GoedBericht.nl logo
English Blog

1 Timothy 4:2 – Cauterized conscience

08-02-2024 - Posted by Hans

… giving heed to deceiving spirits and the teachings of demons, in the hypocrisy of false expressions, their own conscience having been cauterized…

What Paul predicts in these verses is not only about serious deviations in doctrine (“teachings of demons”). The developments he foresees in christendom are also morally reprehensible. He speaks of hypocrisy and a cauterized conscience. By the latter, Paul means to say that these teachers have actually become unscrupulous through pious talk and acting. Those who systematically ignore the voice of conscience eventually no longer hear or feel its call at all.

One of the most horrible teachings that entered Christianity at an early stage was the doctrine of endless punishment in hell. The sound teaching that God is the Savior of all humanity, especially of believers (4:10), gave way to a downright diabolic counterpart in which God endlessly and without hope (!) damns and tortures many of his own creatures. How can a person with a heart that cares for others live with such a teaching? The idea that acquaintances and loved ones around you will suffer this fate is unbearable for a normal person. Unless… the heart is hardened and the conscience is seared. That is what “teachings of demons” does to a person. Religion makes you sick. Sound doctrine is the remedy!