It is amazing to me that so many people today, thing that the New Age stuff is so new. Paul encountered similar thinking in the educated people of Greece. Luke writes of Paul and Silas experiences first in Thessalonica, then Berea and then Athens.
There were agitators in the towns, but Paul taught in the Synagogues and in the marketplace. Paul taught where the people were. As Christians today – we must go where the people are too. I sometimes want to stay in the comfort of my apartment and not venture out, but God calls us to do that.
When Paul arrived in Athens, he saw a flood of idols that the people there were worshiping. He saw that they even had a tomb and moment to the “unknown God.” Paul is more than greatly distressed, for he experiences a paroxysm (this is like a seizure or spasm) in his spirit, a provocation of anger or grief or both, because the glory due to God alone is being given to idols. Some of the representatives of the other philosophical schools thought and reacted to Paul’s teaching by saying he was a “babbler” They said he was advocating foreign gods. Most of their teachings were counter to the teachings of Jesus, they could not conceive of a bodily resurrection. These reactions show us that Paul had proclaimed the gospel with integrity to these free thinkers of Athens. And we must try and teach and introduce to Secular world today. We cannot always rely on traditional ways of telling the “old, old story”, we must tell it in a way that they understand, but keeping the faith and telling it the way it was and is for all who accept Christ.
It should be noted that Athens never becomes a religious center and no mention of a church is made in the New Testament. “When they heard of the resurrection. The Epicureans were materialists like the Sadducees. They no doubt mocked at the idea of a resurrection. The Stoics probably wished to hear again of this matter. There was a division of sentiment. So Paul departed. He regarded the field less fruitful than others.
Certain men . . . believed. His labors were not without results. One of the judges of the court of the Areopagus, the judges which were chosen from the noblest men of the city, Dionysius, was converted, along with others. A church does not seem to have been founded at this time; at least it is not elsewhere mentioned in the New Testament. Even as late as the time of Constantine the Great, Athens was a rallying point of the dying Paganism.”
We must remember that we are only planting seeds and that Paul did the same. He had some results from his Labor, but it is difficult to break people away from worldly ideas and worldly charms.
The resurrection of Christ is real and it is as real as the day he rose from the dead. He gave us rebirth through the cross and we have the same gift, if we only believe.
What a beautiful story of truth.