Public opinion polls have the goal of finding out what is the most popular viewpoint. Politicians in particular are motivated by these polls; safety in numbers. Polls portend of danger ahead or indicate where most think safety lies. The road with the most people on it is the one leading to security or to at least to an election victory.
But Jesus has some warnings about public opinion. John’s gospel tells how Jesus had won the popularity of many at the beginning of his public ministry. “But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all about men. He did not need man’s testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man.” (John 2:24-25)
In Proverbs Solomon has similar reservations about the trustworthiness of public opinion.
There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. (Proverbs 14:12)
This observation about man thinking he knows what is right ought to bring us up short every time we think about doing something based on how others perceive it. Again, Christ echoes Solomon’s thoughts when he warns against following the crowds through the wide gate that leads to the wide highways of life.
If you and your children follow the path most traveled, the one paved by public opinion, death is waiting.
Integrity is rarely seen. Moral purity is mocked. Marital faithfulness is an antiquated practice. The Bible has become hate speech. Prayer has been traded for a moment of silence. Yes, the will of the majority is the supposed way of safety. But its end is death.