There are many things that good conservative people disagree on. Are they all equally important or are there some things that are less important than others? The answer to this question will determine the entire direction of our lives and our ministries.
Conviction – There are two levels of conviction.
1) Essential conviction – Something that is so clearly revealed in Scripture that I would be willing to die for it. The Fundamental doctrines and clear commands of Scripture. (Daniel 1:8, Daniel 3:15-18)
2) Personal conviction – Something that the Holy Spirit has convicted me of personally. May be based directly on Scripture, on principles of Scripture, or on the subjective leading of the Holy Spirit. Something that is not clearly revealed in Scripture. (Acts 16:6, John 16:13)
Conviction: the fact or state of being convicted, the state of being convinced, a fixed or firm belief. (Macquarie Dictionary)
Standard – A statement of what is acceptable behaviour for a person or unit of people in a particular setting. What the leader believes is best in this circumstance. The larger the organisation, the higher the standard. Always above the minimum level required by Scripture. (1 Timothy 3:1-13)
Standard: a level of quality which is regarded as normal, adequate, or acceptable. (Macquarie Dictionary)
Tradition – What those who’ve come before me thought was best in their circumstances. Sometimes based on Scripture. Needs to be tested by the Bible. Good traditions should be honoured, bad ones changed. (Luke 6:1)
Tradition: the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, etc., from generation to generation, especially by word of mouth or by practice. (Macquarie Dictionary)
Preference – My opinion of which is best between two good things. Must always be a judgment between two clearly biblical choices. (Philippians 1:10)
Preference: the act of preferring one thing above another. (Macquarie Dictionary)