On Conscience and Obedience

A quick note before I begin: If you’ve ever taken a philosophy course (maybe even if you haven’t), you’re probably acquainted with the idea that “good” and “evil” are just abstract words that really have very little meaning. In the interest of keeping today’s post coherent and simple, however, I refer to good and evil or right and wrong the same way a four-year old might.

I know quite a few people who have a hard time with the idea that God “communicates” with us or interacts with us on a personal level. My own opinion on this is sort of… suspended. As I’ve mentioned before, I talk to God all the time and feel a connection. And I think that while there is always divine influence in my life and in the world, I can’t always see it. (I should just stop there, but I’m going to air a pet peeve: I have a really hard time with it when people assume that they understand “the reason” for something. It seems to me that our personal lives are such tiny little pieces of the whole and to think that we could comprehend why things happen or see their ultimate outcome… well… I just can’t buy it.)

So, for those people who don’t literally hear God – I have a concept on which I’d really like some feedback – either positive or negative. Here goes: Is is possible that God is ever-present in our lives because we’re all born with a “God Spark” which is, therefore, a part of everything we do? For example, we all know what it means to hear our conscience directing us one way or another and we all know what it means to deny it. Could obedience to God mean obeying that inner impulse? I think part of the reason this makes sense to me is because it levels the playing field – it gives us all an equally direct line to God. Please don’t misunderstand me – I’m not saying I know how God reaches people, or saying that I understand something as personal and complex as the human conscience… it’s just an idea. What do you think?

One last thing – most of my posts are going to deal with morality on some level. If you’re not convinced that morality is anything but a social construct and you haven’t read C.S. Lewis – you absolutely should. The link below will take you to Mere Christianity. You can read the entire book online, but the first two chapters will give you his argument for morality. It’s simple, logical and really interesting. If you read it, let me know what you think. Take care, all!






5 thoughts on “On Conscience and Obedience

  1. Unfortunately, for many of us, the conscience is blunted. Softened up by our culture, so that we can’t even hear it anymore. That’s why we absolutely must have the indwelling Holy Spirit (GOD, that is) to guide us along the path of life. Without Him, we just flounder around… God bless. Carley

    1. Thanks for responding! I think many people would agree with you. My personal feeling is that, while I can try to justify things or view them through the lens of society, my conscience is a God-given tool and knows the difference. Perhaps I’m being shortsighted and I will continue to explore through prayer, thought and study. At any rate, love the feedback!

  2. Hi daretodelve,

    Thanks for this post. There are a lot of good thoughts there. I agree that the idea that we can truly know (or someday will know) the reasons for things is a bit misguided. There is no such promise. I also think the philosophical question of whether or not good and evil are abstract or subjective concepts is a very interesting one that depends entirely on your larger world view. However, that was not the main question raised in your post. In reference to the primary questions, I think that we should never go against our conscience as it is undoubtedly an avenue God uses to speak to us an direct us. However, if we approach this idea from a biblical world view, we can quickly see that we are fallen creatures and this “falleness” affects every aspect of our being, including our conscience. The conscience can be misinformed, misguided, and poorly trained. This goes both ways. We may approve of things which are offensive to God and/or feel the prick of conscience over things that are never condemned by God (consider the attack of conscience a Jehovah’s Witness would experience if they received a blood transfusion). So as a Christian, I believe we should not blunt our conscience by knowingly going against it, but we should strive to train and conform our conscience to be consistent with a biblical world view.

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