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John Piper Speaks Out Against Jerry Falwell's Call for Liberty Students to Carry Guns

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  • John Piper Speaks Out Against Jerry Falwell's Call for Liberty Students to Carry Guns

    Desiring God founder John Piper has responded in disagreement to Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr.’s invitation for students to carry guns on campus.




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  • #2
    There are already quite a few rebuttals against John Piper's recent article. And it seems to be a hot topic amongst other Reformed Social Groups.

    John Piper appeals to Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2 as the texts giving the civil magistrate the right of the sword for punitive punishment of the wicked, yet Piper is reluctant to acknowledge himself as a Pacifist. If the civil magistrate has given its citizens the "duty" to carry firearms for the purpose of self-reliance, then certainly carrying a firearm wouldn’t be sinful. Piper thinks that stopping a crime in progress is bearing the sword as in Romans 13 while enacting vengeance and misapplies these verses to his position on self-defense.

    Seemingly, John Piper questions whether the NT encourages self-defense, and has an issue with defending the lives of our family and friends. For example, God’s law states that killing an intruder is justified and necessary, and the defender would be free from legal retribution - Exodus 22:2 as encouraged in the OT civil code.

    John Piper:

    The Apostle Peter teaches us that as Christians we will often find ourselves in societies where we should expect and accept unjust mistreatment without retaliation.
    Piper then cites 1 Peter 2:19, 2:20, 3:19, 4:13, 4:16, 4:19 and so on, all stating in one way or another, that we are blessed if we are persecuted, that we should rejoice if we suffer with Christ, and if we suffer according to God’s will we are doing well. Piper equates martyrdom to a surrendered victim and does not consider that being killed for Christ, even if you’re defending yourself, still earns you the honorary title of martyr.

    John Piper:

    Jesus taught that violent hostility would come; and the whole tenor of his council was how to handle it with suffering and testimony, not armed defense.
    Piper cites Luke 21:12-19, Matthew 10:28, and Matthew 10:16-20. All of these passages deal with Jesus’ End Time prophecy (unless you’re of a different eschatological persuasion and they’ve already been fulfilled) concerning the state of the world prior to the return of Christ. Piper’s logic deduces that if we are to “die for Jesus” then we need not carry a weapon or practice self-defense.

    John Piper:

    Jesus sat the stage for a life of sojourning in this world where we bear witness that this world is not our home, and is not our kingdom, by renouncing the establishment or the advancement of our Christian Cause with the sword.
    God grief, lets advance the kingdom at either end of gunpoint.

    God bless,
    William
    Comment>

    • #3
      I got the impression that Falwell wasn't advocating carrying guns for self defense but to make it possible to defend others in case of a terrorist attack. We might be required to sacrifice our own lives but we have no right to sacrifice the lives of others when it is in our power to defend them.
      Clyde Herrin's Blog
      Comment>

      • #4
        Originally posted by theophilus View Post
        I got the impression that Falwell wasn't advocating carrying guns for self defense but to make it possible to defend others in case of a terrorist attack. We might be required to sacrifice our own lives but we have no right to sacrifice the lives of others when it is in our power to defend them.
        Hi Theo,

        That was also my immediate understanding. Falwell advocated that Christians exercise their 2nd amendment right. No doubt Falwell was crass when stating this, and Piper seems to be caught up in emotionalism.

        I think Piper's logic is like putting a gun to one's own head, and yours is stating that sacrificial suicide may be required us by Scripture, but it is wrong to involve another. Piper's argument boils down to setting an example of faith by pacifism, and defending or preserving one's life is an example that lacks faith. I can't help but notice that some Pastors seemingly take the position that they are responsible for the flock in a spiritual sense, yet they tend to remove themselves in the physical sense which just so happens to be in the face of danger - while suggesting it is in the hands of God. These sentiments often come across as fatalism, and they really represent a widening gap between Pastor and Chaplain.
        Comment>
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