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The Yeast of Backmasking?
By Allen White
When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.”
Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Matthew 16:5-12
You’ve gotta love the disciples. They’re just so normal. They forgot to bring bread. If the events follow the sequence of the chapters, there were seven baskets collected after the 4,000+ were fed. And, they forgot to bring bread. They also forgot how all of that bread multiplied.
While the disciples were focused on finding the next harbor with a bakery, Jesus gave them a more significant concern: “Watch out for the Pharisees’ yeast.”
The disciples were probably thinking, “Great. We need bread but we can’t buy it from Pharisees or Sadducees. Where are we going to find a good Jewish deli now?”
Jesus chided them to get bread out of their heads. If they needed bread, He could provide bread. The bigger concern was the expansion of false teaching. The multiplication of words bore an exponential power like yeast in bread dough.
Thoughts multiply. Whether they originate with Billy Graham or Adolf Hitler, the yeasty teaching applied to the dough of human minds expands – some for good; some for evil.
The saying goes “You are what you eat.” Apparently, some of us have eaten a lot of pears to gain this shape. The reality is “You are what you believe.” If you believe you’re a failure, you will fail. If you believe you can make a significant contribution, you will. What you listen to has a great effect on who you believe you are.
When I was a teenager, youth evangelists would cruise through town educating us on the subversive, subconscious messages of rock and roll music called backmasking.
If you played Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” backwards, it’s supposed to say, “It’s fun to smoke marijuana.” I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard that song in all of my now, 47 years. I’ve never smoked marijuana. I’ve also never regretted missing out on the alleged fun.
Now, given in junior high, there were plenty of kids smoking marijuana. I’m not sure that Queen had as much to do with this as the availability. In Kansas, it grew like a weed, so to speak. Looking back backmasking probably wasn’t the problem.
Once physical media disappeared, I believe the backmasking exposé is now passé. Can you play an mp3 backwards? I’m not sure that I want to know.
Backmasking never harmed me. What harmed me was the belief that I was a Christian nerd who wasn’t allowed to listen to rock music because it might entice me to smoke pot. I didn’t need any more don’ts. I needed more Jesus. Why didn’t the youth evangelists bring Jesus to us?
Who are you listening to? What yeast are they multiplying? What is this teaching causing you to believe about yourself? Does it measure up to what God says about you?
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