An interesting observation….

St_paul_preaching

Photo Credit: Adolf Pirsch – St. Paul Preaching Before the Temple of Diana at Ephesus

One of the things that really ticks me off is the manner in which some Christians speak about people who might not see things the same way, or may believe differently.  All in the name of truth does not mean that we can act like jerks.  I have told people before, “your prophetic mantle does not give the right to be obnoxious”.  We must change.

There is an interesting comment made in the Bible.  Yes that’s right, Bible-believing-thumping-dude, it’s in the book so listen up.  In Acts 19 we read about Paul’s accomplishments in Ephesus, and as usual He caused a full-scale riot to break out. The Ephesians believed that Paul would cause great loss to their goddess Diana, an idol whose followers called “Queen of Heaven” in both adherents and business.  When the town clerk tries to restore order among the throng he exclaims the following:

“Men of Ephesus, what man is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is temple guardian of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Zeus? Therefore, since these things cannot be denied, you ought to be quiet and do nothing rashly.  For you have brought these men here who are neither robbers of temples nor blasphemers of your goddess (Acts 19:35b-37) (emphasis mine)

That is interesting!  Paul did in fact reason with these people, he talked with them, argued with them even, but at the end of the day his interaction with this culture was such that he was not considered to have blasphemed their goddess.  Surely there is a lesson in here somewhere?

How often do protestant Christians talk of their catholic neighbours in respectful ways regarding the virgin Mary (too much of a coincidence that some call her Queen of Heaven?)?  How do we Christians engage and interact with muslims?  Do these people or cultures leave certain that we have engaged robustly on the issues but have not blasphemed their beliefs? An interesting point, and I’m sure one in which there’s bound to be a multitude of opinions!

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