The Peril of Polls

By Paul Proctor

 January 17, 2003

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In the ongoing paradigm shift from a culture of conscience to a culture of consensus -- where the word of the group rather than of the Word of God determines one’s feelings, beliefs and values -- it is becoming increasingly clear that we have made polls and surveys the new measure of our morality, worth and progress here in America. Be it in print, on radio, TV or online, more and more media organizations are polling their readers and viewers to get opinions on what is right and wrong in our world today and how we should address it. 


There is even a Christian organization called Barna Research Online that surveys individuals on matters of faith to help guide and inform the church and those who lead it. Many Christian authors, columnists, pastors and publishers regularly quote Barna’s findings in their books, articles, sermons and periodicals. On their home page they proudly bill themselves as “Strategic Information You Can Trust.” Isn’t it a pity that only a fraction of Christians today consider their Bibles to be worthy of such acclaim? If that sounds unrealistic and you would like to get a “consensus” on the issue, read Barna’s October 8th, 2002 installment entitled: 


Americans Draw Theological Beliefs From Diverse Points of View 


However, if you’re someone given more to scripture than survey, then 2nd Timothy 4:3-4 should suffice. 


"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." 


One of the many problems with polls is that they involve something the Bible considers foolish: self-discovery. But don’t make the mistake of thinking self-ism is just a liberal thing. Today’s conservatism of “self-reliance” and “self-sufficiency” can be just as immoral and abusive as liberalism in the absence of love, grace, mercy and humility – narcissistically boasting of God, yet bearing no fruit. 


“A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.” – Proverbs 18:2 


This is what the new age is all about – finding, evaluating and empowering oneself. The world is awash in fig-leaf religions and vainglory visions that sprang from the tepid faith of personal experience and self-discovery. What many Christians seem to have forgotten, particularly those from today’s psychological church, is that the Word of God was given because we, along with Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, are incapable of accurately assessing ourselves and the world around us without Divine wisdom. To even attempt such a thing is not only foolish, but also arrogant and dangerous. Unfortunately, in today’s market-driven madness, deferring to biblical absolutes is no longer considered prudent or profitable. In the 21st century, success is measured in size and stature because that is all the eye can see. 


“Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the heart.” -- Proverbs 21:2 


And like all things prideful and disobedient, the seductive nature of polling, consensus and self-discovery ultimately ends up deceiving and destroying those who both lead and follow in it’s execution – the first being Lucifer, who fell from Heaven taking a consensus of opposition with him – a third of the angels. 


If you haven’t noticed, there is a sickening sweetness and superficiality about contemporary Christianity -- where scripturally shallow believers armed with little more than personal experience and self-discovery are patting each other on the back at God’s expense – “loving” the lost to death with flattery and frivolity while disavowing inconvenient scriptures that boldly address unrepentant sin. I guess it’s just too hard on the numbers to be that honest at church anymore. 


“Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?” -- Proverbs 20:6 


What came first – the opinion or the poll? When the dialectic is at work it’s almost impossible for those who have traded God’s absolutes for group acceptance to identify the manipulation they are under. Surveys, like consensus, are more often than not, used to SHAPE public opinion rather than TAKE public opinion. And until we understand just how deceptive the consensus process is and how it is used against us in every segment of society, including the church, we will not recognize the perilous road we are on. 





© 2003 Paul Proctor - All Rights Reserved


Other articles by Paul Proctor:

The New Jesus and a Love called Tolerance

DIAPRAX Goes to Seminary | The Travesty of TOLERANCE



Paul Proctor, a rural resident of the Volunteer state [Tennessee] and seasoned veteran of the country music industry, retired from showbiz in the late 1990's to dedicate himself to addressing important social issues from a distinctly biblical perspective. As a freelance writer and columnist, he extols the wisdom and truths of scripture through commentary and insight on cultural trends and current events. His articles appear regularly on a variety of news and opinion sites across the internet and in print. Paul may be reached at  

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