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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Dead People Speak Well

At the end of one of Derek Webb's songs is the phrase: i write these words from the grave ‘cause it’s the only place that i’m safe and only the dead are permitted to speak the truth I have given some thought to the meaning of this phrase, and this is what I think it means. Dead people have the freedom to speak the truth because they are not concerned about the opinions and "perceptions" of other people. They speak the truth period. They are not catering to a crowd fo popular opinion, glossing it over to maintain status-quo, water it down to not sound intolerant, nor filter it through legalistic hoops in order for it to sound traditional or orthodox. It reminds me of the words of Jesus when he commanded his disciples not to fear the one who can kill the body, but fear Him who can cast both body and soul in hell. The only authentication of the truth should come from the source of the truth - Jesus Christ. Or consider Paul when he said that he was not seeking the applause or approval of man, for if here were to do so, he would not be a true slave of Christ. Yet today, many refrain from speaking truth, for if they were to do so, it would cost them their jobs, maybe even their lives. That's why I think Webb says that the only place that he is safe is when Derek Webb is in the grave. Isn't this like what it means to be "crucified with Christ"? Truth to so many seems intolerant and offensive, and you know, "the truth is", it is. 2+2=4. You believe that? That is intolerant of the numbers 3,5, and so on. What can't the truth be something other than four? It is absolute, concrete, universal in application, and demands response. For much of my life, I have not been a dead person. I have not been in the grave, and it has not been safe for me to speak the truth. I am ashamed for much of it. Like John the Baptist, I should be more faithful to speak the truth and have my head on a platter (literally or metaphorically) than to accomodate the lies and sin that abound. What are we so afraid of? Can we handle the truth? Can I handle the truth? I pray God gives me the grace and humility to respond rightly in every occasion. In reality, I probably won't, but I am grateful that there are people who are in my life who are more concerned about righteousness, truth, and justice than kick-backs, favors, and appeasement. Can I be permitted to speak the truth? I want to speak it well, as a dying man to dying men (as Richard Baxter put it). Dead to the opinions and here-say and those who would attempt to silence the truth. Like Peter and John, may we be those who simply can't help but speak what we have seen and heard. People who are alive don't speak truth well. It is always cluttered up with mixed motives and meanings, full of double-speak and hidden agendas, surrounded by politics and personal survival mentality. "If we desire to save ourselves, we will lose ourselves," as Jesus put it. I want to lose my life for the sake of the Truth, and thereby find it for life eternal, and maybe from the grave call others to die that they may live for Jesus, the Truth and the Life.


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