Saturday, August 22, 2009

How John Piper interprets recent tornado

In a sermon dated 20th August 2009, John Piper provided some 'biblical warrant' to interpret the tornado that damages a Lutheran Church as God's warning against their consideration to ordain homosexuals.

Here are his 'biblical warrants':

1. "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. " (1 Corinthians 6.9-10).

2. "Such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Corinthians 6:11).

3. "Therefore, official church pronouncements that condone the very sins that keep people out of the kingdom of God, are evil. They dishonor God, contradict Scripture, and implicitly promote damnation where salvation is freely offered." (John Piper)

4. Jesus Christ controls the wind, including all tornados. "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?" (Mark 4:41).

5. "When asked about a seemingly random calamity near Jerusalem where 18 people were killed, Jesus answered in general terms—an answer that would cover calamities in Minneapolis, Taiwan, or Baghdad. God’s message is repent, because none of us will otherwise escape God’s judgment." (Luke 13:4-5).

And so Piper concludes,

"The tornado in Minneapolis was a gentle but firm warning to the ELCA and all of us: Turn from the approval of sin. Turn from the promotion of behaviors that lead to destruction. Reaffirm the great Lutheran heritage of allegiance to the truth and authority of Scripture. Turn back from distorting the grace of God into sensuality. Rejoice in the pardon of the cross of Christ and its power to transform left and right wing sinners."

Gregory Boyd disagrees. Here's one reason,

"One has to wonder why God would single out the ELCA’s discussion of homosexuality as worthy of a tornado hit while by-passing so many other serious issues. To give one example, there are over 400 distinct passages encompassing over 3,000 verses in the Bible that address issues related to poverty. Compare this with homosexuality, a topic that is explicitly mentioned a total of two times in the Old Testament and three times in the New. On top of this, the most frequently mentioned reason God judged cities and nations in the Old Testament was because they failed to care for the needy."

Phrases with the adjective 'biblical' must be questioned to curb the abuse of the term 'biblical'. It is as if when someone uses the adjective 'biblical' to justify something (in Piper's case, his interpretation of the tornado), that something has to be true. It has become like a mantra that guarantees the truthfulness of a statement.

1 comment:

theholywild said...

i cant figure out why piper jumped in the mix on this one.