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Christian leaders react to John Piper's condemnation of Trump

Christian leaders react to John Piper's condemnation of Trump

John Piper, founder of DesiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary, speaks at the MLK50 Conference hosted by the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and The Gospel Coalition in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 5, 2018. | Rocket Republic /Flicker

Christians from across the spectrum have weighed in on influential pastor and author John Piper's op-ed piece criticizing Christians' support for President Donald Trump.

“I think it is a drastic mistake to think that the deadly influences of a leader come only through his policies and not also through his person,” Piper, founder of Desiring God, wrote on Thursday. “Flagrant boastfulness, vulgarity, immorality and factiousness are not only self-incriminating; they are nation-corrupting.”

Though he later clarified he is not voting for either Trump or Biden, Piper said he is “baffled” by the fact that “so many Christians seem to be sure that they are saving human lives and freedoms by treating as minimal the destructive effects of the spreading gangrene of high-profile, high-handed, culture-shaping sin.”

“Christians communicate a falsehood to unbelievers (who are also baffled!) when we act as if policies and laws that protect life and freedom are more precious than being a certain kind of person. The church is paying dearly, and will continue to pay, for our communicating this falsehood year after year,” he wrote. 

Piper’s blog post elicited a wide range of responses from Christian and political leaders, from Beth Moore to NFL star Benjamin Watson. 

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On Twitter, Moore, a popular Bible teacher, said Piper’s comments are consistent with the approach he’s always taken toward politics. 

"Re: John Piper. The article yesterday came from the same John Piper I met 20+ years ago. 100% consistent. And if you want a preacher who will only preach what doesn’t offend you, you need to find one who doesn’t preach the Scriptures. There’s plenty out there. Knock yourself out."

"DO NOT SAY in the aftermath of all this madness, why didn’t anybody warn us???"

In a separate tweet, she wrote: “Incalculable damage was done by marrying evangelicalism to republicanism. (Same would be true if it had been Dem party.) My generation is the elder child of this unholy marriage and we are so deeply indoctrinated, we see them as 1 flesh. NO. The church is married to Christ alone.”

New York Times bestselling author Joel Richardson said that while he “loves” Piper, “abortion is not merely one of many equally relevant factors in this coming election.”

“To equate @POTUS' sins with the societally acceptable wholesale slaughter of the single most innocent little lambs that this world has to offer is straight up bull,” he wrote.

Conservative Christian commentator Allie Beth Stuckey added, “Any leftist cheering on John Piper today will be severely disappointed in his views on marriage, gender, abortion and socialism. Piper is not a liberal.”

In contrast, influential pastor Thabiti Anyabwile called the post “maybe the best blog post I’ve ever read” from Piper. 

NFL star Benjamin Watson also approvingly shared Piper’s post. 

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