Convictions

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by TheOliveBranch, Mar 10, 2003.

  1. TheOliveBranch

    TheOliveBranch
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    I have heard it said that if a person is under conviction, that this means that the Lord has placed upon that heart the desire to not do this thing, or do it, as to whatever applies.

    A preference is a choice you make.

    I believe conviction can be confused with preference. There are some that believe they are under a conviction, but if the Bible doesn't back up the "conviction", it can't be a true conviction. And I also believe that preferences can also be wrong, if against the Bible.

    So, when a person throws at you that this is their personal conviction, have they just thrown up a wall before you, telling you that they will not change their belief? And when a personal preference is stated, is this a way of stating that they are set in their ways, and will not be open to change? Do you find these two words thrown about freely, without a thought of their true meaning?
     
  2. Helen

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    I've learned to be very careful about this kind of thing, Olivebranch. Whether or not the words themselves are used correctly, both beliefs and actions (or the lack of) are things I have learned to check not only with Scripture, but with my husband, whose relationship with the Lord I know and trust, and some close friends, often, as well.

    Daily life is not so much a matter of this for me -- I don't need conviction to tell me it's time to get to the house or the yard! -- but those times when something needs to be said or something needs to be decided in terms of action (which is what I think you are talking about), I have learned to seek counselors (Prov. 15:22, etc.). My husband is, of course, my primary counselor. We seek through Scripture and prayer to know the Lord's guidance, and we will also talk to trusted friends.

    In other words, conviction also needs two or more witnesses! One always being Scripture.

    When I was in my 20's, I knew everything; before I was a parent I knew all about it as well. I think you know the 'syndrome'. :D

    Age and time with the Lord have matured me a bit. I am much more tolerant of others now, and much more conscious of my own limited understanding of many things. It's a nice change, actually. As a result, I look to the Lord and to my husband much more consistently instead of relying on myself.

    So if someone else says they believe something, or are under conviction about something, I do what my husband does with me when he thinks I am wrong: I pray about it, and about the person. I have found the vast majority of the time the Holy Spirit is simply trying to show me something, not asking me to take over His job of correcting it. He's the one who knows a person's heart.

    Out and out sins are one thing, and those need to be confronted (after prayer), but beliefs and convictions which are not concerned with salvation itself are between the person and the Lord. He will lead all of us into the truth finally, and I think we will all be feeling very humbled about a very many things.

    Including some of our beliefs and convictions!
     
  3. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    I have convictions and I have preferences. To me, the two are not interchangeable.

    My convictions come from:

    1. What I have been taught.
    2. Searching scripture for myself.
    3. Listening to God.


    My preferences come from:

    1. Searching scripture.
    2. What I like or prefer.

    EXAMPLES:

    Conviction: Ye must be born again. That is something I will not be talked out of.

    Preference: I prefer the KJV, but it is not a conviction and, therefore, I could change my mind.

    JMO
    Sue
     
  4. Wisdom Seeker

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    #1 falling under conviction I believe is when a person is humbled to repentance, or feels pulled to do the right thing. (this may not be the only description)

    #2 That very often is exactly what it means, but not always. For example, I have personal convictions about some things, but if someone makes a good arguement with something I can wrap my mind around as being true or possible, I might change my whole way of thinking about it. But yes, sometimes when someone says "this is my personal conviction" it may indeed be a block wall to deter you from persuing it further.

    Laurenda
     
  5. Helen

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    Good points, Laurenda.

    Feeling convicted of something is a kind of conviction. It's personal and if it is the negative thing I am thinking it is, it should lead to repentance.

    Having a conviction about something can be positive or negative, depending on what the something is. It means being positively sure about it, one way or the other.

    But being under conviction is different still. That is the one -- as I understand it -- that means you feel the Lord has led you strongly in one particular way. And that was the one I have learned to be really careful about, either on my own behalf or when I hear someone use that term. I think very often it is a cover-up for "I've made up my mind; don't disturb me with the facts or the Bible. And please don't pray about it because I have no intention of changing my mind!"

    But when someone is truly under conviction from the Lord, then other hearts will be moved to affirm it and there will be something in the Bible which the Lord shows one or more of those praying to give them guidance. This I have seen happen, with wonderful and even miraculous results. That's when things can get really exciting -- a mountaintop experience.


    Something about your post really impressed me -- that you can feel a conviction about something but that you are still open enough that your mind can be changed (we both understand, I am sure, that we are not talking about salvation issues). That's a rare quality. Keep it!

    Blessings.
     
  6. WonderingOne

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    I have always thought of a person's convictions as being the end result of the Holy Spirit's guidance in that person's life. For instance, I watched soap operas on tv for years and never gave this a second thought. But over a period of time, it began to dawn on me that a soap opera was more than some characters and a plot line. I began to understand that there were subliminal messages behind the scripts - the most glaring one being that if two people are in love, there's nothing wrong with sex outside of marriage, or that in certain circumstances, to steal or kill can be a good thing, etc. I finally realized that for myself watching soap operas was displeasing to God, and therefore sinful. Am I stating categorically that to watch a soap opera is a sin? No. I am saying that the Holy Spirit convicted me of engaging in this activity. For want of a better term, let's call this a "negative conviction."

    I have also experienced the flip side of this, or what might be termed "positive conviction." I am a pianist/organist, and for a very long time I didn't make this known to my church. This was bacause I am also a wallflower by nature, and I get very nervous when asked to do something in front of a crowd. I don't mean nervous as in sweaty palms and butterflies in the stomach, but nervous as in I'm-shaking-so-hard-my-bones-are-rattling-and-I-can-barely-breathe. When either the pianist or the organist would be out for some reason, I would sit there on the pew, knowing that something was missing from the service that I could be providing. The Holy Spirit dealt with me about this until I finally told our Pastor that I could play, and would be willing to fill in if one of the regular musicians had to be gone. From that point on, I filled in on a regular basis, up until the time I became disabled and was physically unable to do so.

    To sum up what I have tried to say here, I believe that not only does the Holy Spirit convict us of sin when we are saved, but He also uses conviction to guide us in our daily walk with God, especially in the area of sins that are not specifically addressed in the Bible. This is why I am very reluctant to judge another person by something I see in his or her life that I have been convicted of. I am convinced that the person in question is not obligated to listen to MY voice as it speaks of MY OWN convictions, but should instead be attentive to the Holy Spirit's guidance in his or her own life. In line with this, I would like to share an amusing anecdote that involved my Pastor.

    My Pastor is known throughout our town as a dynamic preacher and also as someone who gets results when there's work to be done. A young man who had just started a store front ministry in our town came to see Pastor several years ago. I was doing some work around the church at that time, and the young man invited me to sit in on the meeting also. He told Pastor that God had spoken to him, and had told him that a revival should be held at our church and the he,(the young minister) should be the one to preach it. God had specified that all offerings collected during this revival should be used to move his ministry out of the store front and into another building. "God says this is how He is going to build up what I've begun in His name," the young man told Pastor gravely, "and I don't see how we can turn a deaf ear to His voice."

    Pastor listened to the young man respectfully, and seemed lost in thought for a few minutes. Finally, he looked at the young man and said simply, "I agree. When God speaks, we have no recourse as Christians and ministers but to hear and obey. When He speaks to me concerning this matter, I will ask Him when the revival should be held, and I will contact you immediately to begin making the plans."
     
  7. Artimaeus

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    I had never connected the two concepts of "being under conviction" and "having a conviction". It is as though they were two different words? :eek: I thought of being under conviction as a lost person realizing they are being drawn to God by the Holy Spirit, or, a saved person being "nudged" by the Holy Spirit that something wasn't right. If it was a positive thing the saved person was being drawn toward I thought of it as being "led by the Holy Spirit', but, in essence it was the same experience just in a different direction.

    As for having a conviction, I never thought of it as something I WOULDN'T change but, as something I was THOROUGHLY COVINCED was the truth AND I was so certain that I would be willing to die for it. If sufficient Biblical evidence was given I might change my mind (I never have, so maybe I am closed minded but don't know it). Examples would be:
    !. Salvation by grace, without works.
    2. Eternal Security
    3. Resurrection
    4. God's perfection
    5. Verbal, Plenery inspiration of original manuscripts.

    Preferences were opinions, even strong ones that I was not quite 100%, bet-my-life-on sure about but still followed them in practice. Examples would be.
    1. Being a Baptist (my flavor)
    2. Frequency of Lord's Supper
    3. Divorce
     
  8. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    Artimaeus: I agree with you and Helen.

    You both said what I was trying to say, only you both said it better! [​IMG]

    Blessings,
    Sue
     
  9. superdave

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    I think many people who would tell you that "God" has convicted them of something really mean that a person with some measure of spiritual influence who thinks they are God has convicted them.

    I see it alot in Fundamental circles.

    We are living in a time where being a true Biblicist is not "cool" among fundamental churches because you cannot hold to the traditional ExtraBiblical phariseeism that pervades modern fundamentalism when you really hold to the B in Baptist Distinctives. The Bible is the ONLY rule for faith and practice.

    You cannot in good conscience hold to many traditional positions when you study the Bible and learn that it really dosn't have alot to say about pants on women, shorts, musical styles, what version is the best, and whether having a TV in your house is a sin.
     
  10. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    Dave; To me, the things you listed, are preferences; not convictions. Everyone needs convictions.

    Artimaeus listed some very good ones to have a few posts up.

    If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

    Blessings,
    Sue
     
  11. journeyheaven

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    I have a wonderful article that a dear friend gave to me. It's about this very thing. I think a lot of us struggle with know what is conviction and what is not.

    Conviction vs. Preference
    by Dr. Rex Rogers President
    Recently in a chapel at Cornerstone College, I reminded our Christian students that there is a profound difference between "convictions" and "preferences."

    Convictions are the timeless beliefs that I hope we hold based upon biblical principles. That is to say, unchanging biblical mandates. God's moral will for our lives. One example: God's statements on sexual morality. They're non-negotiables. God does not alter them from one generation to the next, and He expects us to obey.

    Preferences are different. Preferences are the time bound attitudes, even beliefs, that each of us develops based upon our own personal tastes and experiences. Preferences may vary from time to time in our own lives and certainly differ from one person to the next.

    Examples of preferences are limitless: you prefer to wear your baseball cap backwards; I wear mine with the bill forward. You like to sing using a hymnbook; your friend likes to sing choruses displayed on a screen from on overhead projector. You order pizza; your spouse wants a taco.

    Why is this distinction so important? Well, for one, because the moment we understand it and begin to apply it we save ourselves and others a lot of grief. All too often Christians develop their convictions, then add to that list all their own preferences.

    That's O.K., but the next step is the kicker. We start to judge other peoples' spirituality not on the basis of biblical principles and convictions but on the basis of our preferences. In other words, no one's right unless he agrees with us in ALL our preferential points-of-view. This initiates what the Bible calls discord and division among the brethern.

    Are your beliefs biblically-based convictions or just preferences? And just as importantly, are your preferences yours, or do you try to force them upon others?


    Jesus Never Fails,
    Mary
     
  12. MissAbbyIFBaptist

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    I think being under conviction leads to having a conviction.
    I can think of specific times in my life when I felt God was trying to get something across to me. When I finaly listened, I felt sweet peace.
    I've got some conviction that, yes, i've been taught, but I can also back up with scripture. I've got preferences, yes. Such as not to watch TV {although I am following the war} or not to go to school functions were things I wouldn't approve of are going on.
    I have personal convictions, such as I wear only dresses/skirts, but I've never said that's what someone HAD to do. I felt convicted about it, so I did what God wanted, but I'm not going to say everyone has to.
    I don't think a person is nesseceraly throwing up a wall when they say they have a conviction or preferance. But if God convicted you to do something, PLEASE! please don't go against it.
    I hold myself to higher standards than most IFB churches hold their members to. Simply because I don't want to do anything to go against God, I want to keep a good testimony, and I simply just want to do right.
    If you can show me from THE BIBLE that something is right or wrong WITH OUT TWISTING IT AROUND {ex, Church of Christers love Acts 2:38 for obvious reasons, but when taken in context it won't support their doctrine} Then I would be willing to change something.
    I know there have been times I've had a particular mindset about something, yet my preacher will preach completly agaisnt it, giving scripture as evedince, so I repent of it, and keep going in my Christian life.
    But just let me say If God is convicting you about something, PLEASE, PLEASE, JUST DO WHAT GOD IS ASKING!
    ~Abby
     

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