Polling, Prophecy and Profit – David Paul Mavia

Disclaimer:This blog is like five years old now if not older.

The election period is normally rife with prediction and speculation in kind and sometimes rides on the wings of superstition and squeezing God into things he might not be prepared for.

The silence of the Prophets has been quite glaring. Last minute revelations of prophetic expressions have ensued, emails have been sent, God has been invoked and in many places pushed in, to bless our private expectations.

The blanket of uncertainty and the complex attempts to wire democracy to theology seems to be the undoing of most of us. Spiritual growth has been kicked aside and prophetic gratification has been welcomed. Now do not get me wrong, I am not against prophecy. I have pontificated on prophecy and prophets for the better part of my life plus I have a manuscript soon to be published on the same issue. What I am wary about is the seasonal and circular motions of divine invitation especially in such moments of political shifts as elections.

Whose Future is it?

Everyone wants to own the future. Human beings are spirits of knowledge. We always begin to shrink into our insecurities every time there is insufficient information about tomorrow. Such situations breed hopelessness. Whoever has the most colorful story to tell that can hold aspirations and dreams consistently will most likely own the future.

Prophecy can see the future, predict the future and paint the future but miss to own the future. Prophetic people are always assumed to be future people. I have seen many a seer collapse at the fulfillment of their own unfolding oracle. In fact a big degree for prophets have sometimes opposed the unveiling or fulfillment of their own prophesies largely because of God’s method of fulfillment – near case in point Jonah.

The Church ought to predict and own the future. Unfortunately ninety percent of the chaff the church is dealing with is yesterdays. We have become the bakers who fight for crumbs. In this country politics has crafted and owned the future and we as the church have obliged.

Who is Right?

Pollsters have become the new prophets. They have claim for the power of science and numbers. They have the claim of objective methodology. They have also the claim of expertise and more often than not are projected to be the wise casters. Prophets like pollsters slice the future but unlike them they do not deliver possibilities but certainties. Prophets do not work on a sample of truth but the whole truth. Prophets do not ask men they ask God. Prophets are not in it for Profit, while pollsters are obviously paid a fee. Who is right when it comes putting a finger in the details? Pollsters are ‘right’ when it comes to reflecting Democracy while Prophets must be right when it comes to reflecting Theocracy. The challenge comes when we attempt to synchronize the two. More often than not there is always a clash of thought between the two. The ideal situation would be the Church that reflects the will of God. But we must also add that the Church that reflects the will of God is and must be a transformed Church, a mature Church – one that can read and accurately interpret Theocracy in a Democratic context. Do we have that kind of Church or Christian? I am not so sure. But we have seen instead a close relationship of Politics and Polling and largely so to the point where Prophets have used Polling to Prophesy – the will of man being done in heaven as it is in the Earth.

The Price for Accuracy – So what?

The burden of prophecy is primarily in its fulfillment. The burden of the prophet is in the obedience of God. The prophet must put his signature to the oracle he carries. He must bear responsibility as a representative type of God’s mouthpiece. Prophets are stoned because they awaken conscience. Prognosticators have their goodwill vested in their previous sample fulfilled case studies. Old Testament prophets were largely measured by the fulfillment of prophecy. New Testament prophets have that and more. They can use prophecy to wage war strategically. The can also use knowledge of intended divine purposes to negotiate with God. Because unlike Old Testament Man – God relationships, New Testament access to God rides on the renewed revelation and the finished work of Christ. The God of prophecy has now become Father not just Jehovah.

So for Pollsters the science of accuracy is derived from numbers while for Prophets the divinity of accuracy lies with reception of truth, embodiment of the same truth and midwifing the keys gotten from these truths against the gates of hell. Both can be accurate measured by their sending authorities. The transformed mind is able to relate and tie both the divine and earthly to accurately represent the Kingdom agenda on the earth.

The God of Numbers

Don’t get me wrong God is the God of numbers and science. But he counts differently and is inspired by different things. When he wants to inspire you to believe in him he may remind you that he is the one who takes stock of every hair on your head. When David took a census, God unleashed judgment to remind David that his strength was not in numbers or the size of the army. When God quantifies he does so strongly from an infinite posture to remind us that dimensions and estimates can and may point to divinity but fall short of the measure of glory. Polls may point to a desired end albeit imperfectly because they rely on the self – glorification of man. They make clever leap of progress but a poor measure of intention.

Abusing Prophets and Pollsters

The insatiable disease and the craving for a slice of the future has made both Pollster and Prophet God in the eyes of men. In fact in deifying them we have contributed towards the abuse of their stewardship if any. When the messenger sent to represent stands as the represented essence or is made to enjoy full assumption of the represented essence then that assumption is made at the allowance of de-humanization. The prophet represents God but is not God. When we make him God we do so at the risk of trading off our humanity that is the image and likeness of God. The same applies to pollsters when we invest in them the power to interpret our future we do so at the mercy of losing the power to define ourselves. We in essence say that they are our definitive point of hope.


Stewarding our choices is meant to be God’s way of empowerment. Having said so man’s frailty has manufactured methodology of finding meaning below the level of God’s glory. These methods are good but are not equal to and beyond the commandment of God. Equally God needs men born from above to be his regents on and in the earth. These men must constantly live in the tension point of interpreting the mind and heart of God constantly as a redemption agents. If we are too dependent on good methodology with frail theology we will roast and be disappointed with the world when things crumble. Good theology by extension might not be nose to nose in agreement with democracy, we should be worried when theology fails and not when democracy loses.



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