This blog post by John Piper, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, really got me thinking.

Hypocrisy.  The church and Christians are accused of it often, and rightly so.  It really doesn’t make sense to me that most Christians are pro-life, but also pro-death penalty.  That seems to be a little contradictory.  Or when pastors get up and preach so strongly against homosexuality only then to have it uncovered that they are having sex with men in secret.  I can see where the hypocrisy is in that.  I mean as much as we hate to admit it, Christians are people, and make just as many, if not more, mistakes as everyone else.

But there is also hypocrisy outside the church, and Piper’s blog made me realize how ridiculous it is.

“Why is it illegal to “maim, mutilate and kill” an animal in Minnesota, but not a pain-sensitive unborn human being?”

That is a good question.

Most hypocrisy can be explained away.  A baby hasn’t had the chance to make life choices, a murderer has, and hence its OK to kill a murderer but not a baby.  The reason a pastor preached so fervently against homosexuality is because he saw its consequences play out most radically in his own life.

I can even explain why most liberals are pro-choice and anti-death penalty.  If someone believes life hasn’t begun, or that a woman should be able to choose if she has a baby or not, then it makes perfect sense.  A criminal is already alive and life is not a choice anymore, its a right.

But I am having trouble with the animals.  If an animal has a soul and shouldn’t be killed then why is hard to conceive that a unborn baby should be treated the same?  If we are going to place animals on the same level as humans, then is it really that much further of a jump to place fetuses up there as well?

We even have fetal homicide laws in several states.

I just want to understand this more.  I feel like there has to be a way for us all to get on the same page about life.  If we really value life as a society, life of any kind, then lets value it all around.

Obviously this could be trouble, especially if we start having more babies and less animals to feed them with…

Everything is so complex.


Can You See The Difference?

John Piper, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, shows in this video how to respectfully disagree with President Obama.

He does a great job of attacking the presidents position on the issue, not the president himself.  He isn’t using his pulpit to attack a person, but advance a belief he has.  And he wraps it up by promising to pray for the president.  He isn’t praying that harm would befall him, but that his heart and mind would be changed.

Can you see the difference between Piper and Anderson?

I Don’t Even Have Words…But I Have To Say Something

I stumbled upon this article today on the Fox News website.

Pastor Steven Anderson

There are so many things wrong with this that I don’t even know where to start.  Pastor Steven Anderson even stood by his statements at a later date in an interview with Fox.

I went and checked out his churches website and their doctrinal statement and I was speechless.  I know that the King James Version of the Bible and the NIV use a little different language, but this website makes me feel like we are reading different books.

The hate this man has is appalling for someone who is leading a congregation and claiming Jesus as his savior.

It says on his website that he has, “memorized over half of the New Testament.”  I would like to know exactly which parts he memorized that lead him to believe it is OK to pray for the death of anyone.

Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment.  But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

Matthew 5:21-22  King James Version

And just for those of us who haven’t kept up with our Shakespearian language:

You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.  But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

Matthew 5:21-22  ESV

Maybe Mr. Anderson skipped those verses.  It’s a shame.  If he had that one in his repertoire, he would know that by desiring someone to die and go to hell, he is condemning himself to that same fate.

Jesus, in that same chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, even goes on to say, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven.  He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous,” (Matthew 5:44-45).

Again I am sure Mr. Anderson missed that verse.  He has only memorized half of the New Testament after all.  I am sure that the teachings of Jesus, a man he claims to follow, were just not the priority.

I would encourage him, no matter what version of the Bible he reads, to go ahead and take another look at how Jesus commands followers of Him to act.  And please stop preaching hate in the name of Jesus.  Thanks.