Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Piper On Guns

John Piper thinks Christians should not be encouraged to arm themselves. He said in his reaction to Falwell's comments about being armed with guns (Falwell's view/policy at Liberty University is 4 years old):

For the sake of the safety of his campus, and in view of terrorist activity, President Falwell encouraged the students to get permits to carry guns. After implying that he had a gun in his back pocket, he said, “I just want to take this opportunity to encourage all of you to get your permit. We offer a free course. And let’s teach them a lesson if they ever show up here.” He clarified on December 9 that the policy at Liberty now includes permission to carry guns in the dormitories.
- Piper

But what Falwell actually said

It just blows my mind when I see the president of the United States say that the answer to circumstances like that is more gun control. I mean, if some of those people in that community center had had what I got in my back pocket right now … . I’ve always thought if more good people had conceal-carry permits then we could end those Muslims before they walk in and kill. I just want to take this opportunity to encourage all of you to get your permit. We offer a free course. Let's teach 'em a lesson if they ever show up here.”

In his responses to local and national media and in posts on his personal social media accounts after the Convocation, Falwell clarified his comments, saying that when he referred to “those Muslims,” he was referring to Islamic terrorists, specifically those behind the attacks in Paris and in San Bernardino. 

~Liberty University

Two more times Piper uses that same phrase "teach them a lesson" in his reaction to Falwell, something Piper does constantly to drive home his agenda in his books:

"My main concern in this article is with the appeal to students that stirs them up to have the mindset: Let’s all get guns and teach them a lesson if they come here. "

"If we teach our students that they should carry guns, and then challenge them, “Let’s teach them a lesson if they ever show up here,” do we really think that when the opportunity to lay down their lives comes, they will do what Jim Elliott and his friends did in Ecuador, and refuse to fire their pistols at their killers, while the spears plunged through their chests?"

In Falwell's clarification he stated:

Falwell continued to clarify his comments from Friday:

“As the president of this university community of nearly 15,000 students and 7,000 faculty and staff, I take very seriously my responsibility to keep you safe in an increasingly dangerous world. That’s why in 2011 I asked our Board of Trustees to consider a concealed carry policy. It wasn’t because of Islamic terrorism, it was because what happened (just) up the road at Virginia Tech. More than 30 innocent students and faculty were murdered viciously and none of them had the ability to protect themselves. The day that happened, I thought we needed to do something different here at Liberty. We needed to have a way to protect our students, our faculty, so we instituted this free course in 2011. We were part of only a handful of schools in the United States that had taken that position at that time. Now many schools have followed suit. There are dozens and we have had 1,600 people take that course, 950 here now with concealed carry permits, and after I made those remarks on Friday we had 240 sign up for a course tomorrow night."

End quote.

It seems his policy was made 4 years due to the Virginia Tech incident, not something recent as a reaction out of emotion from just a few weeks ago.

I agree that Scripture clearly teaches that we are not to take justice into our own hands, yet Scripture also tells us to protect the innocent lives. Jesus did tell the disciples to take a sword with them, which was a defensive weapon. If Jesus were a pacifist, would He not have commanded them to take NO sword?

Piper seems to think that defensive tactics to save a life is the same thing as avenging blood. That's not fair nor honest. The two are wholly different. It's one thing to defend a life when being shot at or raped; it's quite another to go looking for a person in order to shoot them down because you think you can get justice right there and then. 

Piper went on to say: "I think I can say with complete confidence that the identification of Christian security with concealed weapons will cause no one to ask a reason for the hope that is in us. They will know perfectly well where our hope is. It’s in our pocket."  So seriously, if a man is raping your daughter, you are going to just stand there and preach the Gospel (Piper's view of what kind of gospel can save is another issue that I've addressed here)? It seems to me that Piper is on the verge of having more concern for the criminal than the loved one. Then again, Piper is a social justice advocate and his close friend is a Marxist, so this perversion of justice vs the Gospel is, while twisted, more in line with liberalism.

Further problems:

Piper says, "

Jesus strikes the note that the dominant (not the only) way Christians will show the supreme value of our treasure in heaven is by being so freed from the love of this world and so satisfied with the hope of glory that we are able to love our enemies and not return evil for evil, even as we expect to be wronged in this world."

Piper then uses Matthew 5 to promote pacifism, which is unbelievable.

"Jesus struck the note that the way his disciples demonstrate most forcefully the supreme value of knowing him is by “letting goods and kindred go, this mortal life also,” and calling it “gain” (Philippians 1:21)," Piper stated. Jesus didn't say "let goods and kindred go...."--that was Martin Luther who was not a biblical Christian.

Piper also uses examples in Acts of when the apostles were persecuted for preaching the Gospel and that they didn't defend themselves. That's not the same thing as being raped or held at gunpoint in one's house. Goodness, the jump in "logic" here is astounding. Of course if we're persecuted for the sake of the Gospel, it's not our job to pull out a gun and shoot the person. The fact that anyone needs to say that shows how ridiculous Piper's thinking is. That is not the same thing as defending a life in peril. Even the Old Testament upholds saving the life of an animal in peril....are we to do less for a human being? Seriously?

And the worst argument Piper uses:

A natural instinct is to boil this issue down to the question, “Can I shoot my wife’s assailant?”

1) This instinct is understandable. But it seems to me that the New Testament resists this kind of ethical reduction, and does not satisfy our demand for a yes or no on that question. We don’t like this kind of ambiguity, but I can’t escape it. 
2) Our primary aim in life is to show that Christ is more precious than life. So when presented with this threat to my wife or daughter or friend, my heart should incline toward doing good in a way that would accomplish this great aim. There are hundreds of variables in every crisis that might affect how that happens.
3) Jesus died to keep that assailant from sinning against my family. That is, Jesus’ personal strategy for overcoming crimes was to overcome sinful inclinations by giving his life to pay debts and change hearts. 
4) I realize that even to call the police when threatened — which, in general, it seems right to do in view of Romans 13:1–4 — may come from a heart that is out of step with the mind of Christ. If one’s heart is controlled mainly by fear, or anger, or revenge, that sinful disposition may be expressed by using the police as well as taking up arms yourself.
End quote.
In regard to #1: If it's ambiguous in Scripture and doesn't say yes or no to use of force to defend a life, then he just blew his argument up  himself. He cannot be dogmatic on this in any way, shape, matter, or form, and yet he is. That's hypocritical.

In regard to #2: He is promoting the life of a criminal above an innocent victim, which is perversion according to Scripture. To not defend an innocent life because you equate that life with the criminal is not only unjust, it's twisted and unholy.

In regard to #3: Piper says, "Jesus died to keep that assailant from sinning against my family. That is, Jesus’ personal strategy for overcoming crimes was to overcome sinful inclinations by giving his life to pay debts and change hearts." This goes against his claimed view of Limited Atonment: that is, that Jesus died only for the Elect. But his claim here is that Jesus died for everyone including this specific criminal. He's talking against the very doctrine he claims. Secondly he doesn't even make sense in the second sentence. Who's sinful inclinations was Jesus overcoming, Jesus'?? Certainly a blasphemous thought! If he meant the criminal's then again he's going against Limited Atonement.
And finally, in regard to #4: He's saying that a person might be calling the police with wrong motives so they in sin. What in the world? First of all, people's motive for calling the police when a life is in danger is to SAVE A LIFE. Period. Secondly, avenging for the crime is not unbiblical, but rather biblical. Justice desired is biblical. Piper is saying it is not. I dare say that Piper would now also be against the death penalty.

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