Religion leads to death; Jesus leads to life.

We are all sinners doing sinful things, and yet God calls us to be Holy. He calls us to remain unstained by the world around us. Dealing with the sin in our lives is incredibly important, but what about the sins of those around us? How would Jesus want us to treat those who fall short of his standards?
Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce is the Director of Come&Live! and is the younger son of David and Jodi Pierce. Come&Live!’s vision is to create a worldwide mission community that will provoke and inspire Christian artists to use their God-given creativity to revolutionize the world for Jesus.
Instagram: @nzbenpierce
Twitter: @benalanpierce


As followers of Jesus, we are called to rescue people. To a throw down a line and pull people out of the pit, and yet Christians often stand on the edge of the pit, pointing a finger, condemning people for the hole they're in. Why is this?

There are glaring examples of extreme Christian judgmentalism and condemnation (Westboro Baptist, etc.). It’s easy to distance ourselves from these extreme cases but subtle judgmentalism is far more widespread and much harder to detect.

Jesus was merciful and gentle and calls us to be the same.

Jesus’ extravagant mercy is on full display in the way he treats the women caught in adultery in John 8.  A woman is caught doing the terrible thing; this is not in dispute - she was guilty.  The Pharisees bring this woman before Jesus in the temple courts. Imagine the humiliation of having your sins paraded in public.

The Pharisees not only planned on killing the women but using her in a ploy to trap Jesus. They assumed they had Jesus cornered.  From the very beginning of Jesus public ministry, he had been breaking all the cultural and religious rules. He ate with sinners, spoke with prostitutes, and rebuked the arrogance and self-righteousness of the religious elite. From day one the religious establishment hated Jesus.

This was their latest attempt to get rid of him.

Jesus' mercy was renowned, but it was clear that Jesus also knew the Mosaic law - so what would he choose? Forgive the woman and reject the law, or uphold the law and allow her to die.

Jesus isn’t impressed and responds brilliantly. He famously invites those without sin to “cast the first stone.” Only God is without sin; the religious elite wouldn’t dare compare themselves to God in this way, and so they leave.

The Pharisees dragged this woman into the public, they exposed her and intended on shaming her in front of the whole town. Jesus, by contrast, covers her shame and drives away her accusers. But He doesn’t ignore her sin. After this incredible display of mercy, he says “now go and sin no more”. The story ends there. We are never told how the women respond. I have to imagine that after this radical encounter with Jesus, this woman was never the same.

This remarkable story leaves us with no doubt about how we are to treat the shortcomings of those around us.

Religion leads to death; Jesus leads to life. Religion is man made and self-seeking, Jesus breaks downs down walls. He levels the playing field. With Jesus, there are no religious elite. We are all sinners in need of a savior, and like Him we are called to show mercy.

Related items

  • Episode 189: Special Guest Josh Garrels Talks About Finding Jesus at the End of Himself

    They talk about the challenge of relying on God instead of past successes, Josh shares about overcoming personal challenges, and finding Jesus as his strength when his own had failed.

    David's random story adds a chapter to a common theme in his life, and Nigel asks yet another probing question, all on this week's P&I!

    Steiger Missions School (SMS)
    Josh Garrels
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Episode 188: Special Guest Dr. Tim Keller Talks Effective Evangelism to the Modern World.

    In this episode, Ben, David, and Luke talk with none other than Dr. Tim Keller! 

    Among several topics, they discuss questions such as, “where is the role of just sharing the plain gospel with people? and, “should lifestyle sermons be preached in churches?”

    David reminisces about the shocking time a man would not eat his own food on a commercial flight, and Nigel interjects his political agenda, all on this week's Provoke&Inspire.

    Relevant Links:

    Dr. Timothy Keller
    Donate to Steiger on Giving Tuesday

  • Episode 187: How Can I Follow God When I Don't Feel Him?

    In this episode, Luke, David, and Ben address two critical questions raised by the P&I Community. They ask what someone should do when they want to follow God, but don't feel Him, and what role emotions should play in our walk with God. 
    They discuss the important of being honest with God, how followers of Jesus should conduct themselves online, and whether it's Biblical to talk about Christian influencers, instead of to them. 

    Don't miss this critical discussion!

    Relevant links:
    Steiger International

    For more info on the creative team email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

  • Make It Count
    One day last week, I jumped in my car and headed to work. Things seemed normal until the light in front of me turned red and I hit the brakes. Nothing happened. I hit them again - still nothing.
  • Episode 186: Stop Telling People to Preach the Gospel!

    IIn this episode, Ben apologizes for rushing to judgment on an article that was shared on the podcast community page. The guys use this opportunity to talk about several key points that were made in response to Ben's comment. They ask, does the Gospel "work" with secular people? Is it arrogant to challenge people to share the Gospel, and is preaching the Gospel a unique calling, or something all believers should do?

    Relevant Links:
    Steiger International 

Sign up for our newsletter and receive a FREE digital copy of "Revolutionary, Ten Principles That Will Empower Christian Artists to Change the World" by David Pierce.

Please wait