Thursday, March 22, 2012

40/40 day 30 Headline: Change in Economy Causes Riots

Anyone who has read through the book of Acts can see that Paul definitely has his ups and downs in ministry. There are times when people accepted him and praised him for the things that he could do.  Sometimes he was even thought to be a god.  Other times there were stonings, beatings, rioting, trials and miscellaneous other problems and persecutions.  It is interesting what the catalysts for these persecution events.  Sometimes it happens to be a group of Jews angry with what Paul was saying, but a couple of events involved Paul's preaching disrupting the financial status of the community and the people.  
person of interest in cause
of riots.
2 examples of this.

Acts 16:16-24  Paul and Silas are wandering around Macedonia preaching and teaching.  They are getting along with people and making nice with several people in the marketplace especially Lydia who sells purple.  Well there was this one young lady who had a spirit of divination and was making money for her masters.  Well she was following Paul and Silas around telling the people that they were messengers of the most high God.  Out of annoyance and being bothered Paul looked at the girl and said to the spirit

 "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!" 

Well the evil spirit did come out, and the girl could no longer tell the future.  Her owners "saw that their hope of gain was gone."  They had Paul and Silas arrested, beaten and thrown in jail.

Fast forward to Acts 19:21-49
Demetrius was a silversmith who made idols for the people of Ephesus. Mostly of the goddess Artemis, the goddess of the hunt and the patron deity of Ephesus.  Well he was scared about the teachings of Paul especially the ones surrounding the concept of not worshiping idols and gathered other tradesmen to do something about it.  They were afraid that people would turn to God and stop buying idols and in turn started rumors about Paul saying that he spoke against Artemis.  Well the gathering of angry people commenced and soon the entire city was up in arms for many reasons.  Of course the Bible says "...most of them did not know why they had come together."  (19:32b.)  

There are many reasons that people have problems with the preaching of the Gospel.  However they disguise their true problems with some uberspiritual sounding reason or some theological in-discrepancy. However the root problem is something less spiritual and more personal.  In these cases the reasons were economic and fiscal.  These people were in danger of losing money.  Their pocketbooks and their way of life was being threatened.  We will forget the fact that other people's lives were being improved, the main problem was that money was involved.  (we will not even go into the story of Simon the magician who tried to offer money to Peter and John for the ability to lay hands on people and have them receive the Holy Spirit.)

Money has always been an issue.  It has always been connected to spiritual things, or it has been the underlying issue in spiritual debates, in discussions of tithing, who makes the decisions in a church, which church gets what, and what religion rules a certain area.  The bottom line is when Jesus enters the picture everything changes including and especially the economy.  

Anyway that is just something to get you thinking.  I hope it works

the Theolobster.

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