One of my favorite bands wrote a song back in the 90s called “The Sound of Lies.” I remember nineteen year old me, driving around singing it at the top of my lungs. I wasn’t much of a philosopher back in those days, just more of a “feeler,” really, and I felt the song deeply. To this day, when it comes on I’m taken right back to those times, when I was falling in love with Chad, when I was free and oh-so-skinny and had almost no responsibilities. Those were great times. Everything felt exciting and promising and important.
I sang the words a million times and never stopped to think about their meaning. The Jayhawks were never big on lyrics that made a whole lot of sense. But, as I’ve grown older, I’ve thought a lot about the words. The sound of lies, they sing, rings funny against the truth.
I guess you could say I’m more of a philosopher these days, although I often feel completely lost in the landscape of our current culture. But, I remember a time when the sound of lies rang funny against the truth. Back when the lies that the world loves to spout sounded wrong and out of place next to the truth of God’s word. Back when it was so easy to see where worldiness ended and holiness began. I remember times when absolute truth was accepted by most. When the culture and the Bible weren’t at such odds. Back when pressure to be ultra-tolerant didn’t feel like a rope strangling the conviction out of you. I remember when it was okay to have beliefs and ideals and a moral mindset.
Things are different now. We have been so bombarded by thinking that is miles outside of a biblical worldview that we almost can’t even find our way back anymore. It’s a maze. A maze of twisted, almost-truth that makes us feel lost. Society tells us what to believe, and we hold society and conventional wisdom close. We leave the Bible behind, and we forget the reality of God’s perfection. Of His goodness. Of His inspired words that contain all the truth there is. And, before we know it, we are looking at the world through a different lens–one that makes sin a personal choice. An expression. A lifestyle decision. We accept the lies that this world throws at us, and we claim that this is what Jesus would do, too.
Suddenly, the sound of truth rings funny against the lies.
The truth of God’s word seems irrelevant. It seems subjective and blurry and grey and foggy. Who can really know what this passage or that passage means anyway? Who am I to say that this or that is wrong? Why would God do that? Why would He say this? That’s not the God I know. MY God would never judge anyone.
We’ve lost our way, and when we are once again confronted with the truths of the Bible, they just don’t sound right anymore. Our ears have been tuned to the discordant sounds of the world, and the beauty of Scripture now just sounds like noise.
We need wisdom and discernment. We need the Holy Spirit to convict us of our bad thinking and show us all of the ways that the world is trying to separate us from the goodness of our great God. We need to recognize that the biggest enemy of our faith is ourselves. We are a people who claim to love scripture but fail to read it. We say that we believe the Bible, but live like we don’t. We need Jesus. Oh, how we need Him.
Unless we begin reading God’s word and trusting it, unless we begin believing it with all that we are and all that we have, we will never be able to distinguish between what is Godly and what is not. The truth will continue to sound wrong to our tainted ears, and we will go the way of the world.
God, give us ears to hear.
“I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:14-17