Anyone who knows our family realizes we have many strong convictions. You probably have them too. They cannot help but come out in what I write here on the blog, because what I write is an extension of what I think. And since I am not forcing anyone to read this blog, or putting a mega-phone in anyone’s face and yelling at them, I think it is okay for me to write what I really think. I do not expect everyone to agree with me, on all things. The beauty of the body of Christ is that we can all be unified around the person of Jesus Christ, and His shed blood for our sin, and the eternal word of God, and yet agree to disagree about the non-essentials.
So, while I will say very adamantly that murder is wrong–because God says so–I will never say that you have to agree with all my personal preferences and convictions. The Bible speaks very clearly to this issue. We are not to try to make everyone else be just like us. We are not to judge other people if they hold a different conviction about something than we do. None of us have arrived at perfection, AND while one person may have ventured further to holiness in one area, someone else may have traveled further in another area–and so we can learn from each other. Iron sharpens iron. This is one of the things we appreciate about the local church we are a part of. There is unity, but we are not all the same. Our main goals and pursuits are the same–Christ, the gospel, God’s word being all we need for life and practice, holiness, raising up godly children, etc. But we don’t all have exactly the same views of the best ways to pursue those things. And that is okay. I think it would be a dangerous thing to be part of a church where we all had to think exactly the same on non-essential things, dress the same (although we all believe we are commanded to dress modestly), have the same hairstyle, etc. The danger there is that we might be enabled to be prideful, because there would be no one to challenge us in thinking through our convictions, making sure they fit in with the Bible, etc. We would not have to work hard at loving our brother even when we don’t agree.
(If you are part of our church family, we just want to thank you for your godly example and your part in the love and unity we’ve been blessed by since coming to New Life. God has used each one of you in our lives in ways you probably aren’t even aware of. Where ever we go, we will always be influenced by the maturity and love that have been demonstrated by all of you. We love you, and your passion for Christ and His word.)
So yes, we have convictions about homeschooling/not homeschooling, homeschool curriculum type, modesty, make-up, skirts and dresses only/pants okay, whether children should stay with their parents in the service at church/or not, tv/no tv, movies, how to eat, whether or not to participate in group sports, what kind of music to listen to, what kind of books we want and don’t want our children to read, computer games okay or not, etc. Every family should have well thought out convictions about these things, which fit into the overall vision God has given that family, and then walk in them without wavering. But they are non-essentials, and should not divide the people of God.
If we were all the same, gifted the same, interested in the same things: then we would not get much done. God uses all of us for His glory, how He wants to. We cannot all be hands, or mouths, or feet. So I just want you to know that the purpose of this blog is not to convince you all to think like I do. And you will not hear me make a big deal about non-essentials. Though I might mention in passing that we prefer a certain thing. And you will not hear me tear other people down for their differing views. My blog will not be used to gossip about others. If you ever read anything like that here–please say something. My goal is really this: to point to God. To show by example God at work in ordinary people, to encourage you that God is at work in your family/life too.
May our highest concern be the glory of God. May we evaluate all of our convictions based on how our actions will or will not glorify Him (His word is our standard). Let us not judge one another. And yes, we have to preach this to ourselves often. It is a battle for all of us to have a strong conviction while giving others room to have a different view (as long as it is not sin: stealing, lying, adultery, etc, are sin: there is no room for differences on these issues). But God is able to give us the grace we need to do this.
God bless you as you pursue Him.