|Y U no tell me...wait, nevermind.|
A fresh audio publication is over at the Mortification of Spin blog, where Carl Trueman, Aimee Byrd and Todd Pruitt discuss an article in which John Piper shares his view (which is based on a longer audio by hip-hop artist, Jackie Hill Perry, who is now a Christian) over at the Desiring God blog, on whether men ought to confess sins of sexual lust to their wives. You can listen to the acoustic sagacity between the Mortification of Spin III here, and as a person who finds a great deal of audio material tedious and a miserable use of an audience’s goodwill satisfyingly, with this conversation, they rapidly go to the core issues confronting John Piper’s appalling advice with succinct flow and collaboration.
While I lent my ear to the conversation, I was stunned as they recounted Piper’s directions in stating that he recommends not only should a husband confess his sexual sins to his wife but as well, provide an itemized confession, in other words, detailing, “what you want to do”!
Say whhhaaaaat? 🔙🔙🔙🔙🔙🔙
I am genuinely staggered by the almost silent response in the Evangelasphere or as Trueman calls it, Big Eva, with regard to this gravely hazardous teaching. It may be that this muzzling is due to a perniciously pious camp which appears to hold both the celebrity purse strings of most of the platforms along with their microphones, in Big Eva and particularly with Baptist, Southern Baptist, Reformed Baptist and a couple of Presbyterian brands. Thus, who is going to dare take on one of the Big Eva chief superintendents on this faulty formula, especially one which encourages the supreme piety of self-shaming and its correlating self-imposed suffering (ignoring the agony of the dear wife as she is treated to the salacious details of her husband's Adamic lust patterns)?
The truth is, we all should be alarmed by this pernicious idea and not solely because of its real and potential abuse which will needlessly and permanently disfigure many marriages but because of its coming from a man whose counsel should have long ago exceeded this kind of general hypothesizing and unctuous sanctimony accompanied by broad imperative prescription and which should only be typical of Pharisaical acolytes and not an instructor of his alleged stature.
I have warned, many times and do so again, against the imprudent tendencies of Mr. Piper who seems to relish in constructing and proudly articulating romantic theological and moral postures intended to be imposed upon Christ's church which do not even meet the threshold of prima facie evaluation. Instead, these inventions bode as a defective scaffold upon which he perches as if his leaning tower of Piper is a most clever place to display his impulsive and poorly thought out theological climaxes. And where are his so-called friends? None appear to care enough to inform him of his peril, at least not sufficiently in public where he makes so many of these displays and if done in private, unconvincingly so, it appears.
Doubtless, it does not help that many of his devoted allies are former recruits of his early discipleship efforts via his captivating fictive Christian Hedonism doctrine and are now lieutenants at their various Evangelical posts along with corresponding Big Eva bureaucrats and medal winning Evangelical statesmen, all with substantial ego-investments in Piper and his novel doctrines, long before they realized his improvident ways. It seems they are now are compelled to protect and defend their personal and corporate vanity, being constrained to stuff down what effective spiritual instinct is left inside as its receding voice screams at them one more time to listen but in commiseration, ultimately yielding, instead, to the preservation of their theological and spiritual 401k.
And to this issue, much of what is discussed by Byrd, Pruitt and Trueman is reflected in my four-part series in which I was responding to Russell Moore’s almost identical assertion that spouses must confess their sexual sins to one another. And in the case with Moore, there is some utterly capricious reasoning and use of Scripture which makes his foul possibly more egregious. I have embedded a link in the title of the series if you wish to read it. It is as follows, Must Infidelity be Confessed to a Spouse? A Rebuttal to Questionable Counsel from Russell Moore.
*In closing I am going to risk alienating a few of you but I wish to be frank, here, about John Piper. There is something going on with him, psychologically, in my view. I am not a psychiatrist nor psychologist nor am I presuming to offer a diagnosis which can only be done by a qualified individual.
I find, however, much of his persona and more so with whatever property is part of his personality or psychological make-up which would permit him to import this sex-confessing doctrine into his theological formulas and even beyond this, all the way back to the genesis of his novel and errant Christian Hedonism doctrine, distinctly disquieting, to put it somewhat mildly.
This idea that he would impose upon his wife a regiment of constant confession of his sexual lusts and then further, communicate this as standard and imperative marital protocol to the Evangelical church, does not just speak to some casual theological problem but one of significant internal maladjustment. He is, rather matter-of-factually, resolving his personal and private sexual lusts, in the insistent employment of his wife as his personal priest. This is not just bad pastoral advice, there is way more going on than that. There isn’t just one red flag here, friends, there is a minefield of them.
*And by the way, there is a reason men are attracted to using their wives this way, or should I say abusing their wives this way but this post isn't for that. I will, however, allude to the fact that generally it is founded in self-righteous thinking which is subject to grandiose views of one's self. This is not to imply one way or the other that this is the case with Mr. Piper, I am merely stating a general truth.