The Words of the Mathison Family

"Absolute" vs. "Unquestioning" Obedience

James Mathison
February 21, 2001

This distinction makes sense to me. We grow from "unquestioning" to "questioning" to "absolute"-- in all aspects: faith, obedience, and love.

Now, it's clear that "absolute" means the most mature, adult form of faith, love, or obedience. We don't question True Father's (TF) motivation, for example, when he asks us to do something, because we absolutely believe whatever he asks is for the sake of liberating God and helping us to liberate ourselves. I feel liberated already!

How does "conscience" enter the equation?

People like us who haven't yet reached perfection need some level of conscience by which to distinguish good from evil, and to bug us if we go against that standard.

But TF, a man we believe to be one with his original mind (one with the true love of God), if he still has any use for a standard of conscience after reaching perfection, it would only be in distinguishing between, say, a good course of action and an even better course of action.

Isn't that why it's not so wise of me to judge anything True Parents (TP) do, or anything they ask me to do, "by the standard of my own conscience"? TP, after all, are the stone by which people like us can sharpen our conscience to perfection.

For example, I might decide not to comply with some direction TF gives me, and base my decision on a number of reasons. It may be that I think TF doesn't understand the situation, and I want to go out on a limb to do something that'll hopefully bring even better results.

But whatever my reason for not following, to say, "I couldn't comply because it bothered my conscience," is to imply that my conscience is more clear about good and evil, or right and wrong, than is TF. To me, that's overboard.

We might have a "good" reason for not doing what TF asks of us, something that does not ruffle our conscience at all. But not to follow, because "my conscience made me do it," is imprecise and misleading-- if we're honest with ourselves, it's probably more often an excuse we use to sum-up all the practical and perhaps even somewhat selfish reasons leading to our decision.

It's a little bit like the sinners' old excuse, "The devil made me do it." Isn't it better to say, "Here's what I've decided to do; my practical reasons are such and so; and I repent that I have not yet done enough."

Then even if God or TP are testing us, by giving us a real iffy direction and seeing if we're smart enough not to comply, we won't be putting our conscience at odds with theirs, and we won't be prematurely opening the door for everybody to do what they think is right in their own eyes.

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