Vol.XII No.IV Pg.3
June 1975

Turning Up The Radio

Dan S. Shipley

A recently published comic strip depicts a conversation between two small boys in which one is telling about his dad hearing a strange grinding noise coming from the engine of his car. When asked if he stopped to fix it, the little boy replied, No, he just turned the radio up louder so he couldnt hear it! It struck me that we fix a lot of our problems in similar fashion — by just turning up the radio, so to speak.

Take, for instance, the sinner who knows what he must do to become a Christian. He realizes that some major spiritual repairs are in order, yet lacking the courage to make them he may turn the radio up by criticizing the hypocrites in the church or by poking fun at some Bible teaching. He may even attempt to drown out the demands of truth with other side issues such as the untaught natives on some far away island. We are made to wonder whether his What about them? is not more cover than concern. It may be nothing more than so much blaring to hide the more important What about me?

But even among those who know less about becoming Christians, there is often a tendency to tune-out uncomfortable spiritual subjects such as righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come (Acts 24:25). Like Felix, they may turn up the radio by appealing to a more convenient season. Or, like Festus, they may try to avert the issue by discrediting the teacher of truth: . .Festus saith with a loud voice, Paul, thou are mad; thy much learning is turning thee mad. (Acts 26:24) He was not unlike certain Pentecostians who turned up their radios by accusing the Spirit-filled apostles of being drunk with new wine (Acts 2:13). With violent prejudice some had even sought to muffle the teaching of Jesus by calling him a. gluttonous man and a winebibber (Matt. 11:19). Like the others, they were hiding the very thing they needed to be hearing.

But why have so many wanted to suppress the sounds of truth? Perhaps because it is a discomfiting sound that tells us there is something in our lives that needs fixing — and especially if it happens to be something we dont want fixed! That was the problem with some sinners John writes about. They loved the darkness rather than the light; for their works were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light.. . (Jn. 3:19,20). Even some professed Christians dont like to hear the truth taught about certain subjects. To them it becomes as an objectionable noise to be muffled in some way — perhaps by heaping to themselves teachers after their own lusts (2 Tim. 4:3). Satan has the remedy: fix the noise, not the ailing soul.

Others know soul fixin means admitting wrong and making changes — which seemingly very few are willing to do. Heres where pride says, turn up the radio!— but heres where courage and character say, speak Lord, thy servant heareth. True followers of Christ want the truth — all of it. Even when it reproves, rebukes and condemns. Even when it grates and grinds. Pity the poor soul who would suppress it!