Friday, March 26, 2010

John Piper, Log In Your Eye??? Blasting the Emergent Church




Hmmmm. This little snippet made me angry on so many levels. First, the arrogance is palpable and sickening, the self-righteousness. Pointing a finger at the 'immorality' of the emerging/emergent (he ignorantly uses the two terms interchangeably) community when I know from experience that the same sin is in Piper's own doctrinal camp, just covered up better. And Piper refuses to do anything about these things! Because they buy his books? I don't know why but anyway....

Could it be that the people who are drawn to the emerging church have already been screwed up by so-called orthodox churches? By powerrful men who preach the 'truth'? Could it be that at least part of the fault of the implosion of personal lives lies with churches like Piper's church? I don't know what Piper's church is like, never been there, never looked into it. I do know what kinds of things go on in a SGM church, or Mark Driscoll's church, and all of it is endorsed by Piper by his words and by his silence. I've never heard him criticize or address any of these men in the way he is willing to blast and name men in the emerging/ent church. He blasts Mclaren's book even after admitting he's never read it! Isn't this more akin to slander? I mean, if he'd read it and has criticism, fine. But to spread negative things about it on hearsay just seems wrong to me.

And forget the whole pot calling kettle black! All the reform guys I'm familiar with are preaching at least some heresy. Yes, they are commonly accepted traditional lies that most people believe, but that doesn't make them any more true. Legalism is a doctrine of and from demons. Yet they continue to live it and preach it. I'm so done with the shiny man on the pedestal, book deal in hand. Am I cynical? I guess. But it's not that I have no faith in God, it's just I know God's heart is so far from these self-righteous moral judgements, the kind that can hardly contain the glee over people's lives falling apart.

Honestly? The emergent church and reform camp have a major flaw in common. They're both still trying to live under law, it's just the emergent crowd has decided to loosen up some rules and reorganize the priority of others. They will do away with rules about homosexuality and set up new standards in fighting injustice and poverty. In the end, people subsctibing to either of these sets of standards will end up falling hard, hopefully during this life and not standing before God on the day of judgement, however you believe that goes down.

The reform guys boast of their knowledge of truth, the emerging guys boast of their knowledge of the world and their compassion, as far as I can see, both groups are still being crushed and can't carry the heavy burdens they want to put on other people.

I love you both. You both have some good points, but you're both wrong. But Piper needs to wake up and realize that just like feminists exist because the arrogance and selfishness of men in the church, so the a large group of people have emerged from 'traditionsl' churches and religion due mainly to being very hurt and confused. Maybe it's time to take a look at the huge log in your eye...before you start casting stones.

13 comments:

Jon Sidnell said...

The major thing I found objectionable was the clearly wrong assertion that "Focus on truth, get relationship thrown in as a bonus". What a load of tosh!

It's far and away the standard in "truth" based systems to be willing to sacrifice relationship in the name of truth, just as much as some who seek relationship are prepared to sacrfice truth on that altar.

How about this? Any church that isn't centred on Jesus, and getting to know Him, His love and His grace, better together is a church that is founded on idolatry. Churches founded on "truth" are just as idolatrous as churches founded on "relationship". The church is built on nothing less than Christ, and where it isn't, there'll always be problems.

When church is built on Christ, we get everything thrown in - truth, relationship, love, acceptance, freedom, power, authority (for the whole body) - pretty much whatever we might seek in place of Christ.

Rant over :)

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

must be something in the airwaves today. I posted this on Facebook
The purpose of theological seminary is to get you to know,question and reject in your left-brain what you once knew as life in the Spirit, and to propagate it as cynicism to the flocks now open to you because you have exams in it. Discuss.
************
also related this from Martin Kronbach on Facebook...(everyone'll have to join!!)
http://www.facebook.com/a.christopher.welch?ref=profile#!/note.php?note_id=402713414107&id=1315705896&ref=mf
Theology or Theo-Intimacy?

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

theology or theo-intimacy is the title not part of the link....

keithgrewell said...

What is the "emergent" church? I have not heard that term... Does it include the movement known as the "Grace" movement???

Anonymous said...

Hi Keith,
The "emergent church" is typically defined as a modern movement of people that are unified around the idea of having "a discussion" about things in the church. The discussion is really primarily focused on why we do what we do in the church and is it correct or not. It often leads to many different ideas as you can imagine. Some of those ideas are good some are bad. Some orthodox, some are heretical. As with any group that questions things, such as what happened during the Reformation, good and bad will come out of it. The modern day "grace" movement, to answer your your question, is not part of the emergent crowd. There could be some over lap there but not primarily part of the same group. There are reform folks,arminian, word of faith, pentecostal, baptist, conservative, liberal, and all other kinds that are rediscovering the power in the Grace of God. Many are rediscovering that we are truly in a New Covenant that is totally different from the first. In fact Hebrews says that this New Covenant rendered the Old one obsolete. The focus of most in the grace movement is the Gospel. The Emergent crowd may have many focuses and causes that they herald as important. Hope that helps.

Aaron

Dan Bowen said...

Has anyone seen that Piper is taking extended leave of absence until December? He cites pride as the reason;

http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/TasteAndSee/ByDate/2010/4555

Maybe he's seen something in himself he doesn't like. That takes humility - give the guy his due.

jul said...

Hey Dan, thanks for sharing that. I didn't know, but why does he need time off for pride? Can't he just say sorry? It bothers me that he doesn't mind blasting guys he doesn't agree with but never says a word about serious problems closer to his own camp, you probably know who I mean. Anyway, nothing personal again Piper, I don't know him, just can't take the self-righteousness and time off isn't going to fix that problem only coming out of legalistic doctrines.

jul said...

Sorry to be that cynical, but I've seen guys confess pride loads of times in SGM, even take time off etc. and come back all the more proud of themselves for doing it. It doesn't necessarily take humility, just false humility. Again, not saying that's what Piper's doing, I'll definately check out the link you posted. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Will someone please explain to me what the "grace movement" means?
I don't know any genuine believer in any denomination who doesn't believe in grace through faith in Christ alone. Also, what do you mean by legalistic? If you love Me....keep My commandments.

jul said...

hi anonymous. Who are you, please? I keep getting anonymouse comments and I have no idea if they are all the same person or a bunch of different ones?

Anyway, if you think all christians already believe in faith in Christ alone, then I guess you're happy enough where you are. Most christians don't just believe in Jesus, they believe in going to church, reading the Bible, praying, doing good things, trying not to sin, etc. They believe in the knowledge of good and evil, the put faith in their obedience not usually for salvation but for maintaining salvation or growing in sanctification. This is the Galatian kind of legalism and the only kind I've usually seen. It's a myth that legalism means keeping the law in order to get saved, hardly anyone tries to do that. Legalism is when you try to mix the old covenant law or mindset in with the New Covenant. The New Covenant is not some mongrel hybrid mix of religion, it's a whole new system. Check out Hebrews more a more detailed explanantion of this idea.

So the grace movement is a bunch of people all over the world taking the leap of faith, leaping from their christian religion into the arms of Jesus with no safety net of being good or doing better, obedience for brownie points or following the old to impress the God of the New.

Also, if you're going to throw in an authoritative sounding phrase that sounds biblical, would you mind giving a reference so we can see the context and exact wording, even in the original language if we wish?

"And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us." 1 John 3:23-24

bibl774 said...

Ok. John 15:14 and my name is Barb.

T3CHNOboy said...

You guys sound like pharisees in your cristicism of Piper. I think its your own humility you need to check. Read your own comments and assess how Christ-like they are...

jul said...

Hi t3chnoboy, thanks for your comment. I don't expect you'll ever be back but in case you are I'll respond to your comment. First, I hope you read the follow up post I wrote (concerning Piper's acknowledgment of pride and taking some time off). Second, I'm glad none of us has to justify ourselves before you or anyone else. I believe that since Piper made these comments publicly then I'm free to say what I think of them publicly. I also made it clear that I don't know him personally, and I am sad that he's feeling under condemnation for pride. That's not what he needs, or any of us for that matter. I'm sure we'll all display pride at some time or another, but it has been dealt with at the cross. We are all righteous with God's own righteousness and therefore no judgement, whether from the pulpit, from inner thoughts, or from anonymous comments on blogs, should make us feel condemned or anything less than holy and righteous. Guilt, shame, fear, none of these has any place in the life of a believer.

That being said, I will say that I though I don't feel bad for what I wrote in this post, I see your point that perhaps love didn't come through. I consider Piper a brother in Christ and wish him only the best and hope he finds rest in God's love and grace during his upcoming break from ministry. Grace and peace to you as well.