Conscience?

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by webdog, Aug 25, 2005.

  1. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    Conscience that faculty of the mind, or inborn sense of right and wrong, by which we judge of the moral character of human conduct. It is common to all men. Like all our other faculties, it has been perverted by the Fall (John 16:2; Acts 26:9; Rom. 2:15). It is spoken of as "defiled" (Titus 1:15), and "seared" (1 Tim. 4:2). A "conscience void of offence" is to be sought and cultivated (Acts 24:16; Rom. 9:1; 2 Cor. 1:12; 1 Tim. 1:5, 19; 1 Pet. 3:21). Source: Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary.

    If all men are born with a conscience, the abiltiy to decipher right and wrong according to the above Bible dictionary, how can one be "totally depraved"? This would mean if all men were born TD, we would not be able to decipher what is right, only that which is wrong which is not the case. The Bible uses words like seared and defiled, never dead. Man's ability to choose right and wrong is damaged, and most likely leans toward the wrong most of the time. To use this reason as not being able to choose the free gift of salvation is not scriptural.
     
  2. Deacon

    Deacon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2002
    Messages:
    6,975
    Likes Received:
    129
    I'm a neophite dabbling in this controversey.

    "Because of the fall, man is unable of himself to savingly believe the gospel. The sinner is dead, blind, and deaf to the things of God; his heart is deceitful and desperately corrupt. His will is not free, it is in bondage to his evil nature, therefore, he will not - indeed he cannot - choose good over evil in the spiritual realm. Consequently, it takes much more than the Spirit's assistance to bring a sinner to Christ - it takes regeneration by which the Spirit makes the sinner alive and gives him a new nature. Faith is not something man contributes to salvation but is itself a part of God's gift of salvation - it is God's gift to the sinner, not the sinner's gift to God."

    Man has free will only in the sense that he is not under any outside compulsion which interferes with his freedom of choice or his just accountability. Man is born in sin, accordingly he has the freedom of a slave to sin.

    Just like our body the conscience is not perfect, it can be bent and deceived (1 Ti. 4:2; Titus 1:15). It seems that the conscience can be educated and molded for good or evil (1 Peter 3:16).

    Paul states clearly that the conscience is able to provide enough guidance to be able to condemn (not to save) a man that hasn’t received the law (Romans 1:14-16).

    Rob
     
  3. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    You have a false idea of what total depravity is. Many define total depravity as humankind's total inability to do anything good. That's not what TD is. Total depravity is the inability of humankind to do anything perfectly in accordance with God's plan. For without having a relationship with God via His Son Jesus Christ, you cannot know the will of God.
     
  4. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    How does this coincide with Deacon's post?
     
  5. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    It doesn't. Deacon is talking about free will. I'm talking about the definition of td.
     
  6. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    How, then, does TD explain Luke 12:54-56, Joihn 12:32 and Romans 1:18-20? I believe our conscience plays a role in discernment between what is right and wrong, spiritual and sin. A person can be enslaved to sin while still knowing sinful actions are wrong.
     
  7. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with you. Why do you think I don't. A person bound by total depravity is capable of discerning right from wrong. However, a person bound by total depravity is incapable of discerning what is God's perfect plan. And one cannot adopt God's plan for one's life if one has not broken the chains of sinful nature and total depravity.
     
  8. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    The way I have had TD explained to me from a calvinist was man cannot accept the free gift of salvation because he can only choose that which is sinful and evil, unable to "choose life" unless God gave them this saving faith. Your definition of TD sounds nothing like this.
     
  9. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    Your friend was referring to the inability of man to save himself. I don't think that's an issue we are in disagreement with.
     
  10. johnp.

    johnp.
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Messages:
    3,231
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello webdog.

    Total Depravity:
    Sin has affected all parts of man. The heart, emotions, will, mind, and body are all affected by sin. We are completely sinful. We are not as sinful as we could be, but we are completely affected by sin.
    The doctrine of Total Depravity is derived from scriptures that reveal human character: Man’s heart is evil (Mark 7:21-23) and sick (Jer. 17:9). Man is a slave of sin (Rom. 6:20). He does not seek for God (Rom. 3:10-12). He cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14). He is at enmity with God (Eph. 2:15). And, is by nature a child of wrath (Eph. 2:3). The Calvinist asks the question, "In light of the scriptures that declare man’s true nature as being utterly lost and incapable, how is it possible for anyone to choose or desire God?" The answer is, "He cannot. Therefore God must predestine."
    Calvinism also maintains that because of our s fallen nature we are born again not by our own will but God’s will (John 1:12-13); God grants that we believe (Phil. 1:29); faith is the work of God (John 6:28-29); God appoints people to believe (Acts 13:48); and God predestines (Eph. 1:1-11; Rom. 8:29; 9:9-23).


    (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. 14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Romans 2:13-14.
    If a pagan feeds a man that is hungry then he fulfils the law to love his brother but he breaks it at the same time because his actions are always selfcentred. He will have a guilty conscience and a forboding if he doesn't. The conscience's function will only condemn as you have not done as you should. There is no merit in doing good as there is no merit in not robbing a bank. There is no reward for doing as you should but your conscience will be clear.

    Seeking a "conscience void of offence" is not always a good thing as a conscience void of offence can be a sheared conscience. As for me I have a conscience void of offence. :cool:

    john.
     
  11. BobRyan

    BobRyan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,837
    Likes Received:
    4
    The view you express needs to be tempered with the fact that God "supernaturally" placed "emnity between the see of the woman and the seed of the serpent". (See Genesis 3)

    That supernatural discord allows room for God to "Convict the WORLD of sin and righteousness and judgment" John 16 resulting in the "conscience" you mentioned in the above OP.

    However the TD doctrine of Romans 3 is in the sense of ISOLATING all of God's work from mankind and just looking at what is IN the sinful nature itself.

    Imagine if you will - a world of sinful fallen humans where The Trinity is not working on their behalf. That seems to be the scope of Romans 3 when it speaks of the sinful nature of man.

    But GIVEN that supernatural work done "for ALL" for "The World" by God who sends Christ "into the world and coming into the world enlightens EVERY one of mankind" John 1 -- then you have the REAL net effect that you see described in texts you have quoted.

    And in that NET effect realm - you can have HARDENING taking place and searing of the conscience (that is to say - a downward path is pursued)

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  12. johnp.

    johnp.
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Messages:
    3,231
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is Bob talking about reptiles webdog? :cool:

    john.
     
  13. BobRyan

    BobRyan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,837
    Likes Received:
    4
    It is interesting how Webdog's view of conscience is seen in Romans 2 in the case of Gentiles who have no access to God's Word - the scriptures -- and yet the New Covenant promise of the Law of God written on the heart is SEEN IN THEM!!

     
  14. johnp.

    johnp.
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Messages:
    3,231
    Likes Received:
    0
    hearts of stone you care to neglect I see

    john.
     
  15. BobRyan

    BobRyan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,837
    Likes Received:
    4
    Not me. I am quick to point out that the Romans 3 description (complete with hearts of stone) is being addressed by the God who DRAWS ALL.

    Even Calvinists admit that the John 12 DRAWING OF GOD enables those hearts to act.
     
  16. johnp.

    johnp.
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Messages:
    3,231
    Likes Received:
    0
    not you?

    john.
     
  17. billwald

    billwald
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2000
    Messages:
    11,414
    Likes Received:
    0
    The problem of a person "saving himself" doesn't appear to occur to most people. It is a straw man.
     

Share This Page

Loading...