When I sin

Currently there is a practice in the Senate known as the "Secret Hold". The Secret Hold is the ability for anyone to anonymously object to someone being appointed by the President to a position. Here is an NPR report on the practice which both sides of the isle are moving to remove the practice.

The Secret Hold is an odd thing to me, one which I am not sure I can imagine a world which would originally think this practice would be a good idea, but I am not that good with my imagination. However as I think more and more on this practice I see such great connections to the cycle of violence and scapegoating which God through Jesus came to expose and eradicate.

The crowd standing around the woman caught in adultery are all nameless in the Bible. Not even the names of the accusers are given. They are all anonymous. They all object to something of Jesus and bring this woman before Jesus in order to justify their own understanding of the Law (that is that God demanded this woman be stoned). Jesus interpreted the same law a bit differently.

He knew the first stone was the hardest stone to throw. It is always hard to be first and much easier to follow a crowd. So Jesus made it even more difficult for those who would be brave enough to throw a first stone - to actually throw the first stone in this situation. As a result, the anonymous crowd, who are convinced they are doing Good by the Word of God, disperses without casting a single stone. Not one stone was thrown.

I think that I am generally a compassionate person. I think that I am generally a kind person. I think I am generally a decent guy. Yet, there are times when I can do so wrong. And the times I do so wrong (aka in Christianity as sin) that I am acting not on my own but acting as part of a crowd. When I lose my individual self to an anonymous crowd I cast a ton of stones. in these moments I even think the stones I cast are good and I sometimes even think that I am doing right, but I am not.

This is why, in part, I am Christian and attend a worshiping community. Worship allows me not to lose myself to an anonymous crowd but to become an individual in the Body of Christ.

I don't fear much, but I fear the times when I am wrapped in an anonymous crowd.