How do we decide what is sin?

Susanna Wesley defines sin

     Questions often arise in class about specific lifestyle issues ("standards" they often used to be called).
     Students struggle with deciding how to make moral decisions that will enhance their commitment to a holy life.
     I like what John Wesley's mother once wrote to him. She said:

"Take this rule: whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off your relish of spiritual things; in short, whatever increases the strength and authority of your body over your mind, that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may be in itself."
   — Susanna Wesley (Letter, June 8, 1725)

John Wesley's own working definition of sin (although he did write that all transgressions of divine will need God's forgiving grace): "A willful transgression of a known law of God"

Check out the self-examination questions used in John Wesley's discipleship groups [ read questions ]

Some discussion starters from student group

  1. Is murdering someone more of a sin than harboring ill-will toward a person and delighting in their suffering?
  2. Which is more sinful?
    1. Committing adultery
    2. Having lustful thoughts toward someone
  3. If we claim to keep the Sabbath, but do not fellowship with other believers, have we fulfilled God's wishes?
  4. Are those not able to keep the weekly Sabbath with other believers — such as airline pilots or businessmen on international travels — to be classified as transgressors of one of the Ten Commandments?

What's your level of commitment?

After an African pastor's martyrdom, someone going through his home found a statement he had written expressing his commitment. [ read more ]

SNU missions course materials and syllabi

Cultural Anthropology    Introduction to Missions    Linguistics    Missions Strategies    Modern Missionary Movement (History of Missions)    Nazarene Missions    Church Growth and Christian Missions    Theology of Missions    Traditional Religions    World Religions
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