This story first appeared in the April 2018 edition of The Hilltop.
First Stone is a new ministry emerging on campus. The leaders are focusing on creating a strong foundation, but are hoping to get started this semester to create a helpful and relational resource and presence.
“Our purpose is to preach the gospel specifically to sexuality,” Kaitlyn Arnold, a member of the leadership team, said.
Josh Heisey, the founder and facilitator of First Stone, saw a problem on campus and hopes First Stone will heal it.
“The topics of pornography and sexuality are such taboos at Corban,” Heisey said. “They are so surrounded by shame and fear.”
As Heisey has grown in his relationship with Christ, his vision for First Stone has grown as well.
“As God has been showing me who He is, what Christ has done and how as Christians we are supposed to interact and love others,” Heisey said, “[First Stone] has developed a heart [that is] less about the issues and more about the people.”
Will Evans, who is on the First Stone team, believes it is important to speak of sexuality in the right way, instead of simply ignoring it.
“Sex is talked about through this country a lot,” Evans said. “And the thing is, it’s not talked about in the proper context. We don’t talk about what sexuality really is based on the Bible and the gospel.”
Shame is one of the biggest issues that First Stone is trying to tackle. “We don’t like to talk about sexual brokenness and the struggles people have because there is an element of shame with it,” Arnold said. “The victims feel as if it is their fault and that they are in this darkness where they can’t ever be free because their peers just see them as people who brought it on themselves.”
This is where the ministry of First Stone steps in.
“[We will] give you the tools and the understanding and the knowledge that shame is something that can be taken away,” Arnold said. “And once it is taken away, it’s so freeing and so beautiful and so weightless because the weight is finally taken off your shoulders.”
Heisey noticed Christians sometimes struggle to show grace in this area. He challenged students and all Christians “to love them regardless of anything.”
“I firmly believe if we are just looking at people as the things they have done and nothing more, that’s sin,” Heisey said. “We are all made in the image of God, and Christ died for every single one of us. So are we going to just ignore that? That’s not what we are supposed to do as Christians.”
The name First Stone originated from the John 8 account of a woman caught in adultery in John 8:7, where Jesus says, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw the first stone.” Heisey said the name prompts “the realization that all of us are broken and all of us need to be loved, not condemned.”
“As God has been showing me more about what the gospel is and what Christ has done for me, it has become more about how to best pursue God and how to best spread the gospel,” Heisey said. “Because at the heart of everything, the gospel has to be there, and that’s what you should be striving for.”
First Stone is hosting a worship night including information on the ministry’s mission and goals.
Political science professor Tom Mann will also speak with a time of Q&A.
When: Friday, April 20, 8:30 p.m. Where: Davidson – second floor