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Throwing Stones At Christ
by [?]

Are you throwing stones at Christ and the Christian Cause?

Pause, reflect before you answer. Not all the stones are thrown by the Atheist, the Agnostic, the Infidel. No, the most cruel stones, the ones that wound most deeply, are thrown from the pulpit itself.

The kiss of Judas strikes deeper than the spear of the Roman legionary; the denial of Peter is more cruel than the Crown of Thorns.

Are you Throwing Stones at Christ and the Christian Cause?

You in the Amen Corner stand forth and answer me. Drop that catechism! release that credo! take your lips from that crucifix! Now look me in the eye and speak the words of truth and soberness: Are you a property owner? Have you buildings rented to keepers of dives and bagnios? Do you come here on Sunday and pray the Lord to protect the young from temptation while you are the silent partner of criminals? Have you ever contributed to send missionaries to Madagascar money that was received from people whose business it is to debauch your neighbor’s sons and, if possible, degrade his daughters? No? Thank God for that. Do you know of any member of this church who is so guilty? You suspect as much? Then why do you not go on your knees to him and beg him to turn from his evil ways? Do you not know that by keeping silent you tacitly endorse his infamy–that you bring the Christian cause into contempt; that you make it a byword and a reproach–that you are Throwing Stones at Christ?

No; do not sit down yet. What are your worldly possessions? How much did that diamond in your shirt- front cost? What was the expense of that costume worn by the woman who worships at your side? You surprise me! Worth fifty, a thousand dollars!–wearing diamonds, buying $1,000 dresses–for what? To wear to church–in which to worship Him who had not where to lay his head! And a thousand people in this one city alone in abject poverty– “And the greatest of these is Charity.” What a cruel stone is Selfishness to Throw at Christ!

Is that your minister in immaculate broadcloth and shiny boots, turning the leaves of his Bible with lily-fingers? Pardon me that I did not recognize him. You see I have been reading of John the Baptist with his raiment of camel’s hair,–of Christ with his single garment, tramping barefoot, unshaven and unshorn over Judea’s blazing hills.

Stand up, thou vicegerent of the Hebrew carpenter, and let me question thee: You will not? I have no authority? Yet publicans and sinners questioned thy Master, and He answered freely and with all gentleness. Art thou greater than He?

Are you Throwing Stones at Christ and the Christian Cause?

Be careful,–think well before you answer. In a minister of God a mistake in this matter were little better than a crime. Are you inculcating the spirit of Christ or Belial–of Love or Hate? What do ye when mocked, reviled, your purposes called in question? Do you go to the mocker, extend to him a brother’s hand and strive by moral suasion to lead him out of the depths of everlasting darkness into the bright effulgence of heavenly Day? Do you turn the other cheek to the smiter and pray, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do”? Or do you mount the pulpit with a splenetic heart and, with frantic gestures and a voice hoarse with passion denounce the criticism as “infernal rubbish”?

Are you seeking the salvation of souls or notoriety? Are you striving to foment discord in your community or cast oil upon the troubled waters? Are you striving to establish on earth the universal brotherhood of Man and common fatherhood of God, or Throwing Stones at Christ and the Christian Cause from the cover of a canting hypocrisy?