Pastor John Piper, Tragedies, Natural Disasters, France Terrorist Attack, Religiosity, Compassion, Love, Grieving, Loss, Christian
Pastor John Piper wasted no time in writing a response to the terrorist attack in France in his article, France: a Fabric Torn. Here is an excerpt from it:
Oh, let us wake up from the stupor of thinking we know when we will be finished. We do not know. God has told us how to speak of our tomorrows. “You ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that’” (James 4:15). If you are reading this, you’ve been given another day. Perhaps only one. Think on this.
To all of France, the hands of Jesus are extended. The risen Savior stretches out his bloody hands and says, “Come to me, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). “Let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price” (Revelation 22:17).
Vengeance will come. It need not come from private individuals. “Leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord’” (Romans 12:19). There is a time for everything under heaven. Now is a time for France — and all of us — to hear the words of Jesus, “Do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem [or Paris]? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:4–5).
Earlier, someone left a comment here at SSB, on an unrelated article referencing John Piper’s new article. A Missionary Pastor, a new commenter, read it, and then responded to it.
John Piper is no stranger to harsh responses after natural disasters. After the 2005 Asian tsunami, he wrote, “Every deadly calamity is a merciful call from God for the living to repent.” Piper explains further:
The point of every deadly calamity is this: Repent. Let our hearts be broken that God means so little to us. Grieve that he is a whipping boy to be blamed for pain, but not praised for pleasure.
John Piper has also used similar words after tragic events here and here. I think John Piper needs to hear directly from someone affected by tragedy. He seems to be missing a part of humanity that connects us all together, that looks to help people after a trauma, even strangers, so that they are not alone in their greatest time of need. He seems to be lacking a simple thing called love, and instead puts his religiosity above kindness and compassion.
Let’s read what A Missionary Pastor had to say:
I’ve only recently started reading your posts and have seen no need to post comments. However, after reading your comments about John Piper’s post about the terrorist attacks, and then having read the full post on his site, it’s time to speak up. Please tolerate a slightly lengthy response.
First a quick intro: I am an American missionary serving in France since 1992. My wife is French and my children were born here. French friends of ours lost friends in the terrorist attacks.
IMHO, someone who wishes to address a message to France should pay more attention to the need for compassion than to the formulating of poetic sentences. We definitely don’t need religious advice from someone sitting comfortably in his office. In order for France to hear, we need more believers who come alongside those who suffer or grieve, who pray for us more than just once on a given Sunday, than we do the “righteous” preaching at us from afar.
In the days ahead, people here need to hear those who “weep with those who weep.” They need to hear the compassionate words of a Good Samaritan as he kneels down on the bloodied, dirty road and tends to the wounds of the one whose body is broken. They need to feel loving hands holding theirs, no words need to be spoken. They need to know that God, the one true God, is not absent nor indifferent to their suffering. Yes, one day, His vengeance will come, but where is He today?
It is when they hear those words and see those acts of compassion, combined with our intercession on their behalf, that those we serve in France will be able to, or more honestly, willing to hear Jesus’ words and come to Him. Pray therefore in this way for us.