We have a ‘community’ table in the kitchen at work where, occasionally, someone will leave a dessert or something they received and chose to share with the rest of the staff.
This fateful morning it was a plate of brownies and they were the most incredible looking, super chocolatey brownies I had ever seen!
Tucked beneath the tray was a folded note.
I immediately sat down and began eating the first brownie, from the corner, of course, because I love the crunchy edge of chocolate, and began to read the note:
“Two teenagers asked their father if they could go to the theater to watch a movie that all their friends had seen. After reading some reviews about the movie on the internet, he denied their request.
“Aw dad, why not?” they complained. “It’s rated PG-13, and we’re both older than thirteen!”
Dad replied: “Because that movie contains nudity and portrays immorality—which is something that God hates—as being normal and acceptable behavior.”
“But dad, those are just very small parts of the movie! That’s what our friends who’ve seen it have told us. The movie is two hours long and those scenes are just a few minutes of the total movie! It’s based on a true story, and good triumphs over evil, and there are other redeeming themes like courage and self-sacrifice. Even the Christian movie review websites said that!”
“My answer is ‘no,’ and that is my final answer. You are welcome to stay home tonight, invite some of your friends over, and watch one of the good videos we have in our home collection. But you will not go and watch that film. End of discussion.”
The two teenagers walked dejectedly into the family room and slumped down on the couch. As they sulked, they were surprised to hear their father preparing something in the kitchen. They soon recognized the wonderful aroma of brownies baking in the oven, and one of the teenagers said to the other, “Dad must be feeling guilty, and now he’s going to try to make it up to us with some fresh brownies. Maybe we can soften him with lots of praise when he brings them out to us and persuade him to let us go to that movie after all.”
About that time, I was down to the last bite of my brownie and began to wonder if these brownies had anything to do with the ones in the story. I kept reading…
“The teens were not disappointed. Soon their father appeared with a plate of warm brownies which he offered to his kids. They each took one. Then their father said, “Before you eat, I want to tell you something: I love you both so very much.”
The teenagers smiled at each other with knowing glances. Dad was softening.
“That is why I made these brownies with only the very best ingredients. I made them from scratch. Most of the ingredients are even organic.”
The brownies looked mouth-watering, and the teens began to become a little impatient with their dad’s long speech.
“But I want to be perfectly honest with you. There is one ingredient I added that is not usually found in brownies. I got that ingredient from our own back yard. But you don’t really need to worry because I only added the tiniest bit of that ingredient to your brownies. The amount of the portion is practically insignificant. So, go ahead, take a bite and let me know what you think.”
“Dad, would you mind telling us what that mystery ingredient is BEFORE we eat them?”
“Why? The portion I added is so small. It’s just a teaspoonful. You won’t even taste it.”
“Come on, dad, just tell us what that ingredient is.”
“Don’t worry! It’s organic, just like the other ingredients.”
“Well, OK, if you insist. That secret ingredient is organic. It’s dog poop.”
I immediately dropped that last bit of mine and washed my mouth out with the rest of my coffee! I continued reading, now fearful of the paragraphs that still remained.
“Both teens instantly dropped their brownies back on the plate and began inspecting their fingers with horror.
“DAD! Why did you do that? You tortured us by making us smell those brownies cooking for the last half hour, and now you tell us that you added dog poop! We can’t eat these brownies!”
“Why not? The amount of dog poop is very small compared to the rest of the ingredients. It won’t hurt you. It’s been cooked right in with the good ingredients. You won’t even taste it. It has the same consistency as the brownies. Serious, go ahead and eat them!”
“So, you won’t tolerate a little dog poop in your brownies, but you’ll tolerate a little immorality in your movie?
As believers, we pray God will not lead us into temptation, so how can we in good conscience entertain ourselves with something that will imprint a sinful image in our minds that will lead us into temptation long after we first see it?”
I discarded what remained of the brownies before anyone else could be tempted to eat them. What had been irresistible a minute ago had become detestable. And only because of the very slim chance that what I was eating was a little too organic.
(Surely it wasn’t…but I couldn’t convince myself.)
Why would we tolerate even a little bit of error in a movie or a book that purported to be from a ‘Christian’ perspective but was instead, significantly not?
From a story by Randy Hicks.