In Greek mythology, Sirens were creatures, half fish and half woman, who lured sailors to destruction on rocky shores by the sweetness of their song. They are best known through the writings of the ancient poet, Homer, in his work, Odyssey. In this epic poem, Odysseus ties himself to the mast of his ship and fills his sailors’ ears to prevent both, he and the sailors, from responding to the songs. The sirens’ songs were beautiful and alluring, but deadly as they called the sailors to the rocky shores.
We can easily see the ways in which drugs, alcohol, pornography, and many types of sexual temptations are a “siren’s song” from Satan to many people. Countless lives have been shipwrecked by the promises of what these “delights” would bring.
There is another Siren’s song the scriptures speak of, however, that is just as deadly to the Church. This song is a lullaby, sung to the Body of Christ to put them to sleep. In Revelation 3:1-3, we read these sobering words:
“To the angel of the church in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. So, remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore, if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.”
We are moving toward the songs of the prevailing culture, rather than navigating the seas by the directing winds of the Holy Spirit. We redefine holiness to allow us to rest in the comfort of the society around us. We dismiss our duties set forth in the Great Commission as unnecessary, disrespectful colonialism. Instead of living out what we have received and know, we are falling asleep and moving ever closer to the deadly rocks that shipwreck faith.
God’s word to us is to Wake Up.
If we don’t, then denominations will continue to collapse, churches will continue to close, scandals will continue to undermine the witness of The Church, and generations will be lost to the horrific realities of a Christ-less life and a hellish eternity.
Recently, I had the privilege of talking with an Iranian Christian. He and his wife have lived in the U.S. in the past, but, now, live and serve the Lord in Iran. He recalled the moment his wife came to him with a desperate request to move back to Iran. He asked her why she wanted to leave her safe life in the U.S. and return to the danger that awaited her in Iran. She replied, “Because the Church in the U.S. is singing a lullaby, and I keep falling asleep.”
If we listen to the lullaby long enough, we will begin to sing along without even realizing it. God tells us to wake up, strengthen the things that remain, remember what we have received, keep it, and repent. May God give us grace to resist the Sirens’ song.