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Tag Archives: right and wrong

Back to the Basics! Bibliology #3 Man’s Conscience!

In our study of revelation (God’s revealing Himself and His will to us), we are making the point that some of that communication is to all people at all times. This is called “natural revelation,” meaning that God speaks through creation, human nature, and human history.

Someone has said, “Pity the poor atheist who, upon seeing a glorious sunset, has no one to thank!” Nature and its beauties is one venue of God’s communicating information about Himself and His characteristics to all people everywhere.

Another avenue through which God speaks to everyone is man’s conscience. After speaking about the witness of creation in Romans 1, Paul touches on man’s conscience in Romans 2 where he writes: “They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them.” (v. 15).

We often know what is right and wrong based on that inner voice God implanted within us. James 4:17 says, “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” We can choose to ignore our conscience.

I’ve also noticed in my life that my conscience has also been tainted by sin. Sometimes I’m extremely sensitive to things that don’t matter — and insensitive to things that do. For that reason, I tell other Christians, “Don’t swallow the dictum ‘Let your conscience be your guide.’ Our consciences are also fallen. Rather follow this truth: ‘Let your conscience, shaped by the Word of God, be your guide!’”

God speaks to man through his conscience. C.S. Lewis’ masterful work Mere Christianity gets to the heart of this issue when he writes about right and wrong. He writes, “Human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and can not really get rid of it.” (Mere Christianity, Book 1, Chapter 1, paragraph 11). Lewis later writes, “It seems, then, we are forced to believe in a real Right and Wrong. People may be sometimes mistaken about them, just as people sometimes get their sums wrong; but they are not a matter of mere taste and opinion any more than the multiplication table. Now if we are agreed about that, I go on to my next point, which is this. None of us are really keeping the Law of Nature. If there are any exceptions among you, I apologise to them. They had much better read some other work, for nothing I am going to say concerns them. And now, turning to the ordinary human beings who are left . . .”

What is your conscience telling you to do or not do today?  Then, if it is consistent with the Word of God, obey it!

 

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2018 in conscience

 

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Moral Relativism: Wrong for me but not for you?

A story is told of an argument over moral relativism that took place in a dorm room at the University of Vermont.

The student began to espouse… “What is true for you is true for you and whatever is true for me is true for me. If something works for you because you believe it, that’s great. But no one should force his or her views on other people since everything is relative.”

. . . I picked up his small stereo and started out the door with it. “Hey, what are you doing?” he shouted.

“What’s wrong with you?” I queried. “Are you having problems with your eyes? I am leaving your room with your stereo.”

“You can’t do that,” he gushed.

“Well,” I replied, “since I lift weights and jog regularly, I think I can in fact do it without any help. But maybe you meant to say, ‘You ought not do that because you are stealing my stereo.’ Of course, I know from our previous conversation that this is not what you mean. I happen to think it is permissible to steal stereos if it will help a person’s religious devotions, and I myself could use a stereo to listen to Christian music in my morning devotions. Now I would never try to force you to accept my moral beliefs in this regard because, as you said, everything is relative and we shouldn’t force our ideas on others. But surely you aren’t going to force on me your belief that it is wrong to steal your stereo, are you? You know what I think? I think that you espouse relativism in areas of your life where it’s convenient, say in sexual morality, or in areas about which you do not care, but when it comes to someone stealing your stereo or criticizing your own moral hobbyhorses, I suspect you become a moral absolutist pretty quickly, don’t you?”

From J.P. Moreland, Love Your God with All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul (Colorado Springs: NavPress, 1997), 153.

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2018 in moral relativism

 

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