We all listen to the voice of someone. As humans this is inescapable. John Donne (1572-1631) wrote, “No man is an island.” We come into this world listening to the voice of our mother and father. As children we hear the voices of relatives and friends. Growing older, we listen to teachers and preachers, newscasters and commentators. In adulthood the cacophony of voices that bend our ear can be staggering and in an information society, there is no end of the voices to which we can listen. Such has been the case for centuries. Luke’s inspired pen records “For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing” (Acts 17:21).
There is a point, however, where we must stop listening and start acting. And we should be clear, the voices to which we listen will affect the decisions that we make and the actions that we take in life. The Bible teaches that there is no action taken by man without there first having been a thought in man’s heart. Jesus said, “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things” (Matthew 12:35). What we believe will affect how we act. We don’t act in any way without first having thought about it. And so our actions reflect the voices to which we have been listening and the voices to which we have been listening become the conventions that shape the decisions of our lives whatever direction our lives take.
If we are honest with ourselves, we will confess that there is no such thing as unconventional thinking and unconventional wisdom. There is no new thinking that can be done that hasn’t, in some shape or fashion, been done. Solomon very wisely confessed this before he began his treatise on ethics (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10). It is a deception to think that my thoughts are objectively unconventional; the truth is that one’s thoughts are only unconventional to some while they are conventional to others. Whether we consider our thoughts conventional or not depends upon the voices to which we are listening and even this is only our perception of whether our thoughts are conventional or not because in the final analysis there are only two voices, two conventions, that exist. Yes, there are only two voices in this world that truly speak: the voice of God and the voice of Satan, the voice of truth and the voice of error, the voice of righteousness and the voice of sin (Matthew 21:25).
Satan speaks with many voices from many places and with many advocates appearing as if he has multiple ideas and multiple choices; this is pluralism and while it appears wise, it is a deception. It is a deception because truth cannot exist in the confluence or the synthesis of multiple thoughts. If it is true that truth can only be discerned in the synthesis of plural thoughts, then one of those thoughts from which truth must be discerned is that truth cannot be discerned in the synthesis of plural thoughts. How can it be true that truth must be discerned both from multiple thoughts and not from multiple thoughts? It cannot. We must conclude that pluralism is inherently self contradictory and that truth can only come from one voice, namely, the voice of God.
So, how do we hear God’s voice? There is only one way to hear the voice of God and thereby know the mind of God, namely, through the revelation of God’s mind by His Spirit. If someone can know the mind of God outside of revelation, I’d like for them to explain how. Scripture says that no man knows (independently from revelation) the mind of God except the Spirit of God reveal it to him (1 Corinthians 2:11). Indeed, no man has seen (i.e. understood) God; it is only the Son of God who has declared Him (John 1:18). The only way to know God’s mind is if God reveals His mind to man through inspiration (1 Corinthians 2:12). And there is only one inspired source of truth from the mind of God, the Bible.
To whose voice are we listening: the voice of pluralism or the one voice of truth? May God help us to learn that true wisdom comes from listening to and obeying God’s truth.