This business of living out a spiritually formed life in The Market might come with its own price. It’s always been that way.
In the Christian book of the Acts of the Apostles, St. Paul visited Ephesus and taught of “the Way.” More than a few Ephesian citizens adopted Paul’s teaching and began to burn their books of magic. (Has anything riled folks up quite as much as a good book burning?) This is where the rub set in. The Way threatened the Ephesian economy–The Market–which was fueled in no small part by the sale of magic books and Artemisian icons. And in light of this economic threat, “there arose no little stir concerning the Way.”
Demetrius, a shrine maker, gathered the businessmen of Ephesus for a market rally. The good book records his speech this way:
“Men, you know that from this business we have our wealth. And you see and hear that Paul has persuaded and turned away a considerable company of people, saying that gods made with hands are not gods.”
There it is.
The Way of faith exposes the lesser gods of humanity. It exposes the inefficacy of wealth and of The Market’s power. It shows the hollowness of our ordinary, everyday, economic magic. The Way of sacrifice threatens The Market; do not be fooled.
Be shrewd as you carry the Way that threatens the lesser gods of money, status, and power. Go covertly. Be clandestine. Spy, spy, spy. By all means, avoid book burnings. But in the end, if your cover is blown, know this truth–following the Way might rile up the crowd. It might make you a target. In the end, it might require sacrifice upon sacrifice.
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