Today, the society we live in is bombarded with polling data as if to prove that the majority is always right. Often, the polling data in elections doesn’t accurately predict the outcome. The polling data can be wrong! The majority of the pollsters can be wrong!
Even in technical areas like science or medicine, the majority opinion is considered correct. Scientists of the past were vilified for their discoveries that later proved correct. Galileo was one example. Today we have scientists who in the 1970s predicted an ice age by the year 2000. Now the same body of scientists claim that there is man-made global warming. According to news reports, this is settled science. Really? Here we see an example of the majority expressing a view. And don’t you know the majority is always right? Consider also competing views on issues such as whether babies should sleep on their backs or tummies. Are saturated fats really bad for you? Should you consume fish oil or not? In recent history, the majority views on such issues have drastically swung. Being in the minority and opposing such ideas can bring persecution from others or even governments.
For people who believe in Free Grace theology, being in the minority can sometimes seem discouraging. After all, most in Christendom hold views that are different from Free Grace; e.g. Lordship, Reformed, etc. So, to be discouraged is a normal human reaction. However, should we be discouraged?
The children of Israel who left Egypt faced a similar situation. Numbers 13 & 14 tells us the story of the 12 spies who were sent into the Promised Land to reconnoiter and bring back a report. The children of Israel had left Egypt and were at the border of the land and were positioned to enter it. The Lord instructed Moses to organize a group of 12 men, one from each tribe, to enter the land, investigate, and bring back a report of their findings. 12 men were chosen and sent on this reconnaissance mission.
When they returned, they reported that the land was good just as the Lord had promised. They also reported that there would be opposition as there were giants in the land. At this point two viewpoints emerge: a majority opinion and a minority opinion. The majority, which was offered by 10 of the 12, reported that the enemies they saw were too big and too strong and they won’t be able to conquer them. It is as if they took a page from the Wizard of Oz, “Lions and tigers and bears, Oh my!” They were afraid! Instead of believing that the Lord had given them the land, they focused on the opposition. They did not think they would be able to defeat the inhabitants of the land. The majority report disagreed with God’s view of the situation.
The minority, Joshua and Caleb, had a different view. They acknowledged the opposition, but believed the Lord and were certain of victory because God had promised them the land. They were in the minority and their report was rejected by the entire congregation of the children of Israel. The adoption of the majority report and rejection of the minority report led to disastrous results, for that generation would not enter the land. Instead, they would wander the desert until they died.
What we see here is that the majority is not always right! In fact, the majority is never right when the majority view is not in agreement with God’s viewpoint of things. The minority was right because they believed God so their viewpoint was in agreement with God’s. So, the important thing to remember is that it does not matter if a view we have is held by a majority. Rather, what is important is whether our viewpoint agrees with God’s!
The majority was wrong because they ignored God’s truth. In their mind, God’s provision was not sufficient for them to overcome the enemies in the land. The minority was rooted in the truth of God’s word. So as long as we in the Free Grace camp remain rooted in the truth of God’s word we should not be discouraged by those who profess opposing views, even though we might be in the minority. Rather, we should pray for them to embrace the truth and join the real majority, which is in agreement with God!