My sister’s friend is an editor for television and motion pictures. He deletes extraneous noise from soundtracks. A lot of the editing he does is due to actor-generated sounds which are “catchy.” When one actor clears his/her throat, others are sure to follow; when one coughs, others cough. Pretty soon, it seems a virus has infected the set. To catch each “script extra,” the editor relies upon his experienced ear. It’s tedious work, but effective. He has won several Emmy awards for well-known television programs and films.
I’ve often thought this a good analogy for how “extraneous noise” enters the church and what can be done about it. A sniff of disdain for truth here, a harumph there. Discordant murmurs. Pretty soon a whole congregation is infected.
Sometimes the distractions come from the pulpit.
Fortunately, each believer no matter when he/she enters the church can detect “extraneous noise” because of the gift Jesus sent. Consider:
“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth […]” (John 16:13 NIV).
“As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him” (1 John 2:27).
Christians need not be “professionals” like my sister’s friend, to discern error, just believers. We need not have any special status or rank in the church, just faith in Christ and an ear continually attuned to His Word so we can detect others’ words and reject them. Like the sound editor’s job, the work might often seem tedious, but the reward for diligence is far above Emmies.
What are you hearing today?