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What conclusions have you drawn about the pro-terrorist social contagion sweeping the nation’s university campuses?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #148 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.

Why do “protesters”– generously named for sure – believe performative outrage, annoying disruption of others’ lives, outright threats or harassment of other American citizens, hunger strikes, or vandalism will persuade others to their point of view?

None of this, certainly not vandalism, validates any point of view, other than lawlessness. Boorish, immature, threatening language or behavior wins no social advancement to any cause celébre.

What kind of mass psychosis has gripped so many people in America, including public university faculty and administrative leaders, and misnamed so-called “progressive” politicians that they have no moral conscience, no common sense, no respect for law or order, no evident patriotism—-and worse, openly support Hamas?

Demonstrations now occurring on more than 80 public university campuses nationwide are not the same as demonstrations in the 1960s. 

1) the demonstrations in the 60s focused upon the Viet Nam War in which Americans were directly involved. Not so today. 

2), 60s demonstrations, including those focused upon gaining civil rights for Black Americans were based upon US Constitutional law and other American founding documents. Today’s demonstrators specifically reject these documents and their values.

The right to express oneself, to disagree, even to protest is indeed an American civil liberty defined by Free Speech in the First Amendment. As far as that goes, I’m all in. But an extensive body of law developed largely in the 1960s clearly states that protests qualify as free speech as long as they remain peaceful, do not impede others as in highways, tunnels, streets, and walkways, do not incite violence or endanger others, do not commandeer, or destroy property, and do not turn violent. Today’s demonstrations have repeatedly crossed these lines in multiple locations.

Politicians and celebrities are rushing to assert the protesters are just courageous students speaking up on behalf of Palestinian human rights. But this gaslighting has now been debunked in several cities, including prominently at Columbia University in New York. “Outside agitators,” professionals, some paid, are involved. They are “fifth-column anarchists,” some from elsewhere in the world. 

Actually, “America's ‘leading’ university campuses have been completely overrun by an infestation of riotous, anarchic Hamas sympathizers. Jewish students and faculty on campus are suffering the worst antisemitism in the history of the American republic.”

Predictably, numbers of students do not know why they are there or what they are protesting

Student protesters and agitators are yelling, chanting, singing, and signing not simply pro-Palestinian messages, something that is at least worthy of discussion, but antisemitic, anti-Israel, and “Death to America” slogans. For example, “The Final Solution,” or “Long live the Intifada,” meaning kill all the Jews, “We’re all Hamas,” “Go back to Poland,” and “Resistance is justified when people are occupied.”

American university students don’t seem to realize or care that calling for the genocide of Jews includes fellow students and faculty members, the US Vice President’s husband, Doug Emhoff, former President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, movie mogul Stephen Spielberg, US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen Bernie Sanders, and thousands more. Do they really want to kill all these people too?

What we are seeing is, yes, a minority of students in public universities, but still, these are our kids. What we’re seeing is evidence of that “collapsing standards, and increasingly politicized and mediocre faculty reflect a collapse of the university system.”

“Faculty hiring had become increasingly non-meritocratic based on diversity/equity/inclusion criteria. New faculty hires have sought to institutionalize self-serving DEI and recalibrate higher education to prepare a new generation for self-perpetuating radical ideologies. Entire generations are now suffering from prolonged adolescence as they drag out college to consume their early and mid-twenties.”

My 35 years in higher education makes me ache when I watch all this. I loved academia, debate and critical thinking, and the campus atmosphere. But today, “one of the great ironies in contemporary college systems is how rampantly anti-intellectual they have become over the course of the last generation or so. Cerebral rigor, open-mindedness, and challenging information have long been underpinning aspects of university life. These days, those same elements are regarded as threats on too many campuses.”

Advocacy has increasingly displaced academics in higher education. Activism now permeates higher education as social justice becomes the touchstone for many departments.”

“The emphasis on advocacy at the expense of education has also contributed to the increasing hostility toward opposing views on campus. These professors and students often show little tolerance for others’ views and “advocate” by canceling or silencing other views as ‘harmful.’

As usual with the radicals, "objectivity" or "bothsidesism" is painted as evil, and anyone speaking in support of Israel is automatically a maniacal Zionist who must be deplatformed.”

Students believe only in “their truth,” and once brainwashed, in solipsistic moral superiority, they believe no other view should be considered. And virtually anything is legitimate in the pursuit of their performance outrage, including tossing paint or powders on centuries-old sculptures or artworks, anything for a good TikTok video.

If American democracy is at risk, as we often hear these days, it is not from conservatives or Christians. It is at risk from those on the Left – not Liberals – but Leftist, so-called “Progressive,” socialists—American extremists—who hate their own country, promote class warfare, chaos and disruption like campus mob rule, and reject traditional American values like freedom of speech, free enterprise capitalism, law and order, and patriotism. Why? Well, the US is one of the great “Oppressors,” “colonizers,” inherently racist.

Leftists know they cannot win on the merits of their arguments, so they fall back on power. They prompt street chaos, social debauchery, and lawlessness to create a need for stronger central government led by the new philosopher-kings, the Left.

But Leftists are not nice or happy people. “The Left has devolved into intolerant, inflexible, illogical, hateful, misguided, ill-informed, un-American, hypocritical, menacing, callous, ignorant, narrow-minded and, at times, blatantly fascistic behavior and rhetoric.” The Left is illiberal. Even late-night liberal comedian Bill Maher knows this.

This is what we are seeing on public university quads, the product of a public education that is not values neutral.

As absurd as this may seem, not only is this the insane world in which we now appear to be living, but even more absurd than this, it is a world based upon an insane system of beliefs that we ourselves have created. Put succinctly, with our culture’s abandonment of our Judeo-Christian principles and beliefs, we have now trapped ourselves into being required to operate within the warped logic of a man-made amoral system of beliefs that now prevents us from opposing even that which is evil.”

What do we need to do to adjust, or some would say reclaim, America’s universities, and America itself?

These steps would go a long way:

  1. Significantly reduce federal funding for illiberal universities, which receive tens of millions, even billions, of federal tax dollars every year.
  2. Fire “Woke,” Pro-Hamas administrative leaders and faculty and staff. I’m not naïve. I know this would be an enormous, litigation-fueled task, but it’s what should be done.
  3. Suspend further funding and promotion of DEI or Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. These programs talk a good anti-racist game even as the promote racism, destroy incentive while promoting mediocrity, and are anything but fair or equitable. And as to diversity, on most public university campuses today there is very little if any intellectual diversity allowed, meaning conservatives need not apply.
  4. Expel, not just suspend, students who commit violence, destroy property, harass nearby Jews, or otherwise threaten public safety.

It feels like America is committing suicide, but for most Americans this is not true. But this is exactly what the Left is seeking by generating chaos in pursuit of power. We must protect our own ideals.


Well, we’ll see you again soon. This podcast is about Discerning What Is Best. If you find this thought-provoking and helpful, follow us on your favorite podcast platform. Download an episode for your friends. For more Christian commentary, check my website, r-e-x-m as in Martin, that’s 

And remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm.

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2024   

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

Why has American culture changed so dramatically in the past 25 years?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #147 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’ve been thinking about how much American culture has changed in just the last few years, and in my view, much of it for the negative or bad or worse.

At first, I chided myself, as in this is just “old guy” syndrome that occurs as one ages, thinking “Things just aren’t what they used to be.” It’s a common human sentiment.

But then I thought, no, we clearly and objectively have witnessed dramatic developments that I’m not sure people under 30 years of age even realize because they don’t remember how things used to be different.

Now I realize that “back in my day,” another common old guy sentiment, not everything was good or right or blessed. Certainly not. But then again, I also remember when political leaders, celebrities, and other notables with public platforms at least acknowledged, if not actually affirmed and lived out, what was good or right or blessed. 

So, the next thing I started considering is when did this change occur? When did we become a cruder, less patriotic, less supportive of our heritage and constitutional ideals, polarized, nastier, and in some segments more violent culture?

I wondered when the change occurred, if a time could be identified at all, or maybe what event acted as a “tipping point” for what we are now experiencing?

tipping point is defined as “a critical moment in a complex situation in which a small influence or development produces a sudden large or irreversible change.” Or another definition: “the point at which a slow, reversible change becomes irreversible often with dramatic consequences.” Did we experience a cultural tipping point?

Was it the abortion decision, Roe v Wade? That was enormously consequential, but that was way back in 1973 when I was still in college. Roe v Wade contributed mightily to what we are experiencing now but other trigger events occurred later.

Was it 9-11 in year 2001? That attack on American soil was horrendous—a first-ever event, and a multi-faceted event that everyone old enough to understand will always remember. But I don’t think this was our tipping point.

Was it the rapid approval of medical or recreational cannabis use? This began in—where else—California, when in 1996, Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act, was endorsed by voters. Notice the Orwellian title, “compassionate use”—amazing. Over the next twenty years, marijuana has been legalized in 38 of 50 states. We know using marijuana is not good for the mind and body, yet sales continue to increase rapidly and significantly. But smoking weed is a symptom, not a cause, not a tipping point.

Was it the Supreme Court of the United States landmark 2015 ruling in Obergefell vs Hodges when the Court said same-sex couples had a fundamental right to marry? Maybe. That ruling was tectonic, becoming something of a launchpad for later transgender activism promoting trans ideology that has taken American culture by storm in the decade since the Court’s immoral decision. 

How about year 2020 when we learned about COVID-19, when because of fear governments at all levels limited citizen behavior in ways that overstepped constitutional boundaries and did so regarding freedom of worship and mobility, and social media and major media began to restrict freedom of speech in the interest of quelling what they determined was “disinformation”? 

Or that same year, with the tragic death at the hands of police of George Floyd, and the follow-on Black Lives Matter coordinated riots and destruction in American cities? And with BLM and other organizations the rapid expansion of so-called “woke” social justice philosophiesarguing racism and white supremacy systematically characterized every aspect of American life? Were those tipping points, or simply more symptoms of the cause?

I admit it’s difficult, maybe impossible to cite just one social development responsible for igniting cultural brushfires that burn out of control, tearing down ideals, values, laws, traditions, all the building blocks that make a culture possible and sustainable in the first place.

According to the late great historian, Will Durant, “a great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within. He attributes the decline of Rome to various internal factors, including its people, morals, class struggle, failing trade, bureaucratic despotism, stifling taxes, and consuming wars.” This is American culture’s challenge today.

What we are witnessing, what I just listed, are social products of decisions people have made earlier, back to the 1960s counterculture: a rejection of a Sovereign God, the idea of absolute objective truth, creation of human beings in the image of God and therefore responsible and accountable to him., as well as eternally valuable.

Once these core beliefs, ones that formed the foundation of Western Civilization, are set aside, there is nothing left to hold up the structure of the society and culture in which we live. What’s left, or what happens next, is crumbling, which is what we are witnessing.

In the language of the old KJV, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he” Prov. 29:18.

What we are witnessing is Romans 1 come to life. “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futileand their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools” Rom 1:18-22.

“Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them” Rom 1:28-32.

Later in 2 Pet 3:5, the old KJV says people are “willingly ignorant,” or as other versions state it, people “deliberately forget.” In other words, they choose to be irrational.

I’ve tried to find an illustration of this. It’s like I point to a grey rock and say, “That’s an ice cream cone,” and you accept my statement as truth. Make no sense? Sure, but that’s what “suppress the truth by their wickedness” means. That’s what “willingly ignorant” means.

So today, American culture considers true, things we did not consider true when I was in college:

Babies in the womb are not human, just fetuses, so abortion is health care, not murder.

Men can become women and vice versa merely by identifying with the other gender.

Debt has no consequences, no future accountability.

Sex without commitment or fidelity is not consequential but fun and marriage is optional.

Crime and lawlessness are not wrong but justified reparations for historic discrimination.

Race is what defines human beings, not character.

American culture no longer has a moral North Star. We believe, and therefore we do, whatever seems right in our own eyes (Judges 17:6).

Is there no hope? I don’t believe that because I believe in “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” Heb 12:2.


Well, we’ll see you again soon. This podcast is about Discerning What Is Best. If you find this thought-provoking and helpful, follow us on your favorite podcast platform. Download an episode for your friends. For more Christian commentary, check my website, r-e-x-m as in Martin, that’s 

And remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm.

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2024   

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

In this presidential election year, the public often looks at what a candidate says he believes, and this seems like a good thing to do, but did you know that historically the religion a president professes doesn’t seem to predict his behavior or success in office?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #146 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.



This is a presidential election year, and a raucous one at that, so perhaps we should pause at least once and think about whether the ultimately elected president’s religion even matters.

Let’s begin with the best. Abraham Lincoln is near universally considered the greatest president in American history. Many scholars also regard Lincoln as America’s greatest “civil theologian.” Lincoln remains the only president who used the name Jesus Christ rather than simply God in his public utterances. His Second Inaugural Address delivered March 4, 1865, stands as one of the most impressive theologically infused orations in American political history. 

However, Christian historian Mark A. Noll said, “Considerable uncertainty arises…when Lincoln’s own religion is examined. On the one hand, it is obvious that Christianity exerted a profound influence on his life…On the other hand, Lincoln never joined a church nor ever made a clear profession of standard Christian beliefs. While he read the Bible in the White House, he was not in the habit of saying grace before meals…(yet) Lincoln's speeches and conversation revealed a spiritual perception far above the ordinary. It is one of the great ironies of the history of Christianity in America that the most profoundly religious analysis of the nation's deepest trauma came not from a clergyman or a theologian but from a politician who was self-taught in the ways of both God and humanity.”

Yet if Americans had looked simply to Lincoln’s record of church affiliation and public professions of spiritual rectitude, they never would have elected him.

So, does a president’s religion matter?  Yes and No. Yes, if religion is defined as personal convictions, attitudes, behaviors, and character based upon theological understanding. No, if religion means denominational affiliation, spiritual posturing, a capacity for quoting Scripture or using its phrasing in slogans for political objectives—think Bill Clinton’s “New Covenant”—or even having the “right” view on litmus test political issues. In recent American decades the electorate and certainly the “Christian community” have focused more on the latter than the former.

Let’s look back at a few presidents. President Harry S. Truman was a gifted leader who made it to the White House on talent, hard work, common sense, and FDR’s untimely death. Truman’s presidency proved momentous, and his leadership is gaining respect as decades pass. He claimed to be a Baptist, but his penchant for cursing during radio addresses and his “Give ‘em hell, Harry” approach disillusioned many of his Christian supporters.

In 1960, pundits predicted Democrat JFK would never win the nomination much less the presidency because he was Catholic. Then Kennedy won the primary in heavily Protestant West Virginia by landslide.  After that, not many people talked about whether a President Kennedy would be subservient to the Pope. As it turned out, Kennedy’s Catholicism was in little evidence during his presidency, while his sexual adventurism with Marilyn Monroe and others took more of his time, coming to light years after his assassination in 1963. 

Following the unpopular and morally crude LBJ, a member of the Disciples of Christ, and an even more unpopular war, Republican Richard M. Nixon won the presidency on a second try in 1968.A Quaker, his presidency, reputation, and legacy bowed to resignation in 1974, the victim of his actions in the Watergate cover-up. The “law and order” President left office a lawbreaker. 

In 1976, Democrat Jimmy Carter was embraced by Christians and appreciated for declaring himself “born again.” He taught Sunday School even as President. In the 2000s, Republican George W. Bushexperienced much the same, acceptance by Christians and appreciation for his saying “Jesus Christ” was his favorite political philosopher. There’s little doubt both Carter and Bush are genuine believers. Yet their political views are dramatically different, and both experienced degrees of rejection by Christians for what some consider ineffective presidencies. 

During the 1980s, Ronald Reagan was regarded as deeply religious, but he rarely went to church. Reagan’s religious convictions and certainly his spiritual life are variously even contradictorily described by members of his own family.     

During the 1990s William Clinton’s administration enjoyed a good economy and is remembered for positive accomplishment. But Baptist Clinton, who claims Christian faith and discusses religious matters knowledgeably, conducted a White House affair with Monica Lewinsky, then lied about it under oath.       

Former president Barack Obama repeatedly said he is a Christian, yet some still express concerns about his religious heritage, i.e., his Muslim father and his education in Muslim schools.    

Donald Trump has a record of no real church attendance, earlier lived a promiscuous life with multiple marriages, and said he never asked God for forgiveness because he didn’t know of anything for which he needed forgiveness. Yet while President, Mr. Trump held up the Bible in a photo-op in front of a Washington, D.C. church and he has consistently defended religious liberty. 

President Joe Biden makes a show of being Catholic, crosses himself publicly, but some American bishops say he should be denied the Eucharist because of his views of reproductive rights. Biden promotes abortion on demand to birth, calls it a constitutional right, pushes this view on other nations of the world as a requirement to qualify for US foreign aid. He is also known for roaring temper, a filthy vocabulary, and questionable financial ethics.

Have you heard the expression, “Americans get the President they deserve”? What this means is that Presidents are often more a symptom than a cause. Yes, who they are is important and can influence the course of the nation’s future. But who elected them in the first place is what’s key.

For example, about 68% of Americans consider themselves Christians, but only 6% of Americans hold a biblical worldview. Less than half of those who self-identify as Christians actually “born again.” And when you look deeper at biblical worldview, well, beginning with older generations down to the youngest, biblical worldview understanding falls off a cliff:

65+           8% have a biblical worldview.

50s-64      5%

30s-40s    3%

30-under, 1%

Christian social researcher, George Barna, says, “The biblical worldview is shuffling toward the edge of the cliff.  As things stand today, biblical theism is much closer to extinction in America than it is to influencing the soul of the nation.” 

If this is the population electing our presidents, is it then any wonder we get presidents who are not necessarily paragons of virtue?

The US has had effective Presidents whose religious inclinations were seemingly of little consequence in their lives. And we’ve had ineffective Presidents whose faith meant a great deal to them, as well as Presidents with glaring personal issues whose religious identity was promoted. It is, therefore, difficult to escape the conclusion that professed religion doesn’t predict much about political leaders’ actions.

So, what really matters in terms of a President’s spiritual quality? The same thing that matters for the rest of us—character, founded upon worthy values. Is the political leader honest, truthful, humble, respectful, gracious, trustworthy, diligent in work, and moral? This may sound like the political leader is running for Boy or Girl Scout. But give the Scouts credit, they figured out a long time ago what makes a person a better person, and leader.  

Pay less attention to candidates’ religious identity and scripted photo-ops and more attention to the pattern of their lives.     

Scripture reminds us—“In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him. A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart.”  Prov 21:1-3

“Righteousness,” we are told, “exalts a nation Prov 14:34, not only a president’s but more importantly our own, the people’s values, attitudes, and behaviors.  

But either way, we should not worry, “for the kings of the earth belong to God; he is exalted” Ps 47:9.


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, 2024     

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

Should Christians use preferred pronouns as a matter of respect for other persons, or should Christians decline to use preferred pronouns in order to speak truth?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #145 of Discerning What Is Best, a podcast applying unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, and a Christian worldview to current issuesand everyday life.

“Misgendering,” a word most of us would not have recognized a mere ten years ago, is now a matter of controversy in American culture. Misgendering means “to identify the gender of (a person, such as a nonbinary or transgender person) incorrectly (as by using an incorrect label or pronoun).” For example, call a woman identifying as a man “she,” and you are guilty of misgendering.

Deadnaming” is a similar, relatively new word, that refers to the act of calling a transgender or non-binary person by a name they used prior to transitioning, such as their birth name. Usually this involves a person who has gone from a masculine or feminine given name to one they believe better aligns with their gender identity.

Enormously successful Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has been criticized, demeaned, made a victim of efforts to cancel or silence her, and threatened with arrest in Scotland simply because she believes a woman is a woman, values her life experience as a woman, and has had the temerity to say so.

The issue of gender pronouns has become controversial because some (activists)… want people who self-identify as transgendered to be called by their gender pronouns of choice,” what are now called preferred pronouns.

For fear of offending someone, people are being encouraged, or in many corporate environments required, to say things like: “Hi, I’m John and I go by he/him. Nice to meet you,” or in a meeting: “Hi everyone. I’m Mollie. I’m the senior program manager and I go by she/her” or “Hi, I’m Akeem, and I go by ‘they’ pronouns. How should I refer to you?

Theoretically, “these actions help make…workplace(s) more inclusive of transgender, gender nonconforming, and gender non-binary people.”

The rationale goes like this: “Using appropriate pronouns (or new names) is a first step toward respecting people's gender identity and creating a more welcoming space for people of all genders…the bottom line is that everyone deserves to have their self-ascribed name and pronouns respected in the workplace.”

Intentionally calling someone by the wrong pronoun (or old name) can make them feel disrespected or alienated, and can take a toll on their mental health. It is also offensive and can be considered harassment.”

Now, employees in some Christian organizations are declaring they wish to use preferred pronouns, indicating they are personally identifying as, or are at least supporting, gender status other than male or female.

Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, recently updated its policy handbook. “The college explains that stating pronouns violates school policy, and that anything beyond saying "he/him" and "she/her" is outside a “created reality of a biological binary.”

“Houghton University, another evangelical school, recently fired two resident hall directors for putting pronouns in their email signatures.” 

So, this is a current controversy, and it is not going to go away because misgendering, preferred pronouns, deadnaming, and related vocabulary battles are where the ideological wars are being fought. Ideologically driven activists know they cannot win based upon logic or science or history, or if honestly reviewed, historic religion, so they work to win with words. Change the vocabulary of the discussion and you’re halfway to victory.

This is why it is disconcerting to hear Christians, or even conservatives in general, use words like “partner,” for “it denotes no gender, no relationship status that involves exclusivity or fidelity. You can’t cheat on a ‘partner,’ you’re just partners.” This “normalizes whatever someone does sexually, and it removes gender from the mix.” It's even more disconcerting to hear television anchors replace mothers and traditional language with words like “birthing people,” “chest feeders,” “people who menstruate,” “egg producer,” or just “carrier.”

Gender pronouns are inscrutable, but that’s really the whole point. The bane of the American left is meaning, and they’re engaged in total war…The left understands very well that if they control language, they control thought.”

But, “assenting to someone’s gender pronouns isn’t (just) a matter of politeness, or an easy means to avoid conflict, nor is it a matter of affirming someone’s preference. Bending the knee to…gender pronouns…is affirming a lie. It’s a denial of what we all know intuitively, what classical philosophy recognized as the natural law — that there are only two sexes/genders extant among humans on this planet.”

“Deny(ing) something so primal, so fundamental is intellectually and spiritually suicidal — you host and propagate the worst kind of lie, the kind you tell yourself. In doing so, you cripple your ability to reason, suffocate conscience, and unmoor yourself from reality. Moreover, having accepted the irrational, you become complicit in the self-destruction of those within your power to rescue.”

Does loving our neighbor demand we accept their false values? No. In 1 Jn 3:18, we’re reminded “let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”

Pronoun madness is a post-Christian culture malady. And now there is an ever-growing list of possible gender identities. As of late last year, 81 possible gender identity hybrids had achieved recognition, and they come with associated pronouns.

New on the block are “neopronouns.” “Neopronoun can be a word created to serve as a pronoun without expressing gender. Examples are ‘xe/xir/xirs,’ ‘ze/zir/zirs,’ ‘ey/em/eir,’ etc. (as opposed to ‘he/him/his’ or ‘she/her/hers’). With neopronouns, a person’s pronouns don’t need to reflect the gender binary. Gender becomes a creation of the individual and loses almost any connection to the physical world.”

“A subset of neopronouns is noun-self pronouns…‘a pre-existing word … drafted into use as a pronoun. Noun-self pronouns can refer to animals — so your pronouns can be… ‘kitten/kittenself.’ Others refer to fantasy characters — ‘vamp/vampself,’ ‘prin/cess/princesself’ …” In other words, a noun-self pronoun doesn’t even need to reflect the fact that you are a human being.”

If our sexual and gender identities are no longer expressions of our biological sex and our bodies, then there’s no stopping a person from identifying as the opposite sex, no sex, both sexes, or nonhuman things like animalsobjectsfictional characters, or abstract concepts. Without the human body as the source of one’s identity, ‘I am a woman trapped in a man’s body’ becomes just as plausible as ‘I am a wolf trapped in a human body.’ One’s identity is limited only by one’s imagination.”

Pronouns have become expressions of one’s self-proclaimed identity, a claim that proponents insist that everyone must affirm—or else.” “‘Gender’ is no longer correlated to an empirical reality like the body but has become a mere expression of one’s own self-perception or self-declaration. It has become, like so many other things, a mode of expressive individualism.”

Pronoun madness is a spiritual virus to which we must respond, lovingly yes, caringly yes, never hating yes, but still, recognizing there is a different set of values being pushed upon us, upon American culture, and upon the next generations, values that are irrational, nihilistic, ungodly, and deadly.

Even “former President Richard Nixon (a person whose own moral conscience went astray) once observed that many make the mistake of thinking that conflict is the result of misunderstanding rather than difference of belief.” He was correct.

What we are talking about regarding this intentional change of vocabulary is not resolvable via dialogue around a campfire in Aspen. It’s not about two equally worthy points of view with a peaceful consensus somewhere in the middle. It’s about fundamental differences in beliefs about God, the created order, humanity created in God’s image, and truth.

I recognize that “in cases of professional or personal relationships, believers may feel that it’s best to ‘pick their battles’ rather than take a rigid stance on such terms.” I realize that for some, the choice not to use preferred pronouns, i.e. to misgender, could threaten one’s employment.  

Yet, “while Christians need to be careful and respectful, respect cannot extend to endorsing ideas that the Bible calls false.” This helps no one.


Well, we’ll see you again soon. This podcast is about Discerning What Is Best. If you find this thought-provoking and helpful, follow us on your favorite podcast platform. Download an episode for your friends. For more Christian commentary, check my website, r-e-x-m as in Martin, that’s

And remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm.

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2024  

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

The television series, “The Chosen,” has been getting a lot of press, pro and con. Is it something Christians should watch?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #144 of Discerning What Is Best, a podcast applying unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, and a Christian worldview to current issues and everyday life.

“The Chosen” is a multi-season television drama, presenting the life of Jesus Christ and his disciples, with imaginative character backstories and interpersonal conflicts. This is the third of three podcasts on “The Chosen.”

Now that we’ve considered how Bible teachings have been depicted in art, and we’ve reviewed some of the criticisms leveled at “The Chosen,” let’s take some time to simply think about the program as a viewing experience.

I. I liked the series, thought the presentation was outstanding, and was not bothered or offended by anything I saw.  

I’m not a theologian but nothing “heretical” jumped off the screen at me.

After watching “The Chosen,” I happened to come upon a series on BBC called “Jesus, Son of God,” a documentary featuring three episodes in which various academic experts comment on aspects of the biblical story, interspersed with dramatic presentations of the biblical account. I remember reacting to at least four different instances in which interpretations of Scripture were offered that I thought were off-the-wall, dismissive, or simply denying the truth as the Bible presents it. This does not happen in “The Chosen.”

In fact, the closest I came to thinking “The Chosen” was off base were a few joking references to Jesus’ father, as in a character saying, “Father, which one?”

Ha, Ha, we get it. But the “which one” joke is a modern twist that weakens the presentation of Jesus’ incarnational life.

You might find something with which you disagree, or you may not like how something is portrayed, but there are no attempts to deny Scripture, undermine it, or otherwise offer some non-Christian point of view.

II. “By far the biggest strength in this showis the relationship between the disciples, specifically the twelve whom Jesus had, well, chosen.” 

These are the backstories Scripture does not give us and thus they are intrinsically interesting, particularly when combined with excellent acting and movie making.

Some have felt these tangential stories detract from the main points of the narrative and of Scripture, but I do not think so. These backstories and plot enhancements add color and draw viewers into the overall storyline. The writers have done a good job using the symbolism of repairing a cistern, for example, as a means of illustrating key themes.

I enjoyed the portrayal of the disciples’ human frailties, attitudes, doubts, and bickering about practicalities like food, money, safety, absence of a plan, etc. – all entirely plausible to me.

III. I did not like the use of the term “occupation” in the film to refer to the Roman Empire’s control of the Holy Land.

While a case could be made for this, I guess, the term "occupation" is a modern concept and likely was not specifically used to describe the Roman Empire's control of the Holy Land during ancient times. 

The word "occupation" has been used in various contexts throughout history, but its modern usage to describe one country controlling another typically dates to the 19th century, particularly during the era of European colonialism. This usage became more prevalent during and after World War I and World War II, particularly in the context of military occupations and territorial control.

Whether this word was selected intentionally for political reasons or simply the word that came to the scriptwriter’s mind as he or she wrote, we do not know. It’s not a major faux pas; just something to think about.

IV. I also did not appreciate the repeated use of the term “lucky.” 

Several characters use this term; Jesus even wishes Matthew “good luck.” The problem is luck does not exist. In fact, the idea of luck and a Sovereign God are mutually exclusive concepts. I’d prefer that a production portraying biblical stories omit this pagan idea.

V. The production values of each episode are outstanding. 

In other words, the quality of the movie making is excellent, draws viewers in, makes it easy to imagine we are in the First Century Holy Land, and this includes period clothing, food, walking, houses, synagogues, and more.

A primary production pet peeve, though, for me is that so much of the filming takes place in the dark, nighttime or indoors with candles. I got tired of trying to see people walking around in shadows so dark it was hard to know who they were. I know this is partly a nod to period authenticity, i.e., they did not use electric lights, just candles, but there is still too much darkness for me.

VI. I have not seen criticism, which seems odd to me, regarding the Jesus character looking like Sallman’s 1940 portrait, “Head of Christ.”  

Sallman’s “Head of Christ” has been criticized as the “White Jesus” and labeled the first “Protestant Icon.” 

“Copies accompanied soldiers into battle during World War II, handed out by the Salvation Army and YMCA through the USO. Millions of cards produced in a project called “Christ in Every Purse” that was endorsed by then-President Dwight Eisenhower and…Norman Vincent Peale were distributed all around the world. The image appeared on pencils, bookmarks, lamps, and clocks and was hung in courtrooms, police stations, libraries, and schools. It became what scholar David Morgan has heard called a “photograph of Jesus.”

What Jesus looked like we do not know. We do know that in Jesus “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” Gal. 3:28.

We know that the Apostle John gave us a glimpse of heaven, saying, “there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Rev. 7:9).

Ethnicity, race, skin color, nationality, culture are all gifts from God to enrich the human race. But none of these demographic characteristics define moral parameters or limitations or unique blessings.

VII. The fact that many of the staff, including actors, are not Christians is not a problem for me.

While it would be nice to think that they all are believers or become believers as a result of their work on “The Chosen” set, such is not likely.

This is something that confronts SAT-7, the ministry with which I serve that produces and broadcasts Christian programming 24/7 in Arabic, Farsi, and Turkish throughout the 24 countries of the Middle East and North Africa. It is very difficult, sometimes impossible, to find sufficient Christian believers as they are called there, who a) have the skills as television professionals to appear on camera or do the work behind the camera, b) are willing to be seen on air in countries that often persecute Christians, c) are able to give the time and work for the compensation SAT-7 is able to provide, etc. So, SAT-7, based upon Christian doctrinal statements and led by Christian people, at times must hire non-Christians to work off camera.

It is a practical solution and one that from time-to-time results in the non-Christian coming to Christ because he or she has heard the gospel at work. At the very least, it frequently results in reducing misconceptions about Christians among the local community.


Whether you chose to watch “The Chosen,” I believe, is a matter of Christian liberty (Rom. 14). If you find the program enjoyable, then watch, but watch with an eye toward discernment (Phil. 1:9-11) and compare what you see with what you read in Scripture, which, by the way, is something we should always do listening to any sermon.

Remember this is art, crafted by human beings. If the producers ever violate their commitment to be faithful to the Word of God, and I hope they do not, then you will be ready to recognize it and respond accordingly. But for now, to watch or not watch is your blessed choice.


Well, we’ll see you again soon. This podcast is about Discerning What Is Best. If you find this thought-provoking and helpful, follow us on your favorite podcast platform. Download an episode for your friends. For more Christian commentary, check my website, r-e-x-m as in Martin, that’s 

And remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm.

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2024     

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

The television series, “The Chosen,” has been getting a lot of press, pro and con. Is it something Christians should watch?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #143 of Discerning What Is Best, a podcast applying unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, and a Christian worldview to current issues and everyday life.


“The Chosen” is a multi-season television drama, presenting the life of Jesus Christ and his disciples, with imaginative character backstories and interpersonal conflicts.

In my first podcast on “The Chosen” we considered how Christians have historically portrayed Bible stories and teachings in various forms of artistic expression, like paintings and sculpture. This is the second of three podcasts on “The Chosen.”

Fast forward to our time and we have available to us multiple ways to portray biblical stories and teaching via films, video, literature, and more.

Do you remember these examples?

  1. The Ten Commandments” with Charlton Heston, 1956, a beloved film wherein bleached-blonde-hair, blue-eyed Heston comes to embody Moses for most of this generation.
  2. Jesus Christ, Superstar,” a rock opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, 1971, a still-popular musical that Billy Graham once said bordered on blasphemy.
  3. The JesusFilm,” 1979, described as the most-watched motion picture of all time. The film has been viewed over 10 billion times by over 4 billion people, making it overwhelmingly the most watched movie of all time. 

It is officially accredited by The Guinness Book of World Records as the "Most Translated Film" in history. The power of the film is its biblical dialogue - encompasses 70% of the Gospel of Luke – and its ability to be dubbed in now 2,000+ languages. The film has been credited with more than 600 million professions of faith in Christ. 

The Jesus Film has been broadcast on SAT-7 and this and other Christian movies are among viewers most-loved programs. Right now, for example, Gospel of Mark is being shown on SAT-7 PARS, the Farsi-language channel broadcast into Iran and Afghanistan. The Jesus Film Project offers several other similar, biblically based films.

  1. The Passion of the Christ” with Jim Caviezel, 2004, the highest-grossing (inflation unadjusted) Christian filmof all time, as well as being the highest-grossing independent film of all time. The film was widely praised and panned, depending upon one’s predilections. 
  2. The Shack by William P. Young, 2007, a novel that made the best-seller list after the author began selling copies out of his trunk. The main character, Mack, enters the shack and encounters manifestations of the three persons of the TrinityGod the Father takes the form of an African American woman who calls herself Elousia and Papa; God the SonJesus, is a Middle Eastern carpenter; and the Holy Spirit physically manifests as an Asian woman. The book was called heretical by a number of prominent evangelical pastors and theologians.

At that time, I was asked to be part of a panel discussing the book at Baker Book House. I read the book, said I did not like it, but then also said this is an allegory, a fictional account, and that the book is no threat to the Word of God or his Church. I finished by saying I wouldn’t recommend the book to non-Christian acquaintances as a way to learn more about biblical Christianity.

So, in one sense, “The Chosen” is nothing new, but another cinematic attempt to tell the story of Jesus.

Controversies, Criticisms

Now, viewers bring to “The Chosen” differing theological convictions and church traditions, differing perspectives on artistic portrayal of Bible stories and teachings, and differing comfort zones with creative and artistic license. Consequently, there are and will be inevitable controversies and criticisms of “The Chosen.”

Here are a few controversies and criticisms developed during the first three seasons:

        1.     "The Chosen" says more than Scripture does.

Mary Magdalene’s spiritual relapse, S2, E5, an extra-biblical story of Mary Magdalene experiencing doubts and fears, falling back on old sinful patterns, and eventually needing spiritual rescue once again.

In Scripture, Mary Magdalene is shown to be faithful and strong, dedicated, wise, and an unwavering supporter, so some feel the producers went too far showing a backslidden Mary. While this story is not in the Bible, it certainly portrays how weak, sinful hearts can revert to wrong choices, and it demonstrated the Lord will never leave us nor forsake us.

Some viewers have criticized the married couple romantic interplay between Simon Peter and his wife Eden, S3, E1, when Simon first returns home after a long absence, they flirt a bit, and then are interrupted by an unexpected visit from Nathaniel who needs lodging, then later offers to put a pillow over his ears as he sleeps on the roof. Some considered this inappropriate for family viewing, even saying this dialogue amounted to sexual overtones and inuendos. But I think it was pretty tame, normal, and not offensive.

Another extra-biblical story features Simon Peter’s wife, Eden, struggling emotionally with a miscarriage, becoming upset with Peter because he is gone and does not even detect that she is pregnant, and once he is informed, Peter becomes angry with Jesus for allowing this to happen to Peter and his wife, S3, E5. I thought this was one of the most powerful stories in the series, not only highly plausible and exactly how human beings would react, but the story made several important points about humility, the sovereignty of God, and faith.

  1. The disciple Matthew is cast as evidencing some expression of Autistic Spectrum Disordermeaning he is a man of considerable talent with numbers, yet does not like to be touched and is socially awkward.

Here again people have gotten worked up over this. In Scripture, not much is given to us about Matthew except he is a despised tax collector. Adding this color to his personality, in my view, did no damage to the Gospel account.

  1. In a similar vein, Jesus is portrayed with a sense of humor, and people have asked questions about divine inspiration regarding the Sermon on the Mount, S2, E8, a segment featuring Jesus talking with Matthew about how to begin the Sermon on the Mount, what to say, and how to say it. I liked Jesus’ sense of humor, something not seen before, and I liked how he responded to those around him, always with concern and caring.
  1. Jesus saying, “I am the law of Moses.”S3, E3, a comment some took to be an expression of Mormon theology. But it should be noted that “Jesus therefore has the authority to interpret the Old Testament and its laws, which is just what he goes on to do in Matthew 5:21–48.”
  2. A pride flag was visible on a camera that appeared in a promotional video that “The Chosen” released.This created a firestorm with people accusing “The Chosen” producers for going woke. But producer Jenkins later responded, reminding people that a) the production hires non-Christian professionals, b) they do not police everything these people do off camera, c) no LGBTQ+ values are represented in the show, and d) Jenkins is himself a conservative Evangelical who does not celebrate pride month.
  1. The show’s creator has questionable partnerships.

“The Chosen’s” original distribution partner, Angel Studios, employs Mormons among its staff and leadership. It’s also true that some early filming took place in the LDS-stronghold of Utah.

“The LDS Issue” mostly stems from a statement Jenkins made with a Mormon interviewer in 2020, where Jenkins referred to his Mormon “brothers and sisters” and noted that “we love the same Jesus.” In a 2022 video, he offered a clarification: “Mormons are not our brothers and sisters in Christ, and through the doctrine they’ve added to the Bible, they very clearly do not worship the same Jesus.”

The question we need to ask is, “Is this a Mormon show?” That is, “Does this show teach Mormon theology?” The answer is “no,” at least so far. Nothing in the series is promoting uniquely Mormon doctrine, or Catholic, or that of any other group.”

Now, no cinematic portrayal of biblical stories will ever be accurate in every detail. 

We should therefore watch with awareness. Is the production presenting a false portrayal to mislead viewers about the Scripture? Or is the production using some creative license, without contradicting or undermining Scripture, to help non-Christians understand and attract them to the Lord and the Gospel? Often this is difficult to assess.

Whatever the case, whenever we watch any media production, we should do so with our transformed, renewed minds turned on, spiritually discerning what is best.


Well, we’ll see you again soon. This podcast is about Discerning What Is Best. If you find this thought-provoking and helpful, follow us on your favorite podcast platform. Download an episode for your friends. For more Christian commentary, check my website, r-e-x-m as in Martin, that’s  

And remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm.

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2024   

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