Recently, I listened with great pains in my heart as two men spoke about their kinsman who worked in a government’s finance office but retired without a house of his own.
One of the men actually thought that their kinsman in question was a disgrace to himself and should actually be banished from their town. I heard when he said to the other man, “How can he work in such an office and retire so empty?”
The other man said, “But he has his pension and gratuity”. “Is that all?” retorted the first man. “Yes, at least he has his integrity to keep”, the second man replied.
With the type of bitterness I had never seen before, the first man retorted, “Intergri-what? What has preparing for his retirement got to do with his integrity? All these people who built mansions here and there, are they not his colleagues in government?”
Then, the second man asked, “Were you expecting him to steal the public funds entrusted to his care?”
You would not believe what reply or answer the first man gave. He said, “What is wrong with that? Those who stole or keep stealing such funds, have they all died? In short, it is either that he had no pen or did not know how to use his pen the way others use their own. How did he expect that his righteousness alone can change the rot in our society? I beg you, if I can’t beat them, I will join them oo!”
I said to myself, “God how can this be? How can someone who deserves a National Honour or gold award for living a clean life, maintaining his oath of office and not letting his country down, be so looked down upon and seen like someone who had nothing to show for his years in office?
I said to myself again, “Why must people keep thinking it is good to join others who are doing the wrong thing when you cannot beat or stop them? Can’t one ever make a difference by saying no to the evil the majority indulge in?”
We usually hear people say, “If you cannot beat them, then, you must join them”. To me, this is a demonstration of lack of will to pursue a cause one believes in or stand firm on what is right. It is a coward’s way of throwing in the towel so easily, when he should not.
Some people just follow the majority, for yet another blind reason that “majority is always right”. Who says that majority can always be right? Experience has shown that many a time, the majority can be wrong. When they are wrong with respect, they become what some people call the “foolish majority”. We shall come back to this.
Today, what we are going to urge upon everyone is to be bold to persist in what is right, even if every other person tows the other line. I am going to say to you, “beat them, don’t join them” if what they are doing is wrong and contrary to the wish of God. You can be a one–man-gang for the Lord and the society will be better off.
Actually, why our world today is not getting any better but is rather becoming impossible to be anywhere near paradise is the mad rush to join others. There is always this scramble to do what others are doing, without asking questions as to the motives behind what those people are doing, the necessary implications and justifications or otherwise of such acts.
Brethren, I say to us today that until we refuse to be blackmailed into mortgaging our will to the will of the selfish majority, until we refuse to be re-arranged to suit the desires of the godfathers and mothers, until we insist on standing up for God by insisting on what is right, our dreams for a perfect society will never come to reality.
Today, there is this craze to smuggle ourselves into where “it is happening”. If it is fashion, we become passionable about it. If it is 419, we all become 419iners. If it is kidnapping, everyone wants to turn into a kidnapper. If it is all about rigging elections to come to power, everyone struggles to perfect in the act of rigging. If picking a cloth from the devil’s wardrobe would make many a people look fashionable in this world, they would prefer to pick it first before asking questions. But is it right to do so? This is one question not too many are prepared to ask.
However, there are things we must hear from the Bible. For instance, the Bible says to us, “Do not envy wicked men, and do not desire their company” (Prov.24:1). It means that before you join the majority, you must enquire as to what type of people they are. If they are wicked people, that is, if they are godless people, who call evil good and good evil, people who put darkness for light, or people who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter, then, you must distance yourself from them, no matter the attraction (1Sa. 5:20).
One thing you must bear in mind is that you do not have to go to hell because every other person is going to hell. The joy which the kingdom of God brings or gives is personal. The way to it is narrow. You must struggle and take some personal righteous initiatives to be able to enter.
Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations and walked with God (Gen.6:9). However, people of his generation were wicked, contending with God. Because of this, when God wanted to destroy that wicked generation, Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. He and those that belonged to him were the only ones spared by the flood. The others were wiped out. So you see, even though he was in the minority, he was right in the things he did while the rest of the people were wrong before God. You can be that one man who in difficult or judgment times would find grace in the eyes of God. You do not have to lose God’s grace, just because you must follow the majority to please them.
Again, recall the destruction of the evil cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. The Bible says that “the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter surrounded the house. And they called to Lot and said to him ‘Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them carnally’. So Lot went out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him, and said, ‘Please, my brethren, do not do so wickedly’ ” (underlining mine) (Gen.19:4-7).
From the above scripture, you can see that the entire people of Sodom were enmeshed in homosexualism. Everyone came out, just because they saw male strangers enter the house of Lot, not to welcome them but to ravage them carnally. There was no shame or restraint and that was why children could afford to come out with their fathers, in that show of shame. This will show the level to which the Sodom society had degenerated. But in the midst of all the people of Sodom, one man stood out for God. He did not join them even with their overwhelming persuasion and threats. Why? Because he knew that what they wanted to do was an act of wickedness. He stood his ground and even shut the door against them as they surged. In the end, he was vindicated. He was the one saved. The rest of those homosexuals were subjected to destruction, following God’s judgment and wrath upon them. He was right and the majority was wrong.
Elijah faced the prophets of Baal, four hundred and fifty of them for that matter. He did not give up his belief in the God that answereth by fire. He insisted on show-casing his God so that the people might know that He was the Lord (1Ki.18). In the end, he was vindicated. His God answered by fire and consumed his sacrifice. Baal, the god of the majority, could not answer its prophets despite all their shouts, cries and even the pain of cutting their skins with knives.
The above are just but a few examples of the fact that the majority cannot always be right and also of the fact that you must not always join the majority on the flimsy excuse that you cannot beat them. You must let them hear your voice and see your thoughts unequivocally. If they think they are right, let them convince you. But do not ever let them treat you as if you have no mind or brain of your own. Do not let them make you begin to see evil as good or good as evil. Do not be intimidated into doing what would not please God!
Today, in our villages, many people have not only lost their voices but have also lost what belongs to them by reason of the conspiracy of the wicked majority. Many who know the truth of situations that come up for consideration refuse to say such truth for fear of what the bribed majority might say or do. But you do not have to close your mouth and watch as an innocent person is being persecuted, deprived and given a wrong judgment in his matter. You cannot say “let the blood be on their heads” or just wash your hands with water as Pilate did in the case of Jesus Christ, when you had the opportunity of preventing the blood from being spilled, but refused to act, because of fear of incurring the wrath of the majority.
Many times in this nation, we have joined the crowd to vote in wrong people into vital positions, only to turn around to blame ourselves when the chips are down. It is an act of cowardice for you to blame yourself in the end for casting your vote to someone whom you knew, from the beginning, to be unqualified.
I say it without fear of contradiction that if we allow our consciences to rule us, we would not have cause to regret most things we do. If we appreciate the fact that no one but ourselves has the right to choose for us whether to end up in heaven or in hell, then, we would always take a stand in all crucial matters, own up such stand and defend it.
Let me observe here that I am not by this article giving impetus to people to be unreasonable, mischievous and stubborn in the stands they take on issues. This is because I know how our people often behave. I will not be surprised if I find someone who would after reading this article misinterpret me and say I have given them the liberty to remain inflexible in their stands. No! I am saying you should stand by the truth and what is right at all times. There are times when the majority will be obviously right. At such times, you must go along with them. But, there may be such occasions when they are absolutely wrong. On such occasions, you must try and beat them by letting them know how wrong they are. The joy of knowing in the end that you were right or of being vindicated is enormous. Do not let anything deprive you of it.
In the final analysis, I say to you, do not sin because others (the majority) think that sin is no longer sin. For instance, you do not have to falsify your age, bleach your face, paint like masquerade or dress like Satan’s chief bridesmaid because others are doing so. Do not steal because others are stealing to make it. Your life is your life. You do not live it so that you may be like any other person. You live it so that you may please God and so that His name may be praised and glorified. Do not, therefore, allow others take you to hell.