Topical Index of Scriptures
The Power of the Crowd
"If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing.... From such withdraw yourself." 1 Timothy 6:3-5
"And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me." Luke 7:23
"You shall not follow a crowd to do evil...." Exodus 23:2
"Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ." Galatians 1:10
"Do not be deceived: 'Evil company corrupts good habits.' Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame." 1 Corinthians 15:33-34
"My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent." Proverbs 1:10
"Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evil. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn away from it and pass on." Proverbs 4:14-15
"...who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them." Romans 1:32
"When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, 'I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.' And all the people answered and said, 'His blood be on us and on our children.' Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified." Matthew 27:24
"Because I feared the great multitude, and dreaded the contempt of families, so that I kept silence and did not go out of the door." Job 31:34
"And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15
"Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you.
Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you...
Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established.
Do not turn to the right or the left; remove your foot from evil." Proverbs 4:24-27
Illustration of crowd manipulation - Acts 19:23-36
Preparing a mass protest: "And about that time there arose a great commotion about the Way. For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Diana, brought no small profit to the craftsmen. He called them together with the workers of similar occupation, and said: 'Men, you know that we have our prosperity by this trade. Moreover you see and hear that not only at Ephesus, but throughout almost all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are not gods which are made with hands."
Create an feel-good and unifying goal: "So not only is this trade of ours in danger of falling into disrepute, but also the temple of the great goddess Diana may be despised and her magnificence destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worship."
Crowd reaction: "Now when they heard this, they were full of wrath and cried out, saying, 'Great is Diana of the Ephesians!' So the whole city was filled with confusion, and rushed into the theater with one accord, having seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians, Paulís travel companions."
Confusion and crowd mentality: "And when Paul wanted to go in to the people, the disciples would not allow him. Then some of the officials of Asia, who were his friends, sent to him pleading that he would not venture into the theater. Some therefore cried one thing and some another, for the assembly was confused, and most of them did not know why they had come together...."
Counter measures: "And when the city clerk had quieted the crowd, he said: 'Men of Ephesus, what man is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is temple guardian of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Zeus? Therefore, since these things cannot be denied, you ought to be quiet and do nothing rashly." Acts 19:23-36