The Golden Stumbling Block

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Once there was a man who was studying in the Graduate School of Theology. He knew many Doctrines, and he knew three times as many Rejected and Suspect Doctrines. He was constantly disputing with his instructors, and fellow classmates, and he justified this as being necessary as a Student of the Word. He thought he was being diligent in his studies, but he was actually just a disagreeable person.

One day after church, when he was arguing a point of Theology with a fellow parishioner, and the discussion looked like it might come to blows, the two were interrupted by a little old lady. She was a simple woman who, after her husband’s death, had dedicated herself to making quilts for baby showers, and reading her Bible. She had made about 127 quilts for cribs, and had read her Bible 35 times. As it happened, her name was Dorcas.

“Young man,” she said. “You clearly know your Bible very well. Can you tell me where the Golden Rule is?”

“Of course,” he said, impatiently. He was eager to get back to his argument. “It is in Matthew 7:12.” With that, he turned back his offended brother, eager to resume the question of whether Adam fell down or Adam slipped up.

“No, that’s not right,” Dorcas said.

He wheeled back impatiently, and said, “Of course that’s right.” He then took his Bible, flipped open to the place, and jabbed at it with his finger. He didn’t say, “Now go away, old woman, and leave the discussion of the Scriptures to those who have hearts that look like a little piece of beef jerky.” But I am afraid that is what it amounted to.

Dorcas looked where he was pointing, and said, “No, it’s not there.”

“What do you mean, ‘It’s not there.’?” he exclaimed. “Can’t you read?”

“Well, no, I can read it. But it must not really be in the Bible. There must be some kind of mistake.”

The Student of the Word was really exasperated with her by this point. “What do you mean, some kind of mistake?”

“Well, if it were really there, wouldn’t students of theology be doing it?” And with that, she slowly made her way off.

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