…John Piper decides to talk about the Minnesota tornado. He believes that God sent the tornado as a warning to the Lutherans for deciding to accept homosexuals as priests.
Now, it should be very apparent from my previous posts that, (1) I’m conservative both in my politics and doctrine, (2) I hold to the traditional view of sin, that sin is an affront to God, (3) that the act of homosexuality is a sin before God, and (4) that I like John Piper. But his actions on this one are simply too far. Let me explain why.
Any time a natural calamity comes as a judgement from God in the Bible, someone is always warned about it beforehand. So we’re left with two options on this: Either God warned Piper and Piper didn’t tell anyone (which would be awful considering that’s not a move toward reconciliation) or God didn’t tell Piper anything and Piper is just drawing an unwarranted conclusion.
Could it be that God still sends disasters upon us to get our attention? Of course, I am not naive enough to believe God somehow lost His ability to judge. But at the same time, I’m not sure it’s our place to say, “God did this to you because of x.” For instance, can we say that the flooding of New Orleans Baptist Seminary from Katrina was God’s punishment on the SBC for it’s obsession with numbers and prosperity? How many Southern Baptists, who applaud Piper’s assessment of the “Lutheran Tornado”, would feel comfortable with the idea that God would punish the SBC for its flaws?
It is apparent that this particular synod has a sin issue within their church. When they are meeting to discuss whether or not practicing homosexuals can be priests, that shows they have lost a respect for the Bible. But it should be equally apparent to us that some conservative churches have a major issue with sin. What of the churches where the pastor’s affair is simply glossed over in the name of “forgiveness,” but the student who struggles with homosexual feelings is thrown to the streets? What of the churches where the poor are looked down upon, but the rich are allowed to continue in their greed? What of the churches that spend millions on building bigger and better churches, but grudgingly hand out a can of soup to a starving family? Where are these church’s tornadoes? Where are their floods? Where are their calamities?
Yes, the acceptance of homosexual acts betrays a deep sin issue within a church, but so does pride. So does the unchecked competition between neighborhood churches. But when one of these churches undergoes a crisis, where are those who say that God brought it about?
Sin is sin, whether it is from a liberal or a conservative. Sin exists and if we condemn it in one area, we must condemn it in all. If we attribute a natural disaster to God’s action against the Lutherans, then we must also consider the natural disasters that take out conservative bastions as well.
This may not make me popular among some, but I’d rather be consistent than popular. I believe John Piper was wrong in this and it needs to be pointed out.