The greatest outrage in life is choosing money, sex, power or anything else over God, says John Piper, chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Piper, who's also the founder and teacher of DesiringGod.org, explains in a sermon titled "The Outrage of History" that the entire universe is about God, not man, and therefore when people choose something instead of God, they are committing "the tragedy and the outrage of history."
"We have known it in some deep sense and we have suppressed it and we have preferred other things to God. And that is the arch heresy and the greatest outrage of the universe that people prefer other things to God. They exchange. They see God. They trade God. They embrace their death and call it their glory," Piper writes.
The evangelical teacher goes on to use the metaphor of the solar system, saying that because God created everything and is the universe, all of his gifts, including money, sex and power, should be working for the good of His name in perfect harmony.
It is when people begin to think that God is not everything that these things fall out of orbit and there is a misbalance, Piper continues.
"When [God] is there and He is all to us and all-satisfying to us, then the planets are moving perfectly in their beautiful, God-glorifying, soul-satisfying orbits — sex, power, money, all circling the sun just the way they were designed — and nobody has God at the center like that until they are born of God," Piper explains.
The problem arises when people become focused on other things besides God and their solar system becomes cluttered and unbalanced.
"If you treat Him like He is nothing, don't expect anything to work, because He didn't make it that way. He made the universe and our souls for Him to be at the blazing center," Piper concludes.
The theologian has spoken on the topic of money, sex and power in previous sermons, explaining that it is mankind who takes these gifts from God and misuses them.
"Money, sex, and power are not just dangers. They are potentials. They are gifts. They are opportunities to make God look great in the world and advance his cause in the world," Piper wrote in a previous post.
Because these gifts have such great potential when used properly, we as Christians must strive to use them as such, instead of objects of temptation.
"Take hold of power, take hold of money and make them a means of advancing the cause of the Giver and, more than that, see in the actual gift of sex and money and power dimensions of God's goodness that, when you enjoy them rightly, you are enjoying him," Piper writes.
"Money, sex, and power all have a unique potential to magnify the worth and beauty of Christ," the evangelical teacher concludes.