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Yanny vs. Laurel

If you have not heard about the Yanny vs. Laurel debate by now, you might be a little behind and out of touch with the latest trivial matter of our culture. For those who are unaware, I will briefly explain it, and if you want, Google it later on.


An audio clip of a deep voice from was posted on social media  saying, “Laurel.” But to some who heard this audio clip, they found themselves hearing “Yanny.” This audio clip was shared a couple hundred million times, and a debate swept across the country on which word was actually being said. Long story short, the word that was actually said was “Laurel,” but people found themselves hearing differently because of the frequency of the sound in which it is said… or something like that.


An old classmate of mine, who isn’t a believer but rather one who is indifferent to the idea of a deity, was discussing it with me. He came to a conclusion that I thought was a little short sighted. I will paraphrase what he essentially told me: “See, this whole debate on Yanny & Laurel has made me realize that everyone in this world has a different reality/truth from everyone else. What is real (true) to you may not be real (true) to me. There is no one set “truth.” It’s all about point of view.” What he said took me off guard, because I was not finding myself thinking anything close to that. I made a point to remind him that mankind would not be nearly as advanced as we are today, if that point was as prevalent as some are trying to make this trivial matter out to be. I don’t think this trivial Yanny/Laurel debate should ever lead someone to say, “You have your truth, and I have mine.”


To make this relate to what I am trying to exhort about, is that this could easily lead someone down a path to say this with biblical truths. This is in fact why there are so many “churches” in our world. The way we interpret and handle the Word of God is not the same way everyone in our world handles it. So, can this silly debate fuel the argument to say that nobody is wrong? Does this mean there are multiple ways to arrive to the “truth?” After all, “What is truth?”


Pilate asked Jesus this when he was awaiting His crucifixion. Pilate is like my friend, who sparked these thoughts in my head; he doesn’t see that there is really ONE truth!


An agnostic like my friend, is probably one of the most difficult people to study with at times, because they don’t care to take a stance on whether God exists or doesn’t exist. The only thing I can use against them is that if we say there isn’t a truth, then we can only say there is no wrong or evil either. But most people would tend to think that there is in fact evil and wrongs in our world.  Regardless, I don’t know if there’s any possibility of any other interpretation from John 14:6 when Jesus said “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”


This reminds me of that man, Joel Osteen. A couple of years ago, he was in an interview with Larry King, and the topic of how to get to heaven came up. He “essentially” revealed that he believes anyone can go to heaven, regardless of what they believe. I say “essentially,” because a lady called in and confronted him with John 14:6, and he tried to put himself in the position of not condemning anyone by saying a particular person can’t go to heaven because he’s not the judge and God is the only who can judge the heart. I can understand the sentiment that nobody on this earth is capable to determine who is going to heaven and who is not, but John 14:6  is  a  stated truth by Christ, unless you are one to believe that Christ is a liar. To finally reach my point in this article, there are truths that cannot be danced around or manipulated. Jesus made it a point not leave too much of His words up to interpretation, especially with the statement in John 14:6. 


What about 1 John 1:8?  “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” There really is no other way around this statement, other than what it says. A certain truth is that one cannot claim to be without sin.

When Jesus was praying for His disciples in the garden in John 17:17:

“Sanctify them by truth, your word is truth.”

How can one know the truth?

 “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” ~John 8:31-32

If we claim to be Disciples of Christ, we can rest assured, knowing that “truth” can be found only in Christ teachings and His word.

Nothing has mattered less in my lifetime than this debate over Yanny vs. Laurel. What one thinks they hear does not change truth. If I pull up to an intersection and see a big red sign that says “STOP,” could this mean that someone else can pull up to that same intersection and see a big green sign that says “GO?” We know from 1 Corinthians 14:33 that God is not an author of confusion, but of peace. Therefore, we can go on with our lives without left wondering what the truth really is.

~  John Wells