Will you Escape or are you just following the Majority?
(A Dangerous Majority)
It was a lovely clear, sunny day and Susan was doing a walk which was new to her. She had no map or compass but brief instructions on a sheet of paper. At the top of a high hill she followed the descent of a large group of ramblers, gathering speed because she wanted to get down before it went dark.
After about half an hour she realised to her consternation that she must be going in the wrong direction. The path was getting wider and wider, but according to her instructions it should have been a very narrow path.
The ramblers were doing a different walk!
Her mistake would have been avoided if, instead of following them, she had used a map and compass.
Susan needed to change direction.
The Majority are often Wrong!
Susan’s mistake was easy to make: she had followed the majority. Many people have commented that the majority can be wrong. For example Mark Twain said: “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect”. Scientists and philosophers have voiced similar sentiments.
More importantly, Jesus himself warned that in moral issues following the majority is potentially disastrous.
This is because the majority are heading to destruction:
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13–14).
So if we want to be on the right path to salvation we must enter at the “narrow…gate” and be on the “difficult…way which leads to life”.
Although not all minorities are right, time after time the majority has been found to be wrong.
❖Noah – In the days of Noah, people were not interested in God and did not believe Noah’s preaching, so when the flood came they were not in the ark when: “a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water” (I Peter 3:20). Just eight people listened and were saved from utter destruction!
❖Lot – Later, in the time of Abraham, the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by God, and only Lot and his daughters were saved. Even Lot’s wife did not escape (Genesis chapter 19).
❖Joseph – Two generations later ten of Jacob’s sons ganged up on their brother Joseph and sold him into slavery and while that may have seemed the end of the matter, God was with Joseph and later he saved the majority that were against him along with the Nation of Egypt from starvation. (Genesis 37).
No wonder the Law of Moses specifically warned against “You shall not follow a crowd to do evil; nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after many to pervert justice” (Exodus 23:2).
Despite those warnings, for most of the history of the kingdom of Israel the majority were disobedient and refused to believe the prophets sent by God.
The ultimate mistake made by a majority was when the Jewish people cried out for the crucifixion of Jesus.
The apostle Stephen describes this sad history in a speech just prior to his martyrdom:
“You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers” (Acts 7:51–52).
Don’t Blindly Follow!
If we imagine that in the Christian era in which we live things are different, then we are wrong. Near the end of his life the apostle Paul warned Timothy that the Christian church would become corrupted (1 Timothy 1:19).
He had already warned about this:
“I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves” (Acts 20:29–30).
This defection was to happen only one generation after the death of Jesus. Given this pathetic record of human rebellion it is inconceivable that nowadays the majority is right in spiritual matters. It follows that we cannot just go along with the crowd or even believe what religious leaders tell us.
Today most of us have access to a Bible and we need to read what God has said, not what people report Him as having said.
Following to the letter the instructions in the Bible (like using a map and compass) we cannot go wrong. If we are heading the wrong way we need to repent NOW – change direction and walk in the way of life.
That means acting differently from the majority, just as the Bible counsels:
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).
We must not leave it too late, for Jesus is coming soon to judge the world, for God as the Apostle Paul said that God….
“…has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising him from the dead” (Acts 17:31).
World events today are a sign to us that, that day is coming soon!
We need to be found on the right track, walking in the right direction, when that Day Comes.
By Anna Hart