What happens when the majority is wrong?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by bb_baptist, Apr 19, 2002.

  1. bb_baptist

    bb_baptist
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    I found the attached article very interesting for it deals with an issue that I have been struggling with for some time: what happens when the majority is wrong?

    We all know (and there are a few cases mentioned below) that the majority can be wrong.

    I would appreciate your thoughts on the following questions: What happens if the majority is wrong in a Baptist church? Can the majority be more important than Biblical principles in a Baptist church?

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    McMINNVILLE, Ore. (BP)--In 1994, voters in the state of Oregon narrowly approved the first law in the United States allowing physician-assisted suicide. Three years later, an attempt to repeal the law was defeated at the ballot box. It is clear that the majority of voters in the Beaver State believe a person has a right to decide when his or her life should end.

    In 1999, the Oregon legislature voted to expand the coverage of the state-sponsored health plan to include physician-assisted suicide. In the state of Oregon not only can a person end his or her life with a doctor's help, but he or she also can have the government foot the bill for the "procedure."

    On Wednesday, April 17, U.S. District Judge Robert E. Jones rejected an attempt by U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft to apply the Controlled Substance Act to Oregon doctors who use the physician-assisted suicide law to prescribe lethal doses of medication to those seeking to end their lives prematurely.

    Ashcroft's decision held that assisted suicide is not a legitimate medical procedure, threatening to revoke the licenses of physicians who prescribed deadly doses of drugs to patients. Judge Jones disagreed with the attorney general and his ruling allows assisted suicide in Oregon to continue unfettered.

    The majority is elated, asserting it is a victory for individual rights as well as the democratic process. The voters of Oregon have expressed their will not once but twice: If a person wants to choose the time, place and circumstance of his or her death, what business is it of the government? We are told that society is not harmed by such a decision.

    One question: What if the voters in Oregon are wrong and their populist view concerning physician-assisted suicide is not a victory for an individual's right to die, but rather the next progression down the slippery slope toward forced euthanasia?

    We must not too quickly forget the reality that occurred in Nazi Germany. In "Modern Fascism: The Liquidating of the Judeo-Christian Worldview," Gene Edward Vieth Jr. reminds us, "The first official legalized 'mercy killing' [in Nazi Germany] was the result of an emotional case brought before the Fuhrer himself. A baby named Knauer was born blind, missing a leg and part of a hand, and evidently mentally retarded. The father begged permission for the child to be put out of his misery. Hitler himself investigated and granted permission. More petitions followed."

    Writing in "The Nazi Doctors," Robert Jay Lifton points out, "Of the five identifiable steps by which the Nazis carried out the principle of 'life unworthy of life,' coercive sterilization was the first. There followed the killing of 'impaired' children in hospitals; and then the killing of 'impaired adults,' in centers especially equipped with carbon monoxide gas. This project was extended (in the same killing centers) to 'impaired' inmates of concentration and extermination camps and, finally to mass killings, mostly of Jews, in the extermination camps themselves."

    Those who favor physician-assisted suicide loudly declare, "No way infanticide and forced euthanasia will ever occur in the United States. We are too enlightened." They accuse people like me of knee-jerk reactions and of trying to impose our puritanical morality on the enlightened majority. Well, to that charge I have two words in reply: Peter Singer. Singer is professor of bioethics at Princeton University. He espouses both infanticide and forced euthanasia. Singer, who is a radical utilitarian, believes that a life incapable of "full life" should not be prolonged. He holds that the good of society must be considered in determining whether a life is worth preserving.

    Peter Singer is only one man. His views seem too radical for mainstream America. However, what if one man -- as wrong as his views might be -- over time is able influence a majority? What then?

    In 1930, Germany embraced the Nazi Party. Shortly thereafter the leader of the party, Adolf Hitler, was appointed chancellor. On March 23, 1933, Hitler pressed the German cabinet to pass the Enabling Act that would result in him being named legal dictator -- and the demise of democracy in Germany.

    The Enabling Act involved altering the German Constitution, requiring passage by a two-thirds majority of the Cabinet. Hitler needed 31 non-Nazis to vote in favor of the act in order for him to become dictator.

    One lone voice spoke in opposition to Hitler's grab for power. Otto Wells, leader of the Social Democrats stood and took issue with the head of the Nazi Party. In the end, Wells' voice was ignored and the Enabling Act passed. Hitler became the dictator because that was the desire of the majority. One man influenced a majority. The rest, as they say, is history. And history has proved the majority was wrong.

    A majority of voters in Oregon approve of physician-assisted suicide. Thankfully, this view is still a minority in America. If this ever changes, and the majority embraces the view that life is disposable, we will all suffer.


    [ April 19, 2002, 07:48 PM: Message edited by: webmaster ]
     
  2. Maverick

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    Hence, my motto and ministry.

    Maverick Ministries

    When the herd is aheadin' fer the cliff, it t'ain't bad bein' a Maverick!
     
  3. Dr. Bob

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    What happens when the majority is wrong?

    How do you spell Auschwitz?

    Do you think that we should ever expect to be in the "majority" when God has clearly stated:
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

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    I meditated on this one for a while before answering. It has always been my belief that the decisions made by a body of regenerated believers will always, in some way, reflect the Will of God.

    Being the historian for my church, I spend much time pouring over the old records and documents that have been entrusted to my watch and one really starts to get a feel for how a church grows and matures, and even in some ways, goes backwards. I live in a small area. There were always families of prominence in our church and people who were very influential in our meetings. I see them shape the congregation in which I sit from the past as I read the old volumes. Were some of their decisions "wrong"? Probably by man's wisdom they are. But how can we judge "wrong" in the Wisdom of God?

    Our Lord works outside of time. Was it "wrong" for Joseph to bring his family to Egypt? It was a "quick fix" for a temporary famine and it ended up putting the Israelites into bondage for five centuries. But what was the end result? God was enabled a device to show His Power to the most powerful nation on earth at that time. It left us with an account that leads us into the basic moralities that we still hold today, the Ten Commandments and the Mosaic Laws.

    Now I'm not saying that my church voting to put a bunch of money left by a member who died into a general fund instead of a CD is going to have that same effect but God works wonders through our mistakes. The fact of the matter is, we may never see the results of those mistakes. If the majority is making decisions that go against doctrine or Biblical principle, then this is when many church divisions occur and who is to say what will result from that new congregation?

    We are the Bride of Christ. I do not believe that God ALLOWS mistakes in the plan of His Bride. We view the world through human wisdom and we are as limited as we can possibly be in knowing the Mind of God. But when we as a church - as a priesthood of believers - come together and make decisions, we get to GLIMPSE that Mind!

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  5. tyndale1946

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    Doctrine and principles must be the utmost rule of biblical authority or else there is no authority. To stand in doctrinal truths and principles when others won't stand maybe against the grain in mans eyes but who are we trying to please... God. We will know soon enough if its of God or not because if its of man it will soon come to nought.

    Where was the majority here?

    Romans 11:3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.

    4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.

    Or when David faced that giant Goliath... The battle was the Lords. God knows who has the intense desire to worship and serve him and makes sure that if there is a majority that God claims that title. Those who have stood for doctrinal truths and principals over the history of mankind have always been in the minority!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  6. Aaron

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    What happens when the majortiy is wrong? Then he who is in the right must stand alone and even suffer for NOT doing what is wrong.

    Tyrany is tyrany regardless of whether the tyrant is an individual or a mob.
     
  7. Pastor Larry

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    </font>[/QUOTE]I think so but that comes from my faulty "dispensationalism." [​IMG] [​IMG] I am rather optimistic about the future.

    But I understand what you are saying and in the here and now the answer is "No."
     
  8. Bob Alkire

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    When we as a church are correct in doctrine all is well, when we are correct with the popular political view of the day and not the biblical view, we are going down hill fast. Social views change with time but God's word is steady.
     
  9. BPM

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    Amen Brother, I have a friend who is resigning a great position in our state Baptist convention because he stood on Biblical grounds against missuse of Baptist funds where he worked. Basically His superior spent a half million dollars on an on site residence for himself when the state convention had approved 280thousand for the construction, I joined my friend in seeking repentance from the superior but instead all we got was a coverup so he is leaving a position he feels God called him to because of the leaderships refusal to follow the Bible in this and other areas. I feel he has made the right choice because we fought for the truth for a year and no one in authority would listen what do you think?
     
  10. Helen

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    In any group or population of over, say about ten people, I'd love to know when the majority is ever RIGHT!

    Truth, self-control, patience, kindness, thoughtfulness, good workmanship -- these sorts of things are hard! Everyone wants to be on the receiving end, but few are willing to exert the effort it takes (and the submission to God it requires) to be on the giving end more than just sporadically.

    As soon as a lot of people get together, downhill is usually the easiest way to go. Sometimes I think the purpose of a group is to find excuses for it! Euthenasia is downhill. It's easy to just say that a person is in too much pain or too hopeless and forget that sometimes there is a lot of work to be done spiritually in those conditions. But work is..... WORK! How much easier it is to 'put the person out of her misery' -- and surprise surprise, it also saves money, and extra burden of care and...

    It's hard to really care. It's hard to take responsibility for someone else who needs you.

    But it's also right.

    Most laws, however, aren't aimed toward the right, despite the PR. They are matters of expedience.
     
  11. Helen

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    In any group or population of over, say about ten people, I'd love to know when the majority is ever RIGHT!

    Truth, self-control, patience, kindness, thoughtfulness, good workmanship -- these sorts of things are hard! Everyone wants to be on the receiving end, but few are willing to exert the effort it takes (and the submission to God it requires) to be on the giving end more than just sporadically.

    As soon as a lot of people get together, downhill is usually the easiest way to go. Sometimes I think the purpose of a group is to find excuses for it! Euthenasia is downhill. It's easy to just say that a person is in too much pain or too hopeless and forget that sometimes there is a lot of work to be done spiritually in those conditions. But work is..... WORK! How much easier it is to 'put the person out of her misery' -- and surprise surprise, it also saves money, and extra burden of care and...

    It's hard to really care. It's hard to take responsibility for someone else who needs you.

    But it's also right.

    Most laws, however, aren't aimed toward the right, despite the PR. They are matters of expedience.
     
  12. Circuitrider

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    A more basic question, can a church be wrong in its decision making process. The answer is YES. The answer to the original question is that when the majority is wrong in a Baptist church that church MAY find itself out of the will of God and headed away from doing God's will. :confused:

    To the second question the answer is clearly NO!!! Nothing can supercede the principles of the Word of God. Just because it is a majority does not make it right. History records hundreds of examples where the majority was wrong. As christians we can be wrong too, because we are sinners. :eek: However, I believe that a congregation that is right with God and seeking the will of God will make right choices. ;)

    The means by which God's will is worked out is another matter. As Chris mentioned Joseph's decision to bring his family to Egypt was used by God to protect Israel from iniquity of the Canaanites, though at the time it may have seemed not to be God's will.

    I believe God uses his church (local independent Baptist church) to carry out his will. He oversees the individual personalities and allows those to all work together to accomplish his purpose. I believe this is the mystery that Paul reveals in the book of Ephesians. :cool:

    "In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord...."
     
  13. Robert J Hutton

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    Warm Christian greetings!

    The majority are not always right. Remember the 12 spies who went into the promised land. 10 said to the children of Israel "don't go in"; 2 said the opposite. The majority was 83%! But, they were wrong!

    Kind regards

    Robert J Hutton
     

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