Twenty | One | Pilots talking about the Gospel in their music?

Twenty One Pilots consists of two dudes, Tyler Joseph who sings and plays the piano, bass and ukulele, and Josh Dun who is the drummer (and trumpet player). From the course of listening to Twenty One Pilots, from their album “Vessel” with the electronic pumped up beat, the last thing I would have guessed is that they mention God in their music. It took me awhile to figure it out, but with deep and intense research on the internet for many hours, I finally got the answer.

YES! If you look a little deeper and think about it, there are actually many lyrics and whole songs that reference to God. Also, Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun themselves are dedicated Christians. Tyler Joseph before Twenty One Pilots wrote and created music with his pastor at his church. Here’s a link to one of the songs which Tyler cowrote and sang in.

Now, back to the main question, Twenty One Pilots talking about the Gospel in their music? where you might ask?
Well one very clear verse that I will briefly explain how it talks about the Gospel is in their first full length album which was self titled, “Twenty One Pilots”, the song “Taxi Cab” with the verse,

“We’re driving toward the morning sun
Where all your blood is washed away
And all you did will be undone”

Now, how does this exactly speak Gospel? Well simply by how the Kingdom or “Heaven” is referred to the Sun or Sunlight, which in the first stanza it says “We’re driving toward the morning sun” hencing that we are on our way to the promiseland or having the capability to go to heaven once we die.
In the second stanza, “Where all your blood is washed away” which referring the the previous line about the kingdom of heaven and going there after we die, this line indirectly talks about Jesus, which *cough cough* IS THE GOSPEL! Jesus died for our sins so that we could be free, our blood is our sins which reminds us that we are human and not God, that we do sin everyday, little or big, and that Jesus came down and died for us cleansing you from your past and future sins.
The last line, “And all you did will be undone”, with what I just stated, Jesus cleansed us of our sins, saying that whatever mistake or bad choice(sin) you made, because Jesus loves you so much, he sacrificed himself for us so our debt could be paid and we could be free.

I don’t think many people have really understood this line like the meaning that I believe Tyler wrote for those who have faith just like him, but it’s soooo freaking awesome how Tyler puts his on faith into his work, but not like flashy “I LOVE GOD AND IM A GOOD CHRISTIAN” no. His lyrics have hidden meaning to which he wants everyone to relate to or take it the way they feel connected to. I feel like Tyler when he writes lyrics want people who are lost to be found with their music, and that’s a wonderful and beautiful thing if you ask me.

Taxi Cab is one of the most straight up Gospel reference in their music in my opinion but they do have many other songs to which some could argue are about faith or not, but coming from a Christian background, studying and analyzing lyrics, and talking to fellow hardcore Twenty One Pilot fans, some other songs that hint faith in the lyrics are:

Self Titled:

  • Addict With A Pen
  • March to Sea
  • Taxi Cab
  • A Car, A Torch, A Death
  • Implicit Demand For Proof
  • Trapdoor
  • Fall Away

Regional at Best:

  • Clear
  • Lovely
  • Ruby
  • Be Concerned

Vessel:

  • Holding On To You
  • Screen
  • Ode To Sleep
  • Car Radio
  • Fake You Out
  • Trees

Blurryface:

  • Doubt
  • Heavydirtysoul
  • The Judge
  • Polarize
  • Hometown
  • Goner

I have noticed that sense I posted this originally two years ago before blurryface came out and the clique has grown, many people have pointed out (in the comments) about how blurryface songs talk about God as well. It’s true! I know that Tyler has a lot of insecurities and has been in dark spots in his life. The entire concept of Blurryface is controversial and a conversation being discussed about to who really is Blurryface and why does he want me dead?

From some of the songs listed above, one song that particularly stands out to me is Doubt.

Repeating simple phrases, someone holy insisted,
I want the markings made on my skin,
To mean something to me again,
Hope you haven’t left without me.
Hope you haven’t left without me, please

Simple. Phrases? Bible verses. Holy insisted? Pastor, God, Disciple, etc. Marks on my skin? Tyler’s tattoos. We all know that his tattoos have a symbolic meaning, some say they know the story behind it, and some sources say that Tyler doesn’t want the internet to know and to have that conversation with him about the meaning over tattoos…but through conversations within the clique, his tattoos are a reflection of his faith and for him to cry out wanting to have his tattoos to mean something to him again- referring that his relationship with God is somewhere in this mess we call life, to “hope you haven’t left without me”-!!!!! THIS IS HIM CRYING OUT TO GOD. Tyler is hoping that while Tyler is going through his dark time, as he is questioning things and losing focus of God, he’s hoping that God doesn’t forget about him and leave him. This song almost brings full conviction and almost a reminder to Christians.

Again- one thing that I have admired and found is that the lyrics that Tyler creates can fit into any background and situation- whether you are Christian and identify with the lyrics as faith driven or as a Non Believer and see his words more literal and seeking them as words crying out for help and trying to hold on when the tough times try to drown you and take control.

Make these lyrics your own meaning, identify in them in the way that helps you stay alive. I believe Tyler and Josh just want to save lives, make people feel important and that they aren’t alone when they’re put in difficult situations.

If you have any questions or wanna talk about this more please feel free to comment or contact me at the contact page.

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31 thoughts on “Twenty | One | Pilots talking about the Gospel in their music?

    1. I personally think this means that the worldly thing to do is to “March to Sea”. Many people in the line think it’s the only thing you really can do, and that there’s no better alternative. But the voice that’s telling Tyler to “follow me instead” is really God telling Tyler to follow Him. At first he denies the voice, and continues marching. But soon, he realizes he doesn’t want to march with the rest of line or live like this, so he decided to go against everyone else and follow God instead.

      I’m not still 100% sure about my own interpretation of the song, but this is what I’ve got from it. I still don’t understand parts of the song though.

    2. I would include “Not Today” in that list. I think it’s a song of celebration of resisting Satan (AKA Blurryface)

    3. In our society, Christianity is looked down on. The “March To The Sea” is the brainwashed, uncaring atmosphere that we live in. God tells Tyler to “follow him instead” of marching to his metaphorical grave, a grave of the anti-Christian world. Because God is love, God is life. Without God, we can’t do good.

    4. This comment is from like 2 years ago but oh well lol. here’s my interpretation of march to the sea.
      The song represents a couple things to me (I agree with Macey’s comment as well), so this is just one idea of the meaning, based off some things I’ve experienced. Feel free to interpret the songs in any way you want tho! This is just what I think 🙂
      —–
      The “march” is people wanting to commit suicide. (“And about this time of every year / the line will go to the ocean pier / and walk right off into the sea / and then we fall asleep / and as we near the end of land / and our ocean graves are just beyond the sand”). Tyler is walking in this line towards the sea, which represents death. But then he asks himself “why am I here?” (“I ask myself the question / why I fall in line”). He’s depressed and wants to end his life, but something makes him question his decision to go through with killing himself. (I remember Josh saying in an interview with Rolling Stone that they are both the type of people to question everything. He also said in that they were both Christians, so that’s cool, but beside my point here lol.) So he’s doubting if he wants to do it, but doesn’t feel like he could keep living. That’s the curse of depression–you hate being depressed and want it to end, but as soon as you consider getting help, you feel like you were just faking your illness the whole time. But there’s a solution: “out of the corner of my eye / I see a spaceship in the sky / and hear a voice inside my head / ‘Follow me instead'”. This represents God and the hope of new life that He offers. Tyler has way out! But he still doesn’t want to leave–“And then I start down the sand / my eyes are focused on the end of land / but again the voice inside my head says / follow me instead”. He finally listens and leaves the line. But his struggles continue, as they tend to do and will always do, thanks to this broken world. Nevertheless, he petitions God with this: “Take me up, seal the door / I don’t want to march here anymore / I realize that this line is dead / so I’ll follow You instead”. (that verse always reminds me of the song “Come Though Fount”). He realizes now that suicide isn’t the answer to his problems. He goes with God instead, trusting that God will help him solve the issues that pushed him to consider suicide. But then the song’s conclusion loops us back to the beginning. It ends with the verse “So then you put me back in my place / so I might start another day / and once again I will be / in a march to the sea”. This shows that out hearts are apt to wander away, even when we’ve seen how much better life is outside of the march. It’s even harder with depression, because your brain is wired towards sadness and emptiness and all of those awful things, so you walk that way. It’s habit. The song shows a sad ending to the cycle, but it always carries the hope that God will be there for you–which He will. We wander, but He follows us anywhere and is always willing to take us home again. We just have to listen and follow him instead.


      Hope this helped!
      Elizabeth

  1. You forgot Be Concerned from Regional at Best (: The whole thing really clearly depicts his faith struggle which is super important to come to grips with

  2. So happy i found this. You couldnt have said it any better. Thanks i thought i was the only one who thought this. follow me on twitter i feel like i wanna know who you are! / @_finsey

  3. This is a great article and I have much respect for your willingness to take time to discover this because I also have believed their lyrics have religious meaning. Thank you so much.

    1. This article was from 2014, but yes, a lot of Blurryface songs have Christian messages as well, such as Doubt, Polarize, and Heavydirtysoul, among others.

  4. I think this is a great post and you did a great job explaining everything. 🙂 But I just wanted to point out that I believe many other of their songs have much more direct references to Tyler’s faith. For example, Addict With a Pen with the lyrics “I know, I haven’t been the best of sons.” referring to Christ the Father, along with the most obvious, “You specialize in dying, you hear me screaming ‘Father’, and I’m lying here just crying, so wash me with your water.” which refers to baptism, or savior. The entire song of Trees in Vessel refers to the story of Zacchaeus in the bible, which tells a story of a man who climbed a tree in order to get God’s attention and hear his voice. In the song Be Concerned from the album Regional At Best, it has the lyrics “It’s so hard to motivate me to devote a single inch to something I can’t see. I don’t mean to pry but why would you even make the eyes? I don’t believe my ears and I’m scared of my own head, I will deny you for years and I’ll make you raise me from the dead. And if I said that I would live for you for nothing in return, then I’m sorry, Mr. Gullible but lying’s all I’ve learned so be concerned.” This entire verse is an incredibly direct reference to his faith, along with, from the same song, a direct reference to a biblical verse. In the song, the lyric is “I am the pearl, you are the swine.” and the bible verse Matthew 7:6 is ” Do not throw your pearls before swine. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.” I just think Tyler Joseph does an incredible job incorporating his religion into his work in a way that relates to everyone listening. It’s truly beautiful what he and Josh Dun have done for the world. Just thought I would give you a few more examples you might enjoy thinking about. 🙂

    1. Okay, so I’ve always wondered what Tyler means in ‘Migraine’ when he says: “Thank God it’s Friday, cause Fridays will always be better than Sundays cause Sundays are my suicide days”. I mean I think I know, but I’m not sure..

      1. Here’s my personal interpretation (I’m not necessarily right though):
        Friday is mostly just a random pick of a day, but it’s also kind of the epitome of the modern culture: Friday night is universally recognised as a party night, a night to get drunk or stoned or laid, etc. So it’s symbolic of giving in to the “easy” way, the “good life”; doing what you want without having to worry about the consequences or about a God who disagrees with what you’re doing.
        Then the “Sundays are my suicide days” part. The “Sunday” represents, well, Sunday, commonly seen as the Lord’s day. The day you go to Church. To me, the “suicide” part is talking about killing that person that existed on Friday: that person that cared only about themselves and their happiness. He’s killing the selfish part of himself when the time comes to be close to God because he knows that that part of him isn’t what God wants for him.
        I could analyse this so much deeper, but there’s a brief overview.

  5. I gotta say, as a Christian who loves alternative music, it was such a relief to hear song lyrics that I can relate so well to my faith. I like a lot of bands on the Feuled by Ramen label, but this band is the only one that I’ve heard that has been so open about their faith in their music, nor to they swear. It’s refreshing to not feel guilty when listening to it!

  6. I love they’re music!!! It took me awhile to catch on that they were Christian themed lyrics! I know God is useing them for his purpose. Do you think some of the skeleton clique are unaware that what they are singing and listening to are Christian? I see alot of posts staying “They saved my life.” I feel like they litterally means it, or are they talking spiritually? Do you think Tyler or Joshua will ever come out and just give the salvation message? I understand about throwing your pearls before swine but, I also think to whom much is given, much is exspected. I just think there are so many clique members who could really benifit from knowing Jesus. Well…everyone could!! It seems that they are really struggling with some major issues. What can we do to help?I have such a heart for people and this seems to be such a great opportunity to reach a broken and hurting world.Can we start a Christian Clique and work with the skeleton clique to support or answer questions. Who runs the Skeleton Clique? I don’t know how this will work but I do know God is promting me to do this for his glory! If you have any ideas, comments,or suggestions I would love to hear from you! l-/0PE

  7. Thank you so much for this info! My 14 yr old daughter loves 21 pilots and, as a follower of Messiah, I am concerned about the music sh listens too! I never understood the 21 pilots lyrics because I’m more of a Lauren Daigle, bethel, Jeremy Camp kind of mom lol! I was wondering anyone knows of any other Christian artist that are similar to 21 pilots that I can tell my daughter about?? Thanks in advance for all your help!!!

    1. There is a band called Judah and the Lion and they aren’t exactly like twenty one pilots, but they are kind of similar. They are actually one of the opening acts for TØP’s current tour, and while their current music doesn’t really have Christian themes in the songs, their very first album was a Christian album. (Sorry if she already knows about them or doesn’t end up likening them, but I think they’re really good.

  8. I’m wondering if tyler and josh support lgbt because i just now figured out that most of their lyrics are about god. which i don’t mind at all even though i am indian. i still love them. would they be considered gospel.

    1. I think they’re under the music label of alternative/indie rock rather than Christian/gospel music. It doesn’t mean that they can’t talk about God because many musicians use the word God in their songs, yet don’t classify themselves as Christian music. The gospel is spreading the good news of Jesus, so it’s really all down to interpretation and meaning that tøp wanted or the people get. I also don’t think the conversation of them supporting or not supporting lgbtq+ groups really matters- I am a Christian and I support lgbtq+ groups, plus no one knows if they do or don’t and it’s not anyone’s place to decide that upon them since we all have the right to believe whatever we may choose. Ultimately, I think because Tyler and Josh have a Christian background that there are hidden meanings reflecting to Christ and the biblical text, which can be translated to talking about the gospel, but it’s all up to the listener to figure out what the meaning is to them.

  9. Hello, I like what you wrote a lot. I’m not Christian, and I don’t believe in any religion, but you could say that I believe in something that created everything. But you really got the point, and it was you who made me see what Jesus did for us. Thank you

  10. Can someone helps me with a question…
    Twenty one pilots is a secular band? Like, their ,usics isn’t for true cristians?

    1. I don’t think it’s music that you could worship to, but there are faith based elements hidden in the lyrics. Tyler and Josh are both Christians and their faith does have an influence in their music. It may not be played on Christian Radio but it’s not necessarily secular, it’s for everyone to interrupt for themselves.

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