There was a logging community who felt the need of divine worship, so they built a church and called a young preacher. He was alarmed to discover dishonesty among the loggers. People there and those upstream would float their logs in the river down to the mill. Each logger would take a metal die and stamp his name or symbol onto the end of the log to identify it and get paid.
Some were catching logs floating downstream, cutting off the ends, and restamping them with their own die. It was theft; it was stealing. So he preached the next Sunday against thievery and the worshippers complimented him on his fine sermon.
But the loggers continued their wicked ways. So the next Sunday the young preacher waxed mightily against dishonest. Again he was praised for his message. But nothing changed.
The third week he was explicit. “Anyone who cuts the end off someone else’s log and stamps it as his own is stealing another man’s property. He is violating the commandment of God.” And the people of the church got together and fired him.
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