Acts 17:6 “And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;”
Paul and Silas were so hated by the religious crowd that they would not even address them by their names. All they would do to address them was to call them “these.” When addressing Paul and Silas in the verse above, they said about them, “These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;” They addressed them again in verse 7 by saying, “…these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar…” The great lesson that Paul and Silas teach with their lives is that they didn't run from the identity as being one of “these.”
We live in days when many of God's people tend to run from the identity as being one of these independent fundamental Baptists. Just because the hateful, religious crowd wants to call you “one of these” does not mean that you should run from who you are. It has always been the off-cast crowd that God has used to turn the world upside down for Him. There are several statements that I would like to make about this being one of these.
First, you will never be called “one of these” if you are trying to be accepted by every person. Trying to get along with everyone may cause you to be accepted by society but will likely cause you to be at odds with God. Those who have always been identified with God have never been the popular crowd. Those who have always stood for what God wants them to stand have always been the outcast of their society. Just because you are the outcast does not mean that you should run from being one of these. I would rather be alone and stand as one of these who turned the world upside down than to be one of those who attacked those who turned the world upside down and have done nothing with my own life.
Second, it is better to be “one of these” who stands for right than to be one of those who tear down these who stand for Christ. When looking back at history, we learned that Paul and Silas were on the right side. It was Paul and Silas who were called one of these by the religious haters, but the religious haters are wrong and find themselves on the wrong side of eternity. I would rather be a person who takes a stronger stand for right and be criticized than to be popular because I took a weaker stand. Always remember that you can never stand too strongly for right, but you can be wrong because you didn't stand strong enough for right. Don't let the criticisms of those who criticize you or stand for right cause you to back down from what you were supposed to be.
Third, because the haters criticize our heritage of “these” does not mean we should change who we are because of their criticisms. My friend, you keep standing for right despite the criticisms that come from those who love the world more than they love to stand for right. If being called one of these is what you have to endure, then embrace the fact that you are on the right side of righteousness.
Let me encourage you not to cower or to hide that you are one of these who stand for right. Embrace the fact that you are one of these who stand for the King James Bible, soul winning, running buses to pick up the poor, holiness standards, and old-fashioned preaching. Yes, you may be criticized as being one of these, but at least you know that you are in the right crowd with God, as were Paul and Silas.