Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Acts 19:35-39

"And when the townclerk had appeased the people, he said, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter?
Seeing then that these things cannot be spoken against, ye ought to be quiet, and to do nothing rashly.
For ye have brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess.
Wherefore if Demetrius, and the craftsmen which are with him, have a matter against any man, the law is open, and there are deputies: let them implead one another.
But if ye inquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly."
Acts 19:35-39

This is an interesting chapter... this part is the end of an uproar about Christian missionaries, but before they were called Christians.  When they found some of Paul's traveling companions, and knew that they were Jews, they listened to people who said that their world was going to come apart if people stopped believing in idols, and started getting into that mob mentality... the one that we probably all get into when people use scare tactics on us, and we believe that the things that we are used to and that are familiar are going to be taken away.
I like that this story is here because someone comes in and talks them down.  Doesn't let the mob rule.  Reminds them that there is a civilized way to deal with these things if there is a problem, so let's calm down a little and not start depending on mob justice.  Someone like that we could have used at many other places in history.  And I think it is also something that we need to remember in our own lives, from both sides.  Let's remember not to be the mob.  There are better ways to solve our problems. :)  ... But also, let's remember how hard it is to change.  How tough it is to have our feelings and beliefs... and things that we think are part of us... challenged.  Unless God asks us to specifically, let's not call each other to repentance with threats of lightning or guilt... but instead let's teach with peace, and compassion, and the recognition that we *also* have a lot to learn.  ... It won't always hold off the mob, but it might keep us humble, and it might help us relate to one another better. :)  Even if we're not involved in the conflict, let's be the guy who talks the mob down and keeps everyone calm.

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