Convictions, we all have them. Christians have two types of convictions, secular and religious. Convictions can be used for good or they can be harmful. In our Spiritual life they are good except when we are blinded by unholy convictions as we see them through blinders and do not look for the truth because we are afraid we will have to acknowledge something that is sinful in our life and then have to repent. So we develop blind, unholy, and even untrue convictions. At times we may even hold on to our convictions with a death grip and will not change them no matter what and even ignore wisdom from our trusted friends. This attitude is dangerous if it is so ingrained in our convictions that we refuse to do what Scripture tells us in 1 Thess. 5:21, test everything, hold fast to what is good? That is excellent advice if we will accept and follow it.
From what I understand, our secular and religious convictions are separate but the secular convictions can invade our religious convictions and turn them into sin if unchecked. What I mean by that is just say I am a health nut and my conviction is that exercise is THE key to being healthy and will guarantee me a better and longer life and I must do it daily! That conviction in and of it’s self is not sin, may be a little extreme, but not sin. However, since being on this extreme regiment I gave up spending time with God, skipping church on Wednesday night because I need to work out with my friends, and I have started neglecting my wife and my family. And at one point some of my close Christian friend have noticed my neglect, lovingly tried to talk to me about it but I just brushed them off and would not listen. A relatively harmless conviction has turned into a sin in my life because I knew my belief, opinion, view, thought, idea, position, stance (conviction) was the correct and healthy thing to do (and so many other people are doing it must make it OK). If I acted like the above comment I would say that my conviction turned into a conviction full of pride, arrogance, self reliance and abandonment (sin) of the conviction I use to hold so high (having a Christ like character).
I read that spiritual conviction is: the quality of showing that one is firmly convinced of what one believes or says. And biblical conviction is: convictions or beliefs derived from and based on a commitment to Scripture, the Bible. As God’s Holy Word, it is the absolute index for the whole of our lives—faith and practice.
A few Scriptures I found that relate to conviction are; Colossians 2:8 be firm in your faith, Galatians 5:7-9; do not allow anyone to hinder you, 1 Timothy 6:3-5; and use His word to help you grow in your conviction to follow Him (my emphasis added).
What I call blind conviction can lead us into disasters, a false sense of security, believing a lie, and abandoning truth by ignoring the need to test everything. Speaking from a religious point of view, I see many Christians following blind convictions. For example; there are videos and articles directly from false teachers where they twist Scripture, change Scripture, and make comments that are totally against Jesus’ words. Some pastors even say “I stopped sinning when I became a born again Christian, you can speak words into existence, your words have power and if they don’t it is because of your weak faith, you can heal yourself – if you have enough faith, I can teach you how to speak in tongues and become a prophet (these are GIFTS administered by the Holy Spirit according to Scripture), Jesus was beaten and tortured in hell for three days until God had to come down and rescue Him.” And the list goes on. So called Christians have this information available for them to watch and read and have been advised of these discrepancies yet they still refuse to believe what errors are coming out of the mouths of these false preachers. They continue to follow them, believe what they say, send in their tithes, and encourage others to do the same. They are in a state of blind conviction and are not open to do what Scripture tells us in so many ways so we can be assured of our salvation – test everything hold fast to what is good and resist evil (1 Thess. 5:21) and examine yourself to se if you are in the faith least you fail the test (2 Cor. 13:5). There is no shame (unless we let pride get in the way) in admitting it if your conviction was a little in error. Jesus tells us many times that when we sin, repent, ask for forgiveness and you will be forgiven as far as the east is from the west. That attitude will only bolster your faith and improve your conviction to be true to His word as you are showing obedience.
I see that not only are some harboring improper spiritual convictions many are doing the same in the area of social, cultural and societal convictions. I find it hard to understand, respect and believe people when they say black lives matter when a small number of black men are killed by the police while they ignore the violence directed toward black men (and many innocent black children killed by stray bullets from black criminals) in Chicago on a weekly basis; such as; https://chicago.suntimes.com/crime/2020/6/8/21281998/chicago-violence-murder-history-homicide-police-crime, “18 murders in 24 hours: Inside the most violent day in 60 years in Chicago.” Where is the outrage?
Then you have; Black children killed in abortions; according to https://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2020/02/25/abortion-the-overlooked-tragedy-for-black-americans/ “Since the 1973 Roe vs Wade Supreme Court ruling, 19 million black babies were aborted. African Americans are just under 13 percent of United States population.”
Nineteen million children that never had the chance to live because pro-abortion black mothers and fathers decided the children were not really people that mattered and they were disposable. And what about all the black owners of businesses that lost everything in the riots that had their businesses destroyed by black rioters and looters and black workers that lost their jobs because of the destruction caused by inconsiderate blacks? Do their lives matter, it seems not. It seems that many of the blacks that believe this narrative are filled with misplaced convictions and will not see any alternative.
I brought up the “black lives matter” discussion because it is in the forefront of most of the activities going on today but they are not the only ones to be called out. There is plenty of sin, misplaced convictions, hypocrisy and selfishness to go around. Including in the delusional white supremacist, prosperity preachers, false faith healers, politicians, and just everyday ordinary people.
Nowadays, it seems that all these lines are being crossed. Religious people are bringing politics and social justice into the church, politicians insert faith in their conversation when they want it to be and then they do a 160 and say religion and politics don’t mix.
Certain people’s agenda is the only thing that is important even if it violates their message. Common sense and truth have no part in the conversation. Just their convictions and what they deem truth.
I think the results of this dilemma will help set the course of the future of our religious faith, community standards, morals, and our society in general. If Christians do not take the situation we are currently in seriously and check, evaluate, and examine our convictions to make sure they are in line with what Jesus calls us to do we run the risk of watering down and changing the entire direction of Christianity. Being prepared for the end of times and during times of struggle we are told to; 2 peter 3:11, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives, and 17-18 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
I am going to strive to make sure my convictions are true, accurate, just, sincere, and portrayed in a Christ like manner when I verbalize them and that they would stand the test of being accepted by our Lord.
I pray these thoughts may be worth considering.