Doctrine as Idol, John Piper

An American Missionary in France Gives John Piper a Word of Advice on How to Respond to a Grieving Country

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:

Julie Anne,

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.




61 thoughts on “An American Missionary in France Gives John Piper a Word of Advice on How to Respond to a Grieving Country”

  1. there simply are no words… how anyone, never mind a person in a position of religious authority, could so shamelessly manipulate the words of Jesus to make such a judgmental comment in response to such a tragedy… In Pipers words, you feel the same deluded grip of religious fundamentalism that you see within Islam which totally misses the deeper spirit of love in the Bible for an ideology which divides, ranks, and separates rather than unites.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. In his speech in to the American Association of Spiritual Counselors the audience laughs, rather derisively I think, at Pipers attempt at self deprecating humor. Piper gets one thing right. He admits that is is short on compassion, long on critical analysis. Even in saying that he is long on critical analysis he swerves into truth. He doubtless intends to use the word critical as a synonym for analytical, but it is the more common meaning of critical that is apt.

    The video, which is 5:32 long, can be viewed at On balance Piper appears to be aback taken at the laughter. However, it is also possible that he is a narcissist for whom all attention is good attention, and that he is milking the situation for all it is worth.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Just noticed this on the Firefox homepage: “Our hearts and thoughts are with our community members, friends and families around the world. We wish peace to all of you.” If a perfectly secular enterprise is capable of expressing such sentiment, can it not be justly charged that there is a sense in which the world proves itself to be more Christian than many “Christians?”

    Would that Piper could find it in his heart to similarly embrace all who are touched by tragedy, that he could will himself to say nothing less, nothing more.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Thank-You Missionary in France and may our LORD be with you, your family, and all of those who are suffering over there. Most certainly our petitions of prayer are with you all in this time of great need for compassion and empathy flow at the foot of Jesus’ cross. There have been comments made on other worthy blogs where it has been said and I quote verbatim, “It is time to bring the missionaries home (back to America) to minister to us for we have lost our empathy, compassion, and love for the human condition.”

    That quote should sting the believers and followers of Christ, for I personally am reminded of the dung heap of sin in which Jesus saved me from. And it is times like these when I read the penned words of the Pipers, the Mianos, and all of those preachers who preach the wonders of themselves and their lofty doctrines, that I stand in agreement with those individuals who say “bring the missionaries back to America” for perhaps we have indeed, lost the Way of Jesus.

    Could it be that the conscience of the clergy class/caste system here in America has been seared as if with a hot branding iron? The proof is in the pen.

    LORD, forgive us.

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  5. I wrote my post before John Piper wrote his commentary hoping that John wouldn’t say anything offensive or in poor taste. I was able to predict his comments on tornados at Internet Monk which led to a post there. So after I got my post up I saw his comments and banged my head on the wall. I can’t believe I thought highly of this guy for years.

    Man this angers me so much!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Piper’s sentiments more closely resemble the “Allahu akbar” shouted by jihadists. I haven’t read about any French people converting to Islam as a result, and I don’t think Piper’s words will be any more effective.

    We definitely don’t need religious advice from someone sitting comfortably in his office.

    American Christianity abounds with comfy chair philosophers. It’s embarrassing. Please tell the French people you know that many of us in the U.S. have wept with them. I cry every time a new story comes out about the life of one of the victims. I cried watching the video of people outside the Bataclan theatre dragging their injured friends away from the violence. I cried when a man risked his own life to rescue a woman hanging from a window ledge. I cried about the French man who lost his wife in the Bataclan, yet is determined to experience joyful moments with his 17-month-old son. I think Jesus already is with these people as they learn to adjust to their new normal.

    God help us. Piper doesn’t speak for me.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. @Eagle

    I wrote my post before John Piper wrote his commentary hoping that John wouldn’t say anything offensive or in poor taste.

    Yeah, good luck with that. Someone needs to retire Piper from social media. Nobody can change the man’s views, but at least someone could stop him from vomiting them out for all to see.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Merci beaucoup, monsieur missionnaire. Je suis d’accord avec tes mots.

    I also believe Gary W has correctly, identified Piper’s issues and why so many people can sense something wrong but cannot put their fingers on what it is specifically. I have long thought he suffers from some delusion of grandeur or personality disorder; in my personal opinion only, he is a strong candidate for narcissistic personality disorder under both the DSM-IV TR and the DSM-5. To the point, NPD is summarized as “a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and a lack of empathy.”

    If true, does this mean that we can therefore discount everything Piper has spoken or written? Absolutely not; after all, Jesus uses broken people, even ones who refuse to recognize or admit they are broken. However, it does provide a more accurate filter to which we can submit his writings and teachings. How much simpler it would be to see his response to a tragedy and automatically say: well of course he would say that, he struggles in that area. This is not to let him off the hook, but rather to grant him some of the compassion that he fails to return.

    What is so frustrating is that: a. he doesn’t, at least publicly, admit he is broken (over anything but “SIN”, and I put it in quotes because Piper usually speaks of it in a innate/non-personal/non-specific way), and; 2. his followers do not recognize that he is a fallible, corrupt, “prone to wander,” broken human like they/we all are. In some instances, to speak against Piper is seen as speaking against Christ Himself, and that a war no one wants to fight.

    So where does that leave us? In a fallen world, where Islamic terrorists can murder 132 people, wound 300+ others and set an entire continent on edge. In a fallen world, where American Christian leaders can presume to have all the knowledge and answers to man’s sin problem, and via overly harsh and extreme measures, can either subject many to their will or isolate those who dare challenge their authority. In other words, it leaves us in a world that we don’t understand but we have to trust that God is in control of.

    A mes freres et soeurs en France, permettez moi d’ajouter ceci: je t’aime et je vous prie.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Take the Bible out of his hands and strip him of his Rev. credentials. With those two things, he claims to be a voice for God. He is an offense to God. If he were really loving God, he would close his mouth and hear the cries of all who weep for the victims of crime. God is weeping.

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  10. John Piper is the Calvinist version of Pat Robertson. Both have foot-in-mouth syndrome and are in need of divine healing from that malady.

    Kudos to the Missionary for his boldness in addressing this issue, and to you, Julie Anne. Whenever tragedy strikes, I always know I can count on Piper to use the tragedy as a way to promote his (disgusting and erroneous) deterministic Calvinist theology; which is such a deplorable act.

    How does even common sense escape him during such a time? His responses are akin to saying all the wrong statements one can utter at the house of relatives who have just lost a loved one: “there is a reason for everything under heaven”; “He/She is in a better place”; “He/She is suffering no more”; etc. Piper grants us the perfect example of vacuous rhetoric that not only fails to help but actually causes some to distance themselves from the very God he is trying to draw people to. Tragic.

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  11. If Piper should find the way of personal repentance, should he be willing to submit to expert teaching on what the Love of God for a dying world looks like, he could go to the closest nursing home, sit with mouth closed, and simply watch the CNA’s, nurses and other staff (mostly women BTW) care for people who can no longer care for themselves. Then, should he actually acquire the skills to volunteer, to feed and dress those who cannot do so for themselves, to change their diapers–and should he actually learn to weep upon the deaths of those under his care–then and only then will he have earned the right to be called a pastor, though without a capital “P.” And no, I do not expect I will ever be qualified to be considered a pastor, either with or without a capital “P.”

    Liked by 4 people

  12. This came across my email a couple weeks back re: the difference between sympathy and empathy. It’s short, a little less than 3 minutes. I think this is a good time to share it especially with Piper out there.

    When my husband and I lost two children (one to SIDS and the other to a chromosomal disorder) the best comfort came from those who cried with us and didn’t try to explain or evangelize. They just cried and loved us where we were. Anyway, even though someone can’t actually say in every instance that they know what you’re going through, acknowledging the loss and grieving alongside (with no set expectation of when you should be over it) helped us the most.

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  13. When I took preaching class, one of the things I was taught as a Southern Baptist Bible student was that every pontification was to have an evangelistic thrust and Piper is certainly following that model. No, not every word out of a pastor’s mouth needs to be about evangelism as to do so makes it appear that the tragedy is being cruelly used to put notches in the pastor’s evangelism belt.

    One would think that in the many years he has been a pastor, that he would have realized that the victims in Paris are numb. They are questioning and hurting and to so blithely hit them with an evangelism message is to minimize the pain and suffering which is all too real. Of course, Piper never learned that lesson because he is so insulated from the real world, that all he has to go on is his book knowledge without the wisdom of the school of hard knocks.

    If he were a true pastor, he would know that often it is best to sit in silence and cry with the hurting, helping them when they express a need and loving on them. Job’s friends were doing fine while they just sat there with him, but when they opened their mouths, they just made things worse.

    Piper does not have a pastor’s heart and this just proves it. Is it any wonder that so many don’t want to have anything to do with Christianity?

    Liked by 4 people

  14. Piper doesn’t take advice from anyone except Piper.

    And these days what’s getting to be normal when there’s a disaster is “Who’s going to shoot off his mouth first — Pat Robertson or Flutterhands Piper?”

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  15. @WendellG:

    When I took preaching class, one of the things I was taught as a Southern Baptist Bible student was that every pontification was to have an evangelistic thrust and Piper is certainly following that model.

    A High Pressure Salesmanship model.
    “ABC — Always Be Closing, Always Be Closing, Always Be Closing.”

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  16. Exactly, HUG. Even if it is unspoken, there is an undercurrent of each preacher is responsible for as many people as possible to be converted through his sermons. I am all for evangelism, but it needs to be appropriate for the situation and does not have to be the thrust of every communication. Often, the best evangelism is being Christ, not just preaching Him to everyone all the time.

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  17. Yes, Beth. We will be compassionate to you if you have been allowed into the club. Of course, it is by invitation only and no one knows by what criteria the invitations were sent out.

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  18. After the 9/11 attacks here, there was an outpouring of empathy from other nations of the world. The knowledge that others near and far were horrified and appalled and grieving along with us was so comforting. Were there also self-righteous religious leaders in those nations diagnosing what was wrong with us? I don’t remember any, but I can imagine how it would have felt.

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  19. I’m not an expert on John Piper’s theology, but isn’t he a Calvinist who believes everything that happens is for God’s glory and is therefore good, and/or that God is behind everything?

    Meaning, in Piper’s views (if I am understanding Piper right), God was ultimately the cause behind the ISIS guys attacking Paris?

    So why is Piper making overtures to compassion of Christ, telling the French that Christ has has out-stretched hands towards them, and so on?

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  20. Quoting Piper:
    “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).”
    This sort of thing didn’t bother me AS MUCH when I was younger, but the older I get, this tendency of some Christian preachers to turn almost any and every tragedy as an excuse to “win souls to Jesus” annoys me.

    That reaction seems to be tone deaf and insensitive.

    The Bible says to meet people’s practical needs before attending to their spiritual needs.

    So why doesn’t Piper hop on a plane, visit Paris, and while there, make soup and sandwiches for shell- shocked terror victims, and/or for the cops and emergency workers who have been risking their lives and running around looking for additional terrorist guys?

    Then, after that, MAYBE lecture people about needing to repent and trust Jesus. But if Piper is a Calvinist, he would say God chooses who is elect from eternity past, so even if you do repent and trust Jesus, you’re going to Hades anyway. So what is the point?


  21. BTDT said,
    “American Christianity abounds with comfy chair philosophers”

    Yes. I was just saying this on Julie Anne’s recent domestic violence thread (the one about Dobson).

    It’s so easy for someone not under-going a specific problem (or who will never under go a particular problem) to hand out advice to people who ARE under-going whatever.

    An elderly, or middle aged 6 foot 4 inch tall preacher man can quite easily tell a 5 ft 2, 110 pound women to stay in a marriage to a 6 foot tall 200 pound abusive man. The preacher man does not have to live with the abusive husband or be subject to the beatings of regular verbal abuse.

    Same thing with guys like Piper. He’s not personally living in the aftermath of the Paris terror attack, so it’s easy for him to sit in an office in the United States and blabber all over the place on a blog about it and how he thinks the French should react to it.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Wendell said,
    “If he were a true pastor, he would know that often it is best to sit in silence and cry with the hurting, helping them when they express a need and loving on them. Job’s friends were doing fine while they just sat there with him, but when they opened their mouths, they just made things worse.”
    Yes. I’ve made this point several times over on older threads.

    After my mother died, rather than get comfort from Christians I went to, I got cliches’, Bible verses quoted at me, I got scolded for asking for support, or with others, I was ignored as best they could ignore me.

    Nobody wanted to just be there for me and let me talk me feelings out, not even church-going Christians in my family.

    I’ve read around the web that other people have experienced the same treatment from other Christians in their time of pain as well – whether over death in the family, going through a divorce, whatever their struggle was.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. 18 months ago I made a deliberate effort to not read ‘Christian writings’ anymore. That is, I stopped reading books. By gurus (let’s be honest, that’s what they are).

    I now read my bible. Taking special notice of the good bits.
    Eg. Don’t be an idiot. Be nice to the religion butt wipe next door. Love the burka wearing lady around the corner etc etc you get my drift.

    John -I love to pray loud and long and in public- Piper…

    A guru.

    One of those mentioned in Matthew’s gospel who loves to sit in Moses’ seat.

    I could not read the first paragraph without verbally saying “what.the.farque”.

    (It’s French, for hell).


    At the wrong damn time.

    *face palm*

    Does this guy have no one to read this crap before they hit publish?

    Oh God… Save us.

    From gurus.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Julie Anne or anyone if you can take it Doug Wilson “The Free Speech Apocalypse” I have to give him credit for making it free to watch and man did I need a good laugh. Doug, you are not a very good speaker, to be honest, but you are very good at categorical errors for example, Cosmology and biological evolution are two different areas of science. “Hydrogen to seals” was my favorite quote. I have to admit he has absolutely no points to make what so ever. I am not sure if this is the entire movie or just 37 minutes of a longer version. Now one mistake the students made is that they did not let Doug just blabber on for a few hours because he is self-refuting it really is amazing to watch. This has got to be a new genre of playing the victim card while accusing everyone else of playing the victim card. I think its just a part of the movie and it is first shows up when you go to his site but the version I saw was truly wanting.


  25. There have been many on-the-mark comments already. Ditto regarding the very nature of Calvinism itself that contributes to such a stark, cold, impersonal, and judgmental response to people’s suffering. Celeb preachers like Piper use tragedy as a means to tell people to ‘repent.’ The Bible can be a dangerous book if put in the hands of the wrong people. As St. Paul said in 2 Peter 3:16 regarding the Scriptures, “There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures.” One has to wonder what could possibly reside in the heart of a Christian who spews out cruel, uncaring, and judgmental responses toward those who are suffering time and time again. Do these kind of Christians practice suppressing any sort of empathy because it is perceived to be weak and emotional? I honestly wonder if some of these Calvinistas were over in France right now whether or not they would be shouting through a bull horn at the sites of the terrorist attacks telling people to ‘repent.’ I wouldn’t put it past some of them. I would like to think that any Christian who is in the actual midst of a real life tragedy would be compelled within his/her heart to mourn with those who are suffering. Lord have mercy on those who are suffering loss in France! May we, as Christians, always exhibit a tender heart toward the suffering of others.

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  26. Another American missionary in France (who sometimes reads and has posted here) contacted me privately and said I could post this: “you can feel free to note that the other person isn’t the only minister in France that finds irritation in Piper’s comments as well as TGC and others. France is very “laic” as they say, or secular. It really doesn’t help me to have American protestants loudly proclaiming how dumb the French are for not having guns while others proclaim how much they should repent.”

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  27. Monique – Thanks so much for sharing Brené Brown’s on Empathy. That was fantastic. We need to be willing to learn from people, like you, who have suffered immense loss. Thank you for your vulnerability and willingness to share here, Monique. I remember you sharing about your loss a while back and my heart aches each time I think about it 😦

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  28. I have been following the debate in the French language, and I grew up in England with good friends who happened to be Muslim. I will try to tone this down-I am very angry and not proud to be American today as I always used to be-, but I will say some Americans who call themselves Christians have shown more hate than the Laic French over the Paris Attacks. To refuse refugees seeking a home based on their religion is disgusting, and whether or not it is unAmerican is up for debate, but it is most definitely unChristian. I am also not at all surprised by Piper capitalizing on this recent event for his theology. It is typical. American Christians need to wake up to the fact there is a global church and a global crisis, and it’s not about us and our little theological debates that don’t produce spiritual fruit. Nor are our gun laws or lack thereof going to change hearts. Our arrogant and entitled hearts that prefer to pontifiate in our comfort to Christlike sacrifice are the problem. It would be a big thing, if after a tragedy, American Christian leaders flew over to help people and made no comments. That would be a huge step for many of them and most are not humble enough to do it. What kind of example is that? That is all.

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  29. Thanks Julie Anne. While we did hear the Calvinistic “it’s God’s will” response and “maybe if we had prayed differently or more” debate (Word of Faith?), we did find a healthy church and pastor and a loving group of friends we have to this day that carried us through those times. Saying that “it’s God’s will” that babies die just pushes people away from the very One who is able to give hope and healing. Listening and crying with someone shows them more of Jesus than trying to sound “spiritual” and have all the answers.

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  30. Saying that “it’s God’s will” that babies die just pushes people away from the very One who is able to give hope and healing. Listening and crying with someone shows them more of Jesus than trying to sound “spiritual” and have all the answers.

    That is so true! One time I was driving on our old military base and saw my friend who recently lost her baby to a horrible skin disease. I realized that in our recent move, I had failed to connect with her, so I stopped, ran over to give her a hug. In my mind, I quickly rehearsed a few things I would say to her, but as I got close to her and thought of her sweet baby with curly red hair (I’m a little partial with red hair), I kind of panicked and forgot what I was going to say. And thankfully, that’s what I said – “I don’t know what to say.” She proceeded to take me into her home, showed me a curl of his hair which was placed in a glass, pictures of him from her scrapbook, etc. She went around the house and showed me her memories of Landon. I realized I didn’t have to say anything, that she was so willing to talk about him. I was so thankful for that “gift”of panic that day. It taught me such a valuable lesson.

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  31. Yes, it was good that you were able to listen to her talk about Landon. 🙂
    I understand that some people would think that talking about their loved ones or loss would hurt and just bring up bad memories, but for me and for most others I’ve discussed this with, talking, remembering, and sharing their names is very healing and helps us feel like our loved ones are not forgotten.


  32. Someone above mentioned American Christians being awfu for not openly jumping for joy at the prospect of many Syrian refugees being brought into the USA

    I am uncomfortable with the U.S. allowing Syrian refugees into the nation. I don’t think that makes me a heartless person, though.

    There is no way to ensure that all the folks claiming to be innocent Syrians are not in fact ISIS guys posing as refugees, in order to sneak in and pull off terror plots.

    It would be unwise to allow them in at this point, unless or until the U.S. Govt can come up with a very effective method of ensuring all refugees are Non-ISIS members.


  33. @Daisy re reading my comment I understand how it could be thought I think we should be jumping for joy to welcome refugees…I actually agree with all of your concerns. My concern is the lack of concern among some Anerican Christians that I keep hearing for the children who will likely die this winter because of what ISIS has done. I do not blame us nor our governments for that.

    I am not in favor of just allowing anyone into the US on a political level, but as a Christian I don’t think it’s so much about jumping for joy as we should be falling over one another to care for refugees in whatever way we can.

    I’m tired of the refugee crisis being politicized and religiosized. From where I stand, it’s just plain hard to hear people who didn’t grow up among Muslims assuming Muslim families are somehow different in their humanity than American families. It is a complex issue, but my frustration is that those who wish to hurt us are likely already here. Helping vulnerable people will not change that fact.

    I’m tired of the armchair and media driven polarization I’m seeing when children are sleeping rough on the streets of Europe. I’m feeling very alienated from my own people who sit in comfort and assume those people whose homes have been destroyed are all potential terrorists. I’m sorry also to take this off topic from Piper’s theology, but I do think there is a wider issue that the church in America lacks empathy precisely because of poor theology that suits a comfort culture and gives an excuse not to care beyond their local areas. By comparison, many people in the world are just glad to be alive, regardless of their respective religions that by accident of birth are their tradition.

    Having said all that, I’m not saying we should have an open door policy to all refugees. Sadly, ISIS has made that impossible. I am saying we Christians need open hearts and creativity in how we seek to address this crisis individually as people of God.

    There are many needs other than this crisis, but this is on a level with movement of people around the world wars. I don’t want to see history repeat itself in how my national people view another people group. I’m really concerned that for many Americans, their identity is more in being American than in being a little Christ. I just don’t get that anymore.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. And my anger is part of a grief at how little we can do. At the same time, it hurts me, having been a foreigner, and having experienced hospitality from Muslims, to read generalizations about refugees. People are being taken in through immigration on a case by case basis already, and people are far more complex than Syrian=Muslim=extremist or American=Christian= good guy . I understand politicians panicking like this but I don’t understand Christians thinking like that about people.
    Hope that clarifies.
    Done for now at last.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. I have to take a different view on this, I think it’s high time for everyone to have great compassion on John Piper. We don’t make fun of that mentally retarded person we see at Costco. We don’t evaluate everything they or any mentally ill or otherwise challenged person says or does. I submit that it’s time to compassionately place Mr. Piper in the same ” hands off ” category and ignore most if not all of what he does or says.

    Disclaimer: the above is only my opinion. It is in no way meant to imply that all special needs people are twisted, mean spirited, babbling idiots like John Piper. Further more, just because he needs a muzzle and a straight jacket doesn’t necessarily mean that all reformed folks do. I actually have a few high functioning Calvinists as friends.


  36. It is as if he wrote that with one thing in mind: make it profound, cause those in neocalvinism to “Ooh and Aah” at the sheer brilliance of his intellect and his ability to turn a phrase while maintaining fidelity to the Gospel. Does anyone reading that think he sees the folks hurting as anything more than an abstraction and a tool to promote John Piper? It just sounds like Piper’s detached from everyone and everything but the singular and burning desire to promote the John Piper brand.

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  37. Our heartfelt thanks to all who expressed their prayers and concerns for France. Was too busy to respond to each one of you personally; please but know we appreciated your caring words.
    Some have expressed concerns about John Piper and I believe more than ever we must pray for the transforming work of the Holy Spirit within him. If as believers we’re called to bless even our enemies, then surely we can pray that our Lord bless Piper – the blessing being a profound spiritual renewal and change in his life and teaching.
    My heart goes out to those who shared having experienced a lack of compassion from believers after a time of grieving. May our Lord fill your hearts with peace and healing. My original post was not simply a blast against Piper’s heartless words, but a call/reminder how all believers are to act toward and minister to those who suffer. Don’t just talk about Christ to them, “be Christ” to them. Let them see Christ through you.
    Blessing upon you all.

    Liked by 2 people

  38. John Piper has NOTHING to offer any of us. He is an old, foolish man. When the Christians at Mars Hill in Seattle, WA asked for John Piper’s help in dealing with pastor Mark Driscoll’s many abuses (including vicious excommunications and shunnings of godly elders like Paul Petry, his wife, and children for Petry’s opposing Driscoll’s un-Biblical consolidation of power), John Piper REFUSED to help them! Despicable.

    Then there was the bizarre video that surfaced of John Piper being interviewed by another man, where Piper moaned on about the closing of Mars Hill was a defeat for The Gospel. No, it was An Answer to Prayer! I, and many others, prayed for the shuttering of Mars Hill to prevent Mark Driscoll’s further abuses.

    John Piper doesn’t seem to be able to get anything right. He is full of pride. I always say this as a measure for how Christian men and women should conduct themselves. “Would Billy Graham do this?” If the answer is “No”, then you shouldn’t either! (Or “Would the late Ruth Graham do this?” If the answer is “No”, then don’t!) People should behave with some class and good manners, and Christian decency. John Piper has NONE: no class, no good manners, and NO SENSE!

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Daisy and Melody,

    I appreciate your posts.

    I am not sure where you live, Daisy. Rural? Small town? Mostly white? I know you to have figured lots of things out in other respects and I honestly love you dearly! And you know it. I wish you could have my experiences, my friendships, in my diverse community and region of the US.

    I have many Muslim friends, including exchange students and housemates in college, coworkers and bosses. There isn’t a terrorist in the bunch. They are doctors, nurses, teachers, engineers, architects, restaurant owners, dentists, and a whole host of other profession. Kind, hospitable, gracious. One elderly woman architect I know, who lived among Muslims in the Middle East for decades and worked on rural development projects, had countless Muslim visitors come to her home when they heard she was traveling back to her country, America. They trembled with fear, it was a very violent place and she would get hurt in America. They didn’t want her to get hurt, they had seen the violence on the news and the internet.

    Another Muslim man I know fought in a war between his country and another Muslim country. He was forced into military service. After seeing people maimed and killed in war, the horrors of war, he vowed he would become a doctor. He came to America, worked at a restaurant, and put himself through college. He is now a doctor.

    Another Muslim family I know has a Nobel Prize winner in their family.

    All of these families have seen terrible things. They value democracy. There isn’t a bad one in all of the ones I’ve known for decades. My dentist is a Muslim woman. An attorney I have worked for is a Muslim woman. My dermatologist is a Muslim woman. My neighbors are Muslims. My friends.

    I realize that you mean well. But are your community members terrorists? Would you mind if they were accused of that? These are members of my community and have been for decades. They have never done me or anyone else wrong.

    As someone else said, some where else, perhaps on Twitter the other day, saying that ISIS represents Muslims is like saying that the KKK represents us as Christians!
    Spot on!!

    Love you. (By the way, if you like meat, rice, salads, and desserts…I know some fabulous Middle Eastern restaurants, including several owned by friends. Ever had ice cream with rose water in it and pistachios? Yummy! Grilled meat? Salad with a lovely lemon dressing?)


  40. Julie Anne,

    I read the article you posted from with indescribable joy. With all of man’s lofty doctrines aside, this humble servant of our LORD Jesus Christ reached out to a hated woman of ill repute and showed her what the real, genuine, and servant KING looks like.

    Thank-you from my heart for posting this story. It is a reality reminder of what we are called to do according to Jesus…. to be His Bride, the Ecclesia here on earth. What a picture of true love, mercy, and grace, the Jesus Way.

    Liked by 3 people

  41. I have been reading for awhile, and I appreciate the civil conversations between Daisy, Melody, and Velour. A little background: I live in the DC area, and I can count members of just about every major worldview/religion among my acquaintance, Islam included. I know many lovely people who are Muslim. That said, I also know many lovely people who are complementarians and regular readers of Douglas Wilson. I also know that in most countries with a Muslim majority, my sexuality and views of gender would land me in a world of trouble (to put it mildly).

    Here is what I fear. I do not fear people, but I do distrust doctrines. I have seen what doctrines can do to people. I fear that due to recent events, conversations will be shut down about doctrine, about the flaws certain doctrines concerning gender, sexuality, abuse–and that elephant in the room, purity and modesty culture. I have lurked on some blogs (which shall not be named) that will rightfully critique certain flawed or abusive doctrines held by churches, yet the moment a commenter mentions that the same doctrine is taught in Islamic communities, that commenter is shut down for being insensitive, or worse yet, hateful…

    Liked by 1 person

  42. @Sensible,

    I am glad to know that you know people in the DC area of various faiths/backgrounds.

    Do you know them on a superficial level or as friends? Your fears about doctrines, elephants in the living room that aren’t discussed, seem based on your being distant from peoples’ lives who have actually lived through it and who have probably more concerns about it than you do. I can cite real life examples of how badly people are treated in those systems, since I have many friends from those countries who have lived under religious regimes. The people I know, my friends, who were raised in Muslim countries, with religious regimes and police and strict codes of conduct (punishment for the slightest deviation), know all of the downfalls and dangers of doctrine. They have, after all, lived it. They also have to be very careful in how they criticize, since the lives of their family can be put in jeopardy by the government for ANY criticism. That includes have family members threatened, arrested, tortured, brought up on trumped charges, put in jails or prisons for little to no reason and no redress, tortured, and even killed. If you don’t hear criticism from Muslims, it’s because the stakes are so very high for their family members who remain, or for those who return, and they ALL know it. They are concerned about the hypocrisies too, but speaking openly about them can get their family members killed, or themselves. Would you speak about the “elephant in the living room” if you knew the secret police or the religious police would show up and take you or your family members away? I think you would be very careful too if the stakes were this high.

    I am not sure what blogs you’ve posted on, what you comments were, and what people didn’t like about them. Can you post the links?

    If you get to know people from those countries on a deeper level, as friends, I think they will SUPRISE you with how much they do know and how critical they are.


  43. I’m reminded of this verse often lately regarding so much of the “religiously correct” rhetoric of the right-wing conservatives, Evangelicals and Fundamentalists – not all, but so much.

    James 2:13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

    Liked by 3 people

  44. Hi Velour,

    As friends, which is why I hope you have not interpreted my comments as a critique of people, especially people who live in countries where they cannot speak out, or within families that would disown them if they revealed their sexual orientation or their real opinions on the religion of their parents. I know this, and I understand…I am not concerned about the silence from my friends or from residents of Muslim majority countries. It is justified. It is because I have the friends I have that I feel the way I do about certain doctrines, Muslim, Christian, or otherwise…it is not because I am ignorant and live in the wilderness, it is because I unfortunately know too much.

    What concerns me, rather, is the elephant in the rooms of both “progressives” and “conservatives” in this country. My question for any non-Muslim living in a country were they can express their opinions about doctrine without endangering their own personal safety is this: if questions about doctrine are shut down in most Islamic states, are we not all the more obligated to talk about them while we can…? If abuse is covered up in one corner in the world…why can’t we talk about it in detail here?

    I have not posted on the blogs in question for two reasons. One, because on the one hand I like most of the work of those bloggers, and I respect their beliefs and attempts to live according to their consciences as best they can…this is a topic that can rapidly breed hostility. Two, because I saw the questions/observations about Islamic doctrine other users posted, and I saw that those posters were accused of hate–of attacking religion–I decided my own questions would get nowhere fast. You could say I was cowardly, and I still am to an extent. Up until this point I have avoided making observations or asking questions about Islam because I do not want to receive the hater or attacker card. It kind of reminds me of dealing with certain “friends” from my former Christian school…when I was accused of being “negative,” “bitter” about bad things that happened to me there, not understanding what their theology “truly” is about…

    In short, if all of this sounds incoherent, it is because the discussions (or lack thereof) that have been happening on the internet, on blogs, on facebook…have brought back some bad memories. Bad memories of things that have happened to me, and of things that have happened to friends. I hope you can take this in the best light possible.


  45. Hi Sensible,

    Thanks for your post.

    If I understand you, you are concerned about sexual orientation and gender and how people are treated under the doctrines of the major religions. While people are free to discuss them in countries that have Free Speech protections, it may not be their area of interest. I wouldn’t fault them for that.

    If your concerns aren’t being addressed have you thought about launching your own blog where people who have similar concerns could discuss these topics?


  46. @Melody

    I am very angry and not proud to be American today as I always used to be-, but I will say some Americans who call themselves Christians have shown more hate than the Laic French over the Paris Attacks.

    What some Americans are suggesting be done to Muslims in this country is true religious persecution. It makes Christians who whine about being persecuted in America look like the biggest. Wusses. Ever.

    Liked by 2 people

  47. Loving the discussion here.

    We had a protest in a town outside Melbourne recently with one side ‘Reclaim Australia’ protesting the building application for a mosque in the town. They are scared the mosque will lead people down the violent ISIS path.

    The aggression, violence and hatred in the photos and videos made me do two things.

    Firstly, I felt sad for the Muslims who the hate was directed to.
    Secondly, I had a bit of a laugh.

    Here was a bunch of white Aussies violently protesting against the building of a mosque because of the potential for violence to come to town once built.

    face palm

    It is in these moments I bust out the Good Samaritan passage and repeat to myself,

    “Love your enemy”.


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