The other night I was laying in bed thinking how crazy it is that during Christ's time, there was a sect of Jews, God's chosen people, who didn't believe in a resurrection. I mean, it is such a basic, foundational doctrine, yet the Sadducees denied it.
But there was, in those days, another group. A group who stood against these Sadducees and their false beliefs. A group of spiritual leaders. A group of pious men whose whole life was centered around God's law. In fact, so valuable did they hold God's law, that they even began to place hedges around the law to be absolutely sure they wouldn't get anywhere near breaking it. These devout men went far above and beyond God's original law. For example, they didn't only pay tithe of their income, but even gave tithe of their herb gardens! Of course, I am speaking of the Pharisees.
I think the church today has become a lot like the Pharisees of old. So caught up in arguing and defending doctrines that we lose sight of the One to whom all doctrines point.
How often today must God look down and say, "This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me." (Mark 7:6)
Paul speaks of these things in Romans 14 and 15, and 1 Corinthians 8 and 10. He says not to dispute over doubtful things. Don't let these little issues divide the body of Christ! In those days it was things like meat offered to idols, which days to observe and fast on, etc. Today we die on the mountains of Christian dress, jewelry, music, styles of worship, etc. I won't die on those mountains! If something is against someone's conscience, we ought not to push it. For if they violate their own conscience, they sin. "But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin." (Romans 14:23)
Paul says, "Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved." (1 Corinthians 10:32-33) "And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble." (1 Corinthians 8:11-13) "Who are you to judge another's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand." "Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another." (Romans 14:4,19) "We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves." (Romans 15:1)
We are not the Holy Spirit, it is not our job to convict. Sometime God uses us as a tool in His hand to reveal the truth, but we are never to compel obedience to it.
There's an old rhyme that says,
"A person convinced against their will,
is of the same opinion still."
Another old saying says,
"A person has to know that you care before they care what you know."
"Christ's method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, 'Follow Me'" - EGW
God bless you and keep you!