Jiminy Cricket Christianity

It was that world renowned sage of years gone by, Jiminy Cricket, who said: "Let your conscience be your guide." Pinocchio had myriad woes while trying to make it through his new found life as an animated marionette created by his woodcarver "father," Geppetto. He struggled with learning to walk, talk, eat, and, of course, he had a little trouble with lying and that nose of his. Nonetheless, whenever pondering Pinocchio would be in doubt, his faithful sidekick and guide, Jiminy Cricket, would utter the now popular phrase. (Why, they even made the phrase a catchy little song in the movie.)

Although this idea of one's conscience being guided by someone of importance may seem new, the idea is not new at all. An Italian writer of the early 1300's named Dante wrote his now classic literary work, The Inferno, with himself as the main character traveling through Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory), and finally into Paradisio (Paradise, or Heaven). Along his travels Dante was guided at first by the ancient Roman poet of the first century, Virgil, then later by his romantic interest in life, Beatrice. Both of these guides helped Dante find his way to Heaven. They were his conscience, if you will, to guide him to eternal bliss.

Christians should read such works and watch the movies which nearly always follow with the knowledge of what they really are, literary fiction. They hold little to nil as far as truth. They are written to promote someone's agenda or as an effort to exact revenge on an enemy. (Dante's Inferno was just that. He was angry at his native Florence, Italy and put those he hated in Hell. Convenient, eh?)

The word conscience in New Testament usage is defined thus: "the soul as distinguishing between what is morally good and bad, prompting to do the former and shun the latter, commending one, condemning the other." The word is used throughout the New Testament describing various individuals.

Jesus described some during His Sermon on the Mount who would believe they had done all their works in life with the authority of Jesus (Matt. 7:21-23). The reader should carefully note that Jesus did not support the false notion of simply "calling on the name of Jesus" to be saved. These people were obviously earnest in their lifetime works and even did them; at least they believed it to be so, in the name of Jesus. However, the rebuke from the Lord is staggering, "I never knew you." One's heart surely drops to the lowest reaches when these words are analyzed. This is a Judgment Day scene, not a simple scolding that has time to be corrected. These sincere souls are being sent to eternal torment. They had a good conscience, no doubt, of what they were doing religiously; yet their conscience was not according to the knowledge of the truth (cf. 1 Tim. 2:4).

Many should be aware of the words of Jesus and take note. Simply because one's conscience is made to believe what they are doing is right in the sight of God does not make it right. The conscience of each individual must be trained to make good decisions based on Bible knowledge (Psa. 119:11; 104). When good, Bible knowledge is placed inside one's mind, he or she is fully capable of making the right decision based on the conscience. Decisions will not be made simply on the basis of what I feel to be right, or "believe in my heart" to be right; but what God has already spoken to be right. Jesus said one must do the will of the Father; thus, doing the will of the Father implies one must know the will of the Father.

A small child's conscience may tell her that petting a strange dog is the right thing to do because she sees no harm in it. Does the parent of such a child allow this to happen when they know better? What if the dog is not friendly? Prudence compels the parent not to trust the dog until he or she knows more about it. Thus, the child's conscience must be trained in the ways of intelligent behavior. No one in their right mind (notice the qualifier, right mind) would allow their child to do such an act.

Saul of Tarsus was a man who did all things in a "good conscience" and a "pure conscience" in his life (Acts 23:1; 2 Tim. 1:3). He was a man who was unwavering at one time of his persecutions of the saints; "breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord" (Acts 9:1), and did all things with a conscience that had been trained. Nevertheless, Saul was wrong, dead wrong in his actions against the church. Of course, he later repented of his heinous acts and became known as "Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ" (Rom. 1:1).

Paul would later warn Timothy of those who would turn from the Faith and follow demonical teaching. Please note: "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron" (1 Tim. 4:1, 2). To have one's "conscience seared with a hot iron" literally means to cauterize or desensitize. Many let their conscience be cauterized by smooth talkers and nothing more than ignorance of the Scriptures. Those mentioned in the verses above gave in to the false doctrines because their consciences were deceived and led astray because they were not grounded enough to fight the onslaught of error.

Jiminy Cricket Christianity has its roots in the emotionalistic, feel it better than know it, "you're okay I'm okay" milieu that has satiated modern day Christianity. This vanity only allows for God's way after one's own thoughts have been considered. Peter admonished his audience to "be ready to give an answer&Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ" (1 Peter 3:15b, 16). Keep in mind, the first century audience was about to go to the "chop block" for the Cause of Christ.

Only a good, Bible trained conscience is good enough to lead us in this life. Jiminy Cricket, Virgil, or any charlatan or religious purveyor of false piety will never lead us as true as our Lord and Savior. Please allow your conscience to be trained by Jehovah.

 

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