Saturday, April 10, 2010

John Piper's announcement

John Piper announced   that he's stepping back from ministry for a while. Here's his reason:
  
I see several species of pride in my soul that, even though they may not rise to the level of disqualifying me for ministry, grieve me, and have taken a toll on my relationship with Noël and others who are dear to me. Noël and I are rock solid in our commitment to each other, and there is no whiff of unfaithfulness on either side. But, as I told the elders, “rock solid” is not always an emotionally satisfying metaphor, especially to a woman. A rock is not the best image of a woman’s tender companion.

In other words, the precious garden of my home needs tending. I want to say to Noël that she is precious to me. And I believe that at this point in our 41-year pilgrimage together the best way to say it is by stepping back for a season from virtually all public commitments.

…You could view this as a kind of fasting from public ministry. One of the goals in this kind of fasting is to discern levels of addiction… What will happen in my soul and in my marriage when…there will be no “prideful sipping from the poisonous cup of international fame and notoriety”?

 I actually have a lot of respect for that. One of the curses of evangelical Protestantism is idolization of charismatic leaders. Because of this, great men often move from being good teachers and leaders to being men filled with great pride and arrogance, out of touch with their Lord, and lacking in love.

So - I really appreciate Piper's ability to recognize this temptation in himself, and be willing to give up his ministry in order to do business in his soul.... and to make his wife a priority.

4 comments:

Jaimie said...

Wow. That is awesome of him.

Isaac said...

Good for him! See, Calvinists aren't all bad ;)

PresterJosh said...

This is a most excellent example!

Togenberg said...

I can't abide Piper but I do have respect for him. This is something that adds to that.