Showing posts with label Conscience. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Conscience. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

That Flash of Anger

You’re talking to a friend about a third party. It really doesn’t matter who — I’ve had these conversations about Madonna, about family members, and even about the CEO of Canadian Tire. But, though the conduct of the subject of your discussion has precisely zero impact on either your friend or you, it seems blatantly obvious to you that this individual has done something morally and biblically indefensible, something that any right-thinking person would usually condemn.

Then your friend sets out to defend what that person did. Oh boy.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Acting Christian

“If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”

Most of the time I enjoy writing these posts.

Sometimes, not so much.

Like today.

Today, I feel the truth of what I heard a preacher say once: “When you point your finger at somebody else, there’s always three pointing back at you.” Or, as the scriptures would put it, “Not many of you should become teachers ... for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.”

Friday, June 10, 2022

Too Hot to Handle: Stomaching Veganism

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

How, now?

Increasingly, studies like this one point to the strong possibility that a strictly vegan diet might actually be the healthiest for human beings, and that even consuming a small amount of meat in our diet is sufficient to increase our chances of diabetes, among other things.

These studies may well be accurate (though, as with all assertions of the scientific community these days, I tend to reserve judgment until we see all the consequences of a purely vegan diet in a representative sample of the human population over a generation or two). But for the sake of argument, let’s give these studies the benefit of the doubt and assume they represent truth and not simply another scientific boondoggle.

Tom: So, the obvious question ...

Thursday, June 02, 2022

Straight Talk

Some years ago, Dr. Gordon Marino, the ethicist, wrote an article for the Chronicle of Higher Education called “Before Teaching Ethics, Stop Kidding Yourself”.

In this article, Marino complained of the cottage industry of posers and pseudo-experts we have today who dispense advice to us about how we ought to conduct our moral lives. Ethics, he argued, are not so much a matter of specialized knowledge as of ordinary people doing what they already knew to do.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Breaking Your Own Compass

By the oddest of coincidences, the standard of the
Nineveh Protection Units looks like ... a compass.
“I did it my way.”
— Paul Anka

“I’ve got my own way. I can find my own way.”
— Duran Duran

“In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
— Judges 21:25

Ah, the conscience.

The Function of Conscience

On one hand, each individual’s conscience must be the final arbiter of his or her choices; a moral compass. While there is plenty of direction out there in the word of God to provide sound guidance for life, in the end, how that is applied and whether or not it is followed is down to each one of us. It can be no other way.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Anonymous Asks (68)

“Can Christians use essential oils and aromatherapy?”

Today’s question is about a couple of modern trends, but could well be about almost anything that is not intrinsically evil. “Can Christians dance?” “Can Christians listen to popular music?” “Can Christian girls wear Lululemons?” “Can Christians eat pork?”

The same biblical principles will help us with answering just about any “Can Christians [fill in the blank]?” question.

Thursday, July 04, 2019

Straight Talk

 The most recent version of this post is available here.

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Acting Christian

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A Giant Problem, or That Stupid Sword Again

There are giants in the land.

Not Goliath, whom David slew, but that bad habit you can’t give up, and most of the time don’t really want to.

Somebody I know is fighting a giant. In his thinking, maybe 5% of the time he’s in a place where he makes an offhand remark about how he needs to go back to church, or how he needs to start reading his Bible again, or how he really needs God in his life. The rest of the time he’s just doing his thing like he’s always done it, and I suspect the will and character of God are the last things he’s thinking about. Life provides bucketloads of convenient distractions.

But can God work with 5%? I’d estimate he can. See, I’ve been there too.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Sound and Silence (or Banishing the Banshee)

I have a neighbour that screams like a banshee — or at least she used to. She doesn’t anymore, and herein lies a tale.

Like many families, we live in a semi-detached house with nothing more than a cinder-block partition and a little ancient insulation separating us from our neighbours. You can’t hear everything that occurs on the other side of the party wall, but you can hear plenty, especially when voices are raised.

We heard plenty. Regularly. Our neighbour made sure of it.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Straight Talk

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

With Best Intentions

Sinners crave validation.

When our consciences trouble us, a common first instinct is to seek out sympathetic ears.

For all but the most morally callused that is usually ineffective: most of us can detect when we are being indulged or patronized; when the person listening isn’t buying our sob story but is too intimidated (or uninterested) to fight about it; when their own judgment is suspect or their own character compromised. The sort of comfort such a person gives is wholly inadequate. The alarm bell of conscience just keeps on ringing.

So it becomes necessary to seek validation from those we know to be opposed to our behaviour. If we can convince them, the logic goes, surely we can quiet the voices in our heads.

If only it were that easy.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Straight Talk

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Breaking Your Own Compass

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Too Hot to Handle: Stomaching Veganism

The most recent version of this post is available here.