Home Christian News Should We Drink Coffee in Church? John Piper Gets to the ‘Heart...

Should We Drink Coffee in Church? John Piper Gets to the ‘Heart of the Matter’

john piper
Source: Lightstock

A September tweet from Pastor John Piper questioning whether it is appropriate to drink coffee in a church sanctuary on Sundays has gotten 2.8 million views and prompted a variety of reactions. Addressing the issue on Monday, Jan. 15, Piper said he wanted to cut to “the heart of the matter”—which is not about drinking coffee during Sunday service.

“The heart of the matter is not coffee in the sanctuary. That’s only a symptom, and there are lots of other symptoms of what I’m concerned about,” Piper said in an episode of “Ask Pastor John.” 

“The heart of the matter is the absence of an existential, ongoing, terrifying, shocking, awe-inspiring, trembling, mouth-shutting, comforting, safe, satisfying encounter with the majesty and mercy of the great ‘I am who I am’ (Exodus 3:14),” Piper explained, “whose Son said, ‘Before Abraham was, I am’ (John 8:58). And he was killed for it.”

John Piper’s Coffee Tweet

On Sept. 30, John Piper tweeted, “Can we reassess whether Sunday coffee-sipping in the sanctuary fits? ‘Let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.’ Hebrews 12:28.”

As of this writing, the tweet has received 1,500 comments, 1,000 retweets, 2,900 likes, nearly 3 million views—not to mention many jokes about “He-brews.” Author and Bible teacher Beth Moore commented, “Brother John, I think you’d like us Anglicans. Ain’t nobody walking into service with no coffee. We’d receive you gladly.”

Pastor Andy Stanley commented, “I appreciate John attempting to change the subject.” Around that time, Stanley was dealing with the controversy surrounding the Unconditional Conference.

RELATED: Andy Stanley Affirms Traditional View of Marriage Following Controversial ‘Unconditional Conference’

Central to Piper’s question about the appropriateness of coffee in church is his belief that many Christians do not have a reverent view of God. “What’s missing is a kind of experience of God that shapes a person’s entire life with serious joy, glad gravity, sweet sorrow, the weight of glory,” Piper said. “It’s the kind of experience of God that has transformed reverence and awe—those two words from Hebrews 12:28, ‘reverence and awe’—from being mere words into being the profoundest of experiential pleasures.”