The term “bound conscience” has been permanently linked by some to interpretations of Scripture many find objectionable, counter to the plain reading of Scripture, and contrary to predominant traditional Biblical interpretation. In a different circumstance, the phrase may have been given greater opportunity for consideration. In fact, “bound conscience” has been a part of our life together as Christians since the very beginning. More will be said about that later.
The term “bound conscience” for some has the implication that tolerance of all views (right or wrong) becomes the new norm for Biblical interpretation. This is often seen as taking Scripture’s role of communicating God’s truth and replacing it with far less valuable human relativism. If this is true, then Scripture loses its authority, and the result is that there is doubt about everything Scripture says. The entire role of Scripture ordering our lives, our society, and our future is therefore called into question. This is a very serious concern.
There is a third consideration which impacts on our understanding of bound conscience. The term is only to be used when I am attempting to address someone else’s honest engagement with scripture, and we draw very different conclusions. It is not to be used to insist that someone agree with me or respect my conclusions about scripture. The reasons for that should become clearer as we explore the scriptural basis for bound conscience.
Challenges from those opposing Bound Conscience
Bound Conscience and the current controversy
On a Personal Note