Who shapes our conscience? | thebereancall.org

TBC Staff - EN

Who Shapes Our Conscience [Excerpts]

What determines our values in today's fast-changing world? Who imprints its values on our conscience?  Do parents? Teachers? The Media? Or our omnipotent God?

It depends! In former times, the Christian conscience played a leading role in American schools and families.,,,We live in a new era! The Bible-trained conscience has largely been replaced by contrary guidelines that twist, scorn or deny God's truth. Some still point to a conscience, but most people redefine it to match today's cultural values and personal inclinations. These examples illustrate the diversity:

  • Social Conscience: "Our conscience is not the vessel of eternal verities [Biblical truth]. It grows with our social life, and a new social condition means a radical change in conscience" (Walter Lippmann, A Preface to Politics, Mitchell Kennerley, New York and London, 1914).
  • National Conscience:  "Our concept of governing is...a concept deeply rooted in a set of beliefs firmly etched in the national conscience..." (Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, Democratic Convention Keynote Address: "Who Then Will Speak for the Common Good?", New York, New York, July 12, 1976). 
  • Bypassing the Conscience: "No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls" ("Biography for Ingmar Bergman" at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000005/bio).
  • Mocking the Conscience: "What a man calls his 'conscience' is merely the mental action that follows a sentimental reaction after too much wine or love" (Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men (1922) at http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Helen_Rowland#A_Guide_to_Men_.281922.29).
  • Cultural Conscience: (Christian or not): "The conscience of children is formed by the influences that surround them..." ("The Conscience of Children," at National Character Education Center).

In stark contrast to the above, Martin Luther dared take a stand against the reign of a corrupt and oppressive church back in April 1521. For his uncompromising faith, he was declared an outlaw on May 25. You may remember his words: "...it is neither safe nor wise to do anything against conscience. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen" ("English Bible History: Martin Luther" at http://www.greatsite.com/timeline-english-bible-history/martin-luther.html).

Back in the 1930s, Adolph Hitler was determined to quench that Bible-trained conscience. It clashed with his Nazi agenda. In two separate speeches he said: "Your child belongs to us already.... What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the next camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this community" (1933). "This new Reich will give its youth to no one, but will itself take youth and give to youth its own education and its own upbringing" (1937) (William L. Shirer, The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany,1959).

And now, in the fading light of the Biblical conscience, America is headed in the same direction.

True liberty depends on our relationship with our heavenly Father! When He draws us to Himself and fills us with His Spirit, His guidelines are stamped on our conscience as we "feed on" His Word and heed His "voice." But those who ignore that "voice" will be left with the ever-changing values of an increasingly corrupt world system. What would you choose? “Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck" (1 Timothy:1:19).