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Blog

The Voice: Faith is by Hearing, Not Seeing

Drew Trotter

The-Voice2 I have never watched the music competition The Voice, though my favorite would always be whoever Usher coaches, since I had the privilege of knowing his grandmother, a dear Christian friend whom we all miss. Such is the extent of my musical knowledge and my interest in musical competitions. The only way I would root for anyone other than Usher’s protege on the show would be if Bob Dylan was one of the other coach’s contestants. I don’t think that likely.

But I am intrigued by the title of the show and of its original set-up. Apparently, the coaches are all seated with their backs to the contestants and vote to take on one of the acts purely on the basis of hearing them sing. Interesting.

“Seeing is believing”has become an oft repeated idiom derived apparently from the story near the end of the Gospel of John in which the Apostle Thomas, not present when Jesus first appeared to the disciples in the upper room, declared that he would never believe unless he saw the nail print in Jesus’ hand and could thrust his own hand into Jesus’ side (where the Roman soldier had pierced Him with a spear while He was being crucified). Jesus graciously accommodated Thomas later, but mildly rebuked him, too, by stating that he believed because he saw, but blessed are those, who, not seeing, still believe (John 20:29).

I don’t think the apologetic concerns behind the phrase “seeing is believing”are generally legitimate. Yes, Mary encouraged Peter and John to come see the empty tomb for themselves, and they came, saw and believed. But they went right back and locked the doors for fear of the Jews. It wasn’t until He spoke Mary’s name in the garden and declared“Peace be unto you”to the disciples in the upper room that they were changed forever.

Gather together all the evidence you can, marshal all the arguments for and against, study them, analyze them. We need such things to understand what it is we have already believed. But faith only comes by hearing the Voice sing. And when you have heard the Voice sing your name, there is no turning back.