When it comes to stories about “stones,” we all know of the story of David who had five smooth stones in his possession, using only one to take out the giant, Goliath.
My favorite reference to stones is the song called “Pocket Full of Stones” by the rap group UGK. This song, full of expletives, heavy 808 beats, and stories about an inescapable drug life chronicles two rappers who keep their “stones” (crack rocks) in their pockets, waiting for the next addict to find them to make a purchase.
Don’t judge me.
There’s another story about stones in John 8 where Jesus reminds the crowd of men who set out to stone a woman accused of adultery that they should only cast a stone if they too were without sin.
This is the Scripture that is most often used when Christians talk about “judging” the actions of another Christian. We hear, “We all sin — who are we to judge or cast a stone at someone else?”
We take John 8:7 and misinterpret it, water it down, wave it like a banner over the iniquities of others so that we can be removed from the microscope of judgment. We don’t want people to see and judge our sins so we lean into this text in John 8 to excuse ourselves from being accountable for not just our sins, but how our sins impact the lives of others.
This week, Gospel recording artist James Fortune plead guilty to assaulting his wife in 2014 and was sentenced to “five years of probation plus five days in jail. He must also serve 175 hours of community service, complete a “batterer’s intervention” program and stay away from his wife.”
In 2002, Fortune was found guilty for “disciplining” his 4-year-old son by burning him with boiling hot water. The child had burns over 40 percent of his body.
For that case, Fortune was sentenced to six years probation.
Just days after his most recent sentencing, this flyer popped up on Facebook …