A brief response to John Piper’s commentary on the terrorist attacks in France. My analysis and thoughts on the latest from John Piper. Also Eagle has a question…does anyone find it odd that he has been silent about the San Bernardino terrorist attacks? Why do you think he has been silent?
“Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.”
“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool then to speak and remove all doubt.”
Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him.
Proverbs 26:4 NIV
In February 2012 I baited James Crestwood to attend a presentation at the Washington, D.C. chapter for Center for Inquiry. I didn’t expect him to come but I was surprised when he said he would come. James emailed me the RSVP for the presentation of the concept of an Evil God which was held March 5, 2012. The day before on March 4, 2012 tornadoes brought about destruction in the state of Indiana. In a post at the Internet Monk about the destruction I wrote the following about John Piper and tornadoes.
“You know….whenever I hear of a disaster like this, or see the pictures on TV it breaks me. And yet…I think of what John Piper has taught about torandoes being God’s punishment. (Or his take on other disasters..) And as always I feel sick at the idea of someone getting sexually excited at the suffering of others. Thanks John…
That’s my John Piper diatribe for the month of March…”
Which lead to this comment by another commenter…
“Eagle, you chose this disaster to damn John Piper? That is crude.”
And my reply…
“And why is that Vern? John Piper has taught that in the past about tornadoes in coming down in the Minneapolis- St. Paul area. He’s taught that natural disasters are God’s punishment/warning. Yes it is sick….and so is John Piper’s theology. My point is that having consumed John Piper for a while…now while out of the faith, when a tornado hits I think about it becuase of what Piper has taught. Just a natural reaction…
Greg Boyd has rebuked John Piper…you can read him here:”
I am not going to get into John Piper’s history and commentary on tornadoes, I honestly would like to dissect that another time. The point of all this is to point out that John Piper is predictable. In many cases he’s no different than Pat Robertson. Actually I would say that he is the Neo-Calvinist Pat Robertson. Getting back to the story that same day when I hammered John Piper on tornadoes, along comes John doing what he does best…opening his mouth at Desiring God. At the time I was outside the Christian faith and John Piper’s behavior proved me correct. I had predicted and could call him out before hand, and he would walk right into it. I took some heat on Internet Monk that night for dragging John Piper into the discussion. But later I was vindicated. Chaplin Mike wrote about it the very next day starting out his post by saying:
“Regular commenter Eagle received some chiding for bringing up John Piper in the discussion following my tornado post last night.
Perhaps we should praise him for his insight.”
And with that John Piper was dressed down by Chaplin Mike at Internet Monk. I came home from the Center for Inquiry event and jumped into the Internet Monk discussion of John Piper and his disaster theology. This is what I posted.
Sadly…this is almost a regular occurrence. First it was Pat Robetson…now it is John Piper. Tonight I went to a secular humanist (Center for Inquiry) event here in Washington, D.C. I heard Stephan Law present the “Evil God Challenge” It dealt with the subject of evil. After the presentation I told a close friend of mine how whenever I think of a tornado I think of what John Piper has taught about the tornadoes in the Twin Cities…. Here’s what I attended:
This is part of the reason why I am no longer a Christian. I can’t be one…not with this type of crap. Christians have the knack of being able to say the wrong things, at the wrong times for maximum impact. When my Mom was finished going through chemotherapy and radiation for pancreatic cancer I gave my Mom a tract by John Piper that talked about how cancer is a gift. With my Dad just having major surgery for a brain tumor…do you think I’ll do the same thing?
No….I still am pissed that I gave my Mom the pamphlet. And after asking for forgiveness I still feel sick.
I just can’t believe in God. Not with stuff like this… And when I have friends and others who admire, respect and talk about how John Piper is good. Yes I do know a few of his fan boys from Crusade and out here in the DC area. I gave one guy my John Piper books and I’ve spent some time thinking that it was probably better to give him pornograghy than John Piper’s “Don’t Waste Your Life” and other material.
Not to be difficult…but Christianity really makes me feel sick. Just sick. I’m disgusted to think that I used to consume his material. Well the damage is done, his fan boys shower him with praise, and I for one would rather walk into hell boldly with my head held high than be a part of a faith where he teaches stuff like this.
Why aren’t more Christians outraged?
John Piper is very predictable. He has spoken about God’s will in regards to child molestation. Then he also said outrageous comments about the I-35 bridge collapse in which he wants people to fear God. Then there are those comments about tornadoes like this one here. Today we are going to discuss what John Piper said in regards to the Paris terrorist attacks.
Paris Terrorist Attacks and John Piper
The Paris terrorist attacks stunned me as I think they stunned all of us. I am a history major and studied a great amount of history in college and grad school. Immediately I was taken by the historical significance of France experiencing such an attack on their own soil…the first since World War II. One of the things I had hoped for is that John Piper wouldn’t say a thing. For God’s sake, for once…please can I be proven wrong about John Piper? Please may I say something and be laughed at and called a fool because I am wrong? Can he actually be quiet and keep to himself, and spare us of his commentary? That was my hope and prayer as I penned this post on France having their September11. I barely got the post up when I read John Piper’s commentary being passed around on Twitter and I was enraged. Julie Anne Smith got up a good post in response in which she had a French missionary who responded to John Piper. In that particular case the missionary had friends who lost relatives in the terrorist attacks, so the commentary was close to home. Here’s what John Piper said and I will write about it below.
Marc Coupris, a survivor of Le Bataclan (the theatre), said, “It was carnage. . . . They shot from the balcony. I saw my final hour unfurl before me, I thought this was the end. I thought I am finished, I am finished.” But you were not finished, Marc. We are thankful. Would that all could say the same. For many, life was over. They were finished.
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).
And if we do? Sins forgiven. God reconciled. Hell shut. Heaven opened. Spirit given. Love abounding. “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15).
I cringed when I read that and became enraged in many ways. By the way right before this John says that the terrorists Allah isn’t great nor is their God. I don’t believe in Allah nor do I believe in Islam…but is that the way to start out a piece? That seems to be more rhetoric than anything else. Also when John Piper says, “Not only that, but this: No one who loves to murder will have a martyr’s hope (1 John 3:15). Oh, how deceived you are, to think that you can pave your way to paradise with blood from ‘infidels.'” Is now a good time to bring up John Calvin’s involvement in Michael Servant’s death? I’m just asking…?
John Piper’s commentary above is horse crap. Let me just call it for what it is….it’s garbage. There is so much that angers me that I need to pen. Off the bat he plays the guilt card and makes you feel guilty about surviving when he writes, “If you are reading this, you’ve been given another day. Perhaps only one. Think on this.” So are you, me and everyone else who reads this to feel guilty about living? Is that the plan? Are those who survived the terrorist attack in the Bataclan, including the one woman who hung outside the window to feel guilty about surviving? Don’t you think they have enough guilt after going through something traumatic? Is that what they honestly need? Someone a thousand miles away lecturing them from their little zone of comfort on how they are to feel guilty?
There is one thing about fundamentalism that I find exceptionally cruel, and its this…fundamentalists know how to exploit a situation for personal gain. They know how to manipulate, and control a situation and personally benefit from it. They come, use it for their own personal pleasure or benefit and in the process increase the suffering of those in pain. That is what John Piper did with these comments, he comes out of no where and manipulates the situation for his own personal pleasure. Is that what the French needed after something like this happened? Did they need someone who swept in and made his point or two then got the hell out of dodge? What about having someone who walks with , loves and cares for the French after what they have gone through? Is that possible for John Piper to do? Can he ever shut his trap and go and sit in a room with someone and just comfort them. Did he ever think that could achieve more than opening his mouth to score brownie points?
Now here is another point that I need to make. People are sinful, and yes I believe they need to be told about their sin; but do they need to hear that right after the worst violence that beset the country in well over 50 years? The timing is outright horrific and uncalled for. If you are going to choose to speak to someone about their sin timing is everything because some people will dispute or deny they are sinful or just not see it. You do this at the wrong time and it can backfire. Now here is the other thing I believe…John Piper needs to repent of this commentary. The timing, style everything is off. Why does he have to insert himself front and center? Is John Piper mentally ill? Does he crave attention? Why is he so willing to confront the French people in the wake of these terrorist attacks and not confront C.J. Mahaney over his alleged involved in the cover up of child sex abuse? Is that sin, the sin of child sex abuse acceptable? I do not get the attention that is given John Piper. I lost respect for him long ago. In my faith crisis I used to tell people that its healthier to be into adult pornography than John Piper because yes I believe John Piper’s theology is that sick. That may be a harsh analogy but I think it sums up the problems that exist. I read stuff like what John Piper wrote above and just shake my head in disgust. Why, or why did I think highly of the man? I was a fool. I was a pure fool.
John Piper needs to retire, and he needs to disappear from being front and center. He’s overrated and over sensationalized as well. Our response to the terrorist attacks should be one of love and solidarity. By the way…do any of you find it strange that John Piper has been silent on the San Bernardino terrorist attack? Not a word, and I just scanned the Desiring God website since the attack happened, and he’s not said a thing. There is always an explanation , there is always a reason for this. The key to doing analysis of such topics is not know all the answers, but to know which questions to ask. Why hasn’t John Piper said anything? Has the message from many in the Paris terrorist attack been driven home? Or is another possible explanation that its easier to knock another country in distress but be more sensitive to your own? Could that be it? I am going to leave you with a Celine Dion sing a French classic from Edith Piaf. I heard this and it gave me chills. May the lunacy of John Piper disappear from the church. As always I love you and keep in touch!