Monday, August 8, 2022

Christians Shouldn’t Join the Mob

 “The assembly was in confusion…. Most of the people did not even know why they were there.” 
– Acts 19:32

Have you ever heard of Lawnchair Larry? Back in 1982, 33-year-old Larry Waters was just an ordinary truck driver in North Hollywood. But one day he decided to fly to the Mojave Desert … in a lawnchair from Sears. Larry filled 45 weather balloons with helium and tethered them to his chair. He packed up a few essentials, including a pellet gun to shoot balloons when it was time for his descent, and a parachute, just in case. Then Larry climbed into his chair from a rooftop in San Pedro and rocketed into the sky—much faster than he’d anticipated.

Instead of sailing toward the Mojave Desert, Lawnchair Larry sailed across Los Angeles Harbor, into the flight path of Long Beach Municipal Airport. Several pilots alerted air traffic controllers about what appeared to be a man floating through the sky in a chair. Finally, at three miles above Long Beach, Larry used his pellet gun to secure his descent. To many, Lawnchair Larry became a local hero. But the folks at the FAA weren’t big fans. They hit him with four different charges and several thousand dollars in fines.

Well, Lawnchair Larry had a few things in common with the Apostle Paul. Both men’s actions made them heroes in the eyes of many. But those same actions put a big target on their backs. Through Paul, God achieved many victories in the city of Ephesus. But when God throws a spiritual punch, Satan throws a counterpunch. And in Acts 19:21, Satan’s latest counterpunch came in the form of a silversmith named Demetrius.

Demetrius made silver shrines of the Greek goddess Artemis, which brought in a boatload of money for Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen. Naturally, a revival of monotheism was bad for business. So, Demetrius gathered his fellow silversmiths and other tradesmen and told them: “Men, you know we receive a good income from this business. You see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people…. He says that man-made gods are no gods at all” (vs. 25-26).

Then, in verse 27, Demetrius shifts from facts to fear-mongering: “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 … will be robbed of her divine majesty.” Demetrius presented a grand conspiracy theory—a doomsday prediction that their livelihood, the Artemis temple and even Artemis herself were going to be wiped off the face of the earth, ALL BECAUSE OF ONE WRETCHED MAN: Paul.

The tradesmen formed a mob and took to the streets shouting, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” As the crowd swelled, they tried to hunt down Paul. They were hungry for blood. Thousands of Ephesians flooded into the amphitheater, yelling and screaming, wanting heads to roll. The only trouble is … most of them weren’t quite sure why.

But the facts didn’t matter. Mobs are fueled by raw emotion. On January 6th 2021, did the mob check the facts before rushing into the Capitol building? No way! Over the past three months, 60 pro-life pregnancy centers have been vandalized across the U.S. Did the protest groups check the facts about the Supreme Court decision before tagging and, in a few cases, even firebombing pro-life centers? Hardly! Facts don’t matter to mobs. And the mob in Ephesus grew so fast because people weren’t THINKING. They were just REACTING.

I’d like to share two important lessons from this passage:

Lesson #1: Most mobs are all brawn and no brain. So, when people around you are losing their heads, stop, think and pray. Over the past two years, far too many Christians have gotten caught up in political mobs. Instead of thinking, we’ve been reacting. Instead of believing and proclaiming the truth of the gospel, we’ve been believing and proclaiming conspiracy theories. Instead of praying, we’ve been criticizing and slandering. And the church in America is paying the price for it. Millions of people want nothing to do with Christianity, because they have no desire to be part of the Christian mob that they’ve witnessed for two years. We need to stop taking our eyes off Jesus and get back to doing what He called us to do in the first place: To tell people about Jesus and love them into the kingdom.

Lesson #2: The stuff mobs prioritize is temporary and will one day be destroyed. But the stuff Christ prioritizes is permanent and will one day be richly rewarded. A little over 200 years after the mob in Ephesus shouted themselves hoarse, Goth raiders destroyed the Temple of Artemis. And it has never been rebuilt. Why? Because, like everything else in this world, it was temporary. Artemis worship has been wiped from the face of the earth. But the worship of Jesus Christ lives on. Because He IS the eternal God.

While people around you are running around fussing and yelling about high gas prices, the President or inflation, stay calm and keep doing what Jesus told you to do. Trust Him. Love Him with all your heart. And obey His Word—especially the part where He tells you to share His good news of salvation everywhere you go. More than anything else, people don’t need a new President, a new governor or lower gas prices. More than anything else, people need Jesus. So, give ’em what they need. When all hell breaks loose, give ’em heaven!

Dane Davis is the pastor of Impact Christian Church in Victorville. Join us at Impact for Sunday services: in person at 9 a.m., or online at 10 a.m. on YouTube or Facebook Live. For more information, visit

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