How to respond to marginalization, intimidation, and criminalization of biblical Christianity

John Piper delivered a sermon this week that fleshes out what I was arguing in my previous post. We are facing marginalization in the culture for our faith. How are we going to respond? Here’s how Piper describes the moment we are facing:

As I hand off my leadership role at Bethlehem to Jason Meyer, the world he and you will face is very different than when I came almost 33 years ago. It would have been unthinkable to suggest that anyone would seriously propose defining marriage as between two men or two women; and it would have been even more unthinkable that in a mere thirty years America would have lost its soul so profoundly that most American’s would approve of a definition of marriage that no society in the history of the world has ever embraced. And it would have been unthinkable that instead of rejecting the unreality of so-called same-sex marriage, the culture would begin to criminalize the naming of same-sex intercourse as sin — which it is.

And along with this tragic loss of our moral compass, has come the increasing loss of freedoms and the increasing compulsion from government to conform to unbiblical views. Freedom of speech is disappearing as the secular consensus grows that our shame is our glory (Philippians 3:19), and that to use biblical language to describe sin is hateful and already in some places prosecuted as illegal. Freedom of worship is disappearing as metropolitan commissions and councils take the prerogative to prohibit worship spaces and activities.

And along with the loss of freedoms to act in biblical ways, comes the governmental compulsion to act in unbiblical ways — to fund the killing of unborn children, to endorse the legitimacy of sinful behavior, and soon to participate in it (for example, if you are a military chaplain), and the compulsory normalizing of sin in public institutions that will probably force most biblical Christians out of the public schools.

In view of these dramatic developments it seemed good to me to leave you with some biblical guidance about how the church should live in view of this new emerging marginalization, and intimidation and even criminalization of biblical speaking and acting.

You can watch the rest of the sermon above, read it here, download the audio here, or listen below.

6 Responses to How to respond to marginalization, intimidation, and criminalization of biblical Christianity

  1. henrybish February 26, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    What does Dr Piper mean by this:

    to fund the killing of unborn children, to endorse the legitimacy of sinful behavior, and soon to participate in it (for example, if you are a military chaplain)

    and this:

    the compulsory normalizing of sin in public institutions that will probably force most biblical Christians out of the public schools.

    Would appreciate if anyone could elaborate.

  2. Daryl Little February 26, 2013 at 8:34 pm #

    Henry,
    I believe he’s talking about the forcing of business to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drug; the soon coming requirement that clergy, including military chaplains, be required to perform same-sex “weddings”; and the teaching of school children that moral standards are intolerant and wrong while requiring them to celebrate homosexuality (already happening in some juridictions up here in Canada).
    Never thought that I’d see Canadian apathy as a good thing, but although we’ve had laws like these on the books for quite some time, rarely have any been enforced, and never to the full extent of the law. In the U.S of A, real laws don’t slip by unnoticed quite so easily I fear.

  3. James Rednour February 27, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

    Freedom of speech is disappearing as the secular consensus grows that our shame is our glory (Philippians 3:19), and that to use biblical language to describe sin is hateful and already in some places prosecuted as illegal.

    Utter nonsense. Freedom of speech is as rock solid as it’s even been. You have the right to say whatever you want just as I have the right to reject what you say. John Piper is not being silenced by the state or thrown in prison for what he says. That’s what freedom of speech is about, not having the media or groups call your speech bigoted. Freedom of speech is not freedom from criticism.

    And along with the loss of freedoms to act in biblical ways, comes the governmental compulsion to act in unbiblical ways — to fund the killing of unborn children,

    Yeah well I hate having my taxes fund the war machine which has resulted in untold anguish for the targets of our weaponry – including innocent women and children. Sometimes the government does horrible things with the money they coercively extract from our wallets. That sucks, but Jesus made it clear that we are to pay our taxes in spite of it. Continue to protest on the ground, but you still have an obligation to fund the state. Governments have been responsible for unspeakable atrocities since they were first formed.

    to endorse the legitimacy of sinful behavior, and soon to participate in it (for example, if you are a military chaplain)

    Tough luck. Military chaplains are slaves to the state. They signed for for such slavery so they gave up their right to protest it. If they had preserved their liberty by foregoing military service then they would have the right to reject it. Christians shouldn’t try to serve two masters.

  4. julie barnes March 1, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    John Piper said that freedom of speech in the US is disappearing. He did not say that it was gone, but disappearing. That is true. There is only one acceptable view – the one that is being put forth by our media, the high priests of our country. If it doesn’t fit the party line it is in danger of being censored altogether. Or if you do not show hearty approval and agreement with their doctrine, then you are being called a bigot, and hateful. People are being sued for calling sin, sin. Rejection and marginalization are happening in relationships. And it is only a matter of time before this is going to become alot more serious, and this is what he is warning about. Jesus Christ also warned us that if they hated Him, they will hate us. So it is right to warn Christians about what they are going to face, even if they are not currently seeing it in its fullest sense.

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