Getting Stoned For Christ!

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TheDiscipleMD

More often than not, a story is told, and repeated, about an individual who stands for the right, and is blessed for that decision. The scriptures are full of them. Daniel is a perfect example. It’s the wonderful story of a young man who sticks to his principles, gets thrown in the lions den for such a decision, and prevails when the Lord intervenes by shutting the mouths of the lions. I believe in these kinds of stories and have had personal experience with such. However, I think it is important to remember others stories that are equally uplifting, yet the end of the story is…well…not so fairytale-ish! Often those who choose the right end up like, Stephen of the New Testament, and get stoned to death for their beliefs.

As a young man I held firm in my belief to honor the Sabbath by choosing to not play organized baseball on that day. As I graduated from High School I was approached by the best team in the area if I would play for them. I told them I was hesitant because I knew they played some games on Sunday and I would not play on that day. The coach invited me to play anyway and I had a wonderful experience playing on that team without having to break my Sabbath. Like Daniel, I had held my principles, yet the mouths of the lions had been shut, and I had an outstanding season playing baseball that summer.

When I later became the father of four sons the same issue came up often. My oldest played on a team with the understanding that he would not play on Sunday. When I actually enforced that, the coach became disenchanted, and when my son tried out for that same team the next year he was promptly cut. Another father said to me, “I heard him say that he didn’t need any ‘part-time’ players like your son. It was difficult to explain to my then 12 year old son that sticking with the principle cost him a position on the team. Like Stephen, he had been stoned!

I have learned a valuable lesson over the years. Be it over small things like the one above, or standing for something much bigger, often when you do what is right, the lions mouths will be shut. But there are times when the sting of rocks thrown will bruise and tear at the skin. The question we need to ask is if we are willing to accept ‘come what may’ over our principles. And if we do, we will better be able to deal with the outcome and consequences of our decisions and understand that being ‘stoned’ for Christ, is not necessarily a bad thing.

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