Two New eBooks at Amazon Kindle!

FacebookMySpaceTwitterDiggDeliciousStumbleuponRSS Feed

Are Christian leaders speaking into the Israel/Hamas Conflict in a manner that reflects our best understanding of a Christian worldview?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #150 of Discerning What Is Best, a podcast applying unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, and a Christian worldview to current issues and everyday life.

Since just after the Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas surprise attack on innocent civilian Israelis in Israel, I’ve been bothered by how some leaders, including Christians, seem to be parsing this conflict.

On 10/7, Hamas terrorists crossed into Israel and perpetrated heinous, barbarous, cruel, and sickening carnage upon Israeli civilians, killing 1,139 people, including 764 civilians and 373 Israeli security personnel. This coordinated armed coercion included murder, butchery, torture, burning, and weaponized sexual violence involving rape, mutilation, extreme brutality against women and girls. And it included kidnapping some 252 victims and holding them as hostages, some of whom have been returned, most of whom are now dead, presumed dead, or believed still in captivity. To add considerable insult and humiliation, the savage raid was videoed by Hamas killers who wore Go-Pro cameras and later in their celebration, pride, and arrogance shared the videos with the world.

Since that time, Israel’s military, called the Israeli Defense Force or IDF, invaded the Gaza Strip and have been seeking to eradicate Hamas, wiping out every operative and eventually the group itself. As of May 8, 2024, over 36,000 people (34,844 Palestinian and 1,410 Israeli) have been reported as killed in the Israel-Hamas conflict, including 97 journalists (92 Palestinian, 2 Israeli and 3 Lebanese) and over 224 humanitarian aid workers, including 179 employees of UNRWA.

Despite the gut-wrenching brutality of 10/7, it has not been Hamas but the IDF that has attracted near world-wide condemnation for what is perceived as disproportionate killing, indiscriminately killing thousands of women and children, or intentionally engaging in a military operation aimed at genocide of the Palestinian people.

Now remember, the Palestinian death toll figures have consistently been taken from the Gaza Health Ministry, controlled by Hamas, yet these figures have been reported on mainstream media as if there is no question concerning their accuracy.

Recently, the UN revised these casualty figures significantly down, then denied they had done so.

All this sets the stage for Christian leaders to make comments that I find bothersome for their shallow theology or selective presentation of facts.

1-Comments lack nuance, meaning they tend to be one-sided, which is understandable and not necessarily bad if the full story is considered. Some leaders present a certain narrative that omits questions, issues, or developments that might cause one to question their message. Mainstream Media does this every day, i.e., they don’t provide news as much as interpretative slants that fit their political view. They knowingly omit inconvenient truths.

2-From the get-go, many Christian leaders have called for “ceasefire,” which seems logical, right? No one wants to perpetuate war and killing…well, except Hamas. I’m not quibbling with Christian leaders calling for ceasefire per se, but my eyebrow goes up when I note that their demand for ceasefire:

a) is generally aimed at Israel, not Hamas,

b) is presented as the moral equivalent of a biblical mandate about loving one’s enemy, that is, the only way to show this is ceasefire,

c) is shared as a panacea, meaning an automatic cure to what ails the region.

3-Christian leaders sometimes say that if people, in this case nation-states, would “just sit down and talk with their enemies,” then peace would be established. But one problem here: Hamas states in its founding documents that it does not recognize Israel’s right to exist. Hamas hates Israel and has vowed never to cease actively attempting to destroy Israel as a nation-state.

Consider these few quotes from Hamas’ primary documents:

“Palestine symbolizes the resistance that shall continue until liberation is accomplished, until the return is fulfilled and until a fully sovereign state is established with Jerusalem as its capital.”

“Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine. Its religious, historic, and civilizational status is fundamental to the Arabs, Muslims, and the world at large. Its Islamic and Christian holy places belong exclusively to the Palestinian people and to the Arab and Islamic Ummah. Not one stone of Jerusalem can be surrendered or relinquished.”

“The establishment of ‘Israel’ is entirely illegal and contravenes the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.”

“There shall be no recognition of the legitimacy of the Zionist entity.”

“Hamas believes that no part of the land of Palestine shall be compromised or conceded, irrespective of the causes, the circumstances and the pressures and no matter how long the occupation lasts. Hamas rejects any alternative to the full and complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea. ‘

How will talks proceed when in this case at least one side does not believe the other has any right to exist?

4-Christian leaders frequently say, “Violence always leads to more violence.”

But what if violence is perpetrated by bad actors seeking to destroy others? What then is the proper response?

If a terrorist group slaughtered, raped, and brutalized Americans in a surprise invasion into our country, all the while videoing the carnage, then also kidnapped American citizens, subjecting them to sexual degradation, abuse, and murder, what would these Christian leaders want the US military to do?

Would Christian leaders really stand up and say, “Violence begets more violence”? Would they argue we should sit down for talks with the perpetrators? Where in this scenario is there room for self-defense?

Some Christian leaders, while not declaring themselves as such, sound like romanticists or idealists or pacifists, because their comments seem bereft of any understanding of evil or sinful depravity in the human heart. Their comments don’t acknowledge that one reason God created government is as a protection against the ravages of evil in the world. God gave legitimate government authority to use coercive force to preserve peace, establish justice, and insure domestic tranquility.

In fact, in shouting “Violence leads to more violence” and calling for immediate ceasefire, these leaders fail to recognize that in a fallen world, sometimes legally constituted governmental and military force must use violence as the only means available to stop violence.

Cries of “Violence always results in more violence” also suggest those who embrace this incomplete philosophy equate the absence of violence with the presence of peace and justice.

In other words, if I don’t hit back, if I don’t return fire, i.e. the absence of violence, then there is peace? Or rather, maybe what we get is not peace but appeasement toward the bad actors. What we get is kowtowing, enablement, surrender, subjugation, or enslavement  wherein the evildoers are allowed to escape justice and are allowed to return another day to reap dark deeds upon the innocent.

I’m not making a case that those who respond in self-defense or as arbiters of justice, peace, and security want violence, that they want to kill. No. It is that they understand human nature, as Ronald Reagan did when he talked about “Peace through strength.”

5-Some Christian leaders are pro-Israel, and some are pro-Palestine, while showing little concern for people on the side they oppose. Among both sets of leaders there are a few who sound prejudiced or worse. Commentators in both camps make the questionable arguments mentioned above. Both are quick to summarily condemn the other side, acting as if bumper sticker theology or meme politics hold ready-made solutions. I don’t sense much subtlety in these views; they’re sure God is on their side.

We’d be better served if Christian leaders wrestled with evil, violence, peace, and justice in Christian worldview terms. This means we label bad deeds as morally unacceptable, no matter who commits them.

A Christian worldview is not idealist or pacifist, but realist, understanding both sin in a Satan-dominated fallen world and the power of the Sovereign God.

Christian worldview recognizes there is always sin on all sides of human conflict, but does not wash away accountability for evil via the currently popular “bothsideism,” an illusion of respectability for certain points of view or certain sides that’s created without evidence.

A Christian worldview hurts for the “harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd,” (Matt 9:36) who suffer and die, no matter who they are. And a Christian worldview demands we work to aid them, no matter who they are.

A Christian worldview proclaims hope in the transformative power of the Gospel, in Jesus Christ whose sacrifice is for all – Israelis, Palestinians, Americans, Iranians, Jews and Arabs, Hamas, Hezbollah, and Houthis.


Well, we’ll see you again soon. This podcast is about Discerning What Is Best. If you find this thought-provoking and helpful, follow us on your favorite podcast platform. Download an episode for your friends. For more Christian commentary, check my website, r-e-x-m as in Martin, that’s

And remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm.

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2024  

*This podcast blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at, or connect with me at or

It’s a big world out there – what kind of people are in it?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #149 of Discerning What Is Best, a podcast applying unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, and a Christian worldview to current issues and everyday life.

If we were to think about different kinds of people in the world we could approach the question in several ways.

For example, when I was born in late 1952, just 10 days before General Dwight D. “I Like Ike” Eisenhower was elected President of the United States, there were about 2.6B people in the world. Now, there are 8.1B. Despite the more than 65.5M abortions in the U.S. since 1973, U.S. population at 341.5M is more than twice the number than when I was born.

Or we could consider nations states. There are 195 recognized nations currently, meaning 195 nationalities.

How about languages? Experts estimate there are between 6,000 and 7,100+ languages in the world. These languages are spoken by approximately 7.9 billion people, about 95% of the world’s population. The remaining 5% of the population speaks a smaller number of languages, with some languages having only a few hundred speakers.

Or we could consider race. Five races are commonly cited. But Ken Ham of Authors in Genesis and the Ark Encounter notes, there is only “one blood, one race,” the human race. He cites Acts 17:26: “From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.”

Sex, of course, male and female, is another way to think of kinds of people in the world. This biological characteristic crosses all boundaries and is a feature of the human race. And sex, more than any other trait, influences the trajectory of our lives. Nothing affects us more than the fact that we are created either a man or a woman.

Another way of considering kind of people in the world is the reductionist division now promoted by the political Left. “That premise is that the world is divided between oppressors and the oppressed, and that the oppressors are always evil and their victims already virtuous.”

“The lesson pounded into young heads is that the greatest evil in world history is colonialism, that all nations that held colonies and all their citizens were oppressors, and that all residents of any colony were virtuous victims with the right to commit violence to liberate themselves from oppression.” Never mind that this simplistic equation does not fit the facts of history, that in all nations people act with mixed motives, and no people group is wholly guilty of all that is now being alleged, including the U.S.

But of all these ways of considering types of people in the world, biblically, or if you prefer theologically or spiritually, we could observe that there are but two kinds of people:

  • Sinners in need of grace
  • Sinners saved by grace

Sinners in need of grace refers to people who have not trusted in and accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. They have not been “born again” as noted in John 3:3.

The other type of person, sinners saved by grace, is the one I wish to focus upon in this podcast. Sinners saved by grace have indeed been born again. They have understood the Scripture, “for it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” Eph 2:8-9. They have confessed their sin, Rom 10:9-10, trusted in Christ’s shed blood and in him alone, for forgiveness, reconciliation, and salvation.

We know how important “saved by grace” is because it references the blessed hope, for which we rightly praise God and sing hallelujah. It is the bridge to experiencing eternity in heaven with the Lord. I am a sinner saved by grace.

Now as I said, we rightfully get excited about the “saved by grace” part of that statement. But notice that it does not say, former sinners saved by grace or used-to-be sinners saved by grace, or sin-be-gone sinners saved by grace. So, while at the time of our salvation we receive the Holy Spirit who the Scripture says seals us unto the day of redemption (Eph. 4:30), and at the point of our salvation “therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Cor. 5:17), still, we remain sinners in a fallen world.

So, who attends the local church where my wife and I worship? A bunch of sinners.

If you ask my Good Wife what is the husband like to whom she will soon have been married for 50 years? She will say, “He’s a sinner. Do you want illustrations? I could write a book.” Now, please don’t ask her that. I’d rather she not write that book.

Though we are sinners saved by grace, we are yet sinners living in a fallen world.

What are the implications of this?

In Galatians, the Apostle Paul said, “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want” Gal. 5:14-17.

The Apostle goes on to say his means we will either be subject to, or we will subject someone else to, the following: lying, gossiping, stealing, immorality, idolatry, hatred, discord, jealousy, rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness” Gal. 5:119-21.

Now remember, this is not a list of sins aimed at us by what preachers used to call “the world,” the sinners in need of grace. There will be plenty of this in a fallen world, but this list references the kind of attitudes and behaviors that come right out of our own sinful natures. If we embrace or pursue these attitudes and behaviors, and at some point, we all do, then we do nothing but darken and destroy ourselves and those around us.

Let me share a few direct examples out of my 35 years serving in upper-level administration in Christian organizations. I am not innocent here, nor a hero, but I share one man’s account offered as an illustration.

In those 35 years, I cannot name one non-believing person who stood between me and my stated Christian goals for the Christian organization I served, but I can name many Christians who did exactly this.

In those 35 years, and remember I am talking about Christian personnel, I have been lied to, cursed, had doors slammed on me, surreptitiously attacked in the press, been the subject of mass mailed letters attacking my integrity and Christian commitment, was the object of what amounted to a coup d’état attempt by an organizational officer and a trustee, both of whom later left the organization.

Maybe worse, in my assigned executive position, I had to deal with several instances of infidelity involving Christian personnel.

You could say, “Welcome to leadership” and be correct, but that sounds flippant, and I don’t mean it that way. What I mean is that because we are sinners saved by grace, and we still sin, we cause all manner of problems for ourselves, our families, our churches, and perhaps our network of acquaintances.

Knowing we are sinners saved by grace, what should we be doing?

1)   Manage our own walk with the Lord.

“Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers” 1 Tim 4:16.

2)   Work as unto the Lord.

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” Col 3:17, 23.

3)   Bare one another’s burdens and pray for one another.

“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. (also see Matt 18) But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load” Gal 6:1-5.

The Apostle has one last thought for us: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” Gal 6:9.


Well, we’ll see you again soon. This podcast is about Discerning What Is Best. If you find this thought-provoking and helpful, follow us on your favorite podcast platform. Download an episode for your friends. For more Christian commentary, check my website, r-e-x-m as in Martin, that’s

And remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm.

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2024  

*This podcast blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at, or connect with me at or 


What conclusions have you drawn about the pro-terrorist social contagion sweeping the nation’s university campuses?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #148 of Discerning What Is Best, a podcast applying unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, and a Christian worldview to current issues and everyday life.

Why do “protesters”– generously named for sure – believe performative outrage, annoying disruption of others’ lives, outright threats or harassment of other American citizens, hunger strikes, or vandalism will persuade others to their point of view?

None of this, certainly not vandalism, validates any point of view, other than lawlessness. Boorish, immature, threatening language or behavior wins no social advancement to any cause celébre.

What kind of mass psychosis has gripped so many people in America, including public university faculty and administrative leaders, and misnamed so-called “progressive” politicians that they have no moral conscience, no common sense, no respect for law or order, no evident patriotism—-and worse, openly support Hamas?

Demonstrations now occurring on more than 80 public university campuses nationwide are not the same as demonstrations in the 1960s. 

1) the demonstrations in the 60s focused upon the Viet Nam War in which Americans were directly involved. Not so today. 

2), 60s demonstrations, including those focused upon gaining civil rights for Black Americans were based upon US Constitutional law and other American founding documents. Today’s demonstrators specifically reject these documents and their values.

The right to express oneself, to disagree, even to protest is indeed an American civil liberty defined by Free Speech in the First Amendment. As far as that goes, I’m all in. But an extensive body of law developed largely in the 1960s clearly states that protests qualify as free speech as long as they remain peaceful, do not impede others as in highways, tunnels, streets, and walkways, do not incite violence or endanger others, do not commandeer, or destroy property, and do not turn violent. Today’s demonstrations have repeatedly crossed these lines in multiple locations.

Politicians and celebrities are rushing to assert the protesters are just courageous students speaking up on behalf of Palestinian human rights. But this gaslighting has now been debunked in several cities, including prominently at Columbia University in New York. “Outside agitators,” professionals, some paid, are involved. They are “fifth-column anarchists,” some from elsewhere in the world. 

Actually, “America's ‘leading’ university campuses have been completely overrun by an infestation of riotous, anarchic Hamas sympathizers. Jewish students and faculty on campus are suffering the worst antisemitism in the history of the American republic.”

Predictably, numbers of students do not know why they are there or what they are protesting

Student protesters and agitators are yelling, chanting, singing, and signing not simply pro-Palestinian messages, something that is at least worthy of discussion, but antisemitic, anti-Israel, and “Death to America” slogans. For example, “The Final Solution,” or “Long live the Intifada,” meaning kill all the Jews, “We’re all Hamas,” “Go back to Poland,” and “Resistance is justified when people are occupied.”

American university students don’t seem to realize or care that calling for the genocide of Jews includes fellow students and faculty members, the US Vice President’s husband, Doug Emhoff, former President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, movie mogul Stephen Spielberg, US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen Bernie Sanders, and thousands more. Do they really want to kill all these people too?

What we are seeing is, yes, a minority of students in public universities, but still, these are our kids. What we’re seeing is evidence of that “collapsing standards, and increasingly politicized and mediocre faculty reflect a collapse of the university system.”

“Faculty hiring had become increasingly non-meritocratic based on diversity/equity/inclusion criteria. New faculty hires have sought to institutionalize self-serving DEI and recalibrate higher education to prepare a new generation for self-perpetuating radical ideologies. Entire generations are now suffering from prolonged adolescence as they drag out college to consume their early and mid-twenties.”

My 35 years in higher education makes me ache when I watch all this. I loved academia, debate and critical thinking, and the campus atmosphere. But today, “one of the great ironies in contemporary college systems is how rampantly anti-intellectual they have become over the course of the last generation or so. Cerebral rigor, open-mindedness, and challenging information have long been underpinning aspects of university life. These days, those same elements are regarded as threats on too many campuses.”

Advocacy has increasingly displaced academics in higher education. Activism now permeates higher education as social justice becomes the touchstone for many departments.”

“The emphasis on advocacy at the expense of education has also contributed to the increasing hostility toward opposing views on campus. These professors and students often show little tolerance for others’ views and “advocate” by canceling or silencing other views as ‘harmful.’

As usual with the radicals, "objectivity" or "bothsidesism" is painted as evil, and anyone speaking in support of Israel is automatically a maniacal Zionist who must be deplatformed.”

Students believe only in “their truth,” and once brainwashed, in solipsistic moral superiority, they believe no other view should be considered. And virtually anything is legitimate in the pursuit of their performance outrage, including tossing paint or powders on centuries-old sculptures or artworks, anything for a good TikTok video.

If American democracy is at risk, as we often hear these days, it is not from conservatives or Christians. It is at risk from those on the Left – not Liberals – but Leftist, so-called “Progressive,” socialists—American extremists—who hate their own country, promote class warfare, chaos and disruption like campus mob rule, and reject traditional American values like freedom of speech, free enterprise capitalism, law and order, and patriotism. Why? Well, the US is one of the great “Oppressors,” “colonizers,” inherently racist.

Leftists know they cannot win on the merits of their arguments, so they fall back on power. They prompt street chaos, social debauchery, and lawlessness to create a need for stronger central government led by the new philosopher-kings, the Left.

But Leftists are not nice or happy people. “The Left has devolved into intolerant, inflexible, illogical, hateful, misguided, ill-informed, un-American, hypocritical, menacing, callous, ignorant, narrow-minded and, at times, blatantly fascistic behavior and rhetoric.” The Left is illiberal. Even late-night liberal comedian Bill Maher knows this.

This is what we are seeing on public university quads, the product of a public education that is not values neutral.

As absurd as this may seem, not only is this the insane world in which we now appear to be living, but even more absurd than this, it is a world based upon an insane system of beliefs that we ourselves have created. Put succinctly, with our culture’s abandonment of our Judeo-Christian principles and beliefs, we have now trapped ourselves into being required to operate within the warped logic of a man-made amoral system of beliefs that now prevents us from opposing even that which is evil.”

What do we need to do to adjust, or some would say reclaim, America’s universities, and America itself?

These steps would go a long way:

  1. Significantly reduce federal funding for illiberal universities, which receive tens of millions, even billions, of federal tax dollars every year.
  2. Fire “Woke,” Pro-Hamas administrative leaders and faculty and staff. I’m not naïve. I know this would be an enormous, litigation-fueled task, but it’s what should be done.
  3. Suspend further funding and promotion of DEI or Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. These programs talk a good anti-racist game even as the promote racism, destroy incentive while promoting mediocrity, and are anything but fair or equitable. And as to diversity, on most public university campuses today there is very little if any intellectual diversity allowed, meaning conservatives need not apply.
  4. Expel, not just suspend, students who commit violence, destroy property, harass nearby Jews, or otherwise threaten public safety.

It feels like America is committing suicide, but for most Americans this is not true. But this is exactly what the Left is seeking by generating chaos in pursuit of power. We must protect our own ideals.


Well, we’ll see you again soon. This podcast is about Discerning What Is Best. If you find this thought-provoking and helpful, follow us on your favorite podcast platform. Download an episode for your friends. For more Christian commentary, check my website, r-e-x-m as in Martin, that’s 

And remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm.

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2024   

*This podcast blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at, or connect with me at or

Why has American culture changed so dramatically in the past 25 years?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #147 of Discerning What Is Best, a podcast applying unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, and a Christian worldview to current issues and everyday life.

I’ve been thinking about how much American culture has changed in just the last few years, and in my view, much of it for the negative or bad or worse.

At first, I chided myself, as in this is just “old guy” syndrome that occurs as one ages, thinking “Things just aren’t what they used to be.” It’s a common human sentiment.

But then I thought, no, we clearly and objectively have witnessed dramatic developments that I’m not sure people under 30 years of age even realize because they don’t remember how things used to be different.

Now I realize that “back in my day,” another common old guy sentiment, not everything was good or right or blessed. Certainly not. But then again, I also remember when political leaders, celebrities, and other notables with public platforms at least acknowledged, if not actually affirmed and lived out, what was good or right or blessed. 

So, the next thing I started considering is when did this change occur? When did we become a cruder, less patriotic, less supportive of our heritage and constitutional ideals, polarized, nastier, and in some segments more violent culture?

I wondered when the change occurred, if a time could be identified at all, or maybe what event acted as a “tipping point” for what we are now experiencing?

tipping point is defined as “a critical moment in a complex situation in which a small influence or development produces a sudden large or irreversible change.” Or another definition: “the point at which a slow, reversible change becomes irreversible often with dramatic consequences.” Did we experience a cultural tipping point?

Was it the abortion decision, Roe v Wade? That was enormously consequential, but that was way back in 1973 when I was still in college. Roe v Wade contributed mightily to what we are experiencing now but other trigger events occurred later.

Was it 9-11 in year 2001? That attack on American soil was horrendous—a first-ever event, and a multi-faceted event that everyone old enough to understand will always remember. But I don’t think this was our tipping point.

Was it the rapid approval of medical or recreational cannabis use? This began in—where else—California, when in 1996, Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act, was endorsed by voters. Notice the Orwellian title, “compassionate use”—amazing. Over the next twenty years, marijuana has been legalized in 38 of 50 states. We know using marijuana is not good for the mind and body, yet sales continue to increase rapidly and significantly. But smoking weed is a symptom, not a cause, not a tipping point.

Was it the Supreme Court of the United States landmark 2015 ruling in Obergefell vs Hodges when the Court said same-sex couples had a fundamental right to marry? Maybe. That ruling was tectonic, becoming something of a launchpad for later transgender activism promoting trans ideology that has taken American culture by storm in the decade since the Court’s immoral decision. 

How about year 2020 when we learned about COVID-19, when because of fear governments at all levels limited citizen behavior in ways that overstepped constitutional boundaries and did so regarding freedom of worship and mobility, and social media and major media began to restrict freedom of speech in the interest of quelling what they determined was “disinformation”? 

Or that same year, with the tragic death at the hands of police of George Floyd, and the follow-on Black Lives Matter coordinated riots and destruction in American cities? And with BLM and other organizations the rapid expansion of so-called “woke” social justice philosophiesarguing racism and white supremacy systematically characterized every aspect of American life? Were those tipping points, or simply more symptoms of the cause?

I admit it’s difficult, maybe impossible to cite just one social development responsible for igniting cultural brushfires that burn out of control, tearing down ideals, values, laws, traditions, all the building blocks that make a culture possible and sustainable in the first place.

According to the late great historian, Will Durant, “a great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within. He attributes the decline of Rome to various internal factors, including its people, morals, class struggle, failing trade, bureaucratic despotism, stifling taxes, and consuming wars.” This is American culture’s challenge today.

What we are witnessing, what I just listed, are social products of decisions people have made earlier, back to the 1960s counterculture: a rejection of a Sovereign God, the idea of absolute objective truth, creation of human beings in the image of God and therefore responsible and accountable to him., as well as eternally valuable.

Once these core beliefs, ones that formed the foundation of Western Civilization, are set aside, there is nothing left to hold up the structure of the society and culture in which we live. What’s left, or what happens next, is crumbling, which is what we are witnessing.

In the language of the old KJV, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he” Prov. 29:18.

What we are witnessing is Romans 1 come to life. “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futileand their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools” Rom 1:18-22.

“Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them” Rom 1:28-32.

Later in 2 Pet 3:5, the old KJV says people are “willingly ignorant,” or as other versions state it, people “deliberately forget.” In other words, they choose to be irrational.

I’ve tried to find an illustration of this. It’s like I point to a grey rock and say, “That’s an ice cream cone,” and you accept my statement as truth. Make no sense? Sure, but that’s what “suppress the truth by their wickedness” means. That’s what “willingly ignorant” means.

So today, American culture considers true, things we did not consider true when I was in college:

Babies in the womb are not human, just fetuses, so abortion is health care, not murder.

Men can become women and vice versa merely by identifying with the other gender.

Debt has no consequences, no future accountability.

Sex without commitment or fidelity is not consequential but fun and marriage is optional.

Crime and lawlessness are not wrong but justified reparations for historic discrimination.

Race is what defines human beings, not character.

American culture no longer has a moral North Star. We believe, and therefore we do, whatever seems right in our own eyes (Judges 17:6).

Is there no hope? I don’t believe that because I believe in “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” Heb 12:2.


Well, we’ll see you again soon. This podcast is about Discerning What Is Best. If you find this thought-provoking and helpful, follow us on your favorite podcast platform. Download an episode for your friends. For more Christian commentary, check my website, r-e-x-m as in Martin, that’s 

And remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm.

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2024   

*This podcast blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at, or connect with me at or

In this presidential election year, the public often looks at what a candidate says he believes, and this seems like a good thing to do, but did you know that historically the religion a president professes doesn’t seem to predict his behavior or success in office?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #146 of Discerning What Is Best, a podcast applying unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, and a Christian worldview to current issues and everyday life.



This is a presidential election year, and a raucous one at that, so perhaps we should pause at least once and think about whether the ultimately elected president’s religion even matters.

Let’s begin with the best. Abraham Lincoln is near universally considered the greatest president in American history. Many scholars also regard Lincoln as America’s greatest “civil theologian.” Lincoln remains the only president who used the name Jesus Christ rather than simply God in his public utterances. His Second Inaugural Address delivered March 4, 1865, stands as one of the most impressive theologically infused orations in American political history. 

However, Christian historian Mark A. Noll said, “Considerable uncertainty arises…when Lincoln’s own religion is examined. On the one hand, it is obvious that Christianity exerted a profound influence on his life…On the other hand, Lincoln never joined a church nor ever made a clear profession of standard Christian beliefs. While he read the Bible in the White House, he was not in the habit of saying grace before meals…(yet) Lincoln's speeches and conversation revealed a spiritual perception far above the ordinary. It is one of the great ironies of the history of Christianity in America that the most profoundly religious analysis of the nation's deepest trauma came not from a clergyman or a theologian but from a politician who was self-taught in the ways of both God and humanity.”

Yet if Americans had looked simply to Lincoln’s record of church affiliation and public professions of spiritual rectitude, they never would have elected him.

So, does a president’s religion matter?  Yes and No. Yes, if religion is defined as personal convictions, attitudes, behaviors, and character based upon theological understanding. No, if religion means denominational affiliation, spiritual posturing, a capacity for quoting Scripture or using its phrasing in slogans for political objectives—think Bill Clinton’s “New Covenant”—or even having the “right” view on litmus test political issues. In recent American decades the electorate and certainly the “Christian community” have focused more on the latter than the former.

Let’s look back at a few presidents. President Harry S. Truman was a gifted leader who made it to the White House on talent, hard work, common sense, and FDR’s untimely death. Truman’s presidency proved momentous, and his leadership is gaining respect as decades pass. He claimed to be a Baptist, but his penchant for cursing during radio addresses and his “Give ‘em hell, Harry” approach disillusioned many of his Christian supporters.

In 1960, pundits predicted Democrat JFK would never win the nomination much less the presidency because he was Catholic. Then Kennedy won the primary in heavily Protestant West Virginia by landslide.  After that, not many people talked about whether a President Kennedy would be subservient to the Pope. As it turned out, Kennedy’s Catholicism was in little evidence during his presidency, while his sexual adventurism with Marilyn Monroe and others took more of his time, coming to light years after his assassination in 1963. 

Following the unpopular and morally crude LBJ, a member of the Disciples of Christ, and an even more unpopular war, Republican Richard M. Nixon won the presidency on a second try in 1968.A Quaker, his presidency, reputation, and legacy bowed to resignation in 1974, the victim of his actions in the Watergate cover-up. The “law and order” President left office a lawbreaker. 

In 1976, Democrat Jimmy Carter was embraced by Christians and appreciated for declaring himself “born again.” He taught Sunday School even as President. In the 2000s, Republican George W. Bushexperienced much the same, acceptance by Christians and appreciation for his saying “Jesus Christ” was his favorite political philosopher. There’s little doubt both Carter and Bush are genuine believers. Yet their political views are dramatically different, and both experienced degrees of rejection by Christians for what some consider ineffective presidencies. 

During the 1980s, Ronald Reagan was regarded as deeply religious, but he rarely went to church. Reagan’s religious convictions and certainly his spiritual life are variously even contradictorily described by members of his own family.     

During the 1990s William Clinton’s administration enjoyed a good economy and is remembered for positive accomplishment. But Baptist Clinton, who claims Christian faith and discusses religious matters knowledgeably, conducted a White House affair with Monica Lewinsky, then lied about it under oath.       

Former president Barack Obama repeatedly said he is a Christian, yet some still express concerns about his religious heritage, i.e., his Muslim father and his education in Muslim schools.    

Donald Trump has a record of no real church attendance, earlier lived a promiscuous life with multiple marriages, and said he never asked God for forgiveness because he didn’t know of anything for which he needed forgiveness. Yet while President, Mr. Trump held up the Bible in a photo-op in front of a Washington, D.C. church and he has consistently defended religious liberty. 

President Joe Biden makes a show of being Catholic, crosses himself publicly, but some American bishops say he should be denied the Eucharist because of his views of reproductive rights. Biden promotes abortion on demand to birth, calls it a constitutional right, pushes this view on other nations of the world as a requirement to qualify for US foreign aid. He is also known for roaring temper, a filthy vocabulary, and questionable financial ethics.

Have you heard the expression, “Americans get the President they deserve”? What this means is that Presidents are often more a symptom than a cause. Yes, who they are is important and can influence the course of the nation’s future. But who elected them in the first place is what’s key.

For example, about 68% of Americans consider themselves Christians, but only 6% of Americans hold a biblical worldview. Less than half of those who self-identify as Christians actually “born again.” And when you look deeper at biblical worldview, well, beginning with older generations down to the youngest, biblical worldview understanding falls off a cliff:

65+           8% have a biblical worldview.

50s-64      5%

30s-40s    3%

30-under, 1%

Christian social researcher, George Barna, says, “The biblical worldview is shuffling toward the edge of the cliff.  As things stand today, biblical theism is much closer to extinction in America than it is to influencing the soul of the nation.” 

If this is the population electing our presidents, is it then any wonder we get presidents who are not necessarily paragons of virtue?

The US has had effective Presidents whose religious inclinations were seemingly of little consequence in their lives. And we’ve had ineffective Presidents whose faith meant a great deal to them, as well as Presidents with glaring personal issues whose religious identity was promoted. It is, therefore, difficult to escape the conclusion that professed religion doesn’t predict much about political leaders’ actions.

So, what really matters in terms of a President’s spiritual quality? The same thing that matters for the rest of us—character, founded upon worthy values. Is the political leader honest, truthful, humble, respectful, gracious, trustworthy, diligent in work, and moral? This may sound like the political leader is running for Boy or Girl Scout. But give the Scouts credit, they figured out a long time ago what makes a person a better person, and leader.  

Pay less attention to candidates’ religious identity and scripted photo-ops and more attention to the pattern of their lives.     

Scripture reminds us—“In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him. A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart.”  Prov 21:1-3

“Righteousness,” we are told, “exalts a nation Prov 14:34, not only a president’s but more importantly our own, the people’s values, attitudes, and behaviors.  

But either way, we should not worry, “for the kings of the earth belong to God; he is exalted” Ps 47:9.


Well, we’ll see you again soon. This podcast is about Discerning What Is Best. If you find this thought-provoking and helpful, follow us on your favorite podcast platform. Download an episode for your friends. For more Christian commentary, check my website, r-e-x-m as in Martin, that’s 

And remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm.

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2024     

*This podcast blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at, or connect with me at or

Should Christians use preferred pronouns as a matter of respect for other persons, or should Christians decline to use preferred pronouns in order to speak truth?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #145 of Discerning What Is Best, a podcast applying unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, and a Christian worldview to current issuesand everyday life.

“Misgendering,” a word most of us would not have recognized a mere ten years ago, is now a matter of controversy in American culture. Misgendering means “to identify the gender of (a person, such as a nonbinary or transgender person) incorrectly (as by using an incorrect label or pronoun).” For example, call a woman identifying as a man “she,” and you are guilty of misgendering.

Deadnaming” is a similar, relatively new word, that refers to the act of calling a transgender or non-binary person by a name they used prior to transitioning, such as their birth name. Usually this involves a person who has gone from a masculine or feminine given name to one they believe better aligns with their gender identity.

Enormously successful Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has been criticized, demeaned, made a victim of efforts to cancel or silence her, and threatened with arrest in Scotland simply because she believes a woman is a woman, values her life experience as a woman, and has had the temerity to say so.

The issue of gender pronouns has become controversial because some (activists)… want people who self-identify as transgendered to be called by their gender pronouns of choice,” what are now called preferred pronouns.

For fear of offending someone, people are being encouraged, or in many corporate environments required, to say things like: “Hi, I’m John and I go by he/him. Nice to meet you,” or in a meeting: “Hi everyone. I’m Mollie. I’m the senior program manager and I go by she/her” or “Hi, I’m Akeem, and I go by ‘they’ pronouns. How should I refer to you?

Theoretically, “these actions help make…workplace(s) more inclusive of transgender, gender nonconforming, and gender non-binary people.”

The rationale goes like this: “Using appropriate pronouns (or new names) is a first step toward respecting people's gender identity and creating a more welcoming space for people of all genders…the bottom line is that everyone deserves to have their self-ascribed name and pronouns respected in the workplace.”

Intentionally calling someone by the wrong pronoun (or old name) can make them feel disrespected or alienated, and can take a toll on their mental health. It is also offensive and can be considered harassment.”

Now, employees in some Christian organizations are declaring they wish to use preferred pronouns, indicating they are personally identifying as, or are at least supporting, gender status other than male or female.

Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, recently updated its policy handbook. “The college explains that stating pronouns violates school policy, and that anything beyond saying "he/him" and "she/her" is outside a “created reality of a biological binary.”

“Houghton University, another evangelical school, recently fired two resident hall directors for putting pronouns in their email signatures.” 

So, this is a current controversy, and it is not going to go away because misgendering, preferred pronouns, deadnaming, and related vocabulary battles are where the ideological wars are being fought. Ideologically driven activists know they cannot win based upon logic or science or history, or if honestly reviewed, historic religion, so they work to win with words. Change the vocabulary of the discussion and you’re halfway to victory.

This is why it is disconcerting to hear Christians, or even conservatives in general, use words like “partner,” for “it denotes no gender, no relationship status that involves exclusivity or fidelity. You can’t cheat on a ‘partner,’ you’re just partners.” This “normalizes whatever someone does sexually, and it removes gender from the mix.” It's even more disconcerting to hear television anchors replace mothers and traditional language with words like “birthing people,” “chest feeders,” “people who menstruate,” “egg producer,” or just “carrier.”

Gender pronouns are inscrutable, but that’s really the whole point. The bane of the American left is meaning, and they’re engaged in total war…The left understands very well that if they control language, they control thought.”

But, “assenting to someone’s gender pronouns isn’t (just) a matter of politeness, or an easy means to avoid conflict, nor is it a matter of affirming someone’s preference. Bending the knee to…gender pronouns…is affirming a lie. It’s a denial of what we all know intuitively, what classical philosophy recognized as the natural law — that there are only two sexes/genders extant among humans on this planet.”

“Deny(ing) something so primal, so fundamental is intellectually and spiritually suicidal — you host and propagate the worst kind of lie, the kind you tell yourself. In doing so, you cripple your ability to reason, suffocate conscience, and unmoor yourself from reality. Moreover, having accepted the irrational, you become complicit in the self-destruction of those within your power to rescue.”

Does loving our neighbor demand we accept their false values? No. In 1 Jn 3:18, we’re reminded “let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”

Pronoun madness is a post-Christian culture malady. And now there is an ever-growing list of possible gender identities. As of late last year, 81 possible gender identity hybrids had achieved recognition, and they come with associated pronouns.

New on the block are “neopronouns.” “Neopronoun can be a word created to serve as a pronoun without expressing gender. Examples are ‘xe/xir/xirs,’ ‘ze/zir/zirs,’ ‘ey/em/eir,’ etc. (as opposed to ‘he/him/his’ or ‘she/her/hers’). With neopronouns, a person’s pronouns don’t need to reflect the gender binary. Gender becomes a creation of the individual and loses almost any connection to the physical world.”

“A subset of neopronouns is noun-self pronouns…‘a pre-existing word … drafted into use as a pronoun. Noun-self pronouns can refer to animals — so your pronouns can be… ‘kitten/kittenself.’ Others refer to fantasy characters — ‘vamp/vampself,’ ‘prin/cess/princesself’ …” In other words, a noun-self pronoun doesn’t even need to reflect the fact that you are a human being.”

If our sexual and gender identities are no longer expressions of our biological sex and our bodies, then there’s no stopping a person from identifying as the opposite sex, no sex, both sexes, or nonhuman things like animalsobjectsfictional characters, or abstract concepts. Without the human body as the source of one’s identity, ‘I am a woman trapped in a man’s body’ becomes just as plausible as ‘I am a wolf trapped in a human body.’ One’s identity is limited only by one’s imagination.”

Pronouns have become expressions of one’s self-proclaimed identity, a claim that proponents insist that everyone must affirm—or else.” “‘Gender’ is no longer correlated to an empirical reality like the body but has become a mere expression of one’s own self-perception or self-declaration. It has become, like so many other things, a mode of expressive individualism.”

Pronoun madness is a spiritual virus to which we must respond, lovingly yes, caringly yes, never hating yes, but still, recognizing there is a different set of values being pushed upon us, upon American culture, and upon the next generations, values that are irrational, nihilistic, ungodly, and deadly.

Even “former President Richard Nixon (a person whose own moral conscience went astray) once observed that many make the mistake of thinking that conflict is the result of misunderstanding rather than difference of belief.” He was correct.

What we are talking about regarding this intentional change of vocabulary is not resolvable via dialogue around a campfire in Aspen. It’s not about two equally worthy points of view with a peaceful consensus somewhere in the middle. It’s about fundamental differences in beliefs about God, the created order, humanity created in God’s image, and truth.

I recognize that “in cases of professional or personal relationships, believers may feel that it’s best to ‘pick their battles’ rather than take a rigid stance on such terms.” I realize that for some, the choice not to use preferred pronouns, i.e. to misgender, could threaten one’s employment.  

Yet, “while Christians need to be careful and respectful, respect cannot extend to endorsing ideas that the Bible calls false.” This helps no one.


Well, we’ll see you again soon. This podcast is about Discerning What Is Best. If you find this thought-provoking and helpful, follow us on your favorite podcast platform. Download an episode for your friends. For more Christian commentary, check my website, r-e-x-m as in Martin, that’s

And remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm.

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2024  

*This podcast blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at, or connect with me at or