Category Archives: Religion

Conviction

Not a popular word these days. Conviction draws lines. Some will agree and many will not. I am not talking about being a divisive person. I am recognizig the fact that strongly held beliefs by their very nature differentiate people from each other. They make some people stand out in an area where others do not. Conviction embraces self-differentiation…recognizing that not everyone else will share your strongly held beliefs and values and that their lack of agreement doesn’t lessen the degree of your conviction.

Conviction is the recognition of what is absolute. You truly know what it is and what it is not. That means convictions are uncompromisable. In our culture today fewer and fewer people operate out of uncompromisables. Not everything people say is a conviction is truly that. There is a difference in a strong belief or feeling and a conviction. If justice is a conviction then you would be doing something about those experiencing injustice…getting angry at news of injustice does not a conviction make. Conviction was the difference in opening an apple product and a PC. The apple product felt like you were opening a piece of art where every single detail was put perfectly in place so much so that you almost hated to disturb the packaging. Opening a PC was an attempt to get all the junk in the trash as fast as possible to find the product under all the Styrofoam, cartons, plastic wrap and tie downs.

Conviction is not only absolute…It is immutable (doesn’t change over time). True conviction will be just as true and just as strong ten days from now as it will be ten years from now. It doesn’t matter who agrees or who doesn’t for a conviction to be a conviction.

It is more important than ever that in a world of compromise that we become uncompromising on what is truly true and what is truly right. It is more important than ever that we understand who we are and not be afraid to be different. When you live by conviction there will be people who are jealous enough of your certainty to try to bring you down. It will be tempting to compromise but don’t do it.

What is it that you believe strongly enough to call a conviction? What keeps you holding on to it regardless of what anyone else says, does or thinks?

What Do We Know About Joseph?

The New Testament doesn’t give us an awful lot of information about Joseph but we do know a few things from what we have in Matthew, Luke and John. First, we know that Joseph was Jewish and a descendant of David and originally from Bethlehem. Matthew tells us that in his genealogy in Matthew 1.Continue Reading

Response to “The Ugly in Christianity” at the Huffington Post

There is an article floating around on the Huffington post that has caused a bit of a stir among Church of Christ members because it is about the ugly side of Christianity and by that the author means the ugly side of the Church of Christ which is, in her experience, the vast majority ofContinue Reading

Book Review: Renewed – Clothed with the Wealth of Jesus in a Tattered Land by Bruce Morton

I have really been enjoying teaching through Colossians the last few Sunday mornings in my adult Bible class. Paul’s letter is so relevant for us today in helping us understand how the things we believe as Christians are different from the belief systems of the world. There is an analogy Paul uses in Colossians 3Continue Reading

Sermon on the Mount – Salt and Light

Jesus starts the sermon on the mount with some lessons on being instead of lessons on doing. Blessed are the…You are the salt of the earth…You are the light of the world.   The apostle Paul picked up this same approach in several of his letters, reminding people of who they are before telling themContinue Reading

The Sermon on the Mount – The Beatitudes Part 2

Last Sunday I spent some time unpacking the meaning and application of Jesus’ beatitudes in the sermon on the mount. When you have a moment give it a listen. I believe you will be blessed and encouraged as you listen to just how much God loves you.

Chosen By God: Two Extremes and Some Middle Ground

Just how much is God at work in the world? Is God responsible for all things or nothing at all? Is God involved in every detail of every happening or has God left us to fend for ourselves? There are two extreme positions to just how much God works in the world. On one sideContinue Reading

Brief Review of a Not so Brief Book – Paul and the Faithfulness of God by N.T. Wright

I started this book months ago while on jury duty and finally finished it last week. I have a hard copy but decided to read this via the kindle app on my iphone 4S. That was brutal! I think I would have to read this book several times to really get out of it halfContinue Reading

Building a Theological & Ministry Library Part 4 – Bible Background

Learning the background of the world around Bible times is critical to good Bible study. There are a number of excellent books to choose from to get you closer to their world. The better you understand their world the better you hear the words from scripture. So here are a few books to consider inContinue Reading

Jesus Came Proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom – What is the Gospel?

We have been following through the ministry of Jesus and are just now only in the very beginning stages. I have written an article on the beginning of Jesus’ ministry over at Wineskins that will serve as the next post in this series. You can read it here. Jesus Came Proclaiming the Gospel of theContinue Reading

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