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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Conscience Matters

Is there anything you do that does not bother your conscience but might bother the conscience of someone else? Explain. (Serendipity Bible Fourth Edition, page 1596-7).

In my book this is the key question:  Is the proposed action hurtful or helpful?  On these grounds, for example, I do not consume alcoholic beverages for I'm certain in my own mind that alcohol damages the brain permanently.  In a sense, to hold this position in America today (the position of a teetotaler) is politically incorrect.  That doesn't bother me one iota.  Neither does speaking the simple truth about my own personal beliefs or experiences.  For example, even though my heart isn't in it, I will sometimes think of the "n" word (say, someone cuts me off in traffic).  I admit this publicly to all races.  Such candidness bothers some people terribly, but in my view speaking the simple truth at an appropriate moment is the best policy.   That is, I strive to be courteous without being politically correct for I think that it is helpful all round to be honest, and that simple confession is good for the soul--yours and mine.  Likewise, it bothers me not at all to testify to my Christian faith even among unbelievers.  I take these risks essentially because I trust (when push come to shove) in the empathy, fairness, and strength of the American people.  My philosophy is best expressed in a quotation by Stephen C. Paul: "When you give up your own truth to win at someone else's game, everyone loses."

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