Tag Archives: Bible Study

Always Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide

How does one arrive at a disturbed character? This is not a rhetorical question. One arrives at a disturbed character by continually ignoring three things:

1. The Genuine Existence of God
2. The Authentic Character of God
3. The Justice System of God

The Bible tells us clearly that every human is equipped with a conscience and that the conscience is there to point him or her toward God; to reveal His very genuine existence as well as His authentic character, and to make obvious His definition of right and wrong- His system of justice.

The Scriptures also tell us that the man or woman who does not see any benefit in retaining this knowledge of conscience will eventually be possessed of the depraved mind that is left to him or to her.  The Bible tells us that this depraved mind is capable of all types of evil- probably beyond what some who have thoroughly nurtured the conscience are capable of imagining.

This depraved mind is the one that displays the disturbed or disordered character; this mind is held captive by a system of belief that has developed a set of core values (to direct the soul)  that is selfish to the degree of being diabolical. This mind is the antithesis of the mind of God, if you will allow, an anti-Christ.

How does one keep himself or herself from arriving at this reprehensible state?This also is not a rhetorical question. The answer is evident. One must continually nurture belief in the three things one’s conscience has been designed to bring to attention:

1. The Genuine Existence of God
2. The Authentic Character of God
3. The Justice System of God

From the beginning, each and every time one is situationally placed so that it is necessary to purposely acknowledge these three things one must be made to do so- forced by his or her own will to acknowledge the conscience or by the will of an earthly authority figure such as a parent, a teacher, or other official to do so as the conscience must be the arbitrator of what many theologians refer to as common grace; and the truly converted under specific grace if  momentarily and specifically submissive, shall be aided further by yielding to the will of The Holy Spirit of God within the self so accessing the wisdom and power available to him or her.

The person who consciously and continually engages in an effort to refute or to silence the conscience will naturally digress to the condition of the disturbed character. The disturbed character will appear as having no conscience and will yet be a “functioning” member of the community.  A disordered character is displayed by one who was once only disturbed but has now slipped into the realm of the surely dysfunctional (rendered incapable of carrying out the requisite responsibilities of society).

The failure to nurture the conscience is the failure to nurture Truth and will surely result in the demise of the individual and the eventual destruction of any general population in which these individuals are prevalent.

Notably, George K. Simon, Jr., Ph.D., has done a beautiful job of further explanation, and in giving socially  acceptable as well as academically responsible language to the subject matter found here and in our Bibles (particularly in the book of Romans), in the book he authored: Character Disturbance, The Phenomenon of Our Age.

We must take seriously the view of ourselves found in God’s Holy Word for the protection of ourselves, our loved ones, and for the benefit of humanity as a whole. May God help us!

Copyright 2017. L.L. Shelton

Adam & Eve: Those Idiots!

adam and eve

Teaching Bible to children is a delightful experience for me. Throughout my careful, thoughtful lessons are numerous ah-ha! moments… I can only hope there are a few in the minds of my small charges, as well.

One day, as I was sharing the age-old history of the first man and the first woman with whom God dwelt, I arrived at the place in the report at which I was compelled to relate the extremely disappointing news that both Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating the forbidden fruit, bringing about a tragic situation for humankind.

Of course, what followed was a series of excited interjections, a few in the form of questions: “No way! Couldn’ they ‘ave just had peanut butter and crackers if they were hungry?! Yeah… And there was prob’ly candy! An’ now we’re all in trouble… those idiots!” And with the slow, deliberate shake of a little head, “Anybody knows you can’t trust a snake.”

Now, while their observations were not completely without merit, their remarks did indicate restricted vision. Children tend to view The Word of God through a narrow lens, and for the most part, limit themselves to two colors- black and white. Though this is sometimes appropriate, and often provides the needed dramatic emphasis; it is at other times limiting, and the need for a more expansive view is obvious. Adam had turned to worshiping the creation rather than The Creator, a grave sin indeed, and Eve exchanged the Truth of God for a lie; sins in which we all would have readily participated, had we been in their place. Their actual eating of the fruit was an outward display of the garbage that had taken residence in the heart.

As adults, we should be equipped and able to switch to a broad scope and to embrace a full spectrum of light, permitting our perspective to be imbibed with every possible hue; in so doing we may find the liberation of our souls!

Certainly, there are various hindrances to a person’s being able to think like a man: Natural and appropriate immaturity as in a child, general immaturity, or specific immaturity such as emotional, social, intellectual or spiritual immaturity. There is retardation and there are developmental delays which affect the capabilities of some, and of course there is the weak will. These are real obstacles which cause some of us to genuinely exist in a fledgling state, or less able to think or to behave as an adult, despite our historical age. But for most of us, a simple willingness to take the initiative in the sanctification process will prove to bring about the gracious help and kind generosity of Our Heavenly Father, and He will mold and grow the soul longing to be fully freed by The Truth of Scripture. Though we will remain imperfect while we are attached to these bodies, we will be free in the sense that we are comprehending Scripture and are able to apply it appropriately in our lives.

Furthermore, this is to be a beautiful benefit to those who are less mature, in that according to Scripture, the more mature are entrusted with the supervision and careful consideration of the others. God has truly designed and is orchestrating by His Spirit a perfect system, by which the needs of His children may be perfectly met in this fallen place: The Church. When we are functioning optimally– keeping first things first, keeping our eyes on Jesus Christ and by His grace obeying Our Father- we are the best thing that ever happened to this earth, for we are in one sense, Christ on Earth!

And yet we display a tendency to divide and to argue one with another, sometimes to the exclusion of serving a broken world as we should. For example: We deliberate over the literal versus the metaphorical in Scripture which is in some instances necessary, but it is apparent to me that Our Great God, to whom and with whom all things are possible, could easily have dictated a perfect document in which many or all things are both. For instance: Proverbs 31 speaks of a godly woman as one who keeps the oil in her lamp burning throughout the night; she is not idle. I believe that this is literally true throughout many seasons in her life as she is never one to neglect her duties, as well as metaphorically true, in the sense that the oil is representative of The Holy Spirit who is ever present in, and never extinguished from her life. (Please note that I am not saying that there may be a metaphorical meaning for something that is historically understood and consistently presented as literal, instead of the literal, only that there may be a metaphorical meaning in addition to the literal.)

I have found a world of beautiful possibilities by studying The Word with these things in mind; however I am by His grace, ever aware of The Absolute Truth, and of the consistency with which God’s Word will reveal Itself , in other words, the unwillingness of God to contradict Himself, and His unwillingness to confound and exasperate His children.

Therefore, the more I study, the more grateful I become to Him who has rendered the plight of the idiot, glorious!

©L.L. Shelton, 9/27/2011