One Seared Conscience Demands Another
The darkness hates the light; that’s all there is to it. “Those who do evil hate the light and do not come into the light for they fear their deeds will be reproved.” John 3:20. Jesus explained this two thousand years ago and, of course, it’s as true now as it was then. Misery loves company and those who do not want to change their beliefs and practices want everyone else to change theirs. When noble men and women—still sensitive to God’s whisperings and the guidance of their own consciences—take a stand and refuse to participate in an evil act, the evildoers try to regulate, legislate, intimidate and coerce them into cooperation.
In one of the more recent examples of this abhorrence of the light and moral uprightness, the UK General Medical Council has just issued the draft of a new guideline regarding “personal beliefs and medical practice.” In it, the Council warns doctors that they must prescribe contraceptives, refer patients for abortion, perform gender reassignment surgery and in every other way imaginable, they must be willing to violate their own consciences and “go along to get along.” To do otherwise might imply that there is a higher law or a moral code and could unintentionally convey the idea that those who kill babies, mutilate sexually those born into one of the two original genders and promote a general hedonistic lifestyle are “morally misguided,” perhaps even “wrong.” Such an insinuation must be avoided. The only doctor who could possibly be wrong would be the one listening to his or her conscience instead of to the Council.
Sounds like another council of a couple thousand years ago, which—for the same reasons—wanted the early disciples to “stop preaching in the name of Jesus.” Those council members felt that the promotion of Christianity might indicate that they—who put him on the cross—were somehow guilty, perhaps even wrong. Of course, that would never do. However, the disciples of that day asked the high priest and the council this question: “Do you think it would be better to listen to you than to listen to God?” The answer to that question was rather self-evident.
However, nothing is self-evident to those who are self-deceived. I had the privilege of speaking last week with my MP, the Hon. Nathan Cullen. Nathan was a contender in the recent leadership race to replace NDP Leader Jack Layton. When the dust settled, Nathan was named Opposition House Leader and so, presumably, has influence with new Leader Thomas Mulcair and the NDP caucus. I had hoped, of course, to convince Nathan to support MP Stephen Woodworth’s Motion 312 (which would have Parliament examine the question of when human life begins.) I was disappointed, but not surprised, when he said that he and his NDP colleagues intend to vote against reviewing Canada’s 400-year old law, yes, the law which fails to defend human beings in the womb. However, as we discussed several other topics (the new Transgendered Bill, the gold-plated MP Pension plan and MP Brian Storseth’s C-304 (which would protect freedom of speech by removing Sec. 13 from the Human Rights Act,) I was given Nathan’s opinion on “conscience rights,” which both shocked and troubled me.
I brought up the firing of marriage commissioners in Saskatchewan who had refused to perform marriages for same-sex couples. I thought it would be obvious to anyone who cared about personal rights and the freedom to act according to the dictates of one’s conscience that this was a gross violation of human rights and proved conclusively that the concerns expressed in 2005 were justified, when Nathan and others voted for same-sex marriage, that is, the concerns that Christians would be compelled to violate their consciences or suffer punishment by the state. Nathan, however, said that no violation had taken place since “churches” were not compelled to conduct homosexual marriages. The fact that men and women with deep personal convictions, based on their religious views, could not refuse to participate in evil did not bother him at all (of course, the definition of evil has a bearing here.) While he suggested that some leeway might be allowed for existing commissioners, he said that any men and women applying for those jobs in the future would have to acknowledge that homosexual marriage is the law of the land and therefore the office of marriage commissioner would require their cooperation. Mr. Cullen (or Mr. Harper for that matter) may be able to put his conscience on ice while performing his civic duties, may be able to shut his ears to the truth and turn a blind eye to the killing of the unborn, etc. but for those who know and love the God of the Bible and who “tremble at His Word” (ie. they believe that He speaks today and that He really cares about whether we do things His way or not,) partial, or limited obedience is not an option.
What is the conclusion of the whole matter? Fear God and keep his commandments. Our consciences demand that we defend innocent human life, the sacrament of marriage between one man and one woman AND that we defend the right of all people to refuse to defile themselves by violating their consciences and the clear teachings of God. It seems pretty easy to understand. But then, the fear of the Lord is the BEGINNING of wisdom. Without the fear of the Lord there is NO wisdom.