A Pocket Full of Stones: A Response About James Fortune

When it comes to stories about “stones,” we all know of the story of David who had five smooth stones in his possession, using only one to take out the giant, Goliath.

My favorite reference to stones is the song called “Pocket Full of Stones” by the rap group UGK. This song, full of expletives, heavy 808 beats, and stories about an inescapable drug life chronicles two rappers who keep their “stones” (crack rocks) in their pockets, waiting for the next addict to find them to make a purchase.

Don’t judge me.

There’s another story about stones in John 8 where Jesus reminds the crowd of men who set out to stone a woman accused of adultery that they should only cast a stone if they too were without sin.

This is the Scripture that is most often used when Christians talk about “judging” the actions of another Christian. We hear, “We all sin — who are we to judge or cast a stone at someone else?”

We take John 8:7 and misinterpret it, water it down, wave it like a banner over the iniquities of others so that we can be removed from the microscope of judgment. We don’t want people to see and judge our sins so we lean into this text in John 8 to excuse ourselves from being accountable for not just our sins, but how our sins impact the lives of others. Continue reading

And the Church says…

[I wrote this post in September and it’s been sitting in drafts ever since. *Blows off the dust*]

“Amen.” Of course that’s the automated, often involuntary response to the phrase “And the Church says…” We say it so easily, almost on autopilot, giving no thought to what we’re really saying. But the word “amen” is more than a cliché that fits easily in your church vocabulary list. Continue reading