“And what we don’t want to do is say everybody binds everyone by their conscience with things that the Scripture doesn’t bind us by, right? Usually everybody’s bound by the preacher’s conscience. I don’t want to bind you by my conscience; I want the Holy Spirit to bind your conscience, and I want you to obey your conscience.” ~Mark Driscoll, in his sermon “The Weaker Christian”
I’m eager to explore what the Lord has been showing me about the defiled conscience. It has much bearing on where we are in the church of Jesus Christ in this day.
The weak conscience: recap
In Part One of the conscience series I explored what is meant by the “weak conscience” in a Christian.
A weak conscience is one that lacks the full strength of understanding of what Christ has accomplished for them and who they are in Christ. The result is believing that certain morally neutral activities would affect that standing.
I also discussed how the weak conscience can be manipulated by spiritual abusers, resulting in
— confusion over right and wrong, as well as
— guilt and shame when one has done nothing wrong.
That fact—the guilt and shame when one has done nothing wrong—is immensely important in the life of the body of Christ.
The weak conscience can become defiled
First Corinthians 8:7 says that if the believer with the weak conscience partakes of something he thinks will spiritually defile him, there’s a danger that his conscience will be defiled, or “soiled” or “contaminated.”
This means the one who has believed in Christ will bear the guilt and shame of having sinned, even if he has done nothing wrong. From what I can see, there are two types of situations that can cause a weak conscience to become defiled: Continue reading “The Defiled Conscience: Should We Lovingly Help or Sharply Rebuke?”