The audiobook version of John Piper's new book "Coronavirus and Christ" has been removed by YouTube for "violating community standards" roughly five weeks after it was published on the platform.
The latest work by prolific author, speaker, and theologian Piper, "Coronavirus and Christ" was released for free on April 8, offering "six biblical answers to the question, What is God doing through the coronavirus?—reminding us that God is at work in this moment in history."
Visitors to the YouTube upload of Piper reading the audio version of the book are now met with this black screen:
The most recent archived version of the page, from May 8, shows the video with more than 187,000 views:
? YouTube has not indicated precisely why the video was banned. However, an army chaplain recently came under fire for emailing a copy of "Coronavirus and Christ" to 35 other chaplains after the Military Religious Freedom Foundation took issue with its contents. MRFF called the action of emailing the book "egregious," "deplorable," and "shocking."
Specifically, the organization pointed to the book "singling out ... the sin of homosexual intercourse," quoting this portion of the text in which Piper discusses homosexual action as one of numerous sins:
"Another example is the sin of homosexual intercourse. In Romans 1:27, the apostle Paul says, ‘Men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.' That ‘due penalty' is the painful effect ‘in themselves' of their sin."
Piper reacted to the letter, saying that the MRFF spokesperson takes issue with his theology "not just because he misunderstands, but, in part, because he does understand — and that's how he thinks and feels about some of what the Bible teaches."
Piper further stated that "homosexual intercourse is a sin" and "the coronavirus is a call for repentance to all of us to bring our lives into alignment with the infinite worth of Jesus."
YouTube's community standards state about homosexuality:
"We don't support content that promotes or condones violence against individuals or groups based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, nationality, veteran status, caste, sexual orientation, or gender identity, or content that incites hatred on the basis of these core characteristics."
A Desiring God spokesperson declined to comment for this story.
➡️ "Coronavirus and Christ" can be downloaded for free:
Additionally, a paperback version is available: