Galatians 1:6-9, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.”
It is a tragedy when those who claim the name of Christ are being duped by the myriads of false teachers who have no desire for truth. An even greater tragedy occurs when false professors and/or their false teachings begin to be endorsed by well-respected ministers of the gospel. However, the greatest tragedy is when well-respected ministers of the gospel not only endorse false teaching and heresy but then allow it to be preached as truth in the midst of those sheep whom they have been supposedly called upon to protect. The man in question is none other than John Piper, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minnesota.
Before we continue, I want to make it very clear that this is not a private issue, but one that is well out in the open. The false teaching and endorsing of such teachings and heresies is well-documented. This is an open matter and is being addressed accordingly based on the commands we find in Scripture.
I am under no delusions that this will NOT be a popular post with some. However, Defending Contending believes we can no longer be honoring to Christ and His Word if we merely overlook what is happening within the ranks of evangelicalism simply because of who the pastor might or might not be, or how popular he appears to be.
With that in mind, let’s continue by looking briefly at two heresies taking over at an alarming rate. Both of these doctrines are pushing the ranks of the uninformed back towards the open, welcoming arms of Rome again. Sadly, these doctrines are even being embraced or unknowingly being endorsed by even very conservative Baptist churches.
- First – Federal Vision in a nutshell believes that when a person unites with the visible local church that the individual becomes one with Christ. Federalists also teach that when an unbeliever partakes of communion (the Lord’s Table) that they are actually feeding upon Christ. Further, they teach that being baptized is the means whereby a person becomes one with Christ. For further information, I would highly recommend this article at The Banner of Truth Trust. FV has been rejected outright by many mainline Reformed denominations.
- Second – The New Perspective on Paul (or NPP) believes that Judaism was actually a religion of grace. They teach that salvation is possible by the keeping of the law. They also teach that the righteousness of God is actually referring to His faithfulness and that it has nothing to do with the truth that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to the new believer. N.T. Wright is abundantly clear about what he means and what he stands for when he declares that justification is about the mark of what a person already is, and is not about the means whereby one is justified with God. A quote from N.T. Wright, “In theology, therefore, justification is not the means whereby it becomes possible to declare someone in the right. It is simply that declaration itself. It is not how someone becomes a Christian, but simply the declaration that someone is a Christian. It is not the exercise of mercy, but the just declaration concerning one who has already received mercy. This is a crucial distinction, without which it is impossible to understand the biblical material.” For further reading go to this article at Theopedia
Let’s makes this very clear! Federal Vision and the New Perspective on Paul are both heresies that lead back to Rome! Those who teach these are leading people deliberately astray and must be classified as heretics at worst and in need of repentance at best for their false teachings. Both of these teachings are nothing more than a rehash of Roman Catholic doctrine which has damned millions to hell.
Now that the reader understands a little more of the heresies defined above, we move back to John Piper’s progressive downhill slide which looks like this –
1) Mixing oxymorons for many years such as “Christian hedonism”
2) Openly endorsing Mark Driscoll (the vulgar, sewer-mouthed talker) with no known retractions
3) Blasphemously claiming the Lord of Glory was damned upon the cross
4) Openly endorsing the Federal Vision heresy as proclaimed by men like Douglas Wilson, and clearly indicating that Douglas Wilson is NOT preaching another or false gospel
5) Openly endorsing the New Perspective on Paul heresy as proclaimed by men like N.T. Wright, and clearly stating that N.T. Wright is also NOT preaching another or false gospel, but that the NPP is merely a “confusing gospel!
** Edit Note ** Points 4 & 5 have numerous proofs, but here is a video clip from The Resurgence.
“No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.” (2 Cor. 11:14-15)
John Piper is leading many astray by his open endorsements of these men as mentioned above. His own theology comes into question when he publishes questionable material on his site about the doctrine of justification which you can still find on his site at Desiring God – I am firmly convinced that John Piper has slid this view under the noses of evangelicals who have missed the error of a justification that is NOT by faith alone. For more information on this issue and the problems with a recent work entitled Future Grace, you can visit Trinity Foundation.
While we at DefCon have respected John Piper as a man of God in the past, we believe we can no longer endorse any teachings by Piper. Our prayer is that God will bring Piper to a point where he will see the error of his teaching before it is too late and repent. We pray that God will also open the eyes of all those who blindly follow a man who is openly endorsing heresies as being merely a “confusing” gospel. “Confusing” gospels are no true gospels of the Lord Jesus Christ. They damn the souls of men to a Christ-less eternity in hell forever.
The Scriptures exhort us to openly exhort and rebuke those who cause divisions within the faith once delivered to the saints. John Piper is and continues to do this by his strange brand of heterodoxy which has sucked in the unlearned and learned alike. May we ever be alert to the apostasy that the apostle Paul warned will appear in the latter days. It will come from within the midst of what seems to be truth, but it will be mixed with poison. Pastors and their people will swallow it, and before they realize it is too late will be overcome.
Grieving over further apostasy,
The Desert Pastor