Summary: Our God is dangerous to the foundations of man’s strongholds: materialism, hedonism, power, wealth and fame. It is here that God threatens and intrudes into the lives of men and here that they will fight.
“Our Dangerous God,” Acts 19: 23-41
We live in a dangerous world. The days of leaving your house unlocked, your car keys in the vehicle, and your kids unattended in the front yard of your home are gone. They have been replaced by disturbing images on television, music that degrades our authorities and violates our young women, and pornography that is as available as the air we breath.
And these are only the tip of the iceberg. Below the surface, our threats come from radical groups that seek to destroy the core values we hold precious. Many of these groups are within our country lobbying our congress-- and others, such as the terrorists of September 11th, simply carry out their plans of destruction from the secrecy of shadows.
Regardless, the threats are real and danger is all around us.
Occasionally, though, we get to see glimpses of God’s sovereignty and power. And it’s not that God is not acting more often, rather we fail to see how he is acting for good, righteous and holy purposes. But what we don’t see of God’s work, the rest of society does see. And it scares them to death. Our God is dangerous to the foundations of man’s strongholds: materialism, hedonism, power, wealth and fame. It is here that God threatens and intrudes into the lives of men and here that they will fight.
I want to paraphrase this morning’s passage in order that we might see ourselves in it and how dangerous our God really is and how we can become dangerous Christians in the process.
Scripture Acts 19:23-41 (loose paraphrase)
AC 19:23 About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Christians in Kingman.  A corporate CEO named Demetrius, who made cars, clothes and cola to the God they called Image, brought in no little business for the owners.  He called them together, along with the workmen in related trade unions, and said: "Men, you know we receive a good income from these businesses.  And you see and hear how the members of Canyon Community Church have convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Kingman and in practically the whole of Arizona. They say that man-made gods are no gods at all.  There is danger not only that our corporations will lose their good names, but also that the stronghold of the great god we call Image will be discredited, and the god himself, who is worshipped throughout Arizona and the United States, will be robbed of his divine majesty."
AC 19:28 When they heard this, they were furious and began shouting: "Great is the god called Image of Kingman!"  Soon the whole city was in an uproar. The people seized many members of the church, and rushed as one man into the city council.  Several leaders of the church wanted to appear before the crowd, but the congregation would not let them.  Even some of the other church clergy of Arizona, friends of the church, sent them a message begging them not to venture into the city council.
AC 19:32 The assembly was in confusion: Some were shouting one thing, some another. Most of the people did not even know why they were there.  The ruling religious party pushed one person to the front, and some of the crowd shouted instructions to him. He motioned for silence in order to make a defense before the people.  But when they realized he was of similar religious background to the Christians of Canyon Community Church, they all shouted in unison for about two hours: "Great is the god called Image of the Kingman people!"
AC 19:35 The city clerk quieted the crowd and said: "Men of Kingman, doesn’t all the world know that the city of Kingman is the guardian of the stronghold of the great god called Image and of his presence, which fell from corporate America?  Therefore, since these facts are undeniable, you ought to be quiet and not do anything rash.  You have brought these men here, though they have neither robbed temples nor blasphemed our god.  If, then, Demetrius and his fellow CEO’s have a grievance against anybody, the courts are open and there are judges. They can press charges.  If there is anything further you want to bring up, it must be settled in the courts.  As it is, we are in danger of being charged with being politically incorrect because of today’s events. In that case we would not be able to account for this commotion, since there is no reason for it."  After he had said this, he dismissed the assembly.
Exposure or vulnerability to harm or evil; risk; peril. However the root of the word can mean one who is the master of the household. Words like domain domestic, and dominion all are rooted here. So to be in “danger” is to have one’s name or home, or sovereignty in jeopardy.