Thursday, March 18, 2010
Society today is having a love affair with polls, popular opinion, and surveys. Reality television programs vote contestants off of islands, out of houses, even out of jobs. Amateur entertainers hold their breath as a panel of judges decides the fate of their dreams of stardom. Candidates in every level of government vie to top their opponents in pre-election polls, and then in the final count on Election Day.
From the least important (which do you prefer; the taste of the “new” so and so Cola or the old one?), to those which touch on controversial moral issues (are you for or against assisted suicide?) we are surveyed for our opinion. Often I have wondered what makes us think that our opinions should matter in the case of those issues that deal with life and death, like capital punishment and abortion. Surely these controversies are too important to be left to popular opinion to be decided, even though they can be impacted by the voting population.
I once read a newspaper article that mentioned an online poll by the United Church of Canada. The intention of the poll was to pit believers in God against non believers, in a vote to determine the general consensus regarding the existence of God. At the end of a week, the results were: “Yes there is God – 52%, No there isn’t God – 48%.” At first, this struck me as humorous. I thought to myself, How silly. You can’t change a truth by voting it out.
However, as I thought further about it I began to see it as more of an indicator of the level of rebellion that is within man’s heart. I realize that many people won’t agree with me, but as a person who believes absolutely in the existence of the God of the Bible, I see only total audacity and foolishness in the whole exercise. I certainly hope that those who are on the precipice of belief or non-belief do not take general consensus as their guiding rule in deciding on this most important question. Instead, they can open the book that He has authored, where He goes into great detail about Himself, and our relationship with Him. That book is a far more accurate indicator than popular opinion could ever be.
“The fool has said in his heart ‘There is no God.’” (Psalm 14:1, NASB)