Tough Questions series, #5: Can a bad person be a good leader?
July 1, 2018
First Presbyterian Church, Sterling IL
Our first reading depicts the stoning of Stephen, the first martyr, and a certain accomplice in the stoning, a fellow named Saul. I chose this reading because later on in the book of Acts, we see this man Saul converted by the grace of God. From then on, Saul is Paul, an important leader of the early church, and an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s a striking contrast, as is the contrast between Stephen and Saul. Just before this reading, Stephen has just preached to Sanhedrin, a council of Jewish leaders, and his sermon was not well received, to say the least! The scripture refers to the members of this council as “they” and it describes the death of Stephen, and the role of Saul as a persecutor. Let’s listen for God’s word to us in Acts 7:54 – 8:3
When they heard these things, they became enraged and ground t…