1 Cor 15:33; “Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character”.
Growing up my parents always reminded my siblings and I that; “Most men are only as strong as the people they surround themselves with”. I did not know it then but I now know that this was a reference to Paul writing to the church in Corinth, where he reminded them of this very truth. (1 Cor 15:33) Although not limited to these two points, I learned the following from my parent’s instruction:
1.) To be careful of those around me that will ‘flip-flop’ and/or ‘vacillate’ between opinions or positions based on the ‘Crowd’ which they are surrounded by.
2.) To challenge myself not to be so weak that I am governed by the ‘Crowd’ but rather always striving to be governed by truth.
Soren Kierkegaard in his writing entitled ‘The Crowd’ said; ‘No one dares to be himself; everyone is hiding in “togetherness”’. In our generation we often hear; “If the majority deem ‘it’ as correct, ‘it’ must be correct”, or simply put; Majority Rule. This can be a very dangerous view to hold. How many young Christians fall into the trap of this misguided truth? How many of them start to question some fundamental biblical truths because the general populace teaches them something else? ‘Majority Rule’ can be true but often is wrong and has some significant consequences. Especially in a world where falsehood and selfish ambition rule our souls like some tyrannical monarch. If the crowd always represented Truth, then warped and power hungry minds such as Hitler, Lenin and Saddam would’ve been correct in their deplorable actions. Kierkegaard challenges us; that regardless of whether the Crowd is ‘yea’ or ‘nay’…..the challenge is….how are you going to decide what to do?
Are you strong enough in your own convictions to stand alone if needed? (The majority of the people are not so afraid of holding a wrong opinion, as they are of holding an opinion alone). Are you so sure of your fundamental position on which you stand, that even if you are the only one that disagrees with the ‘Crowd’, you would still not waiver and ‘give in’ to the ‘Crowd’? Oliver Cromwell, the Lord Protector of England 1599-1658 said this; “Do not trust the cheering, for those persons would shout as much if you or I were going to be hanged”. The ‘Crowd’ is often fickle. Seeking their favour is often folly.
Our generation gets bombarded by the ‘Crowd’ and its beliefs. Are you going to bow to the ‘Crowd’s’ mentality? Are you going to seek the ‘Crowd’s’ approval? Or are you going to equip yourself with the truth of Christ’s position and yours in Him, where our source of strength and understanding truly comes from?