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John Piper. What The Fuck.


BendyLine
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Whoa....That is one of the scariest things I've seen in a long time...!  His ability to justify/rationalize ANYthing along with the belief that humans are worthless and lucky to just be alive makes it impossible to have any kind of conversation or discussion.  How depressing.....sigh....

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Calvinist theology is perhaps the most foreign, distant and bizarre world view I have ever encountered.

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I'm not so sure.. most of the Christians I know (not Calvinists) would subscribe to this fucked up viewpoint

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This guy is a goofball.  When Calvinists say that a thing is good because it is done by God, then there really is no content to the claim that "He never wrongs anybody."  When Piper says "He never wrongs anybody," this means only that "God does what he does."  Which is equally true of you or me or Judas or Satan.

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Wow...this takes me back.  So full disclosure here.  I lived in Minneapolis for a few months and attended Bethlehem Baptist Church (where John Piper preaches).  Afterwards I attended his Desiring God conferences and even flew back to Minneapolis to hear him preach whenever possible.  I even met the guy once.  In his defense I'll say this: as far as true believers go he's the real deal.  He's not a nutjob or a con artist, he believes in Jesus earnestly and practices what he preaches (note that I do not consider belief in Jesus to be at all virtuous, as I've said before I consider it to encourage evil).  And he's not a moron either.  He went all the way to Germany to do his doctoral work in theology; whatevere else you may think, I can say from firsthand experience that writing a PhD thesis requires full engagement of one's mental faculties.  I don't say any of this because I have any love for Christianity.  You've all ready my earlier posts in which I claim that I think Jesus is a monster, and I stand by those claims.  I say this because it does the anti-evangelical cause no good to mischaracterize Christians.  Indeed, Dr. Piper is one of the reasons that when I criticize Christianity, I direct my criticism at Jesus rather than his followers.  Jesus, who said that you go to eternal hell for not believing in him.  Piper didn't create that belief.  As far as I can tell from this person, whom I've heard preach on many occasions, he takes no pleasure at all in the prospect of people burning for all eternity.  Jesus, on the other hand, seems to relish it.

 

What we have in John Piper is a humble and reasonable honesty.  Piper's a good guy, he wouldn't go around killing people, and if the voice of God told him to do so, he would believe that he is the victim of a hoax or perhaps a psychological delusion rather than act on that voice.  Yet he was raised to believe in the Bible, and the Bible contains descriptions of divinely ordained genocides.  Piper reconciles his dual belief in a just God and a God who presides over genocides as best he can.  Or is it really a dual belief?  I would say no.  If all we had to go on was the Bible - which says "Good and upright is the Lord, therefore he instructs sinners in the way" - then there's nothing wrong with what Piper says (see? I'm even quoting, from memory, from the ESV, which is Piper's version of choice and what his church uses).  Really, the only problem is that we have a third means of understanding God: human conscience.  Even the New Testament, the very source of the doctrine of eternal hell, recognizes this in Romans 1 and 2.  Most people recognize that genocides are wrong, and so Piper creates a philosophy in which God behaves differently towards the human race in different time periods.  This is likely the result of Piper's conscience telling him that genocide is wrong.  But it can't be reconciled with the Bible, hence the belief that he holds.

 

Guys, as a former Calvinist I must say that what you see in this video isn't "the enemy" that we all fear so much.  Say what you want about evangelicals, they aren't going to pick up guns and start a massacre of non-Christians.  Fear, rather, the evangelicals on college campuses who convert people to Christianity.  No one becomes a Christian because of arguments about genocide.  They become Christians because they are misled to believe that the love of God commands them to accept that God sends people to eternal torment unless they assent to a specific set of doctrines about Jesus.  Millions of Jews accept (at some level or another) the authority of religious scripture which approves of divinely ordained genocide, yet they don't convert anyone.  The Torah isn't the enemy, Jesus is.  Jesus makes grandiose claims of love for your soul and condemns those who reject him to an eternity of hellfire, and it is through his message (not that of the book of Joshua) that people are converted.  A YouTube video of an intelligent and benificent man defending a foolish and evil religious text has little to do with why people become Christians.  What it proves is that even the best of us can be deluded into the lies of Jesus.

 

Seriously, don't underestimate John Piper.  If even I, a person who despises Jesus, am here defending Piper (well, sort of), just imagine how much his teachings appeal to those who actually believe in Jesus.  I know it's fun to lauge at the beliefs of Christians, but at some level or another we all bought into this at once.  And it's important to understand why the more thoughtful Christians believe in doctrines like eternal hell if we are to ever have any hope of combating them.

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Butter his buns all you want.

He's a whack job.

His mind has been warped beyond repair.

He's as much of a threat as any other Fundy branch. His highly educated preaching/gospel is of the type that convinces shitloads of people to offer their own lives for holy wars. And to listen to anybody that proclaims, "God says....".

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i am with bhim. pipers views are crazy, but  he seems honest and doesn't ignore the bad parts of the bible and comes up with a way to "explain" them. there are worse preachers and christian in the world. saying "people deserve to be slaughter" is a more logical conclusion than saying "oh the OT isnt relevant anymore.now god wouldnt do that kind of stuff.he loooves us".

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I always thought the Calvinists were the most logical thinking of the Christians. They don't shrink from the terrible implications of their doctrine. I sort of admire them for that, even though their logic ultimately fails. They sure make more sense than the "God is love" liberals who selectively read scripture to eliminate any notion that God is less than cuddly.

 

Doesn't the Bible also say God's judgments are true and righteous? How is this squared with original sin? How is it that humans are born sinners due to remote ancestors disobeying God? Needless to say, I question the whole scenario. Eventually I just threw it all out because it doesn't make sense.

 

But I think this guy is just repeating what is said in the Bible. Yep, its a bunch of crap.

 

I wonder how can a person actually believe this stuff and be happy?

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I'm not sure who is smarter--the lovey Xians or people like Piper. The lovers are uncomfortable with murder, but Piper is more honest. I'd have to say this guy is one of the brighter cultists. I can't stand the zombie-worshippers who preach love and then refuse to look at passages like Numbers 31:7-18, try to excuse them, or say we just have to trust Gawd. Piper admits that according to his religion, humans have no worth outside of what Yahweh assigns them. Killing a person isn't wrong because the victim suffers or deserves to live, but because the killer isn't God. In spite of his honesty, Piper has no definite moral code. He depends on religion to tell him what is right, even when the religion is wrong. He is a rat.

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Might = Right

 

Okay, I get it now! That explains Piper's whole position.

 

But wait a second... "God" didn't wrong anyone when he programmed all humans to be sinners, because of the actions of Adam and Eve? I guess that was perfectly okay too.

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But wait a second... "God" didn't wrong anyone when he programmed all humans to be sinners, because of the actions of Adam and Eve? I guess that was perfectly okay too.

 

According to their understanding, yes. Although they would balk at the use of the term "programmed", they would have no problem admitting that their god knowingly set up the preconditions for the fall and even intended for it to happen.

 

As Llwellyn pointed out:

 

When Calvinists say that a thing is good because it is done by God, then there really is no content to the claim that "He never wrongs anybody."  When Piper says "He never wrongs anybody," this means only that "God does what he does."

 

Calvinism is really just a form of semantically veiled crypto-maltheism that insists its evil god is to be worshiped and obeyed simply because he demands it and is more powerful than you. Or as you put it: Might = Right.

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When one tries to make sense of the whole of the bible, his argument does make sense, in the light of attempting to harmonize the differences between the OT and the NT God, and that's it's also entirely wrong for us to believe that God could do anything wrong. I'm sure John Piper fully believes that in the end (as described in Revelation), God will once again return to wholesale slaughter of people as He did in the past. 

 

I wasn't raised Calvinistic, but the preachers that I was raised under, taught this exact same rationalization. So to me, it's not shocking at all. Until just a few years ago, I would have been nodding my head in agreement. 

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His position is supported by the Bible, as demented as that position may be.

The clay pots do not have the right to question the will of the potter.

Pots are tools, stage props in a cosmic play.

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Ok but if a person, John Piper, whoever, believes that it is ok/good/acceptable for God to slaughter other people's families, then they will have to accept it as being "right" if God decides to slaughter their own family.  Does John Piper think god is being good if god decides to kill John Piper's family?  John Piper is very sincere and I believe he is a good man trying to rationalize not-good beliefs, that's just what my a-mum does.  He is not a man who- like myself- has experienced some kind of tragedy causing the death of their whole family.  I assure you we do not walk out of experiences like the death of our whole family thinking "god is so good.  god is always good."  No we come out from such experiences thinking the ground has been ripped out from under your feet and thinking that god is very dark fellow indeed.  And I'm a very spiritual person but do I think god is always good- absolutely not.  I believe in a creator that is both light and dark, and this I believe by looking at the natural world.  It is like for instance a whale eating a seal.  It's wonderful for the whale to be getting a good meal, and you may indeed say that it is a good thing for the whale to get this good meal.  But never say it is a good thing for the seal.  It's horrific for the poor seal.  If god really want to be good, make a world where whale eats without killing seal, ya know!

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Ok but if a person, John Piper, whoever, believes that it is ok/good/acceptable for God to slaughter other people's families, then they will have to accept it as being "right" if God decides to slaughter their own family.  Does John Piper think god is being good if god decides to kill John Piper's family?  John Piper is very sincere and I believe he is a good man trying to rationalize not-good beliefs, that's just what my a-mum does.  He is not a man who- like myself- has experienced some kind of tragedy causing the death of their whole family.  I assure you we do not walk out of experiences like the death of our whole family thinking "god is so good.  god is always good."  No we come out from such experiences thinking the ground has been ripped out from under your feet and thinking that god is very dark fellow indeed.  And I'm a very spiritual person but do I think god is always good- absolutely not.  I believe in a creator that is both light and dark, and this I believe by looking at the natural world.  It is like for instance a whale eating a seal.  It's wonderful for the whale to be getting a good meal, and you may indeed say that it is a good thing for the whale to get this good meal.  But never say it is a good thing for the seal.  It's horrific for the poor seal.  If god really want to be good, make a world where whale eats without killing seal, ya know!

Actually, they do think it's OK for God to kill their families. If a baby dies, it's God's will. Some people might get angry with God for breaking his promise to "work for the good of those who love him," but eventually they'll crawl back under the blind-trust rock and say we mustn't question the savior.

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Ok but if a person, John Piper, whoever, believes that it is ok/good/acceptable for God to slaughter other people's families, then they will have to accept it as being "right" if God decides to slaughter their own family.  Does John Piper think god is being good if god decides to kill John Piper's family?

I think he would never question gods morality and completely accept his fate. i think his point is because god is powerful he has the right to do everything and human cannot question his action. i respect that belief more than saying there is something good or a higher purpose in death or torture.

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Sincerity and good intentions count for little when it comes to an evil, idiotic belief. Forgive my Godwin, but Hitler sincerely wanted to do good for the German people, his people. Those who would impede that goal and were not his people were condemned to the fire. I don't see a lot of difference.

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It's been mentioned before, but part of the problem here is definitions.  The phrase "God is Good", said by Christians all the time, doesn't mean anything in the way we speak english and use the word "Good".  God makes a beautiful sunset, "God is Good!"...God allows a person to be raped, "God is Good!", God orders the killing of a whole group of people, "God is Good!", God allows a guy like me to fall away from the faith (so it's been said to me) "God is Good!".

 

As with so many other disturbing disagreements between Christians and non-Christians, definitions of words really are the bottom line here.  An atheist doesn't have faith (in the way we all use the word faith), I didn't "choose" to reject God (in the simple meaning of the word choice), God isn't Good (in the simple meaning of the word good).  This stuff drives me crazy with Christians.  They parrot these sorts of things over and over and its just word games and twisted definitions.

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Honestly, it's the people that really believe the crap they're saying that are the scariest! I don't respect someone just because they live or say with they THINK is really true. I admire people who have guts to deal with what's REALLY true - no matter the cost to them. Folks like the Ex-C group.

 

Piper is a radical, and just like any radical he really believes what he says. He's still wrong. And he's leading thousands down a path of wrongness with him. And THAT is wrong.

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Ugh, that gave me a sick feeling in my stomach.  I think it's indicative of how certain doctrines of traditional Christianity can harm the moral sense and erode the soul.

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what I don't understand is that if we are supposedly created in the image of God, then surely we would also possess his sense of morality and justice, and yet his own actions repulse us, offending the very notions of morality that he himself instilled in us. 

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Honestly, it's the people that really believe the crap they're saying that are the scariest! I don't respect someone just because they live or say with they THINK is really true. I admire people who have guts to deal with what's REALLY true - no matter the cost to them. Folks like the Ex-C group.

 

Piper is a radical, and just like any radical he really believes what he says. He's still wrong. And he's leading thousands down a path of wrongness with him. And THAT is wrong.

 

We each make a choice. If people choose to follow him it is on them not me or us. It is wrong but those people made a choice just like him

 

It is on them period all of them. Until they bring it to my door I will ignore them. Once they bring it they will regret it and I am sure many of you would agree and take the same path...

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Butter his buns all you want.

He's a whack job.

His mind has been warped beyond repair.

He's as much of a threat as any other Fundy branch. His highly educated preaching/gospel is of the type that convinces shitloads of people to offer their own lives for holy wars. And to listen to anybody that proclaims, "God says....".

 

A few thoughts here.

 

First, let's be careful throwing around words like "whack job," "nuts," etc.  To the best of my knowledge, John Piper is not clinically insane, nor does he lack the ability to form rational thoughts.  He's wrong, and what he teaches is harmful and evil.  But that's not the same as being crazy.  I'm making a big deal out of this because when dealing with Calvinists, it's important for your argument to be utterly unimpeachable.  As Ralet correctly observed, the hallmark of Calvinism is that it is logical.  These guys love logic and debate.  You walk up to a Calvinist and call him clinically insane, and within five minutes he'll have you halfway convinced that the holocaust is your fault and you deserve hell for it.  That's the problem with Calvinism.  Calvinists make a few initial assumptions (historicity of Jesus, infallibility of the Bible, etc.) and then everything else they believe flows quite naturally from them.  At that point all you can do is say you don't believe in the Bible, and the discussion is over.  The only effective strategy here is to undermine their foundation, to prove that the way they live isn't consistent with their beliefs.

 

Now, as to my comment that what you see in the video isn't "the enemy," let me clarify.  I do think Calvinists are our enemy, perhaps the greatest if we're speaking about intellectual adversaries.  What I mean is that when Piper talks about how God is justified in committing genocide, I mean that this explanation isn't some grand defense of Christianity against its strongest criticism.  Like Piper says, the argument is easy.  Let's adopt the Calvinists' assumptions for a minute.  If there is a God who made you, me, and the universe, then by definition anything he does is right.  "Might makes right" is one defense for this claim, but it goes deeper than that.  In some sense it's wrong to even talk about God's actions as being within the realm of judgment.  When a Calvinist says that "God is good," he's not saying that God meets some higher standard of goodness.  The Calvinist means that God defines good and evil.  This is all summed up in the old Greek question (from Plato, I think): are the gods good because they command certain principles, or are those principles good because the gods command them?  The Calvinist would of course take the latter view.

 

And here's the really insidious trap.  You can go up to a Calvinist and tell him he's a horrible person for defending genocides.  The first thing he'll ask you is how you know that he's a horrible person.  That is, from whence do you derive the moral principles by which you condemn him?  If you believe in another religion then you've got a reasonable answer.  But if you choose any answer that doesn't begin with a supernatural lawgiver, the Calvinist will tell you that you have no firm basis for your morality and that you should just shut up and go to hell.

 

I've thought about this a lot.  The most reasonable answer I have to Calvinism is that human conscience can be taken to be from God (even the Bible says this).  If our conscience tells us that the teachings of the Bible are evil, then it doesn't mean that God doesn't exist.  It just means that the Bible doesn't speak for him.  A Calvinist would say that my conscience is fallen and can't be trusted.  To that I'd respond that this is an untestable claim.

 

One final note on this.  Unlike most evangelicals, who glorify violence, Piper would never tell anyone to give their lives in an aggressive holy war.  He does preach martyrdom.  But he doesn't believe anyone should ever kill for Jesus.  And he's the only evangelical I know of who doesn't worship the Second Amendment; he doesn't own guns as far as I know.  One of the times I went to his church, he said that Christians should never be arrogant or use violence in Jesus' name.  I'm as much a hater of Jesus as you, but it doesn't do anyone any good to misrepresent Piper's views.  I'm not saying you're doing this on purpose.  It's just that I know a great deal about Piper because I've spent a long time reading his writings.

 

I always thought the Calvinists were the most logical thinking of the Christians. They don't shrink from the terrible implications of their doctrine. I sort of admire them for that, even though their logic ultimately fails. They sure make more sense than the "God is love" liberals who selectively read scripture to eliminate any notion that God is less than cuddly.

 

Doesn't the Bible also say God's judgments are true and righteous? How is this squared with original sin? How is it that humans are born sinners due to remote ancestors disobeying God? Needless to say, I question the whole scenario. Eventually I just threw it all out because it doesn't make sense.

 

But I think this guy is just repeating what is said in the Bible. Yep, its a bunch of crap.

 

I wonder how can a person actually believe this stuff and be happy?

 

Well I can tell you how I was happy believing it (at least for a time).  There's a certain comfort in the certainty of Calvinism.  All the answers are figured out for you.  When you open the Bible and turn to a genocide page, you don't freak out that the foundational text of your faith contradicts the belief that God is love.  When something bad happens, you don't blame God for it.  You wake up every day able to thank God no matter what he does to bless or curse you.  It's happiness based on the lie of Jesus, but I do understand why it appeals to people.

 

 

Ok but if a person, John Piper, whoever, believes that it is ok/good/acceptable for God to slaughter other people's families, then they will have to accept it as being "right" if God decides to slaughter their own family.  Does John Piper think god is being good if god decides to kill John Piper's family?

 

I guarantee you that if someone walked into Piper's house and murdered his family before his eyes, Piper would weep and grieve for his family, but know that God ordained their deaths and praise God for being just and right in all of his ways.

 

Piper's most famous book, "Don't Waste Your Life," is about why you should use your life to glorify God by enjoying him.  A few years ago Piper was diagnosed with prostate cancer.  His first response?  He wrote an article called "Don't Waste Your Cancer," on how you can use your terminal illnesses to give glory to God.  Eventually his doctors were able to operate on him and remove the tumor entirely, but Piper didn't lose faith the minute his life became less than ideal.  Say what you will about Piper, but he's not in this for the money or glory.

 

Keep in mind guys, my comments about Piper aren't because I think he's doing great things.  I think he's wasting his effort on a lie, and I am upset every time he converts another soul to Christianity.  I'm only saying this so that you don't underestimate Piper as another TBN televangelist looking to make a quick buck off of loyal Christians.

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