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INTRODUCTION

I enjoy reading John Piper’s writings and those authors who write at the desiringGod.org website.  While I have some initials after my name, I do not have enough, or the right kind, to “hold a candle” to Dr. Piper’s theological qualifications.  While I give some deference to what he writes, if a “red flag” pops up, I check it out.  After reading his October 22, 2020 article entitled “Policies, Persons, and Paths to Ruin – Pondering the Implications of the 2020 Election,” there arose a large red banner.   The link to Dr. Piper’s article is: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/policies-persons-and-paths-to-ruin

In light of Dr. Piper’s tweet after publishing his article, the upshot of his article appears to be that he will not vote for Trump or Biden in the 2020 election.  In light of Dr. Piper’s views about abortion, it appears he will not vote for Joe Biden because Biden is in favor of abortion.  Dr. Piper characterizes President Trump as an offensive person whose very person poses a risk to morally corrupt America.  Therefore, he will not vote for President Trump.

With all due respect to Dr. Piper, he is wrong.  Even assuming he is correct about the person of President Trump, Dr. Piper is still wrong because the atrocity of abortion greatly outweighs the risk that the person of Trump will corrupt America.   

ABORTION IS THE DECIDING FACTOR

For me, the deciding factor is the candidates’ position on abortion.  Quite frankly, Trump stands for saving innocent life in the womb and Biden supports murder of the most innocent.  All one has to do is look at the Silent Scream, which is a video of the ultrasound of a little baby in the womb, to develop a sense of the atrocity and vileness of abortion. 

A BRIEF LOOK AT ABORTION

Referring to abortion,  I agree with Dr. Piper that abortion is child-killing, that Roe v. Wade is an “evil decision” and that Planned Parenthood “is a code name for baby-killing and (historically at least) ethnic cleansing.”  Based on recent (February 2020) CDC data, Planned Parenthood appears to remain in the business of ethnic cleansing.  An article entitled “TRAGIC: Black Women Abort at Almost Four Times the Rate of White Woman” (link: https://www.liveaction.org/news/black-women-abort-four-times-rate-white/ ) reads

At a time when abortion industry leader Planned Parenthood is gearing up to again promote an abortion agenda involving women of color, the Centers for Disease Control has released data showing that the Black abortion rate is currently 3.8 times greater than the White abortion rate and 2.15 times higher than the Hispanic abortion rate.  These numbers reveal how abortion is disproportionately targeting the Black community.

It seems fair to say that abortion in the United States is equivalent to child sacrifice of the kind in the Old Testament.  One article at Catholic365.com entitled “Abortion: child sacrifice to the gods of ourselves” (link: https://www.catholic365.com/article/11390/abortion-child-sacrifice-to-the-god-of-ourselves.html reads [in part]:

What about today? Perhaps we do not have a Molech or a Baal god that we are sacrificing children to in the United States but that does not mean we are not participating in one of the worst human sacrifice cultures ever seen. We are sacrificing children to the god of ourselves. We have made a god out of careers, success, our own desires, and our “choice” and therefore even children must be sacrificed in order to reach success.

In ancient Israel, child sacrifice was a capital offense per Leviticus 20:1–5 (ESV):

1 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Say to the people of Israel, Any one of the people of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones. 3 I myself will set my face against that man and will cut him off from among his people, because he has given one of his children to Molech, to make my sanctuary unclean and to profane my holy name. 4 And if the people of the land do at all close their eyes to that man when he gives one of his children to Molech, and do not put him to death, 5 then I will set my face against that man and against his clan and will cut them off from among their people, him and all who follow him in whoring after Molech.

I could go on, but the simple fact is that abortion is murder and a capital offense in God’s eyes.

THE PERSON OF DONALD TRUMP ACCORDING TO DR. PIPER

What about the person of Donald Trump?  Dr. Piper appears to characterize President Trump by:

…  the sins of unrepentant sexual immorality (porneia), unrepentant boastfulness (alazoneia), unrepentant vulgarity (aischrologia), unrepentant factiousness (dichostasiai), and the like.

According to Dr. Piper, the risk with a leader like President Trump is his sins will infect American society:

This is true not only because flagrant boastfulness, vulgarity, immorality, and factiousness are self-incriminating, but also because they are nation-corrupting. They move out from centers of influence to infect whole cultures. The last five years bear vivid witness to this infection at almost every level of society.

The following discussion may seem a bit tedious, but it is instructive. 

Let’s take a look at these four sins of “sexual immorality (porneia), unrepentant boastfulness (alazoneia), unrepentant vulgarity (aischrologia), unrepentant factiousness (dichostasiai).”  I do not know what is intended by the expression “and the like” and so I will not hazard a guess.

According to the Logos 8 Exegetical Guide, the Greek noun porneia (Strongs G4202) occurs twenty-five times in the New Testament.   One lexicon (Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 770). New York: United Bible Societies ) defines it to mean:

to engage in sexual immorality of any kind, often with the implication of prostitution—‘to engage in illicit sex, to commit fornication, sexual immorality, fornication, prostitution.’

The Greek noun porneia has a rather broad scope.  The ESV, except for Revelation 19:2 (where it is translated “immorality”), translates porneia as “sexual immorality.”  Based on President Trump’s lifestyle, it is safe to say he engaged (past tense) in porneia.  However, in serving as President, does he still engage in porneia?  While I do not know for sure, with the media bias against him, I doubt it.  Is he repentant of porneia?  I do not know, but I hope he is.  I am not going to judge the current condition of his heart on the issue of porneia.   I believe that Dr. Piper may have overstepped his role when he tars President Trump with “unrepentant sexual immorality” brush.   

According to Logos 8, Exegetical Guide, the Greek noun alazoneia (Strongs G212), which Dr. Piper translates as “unrepentant boastfulness,” was used in the New Testament twice. Once in James 4:16 (ESV):

16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance [alazoneia]. All such boasting is evil.

Again, in 1 John 2:16 (ESV)

16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride [alazoneia] of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.

The ESV translates alazoneia as “arrogance” and “pride.”  Louw et al. (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 76) defines alazoneia to mean:

a state of pride or arrogance, but with the implication of complete lack of basis for such an attitude—‘false arrogance, pretentious pride, boastful haughtiness.

It ignores reality to say that anyone who is (or seeks the office of) President of the United States does not exhibit some alazoneia.  Drums full of baby parts cause me to believe that Biden + abortion is significantly more terrible than Trump (aischrologia) + pro-life.

According to the Logos 8 Exegetical Guide, the Greek noun aischrologia (Strongs G148), which Dr. Piper translates as “unrepentant vulgarity,”  is found only once in the New Testament and that is in Colossians 3:8 (ESV)

8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk [aischrologia] from your mouth.

The ESV translates aischrologia as “obscene talk.”  Louw et al. (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 392)  ) defines it to mean:

obscene, shameful speech involving culturally disapproved themes—‘vulgar speech, obscene speech, dirty talk.

While I wish that President Trump’s vocabulary matched that of a choirboy, his public use of swear words does not rise to a level of damning and corrupting aischrologia.  The slaughter of millions upon millions of the most innocent in society causes me to opine that Biden + abortion is much more damning than Trump (aischrologia) + pro-life.

According to the Logos 8, the Greek noun dichostasiai (Strongs G1370), which Dr. Piper translates as “unrepentant factiousness,” is used twice in the New Testament.  Once in Romans 16:17 (ESV)

17 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions [dichostasiai] and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.

The second time in Galatians 5:20 (ESV):

20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions [dichostasiai], divisions,

The ESV translates dichostasiai as “divisions” and “dissentions.”   Louw et al. (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 493) defines it to mean:

a division into opposing groups, generally two—‘division, discord.’

While Trump may be dichostasiai, so too are Biden, Pelosi, Schumer, and the vast majority of Democrat politicians.  In fact, our political system is dichostasiai on steroids.  Clearly, Biden (dichostasiai) + abortion is immeasurably more sinful than Trump (dichostasiai) + pro-life.

CONCLUSION

While the words porneia, alazoneia, aischrologia, and dichostasiai are not compliments, at least in my opinion, the potential risk that an entire nation will be corrupted by a political leader who fits one or more (or even all) of these attributes is dwarfed by the reality (not potential risk) of the murder of millions of the most innocent.  Yes, Donald J. Trump may not be the person highest on my guest list and I do not want either of my two great grandsons to be just like Donald Trump.  But, President Trump most certainly trumps (pardon the pun) garbage cans full of body parts of aborted babies who are people according to Psalm 139:13–16 (ESV):

13 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

Dr. Piper is correct to say that each one of us will stand before Christ and give an account of how we lived our lives including how we voted in the 2020 election.  Quite frankly, while I do not have the theological credentials of Dr. Piper, this old country boy in rural western Hickman County Tennessee would much rather account to Jesus Christ for voting for President Trump (which I already have) who values life in the womb than for not voting for either Trump or Biden.

If you are reading this post and are not a Christian, unless God intervenes, your eternal destination is hell.  But, your destiny can change.  Today can be the day of your salvation!  Please see my blog (https://stevebelsheim.com/2020/04/20/for-god-so-loves-you-2/) for a description of how you can be saved.  You can also go to another article at my blog (https://stevebelsheim.com/2020/10/20/there-is-hope-even-when-there-seems-to-be-no-hope-2/ ). 

If you have comments, questions, observations or the like, please leave a comment in the comments section or send me an email at steve@stevebelsheim.com.

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