Spiritual

Not Desiring God–John Piper’s Son Criticizes His Upbringing to 925k TikTok Followers

Well-known Desiring God‘s founder, theologian, and Bethlehem Baptist Church‘s retired pastor John Piper has something in common with his son Abraham Piper. The younger Piper is almost as influential on social media as his father is, but they don’t preach the same message.

Abraham Piper is one of five children who grew up in the household that taught biblical values, but that didn’t guarantee the biblical truth he learned growing up became his own faith. In fact, in Abraham’s case he has created a following and uses his platform to speak out against the gospel message his father preaches.

Abraham Piper was excommunicated from Bethlehem Baptist Church when he was 19, because he wanted to stop pretending that he was a Christian. Four years later, he returned to the church after as he put it: “God made it possible for me to love Jesus” after reading the book of Romans one day. He has since walked away.

The deconstructionist has over 925k followers on TikTok. That’s almost as many followers as his father John Piper has on Twitter (over 1 million). Abraham’s focus is geared toward debunking Christianity and the truth of the Bible. His page is filled with a plethora of videos with titles such as “Almost nobody believes in a literal hell,” “Why life would be pointless if there was ultimate meaning,” “The Bible says having kids isn’t a good idea,” What I replace Christianity with,” and “If you still live with evangelical parents.”  [*Warning you can fall down the rabbit hole watching his videos and lose your entire day.]

One of the most popular videos he has posted is from February of this year, and it has been viewed over 866k times: “It’s weird to make kids read the Bible.” Abraham asks, then vulgarly explains, “You wanna know one of the silliest things about being raised devoutly evangelical?” His answer, “Children are expected to read the Bible.”

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Resembling his father’s wit, he says, “If that doesn’t seem weird to you, stick with me for a second…You might think of the Bible as ‘for God so loved the world‘ or that one emotionally lucid moment Paul had when he wrote about love and now everyone reads it at their weddings…but those are the boring parts…to a kid anyways.”

Having experienced growing up in an evangelical household, there is resentment in his voice when he says, “While other kids are learning to read with comics or whatever normal parents have around the house, here fundie (fundamental) kids are…6,7,8 years old devouring stories of Jezebel being defenestrated and then eaten by dogs, or Judas‘ bowels bursting out, or Noah’s sons laughing at him when he was passed out drunk and naked, or Lot’s daughters who got him drunk and *bleeped* him so they could have babies.” The 39 year old laughingly said, “And those are just a few highlights off the top of my head decades later.”

“The good book is full of children’s stories like these. It’s basically ‘Game of Thrones‘…except if you don’t read it you go to hell,” he said as he recalled his childhood. “I almost forgot about all the times I went back to ‘Song of Solomon‘ so I could read about breasts. I’m thinking maybe the message of God’s Word didn’t land on me like it was supposed to.”

Abraham is connecting with people who have either had similar experiences like he has or those who are just struggling with faith. Either way he commends their journey and says, “Hey if you’re deconstructing, good for you. There are a lot of serious thinkers out there that can help you navigate this stuff…but if you just want to roll your eyes at how [bleeping] weird it all [laughing] was, that’s what I’m here for. Stick around if you want to.”

That video has collected over 3,600 comments. Here is just a small sample of what viewers have said:

“My daughter lived with evangelicals for 6 months and it made her petrified of God. She is now into witchcraft like me.”

“100%. And even the one that were ‘appropriate’ for children are horrifying. Noah’s ark, Jonah, Daniel. All punishment-based, all terrifying.”

“My house had a Bible before breakfast rule. Super weird.”

“Being raised without religion I could never understand why anyone would read the Bible and still go ‘this is a place for me.’ It’s wild.”

“Yep! We had a book about the crucifixion of Jesus illustrated in lurid detail and I sobbed reading it in 1st grade. So graphically violent!”

Abraham Piper: “I Don’t Attack Christianity”

In a video titled “I don’t attack Christianity,” Abraham Piper said “I don’t attack Christianity. I berate evangelicalism. Fundamentalism.” He called it a “destructive narrow-minded worldview” and explained that the most “destructive, narrow-minded aspects of it is that its adherents feel as if they are the entirety of Christianity rather than the tiny sliver of it that they actually are.”

Blasting evangelicalism, Abraham said, “It is a toddler tradition that’s cousins with Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, and the snot-nosed little sibling of mainline Protestant denominations.” Admitting his criticism is focused toward fundamentalism as the son of an evangelical theologian, he called it “bizarre anti-intellectual bull****.”

Abraham Piper Is a Self-Made Millionaire

Abraham Piper is a self-made accidental millionaire who was a fork-lift driver who turned his blog “22 Words” into a multi-million dollar money maker. He now has his own media company called Brainjolt that consists of four brands: 22 WordsMagiQuizHappiness Heroes, and Bad Parenting. In 2019, Piper and his business partner started Blue Kazzo that makes jigsaw puzzles and raked in a million in sales last year.

Others Deconstructing Their Faith

An unfortunate theme recently has been notable faith leaders posting video statements that they no longer hold the beliefs they once taught, wrote about, or sang about. Author Paul Maxwell announced earlier this month that he is no longer a Christian; he joined other popular influencers of the faith like Jon SteingardJoshua Harris, and Marty Sampson.

Another of John Piper’s sons, Barnabas Piper who is the assistant pastor at Immanuel Church of Nashville, went through a divorce in 2016 and wrote about it in an article you can read here.

Jesse T. Jackson
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Jesse is the Content Editor/Site Manager for ChurchLeaders and ChristianNewsNow. An undeserving husband to a beautiful wife, and a father to 4 beautiful children. He serves as a deacon, a growth group leader, and is a member of University Baptist Church in Beavercreek, Ohio. Follow him on twitter here (https://twitter.com/jessetjackson)

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