Piper and Akin on Jim Elliot

This year at the SBC Annual Meeting, I was able to talk to Dr. Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Seminary.  I have long admired this man ever since I heard him preach in chapel while I was visiting SEBTS; he is in my Top 5 favorite preachers (David Platt, C.J. Mahaney, Russ Moore, Danny Aiken, Chuck Henderson).  I could list many reasons while I admire this man, but one of the reasons is his desire for missions.  Recently, Southeastern published a book containing 5 sermons from Dr. Aiken where he used 5 missionary lives to illustrate his expository sermons.  As I was talking to him at the Convention, he gave me a copy of this book, Five Who Changed the World, and was telling me about it.  He told one particular story about Jim Elliot, and while telling it, he had to pause to collect his thoughts as his eyes slightly watered.

Sunday, John Piper blogged this exact same story on Jim Elliot.  Rather than describing it to you, I have copied and pasted from his blog for you to read:

What do the supreme court ruling on guns and the martyrdom of missionaries have to do with each other?

Noël and I watched Beyond Gates of Splendor, the documentary version of End of the Spear, the story of the martyrdom of Jim Elliot, Peter Fleming, Ed McCully, Roger Youderian, and Nate Saint in Ecuador in 1956. That same day we heard that the Supreme Court decided in favor of the right of Americans to keep firearms at home for self-defense.

Here’s the connection. The missionaries had guns when they were speared to death. One of them shot the gun into the air, it appears, as he was killed, rather than shooting the natives. They had agreed to do this. The reason was simple and staggeringly Christlike:

The natives are not ready for heaven. We are.  [emphasis mine]

I suspect the same could be said for almost anyone who breaks into my house. There are other reasons why I have never owned a firearm and do not have one in my house. But that reason moves me deeply. I hope you don’t use your economic stimulus check to buy a gun. Better to find some missionaries like this and support them.

Oh that we could all have the heart for the lost like Jim, John, and Danny . . .

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6 thoughts on “Piper and Akin on Jim Elliot

  1. When did burglary become a captial crime? Do we value our “things” over a life? What does such thinking say about our national values? And so much of this kind of talk comes from the deep south “Bible belt” by Christians who think that they are pleasing in God’s sight! Didn’t Jesus say “if someone wants to…take your tunic, let him have you cloak as well.”?

  2. First of all, I posted this entire quote from Piper because I didn’t want to sell him short; however, maybe I should have since the desire of this post was to highlight missions, not gun control.

    So, if you have a desire to converse about guns, then please take your comments somewhere else. Now, if you want to talk about the intent behind Elliot’s quote, let’s talk.

  3. Wheej,
    Please accept my apology.I highly respect John Piper.However,I most certaintly value my family and would protect them at any cost.Thanks for your post and the spirit in which you wrote it.

  4. What do the supreme court ruling on guns and the martyrdom of missionaries have to do with each other?

    Noël and I watched Beyond Gates of Splendor, the documentary version of End of the Spear, the story of the martyrdom of Jim Elliot, Peter Fleming, Ed McCully, Roger Youderian, and Nate Saint in Ecuador in 1956. That same day we heard that the Supreme Court decided in favor of the right of Americans to keep firearms at home for self-defense.

    Here’s the connection. The missionaries had guns when they were speared to death. One of them shot the gun into the air, it appears, as he was killed, rather than shooting the natives. They had agreed to do this. The reason was simple and staggeringly Christlike:

    The natives are not ready for heaven. We are. [emphasis mine]

    I suspect the same could be said for almost anyone who breaks into my house. There are other reasons why I have never owned a firearm and do not have one in my house. But that reason moves me deeply. I hope you don’t use your economic stimulus check to buy a gun. Better to find some missionaries like this and support them.

    Here is my humble and inarticulate response to this statement:

    1. Jim Elliot and his team accepted the risk of going to that area as missionaries. What they did was noble and was used for good by God to bring a tribe of people to Christ.

    2. The work of missions should never involve weapons.

    3. When someone breaks into my home I assume the role of government not missionary. I have no desire to shoot anyone over stuff. However, neither do I desire to see my family cut down or abused by the wicked. The Bible says in Romans 13:

    2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.

    3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.

    4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.

    Here is the point I am trying to make. God established me as a man, husband, and father to be the leader and protector of my home. Accordiong to the Second Ammendment and the Supreme Court, self defense is the right of any citizen in their home. In my home I am the government that has the responsibility to restrain the wicked. If I am called upon to do so I will not bear the sword in vain.

    I own several guns of different types that I use to hunt deer, turkey, duck, and whatever else I can have a delicious meal with. If by chance a person desires to invade my home and abuse or harm my family, they will see the full restraining force of whatever weaponry that comes out of the cabinet loaded first. I am not ashamed to say that if it came down to shooting someone or seeing my family suffer a violent death, I would fire down range without prejudice. I believe that is a godly position that is supported by the Scriptures. It is expected of the husband and father to be a protector. When it is all said and done and I survive or they survive, I will worry about missions then.

    I will close with the words of one of my special forces friends from Fort Bragg, NC. “If someone wants to meet the Lord by shooting at me, I will try to get them to the throne as quickly as possible.”

    I pray that we will have more real men that will do missions and take their masculinity seriously to protect their homes. (Read Pipers work on Mature Masculinity in Biblical Manhood and Womanhood)

    Don’t spend your tax check on a gun, pay off your credit cards and then give to missions.

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