Raising The Standards International Ministries is not a social club. It is a ministry dedicated in calling believers to get back to what the Bible says. It is a call to forsake what is mentally and emotionally desirable in exchange for a pure uncompromising walk with the Lord.
As a young Pastor, I would preach the value of people having the courage of their convictions, if those convictions lined up with Scriptures. The problem is that too many church members who are filled with convictions that needed to be abandoned because they were not Biblical convictions.
I have spent years pointing out the Biblical principles that we should be separated from the world and dedicate our life, our gifts, our time, and our talents for God's use. But the response I get from some believers either by statement or lifestyle is, "I don't know what the Bible says, but I know what I believe."
That statement ends the conversation. Here I was, thinking that the issue at hand was about what the Bible teaches. But in reality it is what the individual wanted to believe emotionally and mentally and had nothing to do with the Scriptures. There is nothing a pastor can do with that mindset, because it stems from an unteachable heart.
Many times I have tried to move the discussion with certain believers to solid Biblical principles and disciplines. But I usually get stunned by the statement, "But we have our own convictions and we disagree with you!"
I try to remind believers that the Father did not send us to preach our convictions, but the Word of God. When I give the Word of God in multiple Scriptures it is not me they disagree with, it is the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word.
Convictions are not the same as truth. They may be, of course, and ideally should be, if they are grounded in the Word of God. But we should never make the mistake of giving our convictions an equal place with God's Word. I think it's safe to say that Hitler and Stalin had their convictions. The Jehovah's Witnesses who knock on our doors have theirs. The Mormons have theirs, the Catholics theirs, and yes, I have mine.
We who are charged with preaching the whole counsel of God must be careful about blending into doctrinal truth our own pet convictions and personal beliefs. That is why I try to back up everything I teach with an incredible amount of Biblical proof and give people an opportunity to respond if they have questions or know of differing Scriptures. It is also why I have always chosen the Word of God over the teachings of any denominational organization.
1. Some convictions are little more than superstitions or pagan beliefs. (Like: Knock on wood). (Yes I can include the sacred cows of Christmas and Easter in this. For those who want to know the truth here there is enough web evidence available).
2. Some convictions are convenient excuses to indulge our egos, allowing us to stand out in the crowd, or to entertain people in some fashion. (Pastors are not the only ones who are called out in the Scriptures to be shepherds and not hirelings). To many believers have "sold out" to the world.
3. Some convictions are merely our refusal to accept something new and different to us although it is an old teaching from God's Word.
4. Some convictions are merely negative, things we hate or oppose, rather than what we should believe from God's Word.
5. Some convictions are the result of ignorance. (This is not being stupid. It is being unlearned. Once taught the truth and it is rejected, now that is stupid and foolish).
6. Some convictions are the result of the opinions of the majority. "They must be right because everyone agrees." I have seen many believers taking "polls" until they get enough people to agree with them about what they are doing or what to do.
So, why does RSIM exist? To be a voice from the Father and say what He says, when the norm is desiring an echo from the world and repeating the same wrong thinking enough that it becomes true in our minds.
Father God, give us the discernment to distinguish YOUR revelation truth from our personal beliefs. God give us the grace to conform our beliefs to YOUR revelation as quickly as we begin to comprehend and internalize it.