Complementarian John Piper shares teaching duties with a woman?

Todd Pruitt, contributor on Mortification of Spin’s (MOS) podcast, tackles this contentious issue in a blog post entitled, “Now I’m really confused about complementarianism.”  No doubt some readers are wondering what that word means.  Briefly, complementarians hold the view that men and women have different roles in leadership in the church — women are not to teach or exercise authority over men (1 Tim. 2:12) based upon the created order (1 Tim. 2:13).   Visit CARM to find out more about complementarianism.

According to Pruitt:

ConfusionJohn Piper holds to a complementarian view, so does it make sense that he’d share teaching duties with a woman at the Passion 2016 conference?   Maybe he’s changed his mind.  But if he has why hasn’t he told anyone?

Not long ago my MOS compadres received criticism (some of it rather harsh) for their critique of statements made by John Piper about the roles of women in society. There is no need to rehash that particular debate now. However, it is important to remind that we here at MOS share with John Piper and the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) the belief that preachers and office-bearers in the church are to be men. That is clear in Scripture. How exactly or even whether those roles of headship and submission translate into spheres outside the family and church is a worthy debate. Dr. Piper has long advocated that male headship transcends church and family and is to be reflected in civil society as well. I point that out simply to underline the fact that Piper holds to a more sweeping understanding of complementarianism than do many of us who nevertheless fully affirm what the Bible teaches about roles within the family and the church.

That is why I was so disappointed to see that at Passion 2016 John Piper shared the preaching duties once again with a woman preacher. This time it was Christine Caine (in the past it has been Beth Moore). Incidentally Caine preaches many of the troubling errors of Word/Faith and Prosperity theology. She also claims Joyce Meyer as a mentor and promotes her ministry.
As I have written at other times, this sort of partnership by a man of great influence like John Piper with someone whose doctrine is quite troubling places local pastors in a difficult position as we seek to guard our churches from false and divisive doctrines. This was a major concern that many of us had with Piper’s embrace and promotion of Mark Driscoll. Something that he recently said he did not regret.
As I have already stated: I agree with what Piper and CBMW and the Danvers Statement all affirm about the roles of men and women within the church. How is it that John Piper, who has spoken and written so copiously on male headship, would appear with a woman preacher (and do so numerous times)? Is this not terribly inconsistent?
I know that asking inconvenient questions of any of the stars in the reformed(ish) firmament renders one irrelevant and invisible. I understand that one just does not publically disagree with the heroes. Yes, we in the reformed(ish) world do have our Popes.
I write this with great caution because I owe a lot to John Piper. For me, like so many Baptists who saw the Doctrines of Grace throughout the Scriptures, John Piper was among the first men who helped us understand the beauty of God’s sovereignty in the salvation of his people. He has written books that have been and continue to be helpful to me. Books I still gladly recommend.
But these sorts of inconsistencies ought to be named. These sorts of partnerships which lead to confusion in churches ought to be called out. How many people will now follow the teaching of Christine Caine because John Piper has given her the proverbial green light? How many pastors will now have to risk the disapproval of Piper fans in our churches by pointing out that his sharing preaching duties with Christine Caine was unwise at best? Oh how I wish the stars would appreciate how their actions and associations impact the ministries of ordinary pastors.
I wonder how many council members of The Gospel Coalition or of CBMW would share a preaching platform with a woman preacher or someone associated with Word/Faith error? I don’t expect anyone in Dr. Piper’s sphere to press him on the issue. There is simply too much to lose.
I wonder if any of the men who took Byrd and Trueman to task for holding what they believed to be an under-developed doctrine of gender roles will now seek answers from John Piper. I certainly will not hold my breath. One simply does not do that and keep his or her seat at the table. The phone will stop ringing. The email loop will have one fewer participant. The invitations will disappear. The blog will become irrelevant.   Continue reading
Here’s the thing: I am constantly using the platform that I have to plea to pastors regarding the commodification of the so-called Christian market to women. I am trying to provide resources to help pastors see what the bestsellers are in the Christian women’s genre. I am appealing to women to hone their discernment skills and take responsibility in their discipleship. This is my passion, for women to be good theologians. And there are many women who take this seriously.

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7 Responses to Complementarian John Piper shares teaching duties with a woman?

  1. Darrel January 11, 2016 at 2:48 pm #

    Let’s just cut right to it, shall we?

    John Piper has shown himself to double-minded on more than one occasion. His oratory skills are far beyond most and that is what makes him so dangerous. Though he mingles Scripture with his own philosophy, the outcome IS NOT the Gospel in it’s simplicity and purity, rather a conglomeration of man-made nonsense that sounds good on the surface until a little digging turns up the poison. Hence his capitulation to women “preachers.” Being double-minded on this makes him unstable in ALL his ways (James 1:8) not just this one instance. A little investigation will bear this out.

    That brings us to Mr. Pruitt’s self-confessed problem: “I understand that one just does not publically disagree with the heroes. Yes, we in the reformed(ish) world do have our Popes.” Gee, I thought we were not supposed to have idols of any kind, but Pruitt discloses his own in such a way as to diminish his error, and even excuse it because he is of the “reformed” ilk. So which is it, Todd, will you please men or God? Will you destroy your idols or revere them? You have opened your own can of worms that makes the issue of “women preachers” pale. Your credibility is in question and must be addressed. To be sure, the Lord does not approve or ordain in any way female pastors/preachers, neither does He sanction or excuse idol worship, no matter who the idol may be—Piper, Sproul, MacArthur, etc., all three of these men have their own special and cherished heresy and the acceptance of it is required to in the “in crowd”.

    • Marinus L April 6, 2017 at 9:09 pm #

      Darrel. Why is it that anytime we have a chance to bash the reformed believers, there are people who are ready to bash RC Sproul and John MacArthur. In my view these men are two of the best bible teachers I came across, now this is my view. I thank God almost everyday for giving me the oppertunity to listen to them. Does that mean that they are my idols, no. They are my favorite bible teachers, and I know that they are a gift from God. You may not like what they teach, the Reformed theology, that is your problem. Not theirs, they teach the truth out of God’s Word. It would be well worth for you to truly listen to their teachings, there are many on YouTube. And don’t just repeat what other ignorant people say. It’s funny many the ones that criticize them know nothing about the doctrines of grace. I was once in your shoes. I attended a Calvary Chapel Church for many years, until I realized that they don’t teach the whole Bible. They left to many gaps.

  2. Bonnie January 11, 2016 at 11:53 pm #

    @Darrel. Thank you for telling it like it is. Rather odd that the author of this piece is almost afraid to call Piper out on his unbiblical actions, either for fear of being ignored or cut off by his reformed(ish) peers.I have appreciated the discernment ministry by so many in the reformed circles, but there is a tendency to overlook/underestimate the errors inherent within reformed theology, which are a carryover from Roman Catholicism and were never completely eradicated by Luther, Calvin and the other reformers.

  3. Mark Evans January 22, 2016 at 1:42 pm #

    I disagree with this. John Piper coined the term complementarian. It’s not wrong to use the same platform as someone with whom you disagree. Jesus spent a lot of time with prostitutes and tax collectors but he wasn’t affirming their actions.

    Furthermore, is it wrong for a women to speak at a conference where men attend? I think not. What office are they holding at a conference? They are not exercising a pastoral office because a conference is not an organized church.

    Furthermore, the logic of this post breaks down because it starts to become impossible to distance yourself from everyone who might happen to have an unorthodox theology, or happens to have a friend with unorthodox theology – you have to live in the real world. Thankfully God will judge us for our own actions and words and not those of our friends.

    John Piper is a great man. To distance yourself from him is a foolish move.

    • Josh June 12, 2016 at 8:48 am #

      This article is ridiculous. I hold the same view you all do on women preaching, but there is nothing wrong with him being invited to the conference and sharing the Gospel. He has no control over who was speaking. All he did was show up and speak. He didn’t get on stage WITH her, he preached his own sermon.
      My church rents a building from a Lutheran congregation, they have a woman pastor. After they are done their service, we go in and have ours. By your logic, my Pastor is “sharing the stage” with a woman pastor. The logic completely breaks down. Certain amount of degrees of separation needs to be taken into account.

      • Erik October 25, 2016 at 9:13 pm #

        Well said. Very well said.

  4. Frank February 9, 2017 at 7:27 pm #

    All I know is the true church is in trouble. Thank God He is the Judge. I will just excercise biblical judgment in looking for His will in a church

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