Wednesday, October 11, 2006

"Bahahahaha. . . . oh."

I went to hear a talk on Luke 15 last night, and something I had never seen happen before occurred. The speaker, Derwin Gray, chastised the crowd. I've seen speakers convict crowds, challenge them, even explicitly point out sin, but this was something different. He was talking about the brokenness that exists in Charlotte and began going through examples of what this might look like. His last example was, "Housewives living in huge nice houses addicted to pain pills and drinking Zinfandel."

A lot people started laughing, probably because they think the drink Zinfandel is funny, for whatever reason.

DGray would have none of it. He aggressively said, "Hey ya'll, that's not something to laugh about. This is reality." The place went from laughter to silence in an instant. Awkward.

Mad props to DGray for unflinchingly creating the awkwardness because what he did is not something that's easy to do. As a speaker, you want the Lord to speak through you, and you want to get the Biblical message across. But you also want people to laugh. Maybe more than anything, you want people to laugh. DGray inadvertantly got the laughs but put his message and reality before any desire he had to entertain, to endear himself to the crowd, or to be cool. For the rest of the night, the laughter was a little hesitant, as everyone actually had to think about what was said before responding.

Which brings me to a scary point. I, and I believe a large part of the Christian community, have gotten good at this Christian stuff - singing, listening to speakers, greeting one another - to the point that we don't have to engage anymore. We know when to laugh, when to be quiet, when to look like we're paying attention, when to raise our hands, when to close our eyes. We can successfully play this game, rather than actually engage the Lord and what He's putting in front of us.

For all our talk of being real, we often mindlessly fake it, even in our supposedly most important settings. No wonder the world, which must deal with real and raw issues, often wants so little to do with us.

DGray exposed the audience last night, not allowing us to play the game. Thank God for it because there really is too much at stake in worship, prayer, community, and Biblical teaching. For one night, we were made uncomfortable and actually had to think about what was being said before pretending like everything that was said was hilarious. And before pretending who knows what else.


Oakley said...

On one hand, I think its great that so many Christians are so devout that they actually get into a rut where they are merely going through the motions. This is especially true since so many padawan** christians are still learning these motions. Props for pointing out that sometimes we need to take a break to re-evaluate and pay attention. **sorry but you may need to Google the word Padawan ;)

Jenn Pappa said...

Derwin is the man... go panthers.

Ben said...

Go Panthers, indeed. Huge stretch of games coming up which could break their season - at Baltimore, at Cincy, and then home against Dallas. I'm actually off this Sunday, so I'll get to see them for the first time in a while. I'm stoked.

Adam Hoffman said...

D gray will bring it, or tackle you. Its scary that people walk through life numb to the scripture and truth God delivers. However I sometimes ask myself what would my life look like If I truly took in the lessons God was teaching through preachers and scripture. I know I dn't have a perfect brain, but our lives would be so different if we could grow our heart to conform to scripture. But sin has made it so thats nearly impossible

Brian Humphries said...

I saw a bit of this today at the Summit. "How Deep the Father's Love For Us"...third verse...the line "But I will boast in Jesus Christ". From large group to retreats and now to Sunday church service, this line will never fail to get the hands of half the Christians in the room in the air. Perhaps it's genuine. But if so, how many of us genuinely BOAST about JESUS in our daily lives? Which makes me wonder if it's just a mixture of habit and good songwriting.