From a new interview of John Piper by Mark Driscoll:

MD: As you reflect on your time as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist, what were some of the risks you took?

JP: . . . I took a risk less than two years into my ministry by proposing that the Church Covenant be amended to remove the requirement of teetotalism for membership. I’m a teetotaler. But to me, this came so close to Galatianism (the idea that, to be a complete Christian, you need circumcision) that I staked my ministry on it. Some of my supporters were shocked, and the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union chapter said the church had called a liberal who would take us down the road to unbelief. It passed, but barely. I’m still here and have not heard the charge of liberal in a long time.

The gospel is worth centering your ministry around; therefore, anything that reeks of Galatianism is worth risking your ministry to oppose. I’m grateful for Piper’s example, especially in a practical area that would not have affected him personally.

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Jared C. Wilson


Jared C. Wilson is the pastor of Middletown Springs Community Church in Middletown Springs, Vermont. You can follow him on Twitter.

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