One of my favorite stories comes from a man who used to be in our church. He and his
wife were close friends of our family, but they have now moved to another part of the
country. We really miss their joyful presence. When he was a youth worker many years ago
in an ethnic community, he attended a church that had Scandinavian roots. Being a rather
forward-looking and creative young man, he decided he would show the youth group a
missionary film. We're talking simple, safe, black-and-white religious-oriented movie.
hat film projector hadn't been off an hour before a group of the leaders in the church
called him in and asked him about what he had done. They asked, "Did you show the
young people a film?" In all honesty he responded, "Well, yeah, I did."
"We don't like that," they replied. Without trying to be argumentative, the
youth worker reasoned, "Well, I remember that at the last missionary conference, our
church showed slides." One of the church officers put his hand up signaling him to
cease talking. Then, in these words, he emphatically explained the conflict: "If it's
still, fine. If it moves, sin!" You can show slides, but when they start
you're gettin' into sin."
C. Swindoll, The Grace Awakening, Word, 1990, p. 160-161.
This was how Susannah Wesley defined "sin" to her young son, John Wesley:
"If you would judge of the lawfulness or the unlawfulness of pleasure, then take this
simple rule: Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience,
obscures your sense of God, and takes off the relish of spiritual things--that to you is
Resource, July/August, 1990.