Guilt Study Notes By Charles E. Whisnant

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Guilt Study Notes By Charles E. Whisnant

  1. 1. Critical & Creative Thinking <br />Critical thinking<br />From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia<br />Jump to: navigation, search<br />Critical thinking is the purposeful and reflective judgement about what to believe or what to do in response to observations, experience, verbal or written expressions, or arguments. Critical thinking involves determining the meaning and significance of what is observed or expressed, or, concerning a given inference or argument, determining whether there is adequate justification to accept the conclusion as true. Hence, Fisher & Scriven define critical thinking as " Skilled, active, interpretation and evaluation of observations, communications, information, and argumentation." [1] Parker & Moore define it more narrowly as the careful, deliberate determination of whether one should accept, reject, or suspend judgment about a claim and the degree of confidence with which one accepts or rejects it.[2]<br />Critical thinking gives due consideration to the evidence, the context of judgment, the relevant criteria for making the judgment well, the applicable methods or techniques for forming the judgment, and the applicable theoretical constructs for understanding the problem and the question at hand. Critical thinking employs not only logic but broad intellectual criteria such as clarity, credibility, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, significance and fairness.<br />In contemporary usage " critical" has the connotation of expressing disapproval,[3] which is not always true of critical thinking. A critical evaluation of an argument, for example, might conclude that it is valid.<br />Overview<br />Thinking is often casual and informal, whereas critical thinking deliberately evaluates the quality of thinking. In a seminal study on critical thinking and education in 1941, Edward Glaser writes that the ability to think critically involves three things:[4]<br />An attitude of being disposed (state of mind regarding something) to consider in a thoughtful way the problems and subjects that come within the range of one's experiences,<br />Knowledge of the methods of logical inquiry and reasoning,<br />Some skill in applying those methods.<br />Critical thinking calls for a persistent effort to examine any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the evidence that supports it and the further conclusions to which it tends. It also generally requires ability to recognize problems, to find workable means for meeting those problems, to gather and marshal pertinent(relevant) information, to recognize unstated assumptions and values, to comprehend and use language with accuracy, clarity, and discrimination, to interpret data, to appraise evidence and evaluate arguments, to recognize the existence (or non-existence) of logical relationships between propositions, to draw warranted conclusions and generalizations, to put to test the conclusions and generalizations at which one arrives, to reconstruct one's patterns of beliefs on the basis of wider experience, and to render accurate judgments about specific things and qualities in everyday life.<br />Critical thinking can occur whenever one judges, decides, or solves a problem; in general, whenever one must figure out what to believe or what to do, and do so in a reasonable and reflective way. Reading, writing, speaking, and listening can all be done critically or uncritically. Critical thinking is crucial to becoming a close reader and a substantive writer. Expressed most generally, critical thinking is “a way of taking up the problems of life.”[5] Irrespective of the sphere of thought, “a well cultivated critical thinker" :<br />raises vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and precisely;<br />gathers and assesses relevant information, using abstract ideas to interpret it effectively<br />comes to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against relevant criteria and standards;<br />thinks open-mindedly within alternative systems of thought, recognizing and assessing, as need be, their assumptions, implications, and practical consequences; and<br />communicates effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex problems; without being unduly influenced by others thinking on the topic.<br />Critical thinking is an important element of all professional fields and academic disciplines (by referencing their respective sets of permissible questions, evidence sources, criteria, etc.). Within the framework of scientific skepticism, the process of critical thinking involves the careful acquisition and interpretation of information and use of it to reach a well-justified conclusion. The concepts and principles of critical thinking can be applied to any context or case but only by reflecting upon the nature of that application. Critical thinking forms, therefore, a system of related, and overlapping, modes of thought such as anthropological thinking, sociological thinking, historical thinking, political thinking, psychological thinking, philosophical thinking, mathematical thinking, chemical thinking, biological thinking, ecological thinking, legal thinking, ethical thinking, musical thinking, thinking like a painter, sculptor, engineer, business person, etc. In other words, though critical thinking principles are universal, their application to disciplines requires a process of reflective contextualization.<br />Critical thinking is important, because it enables one to analyze, evaluate, explain, and restructure our thinking, decreasing thereby the risk of adopting, acting on, or thinking with, a false belief. However, even with knowledge of the methods of logical inquiry and reasoning, mistakes can happen due to a thinker's inability to apply the methods or because of character traits such as egocentrism. Critical thinking includes identification of prejudice, bias, propaganda, self-deception, distortion, misinformation, etc. Given research in cognitive psychology, some educators believe that schools should focus on teaching their students critical thinking skills and cultivating intellectual traits.<br /> GUILT<br />I. Some Biblical words for guilt.<br />A. Hebrew word asham - " offense, guilt"          Prov. 30:10 - " slave...curse you and become guilty"          Jere. 51:5 - " Israel and Judah...their land is full of guilt"          Hosea 5:15 - " ..until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face"     <br />B. Hebrew word avon - " iniquity, guilt"          Job 33:9 - " I am innocent and there is no guilt in me"          Ps. 32:5 - " Thou did forgive the guilt of my sin"    <br /> C. Greek word enochos - " liable, culpable, guilty"          Matt. 5:22 - " guilty before the court"          Mk. 3:29 - " guilty of an eternal sin"          I Cor. 11:27 - " guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord"          James 2:10 - " keep whole law, stumble in one point...guilty of all"    <br /> D. Greek word aitios - " responsibility, guilt"          Lk. 23:4,14,22; Jn. 18:38; 19:4,6 - " I find no guilt in Him" <br />II. Kinds of guilt.<br />    A. Objective guilt, legal guilt - caught in trespass of law.         1. Theological guilt - trespass of God's law or character             Rom. 3:23 - " all have sinned and fall short of glory of God"              James 2:10 - " stumble in one point, guilty of all"          2. Sociological guilt - trespass of law of land, or civil law             I Peter 2:13 - " submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution"    <br /> B. Subjective guilt, psychological guilt - trespass of established attitudes.         1. Bible does not directly address issue of psychological guilt.         2. Allusion to guilty conscience -              Rom. 2:15 - " Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness, and their                  thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them"          3. Legitimacy of guilt feelings             a. Genuine guilt feelings - established attitude consistent with God's attitude.             b. False guilt feelings - established attitude not consistent with God's attitude.                  (1) Sigmund Freud - " To feel guilty is not to be guilty."                  (2) Attitudes of " weak" brothers - Rom. 14; I Cor. 10             c. Whatever is not of faith is sin - Rom. 14:23<br />III. Consequences of guilt.<br />    A. Theological guilt         1. Penalty -              Rom. 5:12 - " sin entered the world, and death through sin"              Rom. 5:15 - " by the transgression of the one the many died"              Rom. 6:23 - " wages of sin is death"          2. Condemnation             Rom. 5:16 - judgment arose from transgression resulting in condemnation.             Rom. 5:18 - " through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men"     <br />B. Sociological guilt         1. Penalty         2. Condemnation   <br /> C. Subjective guilt - both genuine and false         1. Nervous         2. Depressed          3. Defensive         4. Suspicious         5. Sleeplessness, insomnia         6. Fear, panic attacks         7. Escapism, flight         8. Insecurity         9. Judgmentalism       10. Lack of concentration       11. Shallow friendships       12. Blame others       13. Self-contempt, self-denigration, self-condemnation       14. Addictions, self-destructive behavior       15. Works and performance<br />IV. Solution to guilt    A. Theological guilt         1. Payment of penalty by Jesus Christ             a. Bought with a price - I Cor. 6:20; 7:23         2. Christ took our condemnation             a. No condemnation - Rom. 8:1         3. Christians are acquitted and declared " right with God" ; justification by faith         4. Provision of God's grace for righteousness  <br /> B. Sociological guilt         1. Must face consequences of our choices         2. Pay the penalty imposed         3. Stand condemned         4. Provision of God's grace for righteousness    <br />C. Subjective guilt         1. Inadequate solutions             a. Minimize - " It's nothing." " Only an illusion"              b. Rationalize - " Everybody's doing it"              c. Compromise - " lower your standards"              d. Criticize - " blame others"              e. Chastize - " whip yourself" - masochism             f. Apologize - confessionalism - " I'm so sorry"        <br />  2. Christian solutions             a. Confess your sin - I John 1:9             b. Accept God's forgiveness             c. Live by faith - our receptivity of His activity - Col. 2:6             d. Develop God's attitude by renewing of the mind - Rom. 12:2<br />Baker's Evangelical Dictionaryof Biblical Theology<br />Guilt<br />Definition. The meaning usually given to the word " guilt" in Christian circles today bears little relation to the biblical meaning. Recent Christian interest in the subject focuses on its psychological dimension, analyzing the causes (and cures) of the sense of guilt, which is deep-seated in all of us and paralyzes the lives of some. It would seem to be easy to distinguish between this subjective sense of debt, which may be fed by groundless fears, and the objective guilt of sinners before God, with which the Bible is concerned.<br />The distinction is valid but there is more overlap than first appears. The Bible is alive to the psychological effects of guilt, as can be seen, for instance, in characters like Jephthah and David: Jephthah in his horrifying violence against fellow Israelites after his daughter's death, and David in his supine attitude toward the sins of his sons. A deep feeling of guilt, even if caused by oppressive parenting, can yet have a positive effect in deepening our appreciation of our failures before God and the debt of obedience that we owe.<br />The Old Testament has a semitechnical term foundational for the biblical concept of guilt, and which teaches us that guilt is fundamentally a relational idea.<br />Guilt and Guilt Offering in the Old Testament. <br />The Hebrew noun asam [v'a] means both " guilt" (e.g., Jer 51:5) and " guilt offering" (the term used in Lev 5:14-19; 7:1-10, etc.). The difference between " guilt" and " sin" is important here. Whereas the words for " sin" focus on its quality as an act or as personal failure, asam [v'a] points to the breach in relationships that sin causes, and in particular to the indebtedness that results. When Isaac tries to pass off Rebekah as his sister, Abimelech accuses him of nearly bringing asam [v'a] upon him (Gen 26:10)—the kind of asam [v'a] he had already incurred with Abraham, when he had to make expensive amends for taking Sarah into his household (Gen 20:14-16), even though God prevented him from actually committing sin (Gen 20:6).<br />The legislation in Leviticus 5:14-6:7 and Numbers 5:5-10 makes this special quality of asam [v'a] clear. When someone incurs " guilt" toward a neighbor, full restitution must be made, plus an extra fifth. And then, in addition, a " guilt offering" must be made to the Lord, because when we sin against others and incur " indebtedness" to them, we violate the order that God prescribes for his world and his people, and have thus incurred a debt toward him also.<br />So an asam [v'a] is a debt for which we must make amends. The Old Testament points to a coming figure whose life will be an asam [v'a] for others (Isa 53:10).<br />Liability and Forgiveness in the New Testament. <br />The New Testament has no word equivalent to asam [v'a], but this idea of indebtedness is clearly still crucial. Sins are called " debts" in the Matthean version of the Lord's Prayer (6:12, 14). But the idea of making restitution has vanished: the debts that others owe us must simply be written off. And this is modeled on God's action toward us: we must forgive, as he forgives us. The lost son returns to his father with an asam [v'a] in his hands—his readiness to make amends by being a servant rather than a son (Luke 15:18-19). But he is accepted unconditionally. In the parable of the unmerciful servant Jesus shows that we owe God an enormous debt, far greater than we could possibly repay (Matt 18:21-35). By the smallest words of hostility we make ourselves " liable for" the fires of hell (Matt 5:21-22), a debt we can never pay and remain alive (cf. Matt 5:26; James 2:10).<br />The New Testament has no need for a word equivalent to asam [v'a] because we do not need to pay. The Son of Man gives his life as a " ransom for many" (Mark 10:45), paying our indebtedness for us. <br />Stephen Motyer<br />What does the Bible say about having a guilty conscience?<br />The Bible does not look favorably on a guilty conscience. <br />A guilty conscience does not acknowledge what Jesus Christ did on the cross. When Jesus died and rose, He was the ultimate sacrifice, offering complete atonement and forgiveness for humanity for those who accept Him as their Lord and Savior.The Bible states emphatically that those who accept Jesus, and draw near to God can have their hearts purified from a guilty conscience. Hebrews 10:22 says, “Let us go right into the presence of God, with true hearts fully trusting him. For our evil consciences have been sprinkled with Christ's blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.”<br />A guilty conscience has the wrong focus. Having a guilty conscience places our eyes on ourselves and it causes us to have adverse attitudes.<br />A man who suffers from guilt wrote: “I can attest to what it is like to have a guilty conscience and the disharmony and lack of joy guilt has brought into my life. When I suffer with a guilty conscience, I feel bad about everything. I dwell on the guilt instead of following the instructions of Philippians 4:8-9: ‘And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and heard from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you.’”<br />Satan enjoys it when you have a guilty conscience. 1 Peter 5:8-9 says, “Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour.” It is Satan’s way of binding the soul, preventing us from accepting, recognizing, and walking in the ways of God. <br />A guilty conscience revolves around fear and anxiety. Instead, we can come before God, their heavenly Father and cry out to Him, and obtain mercy and grace. God’s love and ways overcome the guilty conscience and its treachery on the soul. 1 John 4:17-19 shares this: “And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we are like Christ here in this world. Such love has no fear because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of judgment, and this shows that his love has not been perfected in us. We love each other as a result of his loving us first.”<br />A guilty conscience brings condemnation on ourselves because our eyes are on what we do or have done and not fixated on what Jesus Christ has done for us. 1 John 1:7-10 says, “But if we are living in the light of God's presence, just as Christ is, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from every sin. If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.”<br />Guilt – What is it?<br />The dictionary defines the word " guilt" as a " feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined." Guilt is that part of the human conscience that brings us up short and convicts us for actions and thoughts. Guilt is an inherent human trait that should be seen as a gift, however, most of us do not see it as such and rather than deal with guilt, we naturally attempt to squelch it. However, guilt is that nagging voice with in us all that is like water upon a stone and is meant to bring us to a realization that there is a standard and we have fallen short, but whose standard is it?<br />Seeing guilt in its proper light allows us to understand that it is a safety valve for the human condition. <br />Guilt means there is a right and wrong way for us to operate and there are standards of what is good and what is worthy of guilt. The guilt " gene" is something that we are born with. To illustrate this truth, just observe a small child. <br />Guilt – The Remedy<br />There is a right way and a wrong way to deal with guilt. Trying to hide it, as my daughter did to that fly, does not work. Guilt is God's way of telling us that we fall short of His standard and agreeing with God's standard is the right way to free us of guilt. <br />What can you do when you are always feeling guilty? I can only speak from my own experience. Guilt brought me to the realization that I was a sinner (Romans 3:23). I also realized that I could not do anything about that on my own. <br />I would clear my mind by saying I was sorry or asking for forgiveness of those I offended, but that did not quiet the guilty feelings. Then someone told me about a cure for guilt. Someone told me that I could live without condemnation. I was told that I could bring my emotional feelings into balance by trusting in Someone else. That Someone else was the LORD Jesus Christ. It was then that I turned my life over to Him by believing in Him and accepting His gift of grace that saves me. <br />Now I am engaged in a relationship with Jesus that allows me to participate in a process of growing in faith. Now when guilt comes to me, I check my fellowship with God and if I have sin in my life, I confess it to God. Then I can walk in fellowship with God and the guilty feelings disappear. Having a relationship with Jesus does not make me perfect because I still sin. However, being a believer brings me truth that frees me from the condemnation of a guilty conscience that controls my emotions. Rather, I walk by His faith and He frees me from guilt. Trusting in God is the only real answer to freedom from condemnation and from being controlled by guilty feelings. <br />It wasn't me...honest...<br />BIBLE STUDY BY CHARLES E. WHISNANT<br />HOW DO WE UNDERSTAND BIBLICAL GUILT AND HOW DO WE DEAL WITH TRUE GUILT AND FALSE GUILT. (Brief outline)<br />There is Biblical Guilt and then there is Emotional Guilt. There is Subjective (false) guilt and Objective (true) guilt. There is biblical guilt or Theological guilt which you cannot get rid of by subjective action. Then there is false guilt that you are not intoned to have biblically. There is also Sociological guilt. There is unhealthy (false) guilt and there is healthy (true) guilt. And there is the Guilty Conscience. Charles E. Whisnant<br />" And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins" (1 John 3:5). <br />JESUS is God's answer to the sin and guilt of mankind. And He is a fully sufficient answer! John says the atoning work of Jesus (His propitiation) is so powerful, so vast, so all-sufficient in dealing with our sins that it is " not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (1 John 2:2). <br />On the other hand, some Christians struggle with doubts about their sins forgiven. They are overwhelmed with crushing feelings about guilt for sins they have confessed repeatedly. <br />They fret about trivial offenses, <br />fear they are not Christians, <br />worry that their doubts have carried them beyond hope, <br />struggle with thinking that minor mistakenness in speech or <br />carnality in motives will bar them from heaven. <br />These problems are fear-based problems, and the fears about our salvation vary considerably in intensity. <br />Some Christians struggle occasionally, and others are obsessed with guilt-laden feelings. The remedy, especially for more severe problems, is seldom found simply in reading an article. Even so, the truth of God's Word is the foundation for true freedom. <br />Guilt is a self-judgment of wrong or wrong being. <br />Whereas we talk about feeling guilty, but in a different way in which the Bible talks about feeling guilty. Psalms 51.7.<br />The Bible never says that God makes His children feel guilty! The Bible speaks about the conscience, but not of a guilty conscience. <br />John 3:16-18 does mention two kinds of people on the subject of guilt: The ‘condemned’ and the ‘not condemned.’ And the Christians are those who are not condemned. <br />Hebrews 9:14 tells us that the blood of Christ cleanses our conscience. And 1 John 1:7-9 says that the blood of Jesus purifies us from all sin. And then Romans 8:1 tells us “therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” <br />SO YOU HAVE FALSE GUILT AND YOU HAVE TRUE GUILT.<br />The OBJECTIVE (TRUE) GUILT. <br />In which God will judge the guilty. And here is the fact. You can be guilty and not even feel guilty. I Timothy 4:2. And Hebrew 3:13 says “that we can be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”<br />THE SUBJECTIVE (UNHEALTHY) GUILT. <br />Here you have a purely subjective i.e. it is slanted, biased, prejudiced and/or one-sided. In other words not the result of present sin in God’s eyes. Here the guilt is not related to facts but feelings. Of course, you can feel guilty and not be guilty. Here is the bummer; guilt feelings are often stronger with false guilt.<br />And false guilt can come several ways.<br />Breaking internal standards.<br />Breaking other’s rules.<br />Breaking other’s expectations.<br />A failure to accept God’s forgiveness.<br />Failure to forgive one’s self.<br />Perfectionism is a cause.<br />And the main one is the Accuser, the devil himself.<br />True guilt is facts not feelings. Objectives not subject to opinion. And you need to deal with biblically. 2 Corinthians 7:8-10; I John 1:9; Psalms 32:5, Revelation 1:5, 16; Matthew 5:23,24, Psalms 51:13,15. (for the believer)<br />Now false guilt is NEVER from God. False guilt can occur when one listens to other’s opinions. It’s also how Satan blackmails us. I Peter 1:18-19.<br />“Well I just feel guilty, because…..” Generally it’s a false kind of guilt. A general term for the use of the word guilty.<br />Since false guilt can get into your mind and destroy or be damaging, you need to deal with false guilt. You have to work your way through false guilt. Because it’s contrary to God’s will. Galatians 5:1.<br />Just remember this as a believer: God wants you to be completely free from guilt, both true and false.<br />A few scriptures to ponder on:<br />Isaiah 53:7, 10, 11<br />2 Corinthians 5:21<br />Ephesians 1:4-8<br />Titus 1:13, 14<br />Hebrews 10:10, 12, 14<br />I Peter 1:18, 19<br />Overcoming Guilt, Guilty Conscienceand Self-Condemnation<br />Guilt is defined as a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, failure, mistake, crime, or wrong, whether real or imagined. It is associated with negative feelings such as shame, remorse, anguish, torment, self-condemnation, self-unforgiveness, self-judgment and in extreme cases, severe depression.<br />Hebrews 9:13-14A Guilty Conscience<br />In the book of Hebrews I have come across a few very interesting and instructive references to the matter of the human conscience. We think of the conscience as that invisible inner voice that affirms what we have been taught is good and condemns whatever we have been taught is evil. <br />The apostle Paul declared, " I always strive to keep my conscience clean before God and man." (Acts 24:16) Maybe this was a great priority with the apostle because perhaps life's worst burden is a guilty conscience, the feeling that you have done something wrong and are guilty for it. I can think of nothing more painful and unpleasant than a guilty conscience. <br />In Hebrews 9 the writer says some thought provoking things about the conscience. In the book he explains the superiority of Jesus compared to angels and compared to Moses and the law. Jesus is superior to the OT priests and his covenant is superior to the old one and it is founded on better promises. The tabernacle in which Jesus serves is superior to the old one and his work as our high priest is far superior and more effective than that of the Levitical priests under the law of Moses. But observe in our text what he says about the conscience. <br />We continue our text. 9:11-14 <br />Observe the superiority of Jesus. He went through the greater and perfect tabernacle. He went to a place not even a part of this creation. He went to heaven itself. And he entered not with the blood of bulls and goats, but with his own blood that came from a perfect and unblemished life. His sacrifice was so much greater than that of the bulls and the goats. Therefore, while those old sacrifices provided a superficial cleansing, a temporary cleansing, a cleansing of sorts, Jesus' sacrifice provides an eternal redemption and payment for sin that cleanses the inside of a man. He cleanses the conscience! Read 10:19-22... <br />Now here is my point. The Bible tells us that God promised a New Covenant in which he would forgive our wickedness and remember our sins no more. This is why we have the New Testament. And Jesus came to bring us this new covenant and to save us from our sins... So, according to the scriptures, our greatest need of all is to be saved from our sins, to be legally forgiven of our sins and also to be delivered from the guilty conscience that comes with sin. This is the greatest human need. <br />I think one could easily argue from the Bible that perhaps the very greatest emotional and psychological human need is to have a clean conscience, and to be delivered from a guilty conscience. And the older I live and the more I watch people, I think I can see in real life that this is the greatest human dilemma and everyone chooses some way to rid himself of the guilty conscience we all have. <br />Some people: <br />Deny their sin. <br />Excuse their sin. <br />Redefine sin. <br />Run from their sin. <br />Ignore their sin. <br />Pretend they have not sinned. <br />Lie about their sin. <br />Cover up their sin. <br />Justify their sin. <br />Blame others for their sin. <br />Drown their sin. <br />Look for ways and for people who will make them feel comfortable with their sin. <br />Try to pay for their sin. <br />Destroy their conscience. <br />Various forms of religion. <br />But there is only one way to deal with a guilty conscience. And that is Jesus' way. The Jewish religion was not sufficient to clear the conscience. Neither is the Moslem religion, or the Buddhist or the Hindu or whatever... Only Jesus can give people that which they most need emotionally, mentally, psychologically, spiritually, and physically!! Only Jesus can give a person a clean conscience. <br />One of my most vivid memories before I became a Christian is the memory of a guilty conscience... What a horrible burden! What a nightmare! And what a blessed cleansing and relief when I came to Jesus for the forgiveness of all my sins! And my conscience was clean! Can you remember when that happened for you? And aren't we here this morning to celebrate the fact that Jesus has given us a clean conscience? We have emotionally and psychologically and spiritually wholeness and healing because he has given us a clean conscience. And he continues to cleanse our conscience from all sin. 1 John 1:7-9. It is something to truly celebrate. <br />Now if you are not a Christian, then you are still in your sins, and you have yet to enjoy a clean conscience. You're gonna deal with this problem one way or another in life. The world's way or God's way. 1 Peter 3:21 <br />Christianhomesite.com/cherryvale/text/guilty.html<br />Overcoming Guilt, Guilty Conscienceand Self-Condemnation<br />Guilt is defined as a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, failure, mistake, crime, or wrong, whether real or imagined. It is associated with negative feelings such as shame, remorse, anguish, torment, self-condemnation, self-unforgiveness, self-judgment and in extreme cases, severe depression.<br />Marks of self-condemnation and guilty feelings<br />The following are marks of guilty feelings for both real and imaginary guilt. Their intensity may vary from individual to individual. Some signs may also be absent in one person while present in another. It’s merely a basic list of signs associated with feelings of guilt. It is adapted from James A. Fowler’s article on guilt, Christ in You Ministries (ChristInYou.net).<br />         1. Nervousness<br />         2. Depression<br />         3. Defensiveness<br />         4. Suspicion of others<br />         5. Sleeplessness, insomnia<br />         6. Fear, panic attacks<br />         7. Escapism, flight<br />         8. Insecurity<br />         9. Judgmentalism<br />       10. Lack of concentration<br />       11. Shallow friendships<br />       12. Blame others<br />       13. Self-contempt, self-denigration, self-condemnation<br />       14. Addictions, self-destructive behavior<br />       15. Works and performance<br />Nature of guilt and self-condemnation<br />There are two types of guilt: genuine guilt and false or imaginary guilt. Genuine guilt arises after a real violation of one’s moral beliefs. In our case as Christians it arises after a real violation of God’s biblical tenets and principles.<br />Imaginary guilt on the other hand, arises from imaginary or illusory violations of one’s moral beliefs. The individual actually feels guilty without committing any violation. In the secular professions this type of guilt is considered among categories of mental illness and is also classified as an anxiety disorder. From our Christian perspective they are aspects of a wounded spirit.<br />It is rare to come across committed Christians suffering from imaginary guilt. A rare or once in a lifetime experience is no cause for alarm. Certain experiences in life can cause our emotions to go astray.<br />An example of a rare experience of an imaginary guilt is one I once faced. It lasted about four months. It was way before the Lord revealed principles being shared in this book. I began feeling guilty of wrong decisions a dear person made. The wrong decisions brought more trouble to the individual and for some reason I felt it was my fault. It was so agonizing carrying the blame.<br />My friends were puzzled by this. No matter what they said it made little sense. Some experiences the Lord allows us to go through their entire process before receiving deliverance.<br />“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze,” Isaiah 43:2.<br />How did I receive deliverance? Through prayer. I used to constantly bring the matters I felt responsible for before the Lord. Eventually he answered saying I was not responsible for the actions of another individual. And even if I was one prayer was enough to clear me from the debt and receive his forgiveness.<br />It didn’t come from an actual voice of God. If you’re waiting to hear an audible voice from God it’d really be helpful if you read my book titled, Hearing the Voice of God and Fulfilling God's Purpose for Your Life. He speaks or relates to us in different ways and at different times. God spoke to me in a way that I got the truth on the matter and received freedom by knowing the truth. All the guilt, anguish, torment, self-condemnation vanished.<br />The purpose of guilt from our conscience<br />Genuine guilt or true guilt is healthy to a certain level. Genuine guilt is the emotional voice response from our conscience that enables us to stay or get back to behaving in a manner consistent with our beliefs and values. When we think or attempt to say or to do something contrary to our conscience a sense of guilt wells up in us condemning us and insisting to do or say the right thing. The Holy Spirit uses the conscience to convict us if we attempt to stray or end up straying from God’s word. <br />Most people have a working conscience. This is the case even for non-Christians. It’s just that unbelievers do not have the extra backing of the Holy Spirit to convict their conscience if they attempt to stray or end up straying from what’s right. <br />Some people do not have a healthy conscience. The bible speaks of people “whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron,” 1 Timothy 4: 2.<br />A person with a seared conscience or burnt conscience does not feel guilty for doing wrong. He cares little about other people’s interests and primarily only thinks about his interests. The conscience becomes seared when inner convictions of right and wrong are rejected on a constant basis that an individual blunts the conscience. It becomes dull or deadened. The conscience grows weaker and more silent in the individual. It becomes ineffectual. The person ends up experiencing little to no guilt for any wrong thoughts, words or actions.<br />Many things can potentially harm the conscience. Chief among them is the love of money. A person may love money and its temporal rewards so much that he/she is willing to compromise even his basic human values to attain it. <br />Cause of unhealthy or unscriptural guilt and how to overcome it<br />1. Cause of unhealthy or unscriptural guilt is the EGO: Easing God Out<br />2. Overcoming unscriptural guilt by easing God’s perspective in<br />Thus the conscience helps us to realize genuine guilt. We have also seen how important and healthy experiencing genuine guilt is. Beyond the healthy level of genuine guilt is the unhealthy level. This is where an individual feels constantly guilty over past wrongs, failures and sins.<br />Some refer to individuals nursing guilt and self-condemnation over past flaws as having an overactive conscience. An overactive conscience is the opposite of a seared conscience. A seared conscience is a dead conscience whereas an overactive conscience is excessively diligent. It is picky, unforgiving, naggy, hard to please and constantly brings up the bad past to torment the person. Doesn’t this sound like demonic influence?<br />How does a believer end up succumbing to such demonic influence bringing such torment? Unbelievers may have less protection since their sins have not yet been taken by Christ. A believer on the other has redemption through Christ. Why still playing the record of the bad past that’s been erased in heaven?<br />The main answer lies in the word ego. Ego from its basic academic definition means the self, me, I, or will part of each one of us.  You’ll see shortly why we need to use some of this secular academic theory and terminology. As said earlier, there is nothing wrong or sinful about the secular academic world in its non-infiltrated context. It’s matters that contradict or undermine the bible that are no, no for us.<br />The ego is a big makeup of an individual’s personality (according to the psychodynamic theorists in psychology who assert that personality is composed of three structures: the id (our impulses), the ego (self, me, will), and the superego (our conscience)). The ego wills, chooses and makes decisions based on its perceived inner realities (influences from the id and influences from the superego) and based on its perceived outer realities.<br />For a believer, the ego is not expected to be willing, choosing and making decisions based on its own nature and faculties. It is expected to operate under the influence of the Holy Spirit and subjection to the statutes of God’s word. This is where the problem arises in regard to guilt. The individual is influenced by his/her own inner impulses and perceptions instead of being influenced by the Holy Spirit and by the tenets of God’s word.<br />In fact among Christians the ego is being redefined as an abbreviation for Easing God Out. I believe this a better definition than the complex psychoanalytical term.  An individual being influenced by his/her own ego impulses is therefore easing God out of his/her perceptions, decisions and actions. Instead of God being in control the self is. <br />This is natural for a non-believer but unnatural for a Christian. A believer is expected to naturally allow God to be the one in control - through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us and through his word that is our instruction manual. If a Christian is not he/she is said to be misaligned or in disequilibrium. It’s stressful living in a misaligned state. It’s also grieving the Holy Spirit. We strive to be well aligned or in equilibrium with God when we’re striving to live according to his word. The bible is said to be an abbreviation for Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth (B.I.B.L.E). It an instruction manual for our lives.<br />What does God’s word say about our past sins and wrongs?<br />What does God’s word, the bible, say about our past sins and wrongs? <br />It says volumes on this topic. Even if you’re a baby Christian that has just received salvation you know that Jesus was sent to rescue us from paying the penalty of our sins. He is our Passover Lamb that God sacrificed to pay for our sins, regardless of how bad they may have been. Through Jesus and his work on the cross we receive mercy or forgiveness from God. That is why we have such amazing scriptures like: <br />* “Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord… Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” Romans 7:25; 8:1.<br />* “I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name,” 1 John 2:12.<br />* “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding,” Ephesians 1:7-8.<br />* “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed,” 1 Peter 2:24.<br />* “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” Romans 5:1.<br />* “For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” Romans 5:10.<br />* “And we know that in all things (good and bad) God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose,” Romans 8:28  (emphasis added).<br />* " Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest,” Matthew 11:28.<br />* “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all (not some of) your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,”  Psalms 103:1-3 (emphasis added)<br />“Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!” Romans 5:9.<br />* “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his com-passions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness …” Lament. 3: 22-23.<br />* “Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him    and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand (of judgment) was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, " I will confess my transgressions to the Lord" -- and you forgave the guilt of my sin,” Psalm 32:1-5 (emphasis added).<br />* “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need,” Hebrews 4:16<br /> A lot of the wonderful scriptures on God’s forgiveness were written by Paul in the New Testament. In the Old Testament many were written by David. Guess what these two have in common?<br />They were once murderers. Paul was instrumental in the stoning of Steven and in terrorizing the early church. David engineered the murder of an innocent man, Uriah, so that he could add Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba, to his many other ones. He also had so much blood on his hands from numerous wars he fought throughout his long reign.<br />Is your past like Paul’s, tainted with murder and persecution of Christians? Or is like David’s with so much blood, including of numerous innocent women and children in enemy territories? Your answer is probably, “Absolutely none of the above.”<br />If your past is not as tainted as Paul’s or David’s then it is not fair on yourself to harbor guilt and self-condemnation. Even if it was as tainted or worse off you’d still be able to receive God’s forgiveness. He forgives all (not some of) of our iniquity (Psalms 103:1-3).<br />Both David and Paul did not allow the iniquity of their past to torment their lives. They moved on by allowing the mercy of God to reign in their lives. They did not ego God out of their lives. After God forgave their iniquities they also proceeded to forgive themselves.<br />If guilt from past wrongs is still tormenting you it means you’re easing God out of your life? You’re embracing your own perspective over the matters instead of God’s perspective. Overcoming the guilt or healing from guilt will come after you ease God’s perspective into your life.<br />Maybe you know about the scriptures on God’s mercies but still are unable to let go. It is worth constantly meditating on these scriptures until you feel released from the past wrongs. By meditating on scriptures I mean reading and pondering the deep meaning of the scriptures in relation to God’s will. It’s not some blanking out trance and mindless activity. Such activities are called transcendental meditation (TM). They also include mindless repetition of words or mantras. Stay away from such.<br />Some fasting may be worthwhile. Fasting plays a powerful role in our lives, including spiritual detoxification. Through fasting we’re able to walk so closely with God that we become spiritually in tune with him. Through such closeness he reveals garbage we may be carrying. He also enables us to easily cooperate with him in cleaning out this garbage of wrong beliefs, mental strongholds, emotional strongholds, behavioral strongholds, and so on.<br />My other book, Major Christian Deliverance Principles: Keys for Self-deliverance and Ministry, has a whole chapter on prayer and fasting, including physical health principles on fasting. Please see chapter 4, “Prayer and Fasting: Major Deliverance and Healing Weapon.”<br />Thus it’s embracing the truth or true perspective on the past from God’s word that brings freedom. The key is constantly meditating on scriptures, such as the ones given above, until the scriptures on God’s perspective over past wrongs truly become alive in your life.<br />“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go,” Joshua 1:8-9.<br />Once you feel released from the condemnation of the past wrongs it means you have successfully enabled the perspective of God’s word to influence your view over past wrongs. It also means you have overcome the demonic influence that was using the past wrongs to bring torment. Satan rejoices when we’re down and defeated by circumstances.<br />The most common experiences that result in unhealthy guilt<br />The following are the most common experiences that result in unhealthy guilt or unscriptural guilt.<br />People experiencing bereavement,<br />death or injury of others from a car accident or other accident,<br />abortion,<br />divorce (as a child or estranged spouse assuming responsibility),<br />parent dealing with a wayward child,<br />some former military combatants, (veterans),<br />some people once in the occult, etc<br />Notice that it’s mainly among normal people in society. It’s not from among most hardhearted criminals, drug traffickers, human body parts traffickers, child prostitution traffickers, business executives exploiting employees or consumers, and so on. Most of such hardhearted people have seared their conscience and thus are unable to have any feelings of guilt. There is still hope for them to return to God and heal their seared conscience.<br />It is those with a conscience that experience unhealthy guilt from the past. It is my prayer that the biblical info shared in this chapter on overcoming guilt will bring the liberating truth. “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free,” John 8:32.<br />Critical thinking<br />From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia<br />Jump to: navigation, search<br />Critical thinking is the purposeful and reflective judgement about what to believe or what to do in response to observations, experience, verbal or written expressions, or arguments. Critical thinking involves determining the meaning and significance of what is observed or expressed, or, concerning a given inference or argument, determining whether there is adequate justification to accept the conclusion as true. Hence, Fisher & Scriven define critical thinking as " Skilled, active, interpretation and evaluation of observations, communications, information, and argumentation." [1] Parker & Moore define it more narrowly as the careful, deliberate determination of whether one should accept, reject, or suspend judgment about a claim and the degree of confidence with which one accepts or rejects it.[2]<br />Critical thinking gives due consideration to the evidence, the context of judgment, the relevant criteria for making the judgment well, the applicable methods or techniques for forming the judgment, and the applicable theoretical constructs for understanding the problem and the question at hand. Critical thinking employs not only logic but broad intellectual criteria such as clarity, credibility, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, significance and fairness.<br />In contemporary usage " critical" has the connotation of expressing disapproval,[3] which is not always true of critical thinking. A critical <br />evaluation of an argument, for example, might conclude that it is valid.<br />Thinking is often casual and informal, whereas critical thinking deliberately evaluates the quality of thinking. In a seminal study on critical thinking and education in 1941, Edward Glaser writes that the ability to think critically involves three things:[4]<br />An attitude of being disposed (state of mind regarding something) to consider in a thoughtful way the problems and subjects that come within the range of one's experiences,<br />Knowledge of the methods of logical inquiry and reasoning,<br />Some skill in applying those methods.<br />Critical thinking calls for a persistent effort to examine any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the evidence that supports it and the further conclusions to which it tends. It also generally requires ability to recognize problems, to find workable means for meeting those problems,<br />Bible Study Rivers of Joy Baptist Church <br />November 2009<br />Charles E. Whisnant, Teacher, Student<br /> GUILT<br />Rivers of Joy Baptist<br />Bible Study<br />November 2009<br />Charles E. Whisnant<br />Pastor/Teacher<br />I. Some Biblical words for guilt.<br />A. Hebrew word asham - " offense, guilt"          Prov. 30:10 - " slave...curse you and become guilty"          Jere. 51:5 - " Israel and Judah...their land is full of guilt"          Hosea 5:15 - " ..until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face"     <br />B. Hebrew word avon - " iniquity, guilt"          Job 33:9 - " I am innocent and there is no guilt in me"          Ps. 32:5 - " Thou did forgive the guilt of my sin"    <br /> C. Greek word enochos - " liable, culpable, guilty"          Matt. 5:22 - " guilty before the court"          Mk. 3:29 - " guilty of an eternal sin"          I Cor. 11:27 - " guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord"          James 2:10 - " keep whole law, stumble in one point...guilty of all"    <br /> D. Greek word aitios - " responsibility, guilt"          Lk. 23:4,14,22; Jn. 18:38; 19:4,6 - " I find no guilt in Him" <br />II. Kinds of guilt.<br />    A. Objective guilt, legal guilt - caught in trespass of law.         1. Theological guilt - trespass of God's law or character             Rom. 3:23 - " all have sinned and fall short of glory of God"              James 2:10 - " stumble in one point, guilty of all"          2. Sociological guilt - trespass of law of land, or civil law             I Peter 2:13 - " submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution"    <br /> B. Subjective guilt, psychological guilt - trespass of established attitudes.         1. Bible does not directly address issue of psychological guilt.         2. Allusion to guilty conscience -              Rom. 2:15 - " Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness, and their                  thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them"          3. Legitimacy of guilt feelings             a. Genuine guilt feelings - established attitude consistent with God's attitude.             b. False guilt feelings - established attitude not consistent with God's attitude.                  (1) Sigmund Freud - " To feel guilty is not to be guilty."                  (2) Attitudes of " weak" brothers - Rom. 14; I Cor. 10             c. Whatever is not of faith is sin - Rom. 14:23<br />III. Consequences of guilt.<br />    A. Theological guilt         1. Penalty -              Rom. 5:12 - " sin entered the world, and death through sin"              Rom. 5:15 - " by the transgression of the one the many died"              Rom. 6:23 - " wages of sin is death"          2. Condemnation             Rom. 5:16 - judgment arose from transgression resulting in condemnation.             Rom. 5:18 - " through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men"     <br />B. Sociological guilt         1. Penalty         2. Condemnation   <br /> C. Subjective guilt - both genuine and false         1. Nervous         2. Depressed          3. Defensive         4. Suspicious         5. Sleeplessness, insomnia         6. Fear, panic attacks         7. Escapism, flight         8. Insecurity         9. Judgmentalism       10. Lack of concentration       11. Shallow friendships       12. Blame others       13. Self-contempt, self-denigration, self-condemnation       14. Addictions, self-destructive behavior       15. Works and performance<br />IV. Solution to guilt    A. Theological guilt         1. Payment of penalty by Jesus Christ             a. Bought with a price - I Cor. 6:20; 7:23         2. Christ took our condemnation             a. No condemnation - Rom. 8:1         3. Christians are acquitted and declared " right with God" ; justification by faith         4. Provision of God's grace for righteousness  <br /> B. Sociological guilt         1. Must face consequences of our choices         2. Pay the penalty imposed         3. Stand condemned         4. Provision of God's grace for righteousness    <br />C. Subjective guilt         1. Inadequate solutions             a. Minimize - " It's nothing." " Only an illusion"              b. Rationalize - " Everybody's doing it"              c. Compromise - " lower your standards"              d. Criticize - " blame others"              e. Chastize - " whip yourself" - masochism             f. Apologize - confessionalism - " I'm so sorry"        <br />  2. Christian solutions             a. Confess your sin - I John 1:9             b. Accept God's forgiveness             c. Live by faith - our receptivity of His activity - Col. 2:6             d. Develop God's attitude by renewing of the mind - Rom. 12:2<br />

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