Summary: What is it about active, vital believers that is so threatening to popular culture?
One of my favorite television episodes of “The Twilight Zone” television series was a humorous episode where the entire plot revolved around a misunderstanding with an alien species and culminated in the discovery of a book. The title of that book was “To Serve Man” and the misunderstanding was that instead of being a book about humanitarian service, it was an alien cookbook.
In our world today, there are similar misunderstandings—although they are not as humorous. Some individuals, groups, and movements in our world today believe that they are “serving humanity” by destroying the Biblical worldview—removing the shackles of superstition, ignorance, tradition, and moral oppression. It is the worldview of the secular humanists that our belief in God, our confidence in the Christian lifestyle, our hope of eternal life, our expectation of answered prayer through God’s miraculous intervention, and our obedience to God precludes logical thinking, scientific advance, social justice, world peace, or their idea of freedom.
In a way, as Pastor Rod Parsley observed in a book that Ian loaned me, Culturally Incorrect: How Clashing Worldviews Affect Your Future, today’s worldview isn’t that different from the Sadducees of Jesus’ day. Parsley engages in a bit of word play that goes like this (The Sadducees did not believe in heaven, in angels, or in the supernatural—that is why they were sad, you see?” (p. 55).
And that little idea leads us into today’s text. Who was it in Acts 5:17 that stirred up the High Priest and Council against the apostles? The Sadducees! And what had stirred them up in the first place? The apostles were healing people and liberating those who were demon-possessed. That’s impossible, according to the worldview of the Sadducees. The apostles preached Jesus as risen from the dead and, since the Sadducees did not believe in an afterlife—much like today’s postmodern nihilists and materialists who say, “This is all there is!”—of course, that was impossible. The apostles were leading the people away from the logic, order, and convenience of the Jewish religion and into the unknown, the unexpected, and the exciting world of the Christian faith. In order to “serve man,” if you will, they wanted to stop these apostles and their messy gospel for good. If they had been successful, the forces of evil would have eaten us alive. And as it is now, we face a similar circumstance. So, let’s get our marching orders from Acts 5:27-42. (Read it/Pray).
Now, See What You’ve Done
Every parent or grandparent has had the experience of telling a little child to be careful fiddling with a straw with a full glass of milk, Coke, or tea or telling them not to spin or jump around when there is a bowl of cereal, soup, or anything else messy to spill. If the child doesn’t obey, and I bet you wonder how I know this so recently (our grandson was visiting us), it isn’t long before you point to the mess and say, “Now, look what you’ve done! Didn’t I tell you to be careful with that straw or stop that jumping around?”