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Do you realize the rate of growth of the world’s population is declining, that there are not as many babies as their used to be, and, oh yes, why does this matter?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #136 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.

Today, countries in the European Union, Canada, the U.S. – Japan and China too – are experiencing a birth rate below what is needed for natural population replacement. For example, the U.S. fertility rate, is 1.78 – the average number of children born to a woman over her reproductive lifetime – while the needed replacement rate is 2.08. If nothing changed in this trend, in a matter of decades the U.S. population would shrink out of existence.

For some perspective, consider that “the global population grew only very slowly up to 1700 – only 0.04% per year. In the many millennia up to that point in history very high mortality of children counteracted high fertility. Once health improved, and mortality declined things changed quickly.” In the past two centuries, world population has increased 7-fold.

Another way of grasping the numbers is to realize that “in 1800, there were one billion people. Today there are more than 8 billion.”

Population scholars predict world population will “reach a peak of around 10.4 billion people during the 2080s.”

Meanwhile, while 10.4 billion sounds astronomical, “the global population is (actually) growing at its slowest rate since 1950, having fallen to less than one per cent in 2020. Fertility…has fallen markedly in recent decades for many countries:

today, two-thirds of the global population lives in a country or area where lifetime fertility is below 2.1 births per woman, roughly the level required for zero growth in the long run, for a population with low mortality. 

In 61 countries or areas, the population is expected to decrease by at least one per cent over the next three decades, as a result of sustained low levels of fertility and, in some cases, elevated rates of emigration.”

More than half of the projected increase in the global population up to 2050 will be concentrated in (just) eight countries (most in sub-Saharan Africa): the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria, the United Republic of Tanzania, (then) India, Pakistan, and the Philippines.”

Meanwhile, “the world should expect to see far more grey hairs by 2050: by then, it is expected that the number of persons aged 65 years or over worldwide will be more than twice the number of children under the age of five.”

“Europe is the continent with the oldest population. This is creating problems for healthcare and pensions.”

To alter this scenario, Finland is now paying families $10,970 per child. Other European countries are also trying to reverse the continent’s falling birthrate. Greece is offering cash incentives of $2,235 per birth. “Hungary’s Prime Minister…has described fertility clinics as a strategic priority for his country…All young families in Hungary are offered a loan, but that loan will be written off if they have a third child. While a woman who has four children will be permanently exempt from paying income tax.”

Migration (was at one time considered an answer to depopulation, but) has also proved to be a source of political tension in some countries.”

Now the question becomes, why is this happening? Why are people all over the world, except in a few Sub-Saharan and Far Eastern countries, having fewer children, so much fewer the populations of their countries are declining?

Why, after centuries of slow growth, then two centuries of astounding growth, are families across the globe having fewer children?

A few proximate causes come to mind:

  • Greater availability of birth control, the pill, various contraceptives, chemical, IUD, and other means,
  • Abortion on demand
  • Disease
  • Famine
  • War

While these variables may act as proximate causes of depopulation, none of these variables are really global. Most are regional if not local occurrences.

So why are most countries of the world declining in population? Well, they are having fewer births than deaths.

OK, but why? Well, they have access to birth control, etc. Yes, but these are a means to an end.

Why are people choosing to have fewer children? What is the ultimate cause of people from disparate cultures having fewer children? Have they forgotten how to make babies?

No, the root cause for family’s choosing to have fewer children is that they now look upon children, family, responsibility, sacrifice, and the idea of progeny much different than they did in the past.

Family was once a given in virtually everyone’s experience. Family was considered a key ingredient not only to a person’s healthy coming of age, but also as an essential building block to the maintenance and flourishing of a free society. 

One basis for the well-being of given families, and a primary reason that families were considered indispensable for strong and healthy societies, is because religion—certainly Christianity—blessed and provided values necessary for family function, meaning, and efficacy.

Not so anymore.

Now, in post-Christian culture in America, and postmodern culture worldwide,

  • two-parent families are often treated as one option among many,
  • nuclear families are not regarded as critical to children’s balanced upbringing,
  • children are themselves considered a luxury, a nuisance, an economic burden, obstacles to adults’ self-fulfillment.
  • and children, i.e., population growth, are viewed as a threat to controlling climate change.

For example, “climate doomsday cult member claims it is immoral and selfish to have children due to the amount of "carbon" they will emit over their lifetimes…Every single child in an industrial country like ours is around 500 tons of carbon over their lifetime. That's the equivalent of 1000 years.”

Postmodern couples worldwide are choosing to have fewer children because they:

  • hold religious views that diminish the idea of children or family,
  • look upon children as commodities or consumer choices rather than gifts from God,
  • value self-fulfillment, i.e., personal sexual liberation, professional advance, income, and travel more than they value children,
  • believe mass and social media proclamations about how dangerous it is to have children in the face of climate change,
  • have adopted pessimistic, fearful worldviews re the future – and perhaps understandably so, given these worldviews are rooted in non-Christian, unbiblical, ahistorical, and inaccurate understandings of life,

Meanwhile, population reduction is promoted by globalist elites, who by the way, also promote culture of death ideas like euthanasia, now being referred to by the acronym MAID or “Medical Assistance In Dying,” a philosophy and policy for which Canada is out in front of the U.S.

At genesis of the earth, time, and humanity, God created human beings, male and female, commanded them to be fruitful and multiply, and then reinforced the idea of family and children in other passages throughout the Scripture.

This does not mean that couples who choose not to have children or to have fewer children, for a variety of reasons including circumstances, health, and more, are somehow ipso facto out of the will of God or in some way second class citizens in God’s eyes. The commandments in Genesis 1 were made for all humanity and its wellbeing, not as a detailed plan for every person (Gen 1:27-28).

But the principle remains: children are an heritage of the Lord (Ps 127:3-5). Societies that try to play God as the Chinese did with their one-child policy, now reversed, will find they are not very good at being God.

Children, youth, young adults are needed not only to perpetuate humanity but to provide energy, innovativeness, work and productivity, strength and protection, care for children and the elderly, optimism, and hope. Children are a blessing.


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 recent years, the end of marriage was predicted and even promoted, but is this the case and is it the best? What is the state of the union for marriage in America?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #81 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.

Whether you’re married, have been married, or have never been married, you’ve probably thought about it and interacted with couples who are married.

Aside from making a personal decision about one’s spiritual condition and Christian faith, I’d suggest that the most meaningful and significant decision any of us make is to get married and to whom.

In recent years, some predicted the end of marriage as we know it. Some even promoted the end of marriage.

And the trends seemed to suggest this might happen.

The U.S. marriage rate reached a historic low in 2018, according to federal data spanning more than a century.” 

Both marriage and divorce rates in the United States declined from 2009 to 2019 but rates vary from state to state. In 2019, there were 16.3 new marriages for every 1,000 women age 15 and over in the United States, down from 17.6 in 2009. At the same time, the U.S. divorce rate fell from 9.7 new divorces per 1,000 women age 15 and over in 2009 to 7.6 in 2019…In 2019: Wyoming's marriage rate was among the highest in the nation. Delaware's marriage rate was among the lowest.”

The 2020 national marriage rate fell to 5.1 per 1,000 people, its lowest level in 121 years.”

Then, post-COVID, “the rate of marriage increased in nearly every state in 2021 and went up 18% overall…That marked the biggest year-to-year jump since the end of World War II.”

Getting married is a public demonstration of love and lifelong commitment between two people. For Christians, there is an extra dimension – marriage is part of a pattern of life established by God when he created humanity. He recognized that it was better for the first man, Adam, if he had a partner, Eve. Christians believe marriage is a partnership of love…Jesus acknowledged this in the Bible book, Matthew, when he said, ‘for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. They are no longer two but one...Like many people, Christians also believe a marriage is the best place to bring up children…Christians believe that the binding partnership of marriage is a powerful symbol of the relationship between Christ and the Church.”

Sarah and I are approaching our 49th Anniversary. Hard to believe, as the quick passage of time always is. I remember our halcyon dating days, of course. I remember getting married the summer following our graduation from college. We were in love, certainly, but looking at it from the perspective of 40-something years, I think, we had no idea what real love and commitment is, as we do now.

This makes me think of the providence of God. He directed us together. He gave this unbelievable woman to me, the one who for fun I call Good Wife, capital letters on both words, when I write about her on social media. If anyone has the gift of hospitality detailed in Scripture, Good Wife is one of them. Clearly, as they say, I “married up.” How but for the grace of God was I blessed with a woman like this?

I know a few friends from college days, couples who married as did post-graduation. But a few of those marriages didn’t make it. This is grievous indeed because, though praise God I have not experienced divorce, I know if hurts all involved, sometimes for a lifetime. It is said that it “takes two to tango,” and I suppose there are circumstances wherein this applies. But I’ve lived long enough to know that sometimes divorce “happens to you.” It comes because the other spouse walks awry.

But marriages that last for the right reasons are wonders to behold, and experience. My parents were married for 66 years until Dad went to heaven. I don’t think they were ever apart more than 3 days in that timeframe, and they were blessed beyond measure, which meant my sister and I were blessed beyond measure.

It’s generally sad to read about so-called Hollywood marriages that are about convenience or short-term attraction or status but not about love and commitment.

And it’s sad to read about celebrities who go through 5-6 marriages and often even more partners during their lives, only to reach their older years living alone. Sometimes they claim they want it this way and are happy to be alone. Maybe, if they’ve had bad experiences with others and are burned out by their own fame. But just as often it is not that. They are alone, facing the sunset of their lives without the deep, trusted, reinforcing companionship born of years of walking side by side through the trials and triumphs of life together.

I think of this when I see former NFL great quarterback Joe “Broadway” Namath, a man who in his prime was known the company of women around him, yet now he is, you guessed it, alone.

I thought of this when I watched Burt Reynolds negotiate his ending days, a hunk, the man every woman supposedly wanted to be with, or at least he seem to think so, and who lived at times with starlets, yet ended his life alone.

I think of this when I remember Gloria Steinem, the 1970s feminist credited with inventing the phrase “reproductive freedom” and who maintained she did not need men, who then later in life at 66 years of age got married. Sad to say for Ms. Steinem, the gentleman passed away just three years later.

God looked at Adam in the Garden of Eden and said, “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Gen. 2:18). Likely the Lord knew that men would make a mess of things in the world if they were left to their own devices. But it was more than that.

God designed marriage as a practical and enjoyable relationship bespeaking the Trinity itself. The Trinity is God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Not three Gods but one Sovereign God of the universe in three persons.

Marriage is two persons who become one. That unity is a gift from God that fills the longing in each human being’s heart for love, unreserved commitment, and support. There is nothing else like it on earth.

Now I know that God does not call everyone to be married, so this podcast is not intended to somehow question or cast aspersion on the single person.. God made it clear in Scripture that the ultimate relationship a human being can and should experience is with God himself, and this is available to every person, married or single. So, the single person can live a fulfilled and complete life in God’s will and calling. 

I cannot begin to imagine my life without Sarah in it. I consider myself not lucky, because I don’t believe in luck, but blessed in the providence of God, and this without having talked about our four children and spouses and ten grandchildren.

I’ve chosen not to list contemporary challenges and threats to marriage, but they are legion, ever present in media, social media, and culture, unremitting, unscrupulous, certainly unbiblical, and now incessantly promoted.

Satan is the Father of lies and division, evident in his first interaction with Eve in the Garden of Eden, evident today in the onslaught of his minions upon marriage. Only the Lord can place a hedge around us to protect against such sinful destruction.

Good marriages are gold. Good marriages are a gift of God. Good marriages are possible because of the lives of the good spouse God gave you. Celebrate him or her today.


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 known certain people who made an out-sized impact upon your life, for good or maybe even for not-so-good? It’s called influence, and I like remembering the legacy my Grandpa passed on to me.

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #56 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.

“Bones” Davis was my maternal grandfather. I was privileged to know him for years and spent a lot of time with him when I was a kid, in part because his and Grandma’s home was a few hundred yards from our home across an open field.

His name was Lewis, but his little brother could not pronounce the name, called him “Bones,” and so he became for the next eighty years.

The irony for me was that when I knew him, he was a short but hefty, let’s say thick, fellow and I never saw a bone.

I tell you about him because he was the spiritual patriarch of our family. He had an 8th Grade education, something that embarrassed him a bit but back during the aftermath of WWI when he came of age this level of schooling was not uncommon. 

Grandpa could read, and he read his Bible and organic gardening books. No one knew which flourished more, his spiritual life or his incredible gardens.

When he passed, Grandma placed a small plaque alongside him in the casket that said 38 years, a tribute to how long he had served as a deacon in the Baptist church in our small town that they and a few other couples helped start. They made this move because the other Baptist church in town had begun, as they said then, “to go liberal,” appointing pastors that did not believe or preach the whole counsel of the Word of God. It was not easy to leave friends and a church they loved, but their commitment to the truth took precedence.

I grew up in that church where along with my grandparents my mother was a charter member. So, you could say I am a direct spiritual beneficiary of my grandparents’ fidelity to the Christian faith.

Grandpa served for years as a volunteer worship leader. He had a good tenor voice. This was back in the day when people in the church fulfilled such roles as opposed to the practice now of appointing a professional staff person to serve as worship leader. Grandpa would get in the pulpit and say, “Greetings in the name of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” His favorite hymn was “Saved, Saved, Saved.”

I remember dozens of people, usually but not always men, who would come from several counties around just to sit on one end of his over-sized back porch swing, looking out to that fabulous garden, as Grandpa sat on the other end, and then ask him his advice and counsel of life. I did it myself when I got into my 20s. He was funny, biblically, and therefore spiritually, knowledgeable, and wise. His counsel was worth the trip and the time.

I never once heard Grandpa raise his voice at Grandma. I remember his incredible sense of humor, some of which I’m blessed with to this day. I remember his love of biblical prophecy, singing, and sports. In his youth, he had been an accomplished baseball player, even trying out for the traveling teams that built the game into a national pastime in the 1920s. I remember his love for his family and his dog named “Pudge.”

Grandpa “Bones” Davis was a world class people watcher. I remember “going to town” when I was a kid and being left in the car with Grandpa because he didn’t like to shop. Parked along the main street, I’d want to go here or there, and he’d say, “Just watch the people. They’re interesting.”

Granpda never made catty or cutting remarks, nothing negative, just insightful things like, “Look, that boy is walking exactly like his Dad, same motions, same gait.” Or, “Those people look like they’re having a good time.” Or, “Hey, they’re eating chocolate candy. How about us getting some?” Sitting with Grandpa in that car along a well-populated street is one of my good childhood memories.

So, I learned young to watch people. Now one of my favorite activities when I’m in a mall or airport is to watch people, especially older or elderly couples. I like the feeling in South Florida when I’ve often seen 80-something couples strolling or sitting, demonstrating in a variety of ways they still value their spouse. It’s fun and offers a load of life lessons.

Grandpa would have loved malls and airports, neither one of which were part of his experience.

Grandpa left me a heritage, a legacy of profound impact. Let me give you one example.

I’m old enough to remember cigarette commercials and smoke-filled restaurants. And I’m old enough to remember when cigarette commercials disappeared and when restaurants and other public spaces first developed “non-smoking” sections and then became “smoke free.” If you aren’t old enough to remember these things, watch movies from the 1960s and earlier and witness the actors, especially the women, smoke one cigarette after another.  What was cool then is not cool now.

I like the smell of some cigar or pipe smoke, but frankly, I’ve never understood the appeal of smoking. It’s a dirty—to one’s teeth and one’s breath, as well as the nearby physical space—unhealthy, expensive habit. It provides no nutritional value. It enslaves people to the need for the next smoke. It’s no longer considered suave or debonair.  

Smoking is even threatening to the environment. I’ve long maintained that smokers litter more than any other person. Non-biodegradable cigarette butts clog city sewers, start forest fires, and otherwise pollute the landscape in manner that costs the public significant sums for clean-up.  

From a Christian point of view, though, I cannot say categorically that smoking is a sin. I could, like many people do, make the scripturally based argument that one should not debase or destroy one’s own body, made in the image of God and for believers the temple of the Holy Spirit. And this would be correct. God commands us to care for our own bodies. But he did not say “You shall not smoke.” Then again, not everything we can do, we should do. 

When I was a child of maybe six or seven, Grandpa “Bones” Davis quit smoking his pipe. He didn’t make any grand spiritual issue out of this act. He simply made the choice because he had three grandsons, of which I was one of the two oldest. Later, he eventually had thirteen grandchildren in all. He quit smoking because he did not want any of us to see him smoke and then start smoking ourselves. To my knowledge, only one grandchild ever smoked, and he quit after a time. Grandpa’s example bore good fruit and is still bearing it today.

Grandpa Bones Davis lived a full life. When he passed at age 83, it was not that people weren’t said at his departure, but his funeral was more like a celebration of a life well lived.

Grandpa Bones taught me how to live, and he modeled how to finish well. He’s in heaven today and I look forward to seeing him again someday.

Do you have a person like Bones Davis in your life? Better yet, are you and I people like Bones Davis in someone else’s life?


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  

50 years ago today, Sarah Lee Stone, now known as Good Wife, and I had our first date at The Carpenters concert, University of Dayton Arena. Sarah wore pink, but I have no idea what Karen Carpenter wore.

We were 19-yr-old sophomores who’d met a year before at a huge bonfire by the lake during freshman orientation at Cedarville University. Though we dated others that year we began talking on the phone late at night soon after, sometimes for hours. So we had probably bonded without knowing it by the time we had that first date.

The girl I had dated a couple times opted out of the concert. Fantastic. I didn’t have money, athletic prowess, or high-rent looks, but hey, I had leverage, a car thanks to Dad and two tickets, so I gave it a shot, asking the girl-dating-someone-else who I wanted to ask in the first place. Hence Sarah's and my first date.

So, we met our freshman year, started dating our sophomore year, broke up our junior year, and got engaged our senior year, like a lot of others who arrived on campus as singles but by the time they left walked around two-by-two like Noah’s Ark. Summer before senior year I proposed while we stood barefoot in a creek rushing down the side of a mountain.

Since that night 50 years ago my life has been enriched in every way, thanks to the divine gift of a girl who grew up in WV, about 2.5 hours south of me in OH. God is good.


© 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  


Today is our 40th Anniversary. Hard to believe Sarah and I have been married for forty years, but here we are. 

We’ve been blessed beyond measure, first in the Lord bringing us together in college (We met Freshman year, started dating Sophomore year, broke up Junior year, and got engaged Senior year—a pretty typical sequence for a couple figuring out what “getting serious” means), and second for the years of love, caring, great relationship, and much more.

Like most good marriages involving human beings our “wedded bliss” hasn’t always been blissful, but it’s always been characterized by love, commitment, and respect. In my book, this translates to bliss no matter how the word is defined.

Through this marriage God gave us four children, a daughter and three sons. Now we add a good, hard-working, and committed son-in-law, two wonderful and gracious daughters-in-law, and four noisy grandsons. Add to this in the last two years: two teenage boys from China, adopted first by our friends and then by us as grandsons. Lots of boys and as yet no little girls, but we’ll see what the future holds.

Sarah is Proverbs 31 come to life. As a person and as a wife she is everything a man and specifically I could ever want, need, or imagine. She is kind, caring and compassionate, clearly possesses the gift of hospitality, and would help anyone anywhere anytime if she could. She has been and is an amazing Mother and Grandmother.

For all this I am grateful to her and I praise the Lord. I’d marry her all over again. In fact, I’d marry her every day.

Thank you, Sarah. I love you. I look forward to every minute the Lord gives us past 40 years.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2014    

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

Most men I know love their wives. But honoring them, as the Scripture commands (1 Peter 3:7), is generally if ironically more challenging for a lot of men.

Here's more on the subject:

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2012

This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow him at