|Convictions – Principles, Examples, Beliefs, or Christian practices derived from a sound biblical hermeneutic, where most godly men generally agree within narrow bounds but with some variations. e.g. Qualifications of Elders, Child raising, Marriage, or even the specific practices of Holy Communion. Convictions should not be argued with the same level of ‘defense of the faith’ as “Doctrine”. Of course, many Christians do not discern the differences between ‘doctrine’ and ‘convictions’, and much un-Christian discord has arisen from differing ‘convictions’, bringing discredit upon the name of Christ and Christian unity.|
The story is told of a meeting between Martin Luther and the great Swiss Reformer, Ulrich Zwingli. The two godly men had great Christian fellowship as they talked together and shared the great things that the Lord was doing in their lives. They began to list the beliefs that were important to them. They discussed Salvation by Grace, the Person of the Holy Spirit, the importance of Godly Christian living, and many other essentials of the faith. The story goes that as they got down to such things as how Communion was celebrated, and then their own approach to the scriptures and Christian practice. While Luther allowed what the Bible did not prohibit, Zwingli prohibited what the Bible did not specifically prescribe. Both separated in a huff. Such is the result of not distinguishing ‘doctrine’ from ‘convictions’ or ‘opinions’.