In reviewing Justin Taylor’s blog tonight I came across an intriguing link to a video that is perplexing and humorous, but ultimately very eye-opening to the calling that pastors have – and that calling is not to make individuals in the pew laugh, but to steadfastly and honestly preach the word of God, which is everything we need for life and godliness. The video is of John Piper and his opening comments to a conference of the American Association of Christian Counselors.
One thought on “John Piper, confession of sin and laughter?”
Wow. It almost sounds as if the the laughter is interposed into John Piper’s confession like in a re-mixed youtube video. I wonder what the context of the conference was like before Piper got up there. As I listened my heart resonated with Piper. He was totally transparent and vulnerable before them and they were entertained by his besetting sins that he himself agonizes and loses sleep over. I struggle with what John Piper struggles with; my pride; my fear of men; my exaltation of myself over God, and my hate for it. I feel locked up and empty at times in my struggle with idolatry; loving myself, my needs, my wants, more than God. I relate to his grief over the imperfect love he has for his wife. I struggle within the depths of my heart with my motives constantly–despairingly.
I appreciate his transparency. As sinners together we desperately need the grace of Christ in the gospel in full and at all times.
I think in the church, we tend to pick up the comedic and flippant nature toward seriousness from our culture. Introductions are suppose to be entertaining and peak our interest right? We mock and we don’t even know it. Its easier to laugh than to cry. Even over sin. I may have laughed too if I were there. Maybe I would have just gotten out of my hotel room where I finished watching an episode of the “Office”. I may have been ready for a joke.
I thought Piper handled it with much grace. If any hypocrisy and guile was going to be shown in him it would have been there. He esteemed the counselors present as better than himself and looked to their interests above his own. A humble example of a man depending on God and his Spirit through prayer to change the hearts of himself and other people. I was blessed by his transparent, sin-ridden heart agonizes over his sin that Christ bore on the cross that through the miracle of regeneration beats for the glory of God revealed in the face of Jesus Christ.
James 4:6-10 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.