John Piper was once a bastion of Biblical orthodoxy. In years past, his preaching and writing ministry opened the eyes of many to the sovereignty of God and the supremacy of Christ. I can remember in the mid-1990s being amazed at his deeply doctrinal preaching, in the midst of an American evangelicalism that was largely devoted to sugary tripe. Then in 2010, Piper invited seeker-sensitive pragmatist Rick Warren to speak at his Bible conference; and a red flag was raised as to what Piper could possibly be thinking. The problem, so obvious to many, was why Piper would link himself with someone who had devoted his entire ministry to doing the very opposite of what Piper himself was preaching. While Piper railed about the importance of taking God and the gospel seriously, Warren had largely turned preaching into a pathetic combination of psychobabble and amateurish stand-up comedy. Piper had either exposed himself as someone with more liberal tendencies than most knew of. Or he was duped by Warren famously chameleon-like “charm.” Many of us hoped that Piper was simply duped, but that doesn’t appear to be the case as the years have shown him sliding further and further into progressive and liberal ideology.
Yesterday, Piper penned an article in support of “Christian rapper” Lecrae’s admission that he was “leaving white evangelicalism” (whatever that is) to embrace his black heritage, or as Lecrae calls it his "racial identity development." Lecrae supports a whole host of progressive, black supremacy movements. And Piper made it clear that he supports Lecrae and is in hearty agreement with him. Together, they create disunity in the body of Christ by pushing a radical, racial agenda rather than presenting a New Testament view that Christians are “one in Christ.” It is sad to see how far Piper has fallen. But he seems to be too proud of his progressive virtues to notice, as he throws other Christians under the bus and kisses up to the leftists of the world.
Piper also has an obvious hatred for Donald Trump. This he has made clear time and time again, most recently in yesterday’s article where he sneeringly referred to Trump as an “unrepentant lecher” who was unqualified to be president. Of course, this is the same John Piper who famously and publicly proclaimed that he “wept for joy" and "rejoiced" when Barack Obama was elected. Apparently in Piper’s mind, “unrepentant lechers” are unqualified, but unrepentant baby-murders are to be celebrated. Obama was the most radically pro-abortion president in history; but Piper brushed that aside because Obama was black. And undoubtedly it was Obama's race that made Piper cry for joy. Forget abortion. Forget the gospel. Just be sure you don’t forget black supremacy, cleverly worded as “social justice.”
This was largely his tone in the self-adoring article he wrote in support of Lecrae. While Piper implies that MANY white Christians are racist, HE is not. Here are his exact words (strangely speaking of himself in 3rd person):
“The reason I have put “white evangelicalism” in quotation marks throughout this article is that it puts too many whites in bed together. John Piper and a few million other supposed natives didn’t vote for Donald Trump. We don’t think unrepentant lechers should be president. We don’t think Robert E. Lee is a simple embodiment of nobility. We don’t think the confederate flag can fly with impunity. We don’t think kneeling for justice desecrates the other flag. We are baffled that Philando Castile’s shooter walks free. We are dismayed at the nationwide resurgence of manifest racial antagonism. We don’t think “systemic” is an unintelligible word.”
And there you have Piper’s self-aggrandizing "virtue list" of all the progressive ideals he embraces; as he pours fuel on racial strife by dividing the church between “black” and “white.” That’s not to say some of the issues don’t have merit, and Piper is certainly entitled to his opinion. But this appears to be nothing more than a laundry list of how liberally enlightened he is, and how any who disagrees with him should be smeared.
In truth, when Lecrae and Piper use words like “white evangelicalism” they are promoting division and creating categories that the Bible condemns. Take, for example, Lecrae’s breaking away from "white evangelicals” and Piper’s support of it. The very same thing happened in the New Testament church when Simon Peter (aka: Cephas) “broke away from Gentiles” to embrace his Jewish heritage (just as Lecrae says he is embracing his “black heritage). Far from commending Peter for his “social justice” – the Apostle Paul rebuked him openly because he elevated “race” above the gospel. Here are Paul’s exact words:
“But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, “If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?” (Galatians 2:11-14 NASB)
The only difference I can see is that Peter was motivated by fear while Lecrae seems to be motivated by pride and anger. However, the differences between Paul’s response and Piper’s are legion. Paul and the New Testament give no place for shunning one “race” of Christians to embrace another. Piper and Lecrae seem to disagree. And if you think I’m making too much of this, just imagine what the reaction would be if a white, Christian singer said he was going to distance himself from the church because it is “too black.” Piper would be incensed (and rightly so). The Southern Baptist Convention would be in overdrive writing resolutions of condemnation. But they have different rules for black rappers and black presidents.
Over the years I have written letters, emails, and other messages to Piper and his ministry cohorts to address my concerns. He has never responded personally, nor would I expect him to. He’s a busy man. His associates have at times ignored me, and at times ridiculed me for being “insensitive.” I can only assume they would have given Paul the same rebuke at Antioch?
While there is much theological benefit in reading some of Piper’s books and listening to his past sermons, I could not (in good conscience) recommend his ministry today. I fear that he hooks many unsuspecting Christians with his powerful message, but then steers them into a leftward ditch, so as to proceed with a progressive agenda that would make the Democrats proud. Hopefully, others can see through the divisive actions of such virtue-signalers as Piper, Lecrae, and the proudly condemning SBC. Black people like Lecrae who wish to leave the “white” church; and white people like Piper who stroke their ego for doing so; do nothing but divide Christians along racial lines. This is not the gospel. This is not Biblical Christianity. It is racial strife, disguised as virtue. Hopefully Christians won’t be fooled, and drink the progressive poison. Jesus and the gospel deserve better.