And He was casting out a demon, and it was mute; when the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke; and the crowds were amazed. But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.” Others, to test Him, were demanding of Him a sign from heaven. (Luke 11:14-16 NASB)
We’ve all been there. We go to church, and we either hear obliquely or directly a complaint followed by a challenge or threat. It could be about the preacher, the music, the pews, chairs, children’s leader, teachers, floors, windows, Bibles, or whatever. Somethings wrong, and if it doesn’t change I’m going to do something really mean to some unsuspecting person there to either lead worship or worship.
It’s Christian terrorism in the church. But it’s not evil it’s justified by whatever is wrong. In fact I’m in the aftermath, the words, “It wasn’t my fault, if they had (or hadn’t)…” will most likely make up the response of the accused. Let me help you out here. This is stupid.
If you’re offended by “stupid”, well…you, if you hadn’t…no I’m not going there. The word fits because it is some what offensive. Such activity should be considered more offensive, but it’s not.
Of course, it’s not new either. I have had several people over the years, even some in school, tell me they want to be part of a church like the early church. People who say that usually mean the church described in Acts 4. But what they end up with is the church described in the rest of the Christian Scriptures, especially the ones Paul writes to.
But even before Paul wrote to his first church, before Paul was converted to following Jesus, this same Jesus had a crowd of people with loud stupids. Not the whole crowd, but some were down right silly. For instance…
Jesus casts a demon causing a man to be mute out of him, and the man finally speaks. The crowd’s response? Jesus is either doing this by the prince of those He’s casting out (brilliant, you have to admit, of course He is!), or, even more sensibly, the exorcism isn’t really enough, would You please show a sign from heaven to prove Your validity.
Yes, folks, out comes a demon cast away to who knows where (until you read verses 24 through 26), but still, it really doesn’t mean this Jesus fellow is from God. Of course not. What’s even more ironic is that those most caustic in their vociferous condemnation of these people will then behave this way in church. Wait, what?
Oh yes, things that deviate from my “comfort zone” in church worship (Worship of the Almighty God, the Holy Spirit, and the Son, our Creator and Savior) should be condemned for the “sin” they are, because I couldn’t get the sleep, the peace, the tranquility I need from such practice of worship.
There should be no use of passages of Scripture in worship that require me to change my ways to conform to someone else, you know, like God. What is that about? There should be no loud music! There should be no soft music! We must have pews! What is a worship center without chairs we can move around?
My church has a lead worshiper who plays guitar barefoot and has tattoos. Oh the ignominy! Oh the shamelessness! Oh wait, aren’t those both qualities of Jesus? Wasn’t He publicly humiliated, yet felt no shame? Seriously, how can we be so STUPID? The very accusations we level at those leading us through this life with our Savior are the very things that prove their validity as leaders!
Okay, let me step down from my soap box for a second. When we, as affirmed followers of Jesus, behave in ways contrary to the things He taught, and consider ourselves justified in such behavior and attitudes; I believe we have stopped following Jesus and have begun to follow someone, who from behind, merely appears to be Jesus. The robed creature before such followers will be shown to be the Satan, not the Savior.
Back to the soap box! You can tell this by the results of such behavior. The church, instead of enjoying unity of the Holy Spirit, is fractured by the hate and lies of the enemy. That’s the fruit of such deception. In Mark 3:28, 29 this same event is described, and Jesus uses it to point to what has become called the “unpardonable sin”. This is not to be taken lightly. This is serious. The fruit of such behavior and attitudes of a crowd seeking to denounce their leaders is demonstrated to be divisive, abusive, hurtful, and selfish. When we see this, and even feel this, we should take it very seriously. Such feelings are not from God!
Let’s not be the “stupids” in the crowd.
So what do you learn from the crowd’s reaction to Jesus’ miracle?