New Poll

April 23, 2008 | No comments yet

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By: Dennis Bates

We have all seen the daily polls asking who we would vote for if the Presidential elections were held today. Similar polls for just about everything appear on the Internet every day. One of the things that computers do best is process massive amounts of data quickly. What computers don’t do well at all is analyze what value those polls have.


Some time ago I came across a poll that had two buttons. One button said “Yes” and the other said “No.” There was also a space to add comments, and there were two of those also. The first comment said, “I voted yes; how could anyone vote no.” The second comment countered. “You idiot; everyone with any sense knows the answer is no.”


At the end of the day when I checked back on the results of the poll, more than 500 votes had been registered, and 49.7 per cent voted yes, while 50.3 per cent voted no. There was an asterisk that indicated that Florida voters were confused by the choices, so Florida votes were not counted. Further break downs indicated that the coastal areas recorded a higher percentage of no votes, while the middle 99 percent of the country had a higher percentage of yes votes.


The pollster then “interpreted” the data with the following comment. “Thank you all very much for participating in this poll. I was feeling kind of silly today and there was no question.”


As harmless and humorous as this prank was, I think it said a lot about the world we live in. The Bible tells us that Christians have one body, one spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God. At least that’s what there is supposed to be.  With all the disputes between denominations, it is questionable whether we are anywhere near that goal.


Charles Colson says in his book “The Body” that Christians even have trouble defining what body means, arguing about whether it’s a local congregation, a particular denomination, all Christians worldwide, just the ones that are baptized, and so on. He says we have similar problems trying to agree on what that body is supposed to do. Is it supposed to worship, evangelize, grow, and feed the hungry or elect politicians?


If Christians themselves are confused by whom they are and what they are supposed to be doing, how do we expect non Christians to react? More importantly, why would they want to listen to us, let alone become one of us? It’s almost like asking people to take the poll and vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ when there is no question. What are they voting for or against?


Perhaps we need to start over and go back to basics. The rules for a Godly life were synopsized into Ten Commandments. However, over the years interpretations and misinterpretations made those ten relatively simple rules too hard to understand. In addition, they were impossible to comply with. So Jesus took those ten rules and synopsized them again making one rule, which he called a new command. “Love one another,” as He loved us He told his followers, and He promised that if we did that everyone would know we were His disciples.


Paul called love the greatest of all things and said no matter what else we had, if we didn’t have love, we had nothing.


So if denominations continue to argue about doctrine and can’t get together, let alone agree on who belongs in the Body of Christ or what that Body is supposed to do, I have a question. Do they love one another? And if they don’t, what do they have left? Is that a clanging gong or noisy cymbal I hear?


Yes or no?



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