Is conscience God’s voice?
No, conscience is not God’s voice, because conscience often errs whereas God’s voice never does.
The best evidence of this is found in the words of the Lord Christ to His disciples, for He said to them, “They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.” (John 16:2). Of course such conscience which considers killing the disciples is a worship offered to God can never be God’s voice. This is just an example of many other cases.
Conscience might be strict and suspicious, thinks a thing sinful while it is not, or has an exaggerated look to sin. Conscience might also be lenient, accepts many wrong things and justifies them. Neither of these two kinds of conscience – that which strains out a gnat or which swallows a camel – (Matt 23:24) can be God’s voice.
When a person murders someone to avenge for killing his brother or father and his conscience becomes troubled until he avenges for the blood of his relative, this conscience cannot be God’s voice. Likewise a person who kills his sister for committing adultery to cleanse the name of the family cannot claim that he was called by God’s voice to kill her.
Some people mix up between conscience and the Holy Spirit.
God’s voice within a person is the voice of God’s Spirit working within him and thus it cannot err. On the other hand, conscience can be mistaken; for sometimes a person gets enthusiastic to do something and his conscience irritates him for not doing it while God’s Spirit is in fact not pleased by such action.
Conscience may develop when instructed and guided.
It can discern today that the thing it deemed allowable yesterday due to ignorance or misunderstanding is in fact forbidden. Can it (conscience) be God’s voice while it judges matters differently from one day to another? The changing of conscience is an evidence that it is not God’s voice.
A person may, in the name of mercy and compassion, help a student to cheat in the exam when he sees him crying for fear of failure, or a physician, in the name of mercy and compassion, may write a certificate that someone is sick while in fact such a person is not sick. Afterwards, he is instructed that what he has done was wrong and refuses to do it again in future.
How then can such conscience be God’s voice in man while it calls for something and on another occasion calls for something else?
Another example is a person who is urged by his conscience to obey some spiritual father or guide even in doing something wrong, but afterwards he understands that such obedience should be within obedience to God. His conscience rebukes him for his previous obedience by which he broke God’s commandment.
Conscience is a voice put by God in man to call him to do good and reprimand him for wickedness, but is not God’s voice.
God put also in man a mind to invite him to good. He gave man a spirit which covets against the body.
However, the mind often does wrong and the spirit also often errs.
Both are from God, but not God’s mind nor God’s voice.
God’s voice in man is the Spirit of God working within man.