I always imagine this:
At Armageddon when Jesus, appointed to judge those on earth, asks me why I did something that now is going to require my execution forever, and I answer the elders told me to do it:
Jesus will say, "Did I say that the jews should follow the commands of their religious leaders? No, I said that they were making the word of God invalid because of their doctrines and that they were subject to Gehenna, and that they were blind guides and leading their followers into the ditch where the religious leaders were headed.
So you can't blame the elders for following them into the ditch?"
I used this "reasoning" with elders who tried to push theirs or others consciences on me. That in the end I had to answer to God and Jesus. And since they admit they are only imperfect men, that I will add their comments to my other research using the bible, and then I would make my decision. I wouldn't want to face my heavenly judge and say, "the elders told me to do it." I would rather anger the elders, than God and Jesus.