Saturday, September 20, 2008

Who do you want to kill today?

Acts 7:57-8:1a mentions a particular man in its account of the death of Stephen:

Acts 7:57-8:1 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

57At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.

59While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." 60Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep.

1And Saul was there, giving approval to his death.

From the way the account reads, Saul didn't cast a stone. Yet in later years he referred to himself (1 Tim 1:15-16) as "the worst of sinners."

There are two types of sins - sins of commission, and sins of omission. Certainly the people who cast the stones were (certainly in Stephen's eyes) guilty of sin. But the same applied to the coat check guy, or anyone else who was there that day and didn't prevent Stephen's death.

Yet another reminder that I cannot proclaim my innocence if I let evil progress around me without stopping it.

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