Stephen and the Stoners

Stephen had a face of an angel. He was wise and very articulate. Yet, he died a senseless death (not in the eyes of God though) for offending the Sanhedrin, for telling the truth.

Oh well, no one wants to be told how to live their lives and be reminded of their mistakes, right?  Instead of accepting the truth, they acted like bratty kids (Acts 6:57), and mind you they were supposed to be learned council members  who constituted the supreme court and legislative body. They were mean, arrogant and full of pride. Not wanting to accept the fact that a lowly disciple could be so brazen as to speak in front of them and claim authority in Jesus, they stoned Stephen to death.

Stephens still exist today. Sanhedrin still exists today. A different version from that of the bible’s but the oppression and persecution is amplified just the same. Christians speaking of truth and preaching in the name of Jesus, standing by what they believe is right, holy and moral, get stoned.

Sadly, Christianity is unpopular, sometimes even to the Christians themselves. Playing it safe and sugar coating it is the way to escape persecution and belittlement. Those who stand firm are labeled, harassed and stoned.

The hostility of those who oppose Christianity now is as great as the Sanhedrin’s hostility in Judea and the reasons haven’t really changed since then:  Hatred of Jesus, entitlement, pride, arrogance, disobedience, sin.hand-holding-a-rock-cropped-shutterstock_39356899-400x400

Are we able to pull a Stephen act?  Are we really able to speak the truth in the midst of popular, desensitized culture? Are we able to say to those who oppose, persecute and spit on us “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”  Can we really find it in our hearts to speak gently and lovingly to those who hate us? Forgive and remember them at the throne?

What would you do when a stoner threw a stone at you?

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