I often have loudly complained that people end up unduly binding consciences by what they say -- often of groans and shakes of the head. On a post below I was asked:
Maybe I've been brainwashed by my RC law professor, but you treat things almost as though any Law must be binding to salvation to be binding. Why can't the law be binding on conscience without being binding to salvation? Even the injunction to love is not necessary to salvation, yet it is no less binding on our consciences for that. Why must the law be so limited in what it can bind to conscience?
My response is as follows:
Because anything that our conscience is bound to will end up impacting how we view salvation. This is something that hearkens back to the Diet of Worms - for to go against Conscience is neither right nor safe.
While something - let's call it X - may not be sinful in an absolute sense, if for some reason in my mind X is understood to be sinful, this has a drastic impact upon me. First, it can become a gateway to gross sin if I stumble and do X and it isn't really all that bad - maybe some of those other things aren't so bad (for once you break your conscience in one place, breaking it in other places becomes that much easier).
Second, it burdens where there needn't be burdens. If I bind your conscience to avoid something that you could freely use otherwise, I have placed an undue burden upon you. If I convince you that you cannot do X - what if you reach a point where X would be a fine thing to do in Christian freedom? It burdens you, it brings angst and guilt. As an example - one of my members was raised 7th Adventist, and he to this day can't eat pork - he knows he can, but it weirds him out a bit. Now, generally that doesn't have that large of an impact, for its easy enough to avoid pork (although he does dig bacon - behold the mercy of God), but this impacts him, pains him a bit, even now when he knows he should be free here but because his conscience was unduly bound he isn't. If this happens for something that is easily avoided - what happens when the conscience is bound on something that is emotionally charged and important?
Finally - why should I seek to modify your conscience if it is not in error? If X weirds me out - I should avoid it, but if it is not forbidden, why should I forbid it to you? For example, if drinking were to go against ones conscience, by all means, abstain! But would it be proper to then try to teach that no one should drink, that it is vile and leads to all sort of bad things because it can be abused so let's prohibit anyone from using it? I would hope you don't find that to be a good idea.
That sort of activity is dangerous for the one seeking to enact the prohibition. Several things happen? First, their thoughts concerning their neighbor have shifted - for rather than loving and serving, they really are seeking to control. Oh, sure, they want to control because they "love" them - but if you are not given authority over another (or authority in a specific matter) it is dangerous to assume it unto yourself. That's sin.
But even more dangerous than that is this - that person has supplanted the Word of God with their own thoughts and desires. If I command what God has not commanded, if I forbid what God has not forbidden, even if I say that it isn't about salvation, I am still ignoring the Word of God and rather giving heed to my own thoughts and desires.
That is the root of every great and vile heresy. Heresies don't start (generally) because some guy sits in a room cackling about how he wants to be evil. It starts by people wanting to help guide others but on their own private terms rather than the Word of God.
For freedom you have been made free in Christ - let no one put you under a yoke of slavery again.
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Now, I would note that this isn't some sort of we can never go beyond what it written in Scripture, but that must be an act of freedom. We can (and I think should) bind ourselves to a common agenda for the sake of order - but people must be free to level our human organization (a Synod) and use other agendas if they see fit. Jure Humano is fine, as long as it is an option that is held to freely.
The problem is we have too many folks who ignore the man-made rules we have agreed to and yet still remain in the Synod, which leads to all sorts of confusion, focus on trying to force people in line via political manuevering... when in reality it probably should be an Abraham-Lot situation. You go your way, we'll go ours -- and we depart as family. If in the generations to come we become enemies because you and your ilk love the music of Sodom, well, that is for then, but not for now.
The desire to fix people apart from God's Law and God's Gospel, rather by human command, is sinful and harms the would be fixer.