Dr. Jeanette Parker (file photo)

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Oh, yeh? That’s one of the biggest lies told. Words are very injurious…both long ago and today. False words and accusations can be beyond hurtful. Paul had been seen with a Gentile and thought he had taken that person into the Temple. Without investigation they assumed Paul had taken Trophimus into the Temple area. Gentiles were not permitted past the Court of the Gentiles under the direct threat of execution. This event was reported as though it had actually happened (Acts 21:28.) “Paul had been seen with Trophimus, an Ephesian was traveling with Paul. Paul’s enemies made a giant leap, deciding without checking the facts, that Paul must have brought Greeks into the temple. False accusations are a common way that the enemy tries to make not only Christians look bad. Distorting the truth and twisting the facts or assuming the worst about us is a common way today to dragging people down with the attempt to ruin reputations. Today, social media is a pass to corrupt (if used unwisely) lives. (Life Application Bible Commentary pp 366, 367) Paul was not intentionally trying to cause disruption. He was not even guilty of wrongdoing. But, he was falsely accused. This is the way of the adversary, the father of lies. Woodrow Wilson said, “If you want to make enemies, try to change something.” This is especially true when trying to bring justice to a situation. The whole city was “up in arms” so to speak. A great riot followed. When Paul was dragged out of the Temple the gates were closed behind him” (Acts 21:30-31). Paul had to defend himself. He was beaten, arrested, and bound with chains. The Roman soldiers also seized Paul.  There was a terrible uproar and confusion. The crowd following shouting, “Kill him, kill him!” Paul was adamant and convincing and politely said to the commander, “ May I have a word with you?” Paul spoke Greek, which was surprising to the commander. For the commander had also mistaken Paul for an Egyptian who led a rebellion some time ao taking 4,000 members of the Assassins out into the desert. By speaking in Greek he was “reclassified” as an intelligent man and not a common rebel going around starting riots. Paul held to his Christian beliefs and would not deny his real purpose of being there in the first place. So, what does this speak to us? The only thing that holds up together in the confrontation of false accusation is “our faith.” It’s difficult to hold on to our faith. Sometimes, it takes while to get our message across to those who are unbelieving and set on destruction. Faith is the substance of those things we hope for and it is the evidence of those things we desire to see happen. But, it can happen. Remember anything in your life which you have had to wait for, but you did see the outcome work in your favor. We stand for our belief in Christ and right doing. We know that even today many are persecuted for having “faith in Christ.” It is widespread persecution and not only for that reason but for many other reasons too.  Thanks for reading! Jeanette Grattan Parker is Founder-Superintendent Today’s Fresh Start Charter School 4514 Crenshaw Boulevard, LA 90043 323-293-9826 www.todaysfreshstart.org  (Ask Dr. Jeanette TM) [email protected]