Are We Rock Throwers?

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   We can all be guilty of throwing rocks at people in the sins that surround abortion, strip clubs and I’ll add public schools — not because going to one is a sin, but because a lot of rocks are being thrown at them.  I am writing about these three issues because I have experienced better ways than pointing out how bad they all are or can be. Rock throwers usually stand at a distance of self righteous judgment, provide no help and frankly are quite useless as living examples of the gospel of Jesus Christ to anyone involved. But they throw their rocks under the cloak of “telling the truth” and do so under the Christian label.

  Thirty-four years ago, I volunteered to help an unwed teen by raising her unborn child as my own. I did just that and many other people have also raised children not biologically their own.  I have continually remained a support to our local pregnancy resource center that reaches out to prevent anyone from ever going to an abortion clinic. If we work at stopping the demand, eventually there won’t be abortion clinics. 

   Several years ag, I caught wind that a local man was building and planning to open an adult cabaret, also known as a “strip club.”  It took a lot of effort, but armed with information from over 30 U.S. cities, we got the project held up through county zoning and then pursued to get legislation passed by a city and two townships that make the operation of adult businesses so restrictive they don’t want to come. The proposed strip club in our area now sits vacant with no hope ever of any type of alcohol license. In this case: stop it before it happens. 

   I speak at churches, schools and any place someone will listen on sexual immorality. It is people, yes Christians too, that drive the demand for porn and sex trafficking. I hope you understand that most or all the dancers at a strip club and many in porn are being trafficked. It is my hope to help people find freedom from sexual immorality and thereby reduce the demand. If we stopped the demand for porn, strip clubs and prostitution they wouldn’t exist.

   I don’t know how many times I have heard or read that people should take their kids out of public school.  I just received an email from a parent with three middle school-aged children and private schools — for her — are not an affordable option. For most parents it is not. I have a friend that has three children, the oldest graduated public high school and graduated college. They home schooled the two younger ones so they had more time to help with the family business. Now in their twenties, they don’t use proper grammar and I doubt they can read well, if at all. Unfortunately this is all too common among the home schooled. Home schooling can be done and done well, but it takes a full time teacher/parent. Most households have both parents working to pay the bills and most single parents are called the “working poor.” 

   Years back, when I owned a restaurant, I hired two home schooled teenage girls from a Christian home. The end of the first week revealed they could not add up their simple prep cook hours. The home schooled girls were not being taught at home at all. The parents were too busy to teach. The younger of the two girls, age 17, accepted our offer to attend technical classes in connection with a public school to get her GED while working for us. The older 19-year-old girl left the community and went to a “modeling” agency. (Cover name for prostitution). I involve myself today in speaking to teens on how to avoid getting caught into sex trafficking and a life operating under the influence of pornography. This is my attempt to be involved on the preventative side to reduce the demand.

   There is a lady in our community that has a powerful ministry to public schools by offering a safe and very Christian environment for kids, after school, which includes many activities and professional tutoring for students. Three local public schools support and recommend students to participate in this Christian ministry called Powerhouse. 

   The message in all these examples is:  roll up your sleeves and get involved in positive, helpful ways that make a difference. Many educators welcome positive educational experiences, even from Christians. Rock throwers just leave lumps and scars that make the non-church world leery of the next church goers they encounter.

  Biblically, what should this look like? John 8: 1-11 is a story that we can learn a lot from. The story is that of the woman caught in adultery.  Jesus was sitting in the temple courts where people were gathered for the Feast of Tabernacles and Jesus took the opportunity to teach them. In comes the rock-throwing religious leaders and teachers of the Holy Scriptures making a big scene for the crowd. The typical “here look at me and how godly I am” Pharisee. They bring a woman caught in the act of adultery, which they point out to everyone, and make her stand before Jesus and the crowd gathered to hear him. The religious leaders and teachers knew the Mosaic Law required that this woman be stoned to death. They also knew that Roman law forbids anyone other than Rome to enact a death sentence. I find it interesting that the law also required the man to be stoned to death. (Deuteronomy 22:22). The leaders and teachers were expecting to trap Jesus into going against the law, either Mosaic or Roman, even though they were producing only the female of the guilty duo. 

   Don’t you just wonder what Jesus was writing on the ground?  I DO!  Rock throwers always make me wonder what they are hiding.  I believe Jesus didn’t have to wonder what these accusers were hiding. He knew. The text does not reveal what Jesus knew about each of the accusers but His response points out that in their self righteous zeal to point out the sin of the woman, they failed to recognize that they also deserved death for their inability to perfectly live out the laws of Moses. Jesus says, “If anyone of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”  Guilty consciences caused all of the accusers, religious leaders, to drop their rocks and leave. When we, as Christians, understand that we deserve the death sentence and eternal separation from God for the same inability as the teachers of the law and the Pharisees of Jesus’ time, we will drop our rocks too.

  Jesus, upon seeing that know one was left to condemn the woman, informed her that He does not condemn her either and tells her to go and leave her life of sin.  Nowhere, in this text, does Jesus take the opportunity to list out the sins of the accusers or of the woman. Nor does He condone any of their sins.  What happens is that the crowd still listening, the accusers and the woman realize that sin, any and all sin, cannot be lightly forgiven but requires payment of the penalty deserved, death. Jesus Himself is going to pay that penalty not only for the woman’s sins and the accusers but for all mankind by dying a criminal’s death on a cross. This particular sinner gets an insight into the blessed truth of John 1:17, “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”  

  I don’t believe that followers of Jesus should be dragging people into the public square to point out their sins and condemn them.  I do believe we should drag ourselves into the public square, point out our own sins and how forgiveness and the hope of eternal reconciliation with God happens when we simply believe in Jesus. John 3: 16-18. “For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” 

   This is the message Jesus taught and the disciples carried into the whole known world. They didn’t try to change the Roman government; they went after the hearts of people, one at a time, to turn them to believe in Jesus Christ.

  Easter is a time my wife and I annually watch the movie “The Passion of Christ.” We encourage you to do the same. I believe it is all too easy to think too highly of ourselves and gradually let self righteousness sneak in on us and forget how much we need the Savior.  What Jesus endured on the journey to and on the cross is nearly unspeakable. Tears annually run down and drip from our chins as we place ourselves as participants in the events as they unfold. It was my sin of porn and the sexual sins around it, my lies, my self righteousness, not the sins of others, it was MY sins that drove the nails into His wrists, His feet and called for His death, in my place. I still deserve that death, I can only accept that Jesus took my place and paid my penalty. Rejoicing only comes at His resurrection.  I know He lives.  He is alive!  Because He lives I have that same hope though Him. 

  Everyone needs to hear the message “neither do I condemn you, now go and leave your life of sin.” The truth is: all people sin. The grace is, Jesus paid the penalty for sin for all people who believe in Him. This is the message I am driven to proclaim to people caught in sexual immorality.  No matter the area of your passion, sexual immorality, abortion, the public school debate or many others, I believe the grace-filled gospel of Jesus should be reflected in all our behavior and speech. I address students in public and private schools on the dangers surrounding pornography, gender identity, sex trafficking and video gaming. Following, there is an evening presentation that brings the power of God into establishing and enforcing boundaries and that true identity is only found in relationship with Jesus Christ. Prayerfully consider and share my brochure and the recommendations for my school presentation with your local school principle, found on my web page under “media kit.”

   Get involved in meaningful ways in issues that you can be passionate about. But in all your involvement let the love and grace of Jesus reign.  Let people see His love and grace in your words and actions, in this way; you will be far more effective for the Kingdom of God than a mere rock thrower.

  Lynn Fredrick is the author of Stand Firm and a speaker concerning immorality in the church and the society surrounding them.

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