What It Means To Have a Conscience

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People who are religious should be glad, since not everyone is blessed with the ability to believe in a higher order. You don’t even have to live in fear of eternal punishment; the concepts of purgatory, heaven and hell are difficult for many people to accept, yet religion itself, any religion, keeps a person on the right path. Not the fear of God, but upholding your own sense of honor and obeying your own conscience. How noble and good everyone could be if, at the end of each day, they were to review their own behavior and weigh up the rights and wrongs. They would automatically try to do better at the start of each new day and, after a while, would certainly accomplish a great deal. Everyone is welcome to this prescription; it costs nothing and is definitely useful. Those who don’t know will have to find out by experience that “a quiet conscience gives you strength!” - Anne Frank

My favorite subject of the bible is the human spirit. I’m not registered as a member affiliated with any political party. I don’t like anything about politics, and I refuse to vote for any party. That being said, the gravity of what Mitt Romney said still made a deep impression on me. Generally people could care less about their conscience, but at this point in human history there is a narrow window where people may be open to consider what Mitt Romney meant when he said,

“Were I to ignore the evidence that has been presented and disregard what I believe my oath and the Constitution demands of me for the sake of a partisan end, it would, I fear, expose my character to history’s rebuke and the censure of my own conscience.”

If you are not a christian you cannot understand what the words, “censure of my own conscience,” means to a believer of the bible. You may think, “I know what the conscience is, it’s the part of my moral character that differentiates between right and wrong.” That definition may be sufficient for an unbeliever but it is incomplete for a Christian. For a Christian the conscience goes beyond differentiating between right and wrong. The conscience is part of the human spirit and “without a conscience void of offense” the human spirit cannot function.

The context of what Romney said must be interpreted within the realm of what he believes is true. Although we only have one word to describe a person’s moral compass, the conscience, this one word means something different to two different groups of people. To unbelievers the consequence of not following one’s conscience is guilt. To a believer the stakes are much higher, if you stop obeying your conscience then your christian life is over. You become a christian in name only. This is because the organ that makes God subjectively real to a christian stops functioning when the container for this organ is damaged. That organ is the human spirit and that container is the conscience.

2 Tim. 4:22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.

John 4:24 God is Spirit and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truthfulness.

You may not believe the bible, but you believe that everyone should be entitled to the freedom of religion in this country. This post exists to show you what the Christian religion teaches concerning a believers conscience. The bible teaches believers that the penalty for disobeying one’s conscience is far greater than merely having to live with guilt. Every believer is given the choice to obey or disobey their conscience. The wrong choice does not merely result in guilt but something more.

The bible teaches that the conscience is a part of the human spirit (Rom. 9:1, 8:16) and a good conscience is required to hold faith or belief in one’s spirit (1 Tim. 3:9). We have a spirit of faith (2 Cor. 4:13) and a good conscience is necessary for us to have the full assurance of faith (Heb. 10:22). Faith gives us access to God in Spirit (Rom. 5:2, Eph. 2:18). This implies that the conscience functions as a container for faith. It goes on further to say that failure to hold a good conscience (Acts 23:1, 1 Tim. 1:5, Heb. 13:18, 1 Pet 3:16-21) leads to a believer becoming ruined and emptied of faith (1 Tim. 1:19). Since faith is the means by which we substantiate God, to loose faith results in God becoming unapproachable (Heb. 11:1, 6).

The spirit cannot function without a good conscience because it cannot function without faith. The believer is to understand that the consequences of disobeying one’s conscience include the following:

  • Condemnation from a guilty and evil conscience (Heb. 10:22, 1 John 3:20)
  • Being shipwrecked regarding the faith (1 Tim. 1:19)
  • Psychological damage (1 Tim 4:2)
  • An inability to understand one’s own thoughts (1 Cor. 2:11)
  • God causing the disobedient to believe the lie (1 Tim. 4:1, 2 Thes. 2:11)
  • An inability to worship God (John 4:24)
  • Loosing our access to God (Heb. 11:6, 1 Cor. 10:5, Heb. 3:12, Heb. 4:3)

Now I think we have the proper context with which to understand these words:

“As a senator-juror, I swore an oath before God to exercise impartial justice. I am profoundly religious. My faith is at the heart of who I am. I take an oath before God as enormously consequential … But my promise before God to apply impartial justice required that I put my personal feelings and political biases aside.”

Mitt Romney believes that disobeying his conscience would have had a profound negative impact on his ability to believe in God. This is what all Christians believe. As a Christian if I loose the presence of God I have lost everything. You may not understand this but you live in a country founded on these principles. Never assume that your definition of the conscience applies to everyone. Know this, to some the conscience speaks with absolute authority because without it one becomes shipwrecked.

Incentives architect for TandaPay

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