The Impact on Culture by Real Christianity

First century Ephesus was a cultural mecca. One of the largest cities of its time, Ephesus boasted of the glory, power, and culture of Rome. Home to the temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the world, the city revolved around food, wine, sex, entertainment, and all the supporting industry such passions required.

Into this environment a Christian church was planted, led by Paul and twelve disciples he found in Ephesus (see Acts 19:1-10). In two years of daily discussions in a lecture hall, Paul’s teaching transformed the lives of so many people the cultural foundations of Ephesus were shaken. So great was the movement away from the worship of Artemis that the artisans who manufactured religious trinkets were losing significant business. The silversmith Demetrius organized the affected craftsmen into a protest that turned into a near riot (see Acts 19:23-41).

Dr. John Johnson lucidly comments on this situation in his blog Village Pastor:

Maybe there is a lesson here for us. All too many contemporary churches have substituted discipleship with fellowship and entertainment, leaving the church a mile wide, an inch deep, having little impact on culture… certainly not the kind that leads to riots.

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