Piper’s newest book and documentary, Bloodlines, reveal how segregation in the south affected him and the church. The film begins with a close up view of Piper, 65, giving a heartfelt confession of racism.
“I grew up in this home as a full blooded racist,” says the pastor. “It was an ugly time. It wasn’t beautiful, it wasn’t separate but equal, it wasn’t respectful…it was a cesspool of sin and I was swimming it it.”
Piper does not make any excuses about his racist past but instead calls it sin. He says growing up in the church he thought separate but equal was natural and justified by law. He continues by discussing similar issues like racial tension in marriage and lack of racial unity in the current family of God.
The purpose of the film and book is to spark a discussion in the church about unity and reconciliation. Like Piper, being honest and humble must lead this conversation; however, many may be turned off by this topic. Christians don’t want to hear or even think they or their churches are swimming in a cesspool of sin. Despite this, Piper dives head first into this issue of racial disunity in the church.
In the documentary, he suggest that the church should not look so much at race, but at the truth in Genesis that says we are created in the “image of God.” His sole reason for such dialogue is to point everybody back to the gospel and “advance racial harmony.” He says once we do this it will cleanse us of racism and division, just as it did for himself.