When it comes to moral and spiritual matters it is essential that a person knows what he or she believes and why. People must have convictions, the definition of which is overcoming doubt, or not easily persuaded. Convictions are not open to compromise.
The problem is that many people have been programmed to believe certain ways without being given information to support those beliefs, and leaving no room for questioning because some individual, church, or organization wants others to believe as they do. Here are some examples.
* Public schools have programmed students with the belief that evolution is the only explanation for the origin of man.
* How many young women are being programmed to believe that abortion is acceptable, willfully denying medical facts, and not being given information to the contrary?
* Some local churches and denominations preach specific doctrines that they espouse to be biblical when they are sometimes no more than denominational traditionalism. Scripture verses are used to support a particular teaching without explaining the biblical and cultural context.
* Some Christian leaders have programmed husbands and wives with bad interpretations of headship and submissiveness as taught in Ephesians 5:22-24, resulting in strife and even passive tolerance of abuse in marriage.
* Many Christians have been programmed to believe that tithing is a guarantee of financial blessing, when in fact, there are a multitude of factors that determine one's financial status.
* Too many believers have been programmed with a belief that one must discover God's will, when in reality, Scripture already clearly states the general will for all Christians.
*It has become commonplace for far too many Christians to believe that participating in church and religious activities shows that they are Christians, with little or no regard for the hurts and needs of people all around us.
* Too much of the time we have heard missions focus on going to foreign countries to the neglect of meeting the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of people right in our own communities.
*Some televangelists program their listeners to believe that financial prosperity will result from sending money to their ministry, when really the only one prospering is them.
* A prominent Christian leader or big name pastor can talk dogmatically enough to his or her followers to convince them that he or she has a "corner on the truth," thereby subconsciously programming them to believe everything that is preached without questioning it.
A recent survey disclosed that a large percentage of professing Christian college students no longer make the practice of their faith part of their lives after graduation.
In more extreme cases, there are even some conservative Christians who no longer believe that Jesus was and is God in human flesh.
I have heard of people leaving the Christian faith and becoming a member of a denomination not even based on the Bible.
What it gets down to is not being able to give a reason for each belief a person confesses and not having a credible source to back it up. There must be more than simply human opinion or reasoning given by some other organization or person because they want others to believe a certain way, on which to build a belief when it comes to spiritual issues, and especially one's eternal destiny.
As we approach increasingly difficult times economically and see religious persecution take root more and more, people must know what they believe and why. If they do not it will be easy to give into the deception of Satan and the compromising of spiritual and moral values. With Christians the source of our conviction is the Bible, but people must still be able to defend WHY they believe the Bible to be their divinely inspired source.
I have a list of at least 10 beliefs that I hold with convictions based upon the Bible that are not open to debate or compromise, and I know why I hold to those particular beliefs. Could you comprise your own list? These should not be based on how you might have been programmed to believe but on your own personal unbiased study of Scripture and social issues.
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