So John Piper says it’s a sin to call the police when we are being threatened? Hogwash.
“Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” Romans 14:4,5 (KJV)
Yesterday the chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary, John Piper, published an article entitled “Should Christians Be Encouraged to Arm Themselves?” In the article he takes issue with Jerry Falwell, Jr. telling his students to go out and get their gun permits. Falwell said this:
“As the president of this university community of nearly 15,000 students and 7,000 faculty and staff, I take very seriously my responsibility to keep you safe in an increasingly dangerous world. That’s why in 2011 I asked our Board of Trustees to consider a concealed carry policy. It wasn’t because of Islamic terrorism, it was because what happened (just) up the road at Virginia Tech. More than 30 innocent students and faculty were murdered viciously and none of them had the ability to protect themselves. The day that happened, I thought we needed to do something different here at Liberty. We needed to have a way to protect our students, our faculty, so we instituted this free course in 2011. We were part of only a handful of schools in the United States that had taken that position at that time. Now many schools have followed suit. There are dozens and we have had 1,600 people take that course, 950 here now with concealed carry permits, and after I made those remarks on Friday we had 240 sign up for a course tomorrow night. I want to applaud you and thank you for taking steps to make our campus more safe. I recognize that not every one of you will (carry); it’s only for students 21 years and older.” source
Now to me, the son of a WWII and Korea vet, and the brother to a United States Marine, this sounds like perfectly sound and rational thought processes coming from the desk of Mr. Falwell. And certainly, as a parent, taking every precaution we can to keep our kids safe I am all in favor of both as a Christian and as an American citizen. But John Piper sees it otherwise. Here is an excerpt from his anti-gun article:
“As chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary, I want to send a different message to our students, and to the readers of Desiring God, than Jerry Falwell, Jr. sent to the students of Liberty University in a campus chapel service on December 4. The apostle Peter teaches us that Christians will often find themselves in societies where we should expect and accept unjust mistreatment without retaliation. The early church, as we see her in Acts, expected and endured persecution without armed resistance, but rather with joyful suffering, prayer, and the word of God. A natural instinct is to boil this issue down to the question, “Can I shoot my wife’s assailant?” source
That, in brief, is the essence of Piper’s position, and you can read the entire article here. So let me just add a few brief points from the Bible believer position that I think will help to shed some additional light on the matter.
- John Piper’s misapplication of scripture: All through his article, he constantly says things like “Peter never fought back when mistreated”, and “the apostles endured persecution without retaliation”, and so on. Yes, those thing are true, but they need to be read in context. The reason why the apostles never fought back was because the punishments and afflictions they received were because of preaching the gospel specifically, and the Bible does say that in the course of witnessing for Jesus Christ hardships, perils and afflictions certainly will come. When we preach on the street, I have never hit back at any of the mistreatment we have received because when were are ministering we are specifically engaged in preaching the gospel. But I find no verses in the Bible that advise me to just “sit back and take it” when walking down a crowded city street and someone tries to mug me. So based on Piper’s misapplication of scripture, his advice to his daughter would be to “just take it” when attacked by a predator on a college campus or other gathering of people. See how silly his position suddenly becomes? No, the apostles, as seen below, suffered for a very specific cause, for the gospel’s sake, and as such took it without rebuttal. But I dare say that if some crazed lunatic tried to sexually assault his wife, the tough-as-nails Galilean fisherman would have thrust him through with his sword, and rightly so.
“And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.” Acts 5:40 (KJV)
- John Piper is not rightly dividing the Bible: Paul commands Timothy to “rightly divide” the scripture so that he will not make the mistake of trying to apply Bible verses written to the Jews and place them on the Church. In his article, Piper talks about “enduring to the end” from Matthew 24, a passage specifically written to Jews in the time of Jacob’s trouble. But Christians don’t “endure to the end” because we are 1). sealed until the day of redemption as found in Ephesians 1 & 4, and 2). we will not go through the time of Jacob’s trouble otherwise known as the Great Tribulation. “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,”1 Thessalonians 5:9 (KJV)
- Many of his points are just ridiculous: One of his main theme points is that the christian should just “trust God” and everything will work itself out. The Bible believing Christian does trust God with the most important thing we have, and that is our souls. We trust Him to take us home to Heaven when we die, we place our eternal destiny in His hands alone. But until that day arrives, we live in a sin-cursed world that currently is ruled by the Devil! God gave us a brain for a reason, He wants us to do somethinking with it. Whenever we travel anywhere in a car, we always ask God to guide our path and get us to and from safely, right? But we also wear our seatbelts! I highly doubt that Piper and his whole family ride around in cars at high speeds unbelted. If Piper’s logic was followed to it’s natural conclusion seat belts would no longer be used because when using them our “faith would be in the seat belts” and not in God’s power to keep us safe. That’s just plain crazy. But yet Piper goes further still when he says that even calling the police when you are in danger “comes from a heart that is out of step with the mind of Christ. If one’s heart is controlled mainly by fear, or anger, or revenge, that sinful disposition may be expressed by using the police as well as taking up arms yourself.” So now it’s a sin to call the police when we are being threatened? Hogwash, and dangerous hogwash at that.
Conclusion: I honestly don’t know much about the ministry or beliefs of John Piper, I run in Bible believing circles and have not come across much if any of his work. But going on this particular article he has written, he comes across as an anti-gun liberal to me. God calls us to trust Him in all we do and with all we have, yet at the same time it is not a lack of faith to exercise and eat right to stay healthy. And it is not a lack of faith when we take common sense precautions to keep our loved ones safe in a sin-cursed world.
Famous media liberal, Geraldo Rivera, who almost always advocates for pacifism, nearly had a thermonuclear meltdown last month when his own daughter was near the Paris Muslim terror attacks. This is what he said:
“We need to respond by declaring war on them… if we don’t kill them, they’re going to kill us.” He offered specifics, calling for Russia, the U.S. and our Middle East Allies to join forces in a war against ISIS– even if have to drag the latter in “kicking and screaming.” “I want a massive ground campaign to conquer ISIS once and for all,” Rivera said.
Lol, every liberal is a pacifist until the day their loved one are threatened, then they want blood. John Piper is no different. If the evil he so carelessly tells us to “not worry about” and just “trust God” with ever came to land at his doorstep you can best believe his tune would change. Quickly.
If you try and make the Bible say Christians can’t have guns, then we can’t have seat belts either. If you were to ask my opinion on whether or not a Christian should buy a gun, I would give you the same answer I would give you with any other question you might ask. I will tell you to pray about it, and let God do the deciding.
“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:” Ephesians 1:17 (KJV)