Okay, first of all a disclosure. I do not like this song and after watching the video below, I feel kind of bad about that. It probably wouldn’t bother me that much but I go to a gym nearly every day and they play a top 40 pop station that seems to have the song on infinite repeat and I never really got the opportunity to take the lyrics in. To me it just sounded like one of those ear worm pop songs. I didn’t even understand the lyrics for quite a while and to be truthful, I’ve started to become one of those people I swore I’d never become, i.e. someone who doesn’t like the new music very much. There’s just something about the tone of the song that bugged me when I heard it.
When I finally understood that the first line of the chorus is:
“All my friends are heathens take it slow” I wondered, “What is he talking about?”
Could it be? As it turns out it looks like it is.
He appears to be talking about sharing your faith and how Christians approach non-Christians and now I have to admit, I’m intrigued. Consider how the Pop Song Professor Clifford Stumme explains the song.
I have to admit I agree with the approach presented here to some degree. When Peter instructs us to always be prepared to give the reason for the hope we have, he also instructs us to do it with gentleness and respect. If that’s what twenty one pilots are advocating, I am on board at least to some degree. Stumme gets it right when he uses that old adage people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care and a big part of sharing faith is meeting people were they are. We often can’t just barge in with our faith. Often instead we need to do the hard work of earning the right to be heard through forming genuine friendships or at least relationships, serving and being a blessing.
Sometimes you have to take it slow, especially with “heathens.”