My dear young friend,
I do indeed see your point about the conscience. But as you yourself admit,
the theory of your age is that the conscience should be denied existence. Surely
a Christian can see that the problem is not the existence of the conscience but
its guidance. One may be free of the feeling of guilt in several ways; the right
way is to cease to be guilty and know it. Therefore, it is the task of the
Christian to cultivate his own conscience.
You cannot suppress it totally; if you do you are worse than a barbarian.
Consider that! Even the barbarian has a conscience. God provides this by nature
so that we might know we are sinners. To lose the conscience is deadly.
The virtues of a good conscience are many. One in particular is that you
sleep well of nights. He whose conscience is clear has no fear of retribution,
for example. So it seems to me that your view deprives you of something which is
both morally good and beneficial to the body.
But the conscience must be instructed. If you will not instruct it, the mob
will. The world will press on you until your conscience becomes nothing more
than an alarm for good manners. What does it matter what other people think?
Even if they praise you, beware.
The true measuring rod for the conscience is the Holy Spirit. Train your
conscience to Him, and all will be well.
It is somewhat like the tuning of the harp; it cannot be done without ears.
You must listen to God if you are to tune your conscience. This is done in
prayer and meditation. It is done by instruction in the Scripture. It is also
done by conversing with your elders in the faith, for often they see your trials
as their history.
Your time thinks a good conscience to be no conscience at all. We see a good
conscience as one in harmony with God. So I must ask you: which of the two of us
will sleep better of nights?
Sleeping soundly, I remain,
Isaac the alchemist