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Enjoying God Blog


Most of you are aware that I regard John Piper as one of my dearest friends. We’ve known each other for over 35 years and I’ve had the privilege of sitting on the board of Desiring God and partnering with John in the advance of what we call Christian Hedonism. He has also exerted a tremendous, life-shaping influence on me theologically.

What follows is not designed to disagree with the substance of what he wrote in his article. You can read the article here. Rather, I want to make what I believe is an important contribution to what John wrote that I hope will help people as they make their decision on November 3.

Here is a brief summary of what John wrote.

He is baffled “that so many Christians consider the sins of unrepentant sexual immorality (porneia), unrepentant boastfulness (alazoneia), unrepentant vulgarity (aischrologia), unrepentant factiousness (dichostasiai), and the like, to be only toxic for our nation, while policies that endorse baby-killing, sex-switching, freedom-limiting, and socialistic overreach are viewed as deadly.”

The reason John put those Greek words in parentheses “is to give a graphic reminder that these are sins mentioned in the New Testament. To be more specific, they are sins that destroy people. They are not just deadly. They are deadly forever. They lead to eternal destruction (2 Thessalonians 1:9). They destroy persons (Acts 12:20-23). And through persons, they destroy nations (Jeremiah 48:29-31, 42). It is not a small thing to treat lightly a pattern of public behaviors that lead to death.”

John goes on to say that “it is a drastic mistake to think that the deadly influences of a leader come only through his policies and not also through his person.

This is true not only because flagrant boastfulness, vulgarity, immorality, and factiousness are self-incriminating, but also because they are nation-corrupting. They move out from centers of influence to infect whole cultures. The last five years bear vivid witness to this infection at almost every level of society.

Therefore, Christians communicate a falsehood to unbelievers (who are also baffled!) when we act as if policies and laws that protect life and freedom are more precious than being a certain kind of person. The church is paying dearly, and will continue to pay, for our communicating this falsehood year after year.

The justifications for ranking the destructive effects of persons below the destructive effects of policies ring hollow.”

John concludes with this: “I find it bewildering that Christians can be so sure that greater damage will be done by bad judges, bad laws, and bad policies than is being done by the culture-infecting spread of the gangrene of sinful self-exaltation, and boasting, and strife-stirring (eristikos).”

I trust from these few statements that you get the gist of what John is saying. And let me say it clearly: I largely agree with him. I have often been tempted to write about the egregious and ungodly behavior and speech of our President, but have resisted doing so. I’m very careful to guard against endorsing certain candidates for public office. I noticed that after John’s original article he tweeted that he intends to vote for neither Biden nor Trump. I am giving serious consideration to joining him in that approach. I cannot in good conscience endorse either man. I’ve heard all the arguments that not voting for either candidate is counter-productive and irresponsible. I won’t take the time here to respond, as I certainly understand why many would take that view.

But here is what I want to say about John’s article on the importance of character in a candidate, or in the average man or woman. Bad character, destructive character, does not always manifest itself in bombastic speech and overt arrogance. Moral deficiencies in a person are, sadly, often hidden, but not for that reason any less destructive both personally and nationally. A person can be soft-spoken, courteous, and guarded in their speech while at the same time be as wicked and dangerous as the loud-mouthed jerk.

Let me be even more specific.

I am passionately pro-life and an energetic advocate of traditional marriage (between one man and one woman). I oppose socialist economic policies and I believe in religious liberty and a strong national defense, among other issues of importance.

So, what’s my point? Simply this. For a person to support, endorse, and encourage the torture, dismemberment, and wholesale slaughter of precious babies in the womb is a clear and unmistakable indication of a wretched moral character. There is something fundamentally flawed in any human soul that would contend women should have the legal right to kill their babies. This is as grievous a flaw (perhaps even more so) than any of the character deficiencies we see in our President.

For a person to support, endorse, and encourage sexual perversion is a clear and unmistakable indication of a wretched moral character. Our nation is progressively sliding down a path toward the destruction of the biblical model of what a marriage is, what a family is, and what constitutes biblical sexual morality. No, we aren’t sliding down the path, we’re there already. The Supreme Court decision to legitimize so-called same-sex marriage testifies to that fact. The fact that there are multiple parades in our country that celebrate pride in that sort of sexual misconduct that the Bible says ought to evoke shame is another indication of how far we have fallen. And for a person to run a campaign for President that endorses such reprehensible conduct is itself a clear sign of serious moral, philosophical, and theological flaws in one’s soul.

It is not loving to endorse and encourage behavior in a person that puts his/her soul in danger of eternal damnation.

For a person to support and encourage 10-year-old children to make up their own minds about what gender they wish to be is horribly destructive of any semblance of responsible parenting and puts the souls of these precious young people in serious jeopardy. What does it say about the quality of character in a presidential candidate that he would endorse such behavior? It doesn’t matter if he said it in a soft and gentle voice, void of vulgarity or profanity, perhaps even with a tear in his eye. To advocate for such an approach to life is inherently dangerous both to individual persons and a nation at large.

I could continue to cite examples of statements, policies, and positions that a candidate might endorse that are reflections of a serious flaw in character, indeed, a warped character, but I trust that you can understand the point I’m making.

I’m not equipped or wise enough to know which is worse for a nation: an overtly prideful, lustful, vulgar, profane Narcissist, or a quiet and gentlemanly advocate of abortion, homosexuality, who would suppress religious liberties and promote socialist economic policies. Both are evil. And does it not say something about the wretched condition of our country that such men are the best that the United States of America can put forth as candidates for President? Can we not do better than this?

So, in conclusion, I agree with John that character counts, indeed, counts massively. I agree that the unbiblical and immoral qualities that we see in one person can be destructive, just as can the policies of a person who by all outward appearances seems to be winsome and kind. It is a terrible indictment of our failed political system and the misguided beliefs of so many people that this has left us with what I believe is an untenable choice to make on November 3.

On the eve of the election in 2016 I stood before the congregation at Bridgeway and lamented the fact that we were faced with a decision between two equally unqualified, morally degenerate candidates. There is a very real sense in which the same scenario now plays out in 2020. May God give us wisdom to know what to do, and how to vote.



John Piper is not making a fair comparison. He is comparing one man's character to another man's policies. Compare the characters of both men and then the policies of both men.
What’s new? When in our lifetime did true followers of Christ have the option to vote for a true follower of Christ in a Presidential election? We’ve always voted for the lesser evil and often had to pick by the narrowest of margins. Do we have to go around announcing this obvious point to satisfy the likes of Piper?

Trump is bad. Right, John, we already knew that. Sorry we got just a little too excited about trying postponing the fall
to communism and one world government in this country for a little while longer.

John Piper, hold your nose and do your civic duty and pick the obviously better public policy. Instead you contribute to throwing your important swing state so you can position yourself as the usual contrarian, theologically superior ‘real’ Christian.
Wow I am taken back how John has chosen to set aside his Calvinistic beliefs that he has been preaching on which focuses on salvation by grace and not by works, and now turned to judge a person’s character and spoken words (works) as the litmus test to determine one’s relationship with God. I also think that it is very Interesting how John is so quick to use his influence to persuade many of his follows to turn against a man “President Trump” who is pro-Israel; is pro-active to protect America and American people (Unborn babies, soldiers from being killed in other countries by those who hate America and Israel; from un-godly (atheistic) China from taking our jobs and destroying our economy and he willing to do what is needed to protect Americans in our southern border states); he has also vigorously been very instrumental in promoting a healthy economy to help give all Americans the privilege to have a job and a sense of value; he has also spoke out for freedom of religion and against the media who has instrumentally been involved with the democratic party for many decades putting down Christian and American values; he has also elected two conservative supreme court justices and the list goes on.
Yes, I am baffled about how Biblically ignorant and blind some people can be to rate as some of President Trump's character flaws and words as being the same and/or even worse than the ungodly and evil agenda's that is believed, promoted and enforced within the democratic party and their leaders. Maybe it’s ignorance on John’s behalf and those who follow his humble judgmental opinion that President Trump has demonstrated that he endorses and promotes protecting our country and Biblical principles.
We don't always like how some people including leaders choose their words and/or exemplify their character, but we as believers in Jesus Christ are required to also take into consideration what God may be accomplishing in and through their lives, to accomplish His will to bless His people and restore a nation.
I grew up religious in a Christian denomination and voted Democrat a number of times, as I didn't have a clue about what the Bible said about salvation, nor did I know or understand the platform beliefs of either of the Republican or Democratic Party. Praise God that overwhelmed me with the Good News salvation message about Jesus Christ approximately 35 years. Jesus granted me the ability to truly repent and place my life in His hands; my eyes were opened to my own sinful life style and living. I started looking at how God may want to use me in every aspect of my life to further his kingdom for the salvation of lost souls and to be involved to pray for, encourage and support people and organizations that promoted Biblical principles.
I eventually became more involved and interested in politics, knowing that God is souvenir yet He allows us the privilege to choose people to best exemplify and support our Christian values. Studying the two major political party platforms opened my eyes to learn that is was absolutely impossible for me to support and vote for anyone on the party that promoted killing babies and who sought to give special right and privileges to people who were involved in unbiblical sexual behavior(s).
Yes I realized that the Republican Party promoted and voted to protect biblical principles. I AM NOT VOTING SO MUCH SO AN INDIVIDUAL, but for principles. This same concept can be applied to our work places, schools, groups that we choose to be involved with, our places of worship and even to personal relationships in regards to people who we can be around and support yet knowing their character flaws. I believe that God’s word makes it very clear that He gives us wisdom and knowledge by the power of the Holy Spirit to choose who we will hang around with and which organizations we will support to best live out a God glorifying life with a clear conscience. When these organizations and people demonstrate questionable character and use discouraging words, we continue to pray for them, confront them about this and then to exemplify Godly character in the hope of seeing the Holy Spirit changing them in Jesus name.
I refuse to be so hypocritical and stupid to judge someone solely by their character and/or their choice of words. Worse yet to compare that to the ungodly and demonic democratic party and their evil plans.
Throughout the Bible God used and blessed many people who were of bad character and were involved in ungodly lifestyles. He even used them to bless His people and bring glory to His name (Mary Madeline, Tamar, Rahab, King Saul, etc.), some of them were his chosen people (David with Brethsheba and the murder of her husband; Jacob the liar; Peter the liar and denier of Jesus; Joseph marrying an Egyptian, many with multiple wives, etc.).
I really do appreciate the commentaries from numerous people who also make it very clear that Piper's comments are totally ridiculous, and of course are benefiting the works of Satan more than he can probably ever imagine.
I am going to vote for President Trump who I can see how God is using him as stated above to bless God’s people in America, to stand in the gap against Satan and those who opening support his ungodly plans to destroy America even further. I will also continue to pray for humility and conviction for whoever God allows to be our President, I however will not join forces to stand against someone who I believe God is using to bless and protect his chosen.
Pray and choose wisely. Blessings, Dan
Would we vote for King David if he ran for president?
I hit submit before I had written I think your reasoning here is illogical. We can say that God sees the sin of pride as equal to murder (abortion). However, when it comes to voting the amount of damage that is done by one is not in anyway comparable to the other. The Biden campaign wants NO restrictions on abortions. They want to repeal the Hyde amendment so that your tax dollars will be going to fund abortions again. They support sanctuary cities which allow criminal illegal aliens to get away with all kinds of crime including murder. They have not spoken out to denounce BLM or Antifa, two organizations that are against God, government, and the nuclear family. And among other things they support the LGBTQ goals.

Compare that to what President Trump has done and plans to do. He has put over 150 good judges in place. He stood against abortion internationally, just said abortion is not an international right. He is for the born alive protection act, if congress can ever get it passed. He is pro life. He has created an agency to stop human trafficking. Did you know that? If you only read mainstream media, you probably didn’t hear it. He has said churches should be open during the virus. He has worked toward religious freedom internationally. He is a friend of Israel. He has worked to reform the criminal justice program so that reformed criminals can be productive members of society. He is fighting for the families who have had family members killed by illegal aliens, and trying to prevent further preventable murders. He working to get rid of the Critical Race theory in schools and in government. This theory that goes against God’s word and His grace. I could go on. But I think I have given more than enough information, to show that a Christian can come to a very solid conclusion about who is the better candidate.

A no vote or a write in vote will cause Biden to win. And I think that if it is the evangelicals that cause Biden to win God will hold each of them accountable for the increased abortions, the senseless murders by criminal illegal aliens, the loss of religious freedom here and around the world, the continued destruction of the family, crime in the name of BLM and Antifa, ... .

About forty or fifty years ago, the church decided that politics was not an arena for the Christian. I hear all the time Christians say I don’t want my vote to keep someone from wanting to hear the gospel from me. The irony is that now everything is political so Christians have taken themselves out of the path of being able to influence the culture in any meaningful way. We have hidden our light in our churches and small groups. The Bible is not just meaningful in witnessing to others. It has something to say about all of life, and we actually create greater opportunities to let that light shine when we influence the culture politically as well.

Pastor John Piper once wrote a sermon on William Wilberforce, and talked about how Wilberforce did not give up. Where are the Wilberforces in America? Have we given up the fight for life because of our President’s tweets and rough language? There are many other more productive ways for you to fight the cultures turn to vulgar language and pride. Your vote this year is not one of them. I pray for you and Pastor John to not give up the fight at this late date.
Holly Bender
~ I think it is possible that John Piper's case can be strengthened by G.K. Beale's book, We Become What We Worship: A Biblical Theology of Idolatry

That said, I see the issue in a far simple manner:

~ If for Gopal to vote for a candidate means that Gopal would sin against his conscience, then Gopal cannot vote.

In fact he has a moral duty not to vote. Period.

You have to do what is right in God's eyes and if that means not voting for anyone, then that is what you must do.

God is sovereign. He can handle the outcome of any election.
After reading Piper's essay, I considered that John Piper’s pipering may lead many of us into the Delaware River, not across it. Now here's the first rat in line. Someone, lead the rest of the mice away from the piper and save US from destruction!
My response:
2 hypothetical demons, the 1st will enter and destroy 100 million souls. The 2nd will do same, but will also seduce the souls it enters into killing 100 million more image bearers. If you don't choose to let the 1st go into the land, then the 2nd will go. What's Love do?
Sam. Thank your for the post. It’s amazing to see to the confirmation bias in the responses to your article. You simply said you weren’t voting for either candidate, but you are being attacked because you’re not voting for Trump. Let me say that one more time: you are being attacked for not voting for Trump. Also how does not voting for Trump equal to voting for Biden? Do people not realize you can vote for a 3rd candidate?
Arrogance, abortion and rudeness are all addressed in Micah 6:8-- He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Our answer is in the action of each-- do justice, abortion is my call to action, love kindness, is to respond respectfully, esp when shredded. Walk humbly, is my personal fight against arrogance. We are called to fight for those mistreated, to respond respectfully when mistreated and negate our desire for image management. God doesn't ask me to step into the arena where He's fighting your pride, He'll take care of that-- putting King Nebs out to pasture. But I'm called to "do" justice--step in when the unborn are killed. I will steward my vote for this cause and respond with kindness when you disagree.
John Piper is incredibly deceived and his stance in support of policies that kill innocent unborn, twist gender, and more is an abomination to all God stands for, hands down. We should pray for him. God is a master potter and the clay is ever being shaped-has Piper never read the Old Testament or remembered the lineage of Jesus? These were sinners, but they were greatly used by God for accomplishing His purposes. Trump is such a one. I’d rather have a character flaw which God can deal with, than willfully condone murder, gender confusion, etc.
Your defense of John Piper and the many assumptions you make about the character of our sitting president frighten me to no end. You are judging his motives, which is biblically prohibited. You frighten me sir, if you cannot bring yourself to vote for the Godly agenda of a flawed man (which of us is not?), a work in progress, against the Godless agenda of Joe Biden. If you think Churchill or FDR were not flawed in a number of ways, but yet led their respective nations well with what what was generally an agenda in keeping with biblical Christianity, you are a poor historian as well. Have you ever studied Churchill at all? He and Trump could have been best buddies! I believe your own pride is shown in your comments about our president, a man you are instructed to pray for as a believer. May God enlighten you and forgive you when you face Him for your own rush to judgement and failure to protect the unborn by voting to save them from certain death. The blood of 60 million innocent children cries out to God just as the blood of Jesus, Abel, and the millions of Christian martyrs does.
Lou Engle gave a very good video response here:
Thank you. I agree. I think the vast majority of the voting public does not recognize the degree to which the "character of the king" affects "Israel" - as Piper pointed out in his original article.

The five voters in my home will not be voting for a major party candidate. What good does it do us if we gain the Supreme Court and lose our souls? My older kids tell me they have been convinced not to vote for Trump by watching our church friends become so rabid and angry - more nationalistic and less humble/patient/kind.

I figure it isn't my job to raise up rulers. That is far above my pay grade. I don't have to play games "a vote for so-and-so is REALLY a vote for..."

No. Here is my responsibility before God: to use the voice I have been given to speak as loudly as I can for what I believe is right in light of Scripture. (For instance, this illumines my pro-life stance.)

I think I have a responsibility before God to vote my conscience, but I don't confuse that with a responsibility to control who wins the election.

I will be praying for whoever wins. God can change the courses of rivers and the hearts of kings - and we are going to need that. I hope people put 1/4th the time & energy into praying for our president as they do arguing and getting mad over who it should be.
With all due respect, your and John Piper's thoughts seem to be missing some equally if not more harmful character flaws and sins on the other side. Are you so blinded by Trumps outward flaws that you can't see that the national media is concealing the fact the we are about to elect a crime family? Do you not see that Biden will not serve and that Harris will undo everything that is Godly and righteous in this country? Your opinions have clearly been shaped by the false prophet of Baal of our day and that is the national media. Your comments are so flavored with that spirit. You can't hear God and buy into the national group think, which you and others like you have clearly done. May the blood of countless millions of murdered babies and mass persecution of the Bride of Jesus be on your hands.
The Bible says to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves ensure justice for those being crushed. Proverbs
We are given the privilege to vote vote will always be for the unborn. If you’ve ever seen an abortion or counseled
A young girl after an abortion and the devastating effects It has on her perhaps you and others would think differently about the vote. Our churches have gone apostate truly and when one does not vote then it’s a vote against an unborn child. Judgement begins in the house of God. It’s God who raises up a king and pulls them down. I vote knowing Gods will be done because he is sovereign BUT I fear that we are headed into a time when the true Christians the bride of Christ will have to stand up more than ever before and the world will hate us as Jesus said and we will
Be persecuted here on the homeland. It’s coming.
I wonder how many Christians are fasting and praying for our president and for his salvation.
It is interesting to me that Piper is concerned only with Donald Trumps character and arrogance. Have you heard Joe Biden speak; especially when you ask him a question that pushes his buttons? He curses, calls names and demeans people. He said from his own mouth that he does not work for “the people”. Sounds pretty arrogant to me. Wasn’t Joe Biden accused of sexual assault? Hasn’t Joe Biden been implicated in using his name and political position to gain financial wealth? Spare me the discussion on character counts if your only pointing to one man because that finger can point to the character of most of our politicians.
You said exactly what I have been thinking but more
eloquently than I probably would.

I have sadly lost confidence in many pastors. I do not
understand how you can read the Bible and take the
positions that some pastors do. Holy Spirit please guide us
and that includes myself.
This article was extremely rude and harsh. Us Christians are not the only religion out there. As followers of Christ our job is to spread light and convert people to the love of Christ. Not to guilt them and trick them into being a Christian. If an atheist or one of another religion were to read this, it would only give them a poor view of what a Christian is like. The reality of these topics are harsh, but saying , "For a person to support, endorse, and encourage the torture, dismemberment, and wholesale slaughter of precious babies in the womb is a clear and unmistakable indication of a wretched moral character." Is only offensive and rude in so many ways. Just because our opinion is stated in the bible, doesn't mean others will accept it. Please consider appealing to everyone to spread the word of Christ instead of just being flat out rude. Thank you.
It appears that the church is relegating its duty to human law. It is time the church did its work - preach the gospel, edify members and let's model Christ. If indeed we were to do this, we won't be worried about the law as we are. If my church succeeds in letting me believe that abortion is wrong, they will not need the law to prevent abortions because I will not even be seeking one.
And oh, when we go on and on about the government promoting religious freedom, I think what we mean is Christian freedom. Religious freedom is when all religions are free to practice. And the church should not be worried about all religions practicing if they did their work of evangelism and trusted God to save His own. Jesus Christ and His disciples spread the gospel and those who believed were saved. They did not prevent those who did not believe from worshiping their gods. And before you even assume I am not Christian, I Am. And I Do not blame the system for how things are. I blame the church. Lets not look to 'leaders' doing our work for us. Let's stand up in prayer and lift our world into God's hand. A leader who rides on the supposed definitions of sin by the church and ignores all other things that reflect Christ is really no leader
On October 22, 2020, John Piper published an article on his website entitled Policies, Persons, and Paths to Ruin: Pondering the implications of the 2020 election. In this article, Pastor Piper attempts to explain why he remains baffled “that so many Christian consider the sins of unrepentant sexual immorality (porneia), unrepentant boastfulness (alazoneia), unrepentant vulgarity (aischrologia), unrepentant factiousness (dichostasiai), and the like, to be only toxic for our nation, while plicies that endorse baby-killing, sex-switching, freedom-limiting, and socialistic overreach are viewed as deadly.”
In the article Pastor Piper proceeds to cast judgment on Donald Trump as being guilty of all of the things stated above, and for that reason, he declares that he will not vote for Donald Trump. In fact, he judges both presidential candidates as falling below his moral standards and therefore declares that he will not vote for either candidate.
As a disclaimer, Pastor Piper states at the beginning as follows: “Nothing I say here is intended to dictate how anyone else should vote, but rather to point to a perspective that seems to be neglected. Yes, this perspective sways my vote. But you need not be sinning if you weigh matters differently.”
Although this disclaimer is much appreciated, it has to be pointed out that if this was just a personal opinion of Pastor Piper and he did not intend to sway others to refuse to vote, he would have just refrained from voting and would not have published his article. The mere fact that he has published this article shows that in spite of his disclaimer, he intends to sway voters.
Having laid this groundwork, I first want to focus on Pastor Piper’s condemnation of Donald Trump. I find this very troubling. Unless he knows President Trump personally, I don’t see by what right he casts such judgment. How does Pastor Piper know that Donald Trump is unrepentant? I have been watching President Trump for several years and want to discuss Pastor Piper’s judgments based upon what I have observed.
First, he condemns President Trump for sexual immorality. Pastor Piper must be condemning him for his past relationships with women and ignores that he is married to one woman and has been for many years. The only sexually immoral relationships of which I am aware are from political attacks reported by the main stream media of which President Trump has denied. Unless Pastor Piper has a crystal ball or is on the inside of Donald Trump’s life, he has no justification for his judgments. This is an issue between Mr. Trump and God.
Second, he condemns President Trump for being boastful. To understand this sin, we have to compare boastfulness with humility and we have to understand the real difference. Unless Pastor Piper has inside information into Mr. Trump’s inner circle, he again only knows what is reported by media. If Pastor Piper is referring to Mr. Trump’s constant statements that no one else could have accomplished what he has accomplished, that is not definitive on what is meant by boastfulness. In other words, it is possible that it is not mere bragging but is in fact, true. It is possible that only someone with the confidence and grit of Mr. Trump is strong enough to fight the beast (currently referred to as the Deep State) as will be discussed below.
God obviously has not called Pastor Piper to defend righteousness among the evil leaders of the world as president and I can assure you, although he is probably and awesome Pastor, he is not a warrior and is not competent enough to fight the Deep State.
In my opinion, even though Pastor Piper is a very accomplished theologian and appears to have served the Lord faithfully for many years, he has failed to understand the enemy at his doorstep and has failed to fully grasp the mind and will of God at this time in earth’s history. He apparently does not understand just how close we were to a one world government had Hillary Clinton won the last election and he does not understand just how much closer will be to a one world government if Joe Biden wins the presidency this election.
The problem with the one world government is that it is being put together by ungodly world leaders who are hostile to Christianity and hostile to human rights. And, it is inherently Anti-Christ. We only need to look to the Revelation of Jesus Christ to understand that two witnesses have existed in this world since the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Christ: to wit, the Word of God and the true Church. These witnesses take the Gospel to all generations and to all nations. Why two witnesses? Because it is the legal minimum requirement to establish a fact.
We know from Revelation that these two witnesses are slain by the beast, which has been working through the same time period to defeat the gospel and the two witnesses. However, these witnesses raise from the dead in three days. We can gather from this that the one world government that is currently forming will attempt to kill the Word and the Church. Ultimately, they will succeed when the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled at which time the Day of the Lord has arrived.
Open your spiritual eyes Pastor Piper and recognize the war before you. This has nothing to do with boastfulness. This has everything to do with the Word and the Church resisting the rise of this beast.
Finally, on the issue of boastfulness, let’s look at Mr. Trump’s motives and heart. First, he declares he is Christian and was raised Presbyterian. He has recently claimed that he is now a non-denominational Christian. The Bible is clear in Romans that the only requirement for salvation is to confess Jesus Christ as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead. I have to give Mr. Trump the benefit of the doubt on this one. God will judge his true heart.
Mr. Trump has recognized the evil in this world and has responded to a call to fight it. It is a vicious beast that he battles. Only a person of confidence could withstand the attacks he has endured and overcome during the last four years. He does not take a salary, he has handcuffed his organizations financially because of his role as president. He is fighting to wrestle power away from the global elites and to give it back to the people as set up in our constitution.
He has defeated a false Russian collusion narrative, he has defeated a false impeachment, he has endured every slander, name calling and unsubstantiated personal attacks and has defeated them all. That he has been called and ordained for this battle at this time in history is apparent.
His first four years has been to clear out the swamp creatures in our government, to disrupt the one world government ambitions of the world leaders, and to expose the wiles of the devil in our government. Who would ever have thought it was possible that our Constitution could be overthrown and that first amendment free speech would be censored by the media elites? Well, that is exactly what has just played out before our eyes.
The next four years are needed to restore righteousness in our government by removing the corrupt members of our government, who belong to both political parties, to restore the durability of our Constitution and to protect the freedoms of our citizens. To do so, we need to allow this current conservative Supreme Court to set the proper standards to protect our Constitution and the freedoms it grants to the people for the next generations.
The third judgment cast by Pastor Piper is his accusation that Mr. Trump is vulgar. The only vulgarity I have seen out of President Trump is a few cuss words. If that is enough to disqualify a president of the United States, then no one can serve. Otherwise, Pastor Piper has only the media reports and the accusations of political opponents to justify vulgarity.
The fourth judgment cast by Pastor Piper is his accusation that Mr. Trump is factious. Is not the entire Gospel message factious to the majority opinion of the world? How can we fight the good fight of faith without being factious? That is exactly why President Trump was elected in the first place. We had reached a point where there was not much difference between the policies of the Democrats and the Republicans. I could never understand why the only difference between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party is how fast citizen’s rights were diluted and the political elites were empowered. I now understand it to be what is called the Deep State, but spiritually I understand it as the Beast and the Anti-Christ.
Finally, I want to point out two things. In Isaiah 45, God prophesied that King Cyrus was appointed (anointed) by God to bring the Jews back to Jerusalem. King Cyrus was not even born at that time. Furthermore, he was not a Jew and did not know God. However, God anointed him to bring the Jews back home. King Cyrus was a brutal king that conquered many nations and was used by God to render judgment on other nations. He was probably sexually immoral, arrogant, vulgar and factious. However, he was God’s anointed one.
Second, we only have to look at King David, the man after God’s own heart, to debunk the judgment cast by Pastor Piper. King David was the man after God’s own heart and was key to the lineage of Jesus Christ. However, he was an adulterer, a murderer, and a warrior/conqueror. And although he carried out the Will of God in his numerous conquests, he was denied the right to build the Temple because of the blood on his hands.
If John Piper was present in King David’s time and King David’s rule was dependent upon an election, Pastor Piper would be caught sleeping and refusing to vote. I would recommend that Pastor Piper do a little more biblical research and seek the true mind of God and His will.
A few years ago our preachers Did not tell us how to vote. Our President Lyndon Johnson made sure of that and Pastors obliged. The pulpit has been opened up. Please vote for sanctity of life, the Supreme Court justices, legal immigrants, our military troops, secured borders, children, religious freedom! Your vote does count... especially in Minnesota...Dr. Piper! Please go and meet President Trump! Your mind will be cleared. Martha Butler
I am truly sorry to read John Pipers article about voting. President Trump is a flawed person just like all of us. Judging him on his past sins is wrong and I am thankful God does not judge His children that way. He has many people near him praying and giving advice. We must pray he humbles himself and listens. Saying you will not vote just leads us quickly over the cliff to the days of Sodom and Gomorrah.
As a 72 year old who returned to the evangelical church about two years ago- because of the hate and lie filled rhetoric-coming from Trump's mouth not the media-I have considered deeply searching for another church. At the first bible study- the leader made some derogatory comments about democrats. What the WORLD does not get about the CHURCH is it's leaders have failed to call out not only his lies- but his actions that Jesus would- separating over 2,000 children at the border, firing 6 Inspector Generals w/o required explanation by Congress. Grassley was very upset about this. THIS WEEK the head of Career services quit because Admin is trying to figure out a way to fire them. He puts people into positions based on loyalty and donations given not qualifications. Holding up the bible at St. Andrews as a political stunt without saying a word about uniting or offering a prayer but so he could look what reverent. It says in the end times even the elect will be deceived. Church has lost it's voice and credibility.

“Why is "socialist economic policies" on this list?“

Perhaps because millions of people have been killed, persecuted, suffered unjust imprisonments, had their freedom stolen, and suffered crushing poverty? Those are the end results and final consequences of a true socialistic system, whose aim is to replace reliance on God with an all powerful government.

Capitalism is NOT a perfect system, but it has allowed many millions to enjoy freedom and a growing level of prosperity. And, the final mortal insult, true socialist regimes are hostile to God and Christians.
Do you feel welcome and accepted as a Christian by the progressive left? If the progressive left is not restrained, what do you think they would do to Christians and the church based on their recent actions?

To tie it back to our topic of John Piper’s unfortunate, flawed, and terribly wrong essay - which candidate is a vigorous proponent of rapidly shifting our country to socialism?
Hint - it’s not our current President.
Why is "socialist economic policies" on this list?

"which is worse for a nation: an overtly prideful, lustful, vulgar, profane Narcissist, or a quiet and gentlemanly advocate of abortion, homosexuality, who would suppress religious liberties and promote socialist economic policies. Both are evil."
The presidential/vice-presidential choice (Trump/Pence vs. Biden/ Harris) is really about adherence to the founding constitutional precepts/bill of rights/ and the underlying framework of a Judea/Christian moral foundation or a radical, revisionist and Godless secularism that is hostile
to the former. Again, policy, platform, agenda, and intentions for the direction of the court, country, religious liberty, sanctity for life, the advancement of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ , are issues that shouldn't be superseded by personality styles, posturing, or reframed/interpreted by a corrupted media et al. John, I'm a big fan of yours, but you got this wrong big time, Still love you buddy, and find comfort and confidence in a Sovereign LORD and courageous warriors in service
If conservative Supreme Court Justices had been appointed by conservative Presidents and legislatures in the turbulent 60s, there would be millions of babies alive today. They weren’t and thus there aren’t. People fail to recognize that we elect parties in this country with cultural platforms and agendas that last decades unless there are elections that stop them. This is about who controls the laws, not merely about who controls the White House. We are called and instructed to support policies, platforms, agendas and people that promote good and resist evil. This cycle there is one party that unabashedly promotes evil and wants to restrain good.
For all of you commenting on our president’s character;

Do you not realize that you are being deceived by a dishonest press?

How do you know what our president’s true character is? All you know is what you read, written by so called journalists that uniformly hate and despise him and are actively seeking to destroy him.

Do you have a personal intimate relationship with him and have you seen his character and actions? If you do not - then your observations are flawed, inaccurate. You are being fed a narrative by almost uniformly liberal reporters.
They are probably laughing quietly to themselves how easily they have succeeded in persuading you to believe their warped words.

Clearly Trump is not a perfect man... but how are you doing?

If the WAPO, CNN, MSNBC, etc followed your every move and every word, and they hated you - how would you be perceived in their reporting?

I cannot understand how a single man’s sinful character—which our entire Federalist system is *explicitly* designed to render politically null (nevermind the fact that Trump has done suitably well in many of his policies)—can in any way be equivocated with another man of sinful character whose entire scheme is to render Federalism null and void, with all of its depravity-muting checks and balances along with it.

The choice isn’t between electing one man of questionable character or another of questionable character. Only one of these men is seeking to make his sinful impulses the law of the land.
Thanks Sam. Point well taken. Nevertheless, we can take heart knowing that our republic was wisely set up to be a government of laws - not people. This, along with the separation of power, helps to safeguard against unscrupulous and self-serving leaders.

Also encouraging, is many of the people Trump has surrounded himself with do seem to be people of higher character (Pence, DeVoss...).

So, as always, we must choose between the policies and integrity of only two viable candidates. All things considered, it's still Trump in a no-brainer.

Let's hold our noses, vote for Trump, and get on with our lives and ministries.
I have to wonder why there aren't any Greek words for baby killing, homosexuality or the rest of those letters. Sorry, Greek or no Greek, I cannot support an administration that campaigns on the platform of Abortion, LGBTQA+++.
No untenable choice here.
Most of the remarks here are so discouragingly familiar, facilitated by confirmation bias and inability to think deeply about or hear anything outside a particular echo chamber. So many have completely missed the point of John Piper's essay, and Sam Storms here writes a helpful further explanation to what Piper wrote. So many demonstrate no understanding of the Supreme Court, its record, or the unpredictability of how any particular judge may vote; for that matter, little understanding that by far the most effective pro-life efforts happen at the state level rather than at the national. Many seem to believe that Christians are obligated to make a binary choice, as if the other names on the ballot are not legitimate candidates, or as if voting conscience for an audience of One is "wasting your vote," or actually voting for whichever side one fears the most. I, and no one else, recalls any such sophistry from evangelicals in 1998 when it came to Bill Clinton--although some Christian leaders now, to the understandable disbelief of a watching world, are attempting to show a substantially greater offense in his case than in the known multiple philandering of our current president. I suppose IF it were to be revealed that our current leader has had dalliances in the White House, these leaders would say, "Well at least it wasn't in the Lincoln bedroom!" If by our endorsements we lose the ability to communicate the hope of the gospel to a large share of our country, why doesn't that matter more?
I wish people would read ALL the articles on Pipers website, instead of just the political ones.
Hi Sam, I think both you and John are very bold in the clarity with which you have both written. I can see from the facebook responses to Johns article and some of the comments on here to yours that you are both displeasing those who would want you to be more forthright in your condemnation of Biden, and for even having the thought of voting for other candidates. I have appreciated yours and Johns input for quite a while, and would characterise both of you as men of integrity and sober judgement and led by God's Spirit. So you both have my prayers as you handle some of the more hurtful responses. As an observer rather than a participator in American political events, it has been alarming in the uneven-handiness of describing both candidates. One has demonstrated (as the sitting office holder) all the negative character traits mentioned and (by extension) the harmful policies that follow, and yet for one particular policy (abortion) on the surface appears to be more acceptable and all the others policy matters appear to be simply overlooked. On the other hand the other prospective candidate (who is clearly not pro-life) is slated for what he hasn't revealed of a harmful character, or is accused of hiddenness. There appears to me (as an outsider) SO much hiddenness in the current office holder that may, or may not, be criminal. It is a wonder that (yet again) out of all the American population 2 people (who are portrayed as totally unqualified and unsuitable for office) are the main choice. What a dilemma. I pray that God's will be done (which may, or may not result in having a church supportive holder in the office) and that authentic Christians living out their faith with God given power and integrity will be the blessing to the nation with the Gospel that all nations ought to have. My prayer is for all God's leaders (like you and John) who are sticking their necks out and being targeted by attitudes and words that come from those who call themselves Christians, that neither come from God nor glorify Him. A plumb-line to His people in America, exposing and examining their hearts perhaps. Judgement begins in the House of the Lord. Blessings to you.
Dear brother, You are not voting for a man. You are voting for the policies they will supporting. To fail to cast a ballot is to vote democratic and all of the liberal direction they are pushing this country in.
In response to the comment by Kelly on October 24.

"Joe Biden is a faithful catholic who does not advocate for abortion, he is pro-life."

Where in the world did you get this idea? He is STAUNCHLY PRO-CHOICE. His Catholic "faith", if you want to call it that, is evidently in name only because NO "faithful Catholic" would ever dream of supporting infanticide! Nor would they support, endorse, and advocate for, young children changing their gender. Nor would they say, "Antifa is an idea". It would seem you are allowing your skewed worldview to cloud your judgment regarding this man, who has done very little in the forty-seven years he's been in office. Term-limits were invented for career politicians like Joe Biden, who sold-out this nation for money and power.

If I may, I'd like to show you the result of one of Biden's "accomplishments" in office. Here is a link to a short video from a man who was sentenced to LIFE IN PRISON for a non-violent, first offense under Biden's crime bill. He was finally granted clemency the day before yesterday after having served sixteen years! His son was two years old when he went to prison. They've got a lot of lost time to make-up for, and they'll be able to do so now, thanks to President Trump.
You make a good point Sam. Both candidates are deeply flawed. But, as an attorney I held my nose and voted for Trump because I care about who is appointed to the federal courts. Appointees of Trump are way more likely to protect religious rights and not to make up rights not actually in the constitution. For the sake of the Supreme Court please consider voting for Trump notwithstanding his many flaws.
Are you and John Piper both missing the larger principle?
I'll pose the same thing to you that I did to John Piper today.
By declaring that that you won't vote for either Trump nor Biden is the perfect example of taking a the wrong stand for a good principle. Please read on before dismissing this assertion out-of-hand.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, before he was executed in WW II for opposing Hitler was clear about how the church can do the wrong thing for the right reason. He reminds us that
'Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act'.

Not voting for a presidential candidate then allows every other worldview in direct opposition to Christianity to have a louder voice. Instead, consider that "Values Trump Character" Look at the Democratic platform and compare it to the Republican platform, then ask God what the best choice is.
Not voting for Trump is also to turn your back on the strong push he has made in ending legal abortion on demand, religious freedom, the nuclear family, and will ultimately give a big boost to the LGBTQ agenda. Different focus through this lens, no?

I don't like him either but I'm voting to support Christian values, not Donald Trump. There are those who think he is the King Cyrus of our day.

In closing please have someone check out the 8-minute excerpt of a sermon by pastor Gary Hamrick of Cornerstone Chapel in Virginia called "How Do Faith & Politics Mix?" If you still feel the same about not voting after that then do so with my blessing.

If "Character Trumps Policy" we may have to get you and John Piper both a new Bible with Abraham, David, Solomon, Peter, and many others removed?. Because by your argument, they aren't deserving or our support wither. Bad character at times, you know?

Randy Ford
Piper in 2004:
Piper in 2004:
Dear Pastor John,

“...When a leader models self-absorbed, self-exalting boastfulness, he models the most deadly behavior in the world...”

John you completely missed the point that you are being deceived by a dishonest press. How do you know what our president’s true character is? All you know is what you read, written by so called journalists that uniformly hate and despise him and are actively seeking to destroy him.
Do you have a personal intimate relationship with him and have you seen his character and actions? Perhaps you do, as you are famous. But if you do not - then your reasoning is built on quicksand, a flawed foundation.

And really? You think that some bad manners and lack of social etiquette, and inappropriate tweets are at the same level as killing babies?! Seriously?

You are deceived.

You are a gifted teacher and a mighty man of God, but I think that you have completely missed the mark with this. You are terribly wrong and furthermore you may cause many believers to stumble with this unfortunate essay.

I hope that you might reconsider the unfortunate words that you have written.

Our God is sovereign and His will will be done no matter who is president.


William Gevers
“I’m not equipped or wise enough to know which is worse for a nation: an overtly prideful, lustful, vulgar, profane Narcissist, or a quiet and gentlemanly advocate of abortion, homosexuality, who would suppress religious liberties and promote socialist economic policies. “

It’s pretty clear to me.
Thank you, Sam—and excellent comment Robert Price.
Thanks Brother Sam,

It is very unlikely that Joe Biden is saved. Can't be 100% sure but close. Given that, his heart is proud, deceitful, is quick to rush into evil, and a myriad of other abominations to the Lord. Add hypocricy as well since he hides them to the world as all do who know how to put on a socially acceptable look.

Donald Trump..... same. Clearly more more demostrative with his abominations.

We've always had this with candidates who aren't Christians. So, what Brother John is arguing for seems strange to me. I love him and his works tremendously so no criticism of him as a brother at all. It just seems strange to come out with this argument between the man and the policy on this specific election as opposed to any other.

At the end we are either going to vote for policies that affect a life this moment and take an opportunity to seize the moment and affect laws that kill and laws that perpetuate Romans 1 sins or we are not. To do so, it makes sense to say loudly and repeatedly that both men are horrible sinners individually but we will vote to end horrible sinful laws. I get the idea of not voting for either man. But in America, we are always voting for laws and direction for our country far more than electing our favorite man. We must resist the cultural slide and a President cannot do that no matter how good he is. He's temporary. Some laws last decades.

To choose to vote for the more subtle sinner over the more overt one is not a convincing argument.
If we go with not voting because both are horrible sinners is to choose not to vote in any election not just this one. Given that, a Christian must do the good he knows to do and is able to do or it will become sin to him.

So well said, Sam. 1st Tim. 5:24-25 undergirds what you wrote, “The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden.”

Trump’s flaws/sins are overt. Biden’s may not be as conspicuous. Christians who vote should all be unenthusiastic about the candidates. The need is to discern which issue carries the most urgency. For me, it is the lives of the unborn as they literally stand no chance apart from the protection of those who have already experienced the privilege of being born. I vote with them in mind while understanding that my vote leaves other important areas uncovered.
Hi Pastor,
I figured a counter/supplement post or two would be forthcoming when I read Piper’s article. I am one of the ones he references that has left evangelicalism for a mainline denomination after years of disillusionment, and frankly feeling “had” by the people who taught me that women’s bodies are holy to God and not to be grabbed, that the way I view my neighbors of color or immigrants or any other child of God is a direct reflection of how much I believe the gospel and the imago dei. I only comment here to point out again that Joe Biden is a faithful catholic who does not advocate for abortion, he is pro-life. He doesn’t believe legislating against it is the role of the government. I understand that that’s not a position many Christians take, and that’s okay. But there is no moral equivalence in the character of these two men. One who loves Jesus and professes him as Savior, who has suffered unimaginably and leverages that suffering for the good of anyone he can anytime he can. I’m not ecstatic about our two options this year either. But to suggest moral equivalency breeds disillusion, primarily in millennials and Gen Z who just want to know that power and position have not trumped (sorry) people made in God’s image. Respectfully. :)

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