Slandering & Evangelism

And when the town clerk had quieted the crowd, he said, “Men of Ephesus, who is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is temple keeper of the great Artemis, and of the sacred stone that fell from the sky? Seeing then that these things cannot be denied, you ought to be quiet and do nothing rash. For you have brought these men here who are neither sacrilegious nor blasphemers of our goddess. If therefore Demetrius and the craftsmen with him have a complaint against anyone, the courts are open, and there are proconsuls. Let them bring charges against one another

Acts 19:35-18 (ESV)
I find it very interesting that the city manager had heard of Paul–if not heard Paul speak–and thus had either an opinion or a lot of information. Yet despite Paul preaching and teaching about Jesus, the city manager did not believe the goddess had been slandered. Of course, it could be that the city manager was trying to keep the peace (or regain it), but from what we know of Paul, it would seem that he somehow managed to speak the truth about Jesus the Christ without slandering other religions. Can we say the same?

I ask this with nothing in particular in mind, nor anyone. Even Paul’s famous speech on Mars Hill was respectful towards those with whom Paul disagreed. What makes this respectful stance of Paul very interesting (to me at least), is that he was the central villainous character earlier in Acts. He persecuted (quite violently) followers of  “The Way” (the initial name for Christians). However, after his conversion experience on the road to Damascus, his entire methodology changed.

It would seem that there are some lessons there.