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John Piper: Christians Must 'Preserve the Stigma' of Sexual Sins, Like Sodomy

John Piper
Theologian John Piper explains what it means to give Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God. |

Christians must speak in crystal clear terms when talking about Satan and sexual perversion, John Piper says.

Piper, founder of DesiringGod.org and former pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, discussed the dangers of same-sex sexual acts in a Wednesday post on his website, urging Christians to choose their words carefully when communicating the truth and to recognize the devil for who he really is.

"[Satan] is a murderer and a liar. His aim is to kill people — forever. He is a lion who devours (1 Peter 5:8). Partly by pain, partly by pleasure. But always by deception — just as with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden," Piper said.

Satan isn't merely a red horned cartoon character with a pitchfork, but is in fact a celestial beast with global influence waging war against those who "hold to the testimony of Jesus," (Revelation 12:4); lying and murdering are his essence.

"The supernatural monster who orchestrates the kidnapping, enslaving, and thousand-fold drugging, selling, raping, and killing of girls around the globe is the same one who has masterminded the murderous cultural delusion — from the highest court to the lowest porn-flick — that the practice of sodomy is delightful, not deadly," the theologian said.

Using words like "sodomy" in the present culture might seem unnecessary to some, but Piper argues that refusing to do so constitutes an abdication of truth and love, which ultimately destigmatizes something that should never be regarded as good.

Some critics might say that employing such language indicates hostility toward people with same-sex attractions. But Piper contends that he hates what ultimately destroys people, which is not same-sex attraction, but the deception that same-sex sex acts are delightful.

"Those who love people with same-sex attraction should want to preserve the stigma of shameful practices which destroy them — just as we should try to preserve the stigma of stealing and perjury and kidnapping and fornication and adultery," Piper said, adding that "it is a gracious thing when a culture puts signs in front of destructive behaviors that read: Don't go there; it is shameful."

The Christian Post reported in November 2015 that attitudes in the Church about sexuality have been shifting.

According to a 2014 Religious Landscape survey, 54 percent of all Christians agreed with homosexuality being accepted by society, a 10-point increase from 2007.

"Changing attitudes about homosexuality are linked to the same generational forces helping to reshape religious identity and practice in the United States, with millennials expressing far more acceptance of homosexuality than older adults do," the report added. Among millennial evangelicals, fully half said homosexuality should be accepted by society.

Because the devil targets human sexuality so fiercely — Piper calls it one of Satan's "main killing fields" —Christians must not shrink back from speaking honestly about it.

"We must search for words to describe the horrors of the tragedy around us. For it is flaming with destruction worse than any inflammatory words can express," Piper said.

"We have the happiest and most horrible news in the world. In Christ there is light and freedom and life. Outside there is darkness and bondage and death. Failure to name the beauty of the light and the dreadfulness of the darkness is an abdication of truth and love," he concluded.

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