“Hi, my name is Trey, and I’m a recovering stone thrower.”

I’ve been reading through the gospel of John this past week. Different things challenge me and different things stick out to me. One of the things that is really clear is Jesus’s unwillingness to classify sin. I’m really good about saying these sins are really bad (adultery, stealing, murder) and these are little sins (judging, white lies, gossip, not helping others in need) that aren’t as bad as the really “big ones.”

The problem is all sins are wrong, and God doesn’t classify sin. Sometimes as Christians we get Pharisaical in our attitudes and start thinking we know better than God what sin really is. We’re okay in preaching hard against homosexuality, abortion and adultery but then we go home and scream in anger at our children, let a curse word easily slip or pass on some juicy piece of information (we don’t call it gossip) that we learned about someone else. But it’s okay because those are the small sins and we haven’t done the big ones. I’ve noticed that too often as Christians we’re okay with our sin of condemning another person, but would never see our condemning attitude as wrong. It’s easy to point out what’s wrong in other people’s lives. Maybe that’s why Jesus chose to say this during the sermon on the mount.

For example, this week I ran across the first verses of John 8 and they stabbed me in the heart. The Pharisees brought a woman to Jesus that’s been caught in adultery. She probably lays in the dirt naked in front of them all. She’s been caught red handed and guilty as charged. Adultery is one of the bad sins and so the question is asked by the Pharisees, “Should we stone her?” as they stand with rocks already in their hands.

The question that keeps popping up in my mind is “Who was the greater sinner in the story? The woman caught in adultery or the Pharisees who were holding stones ready to execute her?” Naturally we’d say the sinner in the story was the adulterer, but who was it in the story that Jesus taught a lesson to?

Why is it that we put so much energy into condemning sexual sins compared with avoiding the judgmental, Pharisaical attitude of those with rocks in their hands? In the end, who killed Jesus, adulterers or condemning Pharisees? Listen, I’m not saying adultery or sexual sin is okay, it’s not. But I am saying that our modern view of how one sin is worse than another sin may be way off target. To God sin is sin, and maybe the best thing we can do is drop the rocks in our own hands and watch our own sin of being too judgemental, “because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!” (James 2:13).

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
15 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Jeanne M. says:

    Oh, what great thoughts. Thanks for “stepping on my toes” so hard. I think we all need reminding that sin is sin in God’s sight, no big or little ones.

  2. Tucker says:

    I know judging is wrong, but, I find it so easy to do. I love this passage and this story! So many angles to glean for our lives. Thanks for bringing it to life!

  3. cwinwc says:

    Seems Hurricane / Tropical Storm Fay is going to give us a There is no doubt that our “sin hierarchy” has led to much pain within the church itself. How many times have we seen folks act in a down right ugly way in the name of “stamping out error?” For that matter, how many times have I “stoned the woman caught in adultery” all the while justifying my sin.

  4. Dee Andrews says:

    One of my favorite verses (which I try to use as my "motto" in life) is "Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone."

    Good post, Trey.


    Cheers & Blessings to you all today!


  5. Anonymous says:

    This is one I struggle with myself. I mean….it is hard to put a murder of a innocent life in the same sin category as talking about my boss behind his back. I trust that God knows best. However, I struggle with it and am in constant need to check myself and what God is thinking about my thoughts.

    Thanks for the post

    Larry Lane

  6. Stoogelover says:

    Many years ago at Long Beach, we spent a weekend on that passage and had a cross built especially for the weekend. Each person was given a handful of rather large stones to carry with them the entire weekend. They were asked not to put them down at anytime during the weekend. Toward the end, we asked people to spend some time in prayer and in reconciliation and to make a choice of carrying the stones with them or dropping them at the foot of that cross. Every person there dropped their stones at the foot of the cross … some taking more time than others to finally let go. We then placed that cross and all the stones on the pulpit where it stayed as a reminder for about five years, even remaining on stage with all the Christmas decorations each winter. Last time I was there, the cross and stones had been removed but it was very powerful weekend. Your blog is a powerful reminder. Thanks!

  7. DJ | AMDG says:

    I completely understand and agree. However, one cannot deny the fact that some sins bring with them far differing degrees of consequences. You’re right about the classifications of judgmental-ness and how it is clearly not within the spirit of God. Yet, we must discriminate as a community between the varying sins and their impact. I can give examples of this if I must. Additionally, scripture does discriminate between sins, too (Romans…), and scripture does indicate that some will be judged more harshly…by God, if not justifiably by us.

  8. DJ | AMDG says:

    Ok…not Romans specifically, but instead Colossians 3:5-6. Now, you could make an argument that all sins fall in the category of ‘belonging to the earthly nature,’ but Paul specifically mentions those a reason. He doesn’t mention little white lies or not returning extra change from the grocer. Clearly, there is good cause for differentiating between some sins and the impact they have on the community as well as the judgment/wrath of God applied to them.

  9. TREY MORGAN says:

    dj – Thanks for your comment. I don’t think we disagree. There are different consequences for sins and yes, God will hold some more accountable (James 3), but my point simply is that many are really good at maximizing others faults while ignoring or minimizing their own.

    Please stop by and leave a comment anytime.

  10. preacherman says:

    Wonderful thoughts for us brother.
    Keep up the great blogging.
    I love the way you make us think and challenge us to be better believers and followers of Christ.
    I pray that all of us will set down the rocks and embrase eachother with the grace and comfort of God’s love.

  11. Johnny says:

    Thank you. Dropping my stones now, okay maybe I should keep one in case…
    I mentioned this week that we (I) have this rating system for sin.I see this as worse than that and yours as much worse than mine. This is a childish attitude on my part, Jesus had compassion on those who were enduring struggles with their sin; if there is a tiered system ranking our sins I wonder where my pious, jidgmental, holier-than-thou attitude would rank???

  12. Anonymous says:

    totally agree, Trey. Reminds me of Dante’s Inferno a bit – only we’re the one assigning the degrees of sin to each ring. As long as we avoid that inner circle of sin/hell, we’re alright.


  13. Beautiful Grace says:

    AMEN! Thank you for speaking your (God’s) heart!!

    I agree, although God does not place degrees on sin types, there are different consequences for varying types of sin.

    Bless you!

  14. David Kirk says:

    Thank you Trey for your ministry. I too am a recovering stone thrower. God bless.

  15. Anonymous says:

    You must have written this just for me. Someone close to me has just committed a “big sin”, and it sure is hard to deal with.

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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Husband, father and cancer survivor & Senior Minister for the Childress Church of Christ. Tweets about life, marriage, Texas Rangers and randomness.
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