John Piper: Dogs Can Distract You From Giving God Glory

“I’m suspicious of people who don’t like dogs, but I trust a dog when it doesn’t like a person.” Origin unknown


Lily nursing her sore mouth.

I am writing another short post today as well.

Today, I am nursing Lily, the pug. As some of you know, I currently have three rescued pug dog: Lily, Petunia and Tulip (double entendre intended, bless her heart). Dogs have brought me great joy in my life. A number of years ago, I read "First Friend," part of Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories. This story dealt with the Adam and Eve in the Garden. How this quote touched my heart!

When the Man waked up he said,
"What is Wild Dog doing here?"
And the Woman said,
"His name is not Wild Dog any more,
but the First Friend,
because he will be our friend
for always and always and always."

I have always viewed dogs as a special gift from God. They love unconditionally, make us laugh and break our hearts when they pass away. Since I am dealing with John Piper, I believe a quote from a theologian he might respect is in order. Martin Luther said:

The dog is the most faithful of animals and would be much esteemed were it not so common. Our Lord God has made his greatest gift the commonest.

Unfortunately, John Piper decided to answer a question on dogs, Do Pets Distract the Christian Life? It appears that his answer is "yes" and "no." As usual, the man is confusing.

It is my understanding, from SGM Survivors, that CJ Mahaney, whom John Piper loves, discouraged his followers from having dogs since the money they spent on dogs or other animals could be money given to the church to support their *programs.*

Dogs can distract you from giving God glory

Piper makes this statement at the beginning of the audio transcript.

The first thing I would say is: Surely, yes, pets can take up too much of your time and too much of your money,

He goes on discuss all sorts of things that can distract one from the glory of God such as food, health, hobbies, etc. In other words, just about anything can divert us from keeping our eyes constantly on God.

food can and health can and family can and church can and work can and every hobby under the sun can and sports can and all manner of entertainment can and cars can and clothes can 

How one goes about assessing this, in my opinion, is quite difficult. For example, when my daughter had a brain tumor and my son was born between her two surgeries, my life was filled with merely coping, along with prayers in between the difficulties for God's strength. So, in Piper's world, was a newborn baby, a deathly sick child and another daughter (4 yo) clamoring for attention from her terribly stretched parents to be viewed as seducing me away from the glory of God?

Is your conscious indicting you while your scratch you dog's ears?

So, if your conscience is indicting you for the money you spend or the time you spend combing your dog’s fur or scratching her behind the ears, you should stop, stop. You should get rid of the dog. No pet is worth the damaging of your conscience. 

I can assure one and all, that never once has my conscious troubled me as I have played on the floor with my pugs or having spent hours rehabilitating Petunia who was terribly abused by her former owner. I believe that God smiles when sweet Petunia can happily greets a stranger to our house. When I got her, it took a year for her to even sit in the same room with others.

Instead of spending too much time and money on your dog, you could be performing more edifying activities.

The question with regard to time and money is not only whether it is exorbitant — which it can be, but shouldn’t be. But even if it is modest, would that time, if you had no pet, be devoted to more refreshing, more encouraging, more edifying, more loving, more God-glorifying tasks?

Piper goes on to say that he has no mathematical formula for assessing what is too much time. So, you have to figure that one out for yourself.

Piper claims that God obviously wanted us to have animals.

First because they are useful.

 And besides the sheer usefulness of animals — like a horse to get around once upon a time or fish for food or cows for milk or worms for the soil or sheep for sacrifices and sweaters 

Secondly, pets fall into the category of God-saturated fascination and joy.

Piper quotes a number of Bible verses.

 Job 12:7–9? “Ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this?”

Lastly, they help us to feel shame which is a good thing in Piper's theology.

Piper's dog, Dusty, is a God glorifying type dog since we know that Piper wouldn't have it any other way.

She loves people more than food. She overflows with affection without testing your character first. She is indomitably happy, rain or shine. She holds no grudges whatsoever, no matter how she is treated. Her youth at eight seems to be renewed like the eagles. So, if you, Father, so taught a beast with no soul, no moral or spiritual capacities, to live that kind of life, how much more should her master feel ashamed that even with the Holy Spirit I struggle to do those things?

Unlike Piper's dog, Dusty, my pugs are not perfect. They are sweet and make me laugh, But, they can try my patience at times. Tulip likes to run out into the garage and refuse to come in when I call her. So, I shut the door and make her bark to be let in. Lily likes to save her rawhide treat when I give it to her. Then, when the other two are finished, she parades her bone in front of them, occasionally inciting a riot. 

I just spent a great deal of money to have most of Lily's teeth removed. Pug dogs are notorious for terrible teeth. I am sure Piper would not agree with the expense. But it is the least I could do for a pet that has brought me so much joy. Does he expect us to put down a dog who suddenly has an easily fixed problem like bad teeth because it costs *too much money?* What is too much money in his world?

I find it quite difficult to understand Piper.

Will our pets be raised from the dead?

Let me close with another animal point of view from Piper. Once again, I am confused. By the way, I hope to see my pugs dogs in heaven.

Now, lastly, with regard to specific pets being raised from the dead, that would, I think, be pure speculation. The only biblical point of it that might cause you to think that would be that God intends you to be fully happy with him. And if the presence of that pet is essential for you to know and love God that way, I suspect he will be there. That might be what I would say to a four year old. On the other hand, to the 15 year old or the 35 or the 85 year old lady who just lost her cat, I would say it is spiritually perilous to cultivate a love for an animal that has such a prominent place in your heart you think you need him for eternity. 

If you need a laugh, my favorite website is Dog Shaming.


Comments

John Piper: Dogs Can Distract You From Giving God Glory — 283 Comments

  1. Word fail me on this one…a proper response to Mr. Piper would take more words than the post. John Piper obfuscating as usual is not worth the thought.

    But, I love your dog stories. How wonderful that you are able to do it. I think the First Peoples legends are correct-they are our First and So Loyal Friends.

    Everyone needs that in this sinful world that has so many sorrows.

    You must be under tremendous stress frequently with TWW-I am just praising God that you have some furry babies to love and care for.

  2. I just read an article the other day on the Guardian saying that long-winded speech may be an early sign of Alzheimer’s/ dementia…

    The other facet is these guys would begrudge you the comfort and companionship of a pet just to wring every last penny out of you for their own personal use. What a bunch of frauds and nit pickers.

  3. Siteseer wrote:

    The other facet is these guys would begrudge you the comfort and companionship of a pet just to wring every last penny out of you for their own personal use. What a bunch of frauds and nit pickers.

    That’s it exactly!!!

  4. “She loves people more than food. She overflows with affection without testing your character first. She is indomitably happy, rain or shine. She holds no grudges whatsoever, no matter how she is treated. Her youth at eight seems to be renewed like the eagles. So, if you, Father, so taught a beast with no soul, no moral or spiritual capacities, to live that kind of life, how much more should her master feel ashamed that even with the Holy Spirit I struggle to do those things?”

    Let’s just take this alleged psychotic rant in my opinion apart a bit. “She loves people more than food”, I have seen folks who are very hungry, and it’s well terrible, from what I have read and from the observations I have seen it is so pervasive and primal it is overwhelming. Kids just cry or the hollow look of empty eyes, they don’t love much in the way Piper needs to be loved. From what I observe.

    This one is critical to most of the subjects here.

    “She overflows with affection without testing your character first.”

    Just look at that, giving affection apart from character if that does not just breed abuse foster many of the ills discussed here this is a cornerstone of abuse. Giving affection, support, authority, silence, etc apart from Character. The bible is the exact opposite, God came to us out of character and won a hearing giving us His all.

    “So, if you, Father, so taught a beast with no soul, no moral or spiritual capacities,”

    My irony meter just broke on that one.

    “how much more should her master”
    Red alert abuse meter I really do not think Piper gets this at all. As for his blabbering about not giving too much for “pets”, I think about police dogs, dogs that serve our military, therapeutic/service animals of all types, sheep dogs, rescue dogs, cats of course and so on. No offense but this man’s “god” is way to small.

  5. The whole “don’t do X, Y, or Z because it’s all a distraction from God” reminds me of ISIS threatening to blow up Qatar’s World Cup stadium because soccer is a distraction from Islam. It seems to me that either everything in life is a distraction from God, or nothing is. If you take Piper’s argument to its logical conclusion you’d end up needing to become a hermit in the desert praying 24/7.

  6. This is a classic from JP. I love that, of course, JPs dog is perfect. I was waiting for JP to say that Dusty is a Gospel-Centered pet.

  7. someone said (I forget who) that the unconditional love your dog has for you is the closest example we have in this world of the pure love of God for us

    I think that person must have had a dog like ours. 🙂

    If God loves us anywhere near as much as my dog loves us, then the human race is in better Hands than Piper has led many to believe. No wonder Piper is threatened by dog love: it counters all the negative in his ‘message’ about God.

    Imagine a God Who uses the love of little pups to put the proud Piper in his place. I like this God. 🙂

  8. More simplistic ascetics and Nirvana from Piper. I always get a kick of how these article are titled with a question, as if you are going to be surprised that he comes up with the most extreme answer possible.

  9. (Of course, John Piper is justified in having a dog because his is the Perfect Godly Dog, LOL!! And I’m calling BS on a lot of that, too, ha ha)

  10. So, if your conscience is indicting you for the money you spend or the time you spend combing your dog’s fur or scratching her behind the ears, you should stop, stop.

    Piper is ridiculous. Someone needs to send him to the house, as we say at work!

    Stuff anyone who tells me what to do with my pets. My view is, God is love. Anything love we give is not wasted.

  11. But of course, cats are from the Devil…. (unless they teach you humility by making you clean up their barf or waking you at 3am with their mewling)

    Gee whiz some people need to make sure they have an opinion on EVERYTHING. Blogs need to add “Eye Roll Warnings” in addition to Trigger and Spoiler Warnings…

  12. Now, lastly, with regard to specific pets being raised from the dead, that would, I think, be pure speculation. The only biblical point of it that might cause you to think that would be that God intends you to be fully happy with him. And if the presence of that pet is essential for you to know and love God that way, I suspect he will be there.

    With that line of thought, we should not assume that human beings will be raised from the dead. After all, we only need Jesus. To heck with grandma. She can stay dead in eternity.

    Also, at what point does caring for, say, children, or for injured people, the sickly, etc., begin to constitute a distraction from God? Let’s not spend too much money on little Johnny getting a new heart. He can just die. We need to send more missionaries to bring good news to people! Good news, everyone! God loved you so much, that led a family to let their son Johnny die rather than get a new heart so that they could pay us to tell you all about how much God loves you!

    If you take Piper’s argument to its logical conclusion you’d end up needing to become a hermit in the desert praying 24/7.

    MidwesternEasterner, you read my mind. The first thing I thought was monasticism. After all, monks and nuns have historically been the best practitioners of “Christian Hedonism”. And if you whip yourself enough, you’ll even feel ecstatic about Jesus! I can really feel the Holy Spirit as my back is bleeding and all those endorphins are released.

    (I hope I have not offended my Catholic friends by bringing up the most extreme forms of monasticism. My point is that Piper belongs with the extreme ones. There have been many wonderful, moderate practitioners of monasticism in church history whom I admire.)

  13. Siteseer wrote:

    (Of course, John Piper is justified in having a dog because his is the Perfect Godly Dog, LOL!! And I’m calling BS on a lot of that, too, ha ha)

    Everything this man says is ridiculous!!! She holds no grudges no matter what you do make me wonder what he is doing to her. She loves people more than food makes me wonder if she had ever been hungry. He just says this stuff, and it’s all nonsense.

    I like dogs just fine, but come on. He probably never takes care of it anyway.

  14. srs wrote:

    But of course, cats are from the Devil….

    Please tell me he did a blog on cats!!! I”m sure it would be even dumber.

  15. Is Piper trolling? Is he just saying this stuff the way some wacky Christian “thinkers” publish articles against yoga pants?

  16. @ molly245:
    Yes!
    @ Siteseer:
    Yes!
    Would it be narcissistic to begrudge a church member’s attention to, and affection with, their dog so that they can be more centered on (enslaved to) the Dear Leader’s Dynasty (“church”)? Control much?

    Our Heavenly Father is so much more loving and less a task master than the Dear Leader.

    God is love. As the earlier TWW post eloquently elaborates, lack of love is missing the mark. http://bit.ly/2mgqFw0

  17. As I’ve said before, and I find no reason to think otherwise…

    John Piper is a freak, and I don’t know why anyone listens to him, or how he got to his position in the calvinista world.

    Full disclosure: I am a dog person. Pele (black lab), Elin (border collie), and Finn (australian cattle dog) send greets to The Pugs!

  18. Lea wrote:

    So, if your conscience is indicting you for the money you spend or the time you spend combing your dog’s fur or scratching her behind the ears, you should stop, stop.

    Piper is ridiculous. Someone needs to send him to the house, as we say at work!

    Stuff anyone who tells me what to do with my pets. My view is, God is love. Anything love we give is not wasted.

    Our dog is part ‘silky terrier’ which means he has the most beautiful ‘hair’ which grows fast. With the exception of the deep winter months of Dec. and Jan., I get him groomed or he passes for a small bear. The money? I get my hair cut once a year. Last time, it was at Walmart. I tipped the girl who cut it more than the haircut cost.

    As for the medical care? Top of the line Plan from Banfield Hospital which includes dental cleaning under anesthesia once a year.
    Guilty?

    Nope

    Not at all.

    The little one is in my care. I will do what I can for him. And some things are not to be reckoned. I can give up a lot of needless expense to reel in money for good purposes,
    but that dog’s care is not one of them.

    DOG$ RULE!!!! says shameless me. 🙂

  19. I’d agree that it’s very true Americans spend enormous amounts on their pets while ignoring significantly weightier matters in life, but his attempts to burden one’s conscience with his thoughts go in the legalism bucket, imo.

    He’d probably be very happy to see someone start Piper’s Pet Meat Charity that feeds the homeless.

  20. @ Clockwork Angel:
    Does Piper not know that ALL CREATION awaits its redemption????

    That includes all creatures great and small whose lives have come from the Hand of the Creator and whose lives are in His keeping.

  21. Piper reminds me of the Puritan in the quotation who is defined as a person who is worried that somewhere someone is having fun.

  22. God’s answer to Piper:
    the existence of ‘therapy dogs’.

    What a blessing they are from the Hand of the Creator! 🙂

  23. Siteseer wrote:

    long-winded speech may be an early sign of Alzheimer’s/ dementia…

    Does that apply to the TWW editor who talks her husband’s ear off each night?

  24. Here’s an interesting and apposite tidbit from Islam:

    “A man walking along a path felt very thirsty. Reaching a well, he descended into it, drank his fill, and came up. Then he saw a dog with its tongue hanging out, trying to lick up mud to quench its thirst. The man said, “This dog is feeling the same thirst that I felt.” So he went down into the well again, filled his shoe with water, and gave the dog a drink. So, God thanked him and forgave his sins. The Prophet was asked, “Messenger of God, are we rewarded for kindness towards animals?” He said: {There is a reward for kindness to every living animal or human.}”

  25. Jason wrote:

    JPs dog is perfect. I was waiting for JP to say that Dusty is a Gospel-Centered pet.

    That is exactly what I thought. Piper’s dog is perfect and for sure, gospel centered.

  26. Once again, Flutterhands Piper shoots off his mouth.

    I would say it is spiritually perilous to cultivate a love for an animal that has such a prominent place in your heart you think you need him for eternity. 

    Because it shows you’re too fleshly and unfit for an eternity as a disembodied soul on fluffy clouds, so Spiritual you could never have been human. And MoGs like Flutterhands are doing their best to make themselves so Spiritual they cease to be human.

  27. Stan wrote:

    how these article are titled with a question, as if you are going to be surprised that he comes up with the most extreme answer possible.

    I hadn’t thought of that!!!!

  28. dee wrote:

    @ brian:
    Have you ever seen a dog deprived of food? The human is back burnered at that point.

    The way to a dog’s heart is through his stomach.
    (And dogs have a LOT of stomach…)

  29. srs wrote:

    ome people need to make sure they have an opinion on EVERYTHING.

    I agree with you. I wonder if he will do a post on “Are man buns an example of a gospel hair?”

  30. Clockwork Angel wrote:

    Also, at what point does caring for, say, children, or for injured people, the sickly, etc., begin to constitute a distraction from God? Let’s not spend too much money on little Johnny getting a new heart. He can just die. We need to send more missionaries to bring good news to people! Good news, everyone! God loved you so much, that led a family to let their son Johnny die rather than get a new heart so that they could pay us to tell you all about how much God loves you!

    Well said!

  31. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    dee wrote:

    @ brian:
    Have you ever seen a dog deprived of food? The human is back burnered at that point.

    The way to a dog’s heart is through his stomach.
    (And dogs have a LOT of stomach…)

    And the way to a man’s heart is through his rib cage. I’m sorry, that just slipped out.

  32. Friend wrote:

    some wacky Christian “thinkers” publish articles against yoga pants?

    Do you have a link? I would love to see that. I just read an article that just about everyone is ditching regular clothes and going for leggings and the athletic look.

  33. kin wrote:

    I’d agree that it’s very true Americans spend enormous amounts on their pets while ignoring significantly weightier matters in life,

    There are many lonely people in the world that the church is not reaching. I think pets are God’s way of showing us love.

    OTOH my husband claims I will become one of those little old ladies found dead of starvation in her recliner surrounded by 30 well fed rescue dogs.

  34. I just wonder…it makes me nervous when people poohoo attachment to animals.

    Now, I am certainly for prioritizing human over animal life.

    However, I adore animals and hope to see them in heaven.

    What disturbs me with Piper and others downplaying animal attachment as improper is how it strikes me as attachment to ideas over real relationships with living things. It makes me question such a person’s ability to empathize or–minimally–suggests a devaluation of emotions and attachments.

  35. Christiane wrote:

    the existence of ‘therapy dogs’.
    What a blessing they are from the Hand of the Creator!

    When my stepfather was in the hospital and feeling miserable, a woman brought a therapy dog to see him-a beautiful Golden Retriever. As she was leaving, she asked if the dog could pray for him. I thought, Oh no, he’s an atheist.” But the dog assumed the position of prayer(!) and everyone was silent for a minute. There were tears in my stepdad’s eyes.

  36. roebuck wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    dee wrote:

    @ brian:
    Have you ever seen a dog deprived of food? The human is back burnered at that point.

    The way to a dog’s heart is through his stomach.
    (And dogs have a LOT of stomach…)

    And the way to a man’s heart is through his rib cage. I’m sorry, that just slipped out.

    Yes, that was in somewhat poor taste – if the powers that be want to delete it, that would be fine. Just something I read somewhere, and I thought HUG might get a chuckle out of it. Ok, onward.

    Anyway, the idea that having and caring for a dog is questionable because it might deprive the church of money is sick. Why can’t people see these creeps as the money-grubbing slime-balls that they are? I am just baffled by this.

    Why don’t they just come out and say it’s all about the money? Money money money. Celebrity ‘pastors’ (gack!) living in million dollar mansions, while their pew sitters give ‘sacrificially’. But I guess as long as there are suckers, this is going to go on. Probably forever.

  37. Friend wrote:

    Is Piper trolling? Is he just saying this stuff the way some wacky Christian “thinkers” publish articles against yoga pants?

    Obviously this is someone who has WAY too much time on his hands.

    And nothing to do except sit in the rarified air of his third-floor study, pausing from his Deep Thoughts only to ring his wife on the ground floor to bring him tea.

  38. Ken F wrote:

    That post could only come from a totally deprave mind.

    God help me, I checked out that post. I will never again pollute my mind and soul with the utterances of this freak. He needs to just go away. Doesn’t he have any friends who can tell him to just shut up?

  39. dee wrote:

    I agree with you. I wonder if he will do a post on “Are man buns an example of a gospel hair?”

    You do not need to wait for him. I will give you the answer now. No. No they are not. (And 20 years from now the current man-bun wearers will find something silly about how their children wear their hair.)

  40. @ dee:

    Strawberry (my black lab a few years ago) was a therapy dog. She brought such joy to people, particularly older people in the nursing homes – you could just see their faces light up. If I am ever in such a situation, I sure do hope someone will bring a dog to visit me…

  41. srs wrote:

    (And 20 years from now the current man-bun wearers will find something silly about how their children wear their hair.)

    Even better, 20 years from now they will be trying to explain it to their kids.

  42. I often feel that the relation between a dog and its master is a model, admittedly a very imperfect one, between us and our infinite Master. After 50+ years of having dogs, often more than one, as pets we, my wife and I, are down to just one, a 6 pound 12 year old chihuahua, a truly intriguing little bundle of personality. She will occasionally leave something on the floor that needs to be cleaned up but we always forgive her just as we expect to be forgiven for our transgressions.

  43. roebuck wrote:

    Here’s an interesting and apposite tidbit from Islam:

    “A man walking along a path felt very thirsty. Reaching a well, he descended into it, drank his fill, and came up. Then he saw a dog with its tongue hanging out, trying to lick up mud to quench its thirst. The man said, “This dog is feeling the same thirst that I felt.” So he went down into the well again, filled his shoe with water, and gave the dog a drink. So, God thanked him and forgave his sins. The Prophet was asked, “Messenger of God, are we rewarded for kindness towards animals?” He said: {There is a reward for kindness to every living animal or human.}”

    Thanks for sharing that. It’s beautiful!
    There is much in Islam that ‘translates’ for someone like me who shares an Abrahamic faith together with the Jews and the Muslims: a focus on the goodness of the One Creator God.

  44. dee wrote:

    There are many lonely people in the world that the church is not reaching. I think pets are God’s way of showing us love.

    Indeed. My family and I happen to be those “lonely” people (to some degree…due to the church) who benefit from the friendship of animals. Should have qualified my statement as such “…many an American…” since I have thirty years of being inside people homes (affluent area) day in and day out. I could write a book. 🙂

  45. I like dogs, but my hubby and I have 3 cats. Latest one adopted us about a month ago. My cats have brought untold joy to me. Many times, when I have been ill, my Siamese cat (the original Harley) comes in and lays next to me, and lets me pet her. That is healing in so many ways. When I am lying in bed when I shouldn’t be, our male cat comes and checks on me to make sure I’m ok. These 2 cats are so totally loving and bring so much joy to us. Not sure about the 3rd cat yet. But I think she’s ok. She got spayed today. I guarantee my Siamese talks back to me. I ask her things, and she responds with a yeah, or a nay. So funny. I thank God for my furry friends that God has blessed us with.

  46. Stan wrote:

    More simplistic ascetics and Nirvana from Piper. I always get a kick of how these article are titled with a question, as if you are going to be surprised that he comes up with the most extreme answer possible.

    Are click bait titles and blog posts glorifying to God?

  47. dee wrote:

    Have you ever seen a dog deprived of food? The human is back burnered at that point.

    We have 4 dogs. 2 from a shelter, 1 from a neighbor, and 1 who was abandoned. The abandoned one is a full blooded Great Pyrenees who was starved, beaten, and abandoned as a young pup in the bottoms about a mile from my house back in Jan. 2008. A timber cutting crew kept him alive, barely, with their lunch scraps. The first few times I saw him, I thought he was a sick, old dog ……. Looking for a comfortable place to die. Then, one day he let me get close enough to see his eyes – broke my heart – he was only a puppy! When the crew left in April, Bumble D. finally ambled out to the end of our long driveway. My husband saw Bum when he left to run errands and threw snack crackers he had in the truck to him. He stayed. At that point, he was about 9 months old. He was covered in ticks and flees, so we bathed him. He was literally skin, bone, and fur. He was so weak, he could barely walk. We didn’t know if he would live. He was afraid to eat. ……. the first few days, he would only eat directly from my hands.. ……… He was never a puppy, he was too weak to be a puppy. It took him a year to recover under our care and gain strength enough to trot. Would go on long walks with us, and we would have to stop and wait for him because he moved so slowly.
    The first time I came out of the house with my BBQ utensils, he ran. ……. Same thing with drop cords. The first 200 times I picked up a fly swatter, he ran. He was terrified of children. ……… The first Chistmas he was with us, he was afraid of the lights. And there is so much more to his story.
    He grew big ….. big even for a GP …… and strong, and comfortable, and happy. He guards our home. He is afraid of no one. I don’t think he remembers the bad times.
    He is old and arthritic now, but still when I look at him, I see God’s grace, mercy, glory, and love. Everyone who knew Bumbles way back when sees the same things. They’ve told me so.
    If John Piper came to my home, I hope my coon hound would chase him up a tree!

  48. My dogs are keeping me warm on my lap and feet.
    Mr. Piper is trying to keep himself relevant, I guess.
    He’s failing miserably.
    My dogs and I know: life is to honor God and be good to each other.
    Soli Deo gloria!

  49. Aw, Lily. What a pitiful face.
    Dee, scoop her up, go sit down, and just hold her for a while. She looks like she needs to be held!

  50. All Trolls wrote:

    My dogs are keeping me warm on my lap and feet.

    I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. One of the problems from it is pain in my legs, especially at night. When we go to bed at night one of our dogs ( Allie and Amos Moses swap up) will get in the bed and lay across my legs. The resulting pressure on my muscles relieves my pain so that I can sleep. God is good that way.

  51. This isn’t actually that weird when you consider that Piper is, fundamentally and ironically, only able to view the world through the lens of works-righteousness. He is a legalist through and through. As such, and in that context, I don’t find it odd at all that he could think that a canine might thwart God’s great quest to gobble up every scrap of “glory” that He possible can.

    Of course, in any other context it is certifiable. But that’s rather the point, isn’t it?

  52. The fact that an actual adult asked Piper that question about pets is what scares me the most.

  53. My control freak Cat came to me from some friends who could no longer keep her. Since I Iive alone, she is great company. When I was recovering from major surgery several years ago, she was the reason I got up since she needed to be fed and the litter box cleaned. Now 14, I am already dreading when separation will come.

    I wonder if Piper understands that a good God gave us all things to enjoy? For some it’s books, for others the outdoors and others their pets. For me, having a pet is another way to experience the goodness of God.

  54. Lydia wrote:

    The fact that an actual adult asked Piper that question about pets is what scares me the most.

    We don’t even know if real people are asking him questions. I sent him a question that he never answered. It was a substantial question. Maybe he can only respond to silly.

  55. roebuck wrote:

    God help me, I checked out that post. I will never again pollute my mind and soul with the utterances of this freak.

    That is the downside of posting the actual words of Piper. I guess I should have included a disclaimer. Sorry if it sent you to a bad place. I’ve read quite a few of his posts in an effort to try to understand why so many people find him “deep.” I’ve found him to be a combination or wordy, pompous, histrionic, inconsistent, self-contradictory, incoherent, heretical, blasphemous, pornographic, arrogant, and disrespectful (not necessarily in that order). Maybe that poisonous combination hypnotizes people. I find myself shocked that more people don’t see the problem with him.

  56. Linn wrote:

    For some it’s books, for others the outdoors and others their pets. For me, having a pet is another way to experience the goodness of God.

    For me, it’s books, the outdoors, and my other-species friends. I hope that my dogs feel as lucky to be with us here as we do to have them here.

    And as far as the separation is concerned, I’ve dealt with that many, many, many times. You will almost certainly outlive your dog/cat/whatever. It’s part of the package, and there’s a lesson in there somewhere no doubt.

    It’s all good.

  57. @ ishy:

    That’s kind of how it plays out in real Piper-preaching churches, everything you already do glorifies God if you think hard enough.

  58. Ken F wrote:

    I find myself shocked that more people don’t see the problem with him.

    I felt the same way about Park Fiscal, I mean Mark Driscoll (where is Nick these days?)

    The problem is clear – no one reads their Bible anymore, and so they are prey to any fancy-talking clown that comes along. It’s quite pathetic, really.

  59. It’s not that dissimilar from an illustration from a book when I was a kid: “Joseph wants to help the poor in his neighborhood, but he isn’t sure how. He decides to think on it while listening to a selection from one of his three hundred CDs.”
    The obvious answer is supposed to be: “Joseph should most of his CDs. He can use the money he raises to help the poor.”
    Piper shows the same sort of thinking: “Joseph wants to help the poor in his neighborhood, but he isn’t sure how. He decides to think on it while playing fetch with his dog.”
    There’s an old saying, where there’s a will, there’s a way. I’m sure that if Joseph is a hard worker who can buy three hundred CDs or his own dog and cover the expenses that goes with it, surely he can also find a way to do that and help the poor / do godly acts anyway. Sometimes pets aren’t a hindrance, they’re a muse and a help to doing things that give God glory.

  60. My other thoughts/ pets teach empathy that is often transferred to human relationships. Children also learn about life and death through separation from a beloved pet. There are successful programs where prisoners rehab dogs so that they can be adopted. Pets are very valuable in the human sphere!

  61. Linn wrote:

    Pets are very valuable in the human sphere!

    Very true. Studies have also found that pet dander exposure when young is beneficial. Having pets makes your kids healthier in many ways.

  62. Linn wrote:

    My control freak Cat came to me from some friends who could no longer keep her.

    We ended up with a cat because a kitten showed up in the neighbors back yard. I am much more of a dog person, but the cat, now a little more than a year old, greets me at the door when I come home (but the dog still gets there first). This cat thing could grow on me…

  63. @ Ken F:

    The dog-human relationship is an ancient one. I sometimes think that they domesticated us, rather than vice versa.

  64. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    I don’t find it odd at all that he could think that a canine might thwart God’s great quest to gobble up every scrap of “glory” that He possible can.

    That “God’s Great Quest” reminds me so much of “the bloated spider analogy” from the Preface to Screwtape Letters.

  65. roebuck wrote:

    Doesn’t he have any friends who can tell him to just shut up?

    NOBODY dares tell a CELEBRITY anything other than what the CELEBRITY wants to hear.

  66. I’m guessing Piper wouldn’t like the fact that most of our tithe goes to a no kill animal shelter.

    God loves his creation and he will redeem all of it. I have no doubt I’ll see my dog again, just like my grandpa and baby.

  67. @ kin:

    “I’d agree that it’s very true Americans spend enormous amounts on their pets while ignoring significantly weightier matters in life”
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    what proof do you have that Americans who spend enormous amounts on their pets ignore significantly weightier matters in life?

  68. I love dogs! Our Missy has given my husband and I so much pleasure. She has made us laugh and brought enjoyment into our lives that hitherto was not present. As empty-nesters, our home became somewhat gloomy and sad. When Missy entered our lives, all that changed. Everyday she amuses us with her sparky personality, or what I might call dognality. 😉

  69. Divorce Minister wrote:

    What disturbs me with Piper and others downplaying animal attachment as improper is how it strikes me as attachment to ideas over real relationships with living things.

    Interesting point.

  70. MidwesternEasterner wrote:

    The whole “don’t do X, Y, or Z because it’s all a distraction from God” reminds me of ISIS threatening to blow up Qatar’s World Cup stadium because soccer is a distraction from Islam. It seems to me that either everything in life is a distraction from God, or nothing is. If you take Piper’s argument to its logical conclusion you’d end up needing to become a hermit in the desert praying 24/7.

    Or perhaps the take-away is that Christians should be attending every church service, involved in all the extra-curricular activities that go on at the church, be giving 10% of their Gross Income to the church, volunteering at all the church events, attend the Gospel Glitterati Conferences, buy Piper’s and all the other Neo-Calvinist’s books, and be re-Tweeting Piper Points in their spare moments. 😉

  71. animal lover, here. dog sleeps under the covers, cat shares my pillow with me.

    i’m going for all the happiness i can get in this life (i only have one). i pour all my love and affection and care into my pets. gives me so much happiness.

    but it’s just one of the things i do with my love, affection, care, & resources.

  72. I call Piper’s Christianity hyper spirituality on steroids, to the point where one’s humanity is suppressed. In Piper’s World, to have human pleasures is considered unspiritual. One must constantly be naval gazing throughout the day, consumed with whether or not what they are doing at that moment is pleasing to God. I can relate to this. Yes, again it is an example from living in my former Christian cult. I, and another sister in the Lord, were planning to go out to a restaurant to enjoy eating out one evening. We had saved up our allowance money (remember this was a cult), and the time came when we had saved up enough to go out to eat. We decided on a lovely Asian restaurant that was in our neighborhood. During the earlier part of the day that we had planned to eat out, I began to feel guilty. I started to wonder if going out to eat was the best use of our time. I wondered if it was the best use of our money. Still, even with these reservations, I went out to eat with my friend. But I couldn’t enjoy it because the whole time I kept worrying about if our eating out activity was pleasing to God. I kept bringing it up at the conversation during that dinner, which I think must have irritated my friend, although she said nothing to that effect.

    Navel gazing, scrutinizing the belly button, wringing one’s hands over every minute detail in one’s daily activities as to whether or not it is pleasing to God. This is Piper’s Christianity. And it is harmful to a person’s sanity.

  73. This is very troubling: “So, if your conscience is indicting you for the money you spend or the time you spend combing your dog’s fur or scratching her behind the ears, you should stop, stop. You should get rid of the dog. No pet is worth the damaging of your conscience.”

    A person whose conscience is indicting him or her for loving and caring for her pet, has a problem with an overactive, legalistic hyper-conscience. And it’s anti-love. Piper is basically saying, “Take this creature who loves and trusts you, whose life revolves around you, and reject and abandon it because you love it too much.” This is WRONG.

  74. Christiane wrote:

    @ Clockwork Angel:
    Does Piper not know that ALL CREATION awaits its redemption????
    That includes all creatures great and small whose lives have come from the Hand of the Creator and whose lives are in His keeping.

    Exactly, Christiane. Piper does not know his Bible in this regard. ALL CREATION includes our pets. Sigh….

  75. Piper again huh?
    Like they say, it’s impossible to make this stuff up.
    Once again he proves himself the undisputed emperor of the inane.

  76. Christiane wrote:

    Thanks for sharing that. It’s beautiful!
    There is much in Islam that ‘translates’ for someone like me who shares an Abrahamic faith together with the Jews and the Muslims: a focus on the goodness of the One Creator God.

    It’s indeed beautiful! Thanks goes out to roebuck for sharing that bit from the Qu’ran. Kindness and doing the right thing are universal to all faiths in spite of what the haters want to sway us with.
    Here’s what Erasmus had to say:

    “Whatever is pious and conduces to good manners ought not to be called profane.
    The first place must indeed be given to the authority of the Scriptures; but, nevertheless, I sometimes find some things said or written by the ancients, nay, even by the heathens, nay, by the poets themselves, so chastely, so holily, and so divinely, that I cannot persuade myself but that, when they wrote them, they were divinely inspired, and perhaps the spirit of Christ diffuses itself farther than we imagine; and that there are more saints than we have in our catalogue.”

  77. @ roebuck:
    roebuck wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    He needs to be healed.

    That’s a much better formulation, thank you!

    I was actually thinking that he’s the kind of broken mess that a real therapy dog could care for and help.

  78. The first thing I would say is: Surely, yes, Piper can take up too much of your time and too much of your money…

  79. Bill M wrote:

    The first thing I would say is: Surely, yes, Piper can take up too much of your time and too much of your money…

    🙂 🙂 :-)!!!

  80. Kristen Rosser wrote:

    A person whose conscience is indicting him or her for loving and caring for her pet, has a problem with an overactive, legalistic hyper-conscience. And it’s anti-love. Piper is basically saying, “Take this creature who loves and trusts you, whose life revolves around you, and reject and abandon it because you love it too much.” This is WRONG.

    Conscience is very much like Jiminy Cricket sitting on your shoulder, always admonishing you (generic you) as to what’s right and what’s wrong.
    Pier sprayed his with DDT long ago.

  81. Sorry, I just can’t resist:

    To the Piper groupies:

    Is your conscious indicting you while Piper tickles your ears?

    So, if your conscience is indicting you for the money you spend on Piper books, following his blog or the time you spend listening to his sermons, you should stop, stop. You should get rid of the books and stop following his blog and listening to his sermons. No Piper is worth the damaging of your conscience.

    2 Timothy 4:3-4 NASB “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.”

    As far as the cat vs. dog debate, I would guess that he would say they serve a different function or role, but are equal in essence and being. 🙂

    Lastly, I hope and pray my dog will be with me in heaven. What’s with the blatant dishonesty in his remarks? The only “biblical” TM point… and he proceeds to tell a 4 year old that he suspects God would want to have his/her pet there to make the child happy, but then he turns around and basically tells an adult, if he/she wants the pet there, they may not even make it to heaven themselves (what else could spiritually perilous mean?) I wonder where he gets that “biblical” point.

  82. dee wrote:

    srs wrote:
    ome people need to make sure they have an opinion on EVERYTHING.
    I agree with you. I wonder if he will do a post on “Are man buns an example of a gospel hair?”

    LoL! This post and the comments have me laughing in stitches. Thanks DEEBS and TWW commenters.

  83. Ken F wrote:

    Stan wrote:
    I always get a kick of how these article are titled with a question, as if you are going to be surprised that he comes up with the most extreme answer possible.
    This one is the worst I have seen from Piper – posted only a few weeks ago: http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/was-jesus-a-christian-hedonist. That post could only come from a totally deprave mind.

    And taking into consideration what an actual hedonist is, we must conclude that Piper has gone off the rails and wandered into Bizzaro World.

    https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/hedonist

  84. Oh, for the love of Rover. Can the man just not let a sleeping dog lie? No. No, he can’t. He gnaws at the question like he’s going after a bothersome flea. A normal, reasonable pastor, if asked if it is too much of a distraction from God to own a pet, would say, “I’m sure you and God can decide that for yourself.” The tail is wagging the dog here and the Piper disciples will be slobbering all over this one, I’m sure. Fortunately, that dog won’t hunt for most of us. We will have our dogs and glorify God, too.

    And it’s plain to see from his description of Dusty Piper that she is a perfect complimentarian dog. Completely devoted to her master. Always happy. Overflows with affection without testing your character first. Holds no grudge no matter how she is treated. Yessiree, she is a perfect model of complentarianism.

  85. Should I convert to neo-Calvinism, just so that I can say that my dogs, as well my daughter’s horse, were all chosen before the foundations of the earth and were predestined to go to Heaven???

  86. Kristen Rosser wrote:

    A person whose conscience is indicting him or her for loving and caring for her pet, has a problem with an overactive, legalistic hyper-conscience. And it’s anti-love. Piper is basically saying, “Take this creature who loves and trusts you, whose life revolves around you, and reject and abandon it because you love it too much.” This is WRONG.

    This nonsense fits right in with JP’s book, “Don’t Waste Your Life”.

  87. Tree wrote:

    Oh, for the love of Rover. Can the man just not let a sleeping dog lie? No. No, he can’t. He gnaws at the question like he’s going after a bothersome flea. A normal, reasonable pastor, if asked if it is too much of a distraction from God to own a pet, would say, “I’m sure you and God can decide that for yourself.” The tail is wagging the dog here and the Piper disciples will be slobbering all over this one, I’m sure. Fortunately, that dog won’t hunt for most of us. We will have our dogs and glorify God, too.
    And it’s plain to see from his description of Dusty Piper that she is a perfect complimentarian dog. Completely devoted to her master. Always happy. Overflows with affection without testing your character first. Holds no grudge no matter how she is treated. Yessiree, she is a perfect model of complentarianism.

    Tree: You are Spot On!

  88. Tree wrote:

    Yessiree, she is a perfect model of complentarianism.

    Considering my first thought was that I don’t think Piper knows much about dogs…this makes perfect sense. He doesn’t know much about women either!

  89. Muff Potter wrote:

    Conscience is very much like Jiminy Cricket sitting on your shoulder, always admonishing you (generic you) as to what’s right and what’s wrong.
    Pier sprayed his with DDT long ago.

    With apologies to H.U.G, it is a bug, not a feature…

  90. Lea wrote:

    Considering my first thought was that I don’t think Piper knows much about dogs…this makes perfect sense. He doesn’t know much about women either!

    Apparently the body of believers has to endure him “for a season.” May Spring come quickly.

  91. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/americans-spent-a-record-56-billion-on-pets-last-year/

    “Pets across America live like little humans these days – and as long as people treat them that way, pet spending should keep climbing…”

    “The humanization of our pets started about 20 years ago, Vetere said in a telephone interview. As people made pets more important parts of their families, manufacturers introduced products that, in the beginning, helped the animals make their move from the backyard to the front room.”

    I reckon 100 years ago (and beyond) the overwhelming majority of people in America would have a moral issue with this phenomena.

    http://newstarget.com/2016-02-23-usda-approves-slaughterhouses-producing-horse-meat-for-human-consumption.html

    The horse rescue places around us have spent millions of dollars in buying farms, equipment, advertising for free help, etc. just to keep horses alive. They are going nuts about the idea of eating a horse. But economics don’t matter to them. Nor does the possibility of feeding people in need.

  92. Ken F wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    The fact that an actual adult asked Piper that question about pets is what scares me the most.

    We don’t even know if real people are asking him questions. I sent him a question that he never answered. It was a substantial question. Maybe he can only respond to silly.

    That is a good point. He might just make up the questions he answers. He needs constant material for DG and it’s not an open system over there.

    I was also thinking this is the sort of silliness that comes from positioning God as a narcissistic monster.

  93. I am not going to have time to read all the comments before leaving the house to undoubtedly *waste* money with our boys on a fun time up at Entertrainment Junction. I will just say this.

    1. John Piper is a basket case. He needs either therapy or good pastor to talk to. I’m serious about that.

    2. He obviously hates cats. Perhaps he will dwell in the cat-free section of heaven or the New Earth. The rest of us will be enjoying these wonderful felines. That is all.

  94. kin wrote:

    I reckon 100 years ago (and beyond) the overwhelming majority of people in America would have a moral issue with this phenomena.

    My stepfather is almost 100. His clearest memories of his childhood is his beloved dog we have heard all about. He grew up poor on a remote tiny farm. That dog walked all the way to school with him and was there when it let out. He views that dog as his protector and best friend. That dog was by him in the fields while he was working.

    Almost 100 years later, therapy dogs are used in nursing homes and assisted living venues.

    I do think when people are stranded during a catastrophe, it seems OTT the very rich send in planes to rescue zoo animals first.

  95. According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spend $60 billion (yes, billion) per year on their pets. I’m sure Piper, Mahaney et al. would dearly love to see some of those billions in their coffers.

    The main thing you need to know about pets and New Calvinism is that pets love you unconditionally … New Calvinists don’t.

  96. I personally think that JP is just a cruel man. His dog loves him now matter “how” she is treated? Isn’t that what he expects of wives/women? The Bible also says that a righteous person cares for their animals. Jesus wore a crown of thorns because he came to redeem his creation.

  97. Max wrote:

    pets love you unconditionally

    I was young and now am old. A lot of folks have come into and out of my life during my long journey. Next to Jesus and my wife, the best friend I have ever known was “Joe”, my childhood beagle – that dog loved me.

  98. @ kin:

    “The humanization of our pets started about 20 years ago, Vetere said in a telephone interview. As people made pets more important parts of their families, manufacturers introduced products that, in the beginning, helped the animals make their move from the backyard to the front room.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    is there a moral problem with this?
    ————

    “I reckon 100 years ago (and beyond) the overwhelming majority of people in America would have a moral issue with this phenomena.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    is morality informed by what people thought 100 years ago?

    To me, judging how much time/money a person spends on their pets is the same as judging a person by how much time/money a person spends on their home, their yard, their wardrobe, cars, vacation, entertainment, sporting events, cell phones, i-pads, computers, TVs, sound systems, food,…

    or by judging a person by how they drive.

    in essence, anything that’s more than what “I” have and what “I” do is extravagant. Anyone who drives faster than “me” is a maniac, anyone who drives slower than “me” is a moron, and neither should be on the road!

    i spend money and time on my pets. it brings me happiness. but i’m ridiculously frugal in other areas. we are very generous with our time and money with charities.

    people who choose to spend their money on a lavish home or an expensive car (ripe targets for self-righteous judgementalism from others) may also contribute their money and time selflessly to those in need. no one would know this, though. all they know is what they see on the outside.

    and when it comes to how much one spends or doesn’t spend, how much one gives or doesn’t give, what is the definition of ‘enough’?

    i could continually ramp up my frugality until i live in a sheet metal lean-to. there would still be somebody out there concerned with how i use my time, and whether or not i am devoting it ‘sufficiently’ to ‘significant issues’. (they, of course, are the arbiter of what is ‘sufficient’)

    while living in my sheet metal lean-to, i could spend 8 hours every day volunteering at a worthy cause. there would still be somebody out there concerned with how much did i pray today? did i read the bible today? did i neglect helping at my kids’ school?

  99. Man, this guy sucks the fun out of everything.
    Dogs have had symbiotic relationship with humans before there was even civilization. Yes, even before Abraham started his grand trek. Probably he had dogs.

  100. elastigirl wrote:

    i could continually ramp up my frugality until i live in a sheet metal lean-to. there would still be somebody out there concerned with how i use my time, and whether or not i am devoting it ‘sufficiently’ to ‘significant issues’. (they, of course, are the arbiter of what is ‘sufficient’)

    The YRRs are all about “gospel efficiency.” They can always find a way to shame others for not being fully on board with the gospel. It’s the new legalism.

  101. @ Lydia:

    “I do think when people are stranded during a catastrophe, it seems OTT the very rich send in planes to rescue zoo animals first.”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    well, they had the means to do it. while rescue workers are focused on people, i’m glad there are others who don’t forget animals.

    kind of like treasures like Yosemite. if people didn’t care about preserving it, it would have been destroyed by now. the granite mountains would still be there, but the rest would be polluted, devoted to commerce, & subdivided into expensive private lots.

    animals and nature are vulnerable to being exploited and made a low priority. i am glad people are able to devote resources to these things to help balance things out.

    not that you disagree with any of this.

  102. Ken F wrote:

    The YRRs are all about “gospel efficiency.” They can always find a way to shame others for not being fully on board with the gospel. It’s the new legalism.

    Of course, they would say they are under grace not law … but everything about their belief and practice screams legalistic. And when they shame others about not being on board with the “gospel”, they are really referring to Calvinism … since Calvinism = Gospel to them.

  103. Bill M wrote:

    The first thing I would say is: Surely, yes, Piper can take up too much of your time and too much of your money…

    ABSOLUTELY!!

  104. kin wrote:

    The horse rescue places around us have spent millions of dollars in buying farms, equipment, advertising for free help, etc. just to keep horses alive. They are going nuts about the idea of eating a horse. But economics don’t matter to them.

    I’m having trouble understanding what your saying here. If you are saying some people go overboard, I can agree to some extent. If your opinion extends to basic animal shelters and people taking care of rescue animals, I have a problem with it. I don’t believe that all animals who are not being cared for should be put down. Over my 52 years, I have owned several rescue dogs and a rescue horse – a mustang mare.
    I am definitely not a vegan, but I believe all of God’s creatures deserve mercy. When Balaam beat his donkey, God intervened.

  105. PEARL wrote:

    I personally think that JP is just a cruel man. His dog loves him now matter “how” she is treated? Isn’t that what he expects of wives/women? The Bible also says that a righteous person cares for their animals. Jesus wore a crown of thorns because he came to redeem his creation.

    Piper has come at this issue backwards! Piper does not realize that his dog is presenting the Gospel of Christ to him by loving him unconditionally . . . Piper is missing out on an opportunity to show how his pet brings glory to God!

  106. Max wrote:

    The main thing you need to know about pets and New Calvinism is that pets love you unconditionally … New Calvinists don’t.

    This made my day!

  107. Well, I think, if one is not able to look after a dog, or any other animal, properly, I think is best not to have one, mostly for the animal’s sake.

    Anyway, I found a pug needlepoint cushion for you, Dee, to enjoy: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/bd/95/18/bd9518b86abafdd1746fe1969d835146.jpg I think it is by Kaffe Fassett, who makes his living by designing fabric and needlecraft celebrating plants, animals, shells, faces, everything all in glorious colour.

    And here is a bunny cushion for Numo: http://www.ehrmantapestry.com/images/Product/Rabbits-600.jpg.

  108. I looked again at the last sentence of Piper’s quote….and he invokes “godly” shame as a motivator…

    WRONG– for the Christian, there is no shame in the relationship to God. Romans 8:1 clearly says “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…”

    The Holy Spirit is Love whispering gently in my ear “Let’s take a look at this issue”…..

    Shame is False Guilt/Legalism…..which is a terrible motivator and unscriptural to boot.

    When you hear about shame—as one of my favorite preachers says “God has left the building.”

  109. roebuck wrote:

    Ken F wrote:
    That post could only come from a totally deprave mind.
    God help me, I checked out that post. I will never again pollute my mind and soul with the utterances of this freak. He needs to just go away. Doesn’t he have any friends who can tell him to just shut up?

    That is true you would think, in my opinion, they are not his friends, he is a means to an end. Nothing at all else, that is the sacrament of utilitarianism a central rite of the American Religion.

  110. Jack wrote:

    Man, this guy sucks the fun out of everything.

    I agree. He is a total downer on anything that makes me smile.

  111. PEARL wrote:

    I personally think that JP is just a cruel man. His dog loves him now matter “how” she is treated?

    Great insight

  112. Max wrote:

    The main thing you need to know about pets and New Calvinism is that pets love you unconditionally … New Calvinists don’t.

    Bam!

  113. In Judaism, tradition says that Adam named each animal in accordance with the essence of that animal’s soul;
    correspondingly, the Hebrew name for a dog is “kelev” which is derived from ‘kulo lev’ which means ‘all heart’

  114. @ elastigirl:
    I do but that’s OK. I would save the people who are trying to get out first.

    The scenario I mentioned was recounted in a book written by a reporter who covered the NOLA flood.

  115. Lydia wrote:

    My stepfather is almost 100. His clearest memories of his childhood is his beloved dog we have heard all about. He grew up poor on a remote tiny farm. That dog walked all the way to school with him and was there when it let out. He views that dog as his protector and best friend. That dog was by him in the fields while he was working.

    Almost 100 years later, therapy dogs are used in nursing homes and assisted living venues.

    I do think when people are stranded during a catastrophe, it seems OTT the very rich send in planes to rescue zoo animals first.

    Cool story. My oldest has trained a therapy dog and had gotten it certified to be used at the local hospitals…John Hopkins as well. Rewarding venture for sure.

  116. elastigirl wrote:

    is morality informed by what people thought 100 years ago?

    To me, judging how much time/money a person spends on their pets is the same as judging a person by how much time/money a person spends on their home, their yard, their wardrobe, cars, vacation, entertainment, sporting events, cell phones, i-pads, computers, TVs, sound systems, food,…

    or by judging a person by how they drive.

    in essence, anything that’s more than what “I” have and what “I” do is extravagant. Anyone who drives faster than “me” is a maniac, anyone who drives slower than “me” is a moron, and neither should be on the road!

    i spend money and time on my pets. it brings me happiness. but i’m ridiculously frugal in other areas. we are very generous with our time and money with charities.

    people who choose to spend their money on a lavish home or an expensive car (ripe targets for self-righteous judgementalism from others) may also contribute their money and time selflessly to those in need. no one would know this, though. all they know is what they see on the outside.

    and when it comes to how much one spends or doesn’t spend, how much one gives or doesn’t give, what is the definition of ‘enough’?

    i could continually ramp up my frugality until i live in a sheet metal lean-to. there would still be somebody out there concerned with how i use my time, and whether or not i am devoting it ‘sufficiently’ to ‘significant issues’. (they, of course, are the arbiter of what is ‘sufficient’)

    while living in my sheet metal lean-to, i could spend 8 hours every day volunteering at a worthy cause. there would still be somebody out there concerned with how much did i pray today? did i read the bible today? did i neglect helping at my kids’ school?

    I would agree with much of what you have said, but at some point it seems the ridiculous becomes absurd, the absurd becomes insane, and the insane becomes immoral.

  117. Nancy2 wrote:

    kin wrote:

    The horse rescue places around us have spent millions of dollars in buying farms, equipment, advertising for free help, etc. just to keep horses alive. They are going nuts about the idea of eating a horse. But economics don’t matter to them.

    I’m having trouble understanding what your saying here. If you are saying some people go overboard, I can agree to some extent. If your opinion extends to basic animal shelters and people taking care of rescue animals, I have a problem with it. I don’t believe that all animals who are not being cared for should be put down. Over my 52 years, I have owned several rescue dogs and a rescue horse – a mustang mare.
    I am definitely not a vegan, but I believe all of God’s creatures deserve mercy. When Balaam beat his donkey, God intervened.

    Glad to see people rescuing abused animals, but not to the radical nonsensical degree it has gone in many cases.

  118. Kin wrote:

    th much of what you have said, but at some point it seems the ridiculous becomes absurd, the absurd becomes insane, and the insane

    Maybe like a billionaire leaving their entire fortune to their poodle?

  119. Nancy2 wrote:

    Maybe like a billionaire leaving their entire fortune to their poodle?

    Exactly. That’s nuts. Should have gone to the cats instead.

  120. PEARL wrote:

    I personally think that JP is just a cruel man.

    You aren’t surprised are you?
    He worships a cruel and petulant god.

  121. @ Ken F:
    Hah! you confess now !!! I shall make sure that See Ay’ Tee knows this ! (Ken named the cat but I picked the spelling). It is a boy cat. We have all been learning “cat language” around here, including our catahoula…..

  122. well, I don’t discriminate …..

    my mother passed away and my father’s grief counselor was a wonderful Methodist pastor who worked at their Catholic assisted-living facility

    my father passed away eight years later, and my grief counselor was a small black pup who came near when I was heavy with the sadness and who placed a paw on me if I was weeping

    I think the Good Lord had something to do with both comforters and I am very, very thankful

    we take too much for granted …. we shouldn’t do that

  123. Lydia wrote:

    My stepfather is almost 100. His clearest memories of his childhood is his beloved dog we have heard all about.

    We know the names of animals who died 50/100/1000 years ago. Loving animals is not a new phenomenon.

  124. ‘It is my understanding, from SGM Survivors, that CJ Mahaney, whom John Piper loves, discouraged his followers from having dogs since the money they spent on dogs or other animals could be money given to the church to support their *programs.’ Sounds about right for neo-Calvinists.

    Dogs are actually brilliant for breaking down barriers when meeting strangers while out for a walk! They could be described as the evangelist’s best friend. Luther also said that dogs where a great example to us with regards to prayer. They sit underneath the dinner table in the sure and certain hope that their master will have mercy on them and throw them some meat. Likewise we should put our trust in our Father in heaven that he will indeed have mercy on us and answer our prayer.

  125. @ Lea:

    XD. Don’t even go on the field. Surprise! I can’t put into words the experience of listening to all 10 minutes. It’s the way he starts breathing deeper as he describes the hypothetical acts.

  126. Max wrote:

    The main thing you need to know about pets and New Calvinism is that pets love you unconditionally … New Calvinists don’t.

    On the other hand is the dislike of dogs another similarity New Calvinists share with Islam?

  127. Ken F wrote:

    Dang. I need to remember to shut down TWW windows when I step away from the computer…

    I’m sure your wife already had your number, anyway!

  128. Bill M wrote:

    On the other hand is the dislike of dogs another similarity New Calvinists share with Islam?

    Actually, I know several New Calvinists. I don’t think, as a tribe, they hate pets … many I know have pets. This is just Piper being weird again.

    The glory of God cannot be found in Piper Points, but in a continual revelation of who Jesus is.

  129. Max wrote:

    many I know have pets. This is just Piper being weird again.

    Agreed, I should have narrowed my conjecture to Piper.

  130. @ Lydia:

    I love animals and nature. I observe that the forces which desire to carve up land for commerce are so powerful — were it not for opposing forces standing up to them, nature, animals, and open space wouldn’t stand a chance. Redwood forests would be cleared. San Francisco Bay would be a polluted puddle. The Grand Canyon would be filled with water. Who knows what would have happened to Yosemite, Yellowstone, and other places. The beauty of it all creates quality of life for all of us.

    i’ll stop.

    however, i recognize that things can get unreasonable. water politics are a hot issue in California. in the last several years water has been diverted from farmers in the central valley for the sake of the endangered delta smelt. Observing the skeletal remains of numerous dead orchards and the broken dreams and livelihoods they represent is very sad and troubling. i value people above all.

    but crickets of all kinds to the persons and bedrooms of exploiting profiteers. i’m being very polite.

  131. @ elastigirl:

    …and especially to the person who tells people to get rid of their loving dogs for reasons of holiness. i’m having to keep a lid on all the spitting vitriol he deserves.

  132. elastigirl wrote:

    however, i recognize that things can get unreasonable. water politics are a hot issue in California. in the last several years water has been diverted from farmers in the central valley for the sake of the endangered delta smelt. Observing the skeletal remains of numerous dead orchards and the broken dreams and livelihoods they represent is very sad and troubling. i value people above all.

    About once a year, I have occasion to drive I-5 down the Central Valley. For the past couple years, I’ve been seeing farm trailers with signs parked along the freeway like impromptu billboards:
    POLITICIAN CAUSED WATER CRISIS!
    GROWING FOOD IS NOT WASTING WATER!
    RESTRICTED WATER DELIVERY ZONE — THANK YOU DELTA SMELT!
    FARMS! NOT BURRET TRAINS!
    THIS DROUGHT BROUGHT TO YOU BY SACRAMENTO!

    The last time I drove that route was a month ago. The signs were still there, but with one major change: Every one was now accompanied by a new sign:
    MAKE
    AMERICA
    GREAT
    AGAIN

  133. Stan wrote:

    I can’t put into words the experience of listening to all 10 minutes. It’s the way he starts breathing deeper as he describes the hypothetical acts.

    Like he’s getting sexually aroused by the sound of his own words?

  134. Max wrote:

    The main thing you need to know about pets and New Calvinism is that pets love you unconditionally … New Calvinists don’t.

    That’s why they’re so dead set against pets.
    The Word of Calvin cannot stomach even an animal that can love unconditionally.

  135. Stan wrote:

    @ Ken F:

    I saw it. A critical read of enough of his material reveals that he is an Arian, and now he finally essentially said so. Their eternal subordination of the Son heresy applies to more than gender roles.

    Can anyone get a hold of St Nicholas and his right cross?

  136. Ken F wrote:

    We don’t even know if real people are asking him questions. I sent him a question that he never answered. It was a substantial question. Maybe he can only respond to silly.

    Maybe he can only respond to shills.

  137. Christiane wrote:

    roebuck wrote:

    He needs to just go away.

    He needs to be healed.

    How can someone who is already Perfect in Every Way be in need of “be healed”?

  138. roebuck wrote:

    Anyway, the idea that having and caring for a dog is questionable because it might deprive the church of money is sick. Why can’t people see these creeps as the money-grubbing slime-balls that they are? I am just baffled by this.

    Somewhere on this blog’s comment threads there’s a report on a Pastor who actually encouraged/pressured the women in his church to have Abortions because the expense of bearing and raising a kid would interfere the church (and Pastor’s Pockets) of their Tithes.

  139. Sleep is the worst distraction of all from giving God glory. I mean, can you even imagine? Eight consecutive hours of non-bible reading, non-sermon-listening, non-worship singing. I could go on forever. Let me ask you, how many times have you EVER dropped your offering in the plate while you were at home in bed asleep?

  140. elastigirl wrote:

    Anyone who drives faster than “me” is a maniac, anyone who drives slower than “me” is a moron

    I knew a comment thread like this couldn’t go on very long without somebody invoking George Carlin! 🙂

  141. “Then the Lord sent Nathan to David. And he came to him and said, ‘There were two men in one city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a great many flocks and herds. But the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb which he bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and his children. It would eat of his bread and drink of his cup and lie in his bosom, and was like a daughter to him.

    ‘Now a traveler came to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take from his own flock or his own herd, to prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him; rather he took the poor man’s ewe lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.’”

    Then David’s anger burned greatly against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, surely the man who has done this deserves to die. He must make restitution for the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing and had no compassion.” 2 Samuel 12:1-5

  142. @ Steve Scott:
    talk about helping someone to comprehend the depth of the pain they have caused ….

    God was merciful to send Nathan to David

    A very ancient Christian prayer asks Our Lord to help us to mourn because of our sins …. perhaps the story of God sending Nathan to David inspired that prayer

    a long time ago, when I was first teaching, a little girl was coming to school every day smelling very badly and being teased (the children would ask us teachers to ‘open a window and let some fresh air in’) ….. I sent the child to the school nurse with a note to see if the nurse could counsel with the child about the problem. Turned out, the nurse called the parents and they realized the child was sleeping with her dog who was very old and had become incontinent ….. the parents gave the beloved dog away.

    I have never got over this. It still makes me weep.

  143. Stan wrote:

    @ Lea:
    XD. Don’t even go on the field. Surprise!

    Figures. I don’t think I know anyone at all, in life, who did this.

    Stan wrote:

    It’s the way he starts breathing deeper as he describes the hypothetical acts.

    Ew, Ew, Ew!! You’d think these guys were teenagers who had never kissed a girl but they’re grown married men, usually. Why are they so creepy about this????

  144. Kristen Rosser wrote:

    A person whose conscience is indicting him or her for loving and caring for her pet, has a problem with an overactive, legalistic hyper-conscience. And it’s anti-love. Piper is basically saying, “Take this creature who loves and trusts you, whose life revolves around you, and reject and abandon it because you love it too much.” This is WRONG.

    My conscience has never once bothered me about my cats. However, my conscience was running around screaming the first time I heard John Piper speak 15 years ago. So I rejected and abandoned him.

    As Paul said, “I too have the Holy Spirit.”

  145. Ken F’s wife wrote:

    @ Ken F:
    Hah! you confess now !!! I shall make sure that See Ay’ Tee knows this ! (Ken named the cat but I picked the spelling). It is a boy cat. We have all been learning “cat language” around here, including our catahoula…..

    Late at night, See Ay’ Tee (hahaHA!) reads the TWW comments, too. Probably even comments…

  146. ishy wrote:

    My conscience has never once bothered me about my cats. However, my conscience was running around screaming the first time I heard John Piper speak 15 years ago. So I rejected and abandoned him. As Paul said, “I too have the Holy Spirit.”

    You did the right thing – it’s always good to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading! Even cats have more sense than to be around Piper very long! As Ruth Graham said “Every cat knows some things need to be buried.”

  147. L wrote:

    Why is anyone surprised when John Piper pulls a “one for me none for thee” move?

    The point! For Piper it was all orchestrated by God. Predestined (or better known as fate). For the rest of us rubes we need his special knowledge on how to think. Next it will be our kids are taking us away from glorifying God.

  148. Bill M wrote:

    Max wrote:
    The main thing you need to know about pets and New Calvinism is that pets love you unconditionally … New Calvinists don’t.
    On the other hand is the dislike of dogs another similarity New Calvinists share with Islam?

    When I first read this I thought his position might come from the typical ‘micromanagement of others lives’ of New Calvinism and some of the OT proof texts about dogs. :o)

  149. Ken F wrote:

    Ken F’s wife wrote:
    Hah! you confess now !!!
    Dang. I need to remember to shut down TWW windows when I step away from the computer…

    Lol!

  150. elastigirl wrote:

    water politics are a hot issue in California. in the last several years water has been diverted from farmers in the central valley for the sake of the endangered delta smelt.

    Agriculture is the life blood of any civilization. Sacramento had better pull their heads out of their… er… ah… well…, you get the picture. The growers have only to study the Israeli methods of high yield farming with limited water and the smelt can have their day too.

  151. @ Steve Scott:

    “… somebody invoking George Carlin!”
    +++++++++++++++

    you mean i wasn’t the first to say that? maybe he was channeling me in a time-bendy sort of way.

  152. So ould JP deny a blind person a buide dog? My presumption is yes. Each takes about $100,000.00 to train, and then require lots of care and attention to keep working. Maybe the blind person who gets around because of said expensive dog, should simplyu sit home, collect government subsistence, and contemplate God instead. Except JP wouldn’t approve of collecting government subsistence money, so maybe that person should simply not exist.

    This man makes me nauseated with his sanctimonious BS.Allie

  153. Muff Potter wrote:

    elastigirl wrote:
    water politics are a hot issue in California. in the last several years water has been diverted from farmers in the central valley for the sake of the endangered delta smelt.
    Agriculture is the life blood of any civilization. Sacramento had better pull their heads out of their… er… ah… well…, you get the picture. The growers have only to study the Israeli methods of high yield farming with limited water and the smelt can have their day too.

    Yes. These are not “either/or” issues. I wish so much we could stop approaching every issue that way. And please consider the working poor citizen trying to move up in the decision making

  154. Steve Scott wrote:

    Sleep is the worst distraction of all from giving God glory. I mean, can you even imagine? Eight consecutive hours of non-bible reading, non-sermon-listening, non-worship singing

    What is even worse are our dreams? Last night, after watching the movie, The Arrival, I dreamt that Spock was urging us to evacuate and I did n’t know what to do with all the papers on my desk.

    Totally self centered non God glorifying dream

  155. @ Lydia:

    “I doubt poor people will be able to enjoy those things.”
    +++++++++

    i understand that, lest you think otherwise.

  156. @ dee:

    hi, dee. i’m sure this is not a neat-&-tidy question, but i’m interested to know the how/why you believe in an actual Garden of Eden. And i understand if there’s not enough time to respond.

  157. @ dee:

    oh… i’m getting blog posts mixed up. young earth creationism and dogs — never a dull moment around here.

  158. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Lydia:

    “I doubt poor people will be able to enjoy those things.”
    +++++++++

    i understand that, lest you think otherwise.

    It’s always good to consider the working poor citizens when formulating policy, regulations and micromanaging people and resources. They work, work, work to keep head above water monthly. They just want to move up, too.

  159. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    @ Lea:

    Don’t ask me. I became a Christian as an adult, after satisfying my curiosity and realizing that was all I was doing. But it’s consistent with his infamous “down by the river” tweet. I’d like to see him or any of his colleagues get as excited about protecting women from domestic abuse as they do about protecting women from consensual non-copulative sexual contact with their boyfriend or fiancé.

  160. elastigirl wrote:

    ’m interested to know the how/why you believe in an actual Garden of Eden.

    I look at the Garden of Eden as a place to play out the drama of the Fall. It appears that God removed Adam and Eve from the rest of the world at the time in order to concentrate on the issue at hand.

    If man and woman were given everything that they could dream of, living in a perfect environment and have one on ones with the Father, would they refrain from sin which was carefully defined as the Tree of Knowledge?

    What was the tree of Knowledge? Was it an actual tree or something else that is best defined as a tree for us, I don’t know.

    I guess you could say that I look at the Garden as a staging area for mankind. Once their choice was made, they had to leave the Garden and would not be allowed to reenter. Why? What was there that we don’t understand or we could screw up?

    In 1 Corinthians 15:45 it says So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. In this, Jesus is the type; Adam is the antitype which is a common linguistic device in the Bible.

    http://www.dictionary.com/browse/antitype

    So, it makes sense to me that the Garden and Adam and Eve existed but I am not convinced that they way we envision it, literally, is in any way exact. In fact, I think much of what we read in the Bible is written in simplistic terms because the actual spiritual occurrences are far above our ability to understand.

    Please do not take this as me being hard core set on my view of it. I have been contemplating this for several decades and that is where I am at this moment. In fact, sometimes as I contemplate where I am now as opposed to 30 years ago, I am surprised. I used to be more literal.

    For a different point of view, here is what Scot McKnight had on his blog.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2013/06/04/jesus-on-adam-and-eve-rjs/

  161. @ elastigirl:
    aren’t national parks now on the chopping block?

    some day there will remain only films and photographic museums where our great grandkids can see what was their America before it became ‘great’

  162. Dog and Cat Theology.

    When a dog is fed: “There must be a God.”

    When a cat is fed: “I must be God.”

  163. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Steve Scott:

    “… somebody invoking George Carlin!”
    +++++++++++++++

    you mean i wasn’t the first to say that? maybe he was channeling me in a time-bendy sort of way.

    It could have been a reverse deja vu space warp, er somethin’. I Googled it, and this is a quote from a George Carlin comedy skit:

    “Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?”

  164. @ Steve Scott:

    “It could have been a reverse deja vu space warp, er somethin’”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    yeah, that’s just what i was thinking, reverse dejavu space warp. how many distortions of extreme space-time curvature would you say? 3? or maybe more like 6 or 7?

  165. Max wrote:

    @ JeffB:
    Dogs have Masters – Cats have Staff.

    Uhmmmmm, if you guys really believe that, you should meet our black Lab./mix. ……. Lizzie,
    aka Queen Elizabeth III.

  166. @ dee:

    thanks, dee, for taking the time. yes, it’s interesting to trace back the ‘evolution’ of one’s thoughts and viewspoints.

    garden of eden — a locale? a relational reality? i know there have been seasons when i felt so close to God it was like i could ask God a question and the answer would be right there shining in the sun like an apple on a tree. puns not intended, but maybe intended?

    building on the relational reality (not a physical place) idea: could the ‘you may eat of the fruit of every tree’ be intimacy and closeness?

    (here goes:) God held nothing of himself back from them — like figurative boxes, beautiful presents to open — interactions, conversations, joke-telling, teasing, self-revelation, being vulnerable without fear, spiritual ability enhancing physical ability, and asking any and all questions with answers forthcoming… but the box called knowledge of good and evil (whatever that is) was not to be opened. too much information. harmful information for a human (for some reason). but they opened it.

    Bonus question: does God have vulnerabilities? like when a person reveals themself (by choice or by force) more than they were ready to? and they feel exposed, and have the urge to cover up….. or is this anthropomorphosis crazyland? was the tree or box of knowledge of good and evil event like this for God?

    we need a table in a dark corner, a candle, and a bottle of wine to continue here. (string bass, brushes on drums over yonder…)

  167. Christiane wrote:

    some day there will remain only films and photographic museums where our great grandkids can see what was their America before it became ‘great’

    Makes me think of two films in the dystopian future genre:
    Soylent Green and the screen version of David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas

  168. Coffee takes up too much of my time and money. I spend more on coffee than on cat food. And coffee could distract me from God.

    I should quit coffee, and give all of that money to the church. Maybe split the donation between Piper’s church and Mahaney’s.

  169. Ted wrote:

    Coffee takes up too much of my time and money. I spend more on coffee than on cat food. And coffee could distract me from God.

    I should quit coffee, and give all of that money to the church. Maybe split the donation between Piper’s church and Mahaney’s.

    no way ….. Piper can just go and give up his tea habit and hand the money over to Mahaney ….. those two deserve each other

    you ENJOY your coffee! It’s good for the soul.

  170. elastigirl wrote:

    Bonus question: does God have vulnerabilities? like when a person reveals themself (by choice or by force) more than they were ready to? and they feel exposed, and have the urge to cover up….. or is this anthropomorphosis crazyland? was the tree or box of knowledge of good and evil event like this for God?

    There was a ‘tree’ on which God made Himself vulnerable once, yes

  171. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Steve Scott:

    “It could have been a reverse deja vu space warp, er somethin’”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    yeah, that’s just what i was thinking, reverse dejavu space warp. how many distortions of extreme space-time curvature would you say? 3? or maybe more like 6 or 7?

    Nine words: STAR TREK V’GER UNKNOWN SPACE ANOMALY OF THE WEEK.

  172. Christiane wrote:

    @ elastigirl:
    there is talk of ‘privatization’ ….. how could this be happening to lands belonging to the whole nation???

    They’re not on Social Media.

  173. @ Lydia:
    ah, the ones who are about to lose their Affordable Care and any hope of Social Security as we know it when they retire????

    I never forgot them.

  174. Christiane wrote:

    you ENJOY your coffee! It’s good for the soul.

    The first sip of the morning usually brings a “Thank you Jesus” out of me.

    And I love my cat. Our relationship has brought both of us closer to God. Speaking for myself, of course. She thinks she’s God.

  175. Lydia wrote:

    @ Christiane:
    Try to remember the working poor citizens who never get to enjoy it like you do.

    Actually, when my father was a teenager, he went to work for the CCC’s (Civilian Conservation Corps) and sent his pay home to his parents. Here is the kind of work my father did:
    “During the time of the CCC, enrollees planted nearly 3 billion trees to help reforest America, constructed trails, lodges and related facilities in more than 800 parks nationwide and upgraded most state parks, updated forest fire fighting methods, and built a network of service buildings and public roadways in remote areas.
    The CCC operated separate programs for veterans and Native Americans. Approximately 15,000 Native Americans participated in the program, helping them weather the Great Depression.”

  176. @ Lydia:

    Lydia, why do assume a person is ignorant of the plight of working poor citizens simply because they express a love for a national park?

  177. Christiane wrote:

    when my father was a teenager, he went to work for the CCC’s (Civilian Conservation Corps) and sent his pay home to his parents

    My father was also in the CCC. He made $25 per month – $20 was sent home to help his folks … those were desperate times in America. He worked on National Park projects, which can still be visited and enjoyed today. Love for both God and country, with prayer in the Church House and wisdom in the White House, brought America out of the Great Depression … just in time for World War II. Past administrations have demonstrated that environmental protection/preservation can be balanced with job creation and a better economy. Now that’s something that John Piper can give God the glory for, without slamming the animals of His creation.

  178. I’m so glad I have JP around to give me advice on: pet ownership, women’s fitness, finess in general, and sex. This guy hasnt met a topic he won’t extensivly comment on.

  179. Jason wrote:

    This guy hasnt met a topic he won’t extensivly comment on.

    To be an effective Pied Piper, you have to be an expert on everything. As a weird little old guy, JP can’t get a following unless he draws them into a trance by his superior intellect – even if he has to make stuff up.

  180. Christiane wrote:

    There was a ‘tree’ on which God made Himself vulnerable once, yes

    Yes. This. It showed once and for all how unlike any other gods, The God of Abraham is. I can’t help but wonder though what could have been had the vineyard workers listened to the owner’s son and changed their ways rather than conspiring to have him murdered.

  181. There are just no words. I read this and then had to go run errands. I decided that if there is a god, it made dogs after people because he realized we were really f’ed up and needed a companion to show us the way.

  182. Stan wrote:

    Jason wrote:

    I’m so glad I have JP around to give me advice on: pet ownership, women’s fitness, finess in general, and sex. This guy hasnt met a topic he won’t extensivly comment on.

    Did you know that 401k matching does not glorify God?

    http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/should-i-invest-for-retirement

    The list keeps on growing.Jason wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Jason wrote:

    This guy hasnt met a topic he won’t extensivly comment on.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOR-8vMz4DI

    That’s about right

    He spends the post using a lot of words and yet saying almost nothing.

  183. Jason wrote:

    I’m so glad I have JP around to give me advice on: pet ownership, women’s fitness, finess in general, and sex. This guy hasnt met a topic he won’t extensivly comment on.

    JP needs to get his nose out of those books and go plant a church in …… The Congo, or Guatemala.

    I think I figured out why he has “flutter hands”. He has spent so much of his life with his nose in various books – or writing books – and doing little else, that he is continually, subconsciously flipping pages. ; ^ )

  184. Nancy2 wrote:

    He has spent so much of his life with his nose in various books – or writing books – and doing little else

    JP lives in an ivory tower and rings a bell for his wife to climb the stairs and bring him tea. He occasionally comes down from his roost to post something and wow us. For example, he tweeted today “When you are full to the brim, you will spill when bumped. What do people feel, acid or grace?” Wow, Daddy, wow!!

  185. Max wrote:

    “When you are full to the brim, you will spill when bumped. What do people feel, acid or grace?” Wow, Daddy, wow!!

    Neither would say a nice soothing balm for the soul …… Are people dry? A nice moisturizer. Do people ache? An ache relieving cream……..

    If a person is full of the right stuff, they don’t spill when bumped ……. the cup runneth over. Just shows how smart JP really isn’t!

  186. Don’t match your 401-k, h’m?
    The Scientologists tell their people to invest in clearing the planet by spending on Scientology courses and auditing. To the exclusion of EVERYTHING else. Scientology faithful mortgage their homes and accrue huge credit card debt rather than disappoint their leaders.
    My point?
    Here’s Piper’s rather disingenuous reassurance that HE has no concerns about where HIS financial security comes from:
    “I think of that like this: I don’t want to get rich. I don’t want to sit on a pile of money. I just want to be able to survive between the ages of sixty-five and eighty-five. And I’d like to be spent for the kingdom. So if I can have a house and have my bills paid and pour my life out for the kingdom, I would be thrilled.”
    Where’s the money going to come from, for him to “survive” for 20 years?
    Well, duh — the same place from whence the money has come all these years; so folks, don’t match your 401/k — buy Piper’s books! Tithe to his ministry!
    And I have a suggestion for him to “be spent” — he can get his own dang tea. Just a thought.

  187. john smith wrote:

    But DOGs do distract from God’s glory. DOGs, ie. Doctrines of (dis)Grace.

    Ah, an acronym to refute JP’s teachings, wrenched from his own words!

  188. Just for the record, I would give every dime I owned to any
    organization that helped precious animals before I would give one
    penny to a church that supported Piper or complementarianism

  189. @ Libby:
    🙂
    my daughter volunteered on Saturday mornings at an animal shelter cleaning cages and giving attention to the dogs ……. she said it was her therapy

  190. My favorite church service of the year, hands down, is the blessing of the animals. So you know where I stand on pets. I tell my cat regularly that she is a gift from God, and I mean it!

    My parents adopted the most wonderful greyhound who is, quite literally, a born therapy dog.

    Not everybody likes pets but I’d think you would have to be especially heartless to consider them a total waste of time and money. Then again, this is Piper.

  191. This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. We got a kitten recently – helped greatly with my post-clergy abuse depression. Animals bring so much love.

  192. I remember hospital physical therapy for recovery from knee replacement surgery …. in walks a volunteer with two gorgeous Irish wolfhound therapy dogs = pure joy! when she came over to the pallet where I was doing leg lifts in agony, one of the lovely stately animals (the size of a small pony) sat down beside me and I laid my hand on his back

    I felt loved, enchanted, blessed ….. such a beautiful creature of God to come by me at that time

  193. I’ve noticed that many children’s books feature dogs and cats doing human activities such as driving cars or cooking dinner. It almost seems easier to find children’s books illustrated with animals than people.

    I wonder why our culture is OK with a picture of a rabbit grocery shopping – but not a woman in a Muslim headscarf? Why are hippos unwrapping birthday presents less offensive than a South Asian family celebrating a birthday?

  194. I used to think somewhat the same as Piper, that spending money on animals was materialistic. Then my roommate’s cat used to sit by me as I cried during a bad breakup. I think pets are necessary for getting through grief and just for bringing general joy into life.

    I think if I were writing Piper’s column, I might focus on why our society is OK with helping animals but not people. For example, why are refugees and poor people so vilified? Why are so many politicians opposed to the idea of everyone having health insurance? I see a lot of Facebook memes opposing the idea of helping Syrian refugees. Imagine if people regularly posted memes about the threat of dogs and cats.

  195. @ Christiane:
    Thank-you! One of Adam’s first jobs was with animals. I bet Jesus had a dog, or the dog adopted Jesus, per se, and followed Jesus more faithfully that many people of that time.

    It’s sure a good thing that this preacher’s world doesn’t have any more pressing problems than that of his congregation having unconditional love from one of God’s creatures, not to mention that dog’s enhance security. His world is so very simple that the best sermon he could share of one of guilt for loving a dog (and making sure the coffers are filled)? Maybe, just maybe, we could pray that he might delve deeper into the more serious issues of the day from a biblical standpoint!

  196. I have not been on this website in a very long time, but I got on there last night and this morning, and I just want to say something. I’ve NEVER liked John Piper! When I read his quotes, I feel like he just wants us to sit there and gaze at God, whatever that looks like. Like, everything will take away from the glory of God, so we must just stare at Him and contemplate Him 24/7. The kind of life that Piper promotes just seems untenable, always walking around worrying if you are giving God enough glory. I literally went crazy going to a SGM church and trying to live that kind of life. Wouldn’t God get glory when we enjoy His creatures??

  197. traci94 wrote:

    I feel like he just wants us to sit there and gaze at God, whatever that looks like.

    When I was in-country in the Seventies, I heard that said in exactly so many words.

    One of those concepts of Heaven that makes Hell look good.

    Like, everything will take away from the glory of God, so we must just stare at Him and contemplate Him 24/7.

    “What do they expect? Me flat on my face in the Mosque every minute of every day crying ‘Al’lah’u Akbar!’?”
    — Iraqi blogger circa 2005 or so, about the Real True Muslims he was encountering (and dodging)

  198. Anon “I” wrote:

    It’s sure a good thing that this preacher’s world doesn’t have any more pressing problems than that of his congregation having unconditional love from one of God’s creatures

    First World Problems.
    Too bad those 22 Copts are unavailable for comment; preacher could ask them about “pressing problems”.

  199. Pingback: Wednesday Link List | Thinking Out Loud UNITED STATES

  200. @ traci94:

    “Like, everything will take away from the glory of God, so we must just stare at Him and contemplate Him 24/7. The kind of life that Piper promotes just seems untenable, always walking around worrying if you are giving God enough glory.”
    ++++++++++++++++

    utterly impractical. nothing gets done.

    we all have work to do — we all (men & women) have laundry, cooking and cleaning, car maintenance, home maintenance.

    we all have jobs — to teach, to build, to create, to heal, to invent, to discover, to design, to manufacture, to clean, to manage, to calculate, to negotiate, to organize,…

    we make our communities and the world a safer, stronger, healthier, cleaner, more peaceful place through our endeavors. holy spirit joins with us (perhaps an invitation & yielding on our part helps the process), and shows us how to do it all well. how to do it all better. how to solve unsolveable problems. shows us brilliant ideas and discoveries yet to be made.

    our effort and abilities + God = we are super-able.

    not going to happen if people are gazing in delirium. what’s the point of that?!? Where’s the fun in that for God anyway? Seems to me God gets a charge out of us doing and making and creating and deciding and acting and bringing him into the process with us.

  201. @ Questioner:

    “I wonder why our culture is OK with a picture of a rabbit grocery shopping – but not a woman in a Muslim headscarf? Why are hippos unwrapping birthday presents less offensive than a South Asian family celebrating a birthday?”
    +++++++++++++++

    characters as animals don’t have all the complex baggage that comes with people. easier to communicate the point of a story in a pure & simple way. also, it doesn’t alienate people. where people are placed in a picture or how they are depicted can communicate unintended things. (but then one wonders what values, assumptions prompted the illustrator / editor to make those choices)

    re: people’s rejection or wariness of other people: sometimes a person’s attention is drawn to something or someone who looks out of the ordinary. it may be nothing more than a double-take. but i also think that people in general are naturally cautious of people who have an appearance or behavior that is out of the ordinary.

    discrimination against and rejection of people is troubling and sad. but we do our best in our own communities.

  202. Questioner wrote:

    I wonder why our culture is OK with a picture of a rabbit grocery shopping – but not a woman in a Muslim headscarf?

    Because SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE, at SOME TIME will be offended… about anything and everything! Sometimes its just for the sake of BEING offended. There is so much expected political correctness that it shuts down expression.

  203. Jon wrote:

    This post misrepresented Piper’s article.

    This post linked to the entire post as written by John Piper. In so doing, we could not misrepresent Piper. I believe what you really mean to say is that you disagree with our thoughts on the matter. If so, then you disagree with lots of people since, besides this post, there were a number of Tweets that believed this post was bizarre.

    If you wish to truly change minds, you need to explain why you disagree with our post and do so in an engaging manner. Your comment was essentially useless since everyone knows that John Piper has lots of people who thing he walks on water. We don’t happen to agree and found his post on animals silly.

    Just wait till you see what I am going to write about Desiring God’s posts on friendships.

  204. “The first thing I would say is: Surely, yes, pets can take up too much of your time and too much of your money. (And also) food can and health can and family can and church can and work can and every hobby under the sun can and sports can and all manner of entertainment can and cars can and clothes can”

    To be fair any hobbies and interests we have can become our idols. And when these things overshadows our love for God and our love for our neighbours, it can become a problem. So that part is true.

    However once again we have to remember that here we have to consider this from a neo-Calvinist point of view. And this means that absolutely every single theology, even man-made ones, can be ENFORCED by the church. So if you do not do exactly what their theology says, you might be disciplined and excommunicated.

    So neo-Calvinist might have some good and solid theologies. However all their theology opens up the door to abuse, because of how they view discipline. How members sign Church Covenants to agree to submit to elders under all circumstances. So when I read their theology even when I agree with them, I cannot help but consider how this theology will lead to abuse.

    Take this for example. So you want to play soccer? Well that money could have went to the church. You want to go hiking? Well that time could have been used to serve and volunteer at the church. If anything you do is not for the church, you should be ashamed of yourself! How can you even call yourself a Christian when you waste money playing soccer and waste time going hiking, instead of helping the church? And you risk being disciplined and excommunicated, for playing soccer and going hiking.

    Guilt! Guilt! Guilt! And if you don’t feel guilt you clearly doesn’t have the Holy Spirit inside.

    As for no-any-fun-allowed-for-Christians:

    “So, if your conscience is indicting you for the money you spend or the time you spend combing your dog’s fur or scratching her behind the ears, you should stop, stop. You should get rid of the dog. No pet is worth the damaging of your conscience. ”

    “The question with regard to time and money is not only whether it is exorbitant — which it can be, but shouldn’t be. But even if it is modest, would that time, if you had no pet, be devoted to more refreshing, more encouraging, more edifying, more loving, more God-glorifying tasks?”

    When Jesus went to that party and turned water into wine, he was wasting his time! He should have been serving and volunteering at the church. And he should have used his miracles to bring money into the church.

    And why did Jesus wait till 30 to begin his ministry? He wasted 30 years of his life! [/sarcasm]

  205. To clarify I believe it is great that we each have our own hobbies and interest. God is a God of creativity and leisure too. That’s why he rested on the 7th day, and ask us all to rest on Sabbath day. There is a time to work and a time to rest.

    Now of course we should take care to not let these hobbies and interests become our idols. And remember to love God and love our neighbours more than our hobbies and interests. But with that in mind, it is perfectly ok to enjoy our hobbies and interests.

    Shame on any church that tries to make people feel guilty for their hobbies and interests, just to squeeze out that last drop of money or volunteer time from their members. We are not called to work nonstop. We are called to work and then trust in God when we rest and play.

  206. Wow. Piper is off the deep end so often, but this is like… I don’t even have words for it. He thinks himself so intelligently above and beyond the rest of us common folk. Anything can be a distraction if we put it before God! Why can’t he just say that?! Loon.

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