Casting stones is dangerous. I know. I used to cast them. The one doing the casting is usually not aware of their own "big" sin: pride. Pride isn't scandalous. So many people suffer from it that it doesn't make the rumor mills and gossip columns. It's accepted. Sometimes it's even encouraged. But it's one of the most dangerous character traits a person can possess. Here's why: pride, if left untreated, eventually leads to a downfall.
I rarely keep up with sports news. But there's a story that is currently in the news that keeps catching my attention. I probably couldn't get away from it if I wanted to. It's all over tv, in the newspaper, on the radio, on Facebook. Everybody in the south is talking about it. And no matter which team people pull for, everybody has an opinion on the story. If you're at all familiar with SEC football, you know I'm talking about the Cam and Cecil Newton saga. It's an almost inescapable story.
I've heard and read countless opinions on the story. The lines between fact, gossip and opinion have been blurred. And, quite frankly, I'm disgusted with some of the comments...not because I'm an Auburn fan, but because I'm a Christian. And many of the comments are coming from other Christians. The comments I'm disgusted with are those concerning Cecil Newton, and the fact that he is a pastor. I'm paraphrasing the Facebook comment that sent me over the edge to the point of writing this post:
All Christians are defeated when a "supposed preacher" is caught in any type of scandal.
So I ask...where is the grace we as Christians are supposed to offer one caught in sin? Grace is not excusing or condoning sin. It is offering forgiveness without a price tag.
The rest of the world is crucifying Cecil Newton. IF the story turns out to be true, does he deserve the same treatment from his brothers and sisters in Christ? Some would say yes under the guise of holding him accountable. IF guilty, he will, no doubt, be held accountable...by the world. And he will be held accountable by the One whom he has sinned against. Are we not the ones who should restore such a one with gentleness? This is our time to proclaim God's name and His forgiving power. This is not the time to stand alongside the world, and crucify one of our own. This is the time to show the world we are ALL imperfect beings with a perfect God. This is the time to show God's love...instead of declaring defeat for this man and all Christians, which, by the way, the world wants us to do.
So I ask: who among you is without sin? Let him cast the first stone (John 8:7). If you're honest, you must admit that you should not cast even one stone. None of us are without sin (Romans 3:23). We may not have committed the "big" sins, but we have each certainly committed sins. None of us can know for certain what our responses will be to temptation until we are put in the situation. We can only pray that we will be obedient to God if that time comes. In the meantime, we are to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ, and offer them forgiveness and restoration (Galatians 6:1).
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