Matthew 27:20 But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.
When considering all that happened surrounding the trial and crucifixion of Jesus, I couldn’t help but think how we are a lot like the crowd that surrounded Pilate. It was the religious leaders of the day that persuaded the crowd to seek the release of Barabbas over Jesus.
Now today, it is often the religious leaders of our day (New Evangelicals, Reformed Theologians, etc.) who are persuading the crowd to turn against Biblical, Baptistic Fundamentalism. I will admit that some of the “problems” people have with Fundamentalism are legitimate – pastoral dictators that are worshipped, easy believism, numerical growth at the expense of spiritual growth, preferences preached as Biblical truth, etc. But,. this does not mean we “throw out the baby with the bath water!”
It seems to me that many IFB’s are being swept up in the mob mentality and have not considered the error of their actions. The blurring of lines and watering down of the message is not only hurting this generation, but more importantly will hurt those that follow us. When church’s drop their distinctives (the Baptist name, etc.), the following generation will find it more difficult to remember why they separate from others to begin with. This is how the ecumenical movement gains its ground.
There may be safety in numbers, but the last time I read, Jesus did not seem to have big “numbers” surrounding Him when the “going got tough.” Yes, the IFB movement might be in the minority, but that is okay. Instead of allowing the angry mob of New Evangelicals and Reformed Protestants dictate to us what is right and was is wrong, let’s get back to allowing God and His Word to be our standard of faith and practice.
I would be amiss if I did not mention that we in the IFB crowd are just as guilty of following the “mob mentality.” If you don’t - run in our circle, support our school, go to our camp, toe the line where we do, etc. - you are a liberal and we will blast you to anyone who will listen. Many would do go to remember the discussion Jesus had with his 12:
Mark 9:38-40 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. (39) But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. (40) For he that is not against us is on our part.
A big part of the mob mentality is, “Hey, they are not following us!” Yet, our concern should not be whether or not people are following us, but are they following Jesus. Maybe we all would do well to take this advice and stop spending so much time worry about other people’s ministry and churches and worry about our own. This is not to say that we don’t deal with false teachers when their corrupt doctrine begins to effect those we minister to, but let’s pull the beam from our eyes first so we can help others pull at the mote from their eye.
Let’s all resist the “mob mentality” that is prevalent in today’s Christianity and follow the Lord and His Word in all that we do.