That trucker convoy was a criminal event you cannot spin it to be just an expression of pride and political dissent. We elect people to Parliament to represent us, and locking down a city with noise and violence and unlawful behavior cannot be spun into righteousness. The book is rightfully being thrown at conservative types who evidently want to turn Canada into the little sister of the damnable GOP-leaning United States.
“About that time there occurred no small disturbance concerning the Way.” (Acts 19:23, NASB)
Previously in Acts
- Bogus exorcists (Acts 19:16)
- Decision to see Rome
- Two ministers dispatched to Macedonia, Timothy and Erastus
- The name of the Lord Jesus was being magnified (Acts 19:17)
- The word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing (Acts 19:20)
- Stayed in Asia for a while. (Acts 19:22)
Disturbance breaks out
It was obvious that someone wanted to stir up the business world and use the courts to cripple the disciples’ effect on the whole of Asia. In the 21st century we have seen a lot of religious posturing by governments to the point where many are beginning to think that there may be crediblity to various examples of religion-dominated societies. Take three or four Asian examples, a couple more from the Midde East, a dozen from Europe and the Americas and the case closes. There is nothing more than a muffled whimper from religious governement. God will never consent to humans (especially exclusively males) being the arbiters of what people should think. The difference between God and humanity is too stark for thoughtful people to tolerate even the smell of thieves, robbers, blasphemers and religious artifacts and rituals.
Another day in court
For you have brought these men here who are neither robbers of temples nor blasphemers of our goddess. (Acts 19:37, NASB)
As it happened
- BIG BUSINESS … a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, was bringing no little business to the craftsmen;
- FORMING A LOBBY. these he gathered together with the workmen of similar trades, and said, “Men, you know that our prosperity depends upon this business.
- MAKING THE LINK BETWEEN GOD AND BUSINESS. “You see and hear that not only in Ephesus, but in almost all of Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away a considerable number of people, saying that gods made with hands are no gods at all.
- LOSS OF MARKET RANKINGS. “Not only is there danger that this trade of ours fall into disrepute, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis be regarded as worthless and that she whom all of Asia and the world worship will even be dethroned from her magnificence.”
- ANGRY MOB SLOGANISM. When they heard this and were filled with rage, they began crying out, saying, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”
- CITY-WIDE MOB CHAOS. The city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed with one accord into the theater, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul’s traveling companions from Macedonia.
- PAUL PROTECTED. And when Paul wanted to go into the assembly, the disciples would not let him. Also some of the Asiarchs who were friends of his sent to him and repeatedly urged him not to venture into the theater.
- OFFICIAL DISTURBANCE AND VACUUM. So then, some were shouting one thing and some another, for the assembly was in confusion and the majority did not know for what reason they had come together.
- ANTI-JEWISH SENTIMENT. Some of the crowd concluded it was Alexander, since the Jews had put him forward; and having motioned with his hand, Alexander was intending to make a defense to the assembly.
- LOUD DEMONSTRATION. But when they recognized that he was a Jew, a single outcry arose from them all as they shouted for about two hours, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”
- DEFENDING EPHESIAN TRADITION. After quieting the crowd, the town clerk said, “Men of Ephesus, what man is there after all who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of the image which fell down from heaven?
- APPEALING FOR CALM. “So, since these are undeniable facts, you ought to keep calm and to do nothing rash.” (Acts 19:24-36, NASB)
Lawful process vs kangaroo court
But if you want anything beyond this, it shall be settled in the lawful assembly. For indeed we are in danger of being accused of a riot in connection with today’s events, since there is no real cause for it, and in this connection we will be unable to account for this disorderly gathering.Acts 19:39-40, NASB
Civic society has not learned how to appreciate the difference between God’s domain and human government. We can see this in the attempts to solve problems with religous laws and practice. The histories of Judaism and Islsm have taught us nothing. Along with a full embrace of the message from the Bible people remain slow to save themselves from their crooked and adulterous generations. It is no wonder that people find church, even the African thievery, Joel Osteen delusionary, and John Hagee shallow pool type sideshow, wholly unappealing and no blip.
Let them listen to bigotry
Conservatives ought to apologize to Canadians for wanting a vicious and vile mob to dictate the nation’s future. I am not surprised that the loyal opposition failed to declare that we want nothing from Fascist, Nazis, and peddlers of disinformation. Absolutely nothing! Canada is a great land and state, despite the open shame of the founding father, the silence and treachery of successive generations of religious and law-enforcement authorities, but freedom of speech is not absolute, and Canadians may want to make jokes about women, ethnic groups, religious communities, but separatist sentiment, nazi-cuddling and insurrection-proneness are neither amusing nor Canadian. In the world of political prudence and judicial accountability there is no angry benevolent bigotry.
Send in the good citizens to trash the capital
I cannot think of a blueprint for civic society that involves prioritizing the interests of one group, and especially the homeborn, the rich and influential (that includes corporations, which are the next surprising deep dive in people-recognition). The lessons of history just do not seem to be of any interest to the next generation. “Me, me, me” will kill us. A capital city has a sacredness that should be common knowledge. At least the national monuments in Ottawa are clear enough. If you do not understand what has been important to Canadians perennially is honesty and service. Those two guarded treasures mark this flashpoint in continental history. The opposites, deception and domination, have been the pursuit of ancient and modern heads of state or government, prophets, cities, warriors and mercenaries. History’s flow allows a dustbin. A prime example is the fate of Capernaum. I should not need to elaborate about the related landmark careers of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, Great Britain and the United States.
“And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will be brought down to Hades!”Luke 10:15, NASB
Whether Capernaum persists as a city in northern Israel or not is not the point. Capernaum is one of many locations on the plant that had the privilege of being the hometown of an extraordinary person, and did its best to disown him. Having heaven’s gaze or ranking above others (exalted to heaven) are not guarantees of stability. Some pretty awful things are happening in Capernaum today. In God’s justice scheme up can become down just as easily as down becomes up. This is why we should stop pretending that there are any political ideologies that are natural partners with the kingdom of God. So sorry, my intellectually astute fellow believers: the kingdom of the Lord Christ is not of this world. I suppose that even the documentation of the experiences Abraham, Moses, David, John, Peter, Melchisedec, Pharaoh, Saul, and Herod, are insufficient to dissuade the creation and deification of a less than cosmopolitan society. Honest love and service are to be recognized by all, but keeping an eye on the ball is equally important if anyone wants to be free from the tabloid environment and its downward slide. But guess who is ready to die, even for a great cause or a great guy? Nobody and all his kin. People are way more valuable.
America and the whole world may benefit from German ingenuity but who wants an affair with the architect of the Third Reich? Who wants to even pretend that a marriage with the manufacture and use of weapons of mass destruction is a good thing? I do not know. I do know that people who have spent centuries in the dark, wallowing in superstitions and origin theories, blindness and imitations of wild and ravenous beasts, are the least likely to help humanity cope with life under the sun. Indeed, people are vigorously demanding a platform for things that have been kept carefully in the closet and secret assemblies. Whatever you chose to listen to, be aware that without a sure anchor for your own thoughts, attitudes and desires, you are likely to adopt the rubbish as the best thing since sliced bread. The opposite of brotherly love and justice are literally being pushed, in the guise of freedom, by the algorithms of the brokers of corporate and personal information into our faces every second we open our ears and eyes. Be very careful with that idea that everybody deserves to be heard. A lot of time will be wasted listening to everyone because there are no upgrades to the ideologies of our recent or distant past. So, let the bigots listen to bigotry. I prefer to stand with Ottawa’s residents and their elected leaders. We just want to live, and it is a good thing that conmen and unstable leaders do not triumph.