There seems to be a theme in Acts of different kinds of accusations. We deal with this a lot in our current society. Some of the accusations are weird, like black people being called "white supremacists" for taking stands on political or cultural issues. Many of us are seeing people and organizations being called out with accusations that need to be proven or verified. One of them is whether this virus was man-made and intended as a biological weapon to break the economy of the world... or not! The accusations have been made and the denials have also been reported.
But here's an interesting story in Acts 13. I'm not advocating we do this unless filled with the Holy Spirit and specifically led, but it does give a way in which to push back wickedness and evil. When I have been ready and willing to consider something better in my life, there are two camps of people. Those who are threatened by too much change in me because it might upset the behavior cycle already comfortable and established. The others are those who have loved me enough to suggest the changes, or have even travailed in prayer for God to change me! When someone is fed up with their situation or life style and is looking for a change, they shouldn't be hindered by those who don't see any problem. It's like someone who wants to quit smoking being hindered, or teased, or tempted by those who still smoke.
In this story we have a prominent political figure in the region named Sergius Paulus, who happens to be the local pro-counsel. Paul and Barnabas have begun a systematic travel plan to bring the Christian message to his region of jurisdiction. Their reputation has preceded them. He has heard about their message and wanted to hear more in person.
This pro-counsel is in the company of a sorcerer, a false prophet, whom we would call today, a "psychic" who appears threatened by the presence and message of the missionaries and is quick to try to "turn away the deputy from the faith." (vs 8) He was obviously threatened by what he perceived as competition for favor and influence.
Paul sees through the obstacle and brings this accusation to the psychic, " O full of all deceit and all mischief, you child of Satan, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to corrupt the right ways of the Lord?" (vs 10) This direct, public accusation it actually coming from one Jew to another, since the psychic is a Jew also. Expected to know and follow the "right ways of the Lord', let alone influence the political leader in a false direction.
Then Paul puts a consequence on him. "And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a season." (vs 11) which happened instantly.
Then the deputy, pro-consul, "when he saw what was done believed, being astonished at the teaching about the Lord. "
This is where this story ends. Since most of us don't operate in this extreme way, (even though maybe we should), my attention is drawn to two ideas:
1. We need to call out and come against "political correctness" when what is being done is directly against the "right ways of the Lord".
2. We need to follow enough of the teaching about the Lord to know what the right ways are. Then we can trust that what we are calling out and standing against will see the justice and judgement of the Lord on the spot! In our hearts, if not in the public square.
My mother was one to call out things I was doing that weren't the "right ways of the Lord" and while at first I was offended, upset, mad at her, and went off to pout and stay away from her, in my heart I knew that what she was accusing me of was the truth. I also knew that the consequences she reminded me of could be expected and not complained about when they happened. Thank God for a righteous mother.
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