Thursday, March 18, 2010

Casting Ballots

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)


Ruth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mercygraceword said...

You blogged!!!!!
I'm going to take a poll on how many people think it should happen more often :o)


Maureen said...

Hi Ruth! I miss you too. Have to get chatting one of these days soon.

Yes I know what you mean about listening to opinions. And yes, they are everywhere, and there are many varieties. Sometimes it is hard to just listen and not respond, but we are most blessed who are firmly fixed on the Rock.

Maureen said...

Hi Deb! I didn't really blog; it is an old article, like a year old I think. So I cheated.

Speaking of blogging.....when are you going to post something, hmmm????

Ike said...

We should be the kind of people for whom truth matters. Our culture communicates just the opposite. Everywhere you turn in the media or in your personal life people are expressing opinions. Almost everybody has some gospel to share. It may be "sex over sixty" or "the joy of jogging" or "the delight of organic dieting" or "the power of intimidation and self-assertion" or a hundred other things that people get interviewed about on the radio. The world is rife with opinions about the good life. But how often do you hear a solid statement about the basis of those opinions? Does not this barrage of unfounded opinions communicate that truth does not really matter? That one opinion is as good as the next? When was the last time you heard someone make an effort to clarify and defend his foundational understanding of reality which might make his convictions plausible? Most people probably regard this concern for well-founded truth as a stage in later adolescence that you get over after a few philosophy classes and perhaps some sleepless nights. Real adult daily life doesn't have much to do with questions of solid truth; and so most people aren't driven bananas by the thousands of unsupported opinions that pass for gospel in the media.

Let it not be so among the people of God. At least for us the question of truth must matter terribly. It must not sit well with us when people give their opinions with no concern to show that they are true because they conform to ultimate reality. We are the light of the world because we care about truth in all areas of life. We are the salt of the earth. And the tang of our seasoning is a life based on the rock of truth and not the sands of opinion. is my opinion that today.... even though I turned 60....I don't look a day over 75:-) For some reason....60 doesn't register??