what john piper really meant

Posted in: theological rants- Dec 28, 2014 No Comments

piperIf you don’t know me, you may not realize that the title of this post is purely sarcastic. Not being John or God (or even Noël), I have no idea what he really meant. But it’s highly illustrative of my point (and not bad click-bait, if I do say so).

So, on Monday, Pope Francis dressed down the Curia, top Vatican bureaucrats who comprise the administrative body of the Roman Catholic Church. In his Christmas greeting (no less) to the Curia, he noted that they often lust for power and have “spiritual Alzheimer’s”. He called for change, citing 15 ailments of that body.

Now careerism, turning faith into a business, using God to gain filthy lucre — those are all major topics in Why It Sucks To Be A Catholic (ISBN 0666666666 — available wherever not-so-fine books are sold). So one would imagine that Romophobes would be over the moon to hear of major RC leaders being taken to the woodshed over these issues. But we heard nary a peep in support of public declaration of what the Romophobes have been saying for decades (or maybe even centuries, but I’m not that old).

I imagine that this is for two reasons:

  1. God is completely incapable of speaking His Truth through sinners. What a Wuss.
  2. If I say anything even remotely positive about someone I don’t like, this will be construed by everyone as an endorsement of everything ever said or done by him, his family, the dog he had when we was a kid, and that replacement mailman for those 2 weeks in the summer of 1978. And as we all know, Jesus’ reputation was the most important thing to Him. That’s why He went ballistic in Matthew 11:42 when He was called a glutton and a drunk.

From all that I’ve heard, read, and seen from him, John Piper doesn’t believe either of those things. He’s very big on God’s sovereignty and he doesn’t seem to really give a crap what others think of him. Why, he’s even friends with publicans and sinners and — gasp — doesn’t regret those friendships even when the sinners — ya know — sin.

Anyway, Piper apparently read about the Pope’s address and noted the similarity in the overall theme to a book that he wrote 12 years ago, Brothers, We Are Not Professionals, charging fellow pastors like himself not to look upon their calling as a professional pursuit, certainly an issue that needed (and needs) to be addressed in Piper’s circles.

Now unless you are predisposed to taking big steaming dumps on Piper for no reason, you will realize that THAT’S ALL HE SAID. He noted a similarity between a current event and the title of a book he wrote. He could just as easily have tweeted:

Future Grace

But let’s give the Romophobes the benefit of the doubt and assume that God is completely incapable of saving you if you screw up and pick the wrong denomination. Piper’s book was addressed to fellow pastors who are (ostensibly) believers — i.e. his brothers. The Pope’s address was to the Curia. And you know how their relationship could very easily be defined (even if you think that every last one of them is going to burn in Double Secret Hell)? As a brotherhood. At no time, did Piper say (or even imply) that these men were his brothers. One has to be very stupid or have the predisposition I noted before (or maybe both) to read that into the tweet.

Dear Romophobes,

If you really feel the need to incessantly tell us about how incapable God is to use sinners to speak His Truth, that’s fine. We’re used to it.

If you really feel the need to incessantly express your disdain for people for whom Christ died, that’s fine. We’re used to it.

If you really feel the need to incessantly remind us how wonderful you are, because you picked the right team, that’s fine. We’re used to it.

But stop dragging stuff into your arguments that has less than no relevance whatsoever.

I didn’t think you could look more foolish than you already do — you’ve proven me wrong.

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