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Have you noticed that we live in and Us against Them world? Should I care about “them,” or is it every one for himself?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #121 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.

Who or which human beings should we care about? White people or Black people, or maybe some other race?

I ask because there are certain ideologies today that are reductionist, meaning they reduce everything to a lowest common denominator. Race is one of those denominators. Many people, if we’re to believe their social media posts or their actions in the street, reduce everything in life to racial or maybe ethnic parameters. 

This happened recently when a young boy dressed for a home game as an Indian and painted his face half black, half red, the colors of his team the Kansas City Chiefs. A sports journalist immersed in racist categories accused the boy of insultingly coming to a game in “blackface.” So, an innocent 9-year-old fan was summarily condemned for “hating black people and Native Americans.” The absurdity of this attack is noteworthy for its all-too-common frequency in contemporary culture.

Another example of racial overkill is, in my view, what’s called “cultural appropriation.” I mean, how dare someone, who is not Latino, wear a sombrero or celebrate Cinco De Mayo? Or how offensive one should name their team the “Braves.” But what about cowboy boots or tweed? Is it cultural appropriation to wear this clothing? What about putting cornrows in your hair? Is this cultural appropriation?

Question is, where does this stop? Are non-Native Americans not allowed to ride horses? Are non-Italians not allowed to eat pasta? Are non-Scots prohibited from wearing tartan fashions?

One of the beauties of the historic American “melting pot” is that all nationalities, ethnicities, cultures, and eventually all races could become part of the abundant opportunities and blessings of E Pluribus Unum, and that included fashion, entertainment, food, language, and more.

Remember Emma Lazarus’s immortal words on the Statue of Liberty: 

“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, 

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

The idea was that there is an American Dream, that people came come from all over the globe to this free country and be given an opportunity to live out their lives in freedom and flourishing. In the 19thand 20th Century, once the Irish arrived from the potato famine, then came Germans, Italians, and manifold others, who could work to achieve their dreams. They could become Americans by adopting culture they found here, by adapting their own cultures, and by assimilating in the melting pot.

I am entirely in favor of immigrants, even in the face of today’s highly charged immigration politics. I just want immigrants to come legally and participate in a legal process toward citizenship, not arrive via the invasion going on now on the US southern border.

By the way, Emma Lazarus was Jewish. So was the recently deceased statesman Henry Kissinger, who with his family escaped from Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Later, young Kissinger became a naturalized American citizen, joined the US Army, and eventually came home from Europe with a Bronze Star.

Who or which human being should we care about?

If we assume a prolife position, does this mean we must leave behind care and concern for what’s called “women’s health”?

If we are “pro-Israel” does this mean we cannot or should not care about Palestinians, or Arabs in general? If you care about Jews, does this mean you must not care about Greeks, as others were called in the Bible, or about Arabs? About Gentiles the world over?

If you affirm biblical views of human sexuality, and thus reject the expression of human sexuality embraced by people who say they are LGBTQ+, does this mean you must not care or express concern for people who choose to identify as LGBTQ+?

If you root for this team, does this mean, in the language of our times, that you must “hate” the other team?

If we believe in the American dream, does this mean we have unavoidably and irrevocably become “settler” colonialists, cultural imperialists, or adopted an oppressor mindset that always takes advantage of anyone who is considered marginalized?

Polarized politics, now, not only “affects” but “infects” every sector of American society. Much of what’s marketed as discussion these days has been captured by polarized politics. Same thing when it comes to answering the question, who or which human beings should we care about?

If you begin with an a priori commitment to ideology, like for example cultural Marxism, the “ism du jour” of leftism, you will inevitably reduce all things to oppressor vs oppressed, have’s vs have nots, and you will support whatever gives you power.

If you listen to people in the street or on university campuses who are promoting “woke” views, you will hear how you must fight for the marginalized, i.e., the oppressed against the oppressor. In other words, you are not allowed to care about the perceived oppressor.

So, this means pro-Black or Brown…anti-White. It means pro-LGBTQ, especially transgender…anti-heteronormativity. pro-Palestinian…anti-Israel; pro-the latest perceived downtrodden state…anti-American.

But the problem is, “the woke cult is inherently racist/bigoted. It believes if you are White (or straight, or male), you are automatically morally inferior to non-White people (or non-straight or male, depending).”

“This is the main reason why so many non-Arab progressives/leftists are now anti-Jewish. It's often not that they are originally anti-Semitic --- it's that they are anti-White, i.e., they think that Jews are White, and thus privileged oppressors, and Palestinians or Arabs are Brown, thus the oppressed.” (cited from Based Latinos on X)

For the left, “all the past narratives were absolute – white people are racist, police are racist, America is homophobic and transphobic, America is Islamophobic, etc. 

No gray area. They treated it like they treat the climate change hoax – no legitimate ‘two sides,’ only those who agree with them, and evil…The left views everything, ultimately, through a lens of victim and oppressor… when it comes to Israel, they view Palestinians as perpetual victims.”

“Leftist academics see the world through the prism of race, and history as a struggle between oppressive white colonialists and settlers versus the indigenous and nonwhite multitudeswho are portrayed as the oppressed. Any violence self-appointed representatives of the oppressed wreak on those identified as oppressor colonialists or settlers is justified.”

Who or which human being should we care about?

Scripture answers first with the statement that every human being is made in the image of God and is both temporally and eternally significant. There are no human beings God did not create and does not know.

Then God said to “‘Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt 22:39). Everyone is our neighbor.

God even said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? (Matthew 5:43-47).

Scripture says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Who or which human being should we care about? All of them.


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  

Mrs. Rosalynn Carter was laid to rest this week at 96 years of age. She was an admirable woman whose 77-year marriage and partnership with former President Jimmy Carter is downright remarkable.
Mr. Carter is 99 years and has been in hospice for some months, yet he attended his wife’s funeral.
I did not agree with a lot of Mr. Carter’s politics, but I respected his Christian faith, his willingness even at the risk of loss of supporters to work toward a two-state solution in the Holy Land, and his disciplined work ethic. Indeed, his body of work surpassed the prolific Teddy Roosevelt as the most-published former president.
Mr. Carter’s idealism got him in trouble. His hope that if people could dialogue, they’d agree to live peaceably, failed to account for the deceitful nature of the human heart. He was taken off guard by Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini in the 444-day hostage crisis of 1979-1980.
Leaders must recognize that evil exists in the world. Evil is why George Washington said, “To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace,” why Nobel Peace Prize winner T.R. said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick,” and why Ronald Reagan said, “Peace through strength” and “Trust, but verify.” Hopefully, today’s leaders do not make Mr. Carter’s error as they calculate how to deal with Hamas.
I wish Mr. Carter well but I do not think he will live much longer now that Rosalynn has passed, which is a good thing, soon to meet the Lord and see Rosalynn again.

© 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  

If you’ve lived a few years as an adult, you’ve likely noted how many things once considered wrong, are now considered acceptable. So, what is contributing to this redefinition of poor choices?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #120 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.

Defining Deviancy Down is “an expression coined by the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan in 1993…The senator applied his slogan to the ‘moral deregulation’ that had eroded families, increased crime, and produced the mentally ill ‘homeless’ population” people were observing in America.

We are getting used to a lot of behavior that is not good for us,” said (Senator) Moynihan, a Harvard professor of education and sociology and then U.S. senator, in his celebrated 1993 American Scholar essay “Defining Deviancy Down.” The nation had been “redefining deviancy so as to exempt much conduct previously stigmatized, and also quietly raising the ‘normal’ level in categories where behavior is now abnormal by any earlier standard.”

Senator Moynihan’s “thesis was that American society since the 1960s had undergone a shift in what it understood as deviant behavior. As a result, society was beginning to excuse actions, attitudes, and lifestyles once understood to be bad for social cohesion. Thirty years later, the refusal to define deviancy is as strong in progressive circles as it was in Moynihan’s time. But now, there are almost no Moynihans on the left willing to heed his obvious lessons. The results have been predictable.”

“The insane and wayward—increasingly freed from stigma and shame—today terrify functional America even more so than in his time, on account of their shamelessness as well as increasing prevalence.”

Violent music, video games, and depraved entertainment are cash machines. Electronic tools provide America’s youth—and their parents—with easy, possibly irresistible portals to the dark side. The weakening of families and religion-based communities contribute to the void. So do social media and porn. 

Unstable adolescents, if they are identified and treated, get medicated on the chance that anti-depressants or uppers will do their mood magic. Drugs—legal and illegal and everything in between—are palliatives for Americans of all ages.”

Think about this short list of behaviors once considered morally deviant:

  1. 1973, the US Supreme Court approved abortion in Roe v Wade. In 2022, in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, contrary to what the prochoice lobby says, the Court did not make abortion illegal but simply turned it back to the states to decide. America continues to eliminate its future in the name of privacy, women’s freedom or healthcare, convenience, or simply sex without consequences.
  1. Gambling had been decriminalized, beginning in 1988 with the Federal Indian Gaming Act, then in 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States allowed national sports betting in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association. The result:  professional sports have invested significantly in gambling so that now you can’t watch an NFL game without being periodically reminded to get on Fan Duel to place your bets. 
  1. In 2015, the US Supreme Court said in Obergefell v Hodgesthat same-sex marriage was a fundamental right found in the US Constitution. Also in 2015, former Olympic decathlon gold medalist Bruce Jenner came out on the cover of Vanity Fair, “Call me Caitlyn,” as transgender. I’ve often thought that Satan could not have chosen a better poster child for transgender ideology than Bruce Call-me-Caitlyn Jenner. Think about it, a gold medalist in the decathlon so he’s considered the “world’s greatest athlete,” a handsome, “hunk” kind of guy who dated models and eventually married Kris Kardashian. Then he’s part of the “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” TV reality program, fathering two of the younger sisters, making a total of five Kardashian-Jenner clan who along with their mother are now worth multiple billions of dollars and count among the highest social media followers. Then there’s Bruce in the middle of this, increasingly emasculated, a caricature of his former self, deluded, emotionally twisted, and finally coming out as a trans woman. Why did Satan use him? Worldwide fame.
  1. Marijuana has been gradually decriminalized. “Voters in Colorado and Washington legalized marijuanafor recreational use in November 2012…Other states have since followed their lead. This includes Alaska and Oregon (both in 2014) and California and Massachusetts (both in 2016). Now, at this time, 23 states and the District of Columbia (D.C.) have legalized recreational marijuana possession in small amounts. Each state sets the age for recreational possession and use at 21.”
  1. Politics has always been rancorous, but like standards in the 50s-60s for what could be said or acted on television, there were certain political mores or parameters beyond which most politicians would not go. Now, like television where almost anything goes, so too in politics where elected officials lie with impunity, unilaterally ignore the law or don’t do their jobs, act with an increasing hubris or narcissism, demagogically make reckless speeches aimed at advancing themselves at the expense of democratic institutions, or simply serve not the people but ideology. And the populace puts up with this in both political parties.
  1. If we had time, we could talk about more than changes relative to sexuality or We could talk about mainstream media that no longer presents objective reports on “the news,” but rather have given themselves over to advocacy, partisanship, ideology, and an ends justify the means mentality that allows them to lie or misrepresent and feel good about doing it. We could talk about how with COVID and the subsequent Black Lives Matter-juiced reaction to the death of George Floyd, we got a societal disavowal of law and order and criminal justice, and a rejection of police in the foolish “Defund the police” movement.

“Deviancies defined down aren’t only in the realm of criminal behavior. In Senator Moynihan’s original report, he noted that the proportion of white children born to a single mother had increased from one in 40 in 1962 to one-fifth 30 years later. For black children, the increase was from one-fifth to two-thirds. Today, one-fourth of white children and two-thirds of black children are born to single parents. Yet outside of conservative circles, there is little push to reduce the number of single-parent households. Instead, the solution since Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs has remained the same: more federal subsidies.”

There are some differences in the deviancies discussed…but the root of each is that some cultural understanding is being changed.” Localities and states changing their criminal codes reveal a willingness to tolerate crime by trying to redefine it away.

A line must be drawn. There is virtue in defining what is and isn’t deviant behavior. It allows us to highlight what is truly good. Preserving civilization requires us to be able to define what it is, and what it isn’t. It is not cruel to say that, (for example), carjackers should be punished, or that drug users should not be tolerated; it is a statement of social understanding that those who do not carjack or abuse drugs are better than those that do. It is not wrong to say that single-parenthood is a social problem, or that government policy should favor two-parent households; it is just, because it recognizes that two-parent households are the best model for families, the core unit of all societies. Without a shared set of social standards, civilization cannot continue. Whether it is being sympathetic to crime or ignoring the virtues of marriage, the Left is determined to undermine those social standards by refusing to define deviancy. Daniel Patrick Moynihan understood the problems of this approach in his time and argued against it.”

Christian Scripture tells us human beings are created in God’s image with moral agency. We have the capacity and the opportunity to choose. Since we live in a fallen world and we have deceitful hearts, we often choose sin. A culture that rejects God and the idea of sin is on the broad road to destruction.

We now see or hear something every day in which deviancy has been defined down.

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil,
who put darkness for light and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (Is 5:20).


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  

Ever wonder or maybe observe how the occurrence of bad things, even wicked, debased things, can cause people to ask moral questions they’d never before asked?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #119 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 remember when then President Bill Clinton got involved with a Whitehouse intern during the mid-1990s. Suddenly in our secularizing, morally relativistic culture, national news anchors like Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings, and Ted Koppel, started using terms like “adultery,” “morality,” “lying,” and “marital fidelity.”

Then, Sept 17, 2001, just days after the horrible 9/11 death and destruction that was visited upon New York City, Washington, DC, and a field in Pennsylvania, 

I remember watching Dan Rather and David Letterman discussing this terrorist attack on Letterman’s late-night show. What struck me at the time was that these two celebrities, one known for his toughness, who’d been in war zones all over the world, and the other known for his irreverent take on life, were genuinely scared.

I’m not making this up. They admitted it on air and spoke in tones not typical of their demeanor. Dan Rather became overcome with emotion on air because this thing had gotten their attention like few other circumstances could have. 9/11 literally rocked their world.

Not long after this, Sept 23, 2001, Oprah Winfrey and other celebrities helped organize a huge service in Yankee Stadium called “Prayer for America.”

This was a multi-faith program in which leaders from many different religious denominations prayed or spoke. Then country singer Lee Greenwood performed "God Bless the USA."

After 9/11, in some ways like the response to the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, media elites suddenly talked non-stop—understandably—about betrayal, treachery, religion, and other moral categories.

The point is, both these very different national crises caused people to ask deep, existential questions that prior to these experiences, people pretty much ignored.

Since Oct 7, 2023, we are living in a post-Hamas-massacre world. Suddenly, with regularity I am seeing these phrases in articles or hear them intoned on air: moral clarity, moral equivalency, moral litmus test, moral pretzel logic, moral bankruptcy, moral hypocrisy, moral collapse, moral cowardice, moral reckoning, moral imperative.

Now, is it odd that these kinds of phrases are used? Depends on how you look at it.

If you think about the evil incarnate that rained down on innocent Israelis Oct 7, then no, these phrases are not odd or unexpected.

If you think about the dilemmas faced by the Israeli response, the commitment and the need to bring Hamas to justice and to eradicate forever their capacity to support terrorism, yet with a desire to minimize civilian noncombatant injury and death, then no, these phrases are not odd or unexpected.

If you think about the 242 innocent hostages from at least 27 countries, then no, these phrases are not odd or unexpected.

But if you think about American culture’s pell-mell rush into nihilism, its rejection of God in favor of Do-It-Yourself religion, its rejection of truth and moral absolutes by embracing moral relativism – with, ironically, an absolutist zeal – its celebration of all thing’s material, hedonistic, and vain at the expense of time-tested verities, its unfettered embrace of unfettered sexual dissolution, it’s utter disdain for any discussion of right and wrong, i.e., morality, then yes, these phrases incorporating moral considerations are indeed odd and unexpected.

People ask, why would God allow something like the Israel-Hamas war? I don’t know, for I am not God. But I do know something about God’s character and will, as he reveals them in the Bible.

God is not the source of evil, but he allows human beings to choose, and he knows our evil choices result in emotional and physical trauma that causes men and women to seek solace and to think about moral categories.

For example, one result of the evil work of ISIS in which Muslims killed muslims, in fact killed more Muslims than Christians, is that this suffering caused Muslims to ask questions like, what is this, Muslims killing Muslims in the name of our common god? This question, getting to the heart of their indoctrinated faith, allowed them to think new thoughts, to wonder about other faiths, and for some, to ask, to seek, and to find Christ in the Gospel.

This could be one providential result of the horrors of the Israel-Hamas war—severe adversity, then agonizing ethical considerations causing people to seek answers, including in the Christian faith.

Our current circumstances bring the ethical naivete of street protesters into bold relief. For example, I have trouble considering protesters calling for peace credible who harass uninvolved citizens, vandalize property, or destroy flags, threaten police, and turn violent. This happened Nov 15 in front of the Democrat National Headquarters in Washington, DC.

I have trouble with protesters who accuse Israel of holding Palestinians to a “collective responsibility,” i.e., collective punishment of the many for the wrongdoing of the few, who then turn around and harass, even physically and verbally accost American Jewish students heading to the dining hall, or a Jewish professor in his classroom, or a Jewish person walking the street, as if these American citizens who happen to be Jewish have anything whatsoever to do with the Israeli leadership and the IDF. Who’s assigning collective responsibility now? In racial overtones no less.

I have trouble with protesters who chant antisemitic slurs against Jews, and those who express hate of Palestinians, in American or in Europe, as if either the one or the other of these people are responsible for what’s happening in the Holy Land.

And what happened to the hostages? It’s as if they’ve been written off, out of sight, out of mind. I'd like to see a Pro-Hostages demonstration.

This did finally happen. Nov. 14, some 290,000 marched on the Washington, DC, Mall for Israel, for the hostages, and for peace, making this “one of the largest gatherings of Jews in U.S. history at a time when an ongoing war in Gaza has sharply divided public opinion around the world. An additional 250,000 people watched the event through a live stream.”

What we need in the USA is both a revival and an awakening. 

The words revival and awakening are often used interchangeably, but there is a distinction. An awakening takes place when God sovereignly pours out his Spirit and it impacts a culture. That is what happened during the Jesus Revolution (in the late 1960s, early 1970s), and it’s what happened in multiple spiritual awakenings in the history of the United States, predating its establishment as a nation. A revival, on the other hand, is what the church must experience. It’s when the church comes back to life, when the church becomes what it was always meant to be. It’s a return to passion.”

Revival is when God releases a special work of grace that reveals His power and presence amongst Christians. The word “revive” means to bring back to life. Hence, it cannot be talking about reaching the lost because they were never alive to begin with.

Renewal is when committed Christians are worn out from laboring in the Lord, and God sends a spirit of refreshment that restores them to vibrancy. Awakening is when a revival spills over and begins affecting the surrounding communities.”

R.A. Torrey, a friend of Dwight L. Moody, was a great preacher and evangelist in his own right. He gave this prescription for revival during a February 1917 address at Moody Bible Institute. He said to “1) Get right with God, 2) get together with other Christians and pray for revival, and 3) make yourself available to God, especially in winning souls.”

“Revivals don’t last forever. They have a beginning, a middle and an end…Someone once asked the evangelist Billy Sunday whether his revivals lasted. He replied, “No, neither does a bath. But it’s good to have one occasionally.” The American Church needs revival.

A “spiritual awakening, that outpouring of the Spirit, is up to God. We can’t organize it, but we can agonize for it in prayer and call upon God to send it.” America needs an awakening.

Pray to God that he will pour out his blessings upon our nation. We need his grace. 


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  

The past few years have witnessed a landslide of negative cultural change, so what does this mean and how should we respond?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #118 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.

In the new millennium, I have experienced social and political developments in the USA that I never thought I’d see in my country.

During COVID, 2020-2022, I wrote about these new developments, e.g., airy dismissal of First Amendment freedoms of speech and religion, specious unconstitutional government intrusion in education, enterprise, everyday life, a willingness of anxious citizens to trade personal freedom for government mandates promising illusory safety.

Predating and overlapping the pandemic, we have witnessed the aggressive emergence of a brook-no-argument promotion of sexual libertinism for all ages down to toddlers, and alongside this, radical woke politics – rooted in critical race theory and what’s called cultural Marxism reaching back to the 1960s. I have followed all this, written about it, and have become increasingly alarmed as citizens and elected officials demonstrated a willingness to ignore the rule of law, especially following the George Floyd killing in Minneapolis in 2020, the promotion and implementation in many locales and states of an inane “defund the police” movement, all this moving away from the ideal of “blind,” meaning impartial, neutral, fair, justice in favor of so-called “social justice,” weighted with racial or ethnic victimhood that are intrinsically unfair and inequitable, all this in the name of a new idolatry of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

More recently, October-November 2023, the face of the Holy Land crisis, I find it mind-blowing to watch American university students, later all ages, protesting not simply on behalf of an admirable concern for Palestinian lives, but chanting “Gas the Jews,” “Israel, Israel, you can’t hide, we want Jewish genocide,” “Death to Israel,” “Free Palestine, by any means,” “Divest from Zionist genocide now,” “F___ Israel,” “Glory to our martyrs.”

A Cornell University professor said of Hamas’s actions, “It was exhilarating. It was exhilarating, it was energizing. And if they weren’t exhilarated by this challenge to the monopoly of violence, the shifting of the violence of power, then they would not be human. I was exhilarated.” He has since apologized, saying “did not reflect my values.” One wonders whose values his words represented if not his own?

Not in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would see and hear open antisemitism chanted in American streets and university campuses, except perhaps from fringe neo-Nazis or skinheads. 

What’s ironic is that these offensive, bigoted death-threat comments are coming largely from those on the left, progressive side of the political spectrum, the people and groups who have been preaching about hate speech and political correctness for the past decade. 

The COVID pandemic was not the reason for the negative cultural trends I see in my own country. These trends, including sexual liberation and woke politics, have been building steam for several decades.

But the pandemic provided a platform on which to push initiatives and values that contradicted, undermined, and dismissed the traditional American Judeo-Christian consensus that had allowed the USA to flourish for over two hundred years.

The big government socialist tendencies of the pandemic politics, together with sexual libertinism and woke policies, became a toxic brew that’s poisoned American culture at every level.

Now, with the Israel-Hamas War, we’re seeing the dark underbelly of ideological animosity rooted in the evil heart of men and women. In the U.S., the issue is cultural centrifugal forces—and by “forces” I mean influences of our own doing and volition, not some fatalistic karma beyond our control. By our choices, we have become a culture unleashed from its Judeo-Christian moral moorings that, in turn, now creates a crisis of meaning with every new social political development.

“What is happening in America has happened to every other great nation/empire in history. They have a good run.  They get rich and powerful, and then want to enjoy that prosperity. So, they get fat and lazy, weak, degenerate, immoral, and pleasure-loving. Those characteristics never produce growth, success, and prosperity, they only result in decline, decay, and destruction. And America is smack in the middle of that right now. We have turned our back on God, and we are suffering the consequences of it. And no nation in human history has ever reversed things from such a decline. There might be the occasional blip on the screen, the Hezekiah or Josiah, but the general trend is downward. And that is the direction America is headed right now and has been for over a generation.

The only answer is a return to the positive spiritual values the country was founded upon and that made it a great nation. That doesn’t appear in the offing, and it never has happened before. The majority of Americans have succumbed to a degenerate evil and self-absorption—mimicking the country’s leadership…The answer, the cure, is in the human heart.

Nobody wants to look there. The Left certainly isn’t going to because they want nothing but power, and their power comes from evil.”

“It is inconceivable that the day would come that Jews in America would need to feel fearful. For all of its flaws, America has been a secure place of refuge for the downtrodden, including Jews, who have been historically oppressed in nation after nation.

This anti-Semitic wave is just one of many examples of the decline of our nation. Several months ago, the Wall Street Journal opined that if Western Civilization, of which the United States is a prime example, were to die, it would be through suicide. In that op-ed, Gerard Baker notes, ‘If we are losing, it is because we are losing our soul, our sense of purpose as a society, our identity as a civilization. 

We in the West are in the grip of an ideology that disowns our genius, denounces our success, disdains merit, elevates victimhood, embraces societal self-loathing and enforces it all in a web of exclusionary and authoritarian rules, large and small.’”

I’ve read articles and books that sound like the author is giving up hope. I understand the angst. Watching your country and culture implode is not fun, nor does it seem like there’s much we can do about it.

I’ve read pundits, who put their hopes for positive change into a grand scheme for the Republican Party. Somehow, if we could just get these people elected all would be well. But history, and even an honest look at the party and its politicians will pull the rug out from under that hope. The Republican Party does still acknowledge certain important values about life, liberty, human responsibility, but despite tons of promises, at the first sign of pressure the record demonstrates that most of these people fold or disappear.

Then there are those who put their faith in a political leader, particularly former President Donald Trump to do what? “Make America great again.” Now, does he offer some policy positions that are desperately needed in Washington, DC? Yes, he does. Are all his views, attitudes, and behaviors aligned with Christian values? No. What most motivates him? I’ll leave that to you to decide. My point is not to knock Donald Trump but to remind us that no leader is a failsafe guarantee to right the ship. Scripture says, “Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save” (Ps. 146:3).

But I refuse to become pessimistic, much less give up or throw in the towel. In fact, I believe Christians should be proactively optimistic. Why?

  1. Because we know the end of the story, history or his-story, written in the Word of God.
  2. Because God is there, and he is not silent.
  3. Because 1 billion peoplein the world are still breathing, and as long as they are breathing they are still able to respond to the Gospel.
  4. Because it may seem like the End Times, and maybe it is, but we don’t know but what things could get much worse because they have been worse at other times in human history, and Lord said in the concluding chapter of the Bible, “The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life” (Rev. 22:17).
  5. Because Jesus said, “And surely I am with youalways, to the very end of the age” (Matt 28:20).

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  

In the chaotic maelstrom that is the Holy Land crisis, what principles can we glean from Scripture to guide our thinking? 

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #117 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.


The complexity of terrorism, violence, and war in the Holy Land calls for thoughtful response.

Partisan, ideological, or street protest slogans are not enough, and in fact many of these are hateful, inflammatory, and clearly not something a Christian should think, say, or promote.

The ethnic nature of the conflict, dating back to Abraham’s sons Isaac and Ishmael, Jew and Arab or Palestinian, involves not only nationality, disputed territory, and historic grievances but also religious or worldview differences, making this violent upheaval all the more complex.

Understandably, we can point to the Oct 7 Hamas barbaric attack on innocent, unsuspecting Israeli civilians and arrive at a point of moral clarity. Yes, those needless deaths were perpetrated by evil incarnate deserving of the harshest retribution and justice.

But then with first the bombardment of urban areas in the Gaza Strip and the subsequent advance of the Israeli Defense Force into Gaza with noncombatants inevitably killed and wounded, and the related humanitarian crises, what is right, just, and morally justifiable gets murkier.

But as soon as you suggest any murkiness here, you’ll likely hear from Israel proponents saying there is no murkiness, no moral equivalency between what Hamas did and what the IDF now is forced to do in self-defense, in what Israel considers an existential fight, and the realpolitik of justice. 

The proponents of Palestinians, including those who condemn Hamas and its terrorism, introduce another quandary that further muddies our desire for moral clarity. 

They note that 60% of Gazans lived on some form of aid, no jobs, and struggling since 2006 under Hamas dominance that ignored the citizens while Hamas built its arsenal. These pro-Palestinians decry not only the bombardment, or any Israeli action really, they argue the West ignored Hamas for 18 years, allowing the timebomb to tick in the Gaza Strip. Others say, Hamas has been in charge for 18 years and did nothing to help the Palestinian people. In fact, Hamas leaders live in high-rise luxury hotels in Doha, Qatar, Beirut, and Istanbul.

Now, the war is personal. Many in the Arab World know someone who lives in Gaza, know people who have been killed, and, again, believe the West, specifically the U.S., is backing Israel to the point of perpetuating Palestinians and Arabs as second-class citizens. While it may be difficult to grasp why the U.S. is at fault here, still, this is how many in Arab countries feel and how they are parsing what’s happening.

Of course, one does not have to embrace all this perspective to be disturbed by the images of death and destruction now emerging from the Gaza Strip. Even if your inclination is to support Israel’s right to defend itself and hold Hamas accountable, suffering and death of noncombatants is gut-wrenching, for these casualties are real people, including children, and are not just “collateral damage,” nor are they mere numbers.

One of my colleagues noted this week that major news agencies are now rounding what in the Viet Nam War days we called body counts. In other words, say 7,457 people are said to be killed, but media reports 7400 or 7500, as if, as my colleague said, we’re talking about sticks or candy for Halloween. No, each number is a human being made in the image of God.

You don’t have to dismiss or ignore Hamas’s depraved massacre to care about innocent Palestinians caught in this war between an evil ideology and a nation state. So again, moral clarity is harder to come by.

Our best, most trusted, accurate, and powerful source of moral understanding is the Scripture, the inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of God.

Consider these principles that speak not only into our understanding of the Holy Land crisis but of any and all trials we confront in this life:

  1. God is sovereign—omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent—so he’s never surprised, never uninvolved in earthly affairs. This doctrine is the basis of both accountability and hope.
  1. God is Creator and he loves all human beings made in his image, including every demographic,Jews, Arabs, Palestinians, Iranians, Russians, Chinese, even Hamas and Hezbollah. This doctrine means that no human being is unworthy, expendable, of no consequence, but a person of eternal value. This is the basis of our understanding of human reason, moral agency, and freedom. 
  1. In the Christian Church universal, what Scripture calls the Body of Christ, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Gal. 3:28. This doctrine clearly states that no one is beyond the care or reach of the Holy Spirit, and that heaven will indeed be the most diverse place we’ve ever been.
  1. We live in a fallen, i.e., sinful, evil, world, so wrong, wicked, depraved things happen. Unlike humanly devised philosophies and religions that have no ability to define sin and thus no way to respond to evil, biblical Christianity tells us the origin of sin and therefore the source of wrongdoing, not our environment, biology, or upbringing, but in our own hearts. This doctrine allows us to understand the need for law, criminal justice, and grace.
  1. One purpose of government is the legitimate use (police, military), as required, of coercive force as “agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer,”thus to preserve order, restrain evil, create security, allow human flourishing, Rom 13:3-4. Because sin exists, humanity needs protection and a way to achieve justice, including, if necessary, the right use of violence; in other words, sometimes the only way to preserve peace is through violence.
  1. Israel is a nation state, which is not the same as the Jewish people, and Palestinians are not the same as Hamas. Christians too readily jump from the pages of the Old Testament into current affairs saying, “Thus saith the Lord.” While is its true that Jews are “God’s chosen people,” and it is true that God will work through Israel in the end-times, in the meantime, it behooves us to remember that no nation’s leaders, including in the U.S., are always right and moral, and no nation, including the U.S., is always right and moral. 
  1. One can critique Israel’s response without being antisemitic or ignoring the nation’s legitimate defense of its people and plans to hold Hamas accountable, and one can care about Palestinian lives without supporting Hamas or ignoring their heinous actions, and one can desire Hamas faces retribution without being a warmonger. Nations are political actors and what they do can and should be critiqued. Evaluating Israel’s policies is not ipso facto anti-Jew or antisemitic but rather a political calculus regarding decisions enacted. Similarly, a people group like the Palestinians, can be critiqued for electing and among them many supporting Hamas, and at the same time it can be accurately said that most Palestinians are victims of a dictatorial hate group that seized control of the people and the territory. 
  1. Calls for genocide of Palestinians or Israelis, coming from the Left and the Right, even shockingly from Christians and sadly from many American university students, are not morally justifiable. There is nothing in Scripture that endorses ethnic cleansing or genocidal mania. Yes, in the Old Testament, God called upon Israel to destroy different people groups, but one, he is God and we are not, two, this was a matter of idolatry not hate, and three, God at various times stopped this kind of thinking, for example Jonah’s desire for Nineveh to be destroyed when God wanted to call them to himself.
  1. God is not the author of evil, but he will even use evil of men to bring people to Christ. Even in the darkest of times, hope and compassion can prevail. Looking back at the suffering ISIS brought to millions, and that the Islamic government has brought to its own people, we see that the Lord has used it to open the eyes of millions of Muslims to see what the true Islam is and to become open to the message of the Gospel.
  1. It's possible to work for justice and peace at the same time, pursuing a just peace, which has varied definitions but is not peace at any cost. This is practical. So often, we seem to think in either/or terms. Justice, rightly understood, is not contradictory to what God determines is peace. The problem with much current discussion is a belief justice equals peace, yet even protesters shout, “No justice, no peace.” Peace that is not built upon moral foundations defined by God is simply a temporary cessation of violence, not genuine just peace. 

We often hear Christians calling upon God to do this or do that. But my friend and colleague John Frick made an interesting observation about this. In our prayers about the Holy Land crisis, John said, we should "avoid telling God what to do." 

In other words, while we know God's character and much of his will revealed in Scripture, we do not know God's will exhaustively. 

So, the point is, while we have our desires about how this war is resolved, and we can share these with the Lord, ultimately, we should say, "Lord, your will be done. 

The Psalms, and the entire Bible, though well aware of the human capacity for evil, also proclaim that evil will not have the last word. 

Out of the depths of pain and sorrow, the believer’s heart cries out: “I trust in you, O Lord; I say, You are my God’,” Ps 31:14.


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