Well-known Pastor John Piper says he is taking a leave from his influential ministry to make personal adjustments.
Piper told his congregation at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minn., he needs a "reality check from the Holy Spirit" because of "prideful sipping from the poisonous cup of international fame and notoriety."
"On the one hand, I love my Lord, my wife, my five children and their families first and foremost. And I love my work of preaching and writing and leading Bethlehem," he wrote in a letter about his decision to leave. "But on the other hand, I see several species of pride in my soul that, while they may not rise to the level of disqualifying me for ministry, grieve me, and have taken a toll on my relationship with Noel and others who are dear to me."
Piper went on to apologize for "ongoing character flaws."
"Since I don't have just one deed to point to, I simply ask for a spirit of forgiveness," he said. "And I give you as much assurance as I can that I am not making peace, but war with my own sins."
Piper will not preach, write or blog for eight months. He also said this time will be used to work on his marriage with his wife of 41 years, Noel.
He says they are "rock solid in commitment to each other and that there is no whiff of unfaithfulness on either side" but that "the precious garden of his home needs tending."
Read John Piper's entire letter about his decision here.