Jesus said, Be in the world but not of the world. But to do that, we have to think, we have to Discern What Is Best. But how, pray tell, do we do this?
Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #1 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.
Years ago, one of our sons returned from a date with his girlfriend. They’d gone to a movie and decided to walk out because the film proved to be less than worthy.
What was interesting to me at the time was his exasperation when he got home—something that turned out to be a teaching moment for me and what he later said was a maturing moment for him. Remember, they’d walked out because the film got nasty. I was proud of them for doing so. But when we talked about it at the dining room table that evening he said, “But Dad, it was PG-13. It was supposed to be OK.”
Yeah, it was supposed to be OK.
He’d wisely checked the ratings, as we’d taught our kids to do, to assure he wasn’t taking his girlfriend to a raunchy movie. But the film’s language and sex scenes belied the rating.
The teaching moment was this: Checking the ratings was a good thing. But a rating of PG-13 doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good movie, or one that’s worth your time and money. Hollywood or critics may say it’s a good movie, but that doesn’t mean it actually is. A rating is one indicator. It helps, but you still have to think. You have to exercise your spiritual discernment.
Through that experience my son learned to think more carefully, purposefully, and thoroughly.
He learned to apply his Christian worldview and to flex his Christian critical thinking muscles. He took another step toward mature spiritual discernment.
Thinking, particularly the kind where we apply knowledge of the Scripture to life’s everyday issues and events isn’t what it used to be.
In my estimation, as a culture if not individually, we give over too much to a host of pretenders we let do our thinking for us = celebrities, politicians, preachers, athletes, super models and super stars.
But God does not want us to be confused by the world’s false teachers and wayward influencers.
In Col. 2:8, the Lord said, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.”
God does not want us simply to absorb our culture’s philosophy du jour. To “catch our worldview like measles” as Francis A. Schaeffer once said.
God does not want us confused and disillusioned.
God created us to think. He created us in his image as reasoning though we’re not always reasonable beings and he entrusted us with the responsibility to think well and wisely. This we must do to care for ourselves, our families, our country, and the world. God wants us to think, to discern as the Scripture calls it.
Spiritual discernment is rooted in Philippians 1:9-11.
9 - “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,
10 - so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,
11 - filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.”
It’s the act of using biblical principals and values to Discern What Is Best so that we may live the Christian life the way God intended. It’s about holiness, Christian liberty, independent judgment, and mature decision-making. It’s the act of living “in the world” while being “not of the world.”
We’d do well to rediscover or to develop how to “think Christianly.”
What, for example, does Christian spiritual discernment suggest about these thorny issues?
--religious professions or protestations of presidential candidates
--respecting Muslims while disagreeing with tenets of Islam
--deficit spending and debt
The list of issues needing, nay crying, for Christian thinking is virtually endless.
So, I say, learn to discern and think Christianly…about everything = Discern What Is Best.
That’s what this podcast is about, Discerning What Is Best. If you find this thought-provoking and helpful, look for us on your favorite podcast platform. Download an episode for your friends. Helps us all learn to discern what is best.
How do we learn to discern what is best?
By learning biblical doctrine – In 2 Peter 1:3, God said, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”
So how do we discern what is best?
By understanding the principals and values we’ve drawn from unchanging biblical doctrine, by learning about real world issues in this rapidly changing world, and by applying our biblical, Spirit-guided discernment to real world concerns and everyday issues of life.
As long as we breathe, we can never “not think.” We live, we are Christians, therefore we (should) think Christianly. It is our great blessing and liberty.
Well, we’ll see you again soon. For more Christian commentary, be sure to subscribe to this podcast, Discerning What Is Best, or check my website, r-e-x-m as in Martin, that’s rexmrogers.com. And remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm.
© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2022
*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 www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.