Why The Conscience?

By William V. Beasley

For years the people of God have exposed, from God’s word, the false standard of those who say, “Just let your conscience by your guide!” We have pointed out that Saul of Tarsus (Paul) “lived before God in all good conscience”

(Acts 23:1) while he was “breathing threatening and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord” (Acts 9:1). We read Jer. 10:23; Prov. 12:15; 16:25; 28:26; 1 Tim. 4:2 to show that man cannot guide himself. We turn to Psa. 119:105; John 17:17; 2 John 9 and show the word of God is the proper standard for our lives. We do all of these things but to no avail. Men still cry “Just let your conscience be your guide.” Why? Why are men so insistent the conscience is the standard we should follow?

One reason for such, apart from the obvious ignorance of God’s word, is that letting one’s conscience be one’s guide would in most cases be an improvement. Man does not live as good as he knows to live. He knows it is wrong to speed on the highway, cheat on his income tax, steal from his employer, etc., but does it anyway saying, “Well, everyone else does too.”

Most Christians would be improved if they “Just let your Biblically educated conscience be your guide.” We know we should be giving liberally (2 Cor. 9:6), studying God’s word more (2 Tim. 2:15), telling our friends and neighbors the good news (Mark 16:15; Acts 8:4; 2 Tim. 2:2), be with the saints every time they assemble (Heb. 10:25), etc., but we want a new tape deck for the car, the T.V. is almost five years old, there is a football game we want to see, we are tired, etc. Yes, “Just let your conscience be your guide” would be an improvement for most of us.

Truth Magazine, XVIII:23, p. 13-14
April 11, 1974