Meanwhile, some were shouting one thing and some another, because the assembly was in confusion, and most of them did not know why they had come together. – Acts 19:32
If you have been paying any attention to world events over the past few years, then you are familiar with the term “Arab Spring” and the now historic scenes from Tahrir Square in Cairo. Mass protests in that city led to the downfall of a presidency and, what seemed to be at the time, hopeful change for the future. Unfortunately, the decrees that followed from the new president caused such unrest to be recycled, the masses are divided again, and he was summarily ousted as well. Eventually, a new president was installed, but the future is, as it is with most global uprisings, uncertain and confused.
If one is able to look beneath the surface of any mob mentality, many differing agendas and concerns often emerge. When trouble erupted for the Apostle Paul in Ephesus, the crowd was confused. Some didn’t even know why they were there, but apparently just wanted to be a part of the excitement … whatever it was. Various members were drawn for multiple reasons and none of those reasons seemed to be very good.
In the same way, it is possible for a church or organization to become nothing more than a mob when there is confusion in the assembly. Competing interests often create conflict, confusion, and chaos and while it might be possible to disperse a mob, it is not possible to lead one. A clear, defining, biblical purpose must underpin every decision and direction or it is possible for some to forget why they ever began to congregate.
The mob is the mother of tyrants. – Diogenes