Acts 14:18-20 (NKJV) 18 And with these sayings they could scarcely restrain the multitudes from sacrificing to them.
19 Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. 20 However, when the disciples gathered around him, he rose up and went into the city. And the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.
This is a great example of the difference between a democracy and a republic – a democracy represents the whims of the masses, while a republic is the represented will of the people, bound to a constitution:
• In a pure democracy, laws are made directly by the voting majority leaving the rights of the minority largely unprotected.
• In a republic, laws are made by representatives chosen by the people and must comply with a constitution that specifically protects the rights of the minority from the will of the majority.
As long as the course of action to be taken is based upon the popular consensus of the moment, there is no stability for that action, and it will result in injustice. This injustice may be represented in either unreasonable adoration and praise or dangerous emotional retaliation against the present perceived threat. Without a predetermined course of action based upon well-thought-out reason, the resulting volatility will destroy indiscriminately.
It doesn’t say how long it was between these events, but they must have been somewhat close in time. It just says “then” Jews from Antioch came. Solely upon the snapshot perception of the masses, Paul was first seen as a god, worthy of sacrifices and then as a deceiver worthy of stoning. Apparently, the will of the masses apart from a guiding restraint of preset reason is capable of the most unreasonable and dangerous actions. All that is required is their emotional persuasion by the passionate voices in their ears, no matter how far removed those voices may be from truth and logic. Complete nonsense spoken with zeal is capable of pushing the masses off the cliff to a fall of irreparable brokenness and destruction. This is why what seems to be right in the moment can never be given the same weight in the choice of action as a set of guidelines based upon a morally unbending standard.
Our country today is being consumed today by a fire swept along by the winds of mass emotions of fear and insecurity. Voices of complete insanity have somehow persuaded the masses to accept and go along with notions of morality, gender identity, social justice, and personal health and freedom that totally defy any deference to both common sense and especially the reason given to us by our Maker. In the forming of a constitution to define and formulate these timeless truths, God, through our founding fathers, provided a way of being kept from the whims of the mindless in times of emotional fervor. Throughout our history many opportunities for cliff jumping have been averted by the power of this standard to bring reason back as a guide for our choices when riots, wars, and notions of superior ideology have threatened to destabilize and undermine any established greatness. Once again, no brain failures of the moment will bring solutions to these many perils. Only a complete abandonment of emotion for predetermined reason has a hope of cliff avoidance.
As this truth is being displayed around us on every side, the same principle is continually at work right inside us as well. Circumstances and events of the moment are constantly threatening to usurp any law of established truth and wisdom with an emotional response of passion. If personal perception and heightened anxiety for finances, relationships, gratification, and justice are the only voices in the ears, perilous movement to the cliff’s edge is imminent. However, we’ve been given the most incredible standard of truth and reason that will, if only adhered to, maintain a safe distance from the destructive pathway of whipped up emotions. Whenever determining a course of action to be taken, it is most critical that the source of reason for that course be exposed and validated. If emotion and whim is the motivational force, along with a raging flame of mass media persuasion, there should be much skepticism with any forward movement. Only in faithful return to the unwavering truth of the Word, established forever and without susceptibility to wokeness, is there hope for safety from the rush and fall of the masses. On the Word we have a foundation and established house of faith that will remain stable and immovable through any of the storms and fires that will totally destroy the structures of volatile emotional passion.