Piper’s children are insufferable brats. Let’s avoid his mistakes.
And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins (Genesis 35:11).
Weak men make weak sons. From the beginning, as seen in Genesis 35:11 above (and countless other places), God’s design for the world is that his Covenant people bear fruit and from their loins, come generations that remain faithful to the Lord and are made great by his Providence.
The best preachers the world has ever had to offer – more times than not – have children who are living testaments to their faith.
In 1727, Jonathan Edwards married Sarah Pierrepont, and together they had 11 children. Edwards, known largely for his contribution to America’s “Great Awakening” and his epic sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, is noted as one of North America’s greatest theologians. But more than a preacher, Edwards was a father. Caring carefully for his children’s spiritual upbringing, his parenting had long-lasting fruit.
In the year 1900, Rev. Albert Winship reviewed the lives of the 1,394 descendants of Edwards. He also contrasted it with the descendants of a man named Max Jukes, an atheist, who had roughly half as many descendants. The results were startling. Of Edwards’ many descendants, he found one American vice-president, 3 senators, 3 governors, 3 mayors, 30 judges, 13 college presidents, 65 college professors, 100 lawyers, 60 physicians, 75 military officers, 100 preachers and missionaries, 60 prominent authors, and 80 other public officials. And most importantly, they were almost all of them, solidly within the Christian faith. By comparison, Juke’s 540 descendants included 310 paupers, 150 convicted criminals, 7 murderers, 100 drunkards, and 190 prostitutes and still as godless as their patriarch.
The testimony of men is their children.
Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward (Psalm 127:3).
Thomas and Charles Spurgeon Jr. were both examples of a godly preacher rearing godly children. Such is the rule, rather than the exception when it comes to great men of God. This, then, leads us to ponder exactly what is wrong with John Piper (besides his charismaticism, egalitarianism, social religionism, and over-all shameful wokeness and self-sabotage of what otherwise would have been a fine preaching legacy)?
Enter Abraham Piper.
As international news covered this week, Abraham Piper, John Piper’s eldest son, is a TikTok star with almost as many Twitter followers as his evangelical celebrity father. What is Abraham known for? His main schtick is tearing down his father’s ministry, denouncing the Bible, and dropping the F-bomb while savaging Christians (see below).
Then there’s Barny Piper, who has milked his dad’s fame for every drop, obtaining employment at Big Eva’s flagships, like Lifeway Christian Resources. From that perch, the snot-nosed preacher kid laubs grenades at conservative leaders from Twitter. His recent divorce seemed to not phase him or quiet his know-it-allism that you would expect from an entitled, self-absorbed, pampered brat hanging onto his father’s coat-tails to become a mid-level Big Eva bureaucrat.
Barny promised to help bail out Black Lives Matter rioters (his dad supported them also), fully supports lady preachers, and wrote a book, The Pastor’s Kid, gritching about his dad and how tough it was to be raised a Christian (his idiot father even wrote the foreword for the book, which lambasts him). His most notable Christian work is Help My Unbelief, which heralds and extolls the virtue of doubting God (literally).
Barny admits to having been a troubled youth and routinely in trouble with the authorities but seems to have become a Christian again just in time to get a job with various Christian ministries happy to have someone with the surname “Piper” on board.
These aren’t Piper’s only children. His eldest, Karsten, is a poet (go figure) and a songwriter. Neither, so far as I know, are insufferable snot-nosed crybabies and Social Justice Warriors like Barny and Abe, but it wouldn’t surprise me, either.
So for all of us who aspire to raise warrior children who don’t choke on their soy milk every time a fundamentalist fundementalizes, or won’t swoon on their fainting couch like iron-deficient housewives whenever they encounter genuine godly manliness, how do we avoid churning out kids who are wastes of human flesh?
God, of course, elects whoever he so wills, which may or may not include our children. But having children who are believers and not open to the charge of gross immorality are a requirement for pastoral ministry.
“If anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination… (Titus 1:6)
Ultimately lacking omnsicience, I do not know why half of Pipers’ sons turned out to be such awful humans. But I suspect…
I named my daughter Piper, after the preacher. I told him so and sent him an ultrasound of her while in the womb. He graciously responded. I took a selfie with him once in Minneapolis at a Desiring God event. And frankly, I regretted all of that when Piper invited Rick Warren to his conference, proverbially kissed his ring, pronounced to the world that Warren was orthodox (Warren laughably said his greatest influence was Jonathan Edwards, to which all God’s people said LOL), and gave Warren a firm endorsement.
Having listened to hundreds, if not thousands of hours of Piper’s preaching, I realized intuitively that his ring-kissing of Warren was not from the heart of conviction, but pragmatism. And at that moment, I lamented that there was a very evident disconnect between the Piper that preaches and the Piper who lives outside the pulpit.
But even that – his betrayal of Jesus by his endorsement of Warren – did not turn me into enemy status just yet. In order for that to happen, I had to read his abominable, weak-willed, and effeminate take on self-defense he wrote in 2015.
In the article, Piper provided some sophomoric and inept arguments for why Christians should be murdered, molested, sodomized, gang-raped, and kidnapped submissively so as to be a good “witness” for Jesus. To this day, that article from Piper is one of the most insanely idiotic, effeminate, gutless, and grotesque articles I’ve seen at Desiring God (although that list has been rising steadily since Desiring God abandoned the gospel for Social Religion circa 2017).
I responded to Piper’s bastardization of Christian ethics in the post, Why Some People Need a Good Killing: A Biblical Defense for Self Defense. Piper has always been weird, no doubt. His eclectic brand of buffet-theology, adopting from Calvinism here and Charismaticism there and maybe a little mysticism over yonder, makes Piper largely unreliable in any attempt to understand a systematic theology. But claiming to be Reformed (which of course, he is not), Piper should understand Covenant Theology and the principle of General Equity of the Moral Law (the universality of morality, and the general principles throughout the Old Testament that exist within Civil and Ceremonial Law, as well as various Positive Laws).
If that last sentence was confusing, “General Equity” means that abiding, universal, and eternal principles of right-and-wrong exist within the entire Old Testament – despite whatever dispensation of time or Covenant we are living under – because all of the Scripture is profitable for reproof, correction, and training (2 Timothy 3:16). If laws or demands given to Israel or individual people are no longer in force in the letter (like the Mosaic penologies), they still contain principles that harmonize with God’s standards of righteousness.
In short, what I pointed out in Some People Need a Good Killing, is that no serious person can read the full canon of 66 Books and come away with the slightest inkling that pacifism is anything but grievously wicked. Our God, after all, is the God of War (Ecclesiastes 3:8). Our God is the God who is praised in the Sacred Assembly as the One who trains our fingers to operate deadly weapons (Psalm 144:1).
But to make a single case-in-point, I’ll leave you a screenshot from Piper’s article that forever classfied him – at least to me – as untrustworthy and dangerous…
Piper’s answer to the rather uncomplicated question is sevenfold. Hell yes doesn’t take that long to say. But Piper, being typical Piper, flailed about with his characteristically limp wrists, beat around the bush for a thousand more words, and eventually came up with the answer, I don’t know.
Piper wrote, “This instinct is understandable. But it seems to me that the New Testament resists this kind of ethical reduction, and does not satisfy our demand for a yes or no on that question. We don’t like this kind of ambiguity, but I can’t escape it…”
He went on to claim that even calling the police to stop his wife’s rapist might be sinful, stating, ” I realize that even to call the police when threatened — which, in general, it seems right to do in view of Romans 13:1–4 — may come 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.”
Piper then warned against having a firearm at all (in the context of saving his wife from danger)…
I live in the inner city of Minneapolis, and I would personally counsel a Christian not to have a firearm available for such circumstances.
And then, on the topic of his wife being ruthlessly assaulted, Piper wrote…
I do not know what I would do before this situation presents itself with all its innumerable variations of factors.
I know what Piper would do. He would let his wife be raped, his children or grandchildren sodomized, and would cry in the corner like a worthless, effeminate poet. If you have not set your mind on defending your wife when that thing goes bump in the night, you absolutely will not have time to figure out what you’ll do in the moment of brutal violence. You will freeze and exhibit cowardice.
I cannot begin to express the contempt, disgust, and anger I feel toward a grown man who “does not know” if he would defend his wife from an assailant. No man with such moral unclarity is qualified to be either a husband or a father.
John Piper is anathema, and the Scripture says that he is worse than an infidel (1 Timothy 5:8).
Ultimately, it’s unknown how or why Piper’s children turned out so horribly. And might God be gracious to us, and let our children not shame us, as his have shamed him. But I cannot help but think that Piper’s effeminacy and pacificism have led to children who were raised in their own way and are now, not long departing from it.
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