Why I no longer follow John Piper or Desiring God ministry

About a decade ago, I followed John Piper and his ministry "Desiring God", with great joy.

I listened to sermon after sermon; purchased books for me, my darling husband, sons and sent them as gifts for friends and family. I shared links to their blog articles, retweeted their tweets, shared their materials over every social media platform I participated in, just to soak up and share what I thought at the time, was  entirely, soundly biblical wisdom.

Having decided to no longer be a Jonah or Moses when they were first called by God, I was hungry for the truth as I was coming to terms with the spiritual gifts God has given me (Faith, Exhortation, and Teaching).

With this hunger and resolve to have a heart more like Abraham and Isaiah, I wanted to obey God immediately—with joy, and use the gifts He so graciously bestowed upon me, for the purpose in which He gave them: For the encouragement and edification of those within the Body of Christ (Eph 4:11-16) without usurping God's authority of male headship within the church, and to go out to all the world preaching the Gospel, discipling young girls and women of all ages.

But in 2006, there was an uproar within the Christian community after John Piper extended an invitation to a young, filthy mouthed, unabashed preacher from Washington state, Mark Driscoll, to be one of the speakers at his Desiring God National Conference. And it didn't stop there. Though Piper was questioned and criticized (and by some, too harshly and unbiblically), he stood by his young protégé and extended two more invitations to speak at their national conference (2008 and 2009), though Driscoll proved to continue to get carried away by strange and unbiblical behavior like having pornographic divinations about other people's lives, and speaking harshly, including name calling to rebuke those within his church.

Unfortunately, Piper's lack of obedience to God's word in 1 Corinthians 15:33 "Do not be deceived: 'Bad company ruins good morals.'" continued to perpetuate his decline in discernment as he extended an invitation to Rick Warren (2010) and Louie Giglio (2011) to be speakers at his Desiring God National Conferences as well. Then at Passion 2012, Pastor John Piper condoned and participated in Louie Giglio's practice of a meditative, mystical type exercise that closely mirrors the heretical "Lectio Divina" where Catholic priests believe that God directly speaks extra-biblical messages to those who engage in this mind-emptying practice (click link to listen to Todd Friel's "Wretched" radio program on this topic).

I share all this to show you how much Piper and his ministry "Desiring God" has, in some ways (not all), been led away from sola scriptura (Scripture alone), so that you might be more discerning about following their ministry (writings, sermons, etc.).

I know I can be easily deceived just like Eve, and desire all that feeds my flesh and makes it feel good through emotional and sentimental hogwash. With that said, it would be unwise for me personally, to continue to follow John Piper or his "Desiring God" ministry as he/they continue to engage and condone unbiblical practices.

I've found the teachings from John Piper and "Desiring God" (after testing it with God's word) requires more discernment than I currently possess. And since there  are other Christian teachers/ministries I can learn from (e.g., John MacArthur/Grace to You, Alistair Begg/Truth for Life, R.C. Sproul/Ligonier Ministries) that don't give me tired-head, I've chosen to only follow those who are clearly and faithfully following the Lord (Heb 13:7).

Basically, it's like this: When I sit down to relax and enjoy a good meal after a long, yet productive, hard work day, I'd prefer not to sit down to a meal I know will have lots of bones in it because I know there's a good chance I could be injured. I'd rather sit down to a meal where there are either no bones or just a few bones, so I can truly enjoy my meal and keep from serious injury. Sitting under John Piper's teaching is like the former, and sitting under guys like MacArthur, Begg and Sproul, is like the latter.

The upshot of this entire post is this: As God's holy and dearly beloved children, be obedient to God's Word, test everything against it, and never put any man (for none are infallible, except for Christ when He was here) on a pedestal, and lackadaisically assume popularity, size of ministry, etc., qualifies a solidly biblical teacher. Let nothing deter you from diligently being a student of the Word.

I love John Piper and view him as a brother in Christ who has unfortunately let his guard down, and has been deceived into believing that God's grace and patience is demonstrated through condoning sin in others...all in the name of "love"...by the world's definition.

I pray for him and I encourage you to pray as well. Pray for his ministry. Pray for all who follow him without question. And pray for yourself—that God would give you a discerning heart to love Him and His Word greater than anyone or anything else.

Stay tuned for Part 2, where I'll share with you, what I believe is a well-meaning, yet dangerous post, written by John Piper's son Abraham; an ex-prodigal, who came home.
Why I no longer follow John Piper or Desiring God ministry
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Hello fellow image-bearers of the Most High God!

I'm Sunny Shell and I'm an extremely grateful daughter of the LORD God Almighty. I'm also a wife to a loving and godly man, whom God has filled with kindness, wisdom and much mercy. My husband is my best friend and My Second Love.

I'd love for you to journey along with me as I share my life lessons, struggles and victories found only in Jesus. And I'd love to hear how God is growing you in your faith so that we might mutually be encouraged to press on toward the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Rom 1:11-12).

I'm delighted you found my little writing corner and I hope you come for another visit soon. May God's grace and peace be multiplied to your spirit.