The Majority of the People are often Wrong
casual look at the Bible shows that the majority very often turn out to be wrong.
The majority of people rejected Noah's preaching and died in the flood.
The majority of people perished in Sodom and Gomorrah.
majority of Israel worshipped Aaron's calf in Exodus 32.
The majority of Israel rejected the ministry of the prophets such as Jeremiah.
The majority of people rejected Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry.
The majority of people alive today reject Jesus Christ as the Savior of the
Just as monarchy, which is the rule of government by a sovereign king,
is the rejection of theocracy or the rule by the One True God, so is democracy that is the government through decisions made
by the majority of the people. From the Scriptures we discover that some of God’s
mighty heroes are in the minority.
Consider Moses’ lone and solitary voice of warning to the children
of Israel not to go up to the mountaintop to fight the Amalekites and the Canaanites.
“But they presumed to go up to the mountaintop; nevertheless, neither the ark of
the LORD nor Moses departed from the camp. Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites
who dwelt in that mountain came down and attacked them, and drove them back as far as Hormah.” (Num. 14:39-45) Big numbers of people and the majority
mean nothing to God. “The ark of the LORD” represents His very presence. Having only the presence of God is much more powerful than having the people’s majority.
Consider Joshua and Caleb returning with ten other
spies that looked over the land of their promised inheritance. The land was a veritable fortress. There were walled cities
and warriors of great size in the land. Joshua and Caleb did not deny this. They believed, however, that their God was bigger
than these obstacles and that the giants before them would simply become their prey.
Not so, the other ten spies. They judged by appearance.
They looked at themselves and were made weak. In their own strength they perceived that they would fail and their own strength
was all they had. They had not learned how to exhibit confidence in an almighty God. The rest of Israel gave way to the same
Some have estimated that Israel consisted of nearly
3 million people at that time. Joshua and Caleb stood against the opinion of 3 million of their brothers and sisters. What
arrogance, what pride for these two to believe that they were right when so many said that they were dead wrong. In fact, those who said they were wrong had wished them to be dead.
It is said that they spoke of stoning them. Christians that have different views from their peers that form the majority
face the same hardships as Joshua and Caleb. Remember that Jesus Christ and us
form the majority.
Consider David when he was yet a youth. He was
sent to the site of battle to carry food to his brothers and to bring back news of their welfare to his father. He found all
of the army of Israel hiding behind rocks as the champion of the Philistines came out daily to challenge and taunt them. David
heard that King Saul has offered a reward to any Israelite warrior who would challenge Goliath and slay him. He even had offered one of his daughters as part of the reward. David
heard of this and was incredulous.
David was not intimidated. He heard the taunt
of Goliath and was filled with indignation. His oldest brother Eliab overheard
David as he talked to the soldiers about the reward offered to kill Goliath. David’s words were bold and Eliab became
angry. Eliab felt justified to hide behind the rocks every day. Goliath was huge. David’s fearless words stung and Eliab began to accuse David of evil. (1 Samuel
17:28) After all, who did David think he was. The entire army of Israel was scared
before Goliath. David was surely just exhibiting arrogance and pride. He was deluded to think that he could slay Goliath.
He was but a youth. The opinion of all Israel was against him. Why did he think he was right?
The One True God was behind him.
No, being in the minority does not mean one is
in the right, but being in the majority doesn’t either. One must look at the issues involved. One must see what emotions
and physical and spiritual forces are shaping opinions. Fear and a desire for self-preservation were very evident in the majority
in both cases mentioned. Courage and confidence in God was present in the minority.
The Early Apostolic Church
Why is democracy not the correct polity for the Christian Church? It is the principle of democracy that presupposes the majority of the people is always
right; and it was also the same wrong decisions of the majority that rejected Jesus Christ as the Messiah; drove Him out of
the synagogue and also crucified Him on Mount Calvary.
“He came to His own, and His own
did not receive Him.” (Jn. 1:11)
“Then all those in the synagogue, when
they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up and thrust Him (Jesus Christ) out of the city; and they led Him
to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way.” (Lk. 4:28-30)
“But all this was done that the Scriptures
of the prophets might be fulfilled.’ Then all the disciples forsook Him
and fled.” (Mt. 26:56)
The Roman governor
Pilate wanted to know whether Jesus Christ was the King of the Jews. “Jesus answered,
‘My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My
servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.’ Pilate therefore said to Him, ‘Are You a king then?’
Jesus answered, ‘You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause
I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the
truth hears My voice.” (Jn. 18:36-37)
“But the chief priests and elders persuaded
the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. The governor
answered and said to them, ‘Which of the two do you want me to release to you?’ They said, ‘Barabbas!’ Pilate said to them, ‘What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?’ They all said to him, ‘Let Him be crucified!’ Then the governor said, ‘Why, what evil has He done?’
But they cried out all the more, saying, Let Him be crucified!’ When
Pilate say that he could not prevail at all, but rather than a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before
the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see
to it.’ And all the people answered and said, ‘His blood be on us
and on our children.’ Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had
scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.” (Mt. 27:20-26)
The majority of the people in Jerusalem wanted Jesus
to be crucified and although Pilate acknowledged the Lord’s innocence yet he succumbed to the rule of the democratic
majority and let Him be crucified. Democracy does not always allow the truth
to prevail because the majority always rules. Truth is often crucified by the
wrong decisions of the majority. Democracy has not been on the side of true Christianity.
The Church as we
see it in the New Testament was built by the Lord Jesus Christ (Mt. 16:18). Based
on the theocratic form of government it had unity of doctrine, organization, worship and work.
In many modern congregations that are governed by democratic principles we see quite the opposite. They have disunity and confusion, and we can know straightway that it is not
of God. “For
God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.”
(1 Cor. 14:33) “For where envy
and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing will be there.” (Jas. 3:16)
One of the chief causes of confusion within many Christian
congregations lie in the polity that relates to forms of government and administration.
It is because they have adopted the worldly and secular polity of democracy. “Democracy is the government of the
people, by the people, for the people.” Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) Students
of social history were taught that modern democracy has its roots in pagan classical Greece.
It was revived in France after the French Revolution. Democracy in America
borrowed ideologies from various sources but some American historians, anthropologists and traditional chiefs addressed the
proposal the U.S. Constitution was based on the Iroquois Great Law of Peace rather than on Greek democracy, as is commonly
believed and taught. Democracy is absolutely foreign to true Christianity.
Democracy may be
an ideal form of government for the nations of the world but it is definitely not the correct polity for the Christian Church. Many Christians will be shocked to find out that democracy is never taught in the
Holy Bible. It is certainly not known or practiced by the Children of Israel
in the Old Testament and the Apostolic Christian Church in the New Testament. The
only correct form of polity for the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is Christian Theocracy that means government through immediate
guidance by the One True God. In Christian Theocracy the One True God in the
Lord Jesus Christ is the Supreme Ruler. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church (Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18). The Church “is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus
Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in
the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a habitation of God in the Spirit.” (Eph.
Weakness of Democracy
based on the Majority Rule
Democracy is a form of government in which the majority rules. Let us read some quotations on democracy that shows some of its weaknesses.
The great thing about democracy is that it gives every voter a chance to do something stupid. - Art Spander
Fifty-one percent of a nation can establish a totalitarian regime, suppress minorities and still remain democratic. - Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn
When great changes occur in history, when great principles are involved, as a rule the majority are wrong. - Eugene V. Debs
Democracy is based on the assumption that a million
men are wiser than one man. How's that again? I missed something. - Excerpt from the notebooks of Lazarus Long, from Robert
Heinlein's "Time Enough for Love"
If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal
controls on government would be necessary. -
Democracy is proof of a base and low mind for one to
wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is,
or is not, believed by a majority of the people. - Giordano Bruno
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard. - H.L. Mencken (1880-1956)
Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance. - H.L. Mencken (1880-1956)
The voice of the majority is no proof of justice. - Johann von Schiller
Nor is the people's judgment always true: the most may err as grossly as the few. - John Dryden
Democracy ... is a system of self-determination. It's the right to make the wrong choice. - John Patrick
Democracy encourages the majority to decide things about which the majority is blissfully ignorant. - John Simon
It is bad to be oppressed by a minority, but it is worse to be oppressed by a majority. - Lord Acton
In matters of conscience, the law of majority has no place. - Mahatma Gandhi
Democracy is not a state in which people act like sheep. - Mahatma Gandhi
Performance of one's duties should be independent of public opinion.
- Mahatma Gandhi
If an individual agrees with everybody, he lacks conviction; if he likes everybody and is everybody's friend,
he is indifferent to one and all. - Nikolai
Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people. - Oscar Wilde
The greatest fallacy of democracy is that everyone's opinion is worth the same. - Robert Anson Heinlein
Democracy is a government where you can say what you think even if you don't think. - Unknown
How a Church can have Sound
The former prime
minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru once said: “Democracy is good. I say
this because other systems are worse.” Mr. Nehru implied that democracy
is really not that good. He had never discovered Christian Theocracy in which
the One True God rules supreme. True Christian Theocracy takes God’s instructions
in the Holy Bible as the absolute guideline for all the people to make unanimous decisions.
The Church should strive for unanimous consent in all
issues. The Holy Bible unequivocally stresses the only way for the Church to
function in unity, peace and harmony is for all the members to have unanimous consent in any issue. Although the existing constitution and bylaws may require only a simple majority vote, beware of potential
division and wrong conclusions. Voting by even a two-third majority to solve
a problem often creates new and greater problems. A majority of spies agreed
that the land of Canaan was filled with unconquerable giants and refused to enter it.
Only two voices contradicted the majority (Numbers 13:26
one voice disagreed with the four hundred prophets who told King Ahab and King Jehoshaphat that it was God's will to go to
battle (1 Kings 22:1-39). In both cases the majority was wrong. Democracy with the majority rule was not God’s will.
The Children of Israel became a theocratic nation after they accepted God’s words as the sole guide
to their religious, civil and social lives.
all the people answered together and said, ‘All that the LORD has spoken we will do.’ So Moses brought back the words of the people to the LORD.” (Ex. 19:8)
The Early Apostolic
Church was the model of unity. “These all continued
with one accord in prayer and supplication with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.”
(Acts 1:14) “Now when the Day of Pentecost
had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” (Acts 2:1)
“Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul: neither did anyone say that
any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.” (Acts 4:32)
To deal with the tasks over the care of the widows,
the leaders gathered together and presented a plan that was received with unanimity among the apostles and all the believers
(Acts 6:1-5). When a disagreement over doctrine arose in the church, the leaders gathered to discuss the matter. Their decision
was by unanimous consent (Acts 15). In order to have unanimity, every leader must be biblically qualified to serve and be
in harmony with the Holy Spirit and with each other.
When the Early Apostolic Church functioned under the
direction of the Holy Spirit, the believers and harmony is for all the members to have unanimous consent in any issue. Here are some scriptural verses to support this position.
daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity
of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added
to the church daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:46-47)
One accord is a biblical term that
denotes a unanimous decision in complete unity, peace and harmony. The Early
Apostolic Church was able to be in one accord because they “continued steadfastly in the apostles’
doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in prayers.” (Acts. 2:42) It could never have been achieved if believers had given only their personal opinions about any
issue. They all had a common guideline – the apostles’ doctrine –
as the point of reference in making decisions. The Holy Bible is the only reference
for all Christians everywhere and in all ages.
“Then it pleased the apostles
and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, namely, Judas
who was also named Barsabas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren.” (Acts 15:22)
It seemed to be by unanimous decision that the apostles and
elders decided to accept Peter and James' decision on the matter of the Gentiles. We
see here, a committee chosen of the elect men in the group to go and carry this good news of the church 's decision to the
church at Antioch. Perhaps, Judas surnamed Barsabas and Silas went to assure
the people of Antioch that this was not just Paul and Barnabas' decision, but was also Peter and James' decision, as well. This is the Antioch where the followers of Jesus were first called Christians, and
there were many Gentile converts here. Remember, the church was still being formed
“Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of the
Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be no divisions
among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” (1
The Corinthian Church had not attained the
same level of understanding and discernment within its membership. Christian
love, active discipleship, healing, and equipping of the saints is much needed here.
Congregations that have divisions must strive to operate within the same opinions, purposes, resolves, and decision-making.
“Only let your conduct be worthy
of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs that you stand fast in
one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.” (Phil. 1:27)
The believers are encouraged to be united as they “stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together
for the faith of the gospel.” There is only one Holy Spirit who moves and inspires every believer to have one mind to
preach the gospel to the lost world.
Practical Steps towards having
In any assembly whether it is a congregational, board, staff,
or committee meeting, all may include at least some of the following elements:
Teamwork - The
whole chapter 12 of 1 Corinthians describes how a church or congregation can work together as a team. “.
. . . there should be no schism in the body, . . .” (1 Cor. 12:25) Recognize
each member’s gift (spiritual, physical, intellectual or professional) and encourage the person to get involved in a
team project that he or she can contribute the most. It must be emphasized that
the decision of a team consisting of expertise in the various fields is superior and more efficient than a congregation that
knows little about the issue at large.
Information – Always remember that the Holy Bible is the main
guide towards making unanimous decisions. Misinformation, disinformation or lack
of information can lead to wrong decisions that can be disadvantageous or even disastrous to any congregation.
We are living at a time when Information Technology (IT) makes
it possible for rapid transmission of information from one congregation or member to another with greater ease than at any
time in the past. Information must be disseminated in an efficient way to every
one that is involved in the project and in decision-making.
Fact-finding - After receiving the information investigate thoroughly
by research into Bible dictionaries, concordances from various places such as public libraries to check for facts and truth. The search in the Internet can also be very helpful but countercheck with other reliable
sources for verification.
Planning - Here is a wise saying: “If you fail to
plan, you plan to fail.” Always plan ahead for the future especially in
a building project. If the project involves a building extension the correct
procedure is to first consider the future plan that had already been unanimously approved by the previous congregations, church
councils or building committees. It requires a 100% unanimous decision to overrule
a previously approved unanimous decision. Any split decision may result in strife
and conflicts within the congregation that must be avoided at all costs.
Project planning need not be confined to the church board. It may be extended to others who can contribute their views, concerns, solutions and
expertise. To enhance the effectiveness of planning meetings, design an agenda
that highlights future needs and identifies desired contributions and goals.
Decision-making – Unanimous decision is God’s
way and the Church’s only way of achieving perfect unity, peace and harmony. Unanimous
decision is the proof that the Holy Spirit is working with the Church when He makes everyone in the congregation have the
same mind, goal and purpose. Unless a congregation makes a commitment to take
unanimous decision as its policy there will continue to be disunity and divisions within the congregation.
In a meeting the formal process requires the release of an agenda
well in advance. Be very careful not to include items that are divisive, controversial
and counterproductive to the harmony of the meeting. The agenda should include
fact-finding, analysis of biblical and other information, summary of information into usable form, and an evaluation of possible
outcomes. Always emphasize unanimous consensus. Do
not force the issue by coercion but use Christian love and friendly persuasion. If
unanimity cannot be achieved, take a pause and get everyone to pray until the desired result is reached. Do not rush, there is always another day! God wants perfect
unity, peace and harmony. He can wait!
We should also wait!
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not
on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Pro.
May God bless you
This Article is the base for a response to a question
during a Bible Study Discussion conducted by Paul Wong
for a Congregation in Houston, Texas on May 16, 2003
This Article was published on this Website n August 18, 2009
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