Cultural Collision Coming
Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength!
We will sing and praise your power. Psalm 21:13
“Men, you know that from this business we have our wealth. 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. 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.” Acts 19:25-27
The Psalmist exemplifies true worship as he praises God for all He is and has done. He thanks the Lord for His mercy, grace, and goodness to His people and prays for God to be exalted. He commits to sing and praise God’s power. And he desires that God be pleased with his thoughts and words (Psalm 19:14).
On the other hand, Paul was preaching in Ephesus,a stronghold of false worship and idolatry. His message threatened the lucrative business of the silversmiths and others who profited from the cult of Artemis. One of the tradesmen, Demetrius, called a meeting to warn the community of the danger that would come to them if Paul should succeed in diminishing the worship of this false goddess. Chaos ensued. The crowd worked itself up to a frenzy until the town clerk quieted them.
Think about it
Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father, except through me” (John 14:6). We may not impose the gospel by force on unbelievers. But the secular culture convulses when we proclaim the truth and hearers believe. We cannot settle for some benign multicultural coexistence. Jesus calls His disciples to tell the good news of life in His name. They will teach, preach, explain, reason, debate, prove, and live in faith before the watching world. Force can silence them. But they will not shrink back in fear nor shut up.
Are you prepared for the impact of the gospel on a culture which is increasingly hostile to the exclusivity of the message? Prepare yourself. Remember it is enough to please God with the words of your mouth and the meditation of your heart.
© 2017 John A Carroll Used by permission