When Cancel Culture Becomes A Physical Attack


But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. — Acts 9:1-2

So persecution is now amping up in the early church. Localized persecution of Jewish converts in Jerusalem drives followers to take refuge in smaller cities across the land. One of these refuge cities was Damascus. And because this was happening, the message of Jesus was moving more aggressively toward smaller synagogues across the land. But Saul wants to put an end to this blasphemy against God. So he garners an endorsement of the High Priest by getting official mandates to invade the synagogues in the neighboring city of Damascus. And, of course, Caiaphus, the High Priest, endorses this action. Saul's goal is to find leaders of the heresy as they are proselyting in these synagogues and bring them back to Jerusalem to be tried.

Eventually, as persecution escalates, it moves from something that is only verbal to something more aggressive. It may start with attempts to cancel, shame, and dismiss, but eventually, other tactics must be deployed when this stops working. Next, come orders and edicts from authorities, usually in the form of propaganda, that is used to reeducate and incite fear forcing peer-to-peer compliance. But eventually, when this no longer works, there must come a stage of physical force. This is what Saul is leveraging here.

Now I know this isn't a very uplifting devotional today, but more uplifting devotionals are coming. In the messages that follow, we will watch as God intervenes in this man's life. And Saul will become one of the greatest stories of conversion to the faith of all time. And therein lies the lesson for today.

As our persecution ramps us and we move from one stage to another, we cannot give up hope. God can save us from anything and rescue us from any situation. There is nothing that will stop God's message and plan. And sometimes, God uses the most unlikely of people to rescue us. Sometimes he chooses a former enemy of the message of Jesus to advance the message of Jesus.

So why not pray with me that God will change the hearts of those that oppose us. Pray that from their ranks come influential men and women of God who will speak up on God's behalf. And then let's watch together as God does something miraculous through this time of persecution.

ASK THIS: Has the present persecution got you down?

DO THIS: Pray that God would raise converts from the side of the opposition to speak a message of faith.

PRAY THIS: God, I pray you will rise up prominent people on the side of your opposition that will become believers in the message of Jesus and stand with us in the faith.

PLAY THIS: Rise Up — ICF Worship.


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When Cancel Culture Becomes A Physical Attack

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10 thoughts on “When Cancel Culture Becomes A Physical Attack

  1. Chuck G Peter says:

    My Damascus moment. Alright, I was as Pro-Choice on abortion as someone can be. I was political and had political influence. I was a Christian, but I didn’t see a conflict there. I just didn’t. I pretty much ignored any message that had anything to do with being Pro Life. Then, one day, while watching TV, a Pro- Life infomercial came on. I don’t know why, (I guess I really do know why.) but at some point in the presentation, I said, “Could I be wrong?”

    Well, God must have thought I was asking Him, because immediately it was as if I had been transported to that road to Damascus. There I was with Saul, and there was Jesus at the side of the road saying, “Why are you persecuting me?”

    In the blink of an eye I went from being Pro-Choice to being Pro-Life. I’d call that life changing.

  2. Dennis James says:

    I pray that we maintain focus on God during our trying times and that from the ranks of our government , that godly conviction rises up and things shift. I pray that Christians seek God and not man for change.

  3. David J says:

    God I pray that you would touch the hearts of the leaders of our country that they will make Godly decisions.

  4. Ed says:

    Lord, I pray today for the leaders of our country be they the president all the way to local mayors and general managers of companies. May they yield to your will and lead in a godly way

  5. Cory B says:

    This was a good reminder that it doesn’t matter who we were, but who we are. Any time you think there is no possible way for God to use you to spread His word… think of Paul and think again. You don’t have to be a preacher, you can lead simply by being a good example and a good Christian man.

  6. W James Anderson says:

    Music lovers…… Neal Morse put out a concept album about Saul/Paul. Prog Rock. You might find it interesting 😎

  7. Steven Tong says:

    O Lord, please touch and change the hearts of the Junta military leader in Myanmar.
    Pray that they will stop persecuting their own people and return the country back to democracy.

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