The above tweet went out on May 20th from John Piper’s twitter account after the horrific tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma and at that time the death toll was being estimated in the 90’s due to an elementary school being destroyed. While the death toll isn’t that high, there are still 24 souls no longer with us. Most of those being children.
Piper has regularly claimed that natural disasters are “God’s judgement” on sinful humanity. Almost after every large disaster – hurricane, tsunami, volcano eruption, or tornado – Piper will give his speech on his perspective of how sinful the human soul is and how powerful the Mighty God is.
I have disagreed with Piper for so many years on his understanding of the predestination and the sovereignty of God, it’s not even worth repeating the arguments here. I’m not alone in my stance. I stand with many more scholars who are much smarter and more articulate than I could ever hope to be on those subjects.
And while Piper’s position on such things irritates me, his tweet goes beyond insensitive into the moronic and hate-monger category with another church that we happen to share this city with. I never in a million years thought I would ever see Piper in that light – but I do now.
And it breaks my heart. It breaks my heart that there are 24 families that will never be the same. It breaks my heart that while Christ-followers from across this country are racing to Moore, Oklahoma to provide help, there are others who are sitting on the sideline saying – “Well…you deserved it.”
It’s not right. Piper’s tweet wasn’t right. His use of Job wasn’t right either. The very comment that God’s judgement is found in disaster is the exact piece of theology that the entire book of Job critiques in the first place. Job’s friends that espouse the same theology that Piper does get the harshest of words from God at the end of the book of Job. In fact, in the book of Job, Satan is shown as the great destroyer of lives.
The tweet has since been deleted but probably not the sentiment – as evidence by how many people favorited the tweet. And it’s that sentiment that must change inside the Church if she is ever going to make an impact in our world and be aligned with how God really feels about humanity.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.