From the Pastor
Pastor Mike Burns
903.567.2072 (Ext. 3002)
The supreme virtue in a culture devoid of conviction is
tolerance. Tolerance used to mean putting up with someone or something that you
do not like or agree with. This belief is consistent with what Paul said in
Romans 15:7. The “new” tolerance is different—it tells us that what every
individual believes is equally right or valid. In other words, all values,
beliefs, lifestyles and truth claims are equally valid. One of the differences
between prejudice and conviction is that prejudice is based on ignorance and
conviction is based on evidence. If morality is relative then the convictions
that Christians espouse have no basis. If there is no absolute moral truth,
then there is no basis for Christian convictions. True tolerance does not
involve the watering down of our convictions to the lowest common denominator.
True tolerance separates the person from the opinion. We commit to treat each
other with respect even when we don’t agree with one another’s beliefs, values,
practices or point of view. Political correctness is based on relative morality
and seeks to put social pressure on Christians to conform to their secular
humanistic point of view. It does not encourage people to think for themselves,
nor does it accept those who subscribe to absolute moral truth. Those who
espouse to relative truth are absolutely sure there is no absolute truth.
What can we do?
We can pray for godly wisdom (Jas. 1:5) and diligently heed
the Scriptures that warn us of these dangers: the world, the flesh and the
devil. We can seek to cultivate the character and conduct of Christ and follow
the Biblical admonitions to model, train and teach our children to stand alone
for God by developing godly convictions. We must develop convictions concerning
how we should live to best please God and how we can successfully confront the
dangers of this world—by learning to do God’s will, God’s way. In short, we can
ask God to give us the knowledge, desire and power to live in a way that is
pleasing to Him.
What are convictions?
The word “conviction” comes from “convictio.” Convictions
are strong beliefs or truths that one is fully convinced of, having been
persuaded by evidence or argument and not merely subjective feelings. We have a
conviction when we are thoroughly convinced or fully persuaded that something
is true. Convictions are more than personal preferences or subjective opinions;
they involve strong beliefs that manifest themselves in actions. A conviction
is a strong belief that we have obediently made a part of our life and
practice. Having convictions is being so thoroughly convinced that something is
absolutely true that you take a stand for it regardless of the consequences.
Paul said that “the Gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with
power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction” (1 Thess.1: 5)
Next Week: How are convictions different from standards?
Published on Monday, September 16, 2013 @ 4:44 AM CDT