by Roby Ellis SPANISH/ESPAÑOL
So Ahab sent for all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together on Mount Carmel. And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word (1 Kings 18:20-21).
There are many valuable lessons to be learned from Elijah’s encounter with Ahab and the prophets of Baal. We learn that the majority is not always right, that leadership is not always right, and that two different opinions cannot both be correct at the same time. The law of the excluded middle states that a precisely stated proposition cannot be both true and false at the same time under the same conditions. Consider this proposition: “If you have sinned, you must be baptized to be saved.” This proposition cannot be both true and false. If someone says it is true and another says that it is false, one person is right, and the other is wrong. God provides the only way to conclude with certainty which opinion is the correct one.
Modern thinking is causing serious difficulty in converting people to the truth. People once were shocked when they saw the Bible’s teaching of the necessity of baptism, but now people don’t seem bothered when they see that their own opinions differ with Bible truth. When we share the truth about baptism, it is often perceived as our personal opinion which is no better or worse than anyone else’s. Elijah believed that only one “opinion” was correct, and he was not afraid to hurt someone’s feelings to get this point across. Elijah first made an agreement on the test that would be used to settle this conflict (vss. 23-24). He allowed the prophets of Baal to go first and stood by for hours as they made a spectacle of themselves before the people (vss. 25-26). He criticized them before the people and then called upon the true God, who settled the matter with an answer of heavenly fire (vss. 27-39). If we are honest enough to do it, we can find the right opinion by applying the same method today: let God identify which one is correct through His Word.
Whether the question is regarding salvation, worship, or the church, the only opinion that should carry any weight is the one that heaven supports. When Israel realized which opinion was correct, they didn’t choose to keep Baal’s prophets around for a second opinion when they wanted one—they destroyed these lying prophets altogether! Once we know which opinion heaven supports, there is no need for a second opinion.