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The False Gospel of Antinomian & Christian Hedonist John Piper

Note: This is only half of the transcript. To read the entire transcript join worldviewpedia.com To read this entire transcript with embedded video clips of John Piper saying the things discussed in this article then please join our Biblical worldview software program worldviewpedia.com When you join Worldviewpedia you are also a member of our situationroom.net with over 13,000 radio & TV shows and DVDs and all of Brannon’s Ebooks.

This portion of the transcript is made available as a ministry of Worldview Weekend Foundation. Thank you for supporting our ministry with your tax deductible contribution at wvwfoundation.com

Note: This is only half of the transcript. To read the entire transcript join worldviewpedia.com. To read this entire transcript with embedded video clips of John Piper saying the things discussed in this article then please join our Biblical worldview software program worldviewpedia.com. When you join Worldviewpedia you are also a member of our situationroom.net with over 13,000 radio & TV shows and DVDs and all of Brannon’s Ebooks.

This portion of the transcript is made available as a ministry of Worldview Weekend Foundation. Thank you for supporting our ministry with your tax deductible contribution at wvwfoundation.com.

Tonight on the Worldview Weekend Hour: Are the Ten Commandments for today? Is the moral law for today? Were Adam and Eve kicked out of the Garden of Eden because they disobeyed God or because they didn't seek their pleasure in Him? What is Christian hedonism? These are the philosophies and ideas we'll examine tonight as we look at the worldview of John Piper, a very well-known popular neo-Calvinist that's influencing many other pastors and many young people. The Worldview Weekend Hour begins right now.

[Intro music plays]

Hello, I'm Brannon Howse, and welcome to the Worldview Weekend Hour. Tonight we'll look at what I believe is the theological liberalism of John Piper. Last week we looked at what I believe is his social, public policy liberalism, or his social liberalism. This week, what I believe is his theological liberalism. Is John Piper promoting antinomianism? What is that? We'll break it down into layman terms as we look at the worldview of John Piper.

There's an excellent book, I believe, that you should get a copy of. It's just come out recently. And it's called Christian Hedonism? A Biblical Examination of John Piper's Teaching, by E.S. Williams. It's a little book. Won't take you long to read it at all. Highly documented on the worldview of John Piper. One of the neo-Calvinists we're looking at – in programs coming up, we'll be looking at the worldview of Matt Chandler, who's another neo-Calvinist, promoting Black Lives Matter, "white privilege," other things like that.

And so we're kinda getting an idea of what many of these neo-Calvinists believe, and these neo-Calvinists are greatly influencing many, many pastors, many churches, many young people. And we need to counter their worldview. I believe the neo-Calvinist is a very dangerous movement, and I'm explaining why, because, again, many of you have high school/college students/grown children/grandchildren that are now following these teachers, and you're emailing us and you're greatly distressed.

I received a phone call last night from Shahram Hadian, who was speaking at a church. And the pastor of this church had been watching this series on John Piper and then listening to the series we did on radio. And it was listening to this series that convinced this pastor he needed to get his church out of some of the organizations associated with neo-Calvinist John Piper. So we're thankful for pastors that have the ears to hear and will then, after hearing the information and seeing that it lines up with Scripture, will then get their churches away from what we believe is the theological error of men like John Piper. In fact, some are saying John Piper is a heretic. Some are saying John Piper has another gospel, a false gospel and I would agree.

But he's promoted something for years called Christian hedonism. And this has led to him, I believe, rejecting the idea of the moral law being for today, that the great sin of Adam and Eve was not disobeying God, but it was not finding their pleasure in God, not enjoying Christian hedonism. And so this excellent book I recommend is by E.S. Williams, Christian Hedonism. Well, he's also produced a little documentary, E.S. Williams has. You'll find it out there on YouTube. And I think it's a great way to introduce this section as we look at the worldview of John Piper. Watch this.

[beginning of video clip]

Narrator:    John Piper first presented his philosophy of Christian hedonism in his book Desiring God, published in 1986. Over the next three decades, Piper has taken every opportunity to promote his philosophy in numerous sermons, a number of books and articles, and many conference addresses, with a special focus on the annual Passion Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The subject of Piper's address to the Passion Conference in 1997 was Christian hedonism. Preaching to a large audience of young people, he said...

John Piper:    So my call to you, now, in the name of God Almighty, is that you might make it your eternal vocation to pursue your pleasure with all the might that God mightily inspires within you.

Narrator:    Since then, as the keynote speaker at many Passion Conferences, he has given 17 passion talks encouraging tens of thousands of young people to follow the way of Christian hedonism. In October 2016, Piper preached a sermon entitled "Fifteen Dreams for the Future of Christian Hedonism." Piper began the sermon by describing the heart of Christian hedonism.

John Piper:    You are obligated to pursue your maximum joy in God. So here's my definition of Christian hedonism today. Since God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him, therefore, in everything we do, we should always be pursuing maximum satisfaction in God and striving to take as many people with us into that satisfaction as we can, even if it costs us our lives. That's my definition of Christian hedonism.

    In my 1961 high school Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, hedonism is defined as, quote, "a living for pleasure." And definition number two is "a devotion to pleasure as a way of life," and that is precisely what I mean by the word "hedonism." And I will immediately insist upon the radical position that the only pleasures that oblige us to seek them – that is, the only ones we're morally obligated by God to seek – are ones you cannot feel until you are born again. They are spiritual pleasures, in all that we do, made possible by the creation of a new heart.

Christian hedonism, in other words, is not optional. There's not one way of life that you could choose among others. It is the heart of what it means to be a Christian, to be saved. You're not saved if you're not a Christian hedonist, if you use the term. Christian hedonism goes so far as to say that if you don't pursue your maximum pleasure in God, you cannot worship Him. And if you don't pursue your maximum pleasure in God, you cannot love people. So we're not talking about something marginal when we talk about Christian hedonism. We're talking about the very heart of a Christian.

[end of video clip]

Wow. "If you don't pursue your maximum pleasure in God." Notice the continual use of the "you," "you." Well, I'm sorry, the Gospel is not about us. The Gospel's not about you. The Gospel is the good news; it is the story, it is the testimony, it is the proclamation, it is the truth of He who knew no sin, became sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God. It's all about Him; it's not about us.

And yet Piper keeps using this term "you must pursue your pleasure," and that if you're not a Christian hedonist, you're not a Christian. He says you're not a Christian if you're not a Christian hedonist. Devotion to pleasure as a way of life. How about a devotion to ongoing faithfulness and obedience, sanctification? Again, notice John Piper gives no Scripture, no Scripture, at all, to back up this Christian hedonism garbage that millions have bought into.

Now, remember, this book of John Piper's came out in 1986. Pray tell why some of the so-called older theologians have not figured this out. Why are we now in 2017 and it's taken Mr. E.S. Williams to write a book exposing John Piper? Why is it just now John Piper's being exposed? Could it be that many within the conservative, so called, Calvinist camp will go after a lot of folks, to clear-minded charismatics and others, but no one in their own camp will go after this strange fire? Could it be much like what we saw with the interfaith dialogue? We exposed an interfaith dialogue here in Memphis with a jihadi imam being led by a well-known Calvinist, James White, and we got criticized royally by well-known Bible ministries for daring to call out one of the good guys. In fact, one so-called minister is on video saying that when certain guys do certain things, we need to give them a pass if they're one of the good guys.

Well, maybe John Piper's gotten a pass because he's been seen as one of the good guys. Yet this book by him on Christian hedonism came out in 1986. Here we are, 2017 – finally someone is helping to expose it, Mr. E.S. Williams, who, by the way, attends the church over in England that was the church of Charles Spurgeon. So this is a reformed guy exposing reformed Calvinist John Piper. I think E.S. Williams is also a medical professional as well.

So, again, why is it just now that this Christian hedonism is being taken on, when that book came out in 1986? Why have so many so-called conservative Calvinists continued to work with him and speak with him at conferences around the country? Because I find this to be a very dangerous worldview, and one that I daresay is man-centered. I'm afraid John Piper might indeed have a man-centered, more humanistic definition of the gospel. You'll have to decide for yourself. Let's go to the next clip.

[beginning of video clip]

John Piper:    The essence of evil is to lose a taste for God. Or, the flip side of the coin, to prefer anything more than God is the essence of all your evil.

[end of video clip]

 

The essence of evil is to lose your taste for God. Well, what if you're a nonbeliever and you never had a taste for God? Because, after all, the things of the cross are foolishness to those who are not saved.

So how can an unbeliever have a taste for God? Therefore, how do you define evil for a nonbeliever? 'Cause he says evil is to lose your taste for God. Well, a nonbeliever likely has never had a taste for God. The things of God are foolishness to him. He's at enmity with God.

Give me a chapter and verse on this definition of evil, John Piper, that evil is losing your – notice the emphasis on "your"? – again, man-centered definitions here – to lose your taste for God. How about evil is the absence of the character and nature of God? Evil is the opposite of the adherence to the character and nature of God. Evil is lacking fidelity to the original truth. Jesus, in John 14:6, said, "I'm the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Truth is what it is, based on the character and nature of God. Sin is what it is because God is who he is: holy and just and righteous. Lying is wrong because he is truth. Murder is wrong because he's the giver of life. Immorality is wrong because he is pure.

You see, everything that we know about what is true and just and right and holy is defined by the character and nature of God. It is not defined by what man does or doesn't do in regards to your seeking your pleasure, or losing your taste for God. These terms must be defined by the standard of God, not by us. And yet is that not what John Piper's doing? And he's giving no Scripture at all to back this up. Watch this next clip.
 

[beginning of video clip]

Male:    John, are Christians under the Ten Commandments?

John Piper:    No. The Bible says we're not under the law. [Laughs] So we died to the law. You're not married anymore. You can have another husband – namely, Christ. He's raised from the dead. So the approach towards ethics is different. You don't ask the question "Am I under the law?" We're under grace. Law is fulfilled perfectly –

[end of video clip]

So John Piper says the Ten Commandments are not for today. That's a real problem because nine out of ten of the Ten Commandments are repeated in the New Testament. The only ones not repeated is "Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy." And the Scriptures in the New Testament says we are not to be compelled on what day we worship. And of course, we know that the Apostles were witnessing and proclaiming Christ and gathering together on Sunday, after the resurrection, as acknowledgment of the resurrection. So nine out of ten of the Ten Commandments are repeated in the New Testament. Sorry John Piper, but God’s law is for today.

Now, is the civic and ceremonial law of Israel for us today, the New Testament church? No. The civic and ceremonial laws of Israel, that part of the law is not for today. What we wear, what we eat, what we can't, all those things, tithing, first and second and third tithe – those are not for today. We don't practice these civic and ceremonial laws of today, so no, we don't practice the civic and ceremonial laws, but we still adhere to the moral law. We'll look a lot at Scripture that validates that the moral law, that which is a reflection of God's character and nature, Romans 1, 2, and 3 says it has been onto the heart of man. Their conscience bears witness there is a God. That's why we have universal consent that lying is wrong, stealing is wrong, adultery is wrong, murder is wrong.

So no, we're not under the law today for some kind of justification. But we pursue the law of God – the law of God being the revealed truth about God in the Old Testament, the truth of God revealed in the New Testament, the Ten Commandments being abbreviated version of the moral law, but it's also a moral law that was placed in our heart and mind that is a reflection of God's character and nature. So for John Piper to say that the Ten Commandments, or the moral law, is not for today is wrong. Watch this next clip.

[beginning of video clip]

John Piper:    You will never devote your life to magnifying God by being satisfied in God, until you see that the ultimate essence of evil is the failure to be satisfied in God. The essence is, "I don't get any pleasure from God. So I want other things to drink, thank you very much." That's the essence of evil: "I don't enjoy God anymore."

The ultimate essence of evil is the loss of taste for God as our all-satisfying life and joy. Or, flip the coin over, the ultimate essence of evil is a preference for other things, other people, anything created more than God. That's the ultimate essence of evil, biblically.

[end of video clip]
 

[beginning of video clip]

John Piper:    Genesis 3: What's the ultimate essence of the first, original, world-infecting sin? When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and a delight to the eyes, and the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and she gave some to her husband. He ate.

Let me say those three things again. Watch what's happening in the human heart that gives rise to an act. "This is really good food. It's delicious and it's nourishing. I can see it. And you won't let me have it. You won't let me have it. This is beautiful. It's a delight to my eyes. God wants to keep me from it." And they ate. And what did that mean? It meant we will not be denied while we desire more than God.

So what was the essence of evil as it began in the human race? What was the essence of the Fall of humanity? Was it the eating of the forbidden fruit? No. The moral outrage, the horror of what happened here was that Adam and Eve desired, desired, desired this fruit more than God. That's the essence of evil. They delighted more in what the fruit could be for them than what God could be for them. Eating was not the essence of evil; they preferred something else, and that is the ultimate essence of evil.

[end of video clip]

Did you catch that? John Piper says the essence of evil or the Fall was not disobedience to God; it was that they desired the fruit more than God. They desired something else more – they desired something more than God. The essence of evil or the Fall was not disobedience to God; it was they desired something more than God. Folks, is that what the Bible says? You're saying, "Brannon, is that really what he's teaching?" Watch this next clip, and then we're gonna go to lots of Scripture, so get your Bible.

[beginning of video clip]

John Piper:    I've been taught they disobeyed, period. No. Disobedience to the command of God is not more basic, not more fundamental, not more ultimate than what they desired above God.

[end of video clip]

Is that what the Bible says? Well, get your Bible and let's go to some Scripture. Let's look at Genesis 3:8-11. "And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. And Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, 'Where are you?' So he said, 'I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, and I hid myself.' And he said, 'Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded that you should not eat?'" Notice the word there: commanded. God commanded them not to eat of the tree.

And yet they did, and they disobeyed, and it was because of the disobedience of one man that sin entered into the world. Yet you heard John Piper say, "I was always told it was their disobedience." No, says John Piper. Look at Genesis 3:17. “Then to Adam he said, 'Because you have heeded the voice of your wife and have eaten from the tree, of which you desired more than me –'" Is that what it says? No. "And have eaten from the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat of it.’'' My friends, John Piper has a very messed-up understanding of evil and the Fall, as we have seen in his own words, lined up against the word of God. What are you gonna believe: the word of John Piper or the word of God? Watch this next clip.

[beginning of video clip]

John Piper:    As long as you see commandment-keeping as the essence of good, and commandment-breaking as the essence of evil, you will never know why you do what you do.

[end of video clip]

Wow, as long as you see commandment-keeping as the essence of good. Well, let's see what the Bible says about how we know what is good, what is evil, what is right, what is wrong, what is righteous, and what is sin. Go to 1 John 2:3-4. Now, by this we know that we know him if we pursue our pleasure in him. Is that what it says? By this we know that we know him if we practice Christian hedonism. Is that what it says? No. No, John Piper.

It says, "Now, by this we know that we know him if we keep his commandments. He who says 'I know him' and does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him."

How about 1 John 3:4: "Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness." So how do you know what is evil? By whether or not you pursue your pleasure in him? No, we know what is evil by whether or not we understand what is the law. What is the law? A reflection of God's character and nature. So how do we judge what is evil or what is right or what is wrong? By the character and nature of God revealed in the law. What is the law? The law could be defined in different ways. As I'm using it, and as oftentimes the Scripture uses it, it is the revealed word of God. It is the truth revealed about God in the Old and New Testament. That's the law of God, or the word of God. It is also referred to as the moral law. That would be the character and nature of God placed on the heart and mind of every person, Romans 1, 2, and 3.

So we know what is sin, we know what is evil, by the study of the word of God, the law of God. And it is a reflection of God's character and nature. So truth, or evil, is not – what is good or what is right is not defined by what we do or don't do. It is defined by the character and nature of God that is revealed in the word of God. Look at this, 1 John 5:3. "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome." So if you love God, you'll keep his commandments, but yet didn't we just hear John Piper say you can't be defining our life by commandment-keeping? That's not what the Bible says.

Look at John 14:15. "If you love me, keep my commandments." How about John 15:14? "You are my friends if you do whatever I command you." How about 2 John 1:6? "This is love, that we walk according to his commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it."

And in conclusion, we see that John Piper's put out an article on his website, September 25th, 2017, titled "Does God Really Save Us by Faith Alone?", Notice the question mark. Well, he put out a tweet as well, John Piper's ministry did, that said this: "You're not saved through faith alone." That's a shocker. "You're not saved through faith alone." Well, we've already heard John Piper say, what is the essence of evil? Accroding to Piper it's not pursuing your pleasure in God. It involves some kinda works on the part of man, it appears.

So I wouldn't be shocked that he tweeted out, "You're not saved through faith alone" at his ministry, or that he wrote an article, September 25th, 2017, "Does God Really Save Us by Faith Alone?", question mark. And he writes, "These works of faith," the ones being talked about in the Book of James and in Romans and 1 Thessalonians – "These works of faith, and this obedience of faith, these fruits of the spirit that come by faith, are necessary for our final salvation." He's saying you have to have these works to be saved.

He then goes on to say, "Essential to the Christian life and necessary for final salvation is the killing of sin and the pursuit of holiness." Look at that, folks. "Essential to the Christian life and necessary for final salvation is the pursuit of holiness." He's confusing justification with sanctification. No, you can't earn your salvation. Your works are not what saves you. Your works are the fruit of your salvation, not the root of your salvation. So we warn you about what we believe is the false teaching and the false gospel of John Piper and his Christian hedonism.

 

To read this entire transcript with embedded video clips of John Piper saying the things discussed in this article then please join our Biblical worldview software program worldviewpedia.com When you join Worldviewpedia you are also a member of our situationroom.net with over 13,000 radio & TV shows and DVDs and all of Brannon’s Ebooks.