Last week I was perusing some John Piper sermons and came across this one from last month at a Christian Counseling conference.
here ( the bizarre-ness is in the first 5 minutes. . . .but the whole talk is great,. . . listen to it!)
This is one of the weirdest things I've ever heard. If you've ever heard John Piper speak you know that he doesn't do the typical "open with 5 jokes" as he preaches. He will use humor, but not in the way that this crowd was expecting.
This crowd of counselors just keeps laughing at Piper as he begins, and he eventually has to ask them to stop.
Greg Gilbert observes that these folks have just been conditioned to laugh at all the other speakers and so they thought Piper was going the same way.
This is kind of chilling as you realize how quickly folks can be conditioned to respond in a certain way, regardless of what the current purpose of the speaker is.
This had to be hopelessly awkward and Piper deals with it well. But, I hope this clip can push us towards more of a balance at church. Yes, we should laugh and have joy as we meet together. We shouldn't be so glib and light, though, that we can't feel the weight of heavy truths anymore. Or, as in this clip, feel the weight of someone confessing their sins(Piper was trying to be humble and broken in front of these folks). We should pray that we never get desensitized to God's truth and the weight of sin.