John 8:7 “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone.”

You should remain silent about alleged wrongdoing in abuse investigations in large organizations, because you also have sin.

The context of this oft-quoted verse is that the Pharisees, the proud and arrogant, wealthy and powerful religious leaders of Israel, brought out a woman who had been taken in adultery (while ignoring the man who had also participated). Pointing to the woman lying on the ground anticipating their impending blows, the proud and powerful ones challenged Jesus. “The law says we should stone her to death. What do you say?”

Jesus replied with the words above, challenging the proud and powerful to examine their own hearts.

We believe that our situation is very dissimilar from that of the Pharisees. We don’t claim to be sinless. We don’t claim to be in a place of executing the law. We don’t intend on stoning anyone. We’re willing to examine our own hearts.

We’re crying out that the powerful—in many institutions—would recognize the harm they’ve done by covering for perpetrators and blaming and shaming victims, and repent. This is far different from the stone-casting Jesus is talking about here. Rather than stone-casting, maybe we could think of it as seeking to shine a light into some dark places.

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