Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Getting Shipwrecked With Lex Luthor's Murderer

Suggested Reading: 1 Timothy 1:12-20

Green Arrow used to be one of the less well known superheroes in the DC comics universe. More people began to recognize him, though, when he became a regular on Smallville, the Superman prequel TV series. In that series, one of the pivotal moments for Green Arrow was his decision that Lex Luthor was too dangerous to continue living and so he killed him. Of course in the comic world no one stays dead, but Green Arrow had done something he knew was wrong "for the greater good." Violating his conscience messed him up badly. He struggled to come to terms with the murder, wrestled with suicidal desires and lost touch with sanity before an extreme intervention by a friend finally brought him back to himself. 

1 Timothy 1:19 describes Green Arrow's experience very well.  "Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked" (NLT). Violating your own conscience leads to a crisis of faith where you must come to terms with that violation, falsely justify the violation, or justify yourself by denying a violation took place.

Through the years, I have had several friends who chose to violate their consciences, to deliberately do things which they knew were wrong according to the Christian belief system they grew up with. Some survived this crisis of faith. Others chose to repeat these violations but soon abandoned their faith in order to alleviate their own feelings of guilt. After all, can you feel guilty (i.e., be convicted) if you no longer believe it is wrong? Some of these friends have rejected the faith completely, turning to other religions or to atheism, while others have simply altered their faith to such a degree that it is unrecognizable as biblical Christianity to any but themselves. In nearly each and every one of their lives, their abandonment of the faith can be traced back to a time when they deliberately choose to violate their consciences and had to come to terms with that choice. In Paul's words, their faith had been shipwrecked.

Before you choose to do something that violates your conscience, be prepared for your entire belief system to change in order to maintain your personal sanity. If your faith is precious to you, don't violate your conscience.

Impressive Frisbee Scars and Unnecessary Distractions

Suggested Reading: Mark 4:1-9, 13-20 The largest scar on my body sits on my right elbow and I got it in a frisbee accident. I was in juni...