Recently, my favourite band, Twenty Øne Piløts, released a new single for the Suicide Squad Soundtrack. Both of which I love. At first I just listened to it as a form of entertainment. However when I looked at the lyrics, I found a deeper meaning to the song.

As we all know, Tyler and Josh (the lead and drummer), are Christians. But they don’t really speak about their faith. However, if you look carefully at the songs and analyse them, you can find subtle clues about their faith and Christianity.

“Heathens” are people who do not believe in a widely held religion (esp. Muslim or Christianity)

It starts with

“All my friends are heathens, take it slow

Wait for them to ask you who you know”

Tyler states it very clearly. All his friends are heathens. And sure, we would want to evangelise to them and share the good news. But Tyler is telling us to take it slow. Don’t be too quick to share your faith. We have to be patient. They may not be ready or open to hear what we have to say yet and if they really want to, they would ask.

“Please don’t make any sudden moves

You don’t know the half of the abused”

We shouldn’t “make any sudden moves” because it would just scare them off and catch them off guard. We should first take the time to know them and understand them because we “don’t know the half of the abused”. When Tyler says “All my friends are heathens”, he could also be talking about the people he got to know by listening to their stories. The strangers that he got close to who are now his friends.

Verse 1

“Welcome to the room of people

Who have rooms of people that they loved one day,

Docked away “

These people (heathens), although they are lost, they are still people with families, they are still someone’s son or daughter even though their loved ones might be distant from them.

“Just because we check the guns at the door

Doesn’t mean our brains will change from hand grenades”

Tyler is saying here that just because we take the time to get to know these people better, be their friend and care for them, doesn’t mean they will have a change of heart so easily. We must be ready for rejection. (1 Cor 1:18)

“You’ll never know the psychopath sitting next to you

You’ll never know the murderer sitting next to you

You’ll think, “How’d I get here, sitting next to you?”

But after all I’ve said, please don’t forget”

We are all sinners and we will soon realise we are loving someone so broken, so sinful, so dirty and how hopeless they are without Christ. For all we know, our closest friends may be hurting but they just put on a mask. We never really know someone until we tear down those walls they’ve built. And we’ll start to ask ourselves how we got into this situation. Because now we have a burden for this person whom we just met and we would want so badly to share Christ, “but after all I’ve said, please don’t forget”, Tyler reminds us again, to take it slow and be patient. It goes back to the chorus, which is the start of the song, “All my friends are heathens, take it slow”.

Verse 2

“We don’t deal with outsiders very well”

Christians can come across as forceful when we share our faith and it may rub people off the wrong way or scare them away. That is why Tyler says here, “We don’t deal with outsiders very well”. We don’t know how to approach them with the right attitude, we just come right at their faces and start shouting the gospel at them.

“They say newcomers have a certain smell”

We tend to place ourselves on a podium when talking to new believers. We can tell who a new believer is from the way  they talk and the questions they ask. We tend to judge new believers and laugh at how simple minded they are. In a way we are like wolves and the new believers are fresh meat which we can smell from a mile away and Tyler phrases it very accurately.

“Yeah, trust issues, not to mention

They say they can smell your intentions”

This is why new believers are intimidated and do not dare to voice out any doubts because they are afraid of being judged. This makes them have trust issues with us and result in a stagnant walk with God. It may even deter them away from God. Although they want to grow in their faith, they can smell the stench in us. That stench is our pride. It may be subconscious but sometimes we ask them questions so that we can correct them and show off how much we know and they can sense that. They know our prideful intentions.

“You’ll never know the freakshow sitting next to you

You’ll have some weird people sitting next to you

You’ll think, “How’d I get here, sitting next to you?”

But after all I’ve said, please don’t forget”

This goes back to the Christian’s point of view where everyone is a sinner and we become aware of who we are really talking to.

Tyler repeats the chorus again and ends with this last paragraph which is from the once-a-heathen-now-a-new-believer’s point of view.

Outro

“Why’d you come you knew you should have stayed

(It’s blesphamy)

I tried to warn you just to stay away

And now they’re outside ready to bust

It looks like you might be one of us”

Because of all the judgment, all the flaunting of knowledge that we place upon the new believer, it is daunting and they start to ask themselves why they became a Christian. And if they ever bring that up to a Christian, we would say “It’s blesphamy”. Everyone is bombarding them with new information, everyone is shoving the bible at their faces. And the new believer, reverting back to a heathen, starts to think to themselves, Christians are not so different from them after all.

This is just my interpretation of the song. I find it very deep and meaningful. Us Christians, must humble ourselves and be careful when we talk to a non-believer and when we disciple a new believer. Sometimes pride can get in the way and we laugh at the obvious simple questions they ask. But is this really how we should act? We mustn’t forget that we were once at that point. The Christian life is an ongoing journey. There will always be new things we can learn about God because He is everlasting.

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