The Voice of Conscience is not the Voice of God

Gayle Oler

It is not so that “the voice of conscience is the voice of God.” Conscience is often wrong, but God never is. This statement has so often been made that it has found itself in quotation marks in modern writings, and has probably come to be considered as Scripture by some.

The plain fact is that the voice of conscience is frequently the voice of the devil. When men follow their consciences, they differ as widely as the poles. Trying to go to heaven a hundred different ways and under every kind of name, they all declare that they are following the guidance of conscience. But there is only one way to heaven, “and in none other is there salvation, for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, wherein we must be saved” (Acts 4:12 ASV).

Conscience says, “One way is as good as another,” but God says, “Stand ye in the ways and see; and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein and ye shall find rest for your souls” (Jer. 6:16 ASV). Conscience is wrong, but the Bible is right.

Conscience says, “Join the church of your choice.” God says, “Yea, they have chosen their own ways and their soul delighteth in their abominations: I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them…” (Isa. 66:3-4 ASV).

Conscience will agree that it is all right to wear men’s names, choose churches and doctrines, and different kinds of worship and life, and that one’s choice is about all to be considered. God says, “They did that which was evil in mine eyes, and chose that wherein I delighted not” (Isa. 66:4 ASV).

Conscience subordinates the will and way of God and consults only the mind and preference of man. God never intended that man should use his conscience as a criterion in religion. Jesus Christ is our guide. “Unto him shall ye hearken.”

No inspired writer ever condoned this “church of your choice” idea or ever voiced one slight approval of the doctrine that one church is as safe as another. The doctrines of “many ways to heaven,” “nothing in a name,” and that everyone ought to join the church of his choice is a far cry from the voice of God. It is the plain voice of the devil.

Any conscience that will approve of wearing a name God has not given, in a church He has not planted, and of worshiping in a way He has not commanded leads a man to do that wherein God delights not.

There was a time when Paul thought the voice of conscience was the voice of God, and admitted that he had lived before God in all good conscience (Acts 23:1). After he learned better, he confessed that he was the chief of sinners while faithfully following the dictates of his own conscience (1 Tim. 1:15).

Everybody is doing it, so I guess it is all right,” is the voice of conscience. A big crowd in religion cannot be wrong to such a mind. “I know I am saved because I feel perfectly satisfied,” is the way the conscience talks that has completely ignored the word of God.

That kind of conscience approves the use of instrumental music in the worship and infant sprinkling in practice. It approves the use of an unscriptural name and church. It is the very instrument that got the Israelites in trouble with God. “They hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in their own counsels and in the stubbornness of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward” (Jer. 7:24 ASV). It is wiser to follow the word of the living God than the fallible dictates of conscience. Which do you really follow?

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Author: Editor

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