Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is an author, speaker, scholar, and global traveler, who holds graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and received his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller. He is the author of Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus, and Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith.

What About A Vagina Makes It So Hard To Teach The Bible?

We all know what people like John Piper think about women preaching and teaching the Bible from a church pulpit:

That kind of thing is a boys only job.

A follower recently asked him, “Should women be allowed to teach at seminary?” and I guess none of us were really surprised with his reply:

That kind of thing is a boys only job.

Personally, I don’t even know why a reader/listener of his would even ask the question– in 2015 he was asked whether or not women should be allowed to be police officers, and his response was more of the same, yet broader:

Most kinds of things are boys only jobs.

In the 2015 remarks, he actually said that any job that included personal influence, guidance, or leadership over a man would be an affront to God’s created order. Since his position is that women are forbidden from leading, not just in church but essentially in the whole of society, his answer on women teaching at seminary was predictable:

“Let me put it another way in the form of a question. If it is unbiblical to have women as pastors, how can it be biblical to have women who function in formal teaching and mentoring capacities to train and fit pastors for the very calling from which the mentors themselves are excluded? I don’t think that works. The issue is always that inconsistency. If you strive to carve up teaching in such a way that it’s suitable for women, it ceases to be suitable as seminary teaching.”

Piper goes on to say:

“Seminary teachers need to be “more than competent historians, competent linguists, competent exegetes, educators, or theologians… The proper demand on the seminary teacher is to be an example, a mentor, a guide, an embodiment of the pastoral office in preparing men to fill the pastoral office.”

Translation: Why would we let a girl teach a boy how to do any particular part of a boys only job?

Ah, but lest we make the incorrect assumption that Piper sees women as being inherently inferior and incapable of teaching seminary, he closes with this caveat:

“The issue, as always, is not the competence of women teachers or intelligence or knowledge or pedagogical skill. It’s never competence! That’s not the issue in the home or in leadership. It’s not the issue in church leadership. It’s not the issue in seminary leadership.”

So here’s where we’re at:

Women have the intelligence to teach the Bible.

Women have the competence to teach the Bible.

Women have the skills and abilities necessary to teach in general…

They just shouldn’t use those skills and abilities, and they shouldn’t use that competence and intelligence, if it means that men are in the audience.

While I’ve been a Christian more years than not, and hold steadfastly to our faith, I have to admit: the idea that having a vagina should disqualify someone from using their God-given gifts or hard-earned knowledge, is one of the most dangerous and mission-defeating ideas we’ve ever come up with.

So, what about a vagina makes it so hard to teach the Bible? Nothing.

In fact, as Piper himself admits, there is no logical reason why women cannot teach or preach the Bible, other than the Apostle Paul apparently said so 2,000 years ago.

As Rachel Held Evans pointed out, Piper presents not so much a high-view of the role of pastor, as he presents a low-view of women:

Screen Shot 2018-01-25 at 2.00.06 PM

And, it’s not just the Bible– seminary is a long, long process that includes sooooo much more than just the Bible. Seminary often requires gaining exposure and competence in other areas of study as well, things like: ancient and modern history, Greek and Hebrew, learning research methods, anthropology, counseling, other world religions, etc.

Does having a vagina make it impossible for someone to teach men any or all of those things?

As for me, I thank God that I didn’t spend eight years of my life studying in seminaries that listened to Piper’s illogical argument– I could not have made it, nor would I have the skills and abilities I have now, were it not for these God-honoring women who devoted themselves to training and equipping individuals like myself.

Translating biblical Greek? I wouldn’t be able to do it had it not been a woman of God dedicated to teaching Greek at seminary. I failed it the first time I took the class with a male professor, and it wasn’t for a lack of ability or effort on my part. Yet, I was discouraged and considering giving up seminary until I took the class with a female professor who taught in a way better suited for my learning style, and who also graciously met and tutored me outside of class until I started to gain proficiency.

How to deliver a sermon or talk in a way that engages one’s audience and keeps them with you? I learned that from a godly woman who taught at seminary.

How to research topics, analyze information, do field research, and ultimately take all you’ve learned and discovered and put forth a compelling argument in an organized, concise way– so that the Church could benefit from it? Well, I realized mid-way into my doctoral work, that even though many men had taught me, I didn’t really learn how until a godly woman who taught seminary re-taught and mentored me on how to do it well.

Yes, I am a devout Christian. Yes, I believe in the inspiration of Scripture and that scripture must be handled seriously.

But this idea that being a woman should disqualify gifted and competent people from teaching any number of topics at a seminary level?

Well… that defies all logic, reason, and the countless experiences of all the pastors, teachers, church historians, Christian counselors, Bible translators, missionaries, and theologians, who attest to the reality that we had a richer and fuller season of preparation at seminary– not despite having female professors and mentors, but because of them. 

(* For my friends in the LGBTQ community: since Piper rejects anything beyond gender binaries, and I am reacting to his own gender-based argument, I associate “vagina” with “woman” in a way I would not do in other contexts.)

Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is an author, speaker, scholar, and global traveler, who holds graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies from Gordon-Conwell, and earned his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller.

He is the author of Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, and Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus.

It's not the end of the world, but it's pretty #@&% close. Trump's America & Franklin Graham's Christianity must be resisted.

Join the resistance: Subscribe to posts and email updates from BLC!

It's not the end of the world, but it's pretty #@&% close. Trump's America & Franklin Graham's Christianity must be resisted.

Join the resistance: Subscribe for posts and updates from BLC!

Books from BLC:

You Might Also Like:

Books from BLC:

What you think

Post Comments:

    • I’m guessing you didn’t finish the entire article before commenting?
      “For my friends in the LGBTQ community: since Piper rejects anything beyond gender binaries, and I am reacting to his own gender-based argument, I associate “vagina” with “woman” in a way I would not do in other contexts.”

      • I’m sure that you can intuit I was being tongue-in-cheek. But no I had zero interest in actually reading this particular blog post.
        We all know you would not purposefully use hetero-normative words in the wrong context. I grant you that much.

        • Josh, who’s the “we” who you attribute supporting your usurped authority to grant any thing in this house. You’re the guest. Dr. Corey is the host. Read to comprehend before you judge anyone or anything.

        • Ah, thanks for the clarification– I didn’t realize it was tongue and cheek but wanted to point out I had addressed that in the article in case others missed it, and left offended. As I wrote the article my chief concern was my trans friends, and would feel horrible if any of them thought I had lost sight of them.

    • He was addressing Piper in the context Piper and Piper’s followers understand. Based on the body of work it is unfair to make assumptions about Ben based on this one article.

  • Lately, I’ve been reading bits and pieces of the Martyr’s Mirror, a look at our 16th century Anabaptist founders. Our women witnessed beside our men and suffered the consequences. Commitment leads to knowledge and equal competence.Today, many women do not approach theology with competitiveness. They absorb and learn, and can teach others to contemplate, rather than preach a set of rules.

  • Piper’s conclusion is that male children should be removed from their mothers and given to other males to be brought up. Schools must have male staff to teach male students.

  • Thank you Dr. Corey for addressing Piper’s blatant idolatry. Piper and his U.S. White Evangelical followers need a god with (male) genitals, so their idolatry of the pastoral office and requirement for male genitals to be attached to their chosen leaders is predictable.

    • “19 “Whenever a woman has her menstrual period, she will be ceremonially unclean for seven days. Anyone who touches her during that time will be unclean until evening. 20 Anything on which the woman lies or sits during the time of her period will be unclean. 21 If any of you touch her bed, you must wash your clothes and bathe yourself in water, and you will remain unclean until evening. 22 If you touch any object she has sat on, you must wash your clothes and bathe yourself in water, and you will remain unclean until evening. 23 This includes her bed or any other object she has sat on; you will be unclean until evening if you touch it. 24 If a man has sexual intercourse with her and her blood touches him, her menstrual impurity will be transmitted to him. He will remain unclean for seven days, and any bed on which he lies will be unclean. 25 “If a woman has a flow of blood for many days that is unrelated to her menstrual period, or if the blood continues beyond the normal period, she is ceremonially unclean. As during her menstrual period, the woman will be unclean as long as the discharge continues. 26 Any bed she lies on and any object she sits on during that time will be unclean, just as during her normal menstrual period. 27 If any of you touch these things, you will be ceremonially unclean. You must wash your clothes and bathe yourself in water, and you will remain unclean until evening. 28 “When the woman’s bleeding stops, she must count off seven days. Then she will be ceremonially clean. 29 On the eighth day she must bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons and present them to the priest at the entrance of the Tabernacle. 30 The priest will offer one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. Through this process, the priest will purify her before the LORD for the ceremonial impurity caused by her bleeding. 31 “This is how you will guard the people of Israel from ceremonial uncleanness. Otherwise they would die, for their impurity would defile my Tabernacle that stands among them.‘ Lev. 15:19-33.
      Women are pretty scary creatures! Obviously Bethlehem Baptist has a “bleeding discharge tent” on campus where these women can be sequestered. We wouldn’t want any of them to die, now would we? Seriously, male headship is fear based…boys like Piper fear girls like Rachel Held Evans…loss of control.

      • It’s amazing how cultural taboos are passed off as divine words of God…..and so sad. It’s also no coincidence that other cultures saw bleeding women as unclean.

        A Menstruating Woman in Nepal Died as a Result of an Irrational Hindu Ritual

        A 22-year-old Nepalese woman named Gauri Kumari Bayak recently died alone in a windowless hut on a freezing cold night because she was menstruating.

        She didn’t die because someone forced her to sleep outside her warm home, but because, after centuries — perhaps millennia — of dominant Hindu religious traditions in her homeland, she believed she had to. In her culture, women are seen as unclean during their monthly periods, shunned like lepers. It’s just the way it is. Known as chhaupadi (meaning “tree omen”), the myth reflects the idea that women are so toxic during menstruation that if they touch a tree, it will forever be barren of fruit.

        Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2018/01/12/a-menstruating-woman-in-nepal-died-as-a-result-of-a-irrational-hindu-ritual/#7hbFgGE71xmIVIgS.99

  • “Well… that defies all logic, reason, and the countless experiences of all the pastors, teachers, church historians, Christian counselors, Bible translators, missionaries, and theologians, who attest to the reality that we had a richer and fuller season of preparation at seminary– not despite having female professors and mentors, but because of them.”

    Well… that’s because there *is* no logic, reason or experiential basis to this rule. It’s just blind ideology.

  • The irony of Piper’s position is that the idea Paul prohibits women from ever teaching may come from men subsequently incorrectly teaching what Paul said.
    His big “proof text” is 1 Timothy 2:11-12, which supposedly says something like: “Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.”
    Except it doesn’t. In v11, “all submission” really means “all due / proper submission” and “in silence” just means “quietly” or “peacably” not “without talking at all”. It is as such ambiguous without the context of what is being responded to: it could, if in response to the news women were in fact being taught, be a reminder that if they do so they must still be properly obedient to men as their divinely-ordained superiors, but on the other hand, if in response to a someone questioning whether women should be allowed to learn at all, it would be an instruction that they should indeed be allowed to, but only if they show the appropriate respect to their teacher (the respect required being that applied by the standards of the time to male pupils too). That the latter is meant seems to me likely since there is in fact an (often untranslated) “but” between verse 11 and 12, meaning v11 sets out what women can do, whilst v12 sets limits on this permission.
    The problem with then saying in v12 that Paul is he refuses permission for women to “exercise authority” over men is that the meaning of the verb is uncertain: it is apparently clear it doesn’t mean quite “exercise authority”, but it what is not clear whether it means something fairly neutral like “take control from / take control over” or whether it suggests something even more forceful like “usurp” or “dominate”. In either event, however, what Paul is saying is that a woman who wishes to may learn with the men, but she should not be allowed to take over entirely and teach the class. Whether Paul simply means she shouldn’t do so from the existing teacher on her own initiative while she is still supposed to be learning, or that a woman should never go on to teach and lead even after her instruction is completed cannot be determined with any certainty from the passage on its own. That only the former is meant seems to me most likely, since Paul in other places refers to there being ” no male or female ” in Christ, and there are plenty of examples in the Bible of women apparently taking up senior roles in the early church.

    • There’s lots of stuff like this; where authors have been misquoted, mistranslated, or outright edited by less than scrupulous scribes who were driven by their own prejudices and motivations.

      I think half the reason people misunderstand Paul is because he is made to appear to be self-contradictory when he isn’t.

    • I think your reading of these verses differs from John Piper’s understanding. I have not heard him speak on this, but I am making an educated guess from the existence of this article you are commenting on.

      • Piper is a moron who has to be dragged kicking and screaming from his own myopic ignorant understanding of scripture and life. In the meantime he causes misery and suffering.

        “In 2009, prominent American evangelical pastor John Piper, a frequent visitor to Sydney, was asked, “What should a wife’s submission to her husband look like if he’s an abuser?”

        His response was that if he was “simply hurting her”, then she should “endure verbal abuse for a season”, and “endure perhaps being smacked one night”, before seeking “help from the church”.

        Almost four years later, he issued a “clarifying statement” in which he called on men in the church to discipline abusers, and uphold “a beautiful vision” of marriage where men lead with gentleness.”

        http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-18/domestic-violence-church-submit-to-husbands/8652028

        Honestly, ffs.

        And he still thinks women who divorce after enduring rape and her children sexual abuse should be condemned to a life of loneliness because it’ll upset Jesus if they married someone who loved them.

      • Absolutely John Piper reads them differently. The issue is they can be read differently and either John Piper is unaware of this (and if I can find this out on a few Google searches, this is surprising) or he doesn’t care because he wants them to read the way reads them.
        John Piper & co must know the Bible texts they rely on aren’t clear on this at all, that their particular reading is a choice or judgement call on what they say. I (and everyone else who doesn’t agree with John Piper) read them our way because we think reading them John Piper’s way gives a stupid outcome; Piper & co read them their way because it gives the outcome they want or believe is right. Statements about how they wish it were otherwise but unfortunately the Bible etc are hypocritical cant.

        • I am sure he is aware of it, just as you are aware of his view. He just thinks he’s correct — like you think you’re correct. I have heard this theory that women should not rule over men, even in the workplace! out of the mouths of Christians that I work with – and I was astounded. The workplace has not one thing to do with the Church, just as governments don’t (England has had several capable Queens and political leaders) – quite silly to extend a religious teaching into another kingdom where it doesn’t belong. Both the left and right tries to do that – take some religious concept and say, oh, we need to make the governmental state abide by our religious conviction. Hogwash – it doesn’t work that way. Piper is free to read the Scripture and have male only leaders in his religious faith — but, in my view, that’s where it begins and ends. The Church does not have jurisdiction over things outside it’s scope – and Piper should know that. Islam tries to dictate what people do in the state – it’s more of a political system that a religion (case in point: Iran, Saudi Arabia) – again, their view is different than mine – but they should not be able to dictate to the culture and state how to conduct affairs. Turkey used to recognize this, although they are losing the battle to the Islamists.

    • Why is it that people of faith who hold to the truth that God truly exists to be lovingly influential, that the Lord, with all authority in heaven and on earth, Jesus lives, and that the Spirit of truth is no longer just available to the high priest for counsel but to all who seek him, care what Paul said over 1,900 years ago, when Man could bear much less of all truth than today? Why can’t all, who faithfully seek to be students of the Messiah, simply ask the Spirit of truth for guidance, when it is written that only he can guide us into all truth, as we can bear?

      Honestly, I cannot understand why so many people worship the hope found in their own historic writings more than they do their God/Allah/Deity that their writings profess to actually exist to support, nurture and teach them. If God (by any name, who is spirit, not carnal) can speak to lead a carpenter, a fisherman and a Pharisee then, as it is written, why not any of us today?

      Why should we retreat to what Paul said, if today we know the living word of God (which is not to be confused with testimonial scripture) even more so because we are filled with and in the Spirit of truth without pause, without end, and we can all bear exponentially more of all truth than the apostle Paul could (e.g.: physically, today we know from a quark to a black hole, we’ve come from a flat earth to a polarized misshaped spinning ball, and conceptually have evolved from all the heavens rotating around mankind to our virtually invisible speck of earth rotating around its sun on the very outskirts of our more known universe)?

      Why do we, faithful student wannabes of Christ, give Paul, or any of Man on earth, more authority to dictate the structure of our lives than Jesus, with all authority in heaven and on earth, and our Father’s will?

    • I’ve actually read that Paul was offering a solution to a very specific problem. The church of which Timothy was in charge was having problems with unruly women disrupting worship. So Paul just said, “OK, ALL the women have to shut up and sit down!”

      Yes, it was essentially killing a fly with a sledgehammer, but Paul was not exactly a moderate sort!

      • That Paul finds it necessary to labour the point that women should learn quietly and without disrupting lessons does seem to suggest that there was a specific problem with “unruly” women. The wording of the text to me however suggests it was teaching classes they were interrupting rather than general worship (possibly because they were not being allowed to join in?).

  • Teaching at seminary is know today to be a dirty job. Wouldn’t hope it upon anyone. {grin}

    Have we become (by social or religious proxy?) somewhat reticent-reserved for the differences between male and female learner-bringers? There are distinctions widely perceived, most often appreciated. Extending to such as, how does my relationship with my mother (and other women) change so profoundly as I first launch out from my high school or college daze? How does my relationship with my Dad not initiate a similar transition? Why do I learn differently with/thru women than I now do with men? And, why also do as many of my associates? And, to my opening scrape… why are people all so willing at being taught to “teach the Bible” rather than learning to help learners know Christ? Have we allowed the superimposition of economics or prestige such as to obscure deeper understanding (mystery?) around and within us?

    • Marshall, hopefully the joy of adventure in unfolding layer after layer of “deeper understanding” continues without end. If I were ever to reach a mastery of all there is to know I would choose then to finally know nothing.

      On a dimensionally finite planet, that without choice must share its limited resources among an ever growing demand for life, “economic” control maneuvered through political “prestige” seems to the children of Man, of meek to bully, as the most certain way to sustain me and mine. The deeper understanding for our 200,000 year old animal species, which is graced awareness and influence in spirit in addition to its already rapidly developing awareness and influence in physical, was offered, 1,900+ revolutions around our sun ago, a Teacher who came to teach a hierarchy of authority having the pyramid standing upside down, on its point.

      The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

      Matthew 23:11-12

      The first students who survived that Teacher, on earth, chose to re-institute the traditional top down leadership structure within the religious orders they designed, including the tradition of upper body strength patriarchy. The influence in spirit from the the Instructor’s authority remained with His students, but stronger then was the social influence of the physical tradition founded on evolved common sense of allegiance to males at the top of the pecking order. Remaining still, the strongest influence today is the traditions of religious influence, mostly male, governed by financial, scholarly and political prestige from the top down, rather than looking to the out of work carpenter at the bottom for that deeper understanding in truth that can withstand the rigors of no beginning and no end to all awareness and all influence. We do have increasing hope of learning potential today, because our populous of sentient influence is at the highest percentage of literacy than ever before in the history of Man. No literate individual, especially with the Internet at her/his disposal, is dependent upon the all too few scribes available to teach them the law, the spirit and the truth as only the seminary trained scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducee of today can read it.

      For over 1,900 years now, according to the Christian Bible, Man has had no excuse for their continued ignorance of truth, even when trapped in illiteracy, because there is a Teacher available to them who is none other than the Advocate for all united constructive life of spirit. Life, of unity in awareness and influence, with no beginning of an ever continuing awareness, and no end to their shared joy of anticipation realized through the adventure of pursuit for even deeper understanding, just ahead, just around the next bend, now unknown to even the good God of any name.

      As I have been inspired to respond to your query it has become clearer to me that I do have a deeper understanding now, that is increasing as I share, than I realized before I began.

      The answer, as I understand it, to your concluding question, is that we have, as mankind, never not allowed, in the majority, the superimposition of economics or prestige such as to obscure deeper understanding around and within us. I would love to believe that we, as responsible children of mankind, are less imposed by the prestigious few economic hoarders than ever before but percentage wise that may not be the case. Ringing in my heart and mind of spirit is the picture of many are invited but few are chosen.

      It intrigues me that even among the most prestigious scholars of the Bible it is not highlighted that, at the ripe old age of 33, the Christ never once floated his prestige of being a mature adult of Man, which He was by Man’s standards. He never denied and, yet, never flaunted His prestigious position as the only begotten Son of God. He is documented to have referred to his status as Son (a child) of Man 81 times in the New Testament according to chroniclers writing over 1,900 years ago who were present or had available living first hand witnesses to quote.

      Christ’s source of authority was not economic, scholarly or political. The Messiah’s source, for truth that we could then bear, was from those who had the tested experience derived over time from no beginning, the perspective bound by no physical barrier, and the whelmed care to nurture a minute, virtually invisible speck, of awareness and and influence called Man; otherwise lost within their cosmos of infinitely more overwhelming mystery than comfortable understanding for them. The lowly Messiah’s connection to such an awesome source for understanding in truth was solely through His immersion with and in He who appeared as a dove. The same Advocate that is available to any, and all, from the lowliest to the most prestigious children of Man today, subject only to be sought out in all sincerity and humility.

      We cannot continue to look to others, subject to our same limitations of perspective, if we hope to ever understand the mysteries we know as just beyond our comprehension, much less the mysteries we can’t even yet imagine.

      Thank you Marshall, for giving me this moment of opportunity to delve deeper free from imposed proxy.

    • You are asking some good questions!! I think letting go of micromanaging every aspect of practicing xianty by the book may cause one to sink into a temporary state of depression. IMHO Acceptance of Life On Life’s terms means one finally comes to the end of one’s compulsions to control outcomes and is ushered into the presence of the shepherd per the 23rd psalm. I perceive in my own walk with him that He never leaves or forsakes! I am convinced that If one is willing to practice, on a daily basis, turning over one’s life and will one then May spend the rest of one’s time on Earth preparing to receive and be given vision, peace, comfort of anticipating the promise coming true: goodness & mercy following one’s days and looking forward with growing confidence to a future of never being separated from one’s beloved even after death. More and more I have been experiencing Joy encountering others with the love of Christ which is unconditional and offering many forms of encouragement to each unique individual because of this arrangement!

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a43ad487e8c352c9a05cfe5096980d539d30f9d4b0161c52a9b71a2cc3e864b6.jpg

  • It’s traditionalism.
    It’s the ancient pyramid of authority which has less relevance today.
    Antebellum slavery was supported the same way.

  • It appears that you and Piper are at opposite ends of the spectrum while both professing to teach from the same source. Since that is not possible consider that both of you are wrong,

    • Bob, the high priest Caiaphas and the apostle Peter were at “opposite ends of the spectrum” and clearly both did not teach from the same source. Neither does John Piper and Benjamin Corey. It can be determined that Peter was wrong, often. For disciples of the Messiah, it can be determined that Caiaphas was wrong, in the execution of his job, decidedly once for certain. How much life would you believe Caiaphas had left to get it all right? How much time would you believe that Peter has left to get it all right? So, what’s your point?

  • Real world facts clearly lineup behind Benjamin Corey. Those of us who work on the front lines, amongst people dealing with real day to day life issues, the people who Jesus loves, experience daily the fact that gender plays no role when it comes to teaching, nurturing and mentoring people, male or female, on the path to Holiness . God is love, and to suggest that women cannot teach men about the love of God is heresy.

    • None sober presume that a woman is unable to “teach”…not even Piper, or even a pied piper. The more noble inquiry remains with how a woman is bringing-learning to us. If we say “teaching” as to bringing down a shrill lecture-monologued-sprint: I do not hope to be taught in such a way, not by a man, and especially not by a woman — lest she later be embarrassed to realize my common near-zero learning prevalence while lost within a minions audience.

      • ” shrill lecture-monologued-sprint:” That is the preferred method of men without a doubt. I sat through too many to mention. You find it mostly in conservative and fundamentalist Churches. I also read it your comments.

  • Btw don’t forget those other bastions of male privilege, the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

    If they weren’t boys only clubs they wouldn’t have had the sex abuse scandals.

  • I guess I would say to each his own. You can’t dictate to John Piper what he believes and vice/versa. You’re free to say it’s wrong, just like individuals are free to criticize aspects of Muslim practice of male dominance and oppression. We still have to respect each individuals right to his or her beliefs as they draw on their source (Bible, Quran, Bhagavad Gita, personal revelations, Book of Mormon, etc. etc.) We are even free to tell others their source books/revelations/insights/whatever are garbage. But that’s where it ends – they can go out and follow L. Ron Hubbard all day long (if they so desire), all night long (because if you’re a Scientologist, you’ll be busy for long hours), and believe in Xenu, volcanic sacrifices, and the need for personal clearing and there is not a thing we can do to stop them– other than to say it’s nonsense, please don’t. Likewise, I am fairly positive John Piper couldn’t care less what I think or anyone else here thinks — and he has the right to read scripture as he does — and there’s not a thing anyone can say or do.

    • John Piper mightn’t care less – but those who follow him do….and the effects his cult like teaching has on them eg

      A open letter to John Piper about his view on divorce

      “I will not claim that this is not a personal issue for me. I am divorced, and from that I can say that the “high view” of marriage is a low view of me. It is very difficult to sit here as a believer, someone with faith in Christ who has endeavored to follow and serve Him throughout my life, and know that influential teachers like yourself teach that my marriage was more important than my safety, health, and family (in which I include my son who had to feel the effects of my depressed, suicidal, and emotionally abusive wife). You should know the very real effects your public teaching on this subject has. You have been clear that you would support a continued marriage in which I found myself unable to function out of fear and and distress. Had I continued on that road, I have no doubt I’d have lost my job, my son, and probably even my life. I was at a point I could not continue to function – the person I loved and who knew me better than anyone else saw fit to control me through self-directed violence and I was helpless to stop it. You have no idea the toll that took on me, but what’s worse is that you don’t care. Your teaching very clearly states that I am to endure anyway, regardless of the circumstance and suffering.

      I decided that I wanted to live and thrive, not remain abused and broken. The price has been high, as I have lost almost all of my friends, my church, and a huge chunk of my faith. I still believe in the Bible and that Jesus Christ is the only solution to my sin problem, however my ability to trust anyone in matters of faith is almost zero. It’s hard to trust people when there are those out there like yourself who teach such an un-compassionate view of marriage. Any Bible believing church I attend is going to have a high regard for your work, and that in turn leaves me feeling less than trusting, as when I think of you I think of all of the pain you were willing to call me to endure without any understanding at all of what it is like to be in my shoes. It’s hard for me to trust anyone who would hold you in high regard for that reason.

      And yet, with all of the loss in my life, I am still FAR better off than I was in my marriage. I will take the loss of friends, church, and pieces of my faith if it means I get to live and not show my son a picture of marriage that approves of neglect and emotional abuse.

      You lament that divorce is the easy way out; in this you paint with a broad brush. I did everything I knew to save my marriage, I worked as hard as I knew, prayed relentlessly, and had faith that God would give me the strength to endure. He didn’t, and for my work and effort I received judgement and a second-class place in the body of Christ. Divorce is the second hardest thing I’ve ever gone through – the first being marriage to someone who neglected and abused me. It was NOT “easy” by any definition.

      Your teaching has dangerous consequences: people like me read your words and take what you say very seriously. When you leave no room in your church for abused and broken divorcees, that has real world effects. I am such a broken person, and I do not know where I’ll end up. I am fighting the guilt and shame of divorcing my wife and I have to remind myself every day that my guilt and shame are not real – that there is no condemnation because I am in Christ. What I feel is based on how men like you view me, not how God views me. I hope that I can find believers with whom I can some day open up and have a trusting relationship again. Right now I am scared to talk to any believers at all, for judgement is just a few words away. I know for certain I will never end up in your church and I will cringe every time you are quoted. It is difficult to respect a man who would call me to endure torture in a situation he does not understand.”

      https://cryingoutforjustice.com/2012/10/10/a-open-letter-to-john-piper-about-his-view-on-divorce/

      • The RCC (and consequently her rebel kids) abnegated when-as they began admixing various marriage practices with wedding [see: dark ages], thereby landing themselves in the ridiculous spot of being able to “bull” bits about joining the flesh of men and women and sanctity after having misplaced ability to recall just how the pieces fit together for the whole. How may the children prepare for what they do not know? Today, enter the State’s new bid to be getting out of the ‘marriage business’. John Piper delivers no effective answer against the near-total failure of marriage as their institution of an institution. But if any man might be listening intently, a full answer from above (from where the whole wedding-becoming idea was authentically conceived & birthed).

        • I have no idea what this post is about…..

          Something about the failure of marriage and listening for a full answer for something from above.

      • Sad story – thanks for posting. I don’t know much about Piper other than he is a Calvinist Baptist. If people like his theology, they need to learn to filter and reject if it hurts them – and realize he is not a prophet and he is a human being prone to error and tied to a cold hard theology that condemns people left and right through no fault of their own. If they agree that’s the correct reading of Scripture and predestination and Our Sovereign God then they have to take the lumps I guess (or learn to filter) and take comfort in being chosen. If you don’t like him being quoted… go somewhere Piper is not quoted. I’ve never heard him quoted at my Church… Lutherans quote Scripture mostly, Luther sometimes, and occasionally other Lutherans. Pretty much. Piper… not so much.

        • I went to seminary and never heard of him. He’s not an academic but an interpreter through his own lens.

          Hes only followed by those who follow his narrow Calvinistic interpretation.

      • A quote from that post reads:
        “…my ability to trust anyone in matters of faith are almost zero.”

        That may not be such a bad thing. Spiritual abuse inevitably results (at least in some capacity) when church leaders exalt the Bible to godlike status while parishioners are dependent upon them. When that happens, God is made into the interpreters own image due to THEIR INTERPRETATION of the Bible. To them it goes something like this: God = the Bible. The Bible = my interpretation of it. Thus, God = my interpretation of the Bible. And that is the problem. We see it from posters here all the time. Yet most probably don’t even realize they’re doing it. They can’t see the difference.

        • Its unfortunate that it takes tragic real world events to show that this type of theology is not only unhelpful and regressive but dangerous.

        • Agreed… it seems progressives get lots of warnings about false teaching from folks, I might often characterize as, false teachers. For the most part these teachers do not realize that the first place to look for false teaching is…. in the mirror. Belief can be a very strong inducement. It can also be a very dangerous one.

    • And we have the right to say his views are bs.

      Just because he’s pronounced himself as some authority because of his half arsed ignorant interpretations of the Bible, doesnt mean we cant ‘touch the Lord’s self anointed’.

      And theres not a thing anyone can say or do.

      Btw ISIS couldnt care less what you think of them either.

      Neither do I care what you think of us.

  • These Authoritarian types are all part of a common malaise which effects churches and ruins lives. I mean if a woman is expected to be used as a punching bag, women ministers is the least of his problems.

    Here’s hoping these ideologues stay away from real human beings.

    John Piper’s old church is admitting to fault in how it has addressed domestic abuse, and making changes.

    https://cryingoutforjustice.com/2015/04/30/john-pipers-old-church-is-admitting-to-fault-in-how-it-has-addressed-domestic-abuse-and-making-changes/

  • How Piper’s church treated women……wankers….

    “I suppose I should be happy to hear this, but honestly it makes me very angry. It’s been eleven years, and yet just thinking about how Bethlehem Baptist handled my abuser makes my heart pound. He nearly killed me…. I had to have two major surgeries to save my life. Six weeks in the hospital. Three months being fed by a PICC line.
    They blamed me.
    I may stop back and leave a more lengthy comment later, when I can do so from my computer instead of my phone. And hopefully I will be a little less angry by then.
    Unless they have had a fundamental shift in their thinking, I don’t think what they are doing will be enough.”

    https://cryingoutforjustice.com/2015/04/30/john-pipers-old-church-is-admitting-to-fault-in-how-it-has-addressed-domestic-abuse-and-making-changes/

  • According to Mr Piper only male teachers are good at “preparing men to fill the pastoral office.” And how well has that worked out Mr Piper ? ie Jimmy Swaggert, Jim Baker, Mark Driscoll, Doug Phillips,Ted Haggard, Peter Popoff, Bill Gothard. Everyone feel free to add to this list.

  • Not to mention the fact that if they’re going to try to argue that men are better than women because of ‘God’s created order’ (e.g. Adam is superior since he was created first), then they may as well try to argue that animals are superior to humans for the same reason.

    • Obviously having created man, God realised he’d made a total dog’s breakfast of it and had another go. Version 1.0 of anything is always stupidly buggy.

    • I wonder if John Piper would let a person with a john thomas AND a vagina teach in his church?

      So long as they wore a suit……..

  • If women can’t be pastors then why should women teach men to be pastors? I get what he is saying. It’s kinda like having a woman football coach who never played football. Now having said that I disagree with so much Piper says and does. Kay Arthur, Beth Moore, and many other women have taught me a lot. I say let them be pastors and we won’t need to have the conversation about teaching. I bet that Piper is not much of a pastor himself. It’s my experience that great preachers rarely are great pastors and visa versa.

  • Books from BLC:

    >