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Why is it that we throw rocks at each other? A few centuries before Christ, a Greek philosopher named Dion used an insightful image to teach a great truth. Here is the image as quoted by Dion in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, 14th edition, page 104: “Though boys throw stones at frogs in sport, the frogs do not die in sport, but in earnest.”
Here is the scene, visualize it. Boys are playing on the bank of a pond when suddenly they spot some frogs on a cluster of lily pads. They immediately fill their hands with rocks, taking aim at the frogs. Some dive for safety. Others are hit and die a painful death.
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Just a little fun, right? Maybe for boys, but not for the frogs. For the frogs, it’s a matter of life and death.
Sadly, even as adults and sometimes church people, we still stand on the banks and throw rocks. Unfortunately, some of these rocks are thrown in an angry vendetta. For others, in self-righteous indignation, rocks are thrown. They remind us of the religious leaders who were ready to stone the adulterous woman in John 8.
Verbal rock throwing results in divisive communities and split churches. The ignorant throw rocks and communities die. The same happens to churches. Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, named two ladies who couldn’t get along. They were Euodia and Syntyche or as some will put it, Odious and Soontouchy! Apparently they had trouble working and worshipping together. Oh, how a divisive church hurts the young in Christ and makes the non-Christian stay away from the services.
Throwing verbal rocks isn’t an innocent sport.