Piper to President Obama: No, Mr. President

Abortion, Bioethics — By on May 14, 2009 at 12:23 pm

The only newly originating life in the universe that comes in the image of God is man.

This is an awesome thing.

Amen and amen.

Well done Rev. Piper and Desiring God.  This is excellent.


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  • ex-preacher

    Mr. Piper needs to look on the bright side: 1 million souls going straight to heaven every year. No need to endure the pain of human life – they go directly to a life of eternal bliss. More importantly, they avoid the likelihood that, if they had been born and been raised in a family that had no problem with abortion, they probably would have ended up going to hell to burn forever in God’s permament torture chamber. And Jesus did say that most people choose the path that is broad and leads to destruction.

    So, really, for the babies, in the long run, it’s a good thing. Unless Piper is one of those that believes that God is sending certain ones to hell no matter what. In that case, it doesn’t really matter one way or the other.

  • Katie Morales

    Be careful, ex-preacher, with such comments as these. On the surface, you may appear as having dispensed wisdom and comfort, but under that it seems more as though you are merely comforting yourself and absolving yourself of any responsibility that could otherwise be upon your shoulders with regard to abortion.
    If we were to follow your logic through to the end, it would seem that death would be the greatest option for all at-risk children…leading then to a massacre of entire nations (African children at risk of getting AIDS, little girls in Thailand who may one day be enslaved in sex-traffiking). I fail to see the face of my God in that kind of act. Merely fear and an attempt to escape any suffering which God often uses as a refining fire and a tool to drive people closer to Himself.

  • onecaliforniadad

    Is what Ex Preacher suggest’s true? – it doesn’t really matter one way or the other.

    As he writes – their deaths freed them from having to endure the pain of human life.

    Other’s may view our life journey from a more positive perspective.

    Or perhaps ex preacher is saying – from dust to dust, so in the end, it doesn’t matter one way or the other.

    The holocaust – it doesn’t matter one way or the other.

    The millions killed through the “ethnic cleansing” many of us now living have seen in our own life spans – it doesn’t matter one way or the other.

    Those now starving to death in Kenya and other parts of the world – it doesn’t matter one way or the other.

    Those that died on 9/11 – it doesn’t matter one way or the other.

    Our life – it doesn’t matter one way or the other.

    The lives of those we have loved – it doesn’t matter one way or the other.

    I suggest the world view that contends it does not matter – is wrong.

    It does matter. It matters more then one can ever imagine or have the intellectual capacity to understand. John 3:16.

    Mr. Piper understands.

    Thank you Dustin.

  • veritas-affectator

    Ex-Preacher,

    Yes but Machiavelli was wrong, the ends do not justify the means. Even if it is so that the babies do go to heaven that in no way determines the moral rightness or wrongness of the act.

    You also seem to assume that the babies are the only ones being affected by abortions. But there is plenty of evidence from psychologists that mothers who go through abortions are negatively affected because of it.

  • http://cinemarshall.com nate

    I find it sad how often the phrase “we will PRAY for you” is used as a threat and backhanded response.

    Sometimes I wish people would keep that particular comment to themselves because it often comes across so cruel and demeaning rather than encouraging and loving.

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com Lindsay Stallones

    Wow. Fabulous, Mr. Piper! Thanks for posting this, Dustin.

    Would that our hearts would break with such fervor over the deaths of innocents at the hands of the US military overseas, or the deaths of millions from solvable poverty and disease while we fight for our right to buy luxury vehicles.

    Let’s carry the right to life further!

  • http://evangelicaloutpost.com/?fbconnect_action=myhome&userid=7 David Nilsen

    For those who are interested, Piper went on to exhort President Obama to be courageous and stand up for the Christian values that he claims to hold. Here is the video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdnQAB3cJec&feature=related

    The new stuff (not included in the video above) starts about 2 minutes into the video.

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com Dustin Steeve

    Lindsay,

    How easy it is for you to opine! Yours, the candidate who plays the villain! And do all our hearts break for the death of innocents anywhere REGARDLESS OF THE CAUSE, yes! That you choose “at the hands of the US military” specifically speaks for itself. Yes, do bring this up and try to take my focus off of the much more easily solvable problem of abortion.

    Poverty and disease are solvable, would that people get in the business of solving poverty versus merely joining causes! Your point about SUVs is a non-sequitur.

    Yes, let’s carry the right to life further indeed.

  • linds

    Dustin,

    I’m not trying to take anyone’s focus off abortion (and since when is this problem easily solved? If so, why has it taken us thirty years and still, we’ve failed?). Innocent civilians do die at the hands of the US military, and yet there is no large outcry from the Church. Innocent children die every moment of hunger, and yet we build massive, ugly auditoriums in which to worship a Beautiful God.

    Why is our outrage always reserved for abortion? I loved the clip – Piper’s passion and his encouragement of Obama to act in accordance with his proclaimed values is great! But these are the only kinds of clips that get posted on Christian websites within the conservative evangelical bubble (other than anti-gay marriage commercials recently, anyway). There’s something wrong with that – a hole in our Gospel, as the president of WorldVision says.

    I’d love to see evangelicals take that same passion into other areas where we can easily do good (such as promoting peacekeeping rather than warfare, or urging fellow Christians to give up luxuries in order to help our brothers and sisters in need). In no way does that distract from the passionate opposition of abortion. It is the great lie of the Enemy that if our attention is divided, that means we don’t really care about the millions killed by abortion worldwide.

  • OlderAndWisecracker

    ex-Preacher: Nice caricature based on a fundamentally disingenuous reading of Christianity. The Father of Lies would be proud of your slithering. Try as you might, your words reveal you. You are saying regarding the deliberate butchery of these innocents… I am not my brother’s keeper.

    Nice to meet you, Cain.

    Lindsay: There are none so blind as those who will themselves not to see. Come with me to Iraq and let me show you the schools my unit built, and the school children and parents and teachers we protected. Come to Afghanistan and see the little girls being educated instead of treated as chattel for the first time in their lives. Come see the freedom Saddam’s butchers and the throat-cutters of the Taliban that my brothers in arms purchased with their blood. Remember, Christ himself tells us: Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Then lets talk — after you have all the facts, and have your ideological blindness removed.

  • linds

    OlderAndWisecracker,

    I’m afraid you’re mischaracterizing me, as well as falling for the great mistake of assuming that in order to support someone, one must never criticize him when he does wrong. I think our troops are fantastic, on the whole (war will always bring out both the best and worst of men and women – it always has). I am fully aware of the wonderful things they’ve accomplished, such as school building and removing evil men from power. However, it’s tragic that in this day of highly-advanced warfare technology, we still see civilian death on a broad scale. A lot of that is the nature of the war we’re waging, and in many cases seems unavoidable. But ‘unavoidable’ or not, the fact is that innocent people have died, both from bombings/shootings that the US military actively committed despite precautions taken against such things, and in the sectarian violence our military action allowed to break out.

    I don’t mean to disparage any member of our military for willfully seeking out innocents for death, and I thank you so much for your service to our country!

    All I mean to say is that the reality is that America’s recent military action (like all military action in the history of humanity) has resulted in the deaths of innocents. Traditionally, the Church has been the voice of peace, not war (excepting, of course, some pretty dark periods of church history). The American evangelical church hasn’t been fulfilling that role well enough lately. We haven’t even been facilitating a good debate on just war theory – we’ve been silent, or worse, actively promoting warfare against ‘terror’ as part of a political agenda. We should do better – and that’s part of being pro-life.

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com Dustin Steeve

    Lindsay,

    Abortion would be easily solved if we cut through the jargon and called it what it was, murder.

    Innocent people do die at the hands of the US military, but let us not for one second so easily associate (as though one were to equate!) the intentional, for-profit murder of human babies by abortionists with the tragic death of innocent civilians during a just war by the US Military.

    Innocent children die every moment of hunger but that has nothing to do with our building “massive, ugly auditoriums to worship a beautiful God.” I do not know any other way to read your statement other than: if we build it, they will die! Simply false. I’m not going to derail this conversation about abortion with a conversation about theories of capitalism and free market economics.

    Do evangelicals not care for the poor? Do we so lust after war that we, in our churches, neglect to care for the suffering? Not at all! The data proves that Evangelicals are more charitable and do more good themselves than their left leaning critics.

    This is a video about abortion. This is a conversation about abortion. Anyone who disagrees that abortion is murder, here you have your say – please debate! But I find it rude to attempt to disrupt this conversation about abortion with simplistic, foolish accusations against the US military or our free market economy.

  • smmtheory

    sectarian violence our military action allowed to break out.

    That is hogwash! That sectarian violence was carrying on long before our military action! Our military actions were not the cause, and did not enable it. All we did was uncover it and let the world see what was going on behind the iron curtain of tyranny.

  • linds

    Dustin,

    It would be easy to fix if everyone would admit or understand that it is murder. That’s a no-brainer.

    What’s not easy is convincing people that it is. The pro-life movement’s been trying to do it for 30 years, and hasn’t succeeded in changing the nation’s attitudes.

    So the solution is simple – just not easy, is what I meant. Otherwise we’d have done it by now. And we need to continue!

    But it’s interesting to try and limit the conversation here – I applauded the statement Piper made about abortion, and expressed a desire to see more Christians this passionate about other pro-life issues. I didn’t realize that was derailing a discussion. My attitude is: hooray, pro-life! Let’s be even MORE pro-life, too! I didn’t realize you were looking for someone to just agree with your opinion or take issue wtih abortion itself. I didn’t know there were rules. :)

  • http://www.prolifemn.blogspot.com/ Paul

    Very, very powerful. I was there (at Bethlehem Baptist) when he gave this sermon.

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com Dustin Steeve

    Lindsay,

    There are no rules, just good manners.

    If you and I were engaged in a deep discussion about Plato and some third party came into our conversation, denied the that metaphysics mattered at all, accused the academy of being removed and irrelevent, and declared that students pay too much for education, then I think you and I could rightfully be irritated. Instantly, all sorts of rebuttals to the third party’s claim would come popping up into our heads. Of course, we’d now be distracted from our deep conversation of Plato, no?

    Having engaged people, both online and in the real world, about the problem of abortion, I realize that this is a tactic of the abortionists. They wish to derail meaningful conversation about the abortion issue by miring me in a discussion about just war (which they really care nothing about), poverty, or some sort of economics lesson which really has nothing to do with the point. Before long we’re arguing about welfare reform and education and are miles away from thinking about abortion. I cannot tell you how many times that has happened to me. Believe me, I’m all about Pro-Life from conception to grave, but when it comes to abortion, I think it is good for people to be laser focused.

  • Randy Lucas

    Dear Nate,

    I don’t think Dr. Piper would use the phrase “we will pray for you” as a backhanded response or a threat, as I believe he really does pray for our president. I think there is absolute honesty in him saying “some of us wept for joy at your inauguration”, as many of us in the “conservative Christian” world were eager for change, thankful to see the day of a president of color, and hopeful to see wisdom and truth come out of the administration of a president with such youthful zeal, intelligence, and claim to the Christian faith.

    What Mr. Piper is doing is expressing, with passion, the disappointment of us who believe our president has incorrectly assessed the impact of Roe v. Wade on our nation. For any that adhere to a strong sanctity of life, there should be immense grief and disappointment over our president’s position. Piper’s sermon is indeed a rebuke to our president, but Scripture tells us that a rebuke is a loving thing. I believe Dr. Piper wouldn’t say these things if he didn’t lovingly hope for God to genuinely change our president’s heart and mind on this matter.

    “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.” Revelation 3:19

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com Lindsay Stallones

    Dustin,

    Hm. Do you really lump me in with abortionists because I don’t think abortion is the only life issue? That makes me sad. I’m also sad you don’t think those who argue for just war actually care about it. I find that’s untrue, even among abortionists. I wonder if maybe this is more likely irritation at the fact that abortionists see inconsistency in a group that calls itself pro-life yet supports policies that aren’t in favor of the cause of life. Sure the derailment’s annoying, but isn’t it also a little convicting if what’s said of us is true?

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with mentioning other life issues when talking about abortion. If we want to gain a foothold for the culture of life in our society, we need to embrace life in all issues not just end of life issues and abortion. Capital punishment is a life issue. War is a life issue. Poverty is a life issue. When a child dies every three seconds from poverty-related causes in the world, and we don’t bat an eye, but we’ll scream at politicians over abortion, that seems to present an inconsistency to the world.

    Isn’t part of winning the war over abortion showing ourselves to be committed to the cause of life in all areas, not just this one? That doesn’t mean we soften our position or approach on abortion – it means finding the synergy between abortion and other life issues that might actually draw in those who oppose us on abortion and, through the sincerity of our approach to all life issues, cause them to reconsider their position on abortion.

    If we appear to by hypocrites (whether we are or not), no one will care what we say about abortion, no matter how true it is. If, however, we prove ourselves committed to preserving and defending life, maybe we can draw some opponents onto our side through the testimony of that sincerity.

    Regardless, shutting down allies who dare to praise brave words about abortion and call for more brave words for other life issues certainly isn’t going to do anything but weaken ourselves. And, with this much at stake, we can’t afford that.

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com Dustin R. Steeve

    Lindsay,

    You said:

    Hm. Do you really lump me in with abortionists because I don’t think abortion is the only life issue?

    No. But I happen to know that you were an Obama supporter and generally see things from a more liberal perspective. I would say that you are an exception, not the rule. What I am saying is generally true, though you demonstrate that there are rare instances where things are more nuanced.

    I’m also sad you don’t think those who argue for just war actually care about it. I find that’s untrue, even among abortionists.

    I think those who argue for “just war” care about it – I just think they happen to be conservative most of the time. Rarely do I read a lefty blog or engage a lefty in conversation where some variation of the theme “war is never the answer” does not sound out. Rarely have I met a lefty for whom “just war” was meaningful enough to get them to pause before hastily equating the killing of babies via abortion with the tragic death of innocents during a time of war. Frankly, that was how I read your statement. I think the calculus on the former is complex and requires some tough questions to be answered whereas the calculus on the latter simply is not. My experience (debating the issue on college campuses, etc) supports my belief.

    I wonder if maybe this is more likely irritation at the fact that abortionists see inconsistency in a group that calls itself pro-life yet supports policies that aren’t in favor of the cause of life. Sure the derailment’s annoying, but isn’t it also a little convicting if what’s said of us is true?

    I think it’s more correct to say that abortionists “capitalize” on the inconsistency (monetarily as well as rhetorically). No sooner do I open my mouth about abortion than somebody says to me “well did you support the war!?” and downhill the conversation goes. Why? Not because abortion is any less wrong OR because there is any inconsistency in my pro-life philosophy (there is not), but simply because the abortionist makes the hasty equation between war and abortion and “capitalizes” on the supposed inconsistency to get an “out” in the conversation.

    That being said, I will echo what I said earlier. I think being consistently pro-life is not only good for conversation, it is a must for living well as integrated, whole souls.

  • Brandon

    You could no longer be a slaveholder and a Christian when in a Christian nation you had the power to choose liberty for all.

    You can no longer remain a Christian and a Democrat because aggregately the Democrats serve only the will of Satan. Every baby who is murdered may go to Heaven but every woman who murders that baby goes to Hell regardless of our inadequacy in informing them of the LAW!

    To tolereate this means there are some you would not share the Gospel with and that is to be without the Holy Spirit. To deny God’s will for all to be saved for any political reason what-so-ever damns you.

  • http://confessionalouthouse.wordpress.com/ Zrim

    Dustin,

    Lindsay is right. You’re not being consistently pro-life. She is. You can’t be pro-life and exclude those who have every ground to include other causes.

    But that is precisely the problem with the pro-life movement/culture of life–it demands a consistency the church cannot afford. All the church is called to is reconciling sinners to God.

    So while she is consistent and you aren’t, that doesn’t mean she wins. It means, instead of linking up the church to one issue like you, she has made the yoke for the church heavier. But it’s fun watching evangelicals fight.

  • Wow

    On June 8, “Brandon” wrote:

    “You can no longer remain a Christian and a Democrat because aggregately the Democrats serve only the will of Satan. Every baby who is murdered may go to Heaven but every woman who murders that baby goes to Hell regardless of our inadequacy in informing them of the LAW!”

    This was my first visit to this website, which had come HIGHLY recommended by a secular friend for its objectivity.

    Rest assured, this will be my LAST visit.

    You people are a bunch of crazed fanatics who shame the gospel of Christ.

    Yours very truly,
    A Christian who happens to be a Democrat — and will also be recommending that people STAY AWAY from this site. What a bunch of nutjobs you are!

  • Lania

    Dustin and co,

    The main reason many people defect from the pro-life movement is not because they support abortion, but because of the general hypocrisy of the pro-life movement, and this is the inconvenient “derailing” truth, whether you admit it or not.

    Perhaps you don’t realize this, but there actually isn’t a single pro-life country in the world where abortions don’t happen. As a matter of fact, a large percentage of abortions occur in pro-life countries! Newsflash: abortions matter to God whether they are done legally or not. If you realize this – and if you realize that women will continue to have abortions even if it were illegalized on the federal level – then why are you crucifying Obama for having the pragmatic insight to realize the real battle is to reduce the number of abortions, not to yell at abortionists and carry placards? I don’t think it takes that much rocket science to understand that the real issue is the babies, not the laws? Interestingly enough, though, the so-called pro-life movement is so narrowminded that they only tend to focus on reversing a legal decision, instead of putting their pedal(s) to the metal and getting down to the real dirty work of preventing the reasons why people get abortions in the first place.

    But alas, many Christians support the poverty producing policies that encourage most abortions in the first place. And strangely many evangelicals are the first ones to support the war and the death penalty…and I’m sorry if the truth seems like a “derailment” to you, but sometimes the truth needs to be said! Do an honest assessment of your heart here, and at least consider being as passionate about little children dying of hunger everyday, for instance, or families being devastated by the lack of health care, and watch how the “heathen” flock to your cause with newfound respect for your consistent ethic of life. Until we admit this, the pro-life cause will continue to lose in America, but contrary to conventional conservative wisdom, unfortunately it will be our fault!

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com Lindsay Stallones

    Brandon,

    Boy, it’s sad we won’t get to see Moses or King David in Heaven! After all, they’re murderers, and that automatically and irrevocably damns them, according to your argument.

    Read the Book. For crying out loud. Widen your faith beyond one issue. God’s grace is more gracious than yours. He offers forgiveness even to the most heinous of sinners if they turn to Him.

    Maybe we should take a lesson from His grace, not yours.

  • CT

    “You also seem to assume that the babies are the only ones being affected by abortions. But there is plenty of evidence from psychologists that mothers who go through abortions are negatively affected because of it.”

    But if what ex-preacher says is right, this should provide comfort to these mothers. It might still be sinful what these mothers did, but this should not stop us from comforting them with the good news that God redeems what is evil. Mothers who have aborted their babies can know that their actions were of incalculable benefit to those babies. We can comfort the afflicted with truth.

  • livesinTHISworld

    I can say things ponderously slowly and with no information backing them too. Listen: “The ONLY, new-ly, o-rig-in-at-ing life in the universe… that comes in the image of god, is ME. The only life in the universe, that lasts for-ev-er, is me.” Wow, this is fun. Love that this makes it true.

    Except it doesn’t. But leaving aside the basic fact that your fire-and-brimstone hero’s entire premise is just talking out his ass in the first place, (and, for that matter, that all his other assertions throughout his speech are also talking out his ass with no logical support whatsoever) anybody who voted for Obama in the last election should have taken thirty seconds away from intimidating young girls and learned what the candidates’ actual positions were for. I highly doubt that any of Piper’s followers rejoiced at Obama’s election only to come to the shocking realization a few months later that, holy shit, Obama actually holds to those position he said he would hold to.

    If we’re going to start calling the alteration of a biological process that would, uninterrupted, potentially result in a human being months down the line Murder, we’re going to have to come up with another word for ACTUAL murder, like that our troops are committing overseas with the support of you and yours who supposedly revere life.

  • Ken

    If we’re going to start calling the alteration of a biological process that would, uninterrupted, potentially result in a human being months down the line Murder

    Potentially? I think that should read you mean “usually,” or at least “frequently.” I agree that “murder” has the wrong connotation, in that it suggests malice, but killing is killing.

  • http://ltpalculict.wordpress.com RAP

    So, if we kill all the babies they will go to heaven instead of possibly going to Hell? With the idea of “Age of Accountability” the logical progression from this is infanticide evangelism. If all babies who die go to heaven, then we must prevent them from going to Hell. Therefore, we must terminate their lives. This is a great evangelism technique if it were true. I would rather be accursed and kill all the “innocent” babies, so that they would go to Heaven. (Truly!) But this is not what the Bible says. No where does it say babies go to heaven and no where does it say they go to Hell. The “Age of Accountability” idea is a man-made doctrine to sooth the soul about romantic ideas about “innocent” children. What I know: Christ Crucified and Jesus as the Righteous Messiah who always does the right thing. He will do the right thing, whatever it is, regarding babies who die. We should not make up doctrines that make God look better to the world or ourselves. He stands alone as “the Better” without our help, no matter how well intentioned.

    RAP

  • Just Me

    Ok, there is a HUGE difference between ppl dying during a just war and innocent babies dying from abortion. It seriously boggles my mind when ppl try to compare the two. I don’t jump for joy during war. It doesn’t make me happy. But, sometimes war is necessary. I’m also pro death penalty. Killing criminals is not the same as killing a baby because s/he is inconvenient or is the product of rape or incest (a baby should not be punished because his/her biological father was evil). It amazes me…we kill about 4,000 babies every single day and it goes unnoticed by so many.

  • Just Me

    livesinTHISworld – Umm…when is a baby a baby? Is it only a baby once it leaves the womb? What about leaving the womb makes it suddenly human? Or, do you say it’s a baby when it has a heart? Or, maybe when it has ears? Toenails? Teeth? What’s your definition? If someone had a baby and killed it 5 minutes later, would that be ok? Or, would that be murder because it was breathing air?

  • Susan Dennis

    I wonder to whom John Piper was referring when he said “some of us wept for joy” at the inauguration of President Obama. Most certainly I am not in that group.

    This is a very moving commentary.