Matters of Conscience : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

God often gives people special instructions regarding moral issues. Often these are because of an individual's past. God, for a season, may tell an individual to do or not do something to provide an extra measure of protection in an area they're vulnerable. Example: One prone to pornography may be told by God that for now, they are not to use the internet at all. I've had a matter of conscience regarding touching women outside my family. I avoid even laying on of hands in prayer, preferring to let others touch the ladies. I'd give a guy a bear hug, but the ladies received a handshake from me. Lately God's been releasing me from this a little at a time. Now ladies get a quick sideways hug, and I'll again pick up little girls. I don't know why God gave me this, but He did and I obeyed.

There is a danger of laying our matters of conscience on others. Ministers especially are in a position to abuse this. They'll let their matters of conscience evolve into a point of doctrine they'll hold others to. How can we ensure we keep a clear head on these things?

Paul spoke of eating certain types of meats. To a young Christian offended by certain eating practices Paul said he deferred to their matter of conscience. It was more important they not stumble. At the same time the Pharisees tried to run Jesus by laying their matters of conscience on Him. They'd allowed their issues to become doctrine to be enforced on all. Jesus of course didn't submit. How do you recognize the difference between matters of conscience to be followed by an individual, and points of doctrine to be enforced? How do you strike a balance in your ministries and churches?

-- Anonymous, January 20, 2001


Rev. Price:

The points addressed in your post are extremely important because of gender miscommunication. The mistrust we see between the sexes is an outgrowth our litigous sociey. For example, when I hold office hours for students I make it a practice to never have a "closed-door" session with a female student. I am not attempting to make any individual character statement for the young women, but I know how this seemingly innocuous arrangement can be easily misconstrued and for those reasons I always, always keep the office door either open or ajar to avoid the slighest hint of impropriety. It's unfortunate that we have come to this arrangement but until maturity and civility [for young women] resume my conscience dictates this as the appropriate course of conduct. QED

-- Anonymous, January 20, 2001

Moderation questions? read the FAQ