How is the church suppose to react to the dialog about moral issues when the world bases its arguments primarily on emotion, not facts?
I love Acts 19. Paul spends two years in Ephesus ministering in one of the most pagan cities of his day. The Gospel is being heard. People's lives are changing, and this sets the scene for a riot rooted in greed, lies, and defensiveness. How was Paul and his teammates suppose to effectively dialog when the majority have no intellectual integrity, reverting to name calling, emotionalism, and lies.
I don't want to give it all away, but this message may be one of the most relevant I've preached in the recent few weeks. I hope you will hear the connection between Paul's context and our experience, today. If you like this, please share it with others. And let me know what you think.
May God bless you and his church as we stand for Truth in our world of chaos and confusion. - Kirk McCormick
“The Crowd Goes Wild”
** I want to speak with you today about Ochlocracy…
…you may know it better as Mob Rule.
Point: The problem with the Mob is that it is usually empowered by emotion, not fact…
…to the point that many in the mob do not even know why they are there.
…such was the situation in Ephesus…
Acts 19:32b - “Most of the people did not even know why they were there.”
General Tactics of Satan to Confuse…
Revelation 12:9 - “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Deviland Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”
Point: We are so gullible sometimes…
Point: It was not enough for the merchants to co-exist with the Christians and Jews in Ephesus…
…they wanted to destroy the competition, even to the point of killing them.
Note: Even the City Clerk saw the evil intent of the Mob…
v. 36 - “… you ought to be quiet and not do anything rash.”
1 Peter 5:8 - “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
3. Deny (think - Lie)
John 8:44 - Jesus…speaking to the religious leaders of his day, said - “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
Bible: God makes you/each person…He makes them either man and woman…
…and how do we know what God wants them to be?...
…He gives them specific parts to clearly define them as either male or female.
Transgender: “I know that my biology/body parts would define me as male/female…but, God, you got it wrong…you made a mistake…so I’m going to switch.”
Point: So the choice we have is to embrace God’s truth/way/Law/design or, essentially, tell him he messed up and got it wrong.
The Barriers to Truth…
Barrier 1 - Beware of Materialism
Acts 19:25 - “Men, you know we receive a good income from this business.”
Antidote to Materialism: Avoid the “Love” of money…
1 Timothy 6:10 - “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
Barrier 2 - Beware of Emotionalism
Acts 19:27 - “There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name…”
Antidote: How do we overcome the barrier of Emotion?
Answer: Submit to the truth
John 8:31, 32 - Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Barrier 3 - Beware of Manipulation
Acts 19:27 - “There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited, and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty.”
Let me conclude with this reminder…
As it was for Paul, we live in a hostile world…
· The church ministers by persuasion, not propaganda.
· People’s lives are changed by the MESSAGE, not manipulation.
· We share God’s truth, not religious lies.
· Our motive is love, not anger
· And our goal is the glory of God, not the praise of men.
** This is why the church goes on,
even when the Crowd Goes Wild.