Last week, President Obama released a statement celebrating the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The video above shows Dr. John Piper’s response. As I watched Piper thunder, I thought of John the Baptist’s conflict with Herod. It was a courageous, God-exalting, sin-exposing confrontation with evil. I am grateful to God for Piper’s powerful, prophetic voice in defense of life.
You can download the entire sermon here or listen to it below.[audio:http://www.desiringgod.org/download.php?file=http://media.desiringgod.org/audio/2009/20090125.mp3]
This is a well tempered and true response that exalts Christ. I am consistently appreciative for the ministry of John Piper.
Thanks for being so fair and balanced. You think George Bush didn’t do horrible things that merited attention on your blog throughout his time? Wasn’t abortion still legal throughout all 8 years of Bush’s presidency? Weren’t hundreds of thousands of people killed in war in the last 8 years? Hasn’t healthcare gotten worse in the last 8 years? So bad where I can’t even afford it any more?
I tell ya, Denny, you’re so partisan I don’t know if I want to laugh about it or weep. The way you wed republican ideologies to Christianity is sick indeed. I’m not talking about being against abortion, you can do that without being a Republican. You just think the problem is the democrats and the answer is the republicans (seriously, this is how your posts come off by constantly praising Republicans and demonizing Democrats, it’s always been this way). It’s a little embarrassing for me to say I’m an evangelical when I see such things going on.
Not once, ever, ever, have I seen you say one negative thing about President Bush. Even in the last few months as he was coming out and saying things such as he didn’t think the Bible was all literally true and that all religions lead up the same path, you remained silent…not a word…nada. Yet, you jump after Obama nearly every single day. I’d like to go back and count over the last year to see how many posts are explicitly about or at least mention Barack Obama, I’m sure it’s astounding. You probably think he’s the anti-Christ too. I’m sure coming from DTS you’ve been polishing up the ol eschatological rhetoric.
We haven’t seen anything done yet that wasn’t expected and that Clinton hadn’t done before. If you look at the statistics, abortion decreased during the Clinton regime more so than any other presidency yet, so just wait and see and time will tell. I’m bothered as well by some of what Obama says about babies and think he’s been blinded on a few things, but that doesn’t warrant me talking like he hates all kids and wants every mother to get an abortion in their lifetime. You can be a voice against it without being so partisan and without the hyperbolic rhetoric and demonization. The best way to be a voice against it isn’t typing on a little blog, but it’s giving your time and resources. Just how much are you doing of that, Denny? Or is voting and typing blog posts sufficient for your kingdom work against abortion?
Great, passionate response.
The only thing that I would disagree with Piper on is that he sees the abortion issue as more disconnected from Obama’s world view than I do. It is my humble opinion that he is addressing the fruit on the tree, rather than the root cause of Obama’s religious like zeal for abortion. It flows out of his comprehensive world view, which is opposed to Christ on many levels.
“It flows out of his comprehensive world view, which is opposed to Christ on many levels.”
Do you know the guy personally? Have you talked to him? I’m gonna assume no on both counts, and then remind you that until he says “My views on abortion flow out of my comprehensive world view, which is opposed to Christ on many levels,” that God, and not you, is the judge. Please act accordingly without making sweeping judgements about a guy who claims to be a fellow follower of Christ.
okay thanks bye now.
The president (and we, for that matter) reveals and speaks his worldview when he explains why he makes decisions that he does (which he (and presidents past) does for all “national” decisions).
I take issue with the sweeping comment as well.
Ultimately we must change the hearts of the people (including our leaders) to win this battle.
We need courageous doctors, scientists, movie makers, writers etc… leading this campaign. Think: George Orwell, Upton Sinclair, Harriet Beecher Stowe, etc…
We need folks evangelical and otherwise, religious right or not, Christian or not, who will take up this cause and help reframe the debate.
This clip from Piper is stellar, by the way. Piper is doing exactly what he should. I’m just saying that I don’t believe prophetic preaching from Piper is going to change our culture on this matter.
It didn’t change Herod’s heart either, but that didn’t mean John the Baptist shouldn’t have spoken up (not saying you’re implying that). I’m glad the Bible includes the story of JtB and Herod, otherwise those who would call for a private faith would have more ground to stand on Scripturally.
I think we’ve learned a lot about Obama’s worldview.
– He believes that Jesus Christ is one of many valid means of salvation (by the way, the same is true of George W. Bush and I have pointed this out on numerous occasions as well)
– His policies with regard to gay marriage will have a profound impact on the next generation. Tolerance of homosexuality will transition into celebration under Obama’s administration, if he keeps his word.
– I have paid particular interest in the types of judges Obama will nominate because I am convinced that Obama (a constitutional lawyer himself) sees the judiciary as the primary agent of cultural change. In short, the types of judges he will nominate believe in the restriction of religious liberties and are largely aligned with the ACLU.
– Watch for religious organizations, especially Christian ones, to become subject to lawsuits and government sanctions under the pretext that they are “hateful and bigoted” agents. This will occur because a good number of the organizations and individuals who worked so hard for Obama’s nomination, even over other like minded but less committed liberals, desperately want this, so deep is their antagonism towards Biblically centered Christianity.
– The recent repeal of the so called Mexico City policy demonstrates that he is in alignment with those who believe that global population has to be curbed (largely because they view over-population and not original sin as the cause of poverty and pollution) and they will use any means necessary to curb it. By the way, this idea has roots in the eugenics movement and in the racially motivated agenda of Planned Parenthood and Margaret Sanger.
– In regards to abortion, Obama is not necessarily enthused about abortion itself (I assume), but rather about “reproductive freedom”. Again, abortion is just the fruit on the tree, not the root cause.
Worldview matters a great deal. If we have a fundamental disagreement about how and why the world is suffering and in various states of chaos, the political solutions will follow accordingly. Obama believes that abortion is a moral necessity, because he misunderstands the problem (he thinks that the problem is largely outward, rather than mankind’s inherent sin nature). This leads him to humananistic, secular and utopian-style solutions and to a notion that mankind must solve man’s problems.
I understand why we must pay special attention to the abortion issue, but we must not forget that people believe abortion is a moral good and/or necessity mostly because of their underlying core belief system.
Thanks for your post. You make an excellent point. I am generally leery of ‘Christian World View’ arguments because they are so often more a defense of Modern Christianity rather than a more transcendent, historical view. This is why endeavors like “The Truth Project” are so frustrating to me. There is much good there, but is completely overshadowed with the taint of modern bias, horrendous proof-texting, and a grand missing of the point.
But, of course, a pure concept of Christian world view is not only legit, but vital. Along those lines, I think you are right about Obama.
Darius (#7)… I completely agree.
I too have seen people wield the “Christian world view” sword without proper care and caution. I try to be careful myself, because two people can have an authentically Christian world view and come to differing views. Usually, they don’t end up that far apart, though.
This is prophetic preaching at its best!
Thanks for sharing…
Good thoughts, Russ and Derek, about the “Christian worldview” arguments. I’ve heard that phrase so often it’s almost irrelevant to me now since it’s often defending, as Russ said, a modern worldview with Puritan roots as opposed to a truly “Christian” or “biblical” worldview.
When the phrase is used and described, as Derek has done, it is much more useful and beneficial as opposed to just crying that you have the “biblical worldview” and Obama doesn’t.
A couple things to keep in mind. Tony Campolo and Jim Wallis were dubbed evangelical leaders of the left and basically went on the campaign trail for Howard Dean and the DNC for nearly 2 years. The excuses that they made on the abortion issue were absolutely inexcusable. I witnessed Tony Campolo transition from being a person who was largely non-partisan at one point in his career, to becoming heavily invested both emotionally and professionally, for the sole purpose of getting Democrats elected. So let’s be careful to acknowledge that Christians of all political persuasions can get off track.
Secondarily, I agree with you that Christians should be careful to avoid issue oriented politics. Personally, I think we’ve made a big mistake by not helping younger Christians develop a comprehensive Biblical world view, in large part because we focus almost exclusively on the abortion issue. I can actually understand why many younger Christians in particular start to roll their eyes when the topic comes up, even though I agree it is the most critical “issue” of our age.
Thirdly, I agree that Bush and the GOP deserves much criticism. Actually, I think you’ll find that some of the people you probably dislike the most, like Dobson, have also been very critical of Bush at times.
Lastly, I do not think that your view on the war in Iraq is very nuanced. Surely you can recognize the difference between a war of aggression and the situation we had there, where Saddam Hussein had thrown weapons inspectors out of the country and had deliberately and in a very hostile fashion, violated 17 UN resolutions. And that is just the beginning of Hussein’s despotism. It is certainly fair to say that you think Bush shouldn’t have gone to Iraq, but I don’t think it is fair for you to dismiss the reality that far more people were being tortured by his special police, in ways that America has NEVER done, or that innocent people weren’t at risk or that Bush had no valid reason to do what he did. The healthcare issue is also far more complicated than you make it out to be. I could point to the government run healthcare systems of Europe and Canada and observe that these have tragic consequences for an entire nation and result in chronic shortages in healthcare for everyone. Meanwhile, uninsured people in our nation receive billions of dollars in health care every single day. Point is, you make these issues out to be some kind of morally bankrupt positions (on the part of conservatives/Bush) and simply because you disagree with them, I do not think this is fair or objective at all – especially not when you consider those issues in comparison to abortion, which is far more black and white, at least from a Christian perspective.
Yes I agree John the Baptist and Herod do come to mind.
a thoroughgoing comparison/contrast might be helpful for the modern Christian to understand his or her first and transcendent responsibility.