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It doesn’t take much reflection to realize a lot has changed in the past 50 years besides iPhones and the Internet. If you are older, have you noted the extensive changes in American culture? 

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #78 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.

Recently, I’ve been trying to get my arms around the moral freefall so widely apparent in American culture. At the risk of sounding like an old fogy, I must say that the American culture in which I grew up, indeed lived into my middle adult years, is either in serious trouble or gone, depending upon how you want to assess certain measures. The point is, it’s really different now and I’m not sure younger people realize or recognize it.

I’m not suggesting that in days gone by, things were all as they should be, that we experienced no problems and no failures “back when.” Indeed, we had plenty of personal and cultural sins, among them racism, or men treating women in inappropriate ways the MeToo Movement finally and rightly pointed out. What I’m saying now is that moral shifts have taken place in American culture during my lifetime that are as wide, deep, and threatening as a 9.0 earthquake.

When I was in grade school, teachers read a few verses of Scripture each morning before we said the “Pledge of Allegiance” together and started our day. I was in 8th Grade before I learned what homosexuality is and that was from a “Birds and the Bees” conversation with my Dad, not via the street, public school, or television. In high school, I did come to understand racism and civil rights, because I heard Martin Luther King. Jr’s incredible “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial (1963), and I watched the social protests of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. When I was in high school, I never saw or barely heard of drugs. 

Throughout my public school elementary, middle school, and high school experience, I was blessed with teachers who knew their subjects and who taught, teachers who were, with the exception of a couple I could name, moral, decent, caring, professional people, teachers who were permitted and who wanted to teach “reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic,” history, biology, language, and critical thinking. 

They did not spend – I should say waste – time on sex education or promote LGBTQ special rights, look upon every occurrence as evidence of failed diversity, equity, or inclusion. They did not re-vision American history as a dark and desperate story of white privilege, cultural relativism or systemic racism. While we learned about conservation and environmental stewardship, teachers did not instill students with fears about climate change or promote socialist, anti-free enterprise, anti-humanity ideologies about saving the world.

Consequently, I was educated, not indoctrinated.

I was taught to respect the fact that men and women from this country in which I was born had on several occasions given the last full measure of sacrifice so that I could enjoy life and liberty. I was taught that patriotism focused on a set of ideals, of aspirations about human freedom, not just blind loyalty to a country or ideology.

I was taught to think, not shrink in fear of micro-aggressions or perceived oppressions. I was not taught “tolerance” in the current sense of the term, meaning a promotion of one demography at the expense of others. Rather, I was taught to “love your neighbor,” to understand that each person a free citizen of his/her country, equal before the law, innocent until proven guilty, free to pursue opportunities without class consciousness and to succeed or fail based upon our own work ethic, commitment, and the merit of our ideas.

I was never taught by parents, preachers, or teachers that there is no such thing as truth, something that is now the prevailing acceptable idea across American culture, and this false idea is reaping devastating effects.

I was taught that boys should become men, and that one aspect of this maturity was a recognition that men should respect and protect girls and women. I was taught that real men were respectable, responsible, and reliable, that real women were capable, considerate, and caring. I had role models of both sexes who were honest, hard-working, and courageous.

Honestly, I did not understand abortion until I got into college, and while I was in college the Supreme Court of the United States handed down Roe v. Wade (1973).

Though I had watched male comedians dress as women for the sake of comedy when I was young, I did not know what a transvestite is, much less what transgenderism is.

And when I say I did not know what these things were, I mean well into and college age, because these things were not part of or morally endorsed by everyday culture. Trans ideology was not taught in school, as it is today, not available on the Internet, as it is today, not presented in acceptable forms on television, as it is today, and not “accepted and affirmed,” as the recommended wording goes, by preachers or churches or Christian families.

Getting hammered, when I was in high school, meant some kids drank too many beers Friday night. We were just beginning to hear about marijuana, and later uppers and downers, LSD, and other spinoffs of the “Sex, Drugs, and Rock n Roll” of the 60s Counterculture. But when I was in high school, this was all “out there” somewhere, not commonly available in our town. let alone hard drugs like heroin or cocaine, and later—actually now---opioids and fentanyl.

When I was in high school, as I recall, two classmates got pregnant. Both girls attended for a time, then dropped out to have their babies. These new mothers eventually returned to finish their educations. The issue—unexpected and unwanted pregnancy—has been around since the dawn of time, but moral codes and expectations limited the prevalence of the problem. At least this was the case when I was in high school, 1966-1970.

Although the FDA approved the first oral contraceptive in 1960, contraceptives were not available to married women in all states until Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) and were not available to unmarried women in all states until Eisenstadt v. Baird (1972).

The pill, as it was called, helped propel the Sexual Liberation Movement of the 1960s toward breaking new boundaries in the 1970s. This movement continues today with LGBTQ demands for normalization. When I was a youth, while this movement was well underway, it had not reached our small town in any identifiable public way. The pill, and other contraceptives developed later, represented the technical or medical side, so to speak, of sexual liberation, but the real rocket fuel to the movement was a significant change in the nation’s public moral consensus – what culture thinks is right and wrong, OK, or up to you and no one else’s business.

American culture’s moral tectonic plates are shifting away from the Judeo-Christian moral consensus that once provided what sociologists of religion called the “sacred canopy” integrating society. 

We’re moving from There is a God, He is the source of our liberty and laws, and We are accountable to him to There is no God, liberty and laws are about libertinism, and we are not accountable to anyone.

In Romans 1 (18), Scripture warns about those “who suppress the truth by their wickedness.” Our culture has long-since begun "suppressing the truth," so it is becoming irrational, unrealistic, and dysfunctional. Unfortunately, it can get worse; there's more sophisticated insanity yet to come.

During the April 2, 2023, Country Music Awards, co-host Kelsea Ballerini sang while joined on stage by a group of drag queens. She later tweeted, “Thank you to these iconic queens and... CMT for celebrating love, self-expression, and performance." Clearly, she did not invite the drag queens because they enhanced her music. She was making a statement.

Celebrity leftist radicalism is nothing new, but Blue State officials, like Gov. Gavin Newsome, California, intentionally positioning their states in opposition to the rule of law, federal courts, and the legislatures of Red States is new. California bills itself as a sanctuary state for transgender kids or those wanting abortion access. Not just California, but a number of Blue States have adopted laws directly contrary to laws in Red States. This includes laws regarding abortion on demand, transgender youth policy, transgender athlete access to athletic events based on gender identity rather than biological birth sex, classroom discussion of race or sexuality, and more.

This division, this civil-war-like antipathy, was unknown when I was young, but it exists now and is being described as “the great divergence.” Given that the bedrock of all this is not politics but moral worldview, the 2020s are likely to be a time of increased challenges to American social cohesion. American culture is coming apart at the seams.

Pray for E Pluribus Unum.


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  

Was there a time in your life when you were more hopeful than you are now? Has the world gone so awry that hope no longer seems possible or reasonable? Is hope hopelessly dead?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #77 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.

At the end of “Gond with the Wind,” after years of tragic Civil War, the starring character Scarlett O’Hara, devastated and seemingly defeated by the degradations of the war, said, “Tara. Home. I'll go home…After all, tomorrow is another day."

In “Annie,” Orphan Annie sang, “The sun will come out Tomorrow. Bet your bottom dollar That tomorrow There'll be sun! Just thinking about Tomorrow Clears away the cobwebs, And the sorrow 'Til there's none! Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I love ya Tomorrow! You're always a day away”

In “Cast Away,” Tom Hanks-as-Chuck Noland, rescued after four years on the deserted island and in the process losing the one he considered the love of his life, wraps the film saying, “And I know what I have to do now. I gotta keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?”

All these fictional cinematic characters expressed hope, something that made these films powerful, but something that now seems part of a lost past.

Today’s movies, with a few exceptions, are usually not hopeful; they’re dark, deadly, and hopeless.

There was a time, on both sides of the aisle, when being upbeat in politics was considered admirable. Democrat Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey was known as the "Happy Warrior." Republican President Ronald Reagan, the "Gipper," was widely recognized by friend and foe alike for his sunny, forever optimistic persona. 

Now, it seems many Democrat and Republican politicians, activists, journalists, academicians, and beaucoup other pundits on social media, are terminally angry, perpetually offended, lacking in humility, at times fearful, or so convinced their view is correct that yours does not deserve hearing. And oh by the way, they’re nasty.

I don't think Humphrey or Reagan were clueless Pollyannas. I think they operated with a different worldview than most of the "elites" we endure today. Maybe I sound like an old guy, but I miss the forward-thinking energy you can hear in these statements by political leaders—

--FDR regarding the Depression and later World War II: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." 

--JFK on landing a person on the moon: "We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard."

--MLK Jr on his vision America would realize its founding principles: "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." 

--George H. W. Bush on his lifelong belief in the American people: "I have spoken of a thousand points of light, of all the community organizations that are spread like stars throughout the nation, doing good." 

Like Humphrey and Reagan, these men weren’t silly utopians. They were men who expressed hope based upon their personal values and confidence in America’s transcendent ideals.

People place their hope in many things: themselves, their “inner strength,” other people—who alwaysfail and falter, talent—drive—wealth—education—beauty—success, false gods. But none of these things can ultimately provide hope in the face of hopelessness.

Hope, particularly hope in the future, must come from something outside ourselves, outside our experience. That’s what happened to the colonial era English political philosopher Thomas Hobbes who looked at nature and concluded life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” Pretty dark view, and his solution wasn’t much better, a government of absolute power.

Non-Christian worldviews do not provide hope, or if they attempt to do so, they don’t know how to deal with the reality of evil. Sin, living in a fallen world, how do we escape our own sinfulness? We are indeed hopeless…until and unless we place our faith in the Creator God who provided a way out, who provided forgiveness and reconciliation and therefore hope. Christianity resolves the question of good and evil and gives people reason for optimism. 

So, when you choose hope based upon the omnipotent Sovereign God, you are not irrational, emotional, or even mystical. Rather, you are rational, reasoning, and reasonable because you are opting for fact over fiction.

Our culture’s pell-mell rush during my lifetime to abandon Judeo-Christian values in favor of the latest humanistic, ideological “Ism” is what’s brought us to this point: elites with no optimism, no real hope. 

The only way to get hope and optimism back is to embrace what God told us long ago: “But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

Christian hope is not like any other kind of hope. Christian hope is not a vain wish for what might be. Christian hope is a trust in what will be. Christian hope is based upon Christ's completed work, so our hope may be confident...not anxious, not arrogant, but confident. 

This is very important. We're told by some people that the future is a matter of chance, fate, or luck. Some of these people think God doesn't exist, and some believe God can't do much even if He does exist. People who think like this end up in one of two extremes: hedonism or nihilism.    

People faced with a pessimistic, hopeless future seek relief in substance abuse or some other emotional tranquilizer.

Hollywood celebrities—the ones who’ve lived life in full-on self-aggrandizement—who then get all that they’re after—fame and adulation, fortune and excess, libertine but vapid sex, banal success, materialistic things, finally discover what they wanted leaves them empty.

Remember Peggy Lee’s song in 1969? “If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing. Let’s break out the booze and have a ball. If that’s all there is.”

Does this help you understand why celebrities who “have it all” end their lives by their own hand, or they become victims of accidental overdose?

Christian hope is authentic, genuine, and balanced. It's never pessimistic, because Christians know the Creator and Savior. 

We know the beginning and the end of the human story, and we know it's all in God's sovereign care. Christian hope is realistically optimistic. We acknowledge the presence of sin in the world—and in our own hearts, but we do not crash in an emotional death spiral, because we know the Lord, the author of hope. 

"Hope springs eternal in the human breast." For the Christian--hope really is eternal. 


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  

Sometimes we think superstition is the experience of primitive, ill-educated people in far off lands, but have you noticed that Americans are superstitious too? 

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #76 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. 

Throughout the Middle East and North Africa, and for that matter many other regions, people believe in something called the Evil Eye. It’s a superstition, but it’s real to those who believe it.

The Evil Eye is the idea that someone can look at you and, whether intentional or not and whether realized or not, cause you discomfort, injury, or bad luck. To purposely “give someone” the evil eye is the height of social ill will. 

In the Middle East it is also possible, according to belief in the Evil Eye, to induce evil upon a person unwittingly, simply by calling attention to something good in his or her life. For example, those who believe in the Evil Eye would be horrified to hear you say they have “a lovely child” or are living in “a very attractive home.” Such compliments invite the negative attention of the Evil Eye.

Because people really do believe in the Evil Eye, charms of all shapes and sizes have been developed to ward off the potential and power of its curse. Usually, such charms are made of dark blue glass or some other hard polished material on which a light blue circle is imprinted, which in turn is centered by a dark circle or dot. The design suggests an eye. 

I’ve seen these charms in shops in Cairo, Istanbul, cities in Cyprus, Beirut, and other Lebanese cities. I’ve seen people wearing them on the street as necklaces, bracelets, or some other amulet. And I’ve seen them hanging from the rearview mirrors of cars, much like people in the West hang dreamcatchers.

It’s sad, for the Evil Eye is nothing but a superstition, and the charms are nothing but powerless talismans.

But from a Christian perspective, we know that there’s no such thing as luck of any kind. The idea of a Sovereign God and luck are mutually exclusive concepts (Isaiah 45:5-7).

While we don’t see many Evil Eye charms in America, you can purchase them online and we do see our own version of lucky artifacts. Sad thing is though: they’re all a waste of time and money.

Yet people persist in believing in luck, “just in case.” Americans embrace a host of good luck charms. Rabbits' feet, lucky coins or bottle caps, special winning shirts-shoes-socks or pre-game rituals, lucky charms, crystals, four leaf clovers, medals, or spices, hex symbols on barns, spirit rocks purchased at the mall.  

We are superstitious. Knock on wood. Don't walk under a ladder, step on a crack, or break a mirror. Throw salt over your shoulder. Cross your fingers. Avoid that black cat. Don’t do anything on Friday the 13th, the fear of which is intriguingly called paraskavedekatriaphobia.  

The motivations for most superstition is fear or the desire for luck. But when people turn to superstition the cure can be worse than the disease. Superstition does not displace fear. It only masks it for a time like whistling in the dark. 

The Evil Eye, for example, is a form of idolatry, because, like all charms, amulets, talismans, fetishes, juju, voodoo, dzi beads, hamsa hands, or zemi, in the mind and heart of adherents, they act as surrogates to trust in God. People put faith in, even worship, inanimate objects rather than God. This at its most basic is the definition of idolatry. 

Christianity has been infected by superstition, too. While Christian leaders and theologians typically condemn faith in “things” rather than faith in God, individuals worldwide use Christian symbols as objects of superstition. Belief in the power of a crucifix (not God or Jesus) reaches back centuries. In Bram Stoker’s warped classic, Dracula, the crucifix is used to ward off vampires, and with that a legend with no end was born.   

The crucifix, or simply the cross, are often used not so much as representations of Christ’s substitutionary atonement (a legitimate artistic or religious practice) but as devices vested with mystical protective powers. Some people wear crucifixes or crosses like a presumed force shield, not unlike people wear Evil Eye amulets.

Sometimes our superstition takes on a "Christianized" flavor. People "Say a little prayer" before tackling bigger tasks. Even non-Catholics cross themselves because "It can't hurt." People use the Bible like a talisman, keeping it in cars or touching it for good luck.  

Superstition, though, doesn’t align with Christian faith. Superstition is based on ignorance. Christianity is based on knowable truth. Superstition thrives on fear while Christian faith overcomes fear.

The Psalmist David sang, “I will fear no evil, for you are with me” (Psalm 23). 

Timothy said, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).      

God, not superstition, casts away fear. He is the Good Shepherd, the Heavenly Father, the Comforter, the Great Physician, the Almighty.  

Superstition tries to appease legions of mythical gods (Isaiah 65:11-17). Christians worship the Heavenly Father who brings all things together according to his purposes (Romans 8:28).   

Superstition is idolatry, and God said in the book of 1 John, "Dear children, keep yourselves from idols" (5:21).

But in classic syncretistic fashion we don’t get rid of our superstitions. We mix them with our biblical beliefs and in effect create our own new religion. We even use fetishes.

A fetish is an object that supposedly possesses enchanted powers capable of bringing great favor or otherwise protecting its owner from harm.    

Yet biblically speaking no material objects are vested with orphic powers. No inanimate thing and no animals alive or dead can supernaturally protect or favor human activity. No idol, icon, or fetish, including voodoo dolls, holds any powers. They’re just human-made objects, crafted with religious symbolism but no more capable of directing human affairs than the Pet Rocks or Mood Rings of my youth.     

God said, "You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them” (Exodus 20:3-4).    

Magic is another foray into superstition, one of those things about which we need to exercise what someone once called "sanctified common sense." In other words, we must define our terms and balance our response. 

If by magic we mean the occult, Satan worship, demonism, witchcraft or sorcery, Fate, incantations, seances, crystal balls, or psychic claims upon our lives, than as a Christian we must reject and oppose these things. This kind of magic is devilish, promotes an anti-Christian worldview, and destroys those it touches.  

Magic is a generalized term for a host of ungodly surrogates for the biblical story. The magic of the occult is Satan's mimicry of divine miracles and sovereign disposition of human affairs. Demons, witches, and other purveyors of magical falsehood are Satan's marionettes, messengers of sin and darkness.

But remember, the Providence of God puts the lie to superstition, luck, fetishes, and magic. “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:37-39).


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  

Has it ever seemed to you that the world we live in is topsy-turvy, inside out, upside down, not like you remember it was when you were a kid?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #75 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.

It seems to me that we are experiencing spiritual warfare on nearly all fronts. Perhaps it has always been this way, or maybe it was like this at another time, but either way, it certainly seems like we are witnessing a new pagan onslaught every week, not just in so-called “spiritual matters” pertaining to religion but in every activity of our culture.

Let me illustrate with a few examples:

  1. Same-sex marriage, recognized as legal by the Supreme Court of the United States in Obergefell v Hodgesin 2015. This direct attack on the God-ordained nuclear or traditional family plays an increasingly prominent role in American society with actors portraying same-sex couples on sit-coms, Pete Buttigieg, so-called “Mayor Pete,” married to a man since 2018 and serving as Secretary of Transportation for the Biden Administration, and even Christian adoption agencies now placing children with LGBTQ and same-sex couples
  1. LGBTQ, the idea human beings may select their sexuality as a matter of psychology and preference rather than biology, including the dangerous false ideology of transgenderism, continues to dominate public education from kindergarten to graduate school. This includes a direct attack on parental rights. Since sexual orientation is now increasingly considered a civil right, something that gives these lifestyle choices protected status in employment and other sectors of society, LGBTQ ideology has almost achieved normative status in American culture.
  1. Gender confusion, which includes not only transgenderism but androgyny, radical feminism, macho male chauvinism and toxic masculinity. When a nominee for the Supreme Court of the United States cannot answer the question, “Can you define the word ‘woman’?” then you know the culture is in trouble. How else can any logical person interpret the Biden Administration recently presenting an “International Women Of Courage Award” to a biological male who identifies as female? This gender confusion includes gender fluidity resulting in more than 100 genders now catalogued as possible and real. This includes not simply the polite expectation but the demand often backed by corporate or governmental authority that public servants like teachers must use the gender-neutral pronouns non-binary people select. This includes trans men or trans women demandingaccess to public-facility male or female bathrooms in concert with their trans identity, not their actual biology. This includes trans athletes, specifically men posing as trans women, be permitted to compete in girl’s and women’s sports events. States that have pushed back on this movement, in an attempt to protect girls and women, are regularly labeled in the press, not as defenders of Title IX, fairness, or female athletes, but rather as “anti-trans.” Since we no longer know what a man or woman is and since some believe that men can become pregnant, then we no longer have a basis for truth or reality. We do not have anything to pass on to our children but hellish disorder.
  1. Black Lives Matter, LGTBQ activists, Planned Parenthood, ACLU, and others promoting progressive leftist philosophy are on record opposed to the traditional, nuclear family. They seek to undermine the nuclear family of father and mother married in a lifelong monogamous relationship because this divine biblical ideal cannot be allowed to stand if they are to be successful promoting their sexually perverted, emotionally twisted, libertine options. This includes a promotion of the Marxist ideas promoting race and class conflict, which are imbedded in critical race theory, an attempt to rewrite the nation’s history to obliterate from the record America’s original Judeo-Christian foundation.
  1. Abortion, legal since Roe v Wade(1973) and now altered by the Supreme Court of the United States in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Organization (2022), saying no right to abortion is found in the United States Constitution, abortion is now being curtailed in various ways in several states. The immediate effect was to make abortion an even more divisive political issue. We’re rightfully disturbed by 60 million killed in WWII, 30 million ruthlessly slain under Russia’s Stalin, and the 50 million eliminated under China’s Mao.Yet in the US alone since 1973, abortion goes on with more than 64.6 million killed in the womb. We are literally using infanticide to eradicate our future. This is the height of nihilism.
  1. Illegal narcotics, a pandemic-like impact via which “more than 106,000 persons in the U.S. died from drug-involved overdose in 2021, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids.” This annual figure is almost twice the number who died in the 10-year Viet Nam War. Fentanyl is the primary driver now, a cheap, made-in-Mexico product, the deadliest form of opioid. While people who take drugs talk of getting “high,” what they get over time is “low,” lower than low because drugs are nothing more than an attempt to deaden spiritual pain. Drugs are hopelessness used as a medicine for hopelessness.

There are many other cultural endeavors imbued with an anti-biblical set of values and goals.  

  1. Scienceis no longer a search for truth based upon hypotheses, unbiased measurement of reality, and conclusions rooted in evidence. Now, science is just another place for leftists to play God, demanding we believe them, not our own eyes, logic, history, or nature. Entertainment is dominated by non-Christian, humanistic, materialistic values worshipping celebrity, fame, and fortune, all presented with what’s become a near wall-to-wall use of the F-word. The law, once the realm of giants like Chief Justice John Marshall, or even fictional barristers committed to truth like Perry Mason, is now the playground of soft-on-crime, politically correct, ideologically driven, do-nothing District Attorneys whose claim to fame is how many criminals they did not prosecute. Consequently, when our legal system does not hold perpetrators accountable, the bad actors win, returning to the streets to loot and wreak havoc again. This is the source of increasing incidences of random violence in the country.

The fact that these kinds of activities are now commonplace in American society is due to the culture’s rejection of God, or at least the idea of absolute truth, morality, and consequently, accountability. We’re engaged in moral chaos and moral freefall.

We can no longer define right and wrong, have lost the ability to recognize goodness and beauty so the arts are falling apart, lost the importance and value of children, lost integrating truth without which we get the chaos, diversity run amok, and centrifugal forces we see at work throughout society, lost what it means to be made in the image of God wherein there is no hierarchy or better race within created humanity, lost our responsibility and role within the nuclear family so we live lives of expressive individualism and selfishness, and lost the meaning and source of forgiveness, therefore also of transformation, change, and hope.

Satan, our adversary the Devil, is the roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. He is the father of lies and the chief promoter of division. If we believe a lie and Satan can divide us, he makes us, the Church, weaker.

I don’t know when or where demonic activity takes place in the US, and I cannot necessarily tell when evident evil is sourced in demonic influence or simply the darkness in the person(s) involved. But whether we pinpoint demonic activity as such, I do believe it exits and that demons—Satan’s stormtroopers—are enjoying more and more freedom to spread their diabolic influence.

But we should not fear. We should work to be ready to give an answer for the hope that we have in Christ, and Scripture says, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then” (Eph 6:10-14).


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  


Have you ever felt unsafe in your church? Have you been present when a stranger loudly disrupted the service? Have you thought about what you would do if a threat develops in your church? 

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #74 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 was taken to church by my Christian parents from before I was born and certainly every opportunity thereafter. During my adult life, I’ve attended thousands of services of one kind or another in a variety of churches across the country.

Only once in all those years have I directly witnessed a person disrupt a service by yelling, screaming actually, and making threatening gestures toward attendees and the pastor. Thankfully, this person was not armed, nor did he hurt anyone before a few men were able to usher him out of the auditorium. And I do mean “usher,” because in this case the disturbed man cooperated, those surrounding him did not manhandle him, and no violence occurred.

I tell this story to tweak your memories about when you may have experienced something similar or something far more dangerous. Overall, churches, synagogues, mosques and other “faith-based” organizations enjoy a record of safety and tranquility. So don’t be afraid to go to church.

However, as anyone knows who’s paid attention at all, safety threats in houses of worship, just like with malls and schools, have increased in the past thirty years.

Some have called these incidents “hate crimes,” and no doubt some were. But, “jarringly, most victims of church shootings likely know their attacker. Nearly half of the offenders (48%) were affiliated with the church…and nearly a quarter (23%) involved ‘intimate partners,’ such as wives, girlfriends and husbands.”

“In (Carl Chinn’s book, Evil Invades Sanctuary, The Case for Security in Faith-based Organizationsin his) dataset, robberies account for more than a quarter of homicides within houses of worship, followed by fights between domestic partners (16%) and personal conflicts between people who do not live together (14%).”

“Chinn found that more than 10% of all homicides at houses of worship involve mental illness. Religious bias accounted for about 6%.”

But as the saying goes, during an incident, it does not matter why a shooter is shooting, only that he is placing church goers in danger and must be stopped.

Mass shootings are variously defined as an incident in which 3 or 4 or more are killed not counting the perpetrator. Many people date the surge in mass shootings and other threats to the deadly Columbine High School massacre April 20, 1999, in which 12 students and one teacher were murdered, 21 injured, and later the two killers took their on lines in the high school library.

Since 1999, the USA has become almost jaded at the near weekly reports of shooters showing up in what are called “soft targets,” e.g., schools, malls, university campuses, hospitals, houses of worship, arenas, concerts, nightclubs, transportation sites, parades.  

Sadly, nearly all these soft targets are also places that have been declared “gun free zones” wherein people with lawful Conceal Carry Licenses are not permitted to enter with their concealed weapon. Of course, as the number of shooter incidents demonstrate, “gun free” does not mean bad actors don’t enter with guns, and does not mean safety guaranteed, only that people feel safe, not actually are safe.

In the US, according to Carl Chinn’s research, from 1999 to 2019, there were 2,183 incidents in which deadly force was used in faith-based organizations. Guns were used in 56.6% of these incidents. The deadliest church shooting occurred in 2017 at “First Baptist Sutherland Springs in Texas, with 26 deaths including an unborn child…

In addition to these incidents at Christian churches, fatal shootings have happened at other religious sites, including at a Jewish synagogue, a Benedictine monastery, a Sikh temple, and an Amish school.”

Jan 17, 2022, “Top officials with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security warned…Faith based communities have and will likely continue to be targets of violence by both domestic violent extremists and those inspired by foreign terrorists.” 

There is a difference between safety and security. “Safety is about protecting people from accidents or injuries, while security protects people from crime or harm.  It includes the measures taken to protect people from accidents, injuries, and exposure to hazardous conditions. 

“Security can be defined as the state of being protected from crime, violence, or other harm. It includes the measures taken to protect people from theft, vandalism, terrorism, and other threats.”

Remember, not all threats to church safety and security involve shooters or guns, in fact the majority of incidents do not. Concern for the safety and security of parishioners also includes being prepared to respond to accidents, childcare protection, robbery, sexual crimes, vandalism, bomb threats, fire, health or medical emergencies, adverse weather, and more.

So the primary recommendation of experts in church safety and security, men like Carl Chinn or Skip Coryell, whose Concealed Carry for Christians is very interesting, is that your church should be intentional. In other words, acknowledge the possibility of threats to your congregation’s safety and security, think proactively about them, and do something to be better prepared should something ever occur.

Why? Why should a church prepare for the safety and security of its attendees? Well, do you teach your children how to safely cross a street? 

When our boys were in middle school, I began to talk to them about awareness in public spaces, especially a men’s room at a mall or arena. I didn’t say be scared or don’t go there. I said, get your head up, know who else is around and what’s happening, determine before you enter whether it appears safe, and certainly look sharply as you enter. This is common sense. It is also a morally defensible thing to do. It’s good stewardship of ones God has entrusted to you.

Same at the church. Shouldn’t a church take reasonable steps to be as prepared as it can be to deal with emergencies, including God forbid, an active shooter?

We know from Scripture that “victory rests with the Lord,” but we also know that “the horse is made ready for the day of battle” (Prov. 21:31).

The average person who thinks about such things for the first time often jumps immediately to ideas like “God will take care of us,” “Guns have no place in church,” or “Christians should never kill.”

In response, we can say, Yes, God will indeed take care of us, but nowhere in Scripture did God say do not take care of yourself, do no defend yourself, do not defend or care for others.

Perhaps it would be nice if guns never went to church, but a shooter intending to kill doesn’t think about such things. If you show up with no gun, well, maybe you’ve taken a knife to a gunfight and you will lose, every time. This is irrational, unreasonable, possibly unintentionally suicidal, and in terms of not protecting others, immoral.

Finally, according to the Ten Commandments, Christians should never murder, but there are numerous instances in Scripture where believers killed because evil forced them to do so. Think if the young shepherd boy David vs Goliath.

And the point of safety and security, including as considered appropriate, Christians carrying a gun, is not to kill the perpetrator but to stop the threat. Stopping the threat might mean the bad actor must be killed, but that’s a last resort and not the desire or plan of well-trained safety and security team members.

“Remember,” Chinn says, “most of personal protection has nothing to do with a firearm. The first step is waking up and smelling the evil.”

For churches looking for simple steps to make themselves more secure, Chinn offers these nine guidelines.

  1. Confirm support from your church’s leadership team.
  2. Do a baseline readiness evaluation.
  3. Start with what you have, where you are.
  4. Keep it simple.
  5. Keep it legal.
  6. Know your insurance agent and policies.
  7. Network with your community.
  8. Train and drill.
  9. Develop policies and procedures.”

Churches need not become armed camps. Nor do we want churches to adopt security postures like museums or airports, forcing everyone who enters to walk through a metal detector. The church is and wants to be open to all.

But we’ve learned a few things from the awful spate of shootings in faith-based organizations. With intentional planning and budgetary commitment, we can harden the target, we can add security cameras, appoint a safety and security committee comprised of knowledgeable and trained volunteers, develop “What if” plans known to the pastoral staff and others that allow for calm crowd engagement in the face of adverse circumstances, and make known to the public what’s considered basic to their safety and security so they can help in the process.  

We now do this regarding childcare in virtually every church. Why shouldn’t we take similar loving steps for our fellowship?

So, I encourage you to find out if your church has a safety and security plan and procedures, and if not, help the leadership understand this is part of their stewardship.


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  

America’s children are at risk as never before, partly due to our increasingly licentious culture, partly due to the Internet, but is there anything we can do about it? 

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #73 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.

There are certain topics I do not want to think about, much less spend time researching and writing about them. This includes pornography, the subject of the last podcast, and it certainly includes the sexualizing of children and youth.

These are ugly, debauched, perverse, dark side subjects that—and I am serious now—make my stomach turn as I learn more about what is actually taking place.

Yet if we are not informed, how can we do what we should do as salt and light? If we do not have some understanding of the sexualization of children trends gripping our culture, how can we fulfill Jesus’ statement in John 17?

Jesus prayed to the Heavenly Father in what is the true Lord’s Prayer, “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world.” 

“My prayer,” Jesus said, “is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth, your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world,” (John 17:6, 15-18).

So, believers are in the world, are to be not of the world, and yet are to go into the world as ambassadors of reconciliation.

Do we do this best in ignorance? Of course not. We fulfill our calling as unto the Lord if like the ancient men of Israel who God called to leadership, we become “from Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do,” (1 Chron. 12:32).

For some time now, “the far left has been hard at work normalizing the sexualization of young children. Attempts to expose children to sexual material are pervasive in schools across the country and often involve teaching the leftist gender and sexual ideology. 

From obscene books in school libraries to explicit content in entertainment, children from preschool to high school are faced with sexually charged content while their parents are kept in the dark.”

“Children are being exposed to numerous sexual messages every day of their lives. In fact, by the time a child reaches puberty, she or he has likely been exposed to thousands if not tens of thousands of sexualized messages…Often, these sexual messages are not only explicit but also violent and demeaning in nature.”

“The biggest impact, however, that the super-sexualization of children can have is its overall looming effect on the day-to-day existence of kids. Sexuality becomes much more of a player than it should, irrespective of the child's age. It's as if children's normal curiosity towards sexuality gets ratcheted up a number of notches as if on steroids.”

“The "facts of life" have not changed, but ‘inclusivity’ and ‘sex positivity’ and other popular buzz-word concepts have changed sex education. Despite studies showing that modern sex education fails to achieve its stated goals and results in increased student sexual activity, school systems are devoting up to 70 hours of classroom time per child to sex education.”

“A troubling trend in sex education is the push to teach ‘sexual consent,’ presumably to equip kids to resist committing, or being a victim of, sexual assault.”

“But many parents aren’t buying it. Consider this statement from a ‘Get Real’ trainer at Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts: ‘Building skills around consent means moving beyond the ‘how to say no’ model of teaching refusal skills to also teach young people how to ask for consent...’”

But “consenting to a sex act does not make that act healthy, acceptable, or safe—especially when the actors are children! The ‘consent’ movement seems less about avoiding assault and more about promoting sex and sexual rights.”

Sex education “lessons can be highly manipulative—carefully designed to get children to approve of the concept of sexual rights and fluid sexual “identities,” and to reject their religious beliefs, the authority of their parents, and even physical reality itself.

Sexualizing children, I mean 5-16-year-olds, is shocking enough. But even more shocking is that what I’ve listed illustratively thus far just skims the surface. This isn’t happening in some clandestine, back-alley way. It’s taking place every day in America’s schools, and increasingly, teachers charged with purveying this so-called sex education are told not to inform parents, or students are told not to inform parents, especially when transgender issues are involved.

But schools are only one battleground. Rapid sexualization of children is even more pervasive on the Internet.

Law enforcement officials are talking about a “global sextortion crisis.”

Sextortion involves “cases where children are coerced into sending explicit images online before being extorted for money are increasing dramatically, with more boys falling prey.”

“Sextortion cases where local children are being coerced into sending nude and explicit content online is being fueled by a growing overseas market.”

“Once a perpetrator has a photo or video, they can then turn around and use it to either extract money or more photos and videos from the victim.”

“Typically…with boys…the extortion or the motivation for the extortion is cash or money or some monetary benefit…With the girls…the currency is more photos.”

“The sextortion cases are mainly occurring on digital platforms where children are spending their screen time. Phones, gaming consoles and computers by way of social media, gaming websites or video chat are often used by predators posing with fake accounts as girls of a similar age, deceiving boys into sending explicit photos or videos... Offenders then typically threaten to release the photos unless the victim sends payment. And in many cases, the predator will release the images anyway.”

“The sexualization of young girls is an ongoing problem in America that’s leading to a myriad of problems, from exposing girls to societal pressures to perpetuating sexualized violence. Sexualization is negatively impacting many girls’ cognitive functioning as well as their physical and mental health.”

“Girls, in general, experience more mental health issues than boys and sexualization often factors into the way girls identity themselves and measure their self-worth. When girls experience sexualization or objectification first-hand, it can stir up a wide range of emotions. Depending on the severity of the instance, it can lead to anxiety, depression, or even PTSD.” 

And more: low self-esteem, eating disorders, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts. Sexualization in any form is different from but often turns into sexual abuse.

Hypersexuality in media is like toxic air. It’s everywhere and always harmful.

Sexualization of children in America is happening for several reasons, 

1) first and foremost, sin. Remember that word? People’s hearts are deceitful and wicked and if they can find ways to do wrong, they will.

2) Another reason is money. Bad actors make money off the sexualization of children, whether through sextortion or trafficking or kiddie porn or sex appeal marketing. (“Advertisements and programming that target and sell commodities to children, particularly girls. Such items include Bratz Baby Dolls, which target six-year-olds with fishnet stocking and miniskirts, and padded bras on bikinis sold for seven-year-olds, raising national controversy on the dangers of encouraging females to portray their identities using sexual items from a young age.”

3) There are people who embrace a Leftist philosophy that socially and politically rejects Judeo-Christian values and traditional religion like Christianity, and promoting the sexualization of children is a direct hit on parental rights, family values, and the nuclear family as a basic unit of society.

4) Smart phones, the Internet – technology does not cause sexualization, but it certainly is a means by which it can happen, quickly, globally, without boundaries or borders.

I don’t suppose I need to develop a theology of why sexualization of children is wrong and injurious. But it wouldn’t take much time in Scripture to do so.

The wisest thing I think I can say is: “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (1 Peter 5:8-9).

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