Exposé of Truth

Exposed

expose

Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise, Demi Moore were cast as Marines involved in a dramatic courtroom thriller in 1992 called “A Few Good Men.”  One scene stands out, used over the last 25 years in various ways as an example of what happens when someone tries to expose the truth.  Col. Jessup (Nicholson) screams (in this picture above) at Lt. Kaffee (Cruise) from the witness stand, “You can’t handle the truth!!!”

Which as you’ve guessed by now, is sad but true for many people today.  The truth is that Trump had to learn the hard way just how difficult a job it is to be President.  The truth is that Hillary was so in her head, out of touch with real people with real jobs, that she thought she had the election in the bag.  She’s still in denial about why she lost out on her life dream.  She can’t handle the truth.

The sad fact exposed in the news everyday,  is that more and more people around the globe are being sucked into the destructive patterns of Satan’s deceit.  World religions gain in popularity while Christianity continues to decline and face persecution around the globe, in ways we can’t even imagine in this country.  The rise of ecumenicalism is the demise of evangelical influence in the tiny towns of the plains, the villages in the mountains, and city to city, from coast to coast.  It’s Sunday, and folks will be gathering for worship.  But what will they hear from the pulpit?

Many will hear 10 minute homilies, written to address some social ill.  Many will hear a 45 minute diatribe with material that repeats every 15 minutes.  Many will hear what may sound like the truth, but really is a deceptively cunning twist and perversion of what God’s word really says.  And in those few congregations where there is still a pastor who believes in the inerrancy of God’s Word, folks will hear the truth.  They will hear exactly what God wants them to hear.  But the question remains, “Can they handle it?”

Better still, what will they do with it?

The truth of God’s word is not just some comfortable blanket you wrap yourself in when you’re feeling cold and isolated by the world.  It is not just a fan you turn on to blow when the heat of the world’s hate becomes too much to handle.  The truth of God’s word is a SWORD.  More often than not when we read it, and listen to it, and understand it’s talking to me personally, we are so struck by what we read, the word’s of the movie seem true… you can’t handle the truth!

By now, if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I have a favorite verse, and I use it often.  It is most fitting to use again as a superior example of what I’m writing today.  There is a singular statement that defines Jesus as God, in a way that no other religious deity or leader has ever stated.  It comes from God’s Word, written by the apostle John, inspired by the Holy Spirit.  This makes it truth.

John 14:6
Jesus said to him (Thomas),
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

Millions in this world today deny this truth.  Millions in this world are vehemently crying out about the exclusiveness of this verse, in a world who’s current buzzword is inclusiveness.  That’s the heart of the ecumenical movement.  They say, “Oh, we’ll all get to heaven; we just take different routes, enter through different doors.”  However, this simply doesn’t match what God’s word says.  They can’t handle the truth.  There is only one door, only one gate, … and only one WAY.

This is my “Exposé of Truth” – John 14:6.

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Danger Zone

via Seriousness

the-seriousness

The feeble attempts being made today to minimize, trivialize, make light of, or outright dismiss the seriousness of the spiritual sins of our country goes beyond the pale.  Wow, now that’s one somber statement huh?  Yes it is; it’s what I’m known for I guess.  People who know me, really see me and get me, recognize these initial thoughts as pretty standard stuff from me.  That’s because they also know that for most of my life, I’ve been more serious than silly, more earnest than carefree, and more passionate than apathetic.  It’s in my DNA for some reason.  While I’ve tried really hard in the last couple of years to realize all the seriousness can at times get in the way of clear communication, I seem to live in the danger zone of being misunderstood constantly.

I’ve looked at ways to try to stem the tide of my serious nature.  Yet, just by viewing some quotes on the internet to adjust one’s attitude, rather than becoming soothed  or adjusted, I was in some ways saddened, becoming even more serious. Here are just a few of the quotes I found:

Learn to laugh. Seriousness is a sin, and it is a disease. Laughter has tremendous beauty, a lightness.  It will bring lightness to you, and it will give you wings to fly.” – OSHO

Concern yourself with not what is right, and what is wrong, but with what is important.” – LIFEQUOTESRU.COM

Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow.” – Oscar Wilde

You know my name, not my story.  You’ve heard what I’ve done, not what I’ve been through.” – QuotesGram

It’s this last quote that really caught my attention today.  This turn of phrase allowed me to conceptualize why people find me so serious-natured all the time.  Most pastors would fall into the category of “public figure,” even if they never pastored large or mega-large churches.  This is because their lives are constantly under the microscope of public (translated: congregational) opinion (translated: judgment). Having lived under this microscope for most of my life, the seriousness of my role dictated my conduct, speech, and actions… even when it was contrary to what I really wanted to say or do.  My seriousness resulted in people asking “Are you ok, you don’t look well?”  Actually, what they saw in my facial expression was not feeling ill, but concentrating so hard on what I was about to teach or preach, that my seriousness was perceived as illness.

Anyone who really knows me would never say that I was “shallow.”  Many would say, “Dr. Wilkins, why do you go on… and on… and on…” when I become seriously passionate about the importance of trusting in God’s Word instead of man’s opinions.  I laugh a lot. I’m a pretty goofy person actually, but not many people see me this way.  Not because I don’t want them to, but because they only see me when I am in the role of Pastor/Teacher.  They do not know any other me, most I believe don’t want to.

What the last two years has taught me, is to recognize “seriousness” can be a danger zone. A topic of discussion, relationship issues, interpersonal communications, emotional and psychological implications, physical responses and reactions, can all be effected by the earnest, sober-minded, DNA-hardwired approach I’ve inhabited for so long.  So lighten up already.  Chillax.  Choose your moments wisely Dr. Wilkins.  Take some of your own medicine.  Didn’t you say God’s Word teaches us: “there is a time… to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.”  [Ecclesiastes 3:4]

Why yes, I did.  Thanks for reminding me. [By the way, I’m smiling right now.]

 

 

What makes you tremble?

via Tremble

When your North Face jacket doesn’t even begin to cut the cold north winds, chilling your whole body to the bone?  The soundtrack to Psycho, with Norman Bates in the shower scene?  When every opinion spewed on FaceBook makes you want to lash out in your own version of “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore“?  When the overwhelming sense of loss you experience because the person closest to you in this world dies leaves you feeling dead?  When you top the crest of the highest rollercoaster you’ve ever been on, and you’re stomach drops out your toes?  When the earth moves under your feet, literally, and the tremors just keep coming?  When you watch your child being born?  The swell of the orchestra in your favorite opera?  That first kiss?  When you continually become aware of the Creator through the unbelievable complexity of the earth we inhabit?  A sunset, a flower, the crashing of waves, the millions of species, gravity, air, water, sunshine?

All these and a million-zillion other experiences can elicit a physical response: the tremble.  I wonder why God wired us this way?  My personal belief is perhaps God desired that we not miss anything.  The emotional, psychological, and physical aspects of human life are supposed to be so intertwined, one cannot exist without the others. Just because people don’t cry the same, doesn’t mean they don’t all feel like trembling.  Likewise, just because we all don’t tremble at the same things, doesn’t mean we don’t all feel like crying.  God wired us to tremble, but all in different ways, according to what touches us.  This knowledge alone should make everyone tremble.

Psalm 99:1
The LORD reigns, let the peoples tremble; He is enthroned above the cherubim, let the earth shake!

Joel 2:1
Blow a trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm on My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming; surely it is near.

I have often had a particular sensation when teaching or preaching; an awareness of something larger than me, not controlled by me.  In those moments my wiring, my DNA, my genetically programmed response, was to smile or laugh momentarily as I trembled on the inside.  This is what some would call a “nervous” response.  It was often misinterpreted by my listeners to think I was making fun of my topic, when in fact it was an unsolicited and totally uncontrollable response to what God was saying to me, and through me at the moment.  I trembled a lot during those times.

I love music of all kinds, and I have sung in choirs, as well as solos in contests and church.  Not one single time did I stand to sing, in any of those environments, when I wasn’t trembling inside.  In the middle of some song, I would become so involved in the words and the sounds coming from all around me, that I would begin to feel my legs go all wobbly, my breathing would change, my heart would pound,  my throat would constrict, and I could not speak or sing another note.

When I read the Word of God, I am often moved to tears, completely overwhelmed by the power of His love and grace. In those moments of communion with my Creator, I feel like David, the Psalmist, and my feelings are recorded like this:

Psalm 2:11
Worship the LORD with reverence, and rejoice with trembling.

god-tremble