“Her master’s hopes of wealth were now shattered, so they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them before the authorities at the marketplace.” – ACTS 16.19
We must not underestimate how possessive and powerful the spirit of Mammon is. Many, if not all, of our decisions are driven by the need or greed of money. In this story, a teen is delivered from her misery of demon-possession. It is an occasion for celebration. But not for her master. He saw her as a money-maker so he could not see her liberation. He saw Peter and Silas not as liberators but destroyers who in one swoop ruined his income and retirement. So he returns the favor and attempts to destroy their lives.
Of course, the charges against them cannot be so blatantly selfish as greed. It has to be couched in a more sophisticated and civil language. The charge is their infraction of some obscure Roman practice.
We have to be more frank with our motivations. Mammon hides behind many of them. Money makes us see brothers and sisters as competitors, employees as money-makers and not as human beings longing to use their gifts and talents. I wonder how the world would run if it didn’t run in the economics of money but the economics of service? That is an ideal world, a heaven…and church should be a foretaste of that, but alas, the church is in bed with mammon much too often.