“…those serpents! There’s no pleasing them!”~ Lewis Carroll
John Piper holds strange and unsubstantiated views of women.
It should come as no surprise to our readers that John Piper has, once again, said something distasteful about women. Piper has a habit of taking a simple Biblical verse way beyond the original intent. He will also take a generalization and make it a mandate. In other words, all women are weaker than all men as opposed to some women may be stronger than some men.
Here are some examples.
- Women should not be muscular because it detracts from their sex lives.
- Women should not be police officers because it puts them in authority over men.
- Women should not be in the military because they are physically weaker.
His strange ability to make over-reaches with Biblical imperatives and cultural generalizations led Benjamin Corey to throw up his hands and write the aptly titled: John Piper: Women Not Suited For Most Jobs In The World.
Piper supports policies that apply church discipline to women who want to flee abuse.
How could one man be so out of touch with what is happening with issues of sex abuse and the mistreatment of women in the church and in society as a whole?
Does John Piper have any handlers who could suggest he not inadvertently demonstrate his inability to be sensitive to women? The recent abuse allegations against Andy Savage at Highpoint Church and the embarrassing response on the part of both Savage and Chris Conlee demonstrate a dangerous lack of understanding about the issues surrounding abuse. John Piper’s own church has been excoriated for their policy of excommunicating women who have been victims of domestic violence, a policy seemingly endorsed by Piper.
When Natalie came to the conclusion that the leadership at Bethlehem Baptist was not willing to truly support her, and instead wanted her to remain married to her emotionally abusive spouse, she left the church and requested they remove her from church membership. This letter was their response. Natalie was excommunicated from Bethlehem Baptist Church.
Here is a screen shot of the letter that this women received from the hands of men who do not think they have anything to learn from women.
This Pastor Steddon, a John Piper clone, was obviously ill trained by men in seminary and then equally surrounded by clueless men on his elder board. They chose to discipline an abused woman! Yep, men like him don’t need no woman telling him what too do. He knows his Bible, doesn’t he?
Of course, his mentor, Piper, is the one who said a woman should endure domestic abuse for just an evening. His clarifications made things even worse. The response of his church to domestic abuse tells the true story.
John Piper supports ands befriends men like CJ Mahaney who desperately mismanaged sex abuse within his ministry.
According to Baptist News Global:
One leading voice in a popular resurgence of Calvinism lent support to another Feb. 17 by showing up in the pulpit of a pastor accused in a lawsuit of covering up sexual abuse and facing leadership challenges in an eroding church-planting network that he leads.
I chose to be here,” Piper said at the beginning of an hour-long sermon webcast. “Nobody forced me.”
Alluding to Mahaney, who was off-camera and moments earlier introduced the morning’s preacher, Piper quipped: “He’s a pretty persuasive guy, but I really, really wanted to be here, and therefore the opportunity arose and I snatched it, and I’m thankful for it.”
Piper said he is excited about Mahaney’s church plant and supports Sovereign Grace and “what God is doing in it across the country and around the world.” But he said his “most emotionally significant” reason to be there was his personal bond with Mahaney.
“He is my friend,” Piper said. “He has meant a lot to me over the years, both at the encouragement level of preaching and professional life — though nobody in ministry is a professional — but even more at the personal, family level of caring.”
John Piper has a problem when it comes to understanding child sex abuse and domestic violence. That problem is made worse by the fact that he doesn’t believe that women can teach men who are going to be pastors. It is further compounded by the fact that he doesn’t think competency has anything to do with teaching. Simply put, John Piper is a victim of his own skewed view of the Bible and this has serious implications for women and children in the church.
His statement on women professors
At Desiring God: Piper declared that women cannot teach men who are training to be pastors.
Let me put it another way in the form of a question. If it is unbiblical to have women as pastors, how can it be biblical to have women who function in formal teaching and mentoring capacities to train and fit pastors for the very calling from which the mentors themselves are excluded? I don’t think that works. The issue is always that inconsistency. If you strive to carve up teaching in such a way that it’s suitable for women, it ceases to be suitable as seminary teaching.
His argument becomes dangerous for women when he says that COMPETENCE is never the issue in the seminary or the church.
Read this carefully.
So a closing word. The issue, as always, is not the competence of women teachers or intelligence or knowledge or pedagogical skill. It’s never competence! That’s not the issue in the home or in leadership. It’s not the issue in church leadership. It’s not the issue in seminary leadership.
The issue here at the seminary level is largely the nature of the seminary teaching office. What do we aim for it to be? Is it conceived as an example and model and embodiment of pastoral vision, or not? That will lead us in how we staff our seminary faculty.
Do you understand what he is saying? Competence is not a factor in determining who leads a church or a seminary. It boils down gender. I am beginning to see why men who attend seminary can cause such harm to women. Read on.
“If it is unbiblical to have women as pastors, how can it be biblical to have women who function in formal teaching and mentoring capacities to train and fit pastors for the very calling from which the mentors themselves are excluded?”
“I don’t think that works. The issue is always that inconsistency. If you strive to carve up teaching in such a way that it’s suitable for women, it ceases to be suitable as seminary teaching.”
Sadly, Denny Burk, head of the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, seems to agree with Piper that competences is not the issue. He quoted from two seminary presidents who do not seem to be concerned about competence as well. As long as they are male, everything should be just fine.
Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote:
“We have identified certain positions that closely parallel the office of the pastor, the elder, the overseer, that we would only look to call and hire men for those particular areas. Those areas include preaching, pastoral ministries, theology, and biblical studies. I could not imagine that we would hire a woman to sit in one of those professorial positions as an instructor over men.”
Likewise, Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, responded:
“We believed it was right in accordance with biblical teaching that the faculty members who would model the pastorate in the teaching of disciplines specifically for pastors would be qualified by Scripture to be pastors. This was not just an abstract theory. This also was what was advised to us in terms of the necessity of specifying which teaching positions must in all cases be qualified in this manner. So we defined all teaching positions in the school of theology as of necessity to be pastor-qualified.”
Burk claims that seminaries exist to train men for being pastors in churches. Therefore women are not needed or wanted.
There were others who answered similarly, but you get the gist. All of these answers presume not only a certain job description for the theology professor but also a certain purpose for the theological seminary. The seminary exists to serve churches, and for that reason their primary mission is (or at least should be) the training of pastors for churches. In the core pastoral disciplines (preaching, pastoral ministries, theology, and biblical studies), the best approach is to employ professors who qualify for the pastoral office.
Churches are usually made up of 60% women and 40% men. The lack of training for male pastors by competent females is dangerous and potentially harmful for women and children in the church.
I have been blogging about abuse in church for almost 9 years. We have discussed the mistreatment of children and women by male pastors for most of those 9 years. The recent response of the male leadership at Highpoint Church, a member of The Gospel Coalition, was disastrous and has caused the entire world to ask what in the world is going on with the male pastors who do not understand how to competently respond to such a matter.
John Piper and Denny Burk are huge cheerleaders of The Gospel Coalition. They are also huge supporters of CJ Mahaney who presided over one of the worst sex scandals to every hit the evangelical community. They appear to be tone deaf when it comes to issues of abuse.
I contend that the lack of female wisdom for pastors in training has contributed to the incompetent responses to reported abuse by groups of men and pastors such as:
- The Gospel Coalition
- 9 Marks
- Acts 29
- John Piper
- Ligon Duncan
- Mark Dever
- Al Mohler
- Matt Chandler
Does anyone remember Al Mohler’s heartless joke about the controversy over sex scandals in Mahaney’s Sovereign Grace Ministries of Churches or whatever they want to call it?
Did you know that these all male only leaders (no women involved) will once again be honoring CJ Mahaney at T4G 2018 by giving him a coveted speaker role?
It is astonishing that these men have no idea of how badly they are perceived by everyone with half a heart and an understanding of the pain of abuse.
The inbred incompetence of an all male seminary
Men miss out when they do not have women professors to teach men how to minister to women. Missio Alliance posted Why I Needed Women Seminary Professors: A Response to John Piper by Dennis Edwards.
Women professors can give wisdom for pastoral duties
As is true with most pastors, over the years I’ve ministered to women. Along the way I made some mistakes in how I communicated concerns to some women and often relied upon my wife—who was not a seminary graduate—to help me navigate that terrain. While my wife’s help was invaluable, I believe that the wisdom of a woman seminary professor would have helped me to be even better prepared to minister to women in my church. I gained insights from my wife and other women along the way, but seminary professors are typically skilled at providing information in a more systematic and not just anecdotal or idiosyncratic way.
Woman professors can help male students be more humble
Remember the story of Naaman in 2 Kings 5? He was the commander of the army of the king of Aram who suffered from leprosy. It was an Israeli slave girl who served Naaman’s wife that said the soldier should see the prophet Elisha. Elisha told Naaman to wash himself seven times in the Jordan River. You might recall that Naaman took offense at that command, figuring that he could have been cured by the wave of a hand, or by washing in a better river than the Jordan. It was Naaman’s servants who convinced him to wash in the Jordan and of course, when he did, Naaman was healed. Part of the lesson for Naaman was to learn humility. God’s healing work came not just through the prophet Elisha, but also through the promptings of slaves: an Israeli girl and Naaman’s personal servants—and also through the humble Jordan River.
When men, who hold a privileged position in the world, humble themselves to receive teaching from women, they are learning to be like Christ, whose humility we celebrate (Phil 2:6-8). And my experience as a seminary student—and also as a seminary professor—is that a good many men in seminary could benefit from lessons in humility.
The bottom line is quite clear. There is nothing in the Bible that says men have nothing to learn from skilled women. The mere fact that these seminaries isolate men from the clear thinking of competent females has led to a blatant disregard to sex abuse in the church. Only men who have ben isolated from the clear thinking of smart women could be vapid enough to support CJ Mahaney, stay quiet in the face of abuse and punish women who flee their abusive husbands. They are dumb because they blatantly ignore the gifts of wisdom given by the Holy Spirit to women as well as men. These men have turned their backs on 60% of the blessings of the Holy Spirit.
Men, not only can you learn from women, you must learn from women or the CJ Mahaneys, Chris Conlees and Andy Savages of the world will become the face of men in the church for the world. That is a frightening thought, indeed.