“…my conscience is captive to the Word of God,” declared Luther as he was urged to recant his declarations against the Roman Catholic church. I wish that statement to be the mantra and motto of my life as human history repeats itself. Those of us who seek to follow after God are having to dare ourselves to be captive to His Word in the face of subtle compromise. I was directly confronted with my convictions very recently.
My state is coming ever closer to legalizing same-sex marriage. This is a travesty to all who view marriage between one man and one woman as a sacred institution ordained by God from the beginning of human history. The homosexual agenda has been steady and forceful in having its way in American society. It is seeking to weave its thread into the very fiber of our culture by targeting schools and gaining financial backing from the companies that provide much of the products that American households use every day. This two-fold approach means that American households are funding their campaign whether we like or not, and our children are being taught that this lifestyle is legitimate – thus raising a generation with a new sense of normal.
As my husband and I spent hours at our state’s capitol waiting to testify at the hearing, I pondered the depth of my conviction. Is saying something is wrong and then going about my day enough to honor my convictions? Should I really dig deeper to find out where my money is actually going when I do my shopping? Am I willing to give up some of my favorite comfort items for the sake of my conscience? And on a deeper note, what would I do if I found out that one of my students had gay parents? Would I still be willing to declare the lifestyle wrong even if it hurt that student? Is that the right thing to do?
As image-bearers of the Creator God, we are all born with an innate sense of right and wrong. This is confirmed by the fact that those with alternative agendas go to such great lengths to infiltrate our education system. Some of us are brazen in our disregard of conscience’s promptings to do what is right rather than what is wrong, while some of us passively condone sin in an attempt to not judge the choices others make. In either case, when sin has its way in human hearts and society, our conscience dies a little more. I am not limiting this pattern to homosexuality alone; it holds true for every sin on every level – individual or societal.
“It’s too late. We’ve gone too far,” you or I might be thinking. Abortion is legal in our country and millions have died because of that. Gay marriage is legal in 13, soon to be 14, states in our union. Euthanasia and marijuana are legal in a handful of our states. 50% of traditional marriages end in divorce. A brief survey of our youth (elementary to college) will reveal young people hurting from the effects of bullying, drinking, drugs, promiscuity, molestation, and domestic violence. Yeah, it’s all wrong but what can we really do about it? Perhaps we have to return to the definition of captivity.
When one is held captive by someone else, it means that their will is our command. We have no choice but to obey. And so it is for the individual. We only have one choice in the matter – and that is to decide who our captor will be: Good or Evil. By succumbing to passivity and taking the apparently easy way of avoidance, we are not doing ourselves any long term favors. Sure, it’s the path of less resistance for the time being, but in reality we are only allowing evil to wreak havoc a little longer. What would happen if every Christian obeyed his or her conscience and not only declared sin wrong, but also took measures to resist it? What if we taught our children that a homosexual lifestyle is wrong and then showed them how to encourage those led astray by it to return to a healthy way of living? What if we researched the companies that are supporting the gay agenda or the Planned Parenthood agenda and withheld our support from them, despite the extra effort it would require? What if we actively showed those who have succumbed to sin that there is a way out?
What if we resurrected our conscience instead of killing it?