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Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Did God Kill My Baby Because of My Sin? by John Piper

john piper
John Piper

Question: “Pastor John, did God cause, or would God cause, my wife to miscarry our child because I have a struggle with lust and pornography? I have a lot of guilt right now, and I don’t know how to think about God’s discipline and punishment for my sin. I’m very confused, please help.”

May that discipline come in the form of harm, even death, to others that we love, as well as ourselves? And the answer is yes, it may. This was certainly the case with David’s sin of adultery and murder with Bathsheba and her husband. Nathan the prophet said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin” (2 Samuel 12:13). And then the next thing, “Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord” — and surely that is what pornography is — “the child who is born to you shall die” (2 Samuel 12:14).

So, I would certainly say in my own life — now hear this carefully — I would certainly say in my own life the most painful and humbling disciplining from the Lord has regularly been though the pain and suffering and sometimes death of those I love, rather than through any blows against my own body. Oh, that we only suffered in our own body. This has been the way the deepest Christians have always thought about the losses through the death of those they love. Jonathan Edwards preached numerous sermons about the way the Lord disciplines a church by taking away a godly pastor in death. Edwards’s godly wife Sarah spoke about kissing the rod of God in the death of her 54-year-old husband — a rod of discipline that she felt more than anyone. She called it a rod of God on her back. And she kissed it.

Every loss that we endure as sinful children of God have two designs: one from Satan, one from God. Satan designs our unbelief and rebellion and renunciation and guilt and paralysis and loss of faith. God designs our purification and that we would hope less in this world and more in God who raises the dead.

I don’t know whether our friend who wrote this question lost his child in miscarriage as a direct discipline from God because of his pornography. I do not know. He does not know. I do know that in the loss of the child, God wills a new humility and a new submission and a new faith and new purity through the pain of this loss.

— John Piper, Desiring God, Did My Lust Cause Our Miscarriage?, November 14, 2016

4 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Brian

    Piper’s lust after woo-Gawd would be better kept in a closet and not in public masturbation. He gets himself all excited in ideas and then goes at it in public. I really think this kind of masturbation is better kept within church walls. I find it offensive. In principle I have no problem with masturbation but it should be performed with respect for others and not performed on a pulpit set out in the public eye!
    I hope that does not make me a prude…

  2. Avatar
    Appalachian Agnostic

    I have to wonder about the logistics of this sort of punishment. If God is killing individuals to punish those who loved them, how does he work that all out? Say I did something to piss God off and he decided to kill my mom to show me who is boss. That action would also hurt everyone else in my family plus all of my mom’s friends and the community as a whole. Would everyone in this group have pissed God off as well? Would the degree of closeness to my mom (and the resulting level of emotional pain) correlate with the degree of transgression on the part of each individual? For example, since I am close to my mom, I would have to commit some really bad sin, say denying God’s existence, to earn such a strong punishment. Someone who only knew my mom casually, like say the man who reads the water meter, would only have to commit a mild sin, perhaps uttering, “fuck” to earn the lesser degree of punishment. This must be very hard to keep track of.

  3. Avatar
    Trenton

    Women do not miscarry because of someone else watching pornography. Often there is something wrong with the whole system, there is a genetic problem, a blood problem, or an accident but its not porn. Should we also mention that half of all fertalized eggs dont implant, again not porn.
    Moving on it seems pretty cruel for god to kill for watching porn, the punishment doesnt fit the crime

  4. Avatar
    howitis

    As a woman who once suffered a miscarriage, and learned shortly afterward that I would never have children because my body was incapable of successfully carrying a fetus to term, I hope that my husband and I never happen to encounter Mr. Piper in person. Because if we do, there is a better-than-average chance that he will be cheerfully beaten to a pulp.

    Seriously, I am so, so fucking tired of this shit…..

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