January 3

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Do Numbers Make It Right?

Some argue a thing is right religiously if it is “working” or “growing.” Their measure is by accounting, not accountability to God’s word.

For instance, if a local church grows from 75 members to 300 in a couple of years, it is deemed “God is working” and it must be right. Or if a denominational body is successful at adding folks or congregations to their roll, then it must be the Holy Spirit moving among them.

If numbers are a sign of God’s approval, then does He endorse Islam, Buddhism, or Hinduism? The latter two have about 1 billion adherents, the former is estimated to have 1.6 billion. This does not make them right, just popular.

“You shall not follow a crowd to do evil” (Ex. 23:2).

When Elijah faced the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel, it was one man against 450 (1 Kgs. 18:22). Who was right, Elijah or the prophets of Baal? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow down to an idol when thousands (tens or hundreds of thousands) of others conformed (Dan. 3). Whom did God approve, the three or the thousands?

Numbers do not make a thing right.


Tags

authority, church, Denominations


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