In Acts 27 there is the very interesting story of Paul being escorted by Roman guard to Rome. A part of that voyage was by ship. While they were harbored at a place called Fair Havens, Paul warned them to wait and not continue with the journey at that time.
Acts 27:9-12 Much time had been lost, and sailing had already become dangerous because by now it was after the Fast. So Paul warned them, 10 “Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also.” 11 But the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and of the owner of the ship. 12 Since the harbor was unsuitable to winter in, the majority decided that we should sail on, hoping to reach Phoenix and winter there. This was a harbor in Crete, facing both southwest and northwest.
As they set out, they encountered a terrible storm. They lost the ship and everything on board, but everyone’s life was spared because in the middle of the storm they finally listened to the wisdom Paul had received from God.
This is one of several examples in scripture where the majority ruled – wrongly! Instead of listening to Paul – a man of God – a spiritual leader – the men involved in this trip felt they knew more about the sea and this voyage than Paul and over-ruled his statement by majority rule. Granted – Paul wasn’t a sailor, but that’s not the point. He was a mature believer who was in tune with the mind and heart of God. Granted – most of the men on this ship probably did not believe in Christ even though I’m sure Paul had made the effort to share with them. However, the point I’m trying to make is that often the majority rules – wrongly.
Another example of this is in Numbers 13 after God set His people free from Egypt and wanted to send them into the land He promised them. They sent out 12 spies to check out the land, but only 2 came back and said – the land is ours we can take it. Ten of the spies said the people are too big and we could never conquer them. The majority ruled – wrongly, and the people of Israel ended up spending 40 years in the wilderness – never receiving the blessing God had for them.
What’s the point? The point is that majority rule was never God’s desire for His church because the majority often rules wrongly. The church is to be led by spiritual leaders who are in tune with God. Yes, they will be wise to listen to the ideas of the people in the church, but their higher calling is to be in tune with God and follow His purpose even when it’s not what the majority want. Think about it.