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John Piper Suggests Allowing Women To Lead in Parachurch Organizations Is ‘Naïve,’ ‘Culturally Compromised’

John Piper
Micah Chiang, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In a recent episode of his “Ask Pastor John” podcast, author and theologian John Piper offered his thoughts on whether it is a violation of Scripture to allow women to fulfill positions of leadership in parachurch organizations. 

Piper’s remarks came in response to the question of a listener who was concerned about the campus ministry for which he works reversing a previous policy barring women from certain leadership roles. 

The listener noted that the reason given for the change was that a parachurch organization is distinct from the church. 

“Well, that’s sad to hear to me, but it’s not surprising and it’s not new,” Piper said. “The position that the teachings of the Bible concerning sexuality have no bearing on human relationships outside the church or the home is naïve.”

John Piper: We Are in a ‘Free Fall of Denial’ Regarding Gender Roles

Piper lamented, “The world today is in a free fall of denial that nature teaches us anything about what maleness and femaleness are for.”

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“The culture as a whole is in a free fall of denial. Nobody in this free fall has on a parachute. It’s all going to end tragically, the evidences of which are all around us,” Piper said, going on to express his belief that “the argument that the biblical teachings on manhood and womanhood don’t have any bearing on roles outside the home and church is both naïve and culturally compromised.”

“Millions are suppressing this truth of nature, but it is there. It is inescapable,” Piper added.

“With regard to men and women in parachurch organizations,” Piper said, “I think Paul would say, ‘I have taught, Moses has taught, nature teaches that it goes against man’s and woman’s truest, God-given nature to place a woman in a role of regular, direct, personal leadership over men.'”

Piper on ‘Mature Femininity’

Piper cited his book “What’s the Difference? Manhood and Womanhood Defined According to the Bible” to offer a further explanation of what he meant by “regular, direct, personal leadership.”

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In the book, Piper argued that allowing women to fulfill roles of leadership in government, education, medicine, law enforcement, media, business, or even as bus drivers “might stretch appropriate expressions of femininity beyond the breaking point.”