Lloyd-Jones: Do Not Be A Young Believer’s Conscience

We must not give a ready-made Christian position. If we do, what will happen to the young Christian when he encounters something not ‘on the list’? If the guidance we give becomes dictation, it is no longer guidance, and that does despite to the Holy Spirit and to the man’s own personality. Is it right to advise a young Christian against a thing though he does not see it? If he acts on your dictum, it will be because you have spoken and not because of his understanding.

The New Testament appeal for holiness and sanctification is always an appeal to the reason of the believing man: an appeal to work out the doctrine in terms of practical life. We must ask: Is it right for us to take the position of conscience to another? That procedure produces smug, self-satisfied Christians. It makes them think they have arrived, and therefore, they stop thinking. It is a negative view of holiness. The thing that matters is not the figure we cut before people: but our ‘pressing unto Him’. The more people live the dictated life (as also in Roman and Anglo-Catholicism), the poorer the spiritual life. When a man has to fight and think these things out for himself, it makes him a strong man in Christ.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones – The Fight of Faith 1939-1981 – Iain H. Murray (p. 173)