John Piper and the churches of Christ

In the churches of Christ, the name John Piper has very little recognition among the members in general, nor does it have recognition among those who are more tuned into theological study and current events such as our ministers and leaders.  Ask a preacher or elder who John Piper is and the most common answer is “I have no idea.”. Piper is not a member of the churches of Christ so little attention is given to him by leaders, ministers, or members. However, since 1986, John Piper has had a heavy influence on a theological belief that he and several other men created and named when they formed the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW). It is called Complementarianism and many of our congregations have adopted this practice in the place of the more biblically supported New Testament egalitarian practice or the Old Testament and very “traditional position” of patriarchal or male only leadership of church and marriage, which many members, if pressed to answer, would say is out of place in today’s society and churches. They have bought into the complementarian supposition that men and women are equal in God’s eyes but different in God’s eyes. This concept is applied in a way that says even though women are equally gifted as men, they cannot use their gifts if it places them in a position of leadership or ministry to men because they are different from men and they must be submissive to the male gender, both in the church and the marriage. The interesting thing is that they believe the Bible teaches this one sided submission but really do not understand it as its founder presented it in 1986. In recent years, there has been a low key approach in the churches of Christ to Piper’s teaching on the submission of women to men in abusive church and family relationships, without realizing where this teaching originates and the problems that exist when complementarian practice is the basis of leadership in both the church and the marriage. John Piper has said publically that a wife should stay with an abusive husband, no matter how bad the abuse is, if she wants to be pleasing to God, and that she must live with that abuse as she is called to be totally submissive to her husband (one way submission). Part of that submission is also included in the idea that a woman cannot teach a baptized male in a church setting, regardless of age and knowledge levels of both the female and the male. Unfortunately, these beliefs have infected most congregations in the churches of Christ. The following article is about John Piper and how some of the complementarian beliefs that the CBMW espouses foster, feed, and support husband to wife abuse in the marriage. The concept also applies to how male church leaders can abuse women in the church, not in a physical way, but in a spiritual way that can make them feel they are next to worthless in the church.

How John Piper’s theology allows domestic violence

July 11, 2014 by :  “All evil begins with a lie.  Theological lies are just like any other kind of lie: they permit a wide range of abuse.  I asked Savvy, who was indoctrinated in John Piper’s theology from a young age, to share a concern she has with Piper’s theology as it relates to domestic abuse. She succinctly lays out issues that should give every Christian leader pause. Not everything that is said to be “biblical” is biblical. Notice how spiritual abuse leads to these ugly ends.”