Comprimise, Convictions?????

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by baptisttg, Nov 18, 2004.

  1. baptisttg

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    Comrimise and Convictions are words so often read and heard among Baptist. Here are my thoughts:
    These words seem to be associated with those that held, at one time, a particular standard (movie going, social wine drinking, music preferences, etc...) and now no longer hold to that standard. Or, it is associated with those that never held to a standard that is considered "taboo" to Baptist. My question, in order to get our Baptist mental mills grinding, is this, What are convictions? Is comprimise really a comprimise if a certain thing is not Biblically clear?
     
  2. gb93433

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    How many times have we heard the command Jesus gave of making disciples in Mt. 28:19, 20 ever mentioned. Standard about things such as dress are often lengthy but the most important are too often the shortest.
     
  3. baptisttg

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    True, but isn't disciple making about teaching what the Bible says about certain things that will help the disciples become disciplers?
     
  4. Dr. Bob

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    A "conviction" is something for which you will die, you will see your wife and children die, you will stand for no matter what. A BIBLICAL conviction will be based on clear-cut teaching of the Bible where we join Esther in saying, "If I perish, I perish."

    Many things that I felt were "convictions" as a teen and even in my pastoral life, I know realize were simply "preferences". I did not COMPROMISE my beliefs; I refined them in the crucible of life and time to be sure they were in line with the BIBLE and not simply with what I had been taught.

    Examples on request.
     
  5. Greg Linscott

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    Can we distinguish between "preference" and "principles?" It's difficult for me to envision a scenario where I might lose my life over my music principles, for example. But I CAN imagine a scenario where I might be forced to leave a position.
     
  6. paidagogos

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    No, preference and principle (see note below) are apples and oranges—they are not comparable. On the other hand, preference and conviction are parallel thoughts. There are differences, however. A conviction is a cogent, coherent thought believed by an individual whereas a preference is a personal, individual sentiment or feeling for something. In other words, a conviction is something that we believe and practice but a preference is something that we want.

    There’s a lot of foolish talk in this area. Often it has been said that a conviction is something for which one is willing to die whereas a preference is something for which one is not willing to die. (I think this got started with David Gibbs, who is a lawyer, and everyone immediately said, “Ah, how profound!”) This is patent nonsense and tomfoolery! This is not a well thought out definition of a conviction. Such twaddle is usually trotted out in arguing against things for which there is no clear and explicit Biblical directive even though the conviction may be founded upon what the holder understands as a Biblical principle. Furthermore, this baloney is typically used by those arguing against the said conviction. Finally, the claptrap surfaces in debates about women’s dress, men’s hair length, dancing, etc. Let’s try it out in another area and see if it makes sense.

    As Baptists, most of us will agree that believers’ baptism by immersion is a standard Baptist conviction. I, as most of you probably do, sincerely believe it is a clear Biblical teaching and it is one of my convictions. However, would you be willing to die for this conviction? In other words, would you continue practicing believers’ baptism by immersion if it was against the law and punishable by death. Felix Mantz was drowned for his rebaptizing and to the end refused to recant. (As he was about to be thrown bound into the water, he cried out: “In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum”—“Into your hands, Lord, I commit my spirit!” What a glorious testimony and death!) Yet, I know a Baptist professor teaching Baptist History who said that he wasn’t sure that he would die for this doctrine even though he claims it as a conviction. What about you? Would you die for a conviction of believers’ baptism by immersion?

    A conviction is simply a sincerely held belief that is practiced by the holder. IMHO, there is no way that we can determine the strength by which the belief is held, as long as it is sincerely held, or to what lengths the person must go in maintaining and practicing the belief. This simply is something that is not quantifiable. Therefore, the idea that conviction is something for which we are willing to die is sheer balderdash.

    In sum, a conviction is simply an idea or thought that one believes is true. He is convinced and fully persuaded that this position is the correct one. At some point in time, however, one may change his mind or belief. One may be persuaded that his conviction is not valid at some point in life. Then, he changes and it is devilishly hard to admit this change. This, I believe, is the source of attractiveness for people to spout the nonsense about preference and conviction. Whenever they change their convictions (i.e. what they once believed), they say their former belief was not really a conviction but it was only a preference. Somehow it doesn’t seem as bad to change a preference. This way, it does not call into question what they call their present convictions since the former were only preferences. The human being is a strange creature.

    Finally, a conviction does not have to be explicitly stated in Scripture. The only requirement is that the person who holds the conviction sincerely believes it is true. Since we cannot read minds, we cannot empirically verify a conviction but we must accept a person’s own word even though we can judge his veracity somewhat by his behavior in relation to his supposed beliefs. To call something a Biblical conviction is anther matter having added an adjective to conviction. To be a Biblical conviction, one can cogently argue that as long as a person believes his belief is based on Scripture, although not necessarily explicitly stated in the Bible, it is a Biblical conviction. It may be based on Biblical principles without being overtly stated as “Thou shall” or “Thou shall not.” Not everyone will agree that a specific conviction is Biblical since there is obviously no consensus among orthodox, Bible-believing Christians. Therefore, one is wrong to disparage as non-convictions, merely preferences, another’s convictions in areas of dress or conduct as long as the other sincerely believes these are Scriptural-based and practices them. You may disagree with a person and argue against their convictions but grant them to know their own beliefs and convictions, especially if they believe them to be founded on Scriptural teaching.


    NOTE: A principle is a rule, law, or truth by which something operates. A conviction, on the other hand, is something of which an individual is convinced or persuaded is true. Music principles, for examples, could refer to anything from music standards in type of music (CCM vs. hymns) to principles of harmony. IMHO, this is a poor use of principle by referring to a value/belief system on the one hand and on the other to technical matters of performance. A conviction would better describe the belief about doctrinal content of a song whereas principle would be descriptive of the technical aspects such as harmony, etc. A conviction may be embodied of a principle or principles. One may or may not believe a principle even though understanding it. The difference, IMHO, is the acceptance or belief in it. Unfortunately, Americans use the Queen’s English very sloppily and imprecisely.
     
  7. Plain Old Bill

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    Okay.So what would you stand for to the very end and what would you call that?
     
  8. paidagogos

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    Compromise and convictions! Ah, how we carelessly misuse these terms! A conviction is simply a sincere belief that one believes to be true. Compromise is when one changes or goes against the belief for reasons other than being persuaded that it is not true. For example, compromise is when a Baptist preacher pastors a Presbyterian church. He believes in believer’s baptism by immersion but he preaches in a Presbyterian church for personal gain even though they practice paedobaptism. (I know a preacher and college professor who was member of an independent Baptist church. He took the supply pulpit of a Presbyterian church and was totally mystified why the independent Baptist church dropped him from membership. As a disclaimer, I have absolutely nothing against Presbyterians but we do differ doctrinally. Some of my good friends are Presbyterians but they ought not attend my church unless they change their convictions. They ought to be true to their convictions.)

    There is a great difference between compromise and changing one’s convictions. Compromise is when one fails to hold to or be consistent with his convictions. Compromise is going against one’s convictions for reasons external to belief in the convictions. He still considers his convictions to be true and valid but he acts contrary to them for other reasons. On the other hand, change is when one is persuaded that his former convictions are no longer true. He abandons the old convictions and adopts new convictions. Whenever one changes his belief, he is usually prevented by pride from forthrightly and honestly admitting that he has changed his convictions. Changing our convictions means that we were wrong about something that we once sincerely believed. As humans, we dislike doing this. [​IMG]

    IMHO, all of us change some of our convictions as we grow and learn. After all, we changed our mind about God at conversion. Repentance (OT= change of direction; NT = change of mind) is necessary for salvation. No sinner was ever saved without repenting. Subsequent to salvation, we grow and mature as we develop convictions. The newbie Christian has no convictions but he learns and builds up convictions as he matures. Sometimes, we believe things that we later learn to be in error and we change our convictions. The rub comes when we are too proud to admit this and begin juggling words. [​IMG]
     
  9. Plain Old Bill

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    Although that did'nt anawer my question it is an excellant statement about compromise and convictions.
     
  10. paidagogos

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    Convictions!

    Remember that Peter denied Christ (i.e. compromised) three times after his great confession of Christ.

    Also, John the Baptist in prison sent two of his disciples to confirm that Jesus was indeed the Christ (the Messiah) after proclaiming this truth.

    Human beings are indeed fickle and vacillating but God is faithful and unchanging.

    2 Timothy 2:13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

    Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

    Hebrews 6:18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:

    2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.
     
  11. paidagogos

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    Even the cults (e.g. Mormons) have convictions (i.e. sincerely held beliefs). Some even died for the false convictions of Mormonism. Again, convictions are simply a sincerely held belief. The belief itself may be false. Unfortunately, people died in Waco, TX believing that David Koresh was a prophet.

    On the other hand, some Christians, who really believed the Bible, recanted at the stake to escape burning during the Inquisition. Others informed on other believers under torture in Nazi Germany and Red Russia. The human character is weak and irresolute. Who knows what one will die for until he is faced with the reality of dying or recanting? How can you know for certain beforehand? The human tendency is to cave in under threat of death especially in today’s point of view (humanism). We try to minimize our obligation and ask what is the minimum required. IMHO, it is because we, as moderns, are weak, anemic, and spineless having lived the soft life that is satisfying to self. It is not to the perspective of what is pleasing and glorifying to God. God is more glorified in the death of a faithful martyr than a living deadbeat Christian.

    Personally, I would like to think that I would die for my Scriptural convictions including believers’ baptism by immersion. I would like to think that I would not do anything against my convictions (Whatsover is not of faith is sin) even under duress. I ought not abandon or violate a conviction just because of outside force. Otherwise, it is tantamount to saying that my personal welfare is more important than pleasing God. If all sin is displeasing to God, is there any small sin that we dare commit even under coercion thinking that God will turn His head? Dare I deny the one Who died for me to forego death? Hebrews 11:35 reads: “Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection.” THIS SHOULD BE OUR OUTLOOK! Let us glorify God even through our deaths if need be!
     
  12. paidagogos

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    Whereas there is a primary teaching by Jesus against hypocrisy in Matthew 23:23-28, there is also a secondary point that you ought not miss.

    Matthew 23:23-28 "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity."

    Notice that Jesus did not condemn them for the standard they held but He rebuked them for their hypocrisy. Jesus did not condemn the outward standard of obedience but He emphasized the rightness of a pure heart that produces the outward standard. Christ said that they ought to tithe but he rebuked them for a sinful heart. Nowhere can you show me in Scripture when Jesus condones outward loose living or condemns a standard of outward obedience and righteousness. The whole idea in this passage, in terms of Boolean logic, is a logical AND rather than a logical OR. Both the inside and outside of the cup must be clean. At the restuarant, I send my coffee cup back to the dishwasher when there is a smear of lipstick on the outside even though the inside may be clean.

    I think I know what you mean and where you were going with your post. Rightly understood, the aforementioned passage refutes your implication and application, I think.
     
  13. gb93433

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    Standards are absolute and never change. However a conviction may be a compromise of a standard.
     
  14. paidagogos

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    Standards are absolute and never change. However a conviction may be a compromise of a standard. </font>[/QUOTE]What is a standard? How is a standard different from a conviction? Please define.
     
  15. Dr. Bob

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    Standard is absolute whether you believe it or no. The Bible is our "standard".

    We may/may not have convictions about these standards . . but that doesn't change the standard at all.

    BTW, David Gibbs is a good friend of mine and your disrespect - are you a CLA attorney helping thousands of Christians? - was not appreciated.

    I have a conviction about posters like you . . [​IMG]
     
  16. Charles Meadows

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    David Gibbs is speaking at our church this summer. I hear he's pretty good.
     
  17. Dr. Bob

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    He is one of the greatest (and I use that term advisedly) preachers I have ever known. Trust me, you will be blessed.
     
  18. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    David Gibbs is a great Christian and a great lawyer (now there is something rare). I have met him several times and he was a great help in legal problems at two churches where I was a member. CLA is a fantastic organization and you will be blessed having him at your church. That being said I think he is a better lawyer than a preacher. Just MHO Dr. Bob.
     
  19. paidagogos

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    Yeah, remember that convictions may be wrong. :eek:

    [ January 11, 2005, 03:01 PM: Message edited by: paidagogos ]
     
  20. paidagogos

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    What is a standard? Is it the same as a doctrine or teaching? Or, is it a rule applied to life?
    Since we disagree about what the Bible says on many issues, how can we know the standard and know that it is correct?
    What is one absolute standard that has never changed?
     

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