Kings and Politicians 04: The Tyranny of the Majority

One of the concerns of a democratic system is often called the “tyranny of the majority”. It is the idea that the majority, because everyone has one vote, can easily outvote a minority, and impose their rule and their ways on a minority.

Healthy democracies have checks and balances to ensure this does not occur, to balance the desire for justice with the need to give every individual a vote.

When a church or ministry however is led by a politician, not a king, someone who leads through people pleasing rather than God pleasing, then sadly there are often no checks or balances, and then – and this is the ugly side of religion – the majority do rule, and they do become tyrannical.

The irony is the person who knows the people do not rule him or dictate to him, the person without a political bone in their body, the person who doesn’t care about pleasing people is the one who can actually help all people, including the minorities, the dispossessed, the powerless.The political leader on the other hand has to constantly divide people into groups and can only do what the largest group wants:

  • The pastor who cannot preach a series on loving others, evangelism, same sex marriage because it will upset the majority of the church. Now the majority are the tyrant shutting down the will of God in that church.
  • When a minister who would be a great blessing isn’t invited because many people, or even a vocal minority, object, then the blessing is lost because of politics, then there is tyranny there.

Sadly, what often happens in these situations is the ministry or church ends going nowhere. Imagine a bus that was run by democracy. You reach a roundabout and drive onto the roundabout. At the first exit, 25% of people want to take the first exit, but 75% want to stay on the roundabout. At the second exit, 25% of people want to get off that exit but 75% of people want to stay on. This goes on for ever, so a bus driven by a politician will never go anywhere. Resemble anywhere you know? Selah!

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