on the CA/OR border that said, “Thanks for coming to OR, we hope you enjoyed your visit.” LOL – just don’t stay!

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  49. When I went to college I was corrected very quickly by the Oregon students on how to pronounce this lovely state’s name. Every once-in-a-while I’ll see Orygun bumper stickers, which crack me up.

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  50. Barnabasintraining,

    Giggle-giggle, I got that covered, also. Please, please, let me talk to John Piper. He has to define “church membership”, and here again Piper shows he isn’t a “Calvinist”. Piper is a Independent Fundamentalist Baptist with just a little “reformed” thrown in. From 2005-2008 Bethlehem Baptist’s elders had a dust-up over who could join BBC. The discussion was withdrawn without a vote allowed.

    BBC does not allow people who were baptized as infants to join their local church membership unless they are persuaded that their infant baptism was unbiblical and invalid. So, the question was put forth in a 2008 sermon by Piper, explaining all the different ramifications of that position. “In other words, should we say to any person: we know you have truly entered into membership in the universal body of Christ, but you may not enter into membership in this local expression of the body of Christ”?

    BBC’s position to this day is one of “No, you can’t join unless you say your baptism is unbiblical and invalid”. This is Baptist theology, but it is NOT Reformed theology. By the way, the Reformed do not teach and believe infant baptism “saves”. We do believe that infants baptized are joined in the covenant ( covenant theology…another thing John Piper does not believe).

    Piper wants to talk local church membership? So do I 🙂

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  51. Just had an afternoon visit from a dear sister in Christ the other day and she broached the topic of her adult baptism in her mid-forties after her conversion. She was baptized as an infant which is considered a salvation necessity amongst the Lutherans and the Catholics, but was not born again of the Holy Spirit at that time.

    Then, when I read my Bible, I see this problem with mandatory baptism for membership in the true Body of Christ.

    Luke 23: 41-42 Thief speaking, “And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds, but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”

    vs. 43 “And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

    The thief recognized Jesus was/is God in the flesh and doesn’t ask Jesus to be with Him in Paradise in the form of a question, but makes a statement to our King. And Jesus responds with His Promise. No baptism or baptism certificate with the pastor’s name penned in ink, no laminated 501c. 3 membership card, no name posted on some organized church roster to keep track of your giving or whereabouts, no big announcement in the bulletin or local newspaper; nothing visibly tangible to recognize the fact that this wicked thief, who was remorseful of his evil ways, turned to Jesus during those last precious moments here on this earth.

    In heaven, before the King of the Throne, Jesus Himself, will baptism be required to spend eternity in His glorious presence? Is salvation in Christ alone, dependent upon man’s definition of a valid baptism and who is qualified and justified to make that decision?

    And to think of those conversions during those last moments of life here before they passed away, when they believed and trusted the Gospel of our LORD Jesus Christ, apart from any baptism or earthly methods of “getting saved?” Who then determines their membership within the Body of Christ?

    Just asking.

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  52. Then, when I read my Bible, I see this problem with mandatory baptism for membership in the true Body of Christ.

    I have a problem with it, too. My understanding is baptism is an outward profession of faith while demonstrating the death, burial and resurrection of Christ in the water. I think it is important to be baptized, but if you are asking if it’s a deal breaker for entering heaven, I say no.

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  53. BBC’s position to this day is one of “No, you can’t join unless you say your baptism is unbiblical and invalid”.

    Hmm. This is interesting because there is a video he did with Driscoll and Chandler regarding either Doug Wilson or Federal Vision. I forget if it was about Wilson and FV came up or the other way around. But he gave Wilson and all Presbyterians a free pass on the baptism thing. I don’t know how he can hold both positions. But then, it’s Piper so I guess I’ve just answered my own question.

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  54. They’re *charging* to see JPipe? Sheesh. I didn’t know that part. That’s even worse, IMO.

    I used to attend that church. When they started a huge remodel/expansion a decade or so ago, my husband was a large tither back then, and we were invited to one of the exclusive desserts at the (former) senior pastor’s mini mansion (silly, naive me – I thought he had such a fancy house, near the nicest private golf course in the area, because he was an author). They mentioned the expansion would allow the church to serve the community better by providing venues for things like graduation ceremonies, local orchestra concerts, weddings… Somehow the idea of providing a locale for a Christian Celebrity Speaker to come charge money to hear him preach seems more than a little obscene to me.

    I have lots of stories about that church. I’m not at all surprised that JP will be there, although I was under the impression that he’d be speaking at the services (and maybe he is, in addition to the pay-per-view).

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  55. Seriously, people are paying $20 each to hear John Piper babble-on??

    And wave his hands like a Nervous Nellie.
    Are they screening out Muscular Women at the doors?

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  56. Having suffered through this video and having read all these posts, I do feel a little like I’m crashing a private party that’s well over, so my apologies for commenting so late to this event…

    I’m new to this blog/forum. But the title over this interview and the interview itself struck hard, as I have a book by Piper I genuinely benefited from, and have repeatedly had him recommended to me, including by at least one pastor. So I’ve been aware for years of his status and prominence in Christendom. However, I also have been aware for the last 2-3 years of his friendship with Marc Driscoll, and that fact gradually became more and more troubling.

    I’ve appreciated much that’s been written here; and it is encouraging to read things by like-minded Christians. I only write because I thought it might beneficial for me to add these thoughts:

    Piper says God has used and is using people to preach the gospel who are “defective” in their attitudes and conduct. Now that word choice is very significant to me: He did not say “sinful,” nor did he say “un-Christ-like,” nor did he say “shameful.” All of those words would apply biblically to the rivals of Paul that Paul spoke of in his letter to the Philippians. Those were individuals who were very shamefully self-ambitious, even seeking by their competitive gospel-preaching to “cause Paul trouble.” I think “defective” is a striking spin on this. Perhaps Pastor Piper is trying to be merciful, but this was neither the time nor place nor context for expressing mercy by watering down what has been done. I appreciate some of his comments on being humble rather than being self-righteous when we identify the sins of others, but I do not appreciate erring in the opposite direction by not speaking of this according to the truth of what it was and is, and the grief and sadness and call to weep from an interceding heart for what we the church are and are representing, and for the outright shame of Marc Driscoll’s conduct and that of those like him today…

    And yes I do believe that Christians who need to repent, need to accept both guilt and shame upon themselves to work through in true humility in order to genuinely need and be cleansed by God’s grace through Christ for removal of shame and guilt–and THEN move forward as a forgiven and free person ready to make amends with the time you have left.

    I could always be wrong, but still, God does choose and make wise foolish things in the world (1 Corinthians 1:20-25), even ones that don’t lead a church and have a stage (whew)…

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  57. Tactical defeats for strategic ends: Wow, so that’s what the fall of Marc Driscoll and Mars Hill Church was? True, the Lord is sovereign over all things, but what I read in the Bible is that God’s sovereignty does not mean that he allows the sins of his people OUT OF NECESSITY to achieve the strategic ends of spreading the gospel and his glory. God does not NEED our failures to achieve his ends, but he does choose to glorify himself by PERMITTING AND SUFFERING these things, and NOT LETTING them thwart his purposes. For example, as is often quoted, he is able to “work all things for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose.”

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  58. Refraining from the organized church (for how long?) is “walking away from Jesus” and makes you “a liar” to say you’re a Christian: I know that’s a little periphrastic, but is that not that what he’s saying? I think this one troubles me most. There is both the visible and invisible church in the world, clearly taught in the Scriptures. We are certainly called, and commanded, not “to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as is the habit of some, but to encourage one another, and all the more, as you see the Day approaching” (Heb. 10:24-25, I believe). But the Scriptures are clear: You have to walk away from Jesus in order to walk away from Jesus. Otherwise, “any who come to me, I will in no wise cast out,” he said. He didn’t say come to my gathering or to my apostles in order not to be cast out. I think John 10 and elsewhere, throughout the New Testament, make it clear that Piper spoke a terrible error when he said this. It is one thing to say we rob ourselves of the church, and the church of ourselves, when we abstain from going to church somewhere; and moreover, that we are disobeying the Lord Jesus by doing this (“by your love for one another people will know you are my disciples”); and that we are out in the devil’s territory when outside the province of the church, disconnected from the Body of Christ. But it’s quite another to day you are not a Christian and not saved. And when the Apostle John said “they went out from us because they were not of us,” I have never taken that as a declaration of all non-attenders to be non-Christians; that was not the context or purpose of this statement.

    Besides, how many worship services did John miss while exiled to the Isle of Patmos?

    -THE END-

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  59. Thomas Trotter,

    Perhaps you would agree that not everything that calls itself church is really church. Sometimes a “church” is actually a synagogue of the satan ( = the accuser).

    My thought is that true church is founded on only voluntary bonds of love. Any fellowship that is based on the application of compulsory authority, such as through constitutions, by-laws, covenants, etc., are synagogues of the satan. Our Lord came to set us free.The accuser binds. If and to the extent Piper questions the faith of those who have walked away from that which is not truly church, he takes up the cause of the accuser.

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  60. “Any fellowship that is based on the application of compulsory authority, such as through constitutions, by-laws, covenants, etc., are synagogues of the satan.” I don’t think Scripture supports that statement as worded, but I think you do have a point that there can be a danger in a church crafting and enforcing constitutions, by-laws, covenants, etc., that are contrary to Scripture itself, or are held higher than Scripture, or even equal with it. Like creeds, these things must serve to unite people in statements of agreement with the Bible, and in applying the Word of God, not trying to add to it, or beat people over the head with it. To that degree I would agree with what I hear you saying.

    Certainly Mars Hill and Driscoll have brought a cloud over these thoughts, though, and your words make me look harder at this in that light… um, in that cloudiness. Too bad Piper doesn’t respond with like gravity.

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