Is the Christian’s Conscience Still Fallen and Therefore Untrustworthy? No!
The following link was provided to us by one of our readers. Many thanks to her. It is a lady named Mary Wilson and this, if I am reading the link correctly, was put on Twitter by The Gospel Coalition. Wilson says, “God does not call a woman to subject herself to anything that violates her Christian conscience, including willingly submitting to a husband’s physical or sexual abuse.” That is true of course but most all of our readers will immediately note that the quote does not mention emotional, spiritual, or psychological abuse.
But the primary issue I would like to deal with here is in regard to a comment made to Wilson’s presentation by one David Hodge whose handle is “preacherhodge” and would indicate he is a pastor. This is what Wilson said –
Remember, even your Christian conscience is fallen – better to heed God’s Word.”
WHAT!!?? Did we read that right? The Christian’s conscience is fallen, says preacher Hodge. Can’t be trusted. Better to heed God’s Word. That is to say, what Hodge means is that even if a believer’s conscience is telling her that the abuse she is suffering is wicked and that she can leave and be free of it, Scripture tells her she cannot leave and therefore she is to stuff her conscience and stay. Oh yeah, I have no doubt that is precisely what he means.
Well, preacher Hodge, just what does Scripture say about the Christian’s conscience? Not his flesh. His conscience. Here is the answer:
I am speaking the truth in Christ — I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit — (Rom 9:1)
So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man. (Acts 24:16)
For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you. (2Cor 1:12)
Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. (2Cor 5:11)
How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. (Heb 9:14)
Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. (Heb 13:18)
Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, (1Peter 3:21)
The Christian cannot trust his conscience because it is fallen? NO! The Spirit of God and the Word of God work in harmony with the believer’s conscience, that conscience having been cleansed and renewed in Jesus Christ.
Preacher Hodge is wrong. In fact God’s Word tells the Christian to pay close heed to his or her conscience. When some supposed Bible teacher or professing Christian tells us that we must never trust our ‘gut,’ that we cannot listen to our feelings, THEY are the ones we must not listen to. They will keep us in bondage while the Lord is working by His Word, by His Spirit, and by our conscience, to set us free.
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Further reading on Conscience
Further reading on 1 Peter