John Piper on debating moral issues in the public square

“…in your public involvement, don’t conceal the roots of your convictions about what is right and wrong. Don’t try to get a better hearing through downplaying your dependence on Christ and his Word and the gospel.

“This is where many Christians, it seems to me, lose their saltiness and their light. Advocating for behaviors that are Christian is not the light of the world. Advocating for restraining behaviors is not the light of the world. There is nothing gospel in it. The light of the world is Christ and all that God is for us in him, all his gospel, and all his promises. If Christians become practical atheists in public, but simply advocate for behaviors that correspond to Christian ethics, they may see a little more political acceptance and affirmation in the short run, but they will lose the larger battle for the eternal good.

“Do we really want to invest in a society whose outward behaviors are moral while everybody goes to hell?”

SOURCE: John Piper, interviewed on April 26, 2016 on the question “Should Christians partner with non-Christians on social issues?” Picture is by Micah Chiang, and used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. A hat tip to ARPA Canada, Lighthouse News, and Al Siebring

Never miss an article!

Sign up for our newsletter to get all the week’s posts sent right to your inbox each Saturday.



  1. john

    April 8, 2018 at 8:58 am

    I wish there were some examples …just not picking up what your laying down?

    • Reformed Perspective

      April 9, 2018 at 9:07 am

      Christians have a tendency to stand up for God’s Truth while avoiding any mention of God Himself. One example is in the transgender issue. The Christian truth is, God made us male and female. So, what did Christians stand up for? Washrooms. Safety of women and children in washrooms.

      That is an issue. But it is not THE issue. The issue is, God made us male and female. But Christians didn’t want to speak to that, because that would involve mention of God.

      Another example: we will often speak of the need for religious freedom and freedom of speech. But we will not use our freedom of speech or our religious freedom to speak of God to our culture. The article below is about a couple who wanted to defend their right not to have same-sex “marriages” on their property, even as they did allow traditional marriages to use their facilities. They spoke about freedom of religion. They made it about their rights. But they didn’t speak about God. The reason we don’t want same-sex “marriages” conducted with our aid is because we think such commitments, if kept for a lifetime, send the couple right on the road to hell. And we don’t want to have any part in doing that to them. That’s the real Christian reason. But instead we argue for property rights, because those we can defend without mention of God.

      So we are offering defenses of the outworkings of Christianity – property rights, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion are outworkings of Christianity – without mentioning the God of Christianity Himself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular

Our mission is "To promote a Biblically Reformed perspective in all spheres of life by equipping and encouraging Christians to think, speak, and act in a manner consistent with their confession."

Sign up for the weekly RP Roundup

Get the week's posts delivered to your email inbox each Saturday. Sign up, and if you don't get a quick confirmation, check your spam folder.
* = required field

powered by MailChimp!

Follow Us

Copyright © 2018 Reformed Perspective Magazine

To Top