Two New eBooks at Amazon Kindle!

FacebookMySpaceTwitterDiggDeliciousStumbleuponRSS Feed

Have you heard the old saw, the only constant is change? Well, it seems that’s true, for social change continues at an unprecedented pace, and this means more spiritual opportunities if we’re ready to respond.

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #104 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.

Trends have always interested me, trends in about anything really. Of course, none of us are omniscient, so predictions and prognostications are to be taken with a grain of salt at best.

Someone once said, “I am not a prophet or the son of a prophet, and I have rarely made a profit” and that’s the case for me. I’m not a prophet, the son of one, and as a guy who’s worked with nonprofit organizations all my career, I’ve not really focused on the profit-motive either.

But other experts and pundits have much to say about tomorrow’s trends. My interest here is in trends that may present new challenges and opportunities for Christian ministry.

Rapid social change is a given, and the speed with which things now change has certainly increased. People used to talk about “long-term planning,” which gave way to “strategic planning,” which gave way to “scenario planning,” “continuous planning” or “multi-year outlooks.” The idea of the latter is to create an “evergreen” or “living plan.”

Back in WWII, General Dwight Eisenhower said, “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

Planning is not ipso facto a lack of faith, nor is it necessarily a presumption upon faith. Planning is simply an activity that attempts to use the brains God gave us, study the world in which we live, and make decisions about what might be our best options for accomplishing our goals.

Identifying trends is part of planning.

Trends are broad movements, social, economic, demographic, etc., that give us a clue about what might be happening around the corner, and since none of us can see around corners, having a clue can be helpful.

So, in terms of global Christian ministry, what trends might we be thinking about?

Some of this we’ll borrow from our friends at Missio Nexus.

  1. Immigration– Only 3.2% of the world’s population are living in a country other than their birth country. But still, that’s 218 million people, a small number compared to billions. Many of these immigrants are coming to the United States. 

I have always been “pro-immigration,” so to speak. We are a “nation of immigrants” after all. My pro-immigration attitude presupposes legal immigration, which is decidedly not what is happening on our southern borders where several million people have come across in the past three years without the benefit of legal process. 

But politics is not our topic here.  Mission trends are.

Immigration to the United States fits something called “diaspora ministry,” the idea that as people disperse across the globe, they are coming to our shores, our towns. We don’t have to go to them in the old-style missionary-couple-goes-to Africa way.

So, the question becomes, how will American churches react to this spiritual opportunity?

  1. I. or Artificial Intelligence.This new form of machine learning and generative text software is rapidly increasing in applications, power, and potential. Some large Christian nonprofits are already using A.I. to help them do a kind of “triage,” wherein the A.I. tool analyzes contacts from thousands in mere seconds, then categorizes them based on needed response, including which ones need an immediate human counselor contact.

The point is not to offload spiritual responsibility to computers but to use A.I. to make possible an expanded ministry.

SAT-7, the Middle East/North Africa Christian satellite broadcasting and online ministry with which I serve is presently evaluating A.I. tools that could possibly amplify our ability to share Christian truth and the Gospel throughout that vast region.

  1. Population Shifts. This is related to immigration and also to in-migration, the movement of peoples within their own country.

Entire towns and villages in Eastern Europe are already in massive decline. People are fleeing these places for more populated areas. 

In the next fifty years, China will undergo population implosion at a rate never seen. “(This) population decline is partially a result of China’s one-child policy, which for more than 35 years limited couples to only having one child. Women caught going against the policy were often subject to forced abortions, heavy fines, and eviction.” 

Because Chinese families usually wanted male offspring and took steps accordingly, now in Chinese cities there are tens of thousands of young men with no real prospects of ever finding a wife. There are simply not enough women. Not enough opportunity to form relationships and go forward.

Young men who have no ability to find companionship often ban together an do a whole lot of not so good things. It is difficult at best. 

The ruling Chinese Communist Party is now trying to alter this plan, but it’s probably too late. Playing God is never a good idea.

  1. Continued division and dysfunction in the US Church. Clearly, American culture, and the Church, is struggling, or more than struggling, is in serious trouble.

Moral relativism, sexual and gender confusion, ideological social justice with its Diversity, Equity, Inclusion distractions, pronoun craziness, “love wins” heresy, end-of-the-world climate change hysteria, even leftist nihilism have found their way into churches, denominations, Christian universities, and Christian nonprofits.

The US church is now experiencing a kind of secularization, reversing itself with the growth of the “Nones” – No Religious Preference – and the inability of the Evangelical church to pass its faith on to the sons and daughters of the current generation. If you don’t believe me, review some of George Barna’s research.

Evangelical leadership is mostly Baby Boomers, my age bracket, and they are exiting. In their place, we have few obvious leaders who can step in and take up this mantle. 

The non-Western missionary movement’s largest funder is the US. What happens when this funding goes away?

Our institutions are crumbling, leaving us vulnerable and aimless. It’s this general decay of authority, along with ideological passions, that makes our public culture seem so dysfunctional . . . for the most part the West is frustrated, cynical, angry—and hysterical. 

We see the disintegration of social forms and the atomization of individuals. Today, a young person is more likely to be formed within the fluid world of social media than by traditional institutions.

Those who draw upon metaphysical truths no longer wield establishment power. Media, universities, foundations, and other institutions denounce us as ‘fearful of change’ at best, and more often as ‘haters,’ ‘homophobes,’ and other moral monstrosities.

American Christians no longer live in a culture that reinforces Christian faith. We live in a postmodern, post-Christian culture that is moving daily farther and farther away from a worldview rooted in Christian values.

  1. Christianity is growing more in the global South than in the North. Christianity is growing the fastest in Africa (2.77% growth) and Asia (1.50%). 

In 1900, twice as many Christians lived in Europe than in the rest of the world combined. Today, more Christians live in Africa than any other continent. By 2050, Africa will be home to almost 1.3 billion Christians, while Latin America (686 million) and Asia (560 million) will both have more than Europe (497 million) and North America (276 million).

God is still in charge.

The Old Testament Habakkuk 2:14 says, “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”  

In the Old Testament Malachi 1:1, God says, “‘My name will be great among the nations, from where the sun rises to where it sets. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to me, because my name will be great among the nations,’ says the Lord Almighty.”

God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. So, whatever happens in the future, God will be there.


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, 2023     

*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  

Have you thought about how much the world has changed in your lifetime?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #51 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.

On this, Oct 25, my 70th birthday, I feel compelled to share a podcast that offers some personal reflections. 

If you had told me when I was 30, or even when I was 60, about some of the things now taking place in our culture and country I would have rejected most of the possibilities out of hand.

Like many of my older friends, I have to say it seems like our culture and country are upside down, in many ways unrecognizable from the experience of my childhood and even my experience as a young adult.

Of course, not everything is bad or wrong or irrational. We’ve made technological and medical progress that benefits us all. I remember the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and the good changes that resulted from it. I’m glad women are treated differently now, given more access in the workplace, and recognized for the leadership and other creative potential they can and do contribute. Our ability to communicate via satellite broadcasting and the internet now makes it possible for us to share the Gospel and Christian teaching globally, to reach the unreached, and to speak into so-called “closed” countries, a concept that from the point of view of a Sovereign God does not exist. For the Lord, there are no closed meaning unreachable countries, no closed meaning unreachable hearts.

But with some positive change we’ve experienced a boatload of negative change.

The pandemic occurred as part and parcel of living in a fallen world. Pestilences and disease come and go. But the government overreach, the fake news, the government mandates not just threatening but taking away freedom of worship, mobility, assembly, and speech in this, the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, was and remains disheartening at best, dangerous at worst.

The rapid, fall off a cliff movement of our culture to embrace first a level of sexual permissiveness a healthy society cannot sustain, then to embrace, promote, and demand sexual liberation that is utterly irrational in the face of history, biology, culture, and religion is mind-boggling.

It’s only been twenty years since TV show “Will and Grace” paved the way for gay characters on television. In the past two decades, LGBTQ has become an unstoppable tour de force pushing not simply for tolerance or acceptance but normalization, legitimation, and promotion in every aspect of life including religion. LGBTQ in a short time has gone from something considered immoral or perverted to something considered acceptable, no big deal, and to each his own.

It was just seven years ago in 2015 that the Supreme Court of the United States opened the legal doors to same-sex marriage via Obergefell v. Hodges. President Barack Obama switched his viewpoint while in office in order to support same-sex marriage as some new civil rights accomplishment.

It was just seven years ago that Bruce Jenner appeared dressed as a woman on the cover of “Vanity Fair” with the now infamous comment, “Call me Caitlyn.”

Transgender ideology, following upon the heels of LGB politics, has become the new flavor of the month. President Joe Biden has repeatedly argued that transgenderism, along with abortion in his mind, is a newly discovered constitutional right. Meanwhile, the last appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States, Ketanji Brown Jackson, answered a question during her confirmation hearings about defining a woman, with the comment, “I’m not a biologist.” In other words, a woman vying for and now holding the highest legal office in the land suggests she cannot provide a definition for woman. This level of unremitting irrationality is now being vigorously embraced and promoted in the nation’s public schools from kindergarten to grad school. What do you suppose this kind of willful sexual deceit will do to the next generation of American children?

Truth, i.e., moral absolutes, meaning right vs wrong, has been systematically jettisoned beginning in the 1960s and now to a point where celebrities or politicians regularly talk about “Your truth” or “I know my truth.” Among the results of this rush to free us all from reality so we can do what’s right in our own eyes, is a new spate of lawlessness, inconsistent, inconsequential, and near irrelevant law enforcement. Consequently, schools, sports events, city centers are unsafe crime spree zones. That’s crime spree, not crime free. Not a week goes by that does not prove out this sad observation.

Patriotism, too, is no longer kosher. One must not celebrate a country in which something bad happened in the past, some group was ill-treated, or in someone’s view is not perfect. I heard a school board member from Fargo, North Dakota say the board had voted to cease repeating the “Pledge of Allegiance” because it didn’t align with the district’s equity and inclusion values, and that—here’s the amazing part—he said it wasn’t true, that since there was not “liberty and justice for all” he couldn’t embrace it. Where, one wonders, did this man fail to learn about ideals and aspirations, about goals, about making statements about what we want to be?

Meanwhile, even the U.S. military has gone woke in a variety of ways, placing more priority on race and gender than on preparedness.

And I know that no amount of social support programs, free housing, medical care, mental health services, public defenders, state hospital, hospitals, jails, criminal justice system, substance abuse treatment, and more can meet the need of a population of people who do not police themselves, no longer look to family or church, and reject all categories of right and wrong in the name of unlimited personal happiness. 

So, when we list these things it becomes like a sad litany, an “I don’t recognize my own country” disillusionment. I understand when I hear older people make this comment.

But I have always attempted to be optimistic, not pessimistic, in part because that’s what I believe Christians ought to be. We know the Sovereign God who is not surprised by any of this. We know the Lord who knows and holds the end of the story, history, in his hands. We know that in darkness the light of Christ should shine more brightly through us. Why then should we succumb to despair?

I admit feeling discouraged when I hear of another absurd and radical idea or development being championed as the brave new world. But this is to be expected in the intentionally de-Christianizing culture and times in which we live.

In his book, Strange New World, Christian scholar Carl R. Trueman notes that in the book of Psalms, the various psalmists regularly wrestled with the vagaries of the world around them. They were honest, sharing their anxieties and concerns with God.

“But this is never for the purpose of self-validation or, worse still, a wallowing in self-indulgent pity. Rather, it is for the purpose of setting the experiences and the feelings recounted within the context of God’s great truths.”

The psalmists present a view of the Christian life that is marked by joy but that also knows sorrow and loss. They set the struggles of the present in the context of God’s great actions in times past and promises for the future.” Consequently, they help to keep perspective—theological and emotional—on the events of the present.

We do not live by sentiments. Jesus said, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God,” (Matt. 4:4).

So, in my 70th year I want to live well as long as God gives me to live. And I want to have finished well when he says my expiration date has arrived.

To do this, you and I, while being now weary in doing good in the face of trials and travails of this world (Gal. 6:9).

“Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus,” (Heb. 1:1-2).


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, 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, or connect with me at  

I’m sometimes asked if I’m concerned about the future of our country. Yes.

The question implies the barbarians are at the gate. But therein is the problem.

The barbarians are already inside, influencing culture: education, media, entertainment, sports, business, medicine, law, politics.

Abortion continues, not as “safe, legal, and rare,” but as abortion on demand.

The new gender ideology, brooking no disagreement, is now propagated at all levels of education. Children are encouraged to question their biological sex.

“Diversity, inclusion, and equity” is now the measure of all things, meaning everything is racialized—National Anthem, missing persons cases, everything.

Group identity is more determining than individual choice.

Politics is an exercise in toxicity, anything to stay in power.

Elected officials declare they either will not enforce the law or will violate it to achieve their political ends.

Proponents of this new radicalism aren’t debating different ways to enhance American ideals. They are rejecting them.

They think they can discard foundational ideals, e.g., natural law, individual responsibility, “male and female created he them,” objective truth, which made free Western civilization possible, and still have a free society. 

But what you get is not freedom but barbarians and decline.

So what do we do? "Stand firm. Let nothing move you."

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2021    

*This 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

With all the talk about "unprecedented" this and that, I thought of Andrew Jackson's campaigns and his initial victory in 1828 when frontiersmen crashed the 1829 party at the White House, walking around in muddy boots. And remember the viciousness to which Jackson’s wife was subjected, who died days before his inauguration. All this matches anything from 2021.

I don’t say this to trivialize much less excuse the President, rioters, or those now twisting what happened to maximize their political advantage. 

I note what King Solomon said, “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecc. 1:9).


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2021    

*This 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    

Social movements, inevitably, move beyond their founders, triggering events, and initial raison d'être. Don’t believe me? Read history—that is, if anyone cares anymore about history:

  • Multiple competing agendas develop
  • Without a charismatic leader who embodies the movement they become directionless
  • Without that genuine leader, pretenders turn on each other, destroying the movement
  • Celebrities get involved but with rare exception are shallow by definition, seeking 15 minutes of fame and no more
  • Meanings of words change, to the point people talk past one another
  • Original intent can be overwhelmed, hijacked, displaced, unrecognizably recrafted, forgotten
  • Violence can occur but rarely makes the impact anticipated
  • Sustainable social change takes place when goals resonate with an objective reality that aligns with human aspiration.

“Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time” (Ecc. 1:10). 


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This 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    

One of the things I find fascinating, and at times frustrating, is trying to convey to young adults just how much societal and cultural things have changed. I mean from the time I was their age, and especially since I was in my 20s or when I was a kid.

This may not sound like much, or it may sound like just another old codger grumping about getting older, and maybe it is. But I don’t think so.

For example, I remember the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s, which in some ways is similar to race discussions now but in other ways not at all. Yes, there is more to be done, but No, it is not true that no progress has been made. And if you read speeches given by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, you’ll hear him calling for human rights for people of all colors and creeds. You’ll hear him dream about a “color-blind” society. This is decidedly not what we are hearing today. Now it’s about “identity politics.” It’s about advancing one group’s rights, or power, versus another. It’s not about respecting and realizing the ideals of the American experiment, as King called us to do, but about rejecting those ideals. Race politics in the 2000s is qualitatively different from race politics in the 60s and 70s.

The abortion issue looms large. Since Roe vs Wade (1973), more than 58 million abortions have taken place in the United States. Now it seems there are fewer political leaders on either side of the aisle who are willing to stand as pro-life, and even more importantly, actually work to change this situation. We’ve had “pro-life Presidents” like Reagan or GW Bush, but we still have abortions. More and more of the next generations simply consider abortion a civil right, so things are not likely to change soon.

Moral issues were front and center in the 60s: “Make love not war,” do what feels good, the whole spectrum of loosening and changing sexual mores, except one key difference. The sexual discussion in those days assumed the existence and historic attractions of man and woman, not the 71 hybrid versions of gender identity some now say exist.

In addition, LGBTQ has become a social force demanding recognition for any and all manner of self-proclaimed sexual proclivities, which in turn are presented regularly on television programs, i.e. sit-coms must have a gay character and entire shows are built around LGBTQ characters.  It’s really incredible how quickly LGBTQ points of view have been embraced by the general culture and by political leaders, like for example former President Barack Obama who began his term opposed to same-sex marriage and by the end was its best-known advocate

“Trans” quickly became the next frontier after same-sex marriage was accepted, particularly through the high-profile transition of Bruce Jenner to Caitlyn Jenner. Bruce, a gold medal decathlete in the 1976 Olympics, and later the increasingly emasculated father of the Kardashian clan, had worldwide fame, so his inexplicable and sad transformation got global coverage and thus reinforced the idea anyone who wants to be trans should be saluted for doing so. And the rest of the population must make accommodations from public restrooms to youth camps. Corporations made a pell-mell rush to present themselves as “with it,” proclaiming their support, or not-supporting athletic tournaments or even entire states like North Carolina where laws existed that seemed to discriminate against trans people using public facilities. In any event, there’s an ongoing movement to try to normalize LGBT and now every manifestation represented by Q, and for a sports fan like me, seeing a hero athlete like Bruce, who was young when I was young, follow the path he has taken is a sad experience indeed.

Don’t get me wrong.  I support human rights and civil liberties. I do not embrace or endorse discrimination against any American citizen, including those with different gender or sex orientation than I understand, nor for that matter undocumented immigrants. I do not want any American citizen to be prohibited from working or living in given communities, etc. But I do not believe every inclination, sexual included, of any individual must ipso facto be embraced and normalized. Some things people want to do are objectively wrong and injurious and should not be legalized.

For example, I do not believe in “cultural relativism.” While I do not in any way believe immigrants or refugees should be discriminated against or in some other way socially harmed because of their faith or culture, at the same time, I recognize that among both Muslim and Christian subgroups in some cultures, actions like FGM or honor killings or forcibly arranged marriages are practiced. I reject these actions, regardless of the religion or culture involved, because these actions are, on a human rights level, immoral and threatening to the individuals involved and to society. They are quite simply, wrong, and I believe society must be able to say so, thus preventing these behaviors. But today, there are many who argue otherwise, saying whatever one’s culture prescribes is, in essence, OK, and the public has no say. This is very different from the American social logic generally applied when I was younger.

I could list other examples of societal or cultural change but perhaps this is enough. And I do not mean to imply that all change has been bad or wrong. I appreciate the progress American culture has made in recognizing how women are treated and in giving them access. I am glad for the progress made in the ways American culture views physically or mentally disabled individuals.

But I am also concerned about what seems to be a cultural decline based upon sporadic and now systematic rejection of American ideals, the ones drawn from centuries of Western Civilization and ones that proved their time-tested worth, like respect for human life and all human beings, respect for truth—even the idea of truth, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech—the right to be heard, not silenced, and the right to access to the public square. If these values continue to be rejected, the changes we are experiencing in American culture will not be beneficial to the generations that come after us.


Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2018   

*This 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