When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, “Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”
So Aaron said to them, “Take off the rings of gold that are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.”… And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf. And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” … And they rose up early the next day and offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings. And the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.
… And as soon as he came near the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, Moses’ anger burned hot, and he threw the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain. He took the calf that they had made and burned it with fire and ground it to powder and scattered it on the water and made the people of Israel drink it. … And when Moses saw that the people had broken loose (for Aaron had let them break loose, to the derision of their enemies), then Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, “Who is on the Lord’s side? Come to me.”—various from Exodus 32:1-26 (ESV)
When I read this verse recently, something stood out to me… the phrase “to the derision of their enemies”.
There’s been a lot of controversy about this Rob Bell book coming out that no one has read yet. People think they know what he says based on a trailer. Yes, the trailer is a bit suspect, but maybe this is all a ploy to get people to read the book to figure out exactly what he’s talking about. Or maybe he’s not talking to Christians at all. He just wants to get nonbelievers interested in a different take on Christianity only to hit them with the real thing when they buy the book. I don’t know.
But this Rob Bell thing has taken on a life of its own to where we look like fools that don’t agree on doctrine, a bunch of bickering church people who are arguing over what’s right and true… the problem is that when you go to witness to someone and try to lay the truth of the Gospel down, it’s going to open up arguments to whether or not it really is the truth, and how can you say it’s the truth when you people can’t even agree on it?
Fortunately, the Bible is the standard we can always use, but I think you can see the can of worms all this has opened.
Is there anything that you’re doing that would gain the derision of others? If it’s within God’s will, I say keep doing it. Otherwise, maybe we should remember that it’s not our name we drag through the mud every time we fall, but the name of Jesus instead.