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Don’t throw stones, do follow the Light February 25, 2015

Posted by P, J, or J in Uncategorized.

Like many I mentioned a “certain film” recently. A colleague elsewhere in the UK was also tempted to blog without mentioning the film and wrote a very good post on the challenge of throwing stones at pornography. It’s a post worth reading so I’ll let you follow the link rather than summarize the post.

Meanwhile, here’s that famous don’t throw stones passage pulled from John 8 in the New Living Bible. I highlighted a few bits in bold and will tell you why later:

As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.

“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?

They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.

When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”

11 “No, Lord,” she said.

And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

12 Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.

Christians have often been quite good at the stone throwing, even if sometimes we’ve swapped the stones for cruel words and a judgmental attitude.

Sometimes aware of the grace of Christ and our own failings we tell people the story up to verse 7, let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”

Modern society would probably have us rewrite verse 11 as Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and and don’t let anyone criticize your lifestyle choices again

Jesus doesn’t say that. He lovingly and gently restores, without minimizing the need for change. I think we need to read and reflect on the whole passage, the whole chapter, the whole gospel, the whole Bible. While we’re not in a position to throw stones, we are in a position to follow and the light and graciously point others towards the “light of the world.”


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