Acts 22:3-5 :
He said, “I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, instructed according to the strict tradition of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God, even as you all are this day. I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. As also the high priest and all the council of the elders testify, from whom also I received letters to the brothers, and traveled to Damascus to bring them also who were there to Jerusalem in bonds to be punished.
Paul knew all about being zealous for the law of the Jews. He could relate to these people in Jerusalem and how much they wanted to protect their worldview. Paul hoped that more of them would listen to him, understand what happened to him and realize that their zeal didn’t have a good basis in truth. The way they were thinking wasn’t logically consistent. I believe that all worldviews that oppose Christianity are logically inconsistent and I would like to demonstrate with an idea that we have in our world today.
Today, it is common to think that being zealous for a particular worldview or religion is wrong because it creates violence. This is intellectually inconsistent because zeal is often required to defend that argument. To insist that it is wrong to be zealous would be to demonstrate zeal for a worldview. Still, some attempt to say that groups that zealously defend a worldview are bad simply because they really believe “too much” in what they say. They, of course, know how much is too much which shows that they are filled with zealous pride in their own belief of anti-zeal. Zeal can’t be the thing that is wrong. The real problem is deeper and adding more pride to it makes it even more of a problem. It is convenient for a person or a government to punish anyone who shows any kind of zeal for what they believe in, but it does not bring peace. Only from truth and justice can peace result. Pride and ignorance bring strife.
We know as Christians that the problem isn’t zeal but sin in the heart of mankind. We do wrong because of the evil desires that live inside of us. The law of God promotes love by condemning us as sinners so that we can see ourselves in the correct light: sinners who are about to be punished and need a Savior. This isn’t always a popular message, but once we realize that we need help, we are on the way to peace because Jesus can take care of our problem. This good news is worth being zealous about.