John Piper’s annual visit to a mainline church

John Piper made a visit to a mainline protestant church and it was a heart wrenching experience for him. Note what the kids were signing and try and reconcile that with what the Bible says.

For those of you who haven’t read anything of his I would recommend taking the time to have a look around the website. www.desiringgod.org

I made my annual visit to a Sunday morning service in a “mainline Protestant church” a couple weeks ago. It is an eerie experience. Heart-wrenchingly eerie.

* A magnificent building.
* A magnificent choir singing, “Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of he world, have mercy on us” (in Latin).
* A closing hymn, “Lord, I want to be a Christian.”
* Three women pastors on the platform and two men.
* Pews filled with well-to-do looking folks.

The reason I say it was eerie is that much of this religious language means something totally different in their minds from what I mean by it. There is a keeping of the language and a demythologizing of the original meaning.

On one of our earlier visits Noël recalls the pastor saying that when he was a child he used to read stories like the one about Jesus walking on the water as if they were literally true.

What made my visit heart-wrenching was that the children’s choir sang these words—trust me, I am copying them from the bulletin—“Birds and trees, people and plants, dolphin and whale all lives are equal. . . . Sister Rain, Brother Stone bring us back to our true home.”

So when I stand at my study window that looks out over the downtown cityscape of Minneapolis, I pray: “O God, have mercy on us. Send a shocking revival to the churches—and a great awakening to this city. In Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.”

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