John Piper and J.D. Greear participated in a convocation at Liberty University that coincided with the 20th anniversary of “Don’t Waste Your Life.” After John Piper criticized evangelical worship of Trumpism as idolatry Jerry Prevo ordered John Piper’s speech deleted off the schools’ website. This post is about censorship at Liberty and the lack of freedom to educate a person with differing points of view.
“Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself.“
But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
Joshua 24:14 NIV
In October John Piper and J.D. Greear had a conversation with conversation with Liberty’s Senior Vice President of Spiritual Development David Nassar on October 12. The conversation was designed to coincide with John Piper’s 2000 publication of “Don’t Waste Your Life.” Shortly after that conversation was posted Piper criticized evangelical support for Trumpism as idolatry. This blog wrote about it in, “John Piper Condemns Evangelical Support of Trumpism as Idolatry.” Some people at Liberty became upset calling it “Calvinist heresy,” “wokeness” and “social justice” and Jerry Prevo who worships the ground Donald Trump walks on ordered John Piper’s talk deleted. Liberty’s spokesman Scott Lamb said that they did not want to stoke controversy. J.D. Greear who is the President of the Southern Baptist Convention said the following about the video being deleted. “Obviously, I am disappointed because the sole purpose of our conversation was to challenge Liberty students to consider how God wanted to use their lives in the Great Commission and to challenge them to give at least the 1st two years of their career to be a part of a church plant in the U.S. or abroad,” he said. “As followers of Jesus, mobilizing ourselves for the Great Commission is the most important thing for us to do, and our commitment to Jesus and his mission is something we can all be unified around.” To this blog’s knowledge John Piper did not respond to the controversy. If you would like to read more about this you can do so in the following posts.
- Christianity Today, “John Piper’s Liberty Convocation Pulled After Election Post.”
- Religion News Service, “Liberty University deletes John Piper convocation videos after Trump criticism.”
- The Christian Post, “Liberty University pulls John Piper videos after Trump criticism.”
Don’t Fool Yourself Liberty is Not About Education
When I was in college in Montana in the late 1990’s I took a course called Communist and Post-Communist thought. In the course our instructor had us read the works of Lenin, Stalin, Karl Marx, Mao, Pol Pot and other leaders in the communist movement. The goal was to help us understand communism and in studying the texts eventually understand the problems with communist ideas. In the process of the class I learned the differences between communism in China vs. Soviet Union. Or how the ideas of communism were adapted for Latin America. In discussions of the text you can begin to see the problems with a communist form of government. And that was the goal of the class.
Before writing this post I checked Liberty’s library and they still have John Piper in the library. But I want to raise the question how is this not censorship in a university setting? How do people learn if they are only given certain subjects to read and don’t let people wrestle with other opinions or belief systems. For those at Liberty and those who attend this is a lesson that Liberty is not about education. Its about controlling what people can access and think.
Where is Charlie Kirk When You Need Him?
Charlie Kirk is attached to Liberty’s Falkirk Center has always been outspoken about conservative ideas and free speech. Turning Point even has a Professor Watchlist The Professor’s Wathclist goes after secular and religious schools if they don’t have the right ideology or try and “censor” conservative ideas. Charlie Kirk is no different than Joe McCarthy. But when you think of all the people add to the Professor Watchlist for universities across the United States why is Jerry Prevo from Liberty University not on there? He’s engaging in censorship no? Of all the schools that need to be on teh Professor’s Watchlist we need to add Liberty University. Ironic isn’t it?
Liberty Is Not Going to Change
This blog wants to drive home the following message Liberty is not going to change. Its laughable that Liberty says that they do not want to create controversy. That is all they do, after all they stress how opposed they are to political correctness. This behavior by Jerry Prevo only affirms that Liberty is not going to change. Its built into the DNA. Liberty is not built for an education. Its built for political activism. Its about politics not God. Don’t be fooled by the claims and reject what you are hearing. The best thing that can happens that people can disengage and avoid Liberty and starve it of money. The best thing right now for Liberty is to shut it down and learn from the lessons of the “school.” This blog feels sorry for those who attended and I remain grateful that Liberty is in a league by itself.