Monday, May 11, 2009

John Piper @ the Basics Question and Answer

Question:  If you are presenting Jesus Christ as supremely worthy, but your people continue to seek earthly, temporal pleasures how do you react to that?

Answer:  I'd be discouraged.  I try not to resign.  I search my heart to see if I am living it and seeking it faithfully.  Is it me?  You want to own your own responsibility first.  

Am I praying for it?  This is a miracle when this happens.  I pray "Do the impossible.  Change our hearts of stone."

Get near your people in moments of crisis.  Be in their face about what's going on.  Why are they in pornography?  What are they doing?

In the end, we need revival.  I've never seen anything near a historic revival.  We look at the buildings and convince ourselves of success, but how many are laying down their lives.  Our kids look like everybody else's kids.  Our marriages are a mess.

Corporate prayer.  "Lord, just come! God do something unusual."

Don't give up.  I asked Iain Murray once, "What do you do in between the revivals?"  His response, "Don't despise the day of small things."  If God is using you don't despise the small things.

Question:  This is a big thing in churches today, the use of coarse language.  I wanted to hear your opinion of those things.  

Answer:  I assume you are talking about John McArthur and Mark Driscoll.  I would encourage nobody to become coarse, filthy, ugly in their language.  

I don't think your mouth needs to be dirty in order to relate to twenty-somethings in Seattle.  

I'm just not drawing the line that John is drawing on Mark's ministry.  I'm going to Mark and getting in his face about his ministry.  It's not just the language that I'm in his face about.  I'm saying, "Come on.  Let's clean this up."  

He's accomplishing things in Seattle no one else is accomplishing.  I'm cutting him a lot of slack.  His doctrine is right on.  I don't want to see either doctrine or holiness watered down.  

Question:  In the mid-nineties you referenced some hard times in your ministries.  Can you explain that?

Answer:  I found an individual in our staff to be in adultery.  It cost the church over 200 members.  I was accused of lying.  Just prepare yourself to get shot.  If you deal with difficulties in your church you're going to get shot.  

The Lord was unbelievably merciful.  We had elder meetings until 2 or 3 in the morning.  God never forsook us.  He kept us together.  There was one Sunday morning I couldn't even preach. I asked a man from the Baptist General Conference to speak.

When one of the main staff members deceived the church for years people lost their faith.  They asked "What's real?"  

Sometimes in the life of the church their needs to be a long, lean season.  

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