Letter to the Editor
August 18, 2021
First, I am deeply appreciative of Walsh’s response. I gratefully receive his words. I am not above criticism. I am not inspired like holy Scripture, nor am I impeccable like my Lord Jesus Christ. I know and trust that Walsh’s words come from a genuine place. Thus, I would like to thank him.
Second, I am rather shocked that he believes the words I used of Piper were fit for Adolf Hitler. I do not deny that my op-ed contained strong and forthright language, nor do I deny that complaints about my tone are valid. And yet, I must admit that I find it deeply troubling that most of the replies to my piece have either discredited me because of my age or dismissed me because of my frankness.
I am even more distressed that Walsh is more offended by my appeal to the words of Frederick Douglass (“corrupt … women-whipping Christianity”) than he is John Piper’s counsel to abused women, which I believe is pastoral malpractice.
Finally, I want to make myself unequivocally clear that I do not consider John Piper to be my enemy or some sort of opponent. But integrity demands that I am honest and consistent.
If my pastor had given the same counsel to an abused woman, made similar remarks about chattel slavery (including employing the oxymoronic phrase of “humble slaveholder”), and appointed a man who believes empathy is a sin to oversee the theological institution he founded, I would use the same kind of language to his face. Thus, my conscience is clear.
I believe there is time for John Piper to repair the damage. I believe he must do the following things: 1) Recant his words about abuse and chattel slavery, 2) Distance himself from the new leadership of Bethlehem College and Seminary, and 3) Stop producing content for DesiringGod. It is clear to me that as more time passes, more damage is done to his legacy. Additionally, I would be pleased if he would come out in support of his pastoral successor, who recently resigned.
If it is any consolation to Walsh, I have reached out to DesiringGod and offered my contact information via email if Piper or one of his staffers would like to speak with me.
David Bumgardner, Fort Worth, Texas