A Corrupted Conscience
June 6, 2002 • By Ed Wrather
To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. - Titus 1:15.
In Albuquerque, New Mexico Amadeo Salguero was arrested for the carjacking of an Acura at the point of a gun from three people. The Acura had an excellent stereo system, which most likely was what Salguero was after. Salguero was having difficulty operating the system, and so he called one of his victims and asked, “I don't want there to be hard feelings, but, hey, how do you hook up your amp?” The call was traced to Salguero’s cell phone, who lived just across the street from where the carjacking occurred.
One translation of Titus 1:15 instead of “defiled,” says “corrupted,” and both words could be used. With Amadeo Salguero we see a corruption of his conscience. His conscience is so corrupted that he sees little wrong with robbing someone at gunpoint. I’m sure he was quite shocked when the police arrived to arrest him after his call for help about operating the stereo system.
Recently I visited with a deputy sheriff after our church was broken into, and he said that the people they were dealing with now are the children of those they were arresting ten to fifteen years ago. Hard to believe, but corruption is being taught by the example, and words of some parents. Of course, the world itself is corrupted, and constantly bombards the minds of all of us with its evil message. We should fear having a conscience that is not able to provide a moral guide, and that does not know right from wrong, or sees everything not as black and white, but in shades of gray. Robert J. Little says, “seared conscience is one whose warning voice has been suppressed and perverted habitually, so that eventually instead of serving as a guide, it only confirms the person in his premeditatedly evil course.”
The solution for uncorrupting a corrupted conscience is found in Hebrews 9:14 which says, “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” Once our conscience has been cleansed, we should strive to keep it that way, as we see in the example of the apostle Paul who says, “I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust. This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men (Acts 24:16).”
In other words, Paul strived always to keep his conscience clear or pure. We must do the same!