Response to John Piper’s, “Don’t Waste Your Cancer”

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John Piper is known primarily for his vast array of theological works and his website, desiringgod.org. This article is in response to John’s article entitled, Don’t Waist Your Cancer, written February 15, 2006. The article can be read HERE. The reason for my response is simply due to the fact that this article borders on heresy. Yes, I said it. What’s worse, John has a massive audience, and therefore, myriads of people are being lead to believe a lie. And this lie is the premise of John’s work here – that cancer is God’s design for us, and we are to embrace it. This is trash, and I will prove it.

(note: this article is not an attack on John Piper, or his character, ministry, church, etc. This article will address the points he has stated. “Argumentum ad hominem” is a logical fallacy I want to avoid here.)

John leads the reader through 10 points of thought. It is these points that I will address, individually. But before I do, I need to lay out a framework of vital Biblical truths that I will be drawing upon throughout this article. By laying things out in the open now, it will save me time in having to explain things over and over again, and will give you the reader an understanding of where I’m coming from right at the outset.

a) The Atonement: This is a crucial aspect that we must all understand – that Jesus atoned for our sins and the products of sin, including sickness and disease and death. In 1 Cor 11:23-30, when Paul lays out the order of the Lord’s Supper, he explains that when we fail to understand and embrace the full measure of the Atonement, many of us can become sick, and even die an untimely death. When we discern the Lord’s Body (not the Church; for the Church was not broken for our transgressions, nor were we healed by the stripes of the Church) we discern the full work of his redemption.

“Christ…suffered for us…Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” 1 Peter 2:21,24

“Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.” Psalm 103:2-3

For a more detailed explanation, read my article on the subject.

b) Job Syndrome: Job was not in the New Covenant. In fact, many scholars place Job before Abraham; meaning he wasn’t even under the Law of Moses. This is important to understand. Why? Because mankind had no covering, and no protection, from Satan or the effects of Sin. Adam forfeited his domain and authority over the earth to Satan (Rom 8:20-21; Lk 4:5-7). God’s word was binding, and therefore He would not violate His own word – meaning, he had set decree of full authority over the Earth in place (Gen 1:26-28). Mankind was supposed be the recipient of that decree, and steward that authority (Ps 115:16). But Adam’s choice gave that authority to Satan. The ordinance still stood though – the decree of full authority over the earth. And even though it fell into the wrong hands, it still stood (read Gen 27 to see an example of this). This is why He had to come as a man in order to redeem Mankind – because the authority was given to Mankind (Mt 28:18 concludes this).
Now, back to Job. You can’t use the Book of Job to make theological statements. Why? He doesn’t have the covenant we have, or the promises we have. He didn’t know Christ. He wasn’t even in covenant under the Law. The comments made in the Book of Job by its narrator are to give accounts of his story. They are not theological declarations. Another book that falls under this principle is Ecclesiastes. Not everything in that book is true, and you know it. Even the book of Esther is a mix of biography and commentary. God’s intent was never that Esther enter a beauty contest were the top prize was granted to the woman that best pleased the king sexually in the bedroom. But what we do see is the unfolding of a story where God can work with any hand He’s dealt.

c) Jesus is Perfect Theology: John makes radical assumptions regarding God’s character; i.e., that He not only permits sickness, but designs sickness too. The first problem with this is that John uses Old Testament passages to support statements concerning a New Covenant people. Jesus is perfect theology. We know that if we have seen Jesus, we have seen the Father. Jesus is the perfect revelation of the Father (Jn 14:8-11). Therefore, Jesus needs to have demonstrated this notion (that God designs cancer and puts it on people) in order for it to be true. Problem is, you won’t see it. Jesus never once inflicted anyone with sickness. Nor did he even hint at the though that he designs it. Not only that, but he healed ALL WHO CAME TO HIM (Acts 10:38). Therefore, if Jesus didn’t do it, God doesn’t do it, and if Jesus did something, it reflects what God does. The actions and sayings of Jesus must be used to interpret all other scriptures, not the other way around. The disciples too followed after the example of our Master: “The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people… Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed.” (Acts 5:12, 16).

Yeah but didn’t God cause a man to be blind in order that Jesus could heal him, and thus bring glory to God? NO! Please refer to this article to learn the truth behind this misconception.

d) Sin is a Curse: Everything that comes from Sin is also a curse. These things include, but are not limited to: immorality, sickness, disease, and death. The world came under a curse – including all of Creation. It was a universal constant. Cancer is one of the effects of Sin. It is therefore a curse.

e) Suffering: It doesn’t honor God to live anywhere below the standard He has now established. Sin does not honor God. Neither does sickness and disease. Why? Because both of these things were dealt with during the Passion of Jesus Christ. We suffer persecution because we are not greater than our Master. We suffer growth pains because we are, on a daily basis, killing off the ‘old man’ so that it is no longer we who live but Christ who lives in us. These things honor God. Suffering sickness doesn’t. Jesus didn’t suffer sickness, but he did suffer persecution. The Apostles were the same way. Paul’s thorn was persecution, not sickness (for more, go HERE). We suffer for the sake of spreading the Gospel and making disciples, but we were never asked to suffer sickness and disease.

f) Calvinism, Sovereignty, and Control: John Piper is a Calvinist. I’m not going to argue for or against the worldviews of a sixteenth century theologian. But I do want to point out a reality here – John writes from a Calvinistic worldview. Why this matters because from this standpoint, Dr. Piper will argue that everything that happens is by the permission of God. In other words, God is in control. Let me be clear: God is sovereign, but HE IS NOT IN CONTROL. If He were in control:
1. Why do you need faith? Why do you need to pray? It’s up to Him, right?
2. Why do I get to ‘bind’ or ‘loose’ on earth (Mt 16:19), if He’ll just override it?
3. His will is that all man be saved (1 Tim 2:4). Are all saved? Why not, if He is in control?
4. Jesus said to pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as in heaven.” Is God’s will being done on earth just like it is in heaven? Why not?
5. Mark 16:16 says whoever believes will be saved, whoever doesn’t will be condemned. Why didn’t God just print out a list of all that He will save? Why do we need to preach the Kingdom; shouldn’t God have just revealed Himself to those he chose?
6. Pardon the graphic illustration: if someone were to come into your home and take a loved one, brutally rape them, and kill them, then, believing God was in control, your logical conclusion is that God did that through someone – that he was the author and the finisher of the rape and the murder.
7. If He is in control, then God must be getting old. It only took him 6 days to create a universe so complex, so vast, that it’s still expanding even to this day. Yet it’s taken Him roughly 730,000 days to simply finish the work He began through Jesus 2000 years ago – and He’s still not done!
Don’t mix sovereignty with control. It will ruin your understanding of God.

For more on this topic, read this article, or watch this video:

g) SOZO: You need to understand that we have been robbed of the true value of this word and it’s implications because of the lax translational efforts on the part of today’s Bible translation versions.

σῴζω sōzō

Heal, Healing:
“to save,” is translated by the verb “to heal” in the AV of Mar 5:23; Luk 8:36 (RV, “to make whole;” so AV frequently); the idea is that of saving from disease and its effects.
Recover:
“to save,” is sometimes used of “healing” or “restoration to health,” the latter in Jhn 11:12, RV, “he will recover,” marg., “be saved” (AV, “he shall do well”).

Now, every time you see the word “save” or “saved”, replace it with the true meaning of σῴζω sōzō in these well known passages:

“For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.” Mt 18:11

“For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it.” John 12:47

“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” 1 Tim 2:1-4

“Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well (sozo); the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed (ἰάομαι iaomai, “cured”). The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:14-16

Jesus came to more that just deal with the Sin in our souls. He dealt with the effects of Sin in our bodies. Now, if you don’t believe in healing for today, you need to repent for your unbelief and renew your mind according to the Word of God. The history of the Church – from the Apostles, to the Early Fathers, to the Desert Monks, to the Dark Ages, to the Reformation, to the Enlightenment, right up to the last hundred year and even today – the Church has believed, and demonstrated that miracles and healing did not cease. To deny our history is foolishness. To say it never happened is to imply that we have a history and tradition of great liars; from Augustine, to Francis of Assisi, to Luther, to Wesley, to Spurgeon, right up to the church down the street from you today that both preaches and practices divine healing.

For more on this, go here.

Ok, let’s begin:

1. “You will waste your cancer if you do not believe it is designed for you by God.”

“It will not do to say that God only uses our cancer but does not design it. What God permits, he permits for a reason. And that reason is his design. If God foresees molecular developments becoming cancer, he can stop it or not.”

“So when he strikes Job with boils (Job 2:7), Job attributes it ultimately to God (2:10) and the inspired writer agrees: “They . . . comforted him for all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him” (Job 42:11). If you don’t believe your cancer is designed for you by God, you will waste it.”

Now before I challenge John’s statement, I will first challenge his source. John here uses a misleading translation of Job 2 commonly found in most of today’s popular Bible versions. Not only that, John’s assessment of the Job’s conclusion in 2:10 is poor at best. Let me support my statements.

First, we need to have a solid understanding of where this “trouble” began: Job 1:6-7.

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?”
So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”

Ok, you need to understand this from a New Covenant perspective – by which I mean, through the revelation we now have on how things were before Christ came. Angels came to God, and Satan came with them. God asks Satan what he had been up to. Satan responds, telling God that he has been wandering about the earth. Now, why is that the case? Because Satan was in the seat of authority over the earth. Remember, God had given the earth to Mankind to have authority over it. But Adam and Eve forfeited that authority over to Satan when they obeyed him. Therefore, Satan now sat on the throne over the earth.

Now, God doesn’t ask things for the sake of asking. Satan is up to something, and God is about to expose it. The next verse is crucial to understand. Unfortunately, since modern biblical translators have butchered it, we will have to consult the Masoretic Hebrew Text ourselves to get down to the real deal here. Verse 8:

[note: no matter what I try, I can’t get the Hebrew word order to go from right to left. Even when I type it out right to left, when I hit ‘POST’, it flips! So sorry, the word order is backwards here! 😦 ]

ָעַבְדִּי־עַל לִבְּך הֲשַׂמְתָּ הַשָּׂטָן־אֶל יְהוָה וַיֹּאמֶר
And YAHWEH said to Satan, “Have you set your heart towards my servant
יְרֵא וְיָשָׁר תָּם ׁאִיש בָּאָרֶץ כָּמֹהו אֵין כִּי אִיֹּוב
Job because there is none greater than him upon the earth – a wholesome man, and upright, fearing
׃מֵרָֽע וְסָר אֱלֹהִים
God and avoiding evil?

Look what just happened here. God did not present Job to Satan, as most believe. Satan had been roaming the earth, searching. God has just exposed what the purpose of that search has been. Knowing Satan’s heart, God calls out the truth: Satan found someone, a man named Job, and has had this man on his mind.

Now look at Satan’s reply:

So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing (ִָּםנח – without cause)? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.” Job 1:9-10

Again, the next section needs to be taken from the Hebrew in order to be understood.

בְּשָׂרֹו־וְאֶל עַצְמֹו־אֶל ְעגַו דְךיָֽ נָאַֽ־ַֽחלש אוּלָםו
But nevertheless, [I request that you] send forth your hand and touch him unto his bone and his flesh
ָ׃ךָּכבָריְֲ ֶֽךָּפָּנֶיך־אֶל לֹא־אִם
surely to your face he will bless you not.”
בְּיָדֶך לֹו־אֲשֶׁר־כָל הִנֵּה הַשָּׂטָן־אֶלָ יְהוָה וַיֹּאמֶר
And YAHWEH said to Satan, “Behold! All which is his (is) in your hand,
יָדֶךָ תִּשְׁלַח־אַל אֵלָיו רַק
indeed, you will not stretch out your hand towards him.

Job was indeed blessed under the law of sowing and reaping. Job sowed righteously in every area of his life, and therefore reaped much in every area of his life. But Job was not covered by any other binding covenant. There was no Torah. Satan then provokes God to “send forth” his “hand”. Now the word “hand”, (דְךיָֽ) needs to be highlighted here, as it is a vital key that unlocks revelation into these passages. “Hand” is also used figuratively to represent power in the Hebrew Scriptures (see, Is 28:2; Ps 76:6; Ex 14:31). With this in mind, the word “hand” should be interchanged with “power” every time you see it in these passages we are covering. So above, Satan asks God to use His “power” against Job. But God will not give in to Satan’s trickery. God declares what is already true: Satan already has power over Job, since mankind was in subjection to Satan. Job’s possessions are under Satan’s authority. Now look at the play on the word “hand”: Satan asks God to strech out His hand to do evil. But God says that Job is in Satan’s hand. Then God makes a remark, that though Satan has power over Job (in his hand), Satan won’t stretch out his hand (in the sense of help) towards Job. Satan essentially asks God to do evil by his hand, and God responds by saying that Satan won’t do good with his hand!

From this point on, we see calamity come upon Job’s possessions. Then in chapter 2, we see a familiar scene.

Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD. And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?”
Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”
Job 2:1-2

Then the Lord replies:

ָעַבְדִּי־עַל לִבְּך הֲשַׂמְתָּ הַשָּׂטָן־אֶל יְהוָה וַיֹּאמֶר
And YAHWEH said to Satan, “Have you set your heart towards my servant
יְרֵא וְיָשָׁר תָּם ׁאִיש בָּאָרֶץ כָּמֹהו אֵין כִּי אִיֹּוב
Job because there is none greater than him upon the earth – a wholesome man, and upright, fearing
וַתְּסִיתֵנִי בְּתֻמָּתֹו מַחֲזִיק וְעֹדֶנּוּ מֵרָֽע וְסָר אֱלֹהִים
God and avoiding evil and continually holding fast to his integrity – but you incite me
׃חִנָּֽם לְבַלְּעֹו בֹו
against him to swallow him up without cause.”

Here we see the a link between chapter one. Satan repeats himself, and so does the Lord. But now God exposes the obvious – Satan intends to, once again, ask of the Lord to do harm to Job “without cause” (חִנָּֽם), the same “without cause” Satan uses to describe Job’s vain reverence of God in 1:9.

Then we read in verses 4 and 5,

וְכֹל עֹור־בְּעַד עֹור וַיֹּאמַר יְהוָה־אֶת הַשָּׂטָן וַיַּעַן
And Satan answered YAHWEH, and he said, “from flesh to flesh [one person to another] all
׃נַפְשֹֽׁו בְּעַד יִתֵּן לָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר
that (is) to a man he will give on behalf of his soul.

בְּשָׂרֹו־וְאֶל עַצְמֹו־אֶל וְגַע דְךיָֽ נָאַֽ־ַֽחלש אוּלָם
Nevertheless, [I request that you] send forth your hand and touch him unto his bone and his flesh
ָ׃ךָּכבָריְֲ ֶֽךָּפָּנֶיך־אֶל לֹא־אִם
surely to your face he will bless you not.”

׃רמש נַפְשֹׁו־אֶת אַךְ בְיָדֶך הִנֹּו הַשָּׂטָן־אֶל יְהוָה וַיֹּאמֶר
And YAHWEH said to Satan, “Behold he is in your hand [and] surely [I tell you] observe his soul.

So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. Job 2:7

Twice we are given report that Satan has gone throughout the earth. And I want to propose that this was most likely a habit, since the verb הלך, “walking to and fro”, is used in the Hithpael verb stem, which can suggest a habitual or recurring action (see 2 Sam 11:2). And because of this, Satan makes a confident statement based on his years of observation: a man will do anything to preserve his own life (soul). God addresses Satan’s observation, and says, “then observe Job’s soul”, for he knew that what Satan said was not true for all mankind.

Note though, that nowhere in chapters 1 or 2 do we see God presenting or offering up Job to Satan. Nor do we see God granting Job any special permission, privilege, or power. Satan and God were both in dialogue, and both stated facts that were in effect. Job, like every other human from the Fall of man to the triumph of Christ (save for those in the tiny nation of Israel, who would later be protected through the Laws of Moses) was subject to the authority and power of Satan. Satan just so happened to choose Job from every other inhabitant on the earth because he was a righteous man. Not only that, but Satan knew he had the ability and power to do whatever he wanted to the man. As Jesus has reveled to us (though Job did not know this), “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (Jn 10:10). Therefore, prior to Christ’s coming, there was only the thief, and no one to give abundant life.

All of the dialogue between Satan and God in chapters 1 and 2 is Satan simply rubbing in the fact that he can torment this man at will. None of what happens afterward to Job was by the design of God, nor was it the will of God. It was the reality upon the earth in those times. Man had lost their place over the earth, and only man could get it back. God’s word was binding, and it cannot return to Him void, nor will He violate His own word. Therefore, the only way to redeem mankind from sin, and into their rightful place before God, above Satan, and over the Earth, was to come as a man. The would therefore not be in violation to His own word. And Jesus Christ was that man. And when the Passion had ceased, and He rose from the grave, the balance of power was brought into proper alignment.

And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Lk 10:18-19

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” Mt 28:18

Both of these statements above would have shocked and amazed his followers. No one, in the history of fallen man (take Job, for example), had authority or power over Satan. And Jesus, being the amazing Elder Brother that he is, takes hold of the authority Satan usurped from Adam back for us. And acting as an eternal keeper of that authority, so that never again will it be wrongfully taken, he shares it freely with all his brothers and sisters, enabling us to reign over Satan with him.

2. You will waste your cancer if you believe it is a curse and not a gift.

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13). “There is no enchantment against Jacob, no divination against Israel” (Numbers 23:23). “The Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11).”

In citing all these passages, Piper contradicts himself. Sin, and all of it’s offspring – which includes sickness, disease, and death – are a curse.

As it is written,

Christ…suffered for us…Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 1 Peter 2:21,24

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases. Psalm 103:2-3

So we have the promise. But how does it play out practically? For we know that the sin issue has been dealt with, as Piper mentions by quoting Romans 8:1. Yet we know that in the same letter, Paul exhaustively emphasizes how important it is that we stay free from sin, and even goes on to offer practical guidelines for staying free. So then, we see that though we have the promise from the Cross, there is a practical outworking of the promise in our lives. The same goes for sickness.

“Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.” 1 Cor 11:27-30

What body are we discerning? The body of Jesus Christ, for it was his body that was broken for us (1 Pet 2:21,24). What are we discerning? That his blood was shed for our sins, and his body was broken for our sickness and disease. Why do we examine ourselves? To see if we have any sin we need to deal with, and to see if we are sick in our bodies. If we fail to do so, then we do not receive the full measure of the Atonement. “For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep”. This is a practical application of a New Covenant promise.

“Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” James 5:14-15

To James, sickness and sin is one coin with two sides. But the Atonement has covered the coin, and redeemed us from its effects. Now, here is another practical application of a New Covenant promise. Are you sick in your body (effects of sin)? Pray in the name of the Lord. Meaning, pray from a New Covenant perspective. Now, how do you pray? You command the sickness to go until it goes (Mt 21:20-22). It could take 30 seconds; it could take 30 hours. Pray until the person is well (James 5:15,16). Now, do you have trespasses of the flesh (deeds of sin)? Here’s what you do. Realize you are already forgiven. Then, make yourself accountable to someone (confess your sins) and have them encourage you and help you walk in freedom, so that your lifestyle matches your new identity in Christ.

Nowhere in the New Testament will you find support for the notion that sickness is a blessing and not a curse. Nowhere.

3. You will waste your cancer if you seek comfort from your odds rather than from God.

“The design of God in your cancer is not to train you in the rationalistic, human calculation of odds. The world gets comfort from their odds. Not Christians.”

This is simply a perversion of truth, with wrong application. God does not design sickness. And yes, we are to seek comfort from God. But not in the sense that we find comfort in thinking that it’s ok to have cancer because it is from God. The Passion of Jesus made a way to deliver us from all disease. Now it’s up to us to fight for what is rightfully ours. In the same we kill of the old man so that sin does not manifest through us, we also fight to rebuke any of effects of sin in our bodies – which includes sickness. Now, I’m not saying that your sin brings sickness. For as we know, many babies are born sick. What I’m saying is that the fruit of sin is upon the earth, so we must now deliver ourselves from all aspects of sin through Jesus Christ.

4. You will waste your cancer if you refuse to think about death.

“We will all die, if Jesus postpones his return. Not to think about what it will be like to leave this life and meet God is folly. Ecclesiastes 7:2 says, “It is better to go to the house of mourning [a funeral] than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart.” How can you lay it to heart if you won’t think about it? Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Numbering your days means thinking about how few there are and that they will end. How will you get a heart of wisdom if you refuse to think about this? What a waste, if we do not think about death.”

Show me one place where Jesus Christ, the full revelation of the character, nature, and plan of God, teaches this and I will believe it.

Then Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one thing: Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy?” And when He had looked around at them all, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he did so, and his hand was restored as whole as the other. Lk 6:9-10

“Whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” Jn 3:15-17

“For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will.” Jn 5:21

“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” Jn 10:10

And to quote Ecclesiastes means you need to embrace the entire book as truth. This includes statements like:

For in much wisdom is much grief, and he that increaseth knowledge, increaseth sorrow. 1:18

There is nothing new under the sun. 1:9 (see: Is 43:19; 65:17; 2 Cor 5:17; Jer 31:22)

Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. 7:3-4

I said in my heart, “Concerning the condition of the sons of men, God tests them, that they may see that they themselves are like animals. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. 21 Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?”” 3:18-21

Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun. 9:9

These passages (there are many more that I could quote) are contrary to the message found in the Gospels, and the New Testament Epistles.

John’s statements have no New Covenant grounds on which to stand on.

5. You will waste your cancer if you think that “beating” cancer means staying alive rather than cherishing Christ.

“Satan’s and God’s designs in your cancer are not the same. Satan designs to destroy your love for Christ. God designs to deepen your love for Christ. Cancer does not win if you die. It wins if you fail to cherish Christ. God’s design is to wean you off the breast of the world and feast you on the sufficiency of Christ. It is meant to help you say and feel, “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” And to know that therefore, “To live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 3:8; 1:21).”

Why then, would James instruct his fellow brethren to pray for the sick? Why did Jesus heal all those who came to him (Acts 10:38)? Why did the disciples heal all who came to them (Acts 5:12, 16)? Dr. Piper takes Philippians completely out of context, since it was a man who consistently demonstrated the power of God and performed signs and wonders – which included healing the sick, who wrote it. Why would Jesus command his followers to heal the sick (Lk 9:2; 10:9; Mt 10:8), and then teach others to do the same (Mt 28:19; Mk 16:18)?

6. You will waste your cancer if you spend too much time reading about cancer and not enough time reading about God.

Cancer is meant to waken us to the reality of God. It is meant to put feeling and force behind the command, “Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord” (Hosea 6:3).

Again, an Old Covenant passage to support flawed thinking. Show me where Jesus explains that sickness is meant to waken us to his reality. Show me where the disciples demonstrated this. Find one passage in the New Testament that even alludes to this.
(For more, read this article)

7. You will waste your cancer if you let it drive you into solitude instead of deepen your relationships with manifest affection.

That is the kind of heart God is aiming to create with cancer: a deeply affectionate, caring heart for people. Don’t waste your cancer by retreating into yourself.

Then why not go to a lab and have them inject cancer cells into your body, so that you can experience a radical growth in Christ! Go get hit by a car, and grow into Christ instantly! Our deeply affectionate hearts come from the supernatural enabling power of the Holy Spirit. We cannot love to the extent Christ commands we love (Jn 15:9-17) by our own soul alone. It is because of the Spirit of God, Who is love, that we are able to truly love. If Dr. John’s statement were true, then God would have made sickness/disease one of the Gifts of the Spirit.

8. You will waste your cancer if you grieve as those who have no hope.

Paul used this phrase in relation to those whose loved ones had died: “We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13).”

This statement contains one truth: we should never resort to hopelessness in times of crisis. But now another truth needs to be added: you don’t sit and wait – you content for your healing. Renew your mind according to the Word of God. Have people that believe in healing come pray for you. Fly to a church that has Healing Rooms with a proven track record. Don’t’ give up until that thing bows down to the Name of Jesus Christ. Don’t ever let Sin and Satan have dominion in your life through your false humility, lack of revelation, and passivity.

9. You will waste your cancer if you treat sin as casually as before.

“Are your besetting sins as attractive as they were before you had cancer? If so you are wasting your cancer. Cancer is designed to destroy the appetite for sin.”

Ugh, no. Cancer is one of the fruits of sin. Before the fall of mankind there was no Cancer. In heaven, there is no Cancer. When we were charged to pray, “Your Kingdom come, You will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”, we are to make earth line up with heaven. If there is no Cancer in heaven, we are not to make allowances for it here on earth. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 6:23). See also, Romans 5:12; James 1:15.

10. You will waste your cancer if you fail to use it as a means of witness to the truth and glory of Christ.

Christians are never anywhere by divine accident. There are reasons for why we wind up where we do. Consider what Jesus said about painful, unplanned circumstances: “They will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness” (Luke 21:12 -13). So it is with cancer. This will be an opportunity to bear witness. Christ is infinitely worthy. Here is a golden opportunity to show that he is worth more than life. Don’t waste it.

The promise of persecution was made because we are at war with another kingdom. Persecution has nothing to do with disease, which is a product of sin. Persecution was a promise – one given to those WHO PREACH THE GOSPEL, THEREBY ADVANCING THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND WAGING WAR ON THE DEVIL. If they were to be grouped together, then Jesus would have experience disease, since he also experienced persecution. Same goes for the disciples. They all suffered persecution, but they did not suffer from a fatal disease. Paul’s thorn was persecution, not sickness. Hence, the reason God would not remove it – it was to be expected. If the very sweatbands of Paul healed people from a distance, then one can conclude that he had ample knowledge of the Atonement and power of the Spirit to heal himself.

In closing:

I hope the read can understand that I’m not knocking Dr. John Piper. The simple fact is, we are all in a process of growth in the knowledge and revelation of who we are in Christ, and what we have in Christ. John has made some great contributions in terms of proclaiming the Gospel and explaining truths from the Scriptures. This just seems to be an area where John is lacking revelation in. I hope these insights have help you to to a fuller understanding of the work of the Cross for all who believe.

Be blessed and encouraged! Sickness is not your inheritance – healing and freedom is!!!

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