God and Bandwagons


I have a thing against bandwagons—a term we use to denote people leaping into a suddenly faddish cause. Mostly I don’t think people who jump aboard popular crazes are using their heads, or their hearts, or their character. They are simply going with the flow.

Of course I can be wrong about that. I once declared the Beatles were a passing fad. Uh, not really! 😛

But you can see why a non-musician such as I might think so. I mean, there were countless girls at their concerts, screaming and crying, to the point that you had to believe NO ONE was actually listening to the music.

Of course, I didn’t understand about the records and radio or how revolutionary these English chaps were.

The point is, I know from that experience bandwagons may be more than faddish, but my first instinct is to suspect they aren’t.

I’m glad about that too, because I think it protects me from going along just to go along. Not that I haven’t done that on occasion. In college a friend asked me to go to a movie with her. Sure, what are we seeing? Turned out to be the controversial X-rated (since, downgraded to R) Midnight Cowboy.

Going along just to go along can lead to some places I don’t want to be.

But just recently, I discovered that, as logical as that stand is, that and the desire to fight against mindlessness, there’s a greater reason to stand against bandwagon jumping: God is against it.

At least He warns against it. I should have seen this sooner. After all, the New Testament uses the analogy of a narrow road and few who find life, but a broad road with many that leads to destruction.

In the epistles, we’re told not to be conformed to the world—no going with the flow.

In the Old Testament, God clearly told the people of Israel not to be like the nations around them—no being like everyone else.

But most recently, I read with new eyes an admonition in amongst the “sundry laws” given Moses at Mt. Sinai:

You shall not bear a false report; do not join your hand with a wicked man to be a malicious witness. You shall not follow the masses in doing evil, nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after a multitude in order to pervert justice (Exodus 23:1,2 – emphasis mine).

Jesus’s crucifixion is the perfect example of the kind of bandwagon jumping God commanded His people to avoid. I didn’t highlight the “doing evil” or “pervert justice” parts in the passage, but here’s the thing. If someone jumps on a bandwagon—goes along just to go along—he rarely is thinking about whether or not the end is evil or if justice will be perverted.

The very me-too-ism involved in getting on board a bandwagon requires a blind eye.

Seems to me we would do well to slow down and think, search the pages of Scripture, pray, and seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit before we write the next scathing blog post or call the President or governor or Senator or neighbor unkind names for disagreeing with those of us atop the bandwagon.

Stretch that out to writing a vampire novel because vampire novels are selling. Or proclaiming postmodern philosophy because po-mos are the new in. As is anything Zen, or green. I could go on, but I’m sure you get the point. While I might be wrong about what is or isn’t a fad, I don’t think I’m wrong about our need to turn to God before we take a position … about anything.

Published in: on September 15, 2009 at 11:14 am  Comments (4)  
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