At the "Together for The Gospel" conference, John Piper, founder, and instructor of DesiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary warned that some pastors avoid teaching about the need for pure living because they live secret, sin-filled lifestyles.
Piper admonished pastors who avoid preaching that confronts people with their sins and risk making them unhappy in light of the event, which was attended by many pastors from various denominations.
He spoke about the reality of some pastors who are thoroughly afflicted with the coddling culture that lives in [inside] contemporary America. He said, they're not just hypersensitive to being offended, but they're also afraid of upsetting people in the pulpit.
Some pastors, he observed, were tired of fruitful Bible study. It's hardly surprising that these pastors teach grace to forgive instead of grace to conquer. Piper preached, "There's no mystery there."
Although some pastors teach about the cross covering all sins, they seldom make the scriptural connection to the crucified One. He emphasized the Lord was crucified to defeat pornography, sloth, gluttony, and deceitfulness. "He was crucified to bring back the joy of creating your sermons," he added.
Piper remarked during his sermon that some pastors simply talk about how Jesus' sacrificial shedding of blood means that forgiveness is possible. He claimed that many pastors in such situations avoid preaching sermons about how grace is supposed to defeat sin and lead to a holy life.
Pastors Living A 'Double Life'
Piper pointed out that some pastors avoid speaking on the urgency and necessity of holiness because their own inner lives are morally contaminated. He underlined how these pastors were squandering their time on unimportant concerns, including watching movies that teach worldliness and ungodliness in their minds, like pornography or worse.
He went on slamming acts like financial dishonesty, food bondage, failing to teach the Lord's things to their children, and failing to pray with their wives. He also condemned activities like nighttime alcohol consumption, which some pastors referred to as "freedom," and he criticized how some pastors became crass and second-handers by preaching other people's sermons.
One of the reasons for the pastor's hesitation to preach the necessity of holiness was a deep-seated fear that they never grew out of, pointing to people's insecurities that might stem from a variety of sources. Some religious leaders were frightened of being dubbed "conservative, fundamentalist, progressive, or awakened," according to the pastor.
Piper hinted earlier in the sermon that some pastors may just teach about grace and not the "urgency" of Christians living holy lives because they don't understand the connection between Christ's sin-burying work and the Christian's sin-killing activity. As they dread Jesus' condemnation, some pastors are hesitant to confront their people's consciences with scriptural demands for holiness, according to the theologian.
He urged such pastors to avoid addressing a true biblical threat in an unbiblical manner. His teaching concentrates upon the Christian battle for holiness being linked to sin forgiveness in a magnificently unique Gospel way.
Related Article: John Piper Shares Thoughtful Answers about Pastor's Sin of Adultery