Daily Archives: November 12, 2018

John Piper: the Pharisaical Expert on the Submission of Women — The Wartburg Watch

Women and girls, men and boys all share the right to live free of violence, which is, unfortunately, experienced by both men and women. Women and girls, however, disproportionately experience violence due to a deeply rooted global culture of gender discrimination. Nazanin Boniadi

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_pharisee_and_publican.jpg
The Pharisee and the Publican-Wikimedia Commons

I have long been convinced that John Piper has an agenda when it comes to limiting the roles of women in just about everything that puts them into a position of authority over men. He claims that his standards are derived from his interpretation of Scripture. I used to believe that he believed that. Now, I’m not so sure. His edicts go far beyond Scripture and that means something is amiss in churches which apply his edicts.

Women could not read Scripture or pray in the pulpit at his church.

He is quite gleeful about this *rule.* in Why Don’t Women Ever Read or Pray In Bethlehem’s Church Services? he said:

My reason is because—not that others have to see it this way—I view that moment and that place in the worship service as one of pastoral authority. The pulpit stands there symbolizing the word of God preached, and that’s what the elders are responsible to do. The reading of the text is part of that. And the offering up of the prayers of the congregation in an official, formal, representative capacity at the front is pastoral.

But in my sense, a woman is that moment acting like a pastor or elder, and that’s what we don’t think is appropriate.

This seems quite odd to me. Not only do women read Scripture in the pulpit at my conservative Lutheran church, women in the praise band will pray during the service. No one blinks an eye. No one thinks they are usurping the role of the pastor. In fact, I doubt if anyone sits there and wonders about such a thing.

When Scripture is read in a church, men and women stick to the text. They are literally repeating the words of Scripture. I don’t get that there is some sort of an *authoritative* reading and a *non-authoritative* reading. If a woman read it, would people sit there and say “Well, nothing to listen to here since a woman read it?” It makes no sense to me but I am a woman.

God chose women to speak some of those words in the Scripture. If women could not speak authoritatively, then  why did God allow Mary to directly speak the following beautiful words? Why didn’t He have Mary whisper these to a man and then have the man repeat these words? No, God used the beautiful words of a woman to speak to us then and now. Yet, in Piper’s odd view of Scripture, a woman cannot read the words of a woman in *his* pulpit because he doesn’t want a woman *acting like an elder.* Would he have let Mary speak these words in his church?

Mary’s Song
46 And Mary said:“My soul glorifies the Lord
47     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49     for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”

Women cannot be muscular because it leads to volatile sex.

Did you choke on your donut? I am shocked that people overlook this mind boggling, unbiblical rule from Piper. In fact, I would love to have the take of a psychiatrist on this. We wrote about it here.

“Consider what is lost when women attempt to assume a more masculine role by appearing physically muscular and aggressive. It is true that there is something sexually stimulating about a muscular, scantily clad young woman pumping iron in a health club.

But no woman should be encouraged by this fact. For it probably means the sexual encounter that such an image would lead to is something very hasty and volatile, and in the long run unsatisfying.

The image of a masculine musculature may beget arousal in a man, but it does not beget several hours of moonlight walking with significant, caring conversation. The more women can arouse men by doing typically masculine things, the less they can count on receiving from men a sensitivity to typically feminine ”

The abuse of a wife is OK so long as it only lasts a night.

Jesus apparently wants a woman to get walloped by her husband for a night since it will show she is submitted to her husband. Listen to how he tells a woman how to explain toher husband that she won’t have group sex. She needs to answer him in a way that builds him up…seriously? After asking her to have group sex? He seems more concerned about the man than he does the woman. Again, I would like to have a psychiatrist analyze this one.

There is nothing in Scripture that *proves* his point. Piper is a law unto himself. Sadly there are many young men who follow his words as if they are the very words of God. And they are not. They are his opinion and this opinion is dangerous for women. (Listen for his opening giggle.)

Women cannot be police officers, etc., if it involves giving directives to men

Now PIper brings it out of the church and into the secular marketplace. Here is where one must begin to question his biblical faithfulness. When asked if women should be police officers, he basically says no. He also carries it further.

If a woman’s job involves a good deal of directives toward men, they will need to be non-personal in general. If they don’t, men and women won’t flourish in the long run in that relationship without compromising profound biblical and psychological issues.

Conversely, if a woman’s relationship to a man is very personal, then the way she offers guidance and influence will need to be more non-directive. My own view is that there are some roles in society that will strain godly manhood and womanhood to the breaking point. But I leave women and men in those roles to sort that out. I have never tried to make that list.

So the key is: Do they deeply want to shape their whole lives by Scripture? And we may come to different views on some roles, but that submission to Scripture is a great common ground.

In other words, if you are a boss and your give orders to men, you are in the wrong role because it is not your God-given right to do that. Again, there is nothing in the Bible that says this.

He goes further to say that a woman exists to nurture the strength and leadership of men. They do?

At the heart of mature womanhood is a freeing disposition to affirm, receive, and nurture strength and leadership from worthy men in ways appropriate to a woman’s differing relationships.

He claims that gender roles go far beyond marriage.

In a recent post at Desiring God, Do Gender Roles Apply Beyond Marriage? he claims

Well, the answer is yes, gender alone — that is, our sexual maleness or femaleness alone — is an essential part of our God-given identity, whether we’re married or not. You are who you are everywhere you are, and with whomever you are. Your core identity as male or female does not change according to your audience or your relationships.

It is the next statement that needs some discussion. It appears that he believes that somehow our maleness and femaleness will travel with us into the next life. This raises the question: will women need to be submissive to men in heaven?

Now, as Christians, we believe that the brain and the soul are not identical but interrelated in mysterious ways that have profound correspondence. All Christians agree that we are morally responsible before God for our thoughts and our feelings, even though our brains (the organ inside our skull) and our hormones are involved in what we think and feel.

The mystery of how the brain and the supra-physical soul are related is probably incomprehensible to finite people. That would be my guess. I don’t think we’ll ever fully comprehend this mystery.

But we know that what the brain does in thinking and desiring reflects reality in the personhood. I mean, a personhood that is more than physical — the personhood that will exist after death, when we go to be with Christ, before the resurrection.

In other words, we are persons in the presence of Christ, enjoying Christ as “far better,” as Paul says, even though we don’t have bodies (Philippians 1:23). The brain is down there rotting in the grave, and our soul, our personhood, is in heaven with Christ.

The differences that exist in general between men’s and women’s brains along with the innate differences that mark our lives are profoundly woven together with the supra-physical personhood.

I’m going to make a leap here and say that I think Piper may believe that women will be in a subordinate/submissive position to men in heaven. I cannot prove it but others have seen it as well.

I believe that John Piper’s view on the roles of gender are not found specifically in Scripture. Not only that but restricting the roles of women in the church and society due to some personal interpretation of overall female gender submission is harmful to women and may interfere with God’s plan for women to be change agents in our society and in our churches.

Piper and the Pharisees: Is there a connection here?

This brings me back to Jesus’ contentious relationship with many of the Pharisees. The were supposedly the keepers of the law that would enable the people to live righteously. However, they corrupted the law by removing mercy and making the law intolerable. It became a legalistic set of rules that led the people into a religious slavery.

(Quick note: Jesus did not condemn all Pharisees. Nicodemus was one who sought out Jesus.)

At the same time, the Pharisees presented a *righteous exterior,* often flaunting it in front of the people who were struggling. Yet inside they were filled with self righteousness, greed, and superiority. Jesus let them have it in his *seven woes* to the Pharisees in Matthew 23:13-37. Here are a few.

13 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. [14] [b]

15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.

23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

Yet, at the very end of Jesus’ condemnation of the Pharisees who hurt the people, He refers to Himself and how He cared for them but they wouldn’t listen. They wanted nothing of His gentleness and mercy.

37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you,how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.

I would rather not write about John Piper. I thankfully attend a church in which many have never heard of him. I have pastors who include women in the worship service. They treat the female Director of Christian Education (an important role in Lutheran churches) with profound respect. The men of the church do the weekly dinners and clean up. Women and men are confirmation guides, help with communion, read Scripture and pray.

However, John Piper is worshipped (yes, I mean that word and I think he knows it) by lots of young men coming out of Baptist seminaries. A Calvinist took over the pulpit of a local nondenominational church. One day, he got up to do his sermon and started off by saying “John Piper has stepped down from his pulpit. I don’t know how we will get along without him. We are now the gray hairs in the church.”

I believe that Piper is a modern day Pharisees. He’s especially concerned with limiting the role of women. I wonder what he is hiding inside…Something is wrong here.

via John Piper: the Pharisaical Expert on the Submission of Women —

NOVEMBER 12 WITH A LOUD VOICE

The whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.

—Luke 19:37-38

This does not mean, and I am not saying, that we must all worship alike. The Holy Spirit does not operate by anyone’s preconceived idea or formula. But this I know: When the Holy Spirit of God comes among us with His anointing, we become a worshiping people. This may be hard for some to admit, but when we are truly worshiping and adoring the God of all grace and of all love and of all mercy and of all truth, we may not be quiet enough to please everyone….

First, I do not believe it is necessarily true that we are worshiping God when we are making a lot of racket. But not infrequently worship is audible….

Second, I would warn those who are cultured, quiet, self-possessed, poised and sophisticated that if they are embarrassed in church when some happy Christian says “Amen!” they may actually be in need of some spiritual enlightenment. The worshiping saints of God in the Body of Christ have often been a little bit noisy. WHT014-015

Lord, may my worship be genuine and heartfelt, whether it be in quiet meditation or in loud exaltation! Amen. [1]


[1] Tozer, A. W., & Eggert, R. (2015). Tozer on the almighty god: a 365-day devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

Over 60 Civilians Killed or Injured by Coalition Airstrike in Syria – Reports

Over 60 civilians have been killed or injured by a US-led coalition airstrike on Syria’s eastern province of Deir ez-Zor, Syrian SANA news agency reported.

Source: Over 60 Civilians Killed or Injured by Coalition Airstrike in Syria – Reports

On Veterans’ Day, Remember the Lies That Filled Military Cemeteries

Politicians will be heartily applauded for saluting American’s soldiers today. But if citizens had better memories, elected officials would instead be fleeing tar and feathers. Politicians have a long record of betraying the veterans they valorize.

Veterans Day 2018 has been dominated by the confab of political leaders in Paris to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One. American media coverage fixated on President Trump’s cancellation of one of his two visits to U.S. military cemeteries. In his speech yesterday at a U.S. military cemetery in France, Trump declared that it is “our duty … to protect the peace they so nobly gave their lives to secure one century ago.” But that peace was sabotaged long before the soldiers’ corpses had turned to dust. Though the American media exalted French President Emmanuel Macron’s denunciation of nationalism at the armistice anniversary, it was conniving by French leader George Clemenceau at the Versailles Peace Treaty that helped assure that U.S. sacrifices in 1917 and 1918 were for naught.

Lying about American wars is a venerable presidential tradition. Four years ago, in a visit to Flanders Field Cemetery in Belgium, President Obama saluted the Americans who died in World War One – “the soldiers who manned the trenches were united by something larger — a willingness to fight, and die, for the freedom that we enjoy as their heirs.” In reality, that war was a disaster for freedom practically everywhere. Thanks to conscription, young American men had the choice of going to prison or being sent to fight a war on false pretenses.

Neither Trump nor Obama can compete for the title of Supreme Fabulist on World War One – an honorific that President Woodrow Wilson locked up a century ago. After he was narrowly re-elected in 1916 based on a campaign slogan, “He kept us out of war,” Wilson pulled America into the war because “the world must be made safe for democracy.” Wilson acted as if Congress’s declaration of war against Germany also declared war on the Constitution, and he ruthlessly censored and persecuted anyone who did not cheer the war effort. Wilson even urged Congress to authorize detention camps for “alien enemies.” More than a hundred thousand American soldiers died in the war effort, and another half million Americans perished from the Spanish flu epidemic spurred and spread by the war. Rather than a new birth of idealism, World War One unleashed chaos and led directly to the rise of Lenin, Mussolini, and Hitler – and a host of tinhorn dictators elsewhere in Europe.

World War One exemplified the deceptions that propelled U.S. conflicts abroad. Veterans Day should be a time to recognize that the history of America’s wars is also a history of political rascality:

In 1846, President James Polk took Americans to war after falsely proclaiming that the Mexican army had crossed the U.S. border and attacked a U.S. army outpost — “shedding the blood of our citizens on our own soil,” he claimed. But he never produced evidence to support his causa belli for a conflict that placed vastly expanded the nation’s boundaries and paved the way for the Civil War.

In 1898, when President William McKinley took the nation to war against Spain, he pledged not to annex foreign territory. He changed his mind after deciding to “Christianize” the Filipinos (a Catholic nation). Four thousand U.S. troops and hundreds of thousands of Filipinos perished in the merciless crackdowns required to place those islands under the Stars and Stripes.

In 1940, President Franklin Roosevelt capped off his reelection campaign by promising voters: “ Your president says this country is not going to war. ” Though FDR portrayed World War Two as an fight for democracy, he secretly signed off on Stalin’s demand for control of almost all of eastern Europe. The result was decades of oppression for Czechs, Hungarians, Poles, and others.

President Lyndon Johnson vastly expanded the Vietnam War purportedly to prevent the domino-like spread of communism (which the CIA concluded would not happen regardless). A secret 1965 Pentagon memo admitted that 70% of the U.S. aim in Vietnam was simply to “ avoid a humiliating US defeat (to our reputation as a guarantor).” Almost 60,000 American troops died so politicians could ravage the national credibility they pretended to preserve.

After 9/11, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan to vanquish Al Qaeda. After top Al Qaeda leaders escaped, President George W. Bush pledged to help create a democracy and modernize that nation. Unfortunately, subsequent Afghan elections have been utterly fraud-ridden while corruption multiplied thanks largely to U.S. aid.

President Bush justified invading Iraq in 2003 because of Saddam Hussein’s Weapons of Mass Destruction. The WMDs were never found, so Bush claimed the U.S. would bring democracy to Iraqis. But the U.S. government helped rig subsequent elections and supported Iraqi rulers’ brutal repression of their opposition, helping spur pervasive conflicts that continue to ravage that nation.

Politicians disdain the soldiers they claim to adore. U.S. troops are currently fighting in 14 foreign nations, from Afghanistan to Iraq and Syria to Chad, Yemen, and other locales. When 4 U.S. troops were killed last Fall in Niger, many members of Congress were stunned to learn of the U.S. deployment . Congress was similarly negligent regarding rat-infested, unsanitary conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in 2007. Politicians had time for hundreds of speeches touting their devotion to veterans but few congressmen noticed the dilapidated state of the showcase military hospital in their back yard.

General Patton said that an ounce of sweat can save a pint of blood. Similarly, a few hours studying the lessons of history can prevent heaps of grave-digging in the coming years. President Trump has saber-rattled against Iran, North Korea, Syria, and other nations. His bellicose rhetoric should spur Americans to review the follies and frauds of past wars before it is too late to stop the next pointless bloodbath.

The best way to honor veterans is to cancel politicians’ prerogative to send troops abroad to fight on any and every pretext. And one of the best steps towards that goal is to remember the lies for which soldiers died.

Source: On Veterans’ Day, Remember the Lies That Filled Military Cemeteries