Dr. John Piper, an influential preacher and Christian writer, strongly disagrees with President Obama’s speech to Planned Parenthood on April 26. On Wednesday, Piper tweeted “The President’s blasphemy” and pointed followers to George Weigel’s article, Tribulation Compounded by Blasphemy (2013).
President Obama addressed Planned Parenthood in April 2013 and was introduced by the organization’s president, Cecile Richards. In her opening remarks, Richards lauded Obama’s refusal to cut government funding for the organization, calling him “a President who cares about women.” President Obama’s Affordable Care Act makes it possible for women to receive birth control, which is considered preventative care under the act, without having to incur a co-pay from health insurance plans. Obama encouraged the Planned Parenthood organization, which performed 333,964 abortions on unborn children in 2011, to “spread the word, particularly among women – particularly among young women, who are the ones who are most likely to benefit from these laws.”
John Piper has fervently affirmed the rights of the unborn for decades. “The convenience of the mother shall have priority over the existence of the unborn,” said Piper, giving his synopsis of the issue at hand in his 2003 sermon entitled The Darkness of Abortion and the Light of Truth. In this sermon, Dr. Piper says his stance is not a political one: “I am a Christian pastor who wants to be Biblical, and gives not a rip for being Republican or Democrat.” He cites Ephesians 5:8-14 to compel Christians to take a stand against abortion – verse 11 says, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” (English Standard Version, Ephesians 5:11).
Because a significant number of abortions have been performed on those who attend church, John Piper says he is “in the position of needing, on the one hand, to declare forgiveness and hope to dozens of men and women in this church who have had and have approved abortions, and, on the other hand, to declare the outrage of abortion as something we should oppose with all the wisdom and courage and perseverance and sacrifice that God will give us.”
For those who have had abortions, Piper relays the hope of the Gospel - that Christ has proclaimed the forgiveness of sins, and that everyone who believes in Him is justified. He exhorts believers to be the hands, feet, and voice of Christ for those who are facing unwanted pregnancies: “Let there be both the light of good deeds – like all the manifold ministries of crisis pregnancy centers and adoption and sidewalk counseling and education and political engagement. And let there be the light of loving analysis and critique and exposure – in reading and thinking and conversing and writing. And of course the two cannot be separated. The doing of truth in loving acts of sacrifice for the sake of life will in the end expose the darkness as much as all talking and writing.”
John Piper concluded his sermon with a call for Christians to pray about abortion with persistence.