John Piper – Taking Leave and Asks for Forgiveness

John Piper And Rick Warren

I saw this article and just had to post it.  John Piper!!  Please tell us soon as to what you are asking forgiveness for.  I understand 30 years of ministry can take it’s toll and your deeds and character flaws are not what’s concerning to us, or want to know about.  It’s what you have been preaching (Calvinism) and who you have been siding with that we want to hear you say sorry for.

I pray that whatever is happening in your life that Jesus Christ the Son of God is renewing your relationship with Him that it will be unstoppable!  And that you come back 8 months from now a NEW man in Jesus Christ, with a STAND for the TRUTH that will knock the socks off everyone!   IF NOT, then no amount of prayer from anyone is going to help you, if you don’t see you are following false doctrine.  Also what’s the point of asking everyone to pray for you when you can have thousands of people praying for you who are not even saved.  Who will they be praying too on your behalf?  But you should know these things, you are the pastor after all.

A first step would be to get rid of all these people in your life that are deceiving you. I see in this ‘apology’ of yours that you still want to advertise your ‘vision’ for the world. What vision is that? How can men have a vision and mission that contradicts the Word of God.  Surely your vision should be focused on Jesus Christ alone and not on this world.  When you come back are you going to warn people of the deception in the church and the turning back to Rome, or carry on with this NWO vision to see this earth look like man-made-heaven with a false Christ?

[EDITED by DTW:  Oh wait, sorry people, I don’t think he is coming back in 8 months to preach the truth.  He has invited Rick Warren to speak at his Desiring God Conference in 2010 and above is a lovely photo of John Piper and Rick sitting together at Ralph Winters memorial service back in June 28, 2009…]


By John Piper March 28, 2010  

As you may have already heard in the sermon from March 27-28, the elders graciously approved on March 22 a leave of absence that will take me away from Bethlehem from May 1 through December 31, 2010. We thought it might be helpful to put an explanation in a letter to go along with the sermon.

I asked the elders to consider this leave because of a growing sense that my soul, my marriage, my family, and my ministry-pattern need a reality check from the Holy Spirit. On the one hand, I love my Lord, my wife, my five children and their families first and foremost; and I love my work of preaching and writing and leading Bethlehem. I hope the Lord gives me at least five more years as the pastor for preaching and vision at Bethlehem.

But on the other hand, I see several species of pride in my soul that, while they may not rise to the level of disqualifying me for ministry, grieve me, and have taken a toll on my relationship with Noêl and others who are dear to me. How do I apologize to you, not for a specific deed, but for ongoing character flaws, and their effects on everybody? I’ll say it now, and no doubt will say it again, I’m sorry. Since I don’t have just one deed to point to, I simply ask for a spirit of forgiveness; and I give you as much assurance as I can that I am not making peace, but war, with my own sins.

Noêl and I are rock solid in our commitment to each other, and there is no whiff of unfaithfulness on either side. But, as I told the elders, “rock solid” is not always an emotionally satisfying metaphor, especially to a woman. A rock is not the best image of a woman’s tender companion. In other words, the precious garden of my home needs tending. I want to say to Noêl that she is precious to me in a way that, at this point in our 41-year pilgrimage, can be said best by stepping back for a season from virtually all public commitments.

No marriage is an island. For us this is true in two senses. One is that Noêl and I are known inside-out by a few friends at Bethlehem-most closely by our long-time colleagues and friends David and Karin Livingston, and then by a cluster of trusted women with Noêl and men with me. We are accountable, known, counseled, and prayed for. I am deeply thankful for a gracious culture of transparency and trust among the leadership at Bethlehem.

The other way that our marriage is not an island is that its strengths and defects have consequences for others. No one in the orbit of our family and friends remains unaffected by our flaws. My prayer is that this leave will prove to be healing from the inside of my soul, through Noêl’s heart, and out to our children and their families, and beyond to anyone who may have been hurt by my failures.

The difference between this leave and the sabbatical I took four years ago is that I wrote a book on that sabbatical (What Jesus Demands from the World). In 30 years, I have never let go of the passion for public productivity. In this leave, I intend to let go of all of it. No book-writing. No sermon preparation or preaching. No blogging. No Twitter. No articles. No reports. No papers. And no speaking engagements. There is one stateside exception-the weekend devoted to the Desiring God National Conference combined with the inaugural convocation of Bethlehem College and Seminary in October. Noêl thought I should keep three international commitments. Our reasoning is that if she could go along, and if we plan it right, these could be very special times of refreshment together.

The elders have appointed a group to stay in touch and keep me accountable for this leave. They are David Mathis, Jon Bloom, Tom Steller, Sam Crabtree, Jon Grano, Tim Held, Tony Campagna, and Kurt Elting-Ballard. Five of these have walked with Noêl and me over the last two months, helping us discern the wisdom, scope, and nature of this leave. They brought the final recommendation to the elders on March 22.

I asked the elders not to pay me for this leave. I don’t feel it is owed to me. I know I am causing more work for others, and I apologize to the staff for that. Not only that, others could use similar time away. Most working men and women do not have the freedom to step back like this. The elders did not agree with my request. Noêl and I are profoundly grateful for this kind of affection. We will seek the Lord for how much of your financial support to give back to the church, to perhaps bear some of the load.

Personally, I view these months as a kind of relaunch of what I hope will be the most humble, happy, fruitful five years of our 35 years at Bethlehem and 46 years of marriage. Would you pray with me to that end? And would you stand by your church with all your might? May God make these eight months the best Bethlehem has ever known. It would be just like God to do the greatest things when I am not there. “Neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth” (1 Corinthians 3:7).

I love you and promise to pray for you every day.

Pastor John


What John was really apologizing for in a very round about that way, was the fact that he was now best friends with Rick Warren and he is telling you there is nothing you can do about it.  This is what he is telling you.  But then John Piper is after all a Calvinist and Calvinist’s follow a doctrine of demons, so his turning to Rome should not surprise us.  See Calvinism


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Deborah (Discerning the World)

Deborah Ellish is the author of the above article. Discerning the World is an internet Christian Ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa. Tom Lessing and Deborah Ellish both own Discerning the World. For more information see the About this Website page below the comments section.

73 Responses

  1. Elmarie A says:

    Mon, May. 03 2010 03:21 PM EDT
    Piper Leaves Megachurch with Hope for Revival

    Pastor John Piper began his eight-month leave this past weekend. Now filling the empty pulpit at Bethlehem Baptist Church is Kenny Stokes, who had been on a sabbatical these past several months.

    Stokes, who previously served as the church’s Downtown Campus pastor, was approved unanimously by the elders at the Minneapolis church last week to serve as Interim Pastor for Preaching while Piper is away.

    The elders determined that continuity, consistency and stability were most important and thus decided to have one primary preacher – rather than a rotation of varied speakers – to serve as the temporary shepherd.

    “Few things are more important in the life of a church than the faithful preaching of the word of God,” said Piper in his final written commentary to his church of some 9,000 attendees. “I trust Kenny.”

    “Under Christ, the Great Shepherd of the sheep, I am happy to leave you under his preaching,” he added.

    Piper, 64, announced late March that he would be taking his first-ever leave of absence from ministry this year to focus on his marriage, his family and his soul. His break was not prompted by a particular sin but by “ongoing character flaws” – including pride – and the stresses they have caused to others.

    He told his congregation that he felt his marriage, soul and ministry pattern needed a reality check from the Holy Spirit.

    The renowned preacher and author stopped tweeting just after making the announcement and has also let go of other forms of online communication, including Facebook and blogging. During his leave, Piper will also disengage from book writing, preaching and speaking at events (with a few exceptions).

    In his last sermon on April 25 to Bethlehem, Piper cited Robert Murray M’Cheyne, a 19th century minister in the Church of Scotland who also took eight months away from his parish in 1839.

    M’Cheyne asked William Burns to take over the pulpit and wrote to him: “I hope you may be a thousand times more blessed among them than I ever was. Perhaps there are many souls that would never have been saved under my ministry, who may be touched under yours; and God has taken this method of bringing you into my place. His name is Wonderful.”

    Revival did come to St. Peter’s Church while he was away.

    With that, Piper left the Bethlehem pulpit with the same hope and prayer:

    “O Lord … show your great power in my absence. Send a remarkable awakening that results in hundreds of people coming to Christ, … wayward children coming home, long-standing slavery to sin being conquered, spiritual dullness being replaced by vibrant joy, weak faith being replaced by bold witness, disinterest in prayer being replaced by fervent intercession, boring Bible reading being replaced by passion for the Word, disinterest in global missions being replaced by energy for Christ’s name among the nations, and lukewarm worship being replaced by zeal for the greatness of God’s glory.

    “[B]less this church beyond anything we have ever dreamed.”

    Just as M’Cheyne returned to his flock and served nearly four more years before he died at the age of 29, Piper hopes to return to the Minneapolis church to preach for at least five more years.

  2. Elmarie A says:

    NEWS FLASH: I bought the Joy Magazine today to Spy on the latest nonsensical news. and I found this full page advert on John Piper in SA from 14 to 17 October 2010 yikes that is now !!!! AND John Piper in Capetown

    I will call my comment: S A youth and John Piper and was he really only Taking Leave and Asking for Forgiveness. His leave will expires in December 31, 2010.

    May I mention my feeling here so far as I am doing research here. He is going to aim to talk to the Babtists type churches and NOT the Moreletta’s or Rhema’s or Lewende Woord or Charismatic Penticostal’s I think.

    Excerpt from above article in his letter John Piper (March 28, 2010) says the following: I asked the elders to consider this leave because of a growing sense that my soul, my marriage, my family, and my ministry-pattern need a reality check from the Holy Spirit. On the one hand, I love my Lord, my wife, my five children and their families first and foremost; and I love my work of preaching and writing and leading Bethlehem. I hope the Lord gives me at least five more years as the pastor for preaching and vision at Bethlehem.

    Question : What is John Piper doing in South Africa when he was supposed to “let go of all of it” until 31 December 2010 AND HE MEANT everything because he said this:
    In this leave, I intend to let go of all of it No book-writing. No sermon preparation or preaching. No blogging. No Twitter. No articles. No reports. No papers. And no speaking engagements. There is one stateside exception—the weekend devoted to the Desiring God National Conference combined with the inaugural convocation of Bethlehem College and Seminary in October.

    John Piper’s life and ministry are driven by a desire to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things, for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ. Praying, teaching, thinking, clarifying, sharpening, laboring, writing, and traveling to share these fruits prayerfully are all evidences of God’s continued call of his life.

    The main guest speaker is world-renown pastor and author, John Piper.

    He will be joined by:
    Conrad Mbewe
    Widely regarded as the African Spurgeon, Conrad Mbewe has been faithfully and powerfully proclaiming the Word of God for over 15 years in Zambia from Kabwata Baptist Church in Lusaka. Conrad is a renown conference speaker and Kabwata Baptist church is currently overseeing the establishment of 10 churches in Zambia and Botswana.

    Water, water, water, everywhere. What else do you expect? I am a Baptist!

    and Stuart Townend:
    Stuart is known and respected around the world as one of the leading worship songwriters of his generation. The depth of lyrical and theological content in songs such as In Christ alone, How deep the Father’s love, The power of the cross and Beautiful Saviour have caused some to draw comparisons with the greats of previous generations such as Watts and Wesley; while the marriage of great lyrics with wonderfully accessible melodies means his songs bridge different musical and cultural genres, and reach into every corner of the globe.

    Stuart is also a gifted worship leader, musician, recording artist and seminar speaker, and spends a good part of his year leading worship at major Christian events, doing solo concerts, recording studio albums, and training up and coming worship leaders and songwriters.

    Sceptic or child? NOTE: This meditation originally appeared in Scripture Union’s “Closer To God” daily Bible reading series.

    The Word REZOLUTION need some research as to explain the drive and meaning behind this.

  3. Elmarie A says:

    The Pastor, the People, and the Pursuit of Joy: The Apostolic Aim of Pastoral Ministry.Desiring God 2010 Conference for Pastors On February 1-3, over 1400 pastors from around the world tasted afresh the goodness and mercy of the Lord during the Desiring God 2010 Conference for Pastors. We were greatly blessed through the teaching ministry of Sam Storms, Eric Mason, Bob Blincoe and John Piper (whose biographical message was on C. S. Lewis).

    May I say WOW !!! AND ask why C. S Lewis?

  4. Elmarie A says:

    C.S. Lewis — The Heretic!
    AUTHOR OF THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA And other demonic fantasies

    Lewis believed in the power and use of spells

    Lewis said a spell is needed to overcome “enchantment” of the world. “You and I have need of the strongest spell that can be found to wake us from the evil enchantment of worldliness.” Faith is here replaced by a spell. God is not in the business of providing spells to break
    enchantments. This quote shows where where much Narnia “doctrine” comes from.

    1John 5:4 -For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

  5. Burning Lamp says:

    The Narnia chronicles are filled with debauchery and unholy fantasies. He was not even a believer according to orthodoxy. His lifestyle was worldly and not to be emulated. Why he is held up as an icon in the evangelical world is beyond me. And why do churches promote the movies based on his books? Parents who would never take their children to Harry Potter movies or allow them to read the books offer up this garbage to their children and think they are doing a good thing. Go figure!

  6. Elmarie A says:

    Burning Lamp

    Why he is held up as an icon in the evangelical world is beyond me.

    My point exactly why would one even want to listen to a biographical message on some one like C S Lewis. Also who would wanna do prep work on a biographical message about C S Lewis and that at a conference called Desiring God 2010 Conference for Pastors. Nope I’m afraid there is so much deceit out there it is sometimes scary!!

    Like you say BL it is beyond us why the man is held as an icon. We can only watch and pray and keep our lamps filled with oil and stay awake at all times to avoid such nonsensical babel.

    C S Lewis’s one book Screw Tape Letters is very popular in South Africa and are punted in all the so called christian bookshops.

    AND THEY SAY: The Screwtape Letters is a Christian apologetics novel written in epistolary style by C. S. Lewis, Christian apologetics !!! Nooooo way it is down right Demonic if you ask me….mmmm Bunnytrails 🙂

  7. God's Servant says:

    Guys I think we have to respect Mr/Pst J Piper’s decision, we were never there when God was calling him, and we don’t know (as he didn’t mention)the reason for him to take what he calls a “Leave” from God’s work. We never employed/deployed him. He proclaimed and acted so himsel(as sent by God). I respect the guy and beleive his mssg until God tells me sumthing else abt him. I’m sure he alone has the answers to our unawered question of “mara why?”. The only thing that we can try to do as the church (beleivers) is to pray that he walks in the rite path, that the decision he took is inline with God’s purpose on his life. Be blessed brethren. Insulting and hurting each other with such sharp words won’t help a thing but only make the enemy to celebrate.

  8. God’s servant

    Um, dude, you are behind the times, 1st Piper was a Calvinist with notions of being saved before being born (Election) and has now joined forces with Rick Warren. He has become 100% ecumenical.

  9. Robbie says:

    >>>we were never there when God was calling him,<<<<

    ummm yes, Neither was he

  10. Burning Lamp says:

    God’s Servant, what you are saying is not cause for celebration, but the Lord is grieved when one disobeys His Word and looks the other way or excuses error. I hope you take off your rose-colored glasses and look for the truth and stop respecting men. The Apostle Paul did not pull any punches when exposing false teachers – and that includes those who promote Calvinism.

  11. Stan Lessin says:

    I don’t have time to read everything, so I don’t know if I’m being redundant. If I am please bear with me. Rev Piper may also want to re-think his position on Israel.

  12. Stan

    >> Rev Piper may also want to re-think his position on Israel.

    You are absolutely correct. He has.

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