The popular opinion is often the majority opinion. However, the popular opinion is not always the right opinion. Christians are put in pressure situations where the popular way, the popular mentality, or the popular position is touted as being necessary to follow. However, the pressure of the popular is often the pressure of the dangerous.
The popular opinion in Noah’s day was that there would be no rain, no flood, and therefore no destruction of the world.
The popular opinion in Lot’s day was that Sodom was not as bad as it was made out to be, and therefore tolerated.
The popular opinion in the days of Isaiah and Jeremiah was that idolatry and polytheism in God’s people wouldn’t really bring on God’s judgment.
The popular opinion in Christ’s day was that he was an imposter and blasphemer, and deserved to die.
The popular opinion in the last days will be that Christ will not come back and that we are free to live how we choose.
One particular Biblical event illustrates this well. When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego faced the pressure of bowing to Nebuchadnezzar’s golden idol, which nearly everyone else was doing, they refused to do so. They believed in the power of God, that He could deliver them from death in the furnace, though they did not know if he would deliver them from it. However, after God did preserve them through the flames, the king called them out and commended them for their trust in God and that they “set aside the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God” (Daniel 3:28).
The popular opinion was simply to bow down to the idol when the music played. These three friends went against the pressure of the popular, held true to their God, and were honored by God as a result.
Christians today are feeling the pressure to conform to that which is “popular” on many fronts. Yet every believer must trust in God alone, believing that proper doctrine, proper behavior, and proper affections toward God, while not popular, are right, and therefore are more important than going with the flow of that which is popular or trendy.