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We’ve heard about so-called “Woke” policies, but what we need is not more people woke; we need more people awake.

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #111 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.

For some time now, reaching back before COVID, I have become increasingly concerned with the direction the United States and American culture have taken.

As I’ve noted before in other podcasts, if you are of a certain age, you could be forgiven if you say you don’t recognize your own country. Things have changed that much, and most of it for the worse.

As a believer trusting the sovereignty of God, these changes do not frighten me, but then again, I do not like them, and I believe these changes are a child of not simply wrong ideas but evil intent.

Another thing that bothers me is that I really don’t think that most people, i.e., the average person, however you want to define that phrase, is aware of how significantly and rapidly things have changed and are changing. I don’t state this observation in an arrogant way, meaning I know something no one else knows.

I don’t mean to imply that others are not smart, though they may be uninformed, just as I am uninformed about a host of things that do not happen to interest me or about which I haven’t heard. But still, I believe many hard-working, decent Americans, whatever their faith, may not be aware of the extensiveness of social change taking place and the threat it introduces.

To illustrate, let’s talk for a few minutes about politics and ideology.

When I write these podcasts, as I did long ago in blogs or writing content for a radio program that I voiced for Cornerstone University’s radio station WCSG, called “Making a Difference,” I try not to be intentionally partisan. I don’t want to write like another party hack, someone who thinks his or her political party and its leaders can do no wrong. Because for one, this is one of our problems today. 

Too many if not most media outlets and most journalists if they can be called that anymore are simply partisan advocates. They do not seek truth, only political advantage, leverage, and like-minded listenership. 

I don’t want to write more partisan drivel. I want to try to think critically, and I want to attempt to apply a Christian worldview to issues and events, which means I have to be free to critique not just the Democrats but also the Republicans, and Independents along with everyone else.

But things have changed markedly in just the few years since year 2000, and especially since COVID.

For one, the Democrat Party is now virtually entirely controlled by its most liberal or some would say, radical, wing.

Almost nothing leading Democrat politicians say or do, including especially President Joe Biden and VP Kamala Harris, and their Administration, presents anything but socialist policies enhancing big government and undermining personal property and free enterprise, then promoting immoral sexual libertinism, fear-mongering intended to increase their political power, climate change voodoo, authoritarian ideas dismissing freedom of speech, the press, or even religion, a promotion of irrational egalitarianism and victimhood, soft-on-crime lawlessness, globalist anti-Americanism, warped science, and abortion on demand as a civil right.

Well, you say, thank God for the Republican Party and its political leaders. Maybe, but mostly they are not much better. Not anymore.

Republicans, the supposedly fiscally conservative party, have participated in increasing the National Debt to its current level of $33 Trillion, run scared of end-of-the-world climate change lobbies, are just as susceptible as others to fear-mongering, ever-increasing taxes, immoral sexual practices, and a wishy-washiness on southern border security, and more.

Both party’s leaders have engaged in intentional prevarication, a fancy word for lying. Both party’s leading candidates for President in 2024 come with a long list of character flaws; neither is a paragon of virtue.

Worse than all this, I think most people do not realize America is no longer a two-party system, Democrat and Republican. No, now there is a group called Progressives, an inaccurate euphemism for The Left or Leftists or Leftism, an ideology wholly different from traditional conservatism or classical liberalism, an ideology promoting views that FDR, JFK, and Martin Luther King, Jr would not recognize.

Progressives lodge mostly in the Democrat Party, but they have plenty of allies within the Republican Party, especially among younger voices.

I’d rather call Progressives what they are – Socialist Leftists – but this is awkward wording, so I’ll stick with Progressives.

Progressives are not the same as Liberals. I’ve talked about this before in a podcasts called “Not Liberal But Left, That’s the Threat,” and “What the Left Believes.”

Progressives “hold that it is possible to improve human societies through political action.”Progressives are leftist, radical, secularist, socialist, Marxist, anti-American ideologues who are pushing an unrelenting attack on America’s history, culture, and core values. They are anti-Judeo-Christianity and its moral code, anti-meritocracy, pro-political correctness, anti-education in terms of critical thinking and objective truth while promoting indoctrination of their political narrative focusing upon what they call social justice.

Progressives have made climate change a religion and work to persecute anyone who disagrees with their views. Many of them would love China’s new social credit system that tracks how citizens behave and records demerits on their record for officials to reference later.

Progressives are anti-family, primarily because they are godless libertines who want the world to become non-binary and androgynous.

Let me repeat, Progressives or Leftists are not the same as Liberals. They embrace ideas and values – radical leftist ideologies – old fashioned Liberals would never have understood, not the least of which is anti-patriotism and anti-Americanism. Progressives are operating like a political party, but they are not organized as such and are therefore virtually unaccountable.

Progressives are masterful in making their message the prevailing acceptable narrative. “Progressives ask: ‘What is unfair?’ ‘What am I owed?’ ‘What has offended me today?’ ‘What must my country do for me?” They are not working in America’s best interest but in the service of a divisive, demoralizing, destructive political destination they market as an utopian heaven on earth.

Progressives promote racist “diversity seminars” in the name of, you guessed it, anti-racism. Their god is not equality before the law or equal opportunity, but DEI, diversity, equity, inclusion, words, and initiatives used to bludgeon institutions into obeisance to woke rules, beginning with public schools and universities and working out to entertainment, sports, corporations, and government.

Progressives, or the Left, and the millions now in their thrall, are a perfect example of what the Apostle Paul talked about in 2 Thess. 2:9-12, “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.”

People are operating today under what the Bible calls a powerful or strong delusion. As the Apostle Peter said, people “deliberately forget” or in other Bible versions, are “willingly ignorant” (2 Pet. 3:5).

Deliberately, willingly believing a lie rather than the truth. There could not be a more apt description of American culture today.

Erwin Lutzer observed that “secular progressivism is a passion to profane what is sacred. Anything that dismantles Christian influence and enhances the Left’s power is progressive. It seeks to deconstruct American laws and systems to replace them with socialism and tyranny.”

What I fear is not Progressives. What I fear is that many Christians and the average American are asleep. We do not need to be “woke,” but we certainly need to be awake. We must recognize that the battle has long-since been joined, that Leftist Progressives have all but taken over American culture.

Every day, ideas and values contrary to American Judeo-Christian foundational values that allowed this country to grow and flourish, are being systematically taught in American public education, kindergarten through graduate school.

Every day, youth are taught not to sacrifice, work hard, delay gratification, control impulses, act with integrity and moral restraint, but rather to make demands about what they consider theirs by right. 

Every day, Leftist Progressive values are integrated in television programming, including cartoons, and every day, these anti-biblical values are being repeatedly messaged in commercials. 

The Left, so-called Progressives, are more in control, more influential, more threatening than Liberalism, Democrats or Republicans.

We need people to wake up, reject the woke, and recognize Leftist Progressives for what they are, the enemy within.


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 cross, which humanity meant for evil, was a simple wooden construction, yet God meant it for good and it became a worldwide icon of sacrifice, Yes, but even more of Hope.

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #109 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.


You remember the Old Testament story of Joseph and his brothers? 

When Joseph was a youth, his older brothers became jealous at how their father favored him, and eventually, in an unbelievable pique of evil arrogance they plotted to kill him but then thought better of shedding blood and sold Joseph into slavery to a passing caravan of Ishmaelites heading down into Egypt (Gen. 37).

Over the next several years in servitude, then in prison, the Lord protected and blessed Joseph, positioning him for the time he’d be ready to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams about seven fat cows and seven skinny cows portending seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine in Egypt (Gen. 41).

Pharoah showed his gratitude by wisely promoting Joseph from prison to second-in-command of all Egypt, in charge of storing grain during the fat years to be ready for use during the coming seven lean years. In the midst of this regional scarcity, Joseph’s father, Jacob, sent his sons to Egypt to trade for grain, and you guessed it, they meet their long lost and presumed dead brother, Joseph, now one of the most powerful men in the world.

There’s more to the story, but eventually after Jacob dies, the brothers approach Joseph in abject fear, asking for forgiveness, “then came and threw themselves down before him, (and they said) ‘We are your slaves,’ (Gen. 50:18).

But Joseph said to them “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done,” (Gen. 50:19-20).

This is the key to this true story. What human beings mean for evil God can turn to good.

I can think of no better example of this biblical teaching than this than the crucifixion cross. This simple piece of carpentry was designed as a gruesome and horrific tool of excruciating suffering, torture, and shame leading to death. But in the case of the Savior Jesus’s cross, it has become an international symbol of redemption and hope.

The cross is the central image or symbol of Christianity…Many Christians wear a cross around their neck or on their lapel as a badge that identifies them publicly as Christians. Some crosses are elaborate and expensive works of art, while others are very simple.”

Some wear crosses as identification, while some wear it as decoration, but wear it they do. In fact, in all likelihood there is not a day goes by in which there aren’t thousands wearing a cross in some manner, now even as tattoos. 

“The startling transformation of the cross as a symbol came about through Jesus’ death and resurrection. We must remember always that the passion predictions in the Gospels are also resurrection predictions: each one ends with a mention of Jesus’ resurrection. Nevertheless, without the cross there would be no resurrection. 

The cross as the central Christian symbol takes in the entire paschal mystery and issues in the resurrection and exaltation of Jesus.”

I have known of people who see the cross only as an horrendous abomination, something so disgusting and threatening it should never be displayed, much less celebrated. I respect their point of view, though I do not agree.

To me, the cross is both a symbol of bloodshed, and a symbol of blood sacrificed for the sins of the world.

The cross is a symbol of death and defeat but also a symbol of resurrection and victory,

a symbol of punishment, but a symbol of redemption and reconciliation,

a symbol of destruction, and a symbol of life eternal,

a symbol of suffering, and a symbol of hope,

a symbol of hate or judgment, and a symbol of love and forgiveness,

a symbol of the worst news possible, and a symbol of the Gospel, the Good News,

a symbol of Christ himself and of the faith of Christians.

Before the time of the emperor Constantine in the 4th century, Christians were extremely reticent about portraying the cross because too open a display of it might expose them to ridicule or danger. 

After Constantine converted to Christianity, he abolished crucifixion as a death penalty and promoted, as symbols of the Christian faith, both the cross and the chi-rho monogram of the name of Christ. The symbols became immensely popular in Christian art and funerary monuments from c. 350.”

The crucifix, a model of the Christian cross upon which is a depiction of the crucified Christ” has been popular for centuries, especially for the Roman Catholic Church. Early Christians avoided realistic portrayal of his suffering, while by the 9th Century, artists stressed realistic aspects of Christ’s suffering and death. “Reformed churches resisted such use of the cross until the 20th century, when ornamental crosses on church buildings and on communion tables began to appear.”

Now, I prefer the empty cross over the crucifix, primarily because it’s very emptiness is a loud proclamation of victorious and glorious hope, both now and eternally.

Remarkable things have occurred relative to the cross. “The original 9/11 cross—a perfectly proportioned cross formed from the steel girders of the previously standing Twin Towers—was found in the wreckage of the Twin Towers and subsequently mounted on the site Oct. 15, 2006, where it stayed until it was moved July 23, 2011, to the September 11 Memorial and Museum at the former World Trade Center site across the street.” It remains today a statement of hope.

What human beings mean for evil God can turn to good.

Consider the Diaspora. “The first use of the word diaspora is found in John 7:35 in reference to the dispersed Jews living among the Greeks. In Acts 8:1-4 it is the Jewish Christians who were scattered or dispersed as a result of the stoning of the first martyr Stephen. By Acts 11:19, we again find use of this term in connection with scattered Jewish Christians, with some beginning to share the gospel message with Gentiles. James is addressed "To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion" (James 1:1). However, in this context the audience consists of Jewish Christians who lived in a variety of locations. First Peter 1:1 also addresses scattered peoples: "To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia." In Peter's case, he wrote to both Jewish and Gentile Christians living in these areas, revealing that in some cases this word was being used in a new sense to include the scattered people of God from a Christian perspective.”

Early Christians fled in the face of persecution, but while the persecution was intended to squelch the growth of Christianity, it had the opposite effect, scattering believers to the four corners of the earth. What human beings mean for evil God can turn to good.

What are we to think of America’s current social chaos? In the face of moral upheaval are we to hide in bunkers, withdraw to isolated Christian communes, throw in the towel? Or are we to go “into the world” while being “not of the world” as we are commanded in John 17? If the current culture’s pell-mell rush to nihilism is a result of self-absorption, sin, and Satan, is it also perhaps in the providence of God our opportunity to shine the Light brighter in the midst of darkness? What people meant for evil, God meant for good.

In 2 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul reminded us, “Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heartRather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.”

Allow me to read that phrase again: “by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.” Our task, our opportunity in the face of increasing false religions and moral decadence is that we can be ambassadors of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:11-21). We can be truth-tellers.

The Apostle Paul continues: “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ,” (2 Cor. 4).

The cross represents the Good News of Jesus Christ, and we get to communicate this Good News, knowing that what people mean for evil, God can turn to good.


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 noticed how often mental health is now referenced by celebrities, sports figures, and politicians? 

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #108 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.

For a while now, reaching back at least into the COVID experience, I’ve noticed that mental health seems to have taken center stage, particularly among the young. Sports figures like Olympics swimming gold medalist Michael Phelps, Japanese professional tennis player Naomi Osaka, and Olympic gymnastics star Simone Biles have all revealed struggles with what they called mental health issues. 

Actor Elizabeth Olsen addressed her mental health struggles, which she only experienced when she was living in New York at age 21. "I remember I would get [panic attacks] on the hour every hour," Olsen recalled. "I used to live on 13th Street between 6th and 7th. I was crossing 6th Avenue at 14th Street, and I realized I couldn't cross the street — I stood up against the wall, and I just thought I was going to drop dead at any moment."

Singer Selena Gomez, said, “Last year, I was suffering mentally and emotionally, and I wasn't able to stay all that kept together. I wasn't able to hold a smile or to keep things normal…It felt like all of my pain and anxiety washed over me all at once and it was one of the scariest moments of my life.”

These athletes and entertainers are people in peak physical condition, in their 20s and 30s, and they live with considerable resources and access to entire entourages of support. Yet they have struggled with mental health issues.

Of course, fame and fortune are no barriers to stress, emotional traumas, depression, and tragedy. I understand that these people are just human beings like the rest of us, and in no way am I expressing disrespect or making light of them or their struggles. I recognize, too, that mental health issues are real, and that people can experience an extensive variety of mental challenges, some rooted in their own earlier choices and behaviors, some traced to sources of no fault of their own, e.g., difficult a family upbringing or physiological imbalances. Whether Nature or Nurture, we live in a fallen world and many things can contribute to mental ill-health.

While my heart goes out to anyone struggling with mental health issues, I wonder why there is a significant increase of this challenge in the US, especially among female and also wealthier adolescents: mood swings, psychological distress, eating disorders, depression, anxiety and panic attacks, suicide-related outcomes, psychosis symptoms. Some say this is happening due to loneliness or frightening current events or social media isolation or drugs. In the U.S., this phenomenon is being called a mental health crisis.

I am also concerned when I hear Christian leaders, churches, or Christian ministries talk about mental health as the primary goal of their ministries. This is a relatively new thing, religious organizations suppressing, let’s call it spiritual vocabulary, in favor of psychological vocabulary, medicalizing spiritual issues. Theology is replaced by therapy.

This watering down trend that trades theology for therapy is part of a larger DIY religioun movement in the US – described with a ten-dollar phrase, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.

The term, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism was first introduced in the 2005 book, Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers by the sociologist Christian Smith with Melinda Lundquist Denton. The authors coined the term to “describe the (religious) system as being ‘about providing therapeutic benefits to its adherent’ as opposed to being about things like ‘repentance from sin, of keeping the Sabbath, of living as a servant of a sovereign divine, of steadfastly saying one's prayers, of faithfully observing high holy days, of building character through suffering…’ and further as ‘belief in a particular kind of God: one who exists, created the world, and defines our general moral order, but not one who is particularly personally involved in one's affairs – especially affairs in which one would prefer not to have God involved.’

The authors state that ‘a significant part of Christianity in the United States is actually only tenuously Christian in any sense that is seriously connected to the actual historical Christian tradition, but has rather substantially morphed into Christianity's misbegotten stepcousin, Christian Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.

A church has become therapeutic if the gospel is reduced, and reducible, to the premises and vocabulary, concepts and recommendations of therapy. A therapeutic church does not speak of sin, judgment, guilt, shame, wrath, hell, repentance, punishment, suffering, crucifixion, deliverance, salvation, Satan, demons, exorcism, and so forth.

It takes most or all of these to be in need of translation or elimination: the latter, because they are outmoded or harmful to mental health; the former, because they are applicable to contemporary life but only in psychological, not spiritual, terms. A therapeutic church speaks instead, therefore, of wellness, health, toxicity, self-care, harm, safety, balance, affirmation, holding space, and being well-adjusted.”

“The question is not whether mental health is real (it is), whether medication is sometimes worth prescribing (it is), or whether therapy can be helpful (it can be). The question is whether mental health is convertible with spiritual health. The question, that is, is whether the work of therapy is synonymous with the work of the gospel; whether the task of the counselor is one and the same as that of the pastor. Answer: It is not.”

The “therapeutic church is atheist because it has lost its raison d’être: it preaches a gospel without God.”

“A therapeutic church has, in way, lost its nerve. It simply does not believe what it says it believes, what it is supposed to be preaching. It does not believe that the God revealed in Jesus Christ is the best possible news on planet earth, meant for every soul under heaven. It does not believe that the problems of people today, as at all times, have their final answer and ultimate fulfillment in the Word made flesh. Or, to the extent that it does believe this, it is scared to say so, because the folks in the pews do not want to hear that. They want to be affirmed in their identities, in their desires, in their blemishes and failures and foibles. They do not want to be judged by God. They do not want to be told they need saving by God.  They do not want to learn that their plight is so dire that the God who created the universe had to die for their sins on a cross. They want to be told: I’m okay, you’re okay, we’re all okay—so long as we accept our imperfections and refuse the siren songs of guilt and shame. They want, in a word, to be heard, to be seen, and to be accepted just as they are.”

But “God is not a therapist, and his principal goal in Christ is not to ensure a high degree of mental health in the context of a larger successful venture in upper-middle class professional/family life. God, rather, is in the business of holiness.”

“Does this mean that America is becoming more secularized? Not necessarily…Christianity is either degenerating into a pathetic version of itself or, more significantly, Christianity is actively being colonized and displaced by a quite different religious faith. This radical transformation of Christian theology and Christian belief replaces the sovereignty of God with the sovereignty of the self. In this therapeutic age, human problems are reduced to pathologies in need of a treatment plan. Sin is simply excluded from the picture, and doctrines as central as the wrath and justice of God are discarded as out of step with the times and unhelpful to the project of self-actualization.”

According to the veteran researcher (George) Barna, ‘Practitioners of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism are not anti-religion or anti-Christianity. They just are not willing to surrender themselves to authentic Christianity’s demands—or to believe that a real faith would even make such demands of them.’”

“As Barna noted, ‘It seems that most of these folks want to do the right thing; they simply have been led down the wrong paths toward achieving that end.’”

The “therapeutic gospel concerns itself with people’s ‘felt needs’: for love, significance, self-esteem, self-confidence, self-assertion, pleasure, and excitement. The therapeutic gospel gives people what they want. It makes them feel better—at least temporarily. It centers around the welfare of man and temporal happiness. But…it discards the glory of God in Christ. It forfeits the narrow, difficult road that brings deep human flourishing and eternal joy…(Yet it is) the gospel of Jesus Christ brings change through repentance, faith, and transformation into the image of the Son.”

Therapy asks us to change ourselves, something we cannot do.

Theology provides a way through the Word for God to change us.

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Pet. 1:3).


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 noticed that American culture seems to be drifting away from its founding Judeo-Christian values? Does this mean America is secularizing? Does it matter?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #107 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.

When I was in grad school in the late 70s-early 80s, one of the issues we talked about was “secularization,” the “historical process in which religion declines in social and cultural significance. As a result of secularization the role of religion in modern societies becomes restricted. In secularized societies faith lacks cultural authority, and religious organizations have little social power.”

OK, fair enough. Many examples can be cited. But the mistake much of the scholarship made back then was to assume that people would move from religion to irreligion, from religion to religionlesness, that somehow human beings could and would reach a point of development in which faith in God and religious practices were no longer necessary to life. Those scholars envisioned a world without religion.

But it didn’t happen. While traditional religion has become publicly less important in the West, including in the United States, worldwide, religion is as great an influence, if not more so, than ever.

One of the problems with those secularization studies is that they were written with a bias. Many academics were themselves religiously non-practicing. They often came from religious homes but tossed this aside in college. So, they expected to find others doing the same, because for them this was the rational, reasonable, scientific thing to do.

But let’s offer a counter thesis: There are no religionless human beings. Since Adam and Eve, no individuals have ever existed who are not at their core a religious being.

By “religious” I do not mean adherents of traditional or institutional religion. Bureaucracies.

By religious, I mean one possesses an innate God consciousness, a moral capacity to reason about right and wrong, a desire to know who we are, what is our purpose, and what is our destiny, and with this to consider the existential questions, Is there a God? Does he know me? What is the source of evil or sin? What happens when I die?

I believe God instilled all this in human beings when he said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Gen. 1:26-27).

Now many people claim to be religionless. But even atheists position themselves as not believing in what? God. They form a presupposition about the Almighty, which is an inherently religious action.

The Collins English Dictionary defines religionless as, “people lacking religious beliefs. Lacking or devoid of religion.” But this is colloquial not philosophical definition. No one is wholly lacking in religious beliefs.

Merriam-Webster gets closer, defining religionless as, “atheistical, lacking religious emotions, principles, or practices.”

OK, people who do not act religious. They exist, but they are still religious because to live in the world, every human being must make assumptions about God, humanity, life and being, purpose, truth, morality. It is impossible to live without making these judgments, whether consciously or subconsciously, and these assumptions determine one’s values and choices. 

So, yes, there are many examples of people acting out in a manner that suggests they are without religious understanding. But still, as our thesis posits, at their core, they are religious.

In America today we are experiencing a downward trend in those who say they are religious and an upward trend in those who say, “No Religion,” now 30% of the population, a figure that has nearly doubled in the past 15 years. These are “people who self-describe as atheists, agnostics or ‘nothing in particular’ when asked about their religious identity” – the so-called “Nones.” 

Now we could just write this social development off as, live and let live. It’s a free country. What someone else believes really doesn’t matter all that much to me, right?

But is this the case?

When a person rejects traditional religious understanding, which in the United States is Judeo-Christian principles, what he or she is doing is replacing one set of assumptions with another set of assumptions. These folks may be Nones in terms of engagement with institutional religion or Judeo-Christian outlooks on life, 

but they are not Nones in terms of religious ideas. Remember our thesis – there are no religionless human beings. 

So as Americans jettison Judeo-Christian religious affiliation a new religious persuasion, not secularism per se, is replacing it, and with this new persuasion, new values.

Christian social researcher George Barna calls the new DIY religious persuasion Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, a mouthful for sure, but it simply means belief in a God, no moral absolutes, doing the best you can, being nice meaning inclusive, and focusing upon your well-being. 

Again, why does another person’s religious assumptions matter to you or me?

Well, because when a lot of people adopt views different from, even contrary to Judeo-Christian principles, then they act on their values, they create a chaotic culture. That’s what we are seeing today.

In contemporary culture, if you just watch social developments and read or watch social and legacy media, you’ll find incessant messaging arguing the following values define life:

  1. Personal happiness is the end all, be all of life.

Such a culture embraces and promotes abortion on demand, prenuptial agreements and easy divorce that diminish marriage and family, and affluence as the measure of wellbeing, all of which are evident in programs like “Real Housewives” of name-the-city.

  1. Sexual fulfillment is the greatest source of happiness.

Such a culture embraces sexual libertinism, equates lust with love, allows or promotes child sexual abuse in the form of transgenderism, even embraces perversion-as-normality, like “50 Shades of Grey.”

  1. Socially determined gender, not biological sex, defines human reality.

Such a culture celebrates men identifying as women and cheating in sports, allows them access to women’s locker rooms and prisons (guess what assaults result from this) and parades twisted men or women as examples of bravery or achievement, like Bud Light tried to do putting a man trans woman on their beer cans, only to experience “Go Woke, Go Broke.”

  1. Racial determinism means offenses based upon race are now found in virtually every experience of daily life.

Such a culture embraces so-called “anti-racism,” a philosophy tragically racist in values, attitudes, and impact. We see this in the activities of charlatan groups like Black Lives Matter and the Critical Race Theory taught in schools. 

  1. Truth is a matter of preference.

Such a culture allows gender, race, and ideology to trump truth. Consequently, laws are unenforceable, and order is at risk, organized looters steal at will in major cities, and criminal perpetrators go unprosecuted. Utterly irrational ideas are promoted, like defund the police, no prosecution for social statement crimes, which we see in how youthful looters and even those wielding weapons are ignored in Chicago.

  1. Mental health is the definition of well-being.

Such cultures are built upon churches that have reduced the gospel to psychological conversations about wellness, self-care, safety, and affirmation. Sin, judgment, guilt, hell, forgiveness, repentance, and salvation are unwelcome topics, because people want to be told: I’m okay, you’re okay, we’re all okay.

Our non-Christian neighbors are not secular. They are not religionless. They may think of themselves as Nones, but in their pursuit of happiness, they are following a false DIY religious worldview.

So, yes, if our neighbors embrace a surrogate, idolatrous religion, there will be, and there already has been, consequences for American culture. What someone else believes really does matter.


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 taken the time to sit back and think about your life? Have you taken stock on what you’ve done and why, whether these things honored the Lord, or whether they were just your version of the pursuit of happiness?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #106 of Discerning What Is Best, a podcast applying unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, and a Christian worldview to current issues and everyday life.

If you can indulge me this, in this podcast I’d like to share something of a personal testimony. It’s not because I think my life is all that notable. It’s not. It’s just that I am old enough now to see how God worked, to appreciate his grace and goodness, and to want to honor him even as I hope this account encourages others.

I grew up in a small, southeastern Ohio town—“3,000 friendly people,” the sign said at the village limits. I was surrounded by an extended family in which virtually everyone was a believer in Christ and who, for the most part, practiced their faith. I didn’t know it then, but I now understand that this family experience was a rare gift.  

Both of my parents were dedicated Christian people and had been since before I was born. Mom was a piano and organ teacher, who has participated in church music and worship services since her teens. Dad was a factory worker and barber and a member of my home church deacon board for over forty years, leading it for much of this time.  

When the church doors were open, so to speak, we were there. And when they weren’t open, Dad and Mom were still there, laboring faithfully behind the scenes—Dad fixing or preparing whatever needed attention, Mom leading music practices with others. So, it’s not a stretch to say my sister and I come from, in the best sense of the term, a “Christian home.” 

In response to the witness of my parents and many others in the church, at six years of age I made a personal profession of faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior, following this with baptism some three years later. 

All four of my grandparents lived nearby and all of them played a role in my upbringing. They were caring and loving, wise, optimistic, modeled incredible work ethics, and “finished well,” living consistent, admirable Christian lives till the Lord called them home. Each one made spiritual and life investments in me that I cannot possibly repay other than by attempting to live by their example and live up to their expectations.

My maternal grandfather was the lively, hilarious spiritual patriarch of the family, and to a considerable extent of many families within our community. He was also a leading deacon in our Baptist church. He and my grandmother, along with three or four other couples, had made the difficult choice years before to leave their church, which had begun drifting into theological liberalism, and to establish a new church committed to the Lord and the Word of God. I am a direct spiritual beneficiary of their courage, decisions, and diligent efforts, and so are other generations in a church that yet thrives after their passing. 

In my family I learned, and I believe, that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and the Bible is God’s inerrant Word, our guide for faith and practice. As a young person I attended Sunday School, daily vacation Bible school, church camp, Jet Cadets, and Teens for Christ. You name it, I was there. I was no angel, but I did everything a kid from a Christian home and a fundamentalist church was supposed to do. Then I attended a Christian college.  

Aside from a Christian family upbringing nothing marked my life more than my undergraduate experience. I loved every minute of it.  

While I was in college God delivered me from a spiritual struggle. Early in my Christian life, given a strongly rationalistic mind, I wrestled with doubt—not doubt in the existence of God but doubt whether or not I was truly saved. My struggle ended with the assurances I found in 2 Timothy 2:11-13.  

“Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”

I never “disowned,” meaning rejected the Lord, I was simply “faithless,” meaning lacking or weak in faith. In my weakness, the Lord remained faithful, not disowning me.

Later, I discovered others who struggled with doubt, so as one outcome of my spiritual journey I’ve often spoken about doubt with college students and others, using Os Guinness’s work on the subject as one key supporting source. 

It was also in Christian college that I found and pursued what became a wonderfully liberating understanding of the Christian faith, what we at that time called “a Christian theistic world-life view.” My growing understanding of a biblically based Christian philosophy of life gradually allowed me to set aside certain fears, undeveloped views, or limited understandings rooted in my good but sometimes legalistic church experience in favor of a still thoroughly biblical but culture-engaging, forward-thinking perspective of life.  

Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer began writing his influential books just before my college years and continued for a decade or so after I graduated. His books helped me look more confidently upon the world, life, and learning, knowing the Christian faith offered “true truth,” as he called it. Through my education and via Dr. Schaeffer’s books I was intellectually set free, for I realized that one need not fear learning something that would someday undermine one’s faith. The Christian faith, I learned and internalized, was as intellectually sound as it was spiritually trustworthy. My Christian college years also provided me with an attraction to the teaching profession and Christian higher education and with a friend who would become my wife.

Years hence I was finally able to write what I consider something of a personal manifesto, a book entitled, Christian Liberty:  Living for God in a Changing Culture. This book expresses my understanding of how to apply a biblically Christian worldview so one may live “in the world” while being “not of the world,” yet remembering God said to go “into the world.” 

I am theologically conservative and consider myself a conservative evangelical, though I understand the definitions of these terms are moving targets and for a period, when “Evangelical” became a political label, I quit using it, simply saying I am a Christian who believes the Bible. 

I’m also an optimistic realist, which I believe every Christian should be. We embrace God’s providence and know the end of the story, yet we understand the reality of sin in our lives and the impact of evil in the world. God calls us to serve him now, to contribute, to build culture for his glory, to witness to saving faith in Jesus, and to proclaim the Lordship of Christ in all of life. Our faith is eternally contemporary and transformative. All of this is one reason “proactive” is my favorite word.

Sarah and I were married in 1974 and God later blessed us with four children, now adults, and later still with their spouses and our ten grandchildren, only one of whom is a girl. Sarah is a wonderfully gracious believer who uses her gifts, especially hospitality, to bless me, our family, our friends, and many more. She has always served the Lord and has stood beside me as a partner in ministry, but now in our empty-nest years she is even more engaged in volunteer support in missions and our local church.

The Lord guided us in attaining advanced degrees, through some thirty-four years of service in Christian education, several months in consulting, and now service in missions, doing promotion and fundraising in the States. He has given me opportunities to teach, speak, write, and lead. 

For as long as he gives me, my aspirations are to honor the Lord by honoring my wife and family, to serve proactively with integrity and vigor in whatever organizations or contexts he places me, and to someday finish well.

For all this Sarah and I praise God and remember our family verse chosen when we knew our first baby was on the way: “The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy” (Psalm 126:3).


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  

Does it seem to you that lawbreakers of one kind or another seem to be having a field day in America? Have you wondered whatever happened to the rule of law?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #105 of Discerning What Is Best, a podcast applying unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, and a Christian worldview to current issues and everyday life.

If you are a certain age, you’d be forgiven for wondering, whatever happened to accountability, law and order, and blind justice?

You might even wonder what happened to Pres. George H. W. Bush’s call for a “kinder, gentler nation.”

And remember the words of John Winthrop in the year 1630, quoting from Matthew's Gospel (5:14) in which Jesus warns, "a city on a hill cannot be hid," 

Winthrop warned his fellow Puritans that their new community would be "as a city upon a hill the eyes of all people are upon us." 

Two hundred fifty years later in 1980, Candidate Ronald Reagan said, “I have quoted John Winthrop's words more than once on the campaign trail this year—for I believe that Americans in 1980 are every bit as committed to that vision of a shining city on a hill, as were those long ago settlers...These visitors to that city on the Potomac do not come as white or black, red or yellow; they are not Jews or Christians; conservatives or liberals; or Democrats or Republicans. They are Americans awed by what has gone before, proud of what for them is still… a shining city on a hill.”

Or remember the words of Katharine Lee Bates’ poem later put to music to become an iconic patriotic hymn:

“O beautiful for patriot dream, That sees beyond the years, Thine alabaster cities gleam, Undimmed by human tears! America! America! God mend thine every flaw, Confirm thy soul in self-controlThy liberty in law!” Quite a vision that does not seem to align with what we’re experiencing today.

More recently, what we see happening in America sadly falls short of these powerful ideals.

Following the tragic killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the country was subjected to urban riots that destroyed stores and neighborhoods, resulted in billions of dollars of destruction, and wrecked the economy and livelihood of many people living and working in cities across the country. Ostensibly, these riots – some commentators refused to call them riots, using only the word protests – were a cry for racial justice. And there were a few people and instances in which legitimate peaceful protest took place. But still, the arson, looting, vandalism ruined peoples livelihoods and properties, many of the minority owned. Lawlessness in the name of justice.

America has experienced both a crime wave and a violence wave. Looters, sometimes in broad daylight, break upscale retail store windows and doors in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, then run off with millions in goods in so-called “smash and grab” endeavors, many coordinated by gangs. But perpetrators face few consequences because “there is no political will to prosecute.” The “defund the police” movement has sapped some officers’ morale. “Decriminalization of low-level offenses in some states (like California) has created opportunities for criminals to manipulate the system.” Progressive district and prosecuting attorneys, mayors, even governors announced they do not intend to prosecute and thus do not hold perpetrators accountable.

American citizens who try to defend themselves and their property from violent looters, arsonists and criminals are immediately labeled ‘white supremacists,’ ‘vigilantes’ or worse by the media.” 

American cities are declining. People and businesses are departing in droves, especially in criminal-friendly states like California. Central downtowns in cities like Portland, Los Angeles, Seattle, Sacramento, New York, Austin, Washington, DC, and several more are turning into a sad mix of the very wealthy living above and the abject, abandoned, addicted, and abused living below, similar to what can be found in cities around the world located in countries without the social welfare programs or healthcare available in the United States.

Homelessness – with multiple root causes – now plague cities with makeshift shelters, tent cities lining sidewalks, tarps covering broken-down cars, and sleeping bags tucked in storefront doorways. Some say it is drug addiction, some blame mental illness, some argue homelessness is economic, others say it is lifestyle choices, some say these homeless tent cities within cities are hotbeds of crime, abuse, and general lack of safety for the neighborhoods affected, some contend many homeless should be in mental health or drug addiction facilities, or in jail.

Whatever it is, human feces and urine, drug syringes, filthy used condoms, beer and liquor containers, and fast-food waste are evident in America’s alabaster cities.

Altercations in public schools are increasing and increasingly violent. Yes, school shooters, the lone gunman, a genuine anarchic threat to free society and our children, but there’s more, violent outbreaks among students, the product of our toxic, divisive times and dysfunctional families that give these youth no support, no hope, nothing but angst, anger, and anomie. Teachers and staff are now regularly subjected to violence in schools.

What is the source of this violence? It’s the culture – students are coming of age in a society that rejects truth, disdains authority, argues for “fairness,” a euphemism for “everything must be the same,” a constant barrage of social media, political, and social inputs demeaning the nation’s history, its values, and its aspirations, and in its place, giving youth and an increase number of adults a demanding sense of envy, alienation, and surliness.

Brawls, random brawls involving adults are becoming commonplace on airplanes and at sporting venues. 

A woman swore at the flight crew and threw a bottle on a recent flight after the attendant reportedly asked the woman to take her dog off her lap.

A Disney World visitor took their frustration due to a ride’s technical problem out on a Cast Member, sending them to the hospital.”

A man became so violent on a Paris to Detroit flight he was put in restraints.

A Dodgers fan got knocked unconscious during a brawl outside Dodger Stadium,” after a game with the Twins.

Two Alabamians were suspended from a Tennessee park after a brawl, arrests at softball game.”

Tourists in national parks seem to now believe they should be permitted to do whatever they want to do, including place themselves at risk in the close proximity of large wild animals like bison, grizzly bears – yes, grizzly bears, with cubs no less. Or the tourists ignore park warnings not to deviate from established walking trails or not to put their hands into incredibly high temperature natural hot springs like those found at Yellowstone. Often, when these kinds of incidents occur, other tourists or park rangers are put at risk as well, attempting to assist or protect the tourist acting out their behaviors.

Many of these pictures with animals or on the edge of cliffs featuring precipitous hundred-foot drops are motivated by people wanting selfies or taking videos to post on Tik Tok or Instagram. “Hey, look at me. I am placing myself in extreme danger. This means I am, a) uninformed, b) brave, c) not smart, possess no common sense, and think the world revolves around me.”

Another example of lawlessness in America is sponsored by the United States government, or more precisely President Joe Biden. It is the near unrestricted immigration on the nation’s southern border.“The only White House strategy seems to be: Keep the flow going, fly migrants around the country to spread out the impact, trust the media not to report on it — and pretend nothing is really happening.”Some 66% of Americans disapprove of the Biden Administration’s exceptionally lenient southern border immigration policy that allows hundreds of thousands to enter the United States without benefit of legal process.

I have always been, and I remain, pro-immigrant. The U.S. is a nation of immigrants after all. But I am pro-immigrant via legal means along with a legal process toward citizenship, not come one, come all, including child traffickers, fentanyl drug pushers, and many others with criminal records.

Lawlessness is now not simply a matter of murders and sex crimes. Lawlessness is now prevalent in how some Americans believe they can behave.

During COVID, I did not like it when conservative county sheriffs announced they would not enforce legitimate state approved laws or executive orders from the progressive governor’s office. It did not matter that I agreed with their point of view about the new law or order. What mattered is that if anyone can do what’s right in his own eyes, then we have not law and order but anarchy and chaos.

This is not a recipe, in the words of the U.S. Constitution, for a more perfect Union, establishing Justice, ensuring domestic tranquility, providing for the common defense, promoting the general welfare, and securing the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.

Lawlessness is no longer the activity of the outlaw. It is what average Americans do when they don’t get their way.


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