Friday, February 10, 2012
Ever have one of those conversations? You're sitting with someone you don't know very well and the subject turns to...abortion...politics...religion... or something that you quickly realize you are on the opposite side of the fence from your new friend. You know how it makes you feel? You get a bit antsy - you carefully choose your words. Perhaps she is a bit more aggressive and you find yourself needing to defend what you believe. You might even be shocked that she disagrees so wholeheartedly with you.
What about when you chat with someone who attends a church or denomination but claims she doesn't believe what they believe? For example, my daughter was telling me today about a girl she knew from college who was Catholic but didn't believe in purgatory or that Mary was sinless or in several other of the Catholic tenants of faith. Why be "Catholic" if you don't believe in catholicism? Isn't that what you are thinking?
Or how do you answer your child when they see a bumper sticker that says "Christian Democrat"? What are your thoughts about that?
What about when your neighbor asks you if you are going to baptize your newborn? Whether you answer yes or no, do you know why you do what you do?
Do you know why you believe what you believe? What are your convictions rooted in - tradition, science, common sense, the Bible?
Convictions. Beliefs. They are the power source behind decisions.
Do you celebrate Easter? Why or why not? If yes, then how?
Public school, private school or homeschool? Why?
Tithe or not?
Spank or not?
Submit or not?
Pay taxes or not?
Carry a credit card balance or not?
Pre-marital sex or not?
Your convictions will answer these questions, so it is important that you understand what shapes your convictions. But I am concerned today about those of us who have no foundation for our convictions.
Why do you go to church? I don't know.
Why would you stay in that marriage? I don't know.
Why did you buy that sweater? I don't know.
Why did you sleep with that boy? I don't know.
We live in the world of "I don't know" today - people making decisions based on mindless convictions, and I'm not talking about the world, really. I'm talking about the church.
It seemed right. It felt good. I wanted it. I didn't know any better.
People living in the shadow of the cross without a clue that the cross gives direction to life.
God has not left us to our selves - He has given us His Spirit and His Word to develop our convictions on. Be a child of the Word - study to show yourself approved unto God - don't be ashamed that you don't know it, but rightly divide it. It is filled with the foundations for our convictions.
The next time someone asks you who you are going to vote for in the coming primaries, tell them and then tell they why. Know why you believe what you believe and if you are a follower of Jesus, make sure your convictions grounded in Him.