Theology and Film Podcast

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« Film Review - "Wag the Dog" | Main | Theology & Film - Podcast Lecture 13 »

October 31, 2007


Angie Bulic

It's interesting to think that our conscience is informed by our culture or social setting. When i was 9, it was the not cool to be friends with your little sister. At the time, i had no problem with teasing, picking on and just being mean to her. Nothing seemed to trigger a "this is wrong" response in me until years later, when i saw how beautiful inter-sibling relationships can be. What was was acceptable behaviour according to my concscience when i was 9, is abhorent to me now.

Now in an attempt to actually answer the question, i've been told my some of my family that Bible college is a waste of my time, but whether it was God or my conscience i knew i should go. Here i am and i haven't regreted it yet :)

gordon millerick

When conscience and request conflict, happens nore times than I would like it to. I have been asked by various people in authority to change statements or reports. The authoritarian personel have had a desire to deflect observations from them to another situation. The conflict arises when policy rules and requirements are not followed and I have been called in to report on the nsituations. My conscience is to follow the truth, the laws,rules,policies, and overriding all of these is to follow God's word.

Todd Janus

It seems as though a common act for new believers is to burn their secular C.D.'s. I went through this when I was first converted becuase I was influenced by people to believe that all secular music was evil and that corruption of the soul is possible from listening to it. I followed what I thought was my own conscience, but was in fact social conditioning. Now I have realised that this belief is rediculous and that secular music is in many cases far greater than Christian music. The problem is do you tell someone who believes secular music to be evil that is in fact OK to listen to, or do you sit by and wait for them to hopefully work it out for themselves? In church I have been expected to believe and impose that it is wrong to listen to this 'evil' music, but I do not believe that it is evil and I continually try to counsel people out of the false belief that it is.

Jackie Worcester

Some time ago I was pressured into making a phone call to a family member that I really did not want to make. One member of the family was urging me to ring another member of the family to justify a certain issue.

My conscience was strongly telling me not to make that call and I didn't for a while. I prayed about it and I even felt God telling me not to do it. My husband even said it was not a good idea. But somthing was pulling me to make that call.

I went ahead and made the call and it turend out terribly wrong and thing became an even worse mess, which has affected relationships with this family member up until today.

In hindsight I would definitely not have made the call and I should have in the first place listend to my conscience and my husband.

cynthia asante

As i red this question, to be honest i had to think for a while because i was looking for a moment in my life. And as i was thinking i noticed that in my daily routine i often encounter moments where my conscience were in conflict. There have been many occasions where my conscience was speaking to me for not following certain behaviour or act and also the other way round. And i observe that after every time when my conscience had chanllenged me regardless the outcome of how i interacted with my thoughts, it forces me to seek God. The outcomes where challenging me to put my trust in the Holy Spirit. I had to learn to trust and recongnize his voice better and better in order not to fail or regret the moments in my life. And i must admit it is not always easy to follow your conscience. consequently i have a deep realization of how much i need the Holy Spirit each day.


It is recommended by the World Dental Health Organisation that one should brush their teeth three times a day. My conscience was in major conflict because the conscience, I believe, is part of me, my body, and my mind. It therefore told me not to brush my teeth so many times and I took this as a warning or a sign that my body was trying to tell me something. Turns out by following the rules so strictly as a little girl I had brushed away the enamel and was not allowed to brush my teeth till the enamel had time to strengthen and develop into strong healthy teeth! And hence, chewing gum was invented. So kids of America don’t listen to your dentist, think for yourself what you should do!

It is expected that I complete every pod cast assignment. But my conscience is in conflict. I am supposed to respond to the questions with personal answers or answers that can reflect my personality, belief system or past.
There are a few quotes that have been stored in my conscience:
 No one means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous. - Henry Adams
 If you think it, don’t say it. If you say it, don’t write it. If you write it, don’t send it. – My dad (a wise man)
And of course, I will listen to my dad. I am expected to listen to him after all. I think it is even in the Bible!?! (Commandment No. 5?)
And the way I respond is the way I also wish to respond, because everything in life is a choice. Is this how my conscience works? I regret posting this…:)

Neil Castro

I think there's a distinction between conscience and feeling whether or not you want to do something.

There are a number of examples where consciences can be in conflict, and we probably face them on a regular basis. For example, for all the husbands out there, if your wife asks you if you think she looks "not so thin" in her dress, do you tell her that she is (if in fact she may be), or does your conscience to not hurt her feelings cease you from doing so?

An example of when my conscience was in conflict was when I was new to a job. There ended up being just me and another lady in the department and she wanted to just go home for the day. She said if management came or asked where she was, to just say that she was out and about - somewhere in the building. Was I to tell the truth to management, or do i not "rat her out" because she was a nice person and workmate to me, as well as being a new member of the team? I ended up not "dobbing her in", but I wish I did because I felt so guilty to my employers after that.

Gudrun Sveinsdottir

Hmmm, this is a hard one. I can remember starting a new job when I was 16, and my boss asked me to go and buy cigarettes for her. In Norway, like in most countries, one has to be 18 to buy them. In addition, this was in the main shopping street in my city and the risk of running into people you know is huge. The fact that I was a Christian made it more complicated, because i was convinced at that time that smoking was wrong, especially if you are a Christian (note that my opinion on this is not as strong anymore, but it was back then:). Anyways, I was too afraid of saying no to my new boss, and off I went to buy them, even though it contradicted what I believed was right. I should have simply told her that I was too young to buy cigarettes for her, after all I doubt she would fire me for that reason.

Brendon O'Reilly

at the end of last year i was asked to have dinner with a particular friend who was leaving the country, however it was during a leaders meeting at wildlife which i had committed to... A good friend told me that i shouldnt be skipping leaders meeting and that i had committed to wildlife, this challenged me and i ended up going to leaders meeting and sacrificing dinner. I knew i was meant to be at leaders meeting but choose to have dinner it wasn't till i got a kick in the backside that i changed my mind.

Wigand Sugandi

when I was in second year,I got a calling from God to be a full time minister.. It was struggling hard with this calling because most of my relatives and families didn't support and look me down.. This was a big dillema for me.. They always said "pastor or a minister do not have any money"... "you can be a minister when you are 55 year-old".. It is my key word in my inner conflict, that is "conviction"... When you got a vision in your heart, just havea conviction and confidence in your heart just as Abram... Now, no one of them can't look down me anymore.. They see a proof... I never regret my choice...

Wigand Sugandi

I meant above is "second year" senior high school

Prisca Post

My conscience spoke very clearly during my first year of Christianity when I was working at a Tv Production Company where I was required to make certain promo videos for horoscopes.The lady predicted people's future by the sign that they have. I didn't feel comfortable at all doing this and knew that this was totally against everything I believed in. I actually decided to not produce the promo and explained that I didn't want to produce something that was not supported by my belief. Fortunately I wasn't fired :)

lance davis

Wow, what a thought provoking podcast.

Ok, how many of you thought, in Todd Janus' comment, that he was going to go on to repent for illegally burning CD's? "Burning" as in "copying" CD's?

Anyway, for me, the most recent example perhaps is where conscience finally revealed the best in me. 1 1/2 years ago a friend (not anymore haha [just joking]) 'solved' my computer virus problem by pirating his virus scanner onto my computer. The program updated itself every morning at 9:30a.m. but in order to initiate it I had to ignore the dialogue box which read: "become legal" click here. After 1 1/2 years of ignoring this prompt it was only after studying Dead Man Walking (the concepts of good and evil life and death) that my conscience was resensetized to the point where I couldn't ignore it any longer.

No coincidence that on of the films in question played the most significant part to my change in conscience.

$98.95 later I have the updated program and have deleted the old. It reminds me of the ad: "You wouldn't steal a DVD..."

lance davis

Ok, I didn't answer the question.

So, one time at work (I take care of old people shower them, toilet them, etc). I was starting administering medication when the RN said, "OH, Veronica in Room 318 just passed away about an hour ago in the hospital."

This was sad, as we were pretty close, but the show must go on so I continued giving medication. Then I turned to see a lady with a tissue box. "Excuse me, do you know where my mom is?" I just brought these tissues for her, can I just, maybe, put them in her room 318?

Ok, I Knew, in my conscience, that I shouldn't lie or be dishonest but in the instant I freaked out and said: "I don't know, the last I heard she was still in the hospital" [which technically was true].

In order to remain honest. I should have weighed the questions 1) Who, really, should be the one to tell this family member about the death? probably the RN.
2). How can I send her to the RN without being dishonest?

I could have said, "You know, I'm not really the one you need to talk to, I'm sorry, you need to talk to the RN who is in that room. She has a message for you."

If she asked further I could have said, "I'm sorry, it's really her responsibility to pass it on to you." or something like that.

Point being, I didn't have to lie but in the moment I caved.

Liz Langton

The choice to go to Bible College was one of these instances. My conscience told me to go to college but my parental and family expectation was to go to mainstream university like my older sibling. I was able to step outside of such expectation and follow my conscience and what God had called me to. I am glad I repsonded in this way. The only thing I would change is the method of telling my parents and I would have told them together instead of seperate.

anna konevitchenko

In my life there have been plenty of conscience/response conflicts of course! but the most recent one that comes to mind is when a man that i was serving dropped a 100 dollar note as he was walking out the door.
A couple of days at work, i served this man, and he was digging around in his pockets for change - eventually he found the correct coins he was looking for, gave it to me, and proceeded to exit the store. I went to the other side of the counter to tidy it, and i noted a 100 dollar note on the floor - that had obviously just fallen out of that mans pockets! So my first thought was KEEP THIS YOU NEED THIS! seriously i battled with the ethics behind this for like several minutes and before i knew it i was running out the door after this man to hand him back his money. I couldnt do it, i couldnt keep it - i just thought what if that had been me who lost a 100 dollar note! So in that instance i know i did the right thing - despite a great temptation to keep it for myself and justify it as a "blessing." There have been obviously several times when i didnt do the right thing, knowingly - thats an on going thing in everyones mind i think - this was just the example that i thought of first

Stephen Wall

When I was in business I had to make choices on a daily basis. All involved using my conscience. I had to choose not to rip people off, what to do with money I received in cash, or how to deal with jobs that had gone wrong - did i tell a little lie to cover myself and keep a client or tell the truth and possibly lose a client. This one was pretty difficult and at times telling a little lie seemed so much easier than telling the truth.

Once I had promised a client a job by a specific date but the printing company I outsourced the job to did not keep their promise to me. The problem was that I had received the job on the condition that I met the deadline. If not the customer would only pay for my design work and not the printing which was a considerable amount of money. I was happy to do this because the printer was pretty reliable and almost always met the deadline, and sometimes very tight deadlines at that. Well on this occasion they were confident they could do the job, and I really wanted to get the print so I said I could do it.

It so happened that that week two of their presses went down, the collating machine packed up and the file I sent over the internet got corrupted and a black patch that should have neen knocked out overprinted - when a job goes wrong often it goes very wrong. Oh the joys of design and print. :)

Well I was not going to meet the deadline, because I had to reprint the job. If i told the truth I could have lost the money for the print job + have to pay for the reprint, I probably would have also lost the credibility and trust to get a job done when I promised. I had the choice to tell the truth or to stretch the truth... To follow or to go against my conscience.

I did the second and everything worked out well. See sin pays off... haha That was until I replied to an email from a colleage, who was friends with my customer, telling him what had happened and how I had been lucky to get away with it.

Unbeknown to me the the email he had sent was not just sent to me, but to a list of other people too, I had not hit 'reply', but 'reply to all' and it was sent to the whole list... funny but the truth did not set me free in this case and all hell broke loose. It took a long time for me to earn the trust back from my client, and because of it I lost a huge amount of work as well. Also everyone on the list got to see my wrong... not a good situation to find yourself in. So mistakes and unwise decisions do not pay even if you do get away with them sometimes...or if you stretch the truth to cover yourself.

In the end, and in hindsight, following my conscience would have been the best and so obviously the right option. We learn by our mistakes, but if I had listened to my conscience, I would not have had to learn the hard way. :)

Rachel Haynes

When I was 12 I had the opportunity to visit Cuba and being an American this is actually rather unusual. As I was rather young I didn’t have the freedom to necessarily go out by myself or be left alone by myself so I was always with someone older and someone who had a certain level of ‘authority’ over me. One day while I was with a certain individual they had found out that if you asked the right questions you would be able to get authentic Cuban cigars for a fraction of the price if you purchased them off the streets rather then from a government vendor. Thus this began their search for such. This actually didn’t bother me much until it came to going through a dark ally way, going through 3 separate apartments then up stairs that shouldn’t be stairs into a dark little room where the individual I was with purchased their cigars. In myself I just knew that I didn’t want to be in that place and I felt extremely uncomfortable with the whole situation (which I voiced to my companion ) as I felt my safety was at risk as well. Anyways, the funny thing is that as we walked out we were questioned by the police (which are on every corner in Cuba) and we were actually taken to the police station. By this time I was beyond afraid and the person I was with could see that and said to me – it’s probably better you keep looking upset and scared because they will be much easier on us if they see you that way! We were allowed to go after 3 or more hours of questioning and much to my disgust (not for cigars necessarily but for the person I was with) the cigars came with us.
So for me this was a situation where my conscience and intuition at that was strongly one way and the authority over me was another. And even when I voiced my desires they were disregarded and in the end I felt completely helpless and neglected.

(I have forgiven this individual – it did take many years though… and in the end this situation has taught me a lot about myself and now when placed in such situations I am able to speak with greater authority in voicing what my conscience is telling me)

Cathrin Pedersen

Well, I have something to say here, however, it takes some courage to write it down so everyone can see. But here we go.
So I was a part of a youth group once, and I guess you can say it was a thriving youth ministry, and the leadership was in terms of the leadership's measurements functioning really good.
And I was a part of it, leading different parts of it. And since I grew up in a Christian home, I was the good Christian girl, doing everything that was expected of me.
But, after a couple of years of more living, I finally started to undetstand some things. Because a few people had previously left our youth ministry, and us in the leadership team did not understand why, and would wanna blame them and not us. I started to see how we lead them, that we put too much pressure on some of them, to get in the numbers and stats.. They felt like they couldn't be themselves and the youth ministry drained everything out of them so they could make the leaders look good in their authority, but themselves were just burned out. I saw this, and within me, over a period of time, I saw that this is what would happen to me as well if I didn't draw the line. I wouldn't end up pursuing what I had in my heart, if I was gonna stay and make everyone else happy, and so that my name could be "glorified" and both me and my parents(pastors of another church) would look good too. I had to leave to live. I knew that, and I did it too. Even though it was some of the most up rooting and hurtful experiences I have ever encountered. My conscience said it, even though what seemed so interestingly and scaringly tempting to stay just to look good. I have never regret it ever since, and it's a blessing, because I have been able to restored with the leaders of the youth group, and I think it was because I didn't walk from them with anger and bitterness, but I was humbled and honest, and they understood.. After a couple of years later.

I am NOT trying to say here that it is always the right thing to leave a church, but I AM saying that sometimes we compromise our conscience too much in a christian setting, for the sake of looking good, and it is "killing us softly", slowly over time to be under a leadership and under such a mentality of working with people.
I want to be as Sister Helen in my life. Give a helping hand to people whatever it might cost. God help us all.

Chris Morrison

I have always been inspired by the story of Eric Liddell who refused to run the olympic 100m sprint because it was being held on a sunday.

While studying the degree here at college I have worked at a local pizzeria as a delivery driver. On a number of occasions during this time I have been asked to take on a sunday night shift a shift that would prevent me from serving in the preschool aged program of Hillsong Kids.

Certainly the notion of keeping the sabbath and upholding my commitments are ones that have become integral to my own conscience in the way I was bought up. The story above is just an example of when I stood upon principle and conscience in the face of pressure to make exception.

Koki Sato

When I graduated from high school, I was invited by school mates to party where everyone drunk. My conscience so resisted to drink alcohol with my friends while I wanted to enjoy party together with them. Between my conscience which says no drinking and mind that tells, "Let's enjoy with my friends", I struggled so much. Since i did not drink, my friends asked the quesion why I did not drink. I couldn't answer well and became silent. The time to enjoy turned to the time of struggling and conflict of my conscience. It could not make any huge difference even if I drunk. But my belief and conscience couldn't stand it. I wished I could say to my friend, "Sorry but i am christian so i cannot drink." But I couldn't as I thought it would disturbe atmospher of the party.

But interesting enough, when I saw christian friend (even pastor) drunk, my conscience was neutralized. That is, my fundation that believe "Christian should not drink" was shaken and they changed my perspective on drinking. I just found how my conscience is influenced by community and culture in which I am. There is individual belief but it interacts deeply with external cultural environment.

Haakon Skaug

Up until I moved to Australia I used to work in different kinds of sales positions. One of the companies I worked for specialized in fund raising, and had a couple of the biggest aid organizations in the world as their clients.

I was assigned to raise funds for one of these by approaching companies and get sponsor deals. The pressure to make money was high, and the attitude of the company I worked for was "whatever it takes". When people asked me what I was selling my reply was "a good conscience". In the beginning I tried to be honest and true in my sales techniques, but after a while I started to do "whatever it takes" to get a sale. In the beginning my conscience was screaming, telling me to stop. At the time the crisis in Darfur, Sudan, were in the news a lot, and even though I wasn`t ripping people of, I was telling them stories that weren`t true. Tear dripping stories about kids dying in my arms because of hunger and thirst, and how I was digging with my bear hands in the sand for water to save them. It got me the deals, kept my boss happy and made me lots of money(I was working on commission). After a while my conscience didn`t scream that loud. I excused my actions with this: I raised money for a good cause and helping people that wouldn`t survive otherwise.

After being in the job for a year I couldn`t do it anymore. I realized my mindset had changed, and that the consequences of not listening to my conscience had made me numb, and my focus was not to help people anymore, but rather for me to make more money.

I believe that if we`re not careful this can happen to all of us in some degree. We got to be true to ourselves. Luckily I made the right decision, even though it took me a while...

Rachelle Marcos

When I was in Hillsong College in 2001, I got a quite substantial amount of money transferred to my account under the name of "Jehovah Jireh". At that time, I struggled with my conscience whether to tithe out of that money that I received. I was in a dilemma because I needed the money as well to support myself financially.It is true that our conscience is somewhat shaped by external influences such as the church and family in this case. In the end though, I followed my consience and tithe. I felt a great relieve.

paul tan

When I was at uni, one of my psychology tutorials consisted in us taking part in a group hypnosis experiment. The experiment lasted 20 minutes and included us letting go of our conscious selves and allowing the psychologist to suggest thoughts and images for us to focus on. Throughout the whole time, the expectation upon all of us in the room was to take part, for the sake of scientific progress and academic learning. Inside however, I couldn't willingly participate in what I believed was a conscious surrender of my free will. I wish I responded by leaving the room until the experiment was over. Unfortunately, I stayed in the room and closed my eyes, but allowed myself to think about what else I needed to do that day, the errands I had to run, anything except focus on the experiment at hand. Taking a stronger stance for what my conscience will and will not allow is something I will always personally defend and strive to maintain.

Rebecca Lowe

I bought some new lip gloss and a blush brush in a shop the other day. I gave the shopkeeper a 20 dollar note and she gave me change for a 50. I almost walked out with a happy little "I scored, why should I have to be honest for her mistake thought", when all of a sudden that small voice in side said "be honest give it back even though it was her mistake". I walked back in with the money and told her what had happened. she was very grateful and thanked me for my honesty. The lesson I learned: Telling the truth is always best. My feeling of a clean conscience was much nicer than the feeling I would of had from spending the extra money.

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