A Clear Conscience According to God!

Colleen MacKay’s Testimonial

I started having issues with my baptism when I first heard that you actually could be re-baptized. I never knew that was possible. So, I started asking questions, “Why would someone get re-baptized?” I was told many different reasons but the one that stuck out to me was “Holding back from confessing ALL of your sins.” When I was baptized, I knew that in 1 Peter 3:21 the bible says that baptism is the pledge of a good conscience to God. So, why did I get baptized then if I didn’t have a good conscience? My conscience was clear according to me but not to God. In 1 Corinthians 4 it says that even if my conscience is clear, that does not make me innocent. God judges me. I don’t get to judge myself. If I did get to judge myself, I would probably be pretty easy going. Well, that is exactly what happened when I got baptized the first time.

There was some sin that I did not confess because it was never covered in my studies. We went over sexual immorality and impurity but we never got down to sexual impurity. Since we never went over that, I never got open about it and never confessed. I did have some questions about it in my mind, but I was too embarrassed to even talk about it. So, I brought it with me into the waters of baptism. I deceived myself into believing that I did have a good conscience. I rationalized since we never went over it then it must not be a sin. I thought that if I was to find out later that it is sin, then I will confess it. That is how I deceived myself. Since I don’t judge myself, I understand that I can’t rely on a good conscience according to me. I have to have a good conscience according to God.

I didn’t start realizing this until I saw Sharon Groman get re-baptized and heard her reasons why. I also had been noticing that I felt very powerless to overcome the sin of impurity and to overcome my fears. So, from there I evaluated my baptism with Patrique and Tina to dig deep down into my heart to do some spiritual heart surgery. The first thing we had to discuss was the validity of my baptism. It was not valid according to the bible since I intentionally withheld sin. Then I had to admit the hardest thing I’ve ever had to admit. I did not have God’s Spirit or my salvation. We went through my past which is something I’ve never done before with any disciple. It was very freeing and very revealing. It helped us all discover the reasons why I sin. So instead of just taking care of the symptoms, we were able to target the roots of my sin. I found that there was more than just the sin of impurity. I found that I am very prideful and I fear embarrassment. I fear looking bad to other people more than I fear God. Since my fear of embarrassment was taking over my fear of God, I did not get open about all of my sin and I did not ask the questions I should have been asking.

I also found that I have this lack of fear because I have a very distorted view of God. Tina, Patrique, and I “worked through my past”. We found that my view of God is distorted because of the way I was treated by my fathers. I’ve had a difficult life and a lot of people that were supposed to love me, hurt me. My father never loved me, never took care of me, and he never wanted to know me. So, it was hard for me to understand that God loves me and wants me to be with him. It was hard for me to trust God and understand that he wants to take care of me. Its something that seems so simple but it was very difficult for me to not only get in my heart but I couldn’t even understand it in my mind since I’ve never seen that example in my life.

In the studies, we were able to pinpoint some of my most debilitating sin that I needed to repent of: sexual impurity (obviously, but that was just the symptom, not the root cause like the rest), lack of trust (in God and other people), lack of fear of God, pride (like Psalm 36, I didn’t hate or detect my sin). I felt entirely defeated and powerless when I struggled with impurity. Temptation would seize me and I would fall into sin, then I would rationalize it so I wouldn’t feel so bad. The more I would rationalize, the harder it was to fight temptation. It also caused me to become very arrogant towards God and I started to make up my own rules. I need to see how my arrogance was equal to idolatry, self worship, and self-exaltation. I had become my own God. Even though I still was obedient to God in most ways, I was at the same level as God in my own eyes. I became Psalm 36. I flattered myself too much to detect or hate my sin. Since I suffered a lifetime of appalling verbal abuse, I learned to think very highly of myself and to detach myself emotionally from any situation. This caused me to be very easy on myself when I would sin and it made it difficult for me to connect emotionally to the cross and how my sin hurts God. I needed to understand how my sin hurts God. I knew this in my mind, but it was not getting into my heart. That was the case for a lot of different things.
Since I’ve been hurt by a lot of people that I really care about, I built up a wall around my heart which protected me at the time. Now, in my walk with God, with this big brick wall of pride around my heart, I couldn’t get anything good to get into it. I had a lack of faith and trust in God’s promises because of the neglect I went through as a child. Its not that I didn’t believe in God’s promises, I just saw them as something that other people can have and that I’m not good enough to have. I have a lack of fear of God because I was not disciplined by my parents and I was never taught to fear or respect authority.

These days I’m working very hard to take every thought captive and redirect my fear from worldly things to God. I am committing myself to live in the light and confess ALL of my sin ALL of the time. Often I would wait for days or longer to confess sin. I wouldn’t always confess everything. I would say ‘Oh, I’ll just confess the bad stuff’, or ‘I’ll just confess the sin that’s easiest for me to talk about today’. Now I am able to confess the most embarrassing sin ever. Even those deep dark thoughts in my mind that I thought I would never discuss with anyone, ever. It so turns out that everyone has those thoughts and there is no sin that is uncommon to man like the bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:13. I’ve been working on building a healthy fear of God according to the bible and what it says about how He wants me to fear Him. I’ve also been working on forgiving all the people that hurt me in the past and rebuild the memories of my life with God as my father.

I’m so grateful for Tina and Patrique for taking so much time and effort to help me and for Sharon and her openness and humility. More importantly I thank God for bringing me to this point and never forsaking me. I feel like I have so much more power from God already (before I’m even baptized) to overcome so much of the sin against which I felt so powerless for too long. Now I come before God with a truly clear conscience and a good conscience according to Him. Jesus is Lord!