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Flash Mobs and the Gospel

by | Aug 1, 2012 | Compromise | 0 comments

Read: Acts 19: 24-34

23 About that time there arose no little disturbance concerning the Way.
24 For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought no little business to the craftsmen.
25 These he gathered together, with the workmen in similar trades, and said, “Men, you know that from this business we have our wealth.
26 And you see and hear that not only in Ephesus but in almost all of Asia this Paul has persuaded and turned away a great many people, saying that gods made with hands are not gods.
27 And there is danger not only that this trade of ours may come into disrepute but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis may be counted as nothing, and that she may even be deposed from her magnificence, she whom all Asia and the world worship.”
28 When they heard this they were enraged and were crying out, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”
29 So the city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed together into the theater, dragging with them Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were Paul’s companions in travel.
30 But when Paul wished to go in among the crowd, the disciples would not let him.
31 And even some of the Asiarchs, who were friends of his, sent to him and were urging him not to venture into the theater.
32 Now some cried out one thing, some another, for the assembly was in confusion, and most of them did not know why they had come together.
33 Some of the crowd prompted Alexander, whom the Jews had put forward. And Alexander, motioning with his hand, wanted to make a defense to the crowd.
34 But when they recognized that he was a Jew, for about two hours they all cried out with one voice, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”

Reflect:
The all-knowing wikipedia describes a Flash Mob as “a group of people who assemble suddenly in a place, perform an unusual and seemingly pointless act for a brief time, then disperse…”  We may think of a flash mob as a modern day creation since the invention of cell phone technology and social media like Facebook and Twitter, but the passage above describes one of the earliest mobs as the silversmith union in Ephesus stirred up the people against the Church. Why? The Gospel changes people.  People who worshiped false Gods had no need to do so any longer once their faith was placed in Christ. The people of Ephesus were not purchasing little Artemis “gods” to worship in their homes and if the trend toward the Way of Christianity continued…. Demetrius and his co-workers would be out of a job!

This early flash mob was about as clueless as many today since “most of them did not know why they had come together.” They were just following the crowd. Without thinking they chanted “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”

Respond:

The Truth of the Gospel offends those who do not believe.  Some will protest against it.  Some will follow the crowd. Still, our responsibility is to remain faithful like Paul and the disciples.

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