Ready To Cast The First Stone?

Centuries ago, a woman was caught in adultery and brought to Jesus by a group of men to see what his response would be. Oddly, contrary to the Mosaic law (Leviticus 20:10), only the woman was brought; but Jesus’ response was classic:

He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. John 8:7b KJV

Jesus then stoops and writes on the ground. What did he write? Because every single accuser leaves. Some have supposed he wrote names, or even their sins. Regardless, their own sin convicted them leaving them unable to follow through on casting the stone.

Today, the news has been bombarded with women coming forward and naming their harassers. Just recently women were participating in the “Me Too” campaign, where women speak out that they too have been the victims of sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment and assault allegations have been made against various public figures, from Bill Cosby, Roger Ailes (deceased), Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Roy Moore, President Donald Trump and Senator Al Franken. Former presidents Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush have also been named as those accused of  this bad behavior.  I know there are more, and probably more will be named, but will anyone be left standing? If Jesus were to begin writing, will anyone be found guiltless?

Let me say this, I agree that it is necessary to have workplace harassment laws, and that women and men ought to be free from harassment in the workplace. In fact, in my former work life, I used to be my department’s Equal Equal Employment Officer, where I was responsible for ensuring anti-discrimination and harassment policies were in place and enforced, providing training, and investigations of complaints.

I guess I’m wondering why only this sin is being singled out?

What should be the response of Christians?

 

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12 thoughts on “Ready To Cast The First Stone?

  1. Thought provoking. My take is that naming or exposing a damaging behavior – especially one like sexual assault or harassment which victimizes a person once in action and again in the telling – is not the same as casting a stone. I also agree with Wally that we tend to be more willing to stone those on the “other” side for offenses we excuse on our own, and with Brandon that it’s not so much singled out as currently the one in the spotlight. I feel the long conspiracy of silence on this issue is a communal as well as individual failing, and we have to repent together to have any hope of addressing it effectively.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for chiming in. As a former EEO Officer, I have personally seen this issue come up in cycles. However, because women have endured this as “generally accepted” or unprotected behavior for years, the hope is this time our national consciousness is raised and reoriented to produce better behavior. Thanks again for reading and chiming in.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel like the context regarding “casting the first stone”, was with respect to the issue of hypocrisy being displayed by the religious leaders that equated the sin of the woman as deserving of harsh punishment when they themselves were not without sin.

    I don’t think it was intended to legitimize “the sin” of the woman who was “the sinner” in this case.

    Jesus deliberately asked this question towards the religious leaders who were busy pointing the finger at the woman in order to address the false righteousness that these “so-called” religious leaders displayed when they themselves were not without sin and therefore, could not cast righteous judgment against her when they too were not in right-standing by God’s standard.

    It goes back to that verse of scripture in Matthew which states:

    “Matthew 7:2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you”.

    I agree with Brandon’s statement in that it was not intended to mean that we should not denounce evil. Rather, we should address it with just lenses and without hypocrisy as a just measure to use to judge another person. Sin does need to be addressed for what it is in a loving manner in order to bring about conviction that isn’t intended to condemn, but rather to steer the person back onto the right path.That is what we should aim to do as Christians. That is what our lives should reflect in the eyes of those that seem to be blinded to sin.

    Our conduct as Christians should be such, that it brings about a conviction to another person’s soul traveling down the wrong path to be drawn to our faith through our displays of love and compassion through our actions. If we demonstrate such compassion through these actions, it is proof enough that we bare certain fruits of the spirit to draw others to believe in our Jesus.

    This is what I think, personally.

    God Bless. 😀
    Sherline.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Barbara! I have been pondering on this, and I really don’t know if I have anything to add. It all makes me sick to my stomach to tell the truth. First note. I was actually tasked to teach diversity training for my area after an unfortunate incident involving racial issues. I feel your pain on that. But, back to all of this. We just don’t have enough data to know all of the facts. What I find bothersome is the detractors beating the guy down just because he is Christian and Republican. Just as bothersome is Christians desperately looking for ways to excuse his quite(at minimum) creepy behavior, just because he is, wait for it…Christian and Republican.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Wally – Mmmm, I don’t know on Mr. Moore. His denials with Sean Hannity was a little lacking. He didn’t exactly deny pursuing underage girls.

      Is he being reproached for being a Christian? Then the Bible says he should be happy, but I Peter 4:15 goes on to say: “But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.”
      This is a hard one, but the only thing we have to look at is the fruit because not all who profess are truly Christ’s.

      Like

      1. Oh, don’t get me wrong…he’s a creep for sure! I just wish the dividing line was not so patently along political party and faith lines is all. I actually disagree with substantial amounts of his over politicizing his faith to be honest. I remember Jesus said when we are persecuted for His name’s sake we would be blessed. I don’t know that he is under the gun so much for his faith, as for quite possible being a not pleasant person.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I would say it’s not being singled out – it’s simply being brought to light for the first time, at least in these circles. I too have wrestled with “Let he who is without sin”, but surely God did not intend that to mean that we should never denounce evil. The New Testament writers called it out all the time.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Not its first showcase; but it comes out in seasons. I’ve seen it as an EEO Officer, when one case is raised in the news then there appears to be a renewed focus, a reissuing of policies to remind, and the like. I agree with you, rather the Bible that says the laws are for the lawless and must be addressed. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.

      Liked by 1 person

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