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Have you thought much about getting older? Your answer probably depends upon your age now. Younger, not so much? Older, absolutely. Real question is, what should characterize us as we age?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #41 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’m getting older and so are you. There, I said it. The cat’s out of the bag…sort of.   

We all know this, of course. I mean, who doesn’t know they’re getting older? Kids like to remind us, “I’m 8 years old and next week I’m going to be 9.” They’re proud of the process. It’s like an achievement. But for the rest us, the ones who’ve “reached a certain age,” we’re not so enamored about what birthdays imply. No one, but retirement homes and life insurance agents, seem to want to talk about it.     

Meanwhile, the “Fountain of Youth” offered by the cosmetics industry notwithstanding, aging is inevitable, inexorable, and irresistible. And youth is irretrievable.      

Now there is one alternative to aging. Not aging, which comes with its partner, death. Some wag once said, “Nothing’s certain but death and taxes.” Yes, that’s true on both counts, which is why one joke common among elderly folks is “I’m glad to be here. Hey, I’m glad to be anywhere.” Older people love that joke. 

We know “people are destined to die once,” (Hebrews 9:27), but death doesn’t claim everyone early. Aging is the “better alternative.”

Aging comes to us all, great and small. So, the question is not will we age but how will we age?

When someone says, “My, she’s aging gracefully,” mostly what’s being said is that she is aging well physically. In other words, she looks pretty good. Nothing wrong with that, though some people wryly note that aging gracefully is more about gravity than grace.   

Yet there are a few things we can do to reinforce our prospects of aging gracefully.     

One of my mentors once said, “Are you taking care of yourself? You know, whatever you do for the Lord you do in a body, so if you burn out your body you can’t keep serving the Lord.” That was Dr. Wilbert W. Welch, long-time Chancellor of Cornerstone University, who at the time was well into his 80s. When a gentleman of this age gives you advice on how to take care of yourself you’ve got to admit his words carry a lot of credibility. He lived, by the way, into his mid 90s.   

Aging gracefully seems to be what most people, and certainly Madison Avenue, are worrying about. To an extent, I have no problem with this. Like Dr. Welch said, taking care of yourself pays dividends.

But still, I’d suggest, if we’re talking about physical things, aging gracefully is mostly beyond our control. What happens, happens.     

My energy in my 60s is not my energy in my 30s. My eyes were once especially sharp—I won all the read-the-sign-way-down-the-road contests. Now I wear blended tri-focal lens, and the beat goes on.

Aside from the physical, there’s another profoundly more important way to approach aging. We can consider what it means to age graciously, which is entirely within our control.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “Every man over 40 is responsible for his own face.” His point, for women too: our choices, our lifestyle, show up in our countenance.    

Scripture says, “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit” (Proverbs 15:13). What’s on the inside shows up on the outside and etches tracks of its passing.

It’s possible to abuse our body, mind, and souls with worldly excesses: binge drinking and alcohol dependency, drugs including prescription opioids, unhealthy diets, cigarette smoking, little or no exercise, ongoing stress-inducing behaviors like overwork, lack of sleep, relentless drive for greater wealth, damaging and broken relationships, absence from church or other positive community, addictive pursuit of psychoactive drugs, sex, gambling, social media/Internet, video gaming—“About 41% of video gamers say they play video games to escape from real life…Over 7% of video gamers are addicted to this activity.

And then there’s shopping. Wait, shopping? Yes, shopping. “Over 17 million Americans cannot control their urge to shop, even at the expense of finances, marriage, jobs, and family.” Obviously, this stresses budgets and relationships.

Finally, there’s obesity, which can cause everything from arthritis to certain cancers to heart disease to diabetes. “The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the United States was nearly $173 billion in 2019 dollars.” Obesity is linked to six chronic diseases. It is one of the top five causes of death.

Notice disease per se is nowhere listed. Of course, disease takes a toll in a fallen world, but human beings are more responsible for their problems than we are typically willing to admit.

So, to review, it’s possible to inflict all manner of attitudes and behaviors upon our bodies, minds, and souls that debilitate our physical, mental, and emotional conditions and increase the prospects of an early death.

It’s hard to age gracefully or graciously if we die before our time. And don’t blame the Lord for this. He gave us all we need in Scripture for a joyful, productive, healthy life. But sound counsel is not effective if it is ignored.

Aging graciously can contribute to aging gracefully, but it’s about more than the physical. Aging graciously is about the spirit. Aging graciously is how the “real me” interacts with the world.     

We make jokes, but there’s really no place in Scripture where we can justify “grouchy old women” or “crotchety old men.” It isn’t there, yet who we are inside often heightens or sharpens with age, and it comes out. Meanwhile, Solomon said, “Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life” (Proverbs 16:31).    

Doug Steimers was a wise friend. He served 5 years in the Canadian Army during WWII, was married for 65 years to June, who’s with the Lord, and then several years to Betty. He pastored churches in Canada and the States for 40 years, helped churches in conflict for 10 years, and for more than 10 years in his “retirement” founded and led a caregiver’s ministry for his church. He did this into his 90s.   

Rev. Steimers, or Doug to most anyone, uses the word “intentionality,” meaning we should not simply grow “older” but “closer,” on purpose, to awareness of God’s presence in our lives. He says, “I’ve often asked myself and others, ‘How are we seniors using our last years for God?’”     

Doug said seniors should share more compassion than complaints. He recommended people do two things: 

  1. “Use your life intentionally for God; think about your motives,” and 
  2. “Broaden yourself,” keep learning, keep being open to what God can do with you now, today, at this age.       

It’s true that Doug, like Dr. Welch, was blessed with good health, which allowed him to remain active. But he also made decisions relative to his activities. For example, he voluntarily decided not to drive after dark or in heavy traffic during the day. There came a point in time when he declined public speaking invitations because his own evaluation suggested he could no longer speak in a manner to which he’d been accustomed.    

We can learn even more about aging graciously if we unpack Doug’s decisions. In thinking proactively about his life, he offered us a model. He didn’t “keep going” out of some spiritualized sense that he must because God demanded it. He didn’t wait until others felt he should not continue to serve—it’s always difficult (and it happens a lot) when an older person refuses to stop or change long after he or she should have done so.   

Doug didn’t associate his “worth” with his ability to do certain things. Not doing these things didn’t create for him an “insecurity problem.” No, his sense of who he was rested in his relationship with the Lord. Doug knew God is in charge of aging as well as serving, ministering, working.      

Dr. Welch modeled a similar process for me too. In his 80s, he chose a times, resigned from boards, decided not to continue speaking publicly when the rest of us still wanted him to do so, and made personal arrangements regarding he and his wife’s future living and care. I honor Dr. Welch and Rev. Steimers for their godly examples of proactive stewardship.   


We can fight it and complain about it. Or we can consider it a blessing and use it. That’s what I learned from Wilbert Welch and Doug Steimers. Aging gracefully is OK but might be selling our potential short. Aging graciously is a way to multiply a positive impact upon others in our latter years.   

Aging godly is another level. Who better to proclaim God’s faithfulness than older people? 

I understand our Rogers family verse better now than when my wife Sarah and I chose it at the birth of our first child in January 1976. “The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy” (Psalm 126:3).    

Aging ones know: “Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6). 

Aging gracefully, graciously, godly is a worthy legacy.


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

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

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2022   

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

Most Americans are taking some kind of drug daily, ones that improve the quality of or even save our lives, so the issue is not drugs per se but what kind of drugs? Are we addicted and has chemistry become a substitute for spirituality in our lives?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #40 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.

Opioid abuse is now a national epidemic, more lethal than the worst diseases.

“Opioids are a class of drugs naturally found in the opium poppy plant and that work in the brain to produce a variety of effects, including the relief of pain with many of these drugs. Opioids can be prescription medications often referred to as painkillers, or they can be so-called street drugs, such as heroin.”

America is now the most medicated country in the world, and we apparently possess an insatiable appetite for opioid medications, legal prescriptions or illegal synthetics on the street. For example, one in four American women are taking some form of psychiatric medication, chemical treatment for depression, anxiety, ADHD or other mental disorder. One in six in the general population.

These drugs “don’t just relieve pain and worry, they produce psychic euphoria, a sense that the rest of the world has slipped away, especially when abused—perpetuating the potential for addiction.”

So, drugs become a way to cope, to manage the stresses of life, some of which are unavoidable—just life in the real world—but many stresses and anxieties are rooted in how Americans choose to live their lives: our overdrive toward financial success, overwork, insufficient rest, lack of a sense of community found in family or church, little perspective on why we do what we do, perspective traditionally found in religious worship now increasingly tossed aside. 

In other words, we create our perceived need for artificial chemical support

We damage the body, which Scripture calls a temple of God (1 Cor. 3:16-17), we lose control and subject ourselves to influences like the seven deadly sins, we place our health and spiritual wellbeing at risk (Col. 3:17), and much more even unto death.

These deaths of course include junkies as portrayed on TV crime shows, down and out people who’ve lived on the dark side for years. But these deaths also include your neighbors in brightly painted suburbs, people behind the white picket fences who live what might be called “respectable” lives.

“Many people who take opiates find that they need the drug just to feel normal, rather than to relieve pain. Tolerance does not necessarily mean that addiction will occur, but it makes addiction more likely.”

The opioid fentanyl poses an exceptionally high overdose risk due to having an extremely unpredictable fatal dosage when mixed with other drugs. 

“Starting around 2013, fentanyl disrupted the North American market for illegal drugs, capitalizing on pre-existing demand for opiates such as heroin and prescription pharmaceuticals. In 2016, fentanyl and fentanyl analogues were the most common cause of overdose deaths in the United States at more than 20,000, about half of all opioid-related deaths.”

Compared to heroin, it is more potent, has higher profit margins, and, because it is compact, has simpler logistics. It can be cut into, or even replace entirely, the supply of heroin and other opiates...As of 2018, fentanyl was the most commonly listed opioid in overdose drug deaths, surpassing heroin.”

“More adults between 18 and 45 died of fentanyl overdoses in 2020 than any other leading cause of death, including COVID-19, motor vehicle accidents, cancer and suicide. Fentanyl also killed more Americans in general in 2020 than car accidents, gun violence, breast cancer and suicide, according to the analysis of CDC data from Families Against Fentanyl. Fentanyl deaths doubled from 32,754 fatalities to 64,178 fatalities in two years between April 2019 and April 2021.”

“Opioid dependence in America doesn’t discriminate; it just infects. Transcending geography, class and religion, it’s ravaging a generation, claiming lives by way of both addiction and death.”

But with all this, when was the last time you heard a sermon, or even a reference in the pulpit, to opioids? If your answer is, I can’t remember, then that’s evidence of part of the challenge from a Christian point of view. Some churches are doing good work on this, but much of the Body of Christ is not as active as we could be. Overwhelmed perhaps by so many problems, dealing with people willingly putting drugs into their bodies, especially prescription medicines, may not seem as urgent.

But the Church needs to share “Thus saith the Lord” in terms of where individuals look for peace and solace, emotional reinforcement, even relief from physical pain.

By the way, I’m not suggesting individuals who take pain medications are doing something wrong. Far from it. I understand that legitimate treatment for a host of physical or emotional afflictions can be enormously important and helpful. And I believe God enabled humanity to learn from and develop remedies from his created order, medications we can use to bless people’s lives.

But the statistics clearly indicate that many people are doing more than this. 

They’re attempting to drown their troubles with various opioids, rather than seeking respite in the Spirit of God. Instead of seeking first the kingdom of God, they hope for better living through chemistry. This includes drug addicts for sure, but it may also include millions using drugs like opioids to deaden their sense of agitation, loss, defeat, despair, gut-wrenching sorrow, or absence of hope. It’s substance abuse just like alcoholism, though this abuse uses pills.

We’re told that what addicts need most are meaningful relationships with people who are there and who care. This, the Church can provide, but it will take understanding, commitment, time, and money. The Church can support individuals struggling with opioid dependency by helping them identify the root of the problem. What caused the need? For Christians this means looking honestly at the heart.

If we are prolife, as I believe Christians should be, then we must be prolife holistically or comprehensively, meaning in every way. We are indeed responsible to help those who cannot help themselves.

So, I recommend pastors delve into this issue. Pastors don’t have to become a doctor or psychologist, just a shepherd applying a Christian worldview and biblical teaching to a real-world contemporary issue.

And I recommend the rest of us work to learn more about the current opioid crisis in America, that we discover how our church might reinforce both prevention and recovery, and that we try to discern what part we might play in aiding those who need our assistance.

Physician Matthew Loftus wrote in his Christianity Today article, “if addiction is even remotely an issue of misplaced affection, then for Christians, the gospel is the only suitable starting point. ‘All people—addicts in particular—are called to start with the gospel that satisfies our hunger, trusting in God’s love for us and repenting of our sin.’”

“Many people recover without trusting in Christ, yes, but those who are grasped by the gospel have a significant head start in sorting out the ‘hierarchy of loves’ as they untangle the particular ways in which sin has created strongholds in their lives.”

In 1 Thess. 5:14, the Apostle Paul reminded us, “we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.”

The opioid crisis is a national emergency. The question remains how the Church will meet the challenge.


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

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

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2022   

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

Have you heard of Cancel Culture, or been a victim of its vindictiveness? In the tsunami of irrationality now offered by celebrities and media, have you wondered whether truth can survive? 

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #39 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.


Years ago, I wrote a book called “Christian Liberty: Living for God in a Changing Culture.” The later ebook version was called, “Living for God in Changing Times.” 

Theology hasn’t changed. I stand by what I said then. 

The point was this: while God provides us in the Bible with a moral Do and Don’t list, which we ignore at our peril, that list is far shorter than many think or try to make others believe. 

Beyond these moral absolutes about right and wrong, God gave us principles in his Word by which we can discern and make decisions, then he gives us the freedom to choose. This squares with how he created human beings as thinking, reasoning, if not always reasonable, choosing individuals. 

This also means Christians are free to disagree. As the Scripture says, “One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind” (Rom. 14:5). 

This does not mean we are free to hold points of view and beliefs contrary to Scripture. We should agree, which is to say obey the Word of God, on moral issues that God has addressed. But we don’t all have to come to the same conclusion on every non-moral issue. 

When that book was published in 2003, I said that Christian liberty may be the least understood and least practiced doctrine in the Bible. I still believe that, though I cannot prove it.

People want to believe what they want to believe. But some of them are not comfortable unless they press their belief upon others. But that’s not Christian liberty.

Christian liberty leaves room within the Church for disagreement. Not disunity but disagreement. God calls the Church to a unity of the faith (Eph 4:13) built upon right doctrine. He wants us to fellowship in community and unity because this is a rather pleasant place to be.

He also told us how we can disagree. And he told us about grace and forgiveness too.

Applied to politics, we have freedom to choose because it’s a free country and also as believers we enjoy Christian liberty.

But again, while I honor others’ freedom to choose, it does not mean I must agree with their choices or views. 

That’s the primary weakness and will be the downfall of what’s called “cancel culture.” In this approach favored by the political Left, there is no grace, no room for difference. 

Cancel culture feeds off the Leftist “woke” philosophy that, somehow, we’re all basically racists and bigots at heart. Therefore, those who embrace this irrational philosophy work not simply to argue the merits of points of view with which they disagree but rather to silence them altogether. 

And then the Left woke philosophy goes further, attempting to silence or cancel the people who hold these views by impugning their character, trashing their reputations, getting them fired, getting their book contracts cancelled, demeaning their religious views, or otherwise unapologetically trying to destroy them, 

to erase them. I don’t mean murder, like the Mafia, but erase them by wiping out a person’s influence and presence, if you will, in society.

It’s way beyond authoritarian. It’s totalitarian. George Orwell’s 1984 come to life.

For woke enthusiasts, others who disagree can never be woke enough. They are always subject to collectivist social media condemnation and a summary vote off the island if they make the slightest faux paus in saluting wokeism. 

That’s what happened, for example, to retired football great, Drew Brees, who in the middle of the NFL’s National Anthem kneel-down for racial justice controversy a while back, dared to say he liked the National Anthem and thought it was worth respecting. Then he was literally attacked online and in media, called a bigot, and accused of not supporting his Black teammates to the point he felt forced to grovel an apology. 

In Left-leaning cancel culture wokeism, “No one is going to be safe from the false cries of racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, etc.”

“Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama once strongly defended marriage as between a man and a woman, as recently as 2008. But the left gives them a free pass now -- they’re never attacked for being homophobic – while those on the right who have Biblical objections to homosexuality are.”

No one, at least on the Right or among Conservatives or among Christians, who disagrees can ever be rehabilitated or salvaged, and certainly not forgiven.

Cancel culture is in this sense the opposite of Christian liberty, or individual liberty and freedom of speech for that matter, because it is outright censorship or what some have called viewpoint discrimination or prior restraint. 

“However it’s characterized, at base the progressive cancel culture is less about deplatforming extreme ideas and more about persecuting people with whom they disagree. Their aim is not correction but destruction.”

Christian views no longer acceptable—homosexuality, transgender, abortion, salvation, judgment, sin nature. “Our crime is not the adoption of those beliefs but our refusal to abandon them, as the truly enlightened folks seem to have done.”

Christians are charged with homophobia, sexism, transphobia, judgmentalism, being unloving, anti-women, anti-gay, anti-progress. But Christians must not do as surrounding culture, (Ps 1:1, Jn 15:18, Mark 8:38.) We are to love others, respect others, but never let them tell us what to believe or practice or say. They are loved but they are not the Lord. 

We are not to give in to cancel culture, for Eph 5:15-16 instructs us to walk circumspectly not as fools but as wise. We will experience reproach because we share Jesus’ truth. 

But with an eternal perspective on reproach and reward we can accept whatever comes with speaking the truth. Remember, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, then Daniel paid a price for speaking truth. 

Author Joe Dallas said, “Belief in the exclusivity of Jesus is viewed as discriminatory, Belief in hell is viewed as archaic, Belief in man’s sinfulness is viewed as self-loathing and judgmental, Belief in normalcy of male/female sexual union is viewed as homophobic, Belief in the immutable nature of our assigned sex is viewed as transphobic, and Belief in the value of the unborn is viewed as misogynistic…

Today, human feelings being hurt are interpreted as human rights being trampled…For those who’ll embrace it, truth liberates. But it irritates, sometimes beyond measure, people whose beliefs or agendas are at odds with it.”

In a culture that no longer believes in truth, a culture that has repeatedly rejected moral absolutes, to say you believe something is true is grating to the ear, judgmental, bigoted, offensive, and even irrational or crazy. 

So even “speaking the truth in love,” as the Scripture commands (Eph. 4:15), 

can be rejected by those with whom we share it, even family members or friends. And it is not easy to be seen as the enemy by loved ones simply because you believe what you’ve always believed. You believe the truth of God’s Word.

But “Let us not be weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Gal. 6:9).

In the end, God’s Word will not be cancelled. Truth will not be cancelled.

And while we may in the providence of God suffer short-term vulnerabilities, ultimately, we will not be cancelled either. Because God said, “The truth will set you free” (John 8:32).

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

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

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2022   

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

Have you ever stopped to think about the fact that you are, in all likelihood, a descendent of immigrants? 

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #38 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.

Immigrants are as American as apple pie.  

Unless you are a Native American, your ancestors traveled to this country at some point. They were immigrants (or for some, they were slaves). And whether they found quick acceptance or had to struggle for their place in American society, they came for a new life and new opportunity (something long denied to African Americans but rectified in a Civil War and Civil Rights Movement one hundred years apart), conditions that bless you to this day.

So why then do we hear about America’s “immigrant problem”? Short answer:  a lot of non-citizens live among us.      

Something like 1.7 million individuals entered the United States illegally during year 2020, people from 160 different countries, the most from Mexico. And about 15.5 million “undocumented” individuals (the old phrases were “illegals” or “illegal aliens”) already reside in the States, a number that has increased by 41% since 2010. More than 2 million illegal immigrants have entered the US under the current Administration.   

Long answer for why we hear about America‘s “immigrant problem” is this:  

We didn’t awaken one morning to discover millions of illegal immigrants had entered the country overnight. Porous borders, ineffective policy, lack of leadership—and will, political posturing, and sporadic enforcement have co-existed for a long time.

It’s strange that Americans, of all people, should find immigration befuddling, much less threatening. Ellis Island is literally in our DNA.  

The foundational ideals that defined and made this country strong in the first place—freedom, opportunity, individual dignity, work, desire for a better future—all contributed to America becoming a “nation of immigrants.”  

We’re about freedom, and we generally want others to experience it too.  

On the other hand, most Americans acknowledge open borders are not an unmitigated political and social good. And most Americans believe American citizenship is neither meaningless, or a right-without-responsibility. Certainly, other countries of the world are highly protective of their citizenship and who they allow to enter their countries. Why shouldn’t the U.S. be at least somewhat circumspect in this important situation, even while evidencing compassion and continuing to respect immigrants?

By this logic America can and should establish systems of admission and citizenship, then expect immigrants 

  • to learn English, 
  • work for the benefits this country affords, and 
  • evidence a loyalty to American ideals. 

If immigrants take these essential steps, then they will be welcome to share in the American dream—now, their dream. 

The so-called "immigrant problem" and what has now become the immigrant rights movement are generating disagreement among religious leaders. Some argue for stiff penalties against illegal immigrants, along with beefed up efforts to secure U.S. borders. Many Catholic leaders call for citizenship grants and what they brand as “justice.” Some evangelicals weigh in via surveys saying immigrants are a burden and a threat to American values and stability.  

I don’t understand religious or political leaders who make illegal immigrants sound like terrorists. It’s not too much of a stretch to speculate a handful of illegal immigrants could be connected with terrorist cells, but certainly not 15.5 million of them; nor everyone in Mexico.  

And not so-called DACA kids, “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” many of whom are now young adults. These are people brought to the USA as children, when they had no influence or control. Now, these about 800,000 individuals who’ve known no other country but our own are being held in terminal legal limbo by partisan battles in Washington, DC. DACA kids are but political footballs, something inherently unappealing, unnecessary, and I think, un-American. To change DACA individuals’ status the legislative and executive branches need only act and provide them with a path to citizenship.

Frankly, categorical rejection of immigrants, as such, borders on ethnic prejudice and parochialism. 

So, I’m perplexed by the strong voices, including many among conservatives and among Christians, urging Congress to “Deport them” or “Send them all back where they came from.” These responses seem motivated more by nativism, bigotry, and fear than concern for American wellbeing.            

Still, I recognize our countries’ legitimate need to better police its borders and to assure as best it can that the American people remain secure. I recognize some immigrants are not “pulling their weight,” are “costing American taxpayers,” are unwilling to work, and may be involved in criminal activity. Then again, the same can be said for too many Americans-born-n-raised.    

Somehow, what one might think would be a fairly, straightforward proposition:

  • define American citizenship, 
  • put in place a process by which legal immigrants may become citizens, and 
  • police borders to assure American security is preserved—is not straightforward at all.

In fact, it’s a political quagmire.       

Meanwhile, some 80% of illegal immigrants come to this country, stay, pay taxes, maybe gain educations, but don’t complete a citizenship process.     

Children complicate the matter further. Some observers claim pregnant women enter the States illegally, then birth their children on American soil so the children will automatically earn “birthright citizenship.” These “anchor babies” make it possible for Mom to stay.     

In frustration, some politicians are suggesting this so-called “birth tourism” be stopped by changing the longstanding definition of citizenship stated in the Fourteenth Amendment: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the State wherein they reside.”        

All this is a rather sad state of affairs getting to the heart of the fact that Americans no longer agree on what an American is. Some people, responding with compassion or other motives to the millions of illegal immigrants already here, seem to want to blithely throw the concept away as if it has no value. What of citizenship? Why does it matter? We’re all one and one for all? Anyone may come, the government will pick up the tab, and somehow it will all work out in the end.     

It’s a wonderful utopian vision however misguided and ungrounded in reality.      

Ultimately, “the government” is us. We pick up the tab, and truth be told, a system built on the backs of a few to pay for the many simply doesn’t work.

A recent comprehensive fiscal cost study, illegal aliens are likely imposing a net fiscal burden of at least $143.1 billion, an increase of approximately $9.4 billion over the past year.     

In terms of national interest, defining American citizenship allows it to become a boon and blessing to all. It makes sense. Other countries define what it means to be a citizen. Why can’t America do this without being accused of bigotry, racism, or worse?  

On the other hand, the anti-birthright citizenship movement is a kneejerk reaction that undermines some of the most precious principles in the American story. Nearly all Americans in this immigrant-nation come from somewhere else. It’s part of the genius of America’s free and open society, a land of opportunity, a land where one worships, works, and pursues happiness freely. Progress and plenty must be earned, but they are open to all. Lawyering away a baby’s citizenship because the mother is from another country flies in the face of what it means to be an American, not to mention the fact such a law would create an enforcement nightmare.    

While both Republicans and Democrats posture on Capitol Hill offering quick “solutions,” the “immigrant problem” calls for statesmanship, rationality, and measured response.      

Immigration is nothing new. We’ve developed reasonable legal processes before in our history. We can do it again. At a minimum, Congress should do the following:   

1--Recognize that the vast majority of immigrants do not want to come to the United States to blow it up. They want to come to secure the prospects of a better life for them and their children. They want freedom. So, stop demonizing immigrants for short-term political gain.     

2--Secure American borders from those who wish to do us harm. Reasonable response proposals already exist, awaiting leaders who can present and implement the ideas. Democrats need to get their heads out of the sand and acknowledge a real-world challenge exists. Republicans need to quit with extremist ideas like electrified fences.   

3--Develop a guest worker program that makes sense and is easy to administer. Everyone would win, immigrants, businesses, the American economy.    

4--Create a process through which illegal immigrants presently in this country can work systematically toward American citizenship and require them to do so. Workable reform proposals sit gathering dust awaiting Representatives and Senators with common sense and moral courage.    

5--Develop a better approach to teaching English as a second language and require immigrants seeking American citizenship to enroll, learn, and pass conversational English tests. This is not a form of cultural imperialism. It’s a practical economic and social necessity. Those who do not learn English are forever hindered in their ability to better their condition and support themselves.

The recently named “immigrants rights movement” needs to demonstrate leadership and established values as well. 

6--Convey immigrants’ desire to become Americans, not simply legally recognized residents of the United States. There’s a huge difference. Recognize assimilation is not a bad thing and doesn’t mean a person must reject his or her heritage. It means the person who wants to become a citizen works to develop basic knowledge and skills allowing him or her to function productively in this free country.   

I believe America’s shores should remain as open to freedom-loving and freedom-seeking people as, in a day of terrorism, we can make them. I do not believe that immigrants “drain our economy” or that they are “threats to the American way of life.” Perhaps a few maybe, but the flipside is that most immigrants bring talent, dreams, work ethic, and hope. Immigrants enrich the American culture and economy with their presence and contributions.      

I know it sounds hokey, but I still believe with Emma Lazarus, whose poem graces a plaque within the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, that America remains a special place on earth:   

"Give me your tired, your poor, 

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, 

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. 

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

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"


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

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

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2022   

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

Can you remember a schoolteacher that made a special impact upon or contribution to your life? Did you know this kind of teacher is becoming increasingly rare?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #37 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.


Public education today, from kindergarten to graduate school is in serious trouble, and in many examples, moral free-fall.

Once a destination for international students the world over, due to the excellence in teaching, scholarship, and learning to be found there, now public institutions – in general, which is to say most of them – are hothouses of ideological discontent and sources of propaganda rather than truth, something many no longer even believe exists.

Public education today has been co-opted by the Left in ways I’m thinking the average person has no clue. And why would you?  

Unless you have children or youth in school now, unless you take the time to investigate—which since the online schooling that occurred during the lockdowns, began to happen—parents, and even more-so those with no connections to education, just don’t know how fast and how far public education has fallen.

Allow me to take a moment to emphasize that I am not, most definitely not, impugning the integrity or values of every teacher or professor or staff person serving in public education. Far from it.  

Among those who are standing firm for truth, critical thinking, First Amendment liberty, and morality, I think they are our new “First Responders.” These diligent teachers, professors, and staff members are the ones in positions to help children and youth before they are overwhelmed values contrary to science, history, religion, and common sense.

And not every school has surrendered its educational philosophy to the ideological Left to the extent of other schools.  But the exceptions are an endangered species.

Public education from kindergarten to graduate school is now home to: 

  • equity of results not equality of opportunity, 
  • LGBTQ orthodoxy and drag queen story hours, 
  • gender as a social contract, 
  • sexually explicit curricula in elementary schools, 
  • climate change propaganda, 
  • critical race theory promoted by the organization Black Lives Matter, a theory that oddly teaches racism as a means of eliminating racism, then argues endlessly for the absolutized values of diversity, inclusion, and equity, labeling anything not to their liking as white supremacy, 
  • Woke political correctness and so-called micro aggressions, 
  • Extensive politicization of sports, 
  • hostility toward Christianity, 
  • victim mentality, promoting victim hood, 
  • casting aside science, reason, history, and biology, and often repress freedom of speech and diverse opinions.

Honestly, it is so bad in many public universities that I find it sad and disconcerting when I can’t get excited at the announcement that a friend’s son or daughter has gained entrance at a certain Public U. Some of the big-name schools are better known for their football programs—a sport I enjoy—than their academic programs, many of which have succumbed to anti-Americanism, promotion of abortion on demand and unfettered sexual expression, the class conflicts of cultural Marxism, and the worship of race.

Liberal education in American education was once an engine of free civilization and economic development. But liberal education—a concept once defined as "a philosophy of education that empowers individuals with broad knowledge and transferable skills, and a stronger sense of values, ethics, and civic engagement ... characterized by challenging encounters with important issues, and more a way of studying than a specific course or field of study” is now fast fading from the educational landscape.

Take this example: critical thinking was once a primary goal of liberal education. But now, in many public educational institutions, “critical thinking” really isn’t—or at least it isn’t what employers mean when they use the term. Organizations want people who can be objective and analytical, using logic and reason to solve problems. 

That’s what the term ‘critical thinking’ means to them, and what it has meant to most of us for decades…”

Today, however, that is not at all what colleges and universities mean—or perhaps I should say, what most professors mean. ‘Critical thinking,’ for them, is a Marxist exercise in ‘critique,’ what Marx himself called ‘the ruthless criticism of all that exists.’ It seeks not to solve problems but to break down, or ‘deconstruct,’ all aspects of society, beginning with but not limited to language.”

So, colleges and universities are teaching students to deconstruct, to tear down, to reject traditional values, to rely on emotion over reason or evidence, to be victims, to believe life and society are unfair though they are entitled, to be in a continual state of anxious anger. Logic, reason, dispassionate observation, hypothesizing, experimentation, problem solving, and a search for truth are all passe, out the window.

Take this second example of the decline of liberal education: debate has given way to “dialogue.” There was a time when evidence, reason, and logic mattered. So genuine debate could take place. “Not so with the new orthodoxy. Here disagreement is an intolerable personal affront. It is construed as a denial of others, of their experience of who they are. It is a blasphemous assault on that most high god, “My Identity.” Truth-as-identity is not appealable beyond the assertion of identity.” 

The late Christian philosopher Francis A. Schaeffer pointed out this trend in the 1970s. He said, “’All A is A and all Non-A is Non-A and therefore A cannot be Non-A and Non-A cannot be A.’ This is the concept of thesis and antithesis. The concept that there is an absolute objective linear truth and that thesis and antithesis make a contrast.”

But the philosopher George Wilhelm Friedrich “Hegel showed up and said that thesis and antithesis shouldn't equal contrast, they should equal synthesis.

In other words, there are no absolute truths, there is no "right" thesis, only many ideas that may result in synthesis.”

“The loss of antithesis in American culture led to what Dr. Schaeffer coined the ‘line of despair’ or giving up all hope of achieving a rational unified answer to knowledge and life.”

As Schaeffer saw it, “Thesis is met by antithesis, and instead of one having to be true and the other false, both are reconciled to develop a synthesis. ‘The conclusion is that all possible positions are relativized and leads to the concept that truth is to be sought in synthesis rather than antithesis.’”

So, debate, a search for truth based upon merits of an argument, long one of the building blocks of real education, is now no longer acceptable, only dialogue =  endless discussion in search of consensus and some synthesized understanding of life. The problem with this is that it leads nowhere, only to power plays or despair.

Theologian Erwin Lutzer described the problem this way: “If we think we can fight against deceived culture by winning the war of ideas, we are mistaken. The best ideas do not win very often in a culture obsessed with empty utopian promises…The America we thought we knew is no more.”

This is the sad state of public education. It exists to educate but no longer remembers how, or why.

Again, to quote Lutzer: “In a time of universal deception, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

This is where the First Responders come in—teachers, professors, staff member, and yes, parents who have the courage of their convictions, who will stand for truth against ideological and intentional error. What’s at stake are the hearts and minds of our children and youth. What’s at stake is the soul of this country and the potential of its future.

I admire and salute public education First Responders who are standing in the face of a tsunami of philosophies intended to tear down rather than build up. Pray for and support these First Responders—public educators and staff members who know truth and still seek to make it known. They are standing in the gap for the future of our children and youth.

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

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

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2022   

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

Can you remember your childhood pet like it was yesterday? Has any friend brought so much joy to your life?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #36 of Discerning What Is Best, a podcast applying unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, and a Christian worldview to current issues and everyday life.


When my wife was three and one-half years old and her sister just over seven, older sister witnessed to younger sister about accepting Jesus into her heart. “Let the little children come to me,” Jesus said, and little sister responded to the divine call. Though she was tender in years my wife the little sister has never doubted her salvation from that day till this.     

Older sister later continued her evangelistic efforts. Wanting to assure the entire family would be in heaven together some day, she enthusiastically witnessed to Shep, their beloved family dog. I’ve been told Shep lived a long and happy life but sadly no record remains attesting to his spiritual inclinations.

This is one of my favorite stories, partly I guess because it involves both the innocence of children comprehending profound truth and an animal. It’s an odd combination, I know, but one that’s poignant and amusing. Of course, the amusing part is picturing a child trying to lead a dog to the Lord.

I’ve loved animals as long as I can remember. Maybe it was growing up in a small town with my grandfather’s farm five minutes away in the nearby hills. Plenty of animals there. Or maybe it was our series of family pets. At one time or another we had a fish aquarium, cats, turtles, rabbits, and best of all, a sequence of dogs, Spunky, Peppie, and another Peppie.   

The last Peppie lived 13 years and was my dog, grade school to college. She was a mixed breed Beagle and Fox Terrier, so she was white with brown spots, floppy-eared like a Beagle but square-faced and wire-haired like a Fox Terrier. Peppie (Mom chose the name. Don’t Moms always name the pets?) was a good dog who disappeared immediately whenever someone, me, fired a gun. So, a hunter she was not. But she was a great companion who went everywhere else with me. She died when I was in college, and I still have her red collar. To this day, something periodically triggers, and I can miss that dog.    

A lot of people can relate stories like this. Animals, pets in particular, play a huge role in many of our families’ experiences. Animals, I think, are a gift from God.

In the Garden of Eden, God brought all the animals of creation to Adam, and Adam named them all (Genesis 2:19-20). Putting aside for the moment what this account implies about Adam’s IQ, let’s think about the animals.  

The Bible records God’s creation of animals, including birds and sea-faring creatures. The Bible indicates both before and after the flood that God placed animals within human care. The Bible provides detailed accounts of how God’s chosen people, the Israelites, shepherded, hunted, and sacrificed animals and then used animal products to develop food, clothing, and other useful material goods.

Further and importantly, the Bible gives us a glimpse of God’s attitude toward animals, saying, “For every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are mine” (Psalm 50:10-11).   

The Psalmist observes, “Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young—a place near your altar, O Lord Almighty, my King and my God” (Psalm 84:3).

The book of Matthew records Jesus’ words:  “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father” (10:29). And finally, during the end of the age, Isaiah tells us, “The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, but dust will be the serpent’s food. They will neither harm nor destroy” (65:25).

Animals are important to God. He created animals for his glory and for human enjoyment and sustenance. Animals are part of God’s ownership and our stewardship. Animals may be domesticated, cultivated, even hunted, yet must always be respected as God’s creatures.

With due respect to my sister-in-law’s youthful theology, though, I do not believe the Bible indicates that animals possess a God-consciousness, are capable of distinguishing right and wrong, thus capable of sinning, or are in need of forgiveness and salvation.  

Animals are animate, to state the obvious, but they are not human beings. Nor are human beings, animals. This is a distinction that’s sometimes blurred today, often with the good motive of caring for animals.

I’ve always been a little suspicious of people who don’t like animals—unless they have an allergy they can’t help. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a free country and God has blessed us with Christian liberty, so if you don’t like animals, it’s not a moral issue. Go and be well. But still, I hope you recognize how essential animals are to human life. 

Nature without animals would be as uninteresting as pizza without tomato sauce.  Think about it. No lightning bugs on summer evenings. No birds at the seashore. No old dog to come home to—who doesn’t care what kind of day you’ve had.  Without animals we could not live, and we certainly would not live as well.    

Animals are part of our human responsibility for stewarding the environment. So, cruelty of any kind is by definition needless and inappropriate. Wanton destruction, like the Old West practice of shooting bison from the train for fun, is immoral.  

Slaughtering animals to near extinction, like the African elephant or rhinoceros, for purposes of commercial greed is a form of robbing our children.    

Animals are capable of remarkable commitment even heroics based on instinct, but they do not worship in a church of their choice, do not develop civilization, and do not worry about retirement.  

Without animals, animal husbanding and farming, animal hunting, and animal research, human history would conceivably not have developed. Because of animal products we are better clothed, eat better meals, have developed disease-thwarting medicines, and in some cases have our lives extended. Animal products provided one incentive, and animals made possible, geographic exploration in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. They make possible biomedical exploration today.

A few times along the way I’ve seen pet cemeteries, often with considerable acreage and ornate monuments dedicated to the memory of Dog and Kitty. I’ve also read of individuals who’ve left considerable sums of money in their estates for the maintenance of their pets.   

I’m not necessarily opposed to Dog and Kitty receiving an expensive send-off. I certainly understand the sentiment a person can develop after years of relationship with a favorite pet.

When our kids were young, we had a big, especially tall, yellow Labrador Retriever. Pepsi lived to 13 years of age. He was a good, deep-voiced dog, who used to walk on the golf course across the road, “retrieve” rolling balls in his mouth, and run off with them. This practice, as you can imagine, endeared him to golfers. But a time came when he developed arthritis in his hips and could hardly get up and down. It was a sad trip to the veterinarian when the day finally came. So, I understand the feelings associated with loss of a favorite pet.

A joke that survives from the Old West is that a cowboy loved two things, his girl and his horse—he just wasn’t sure which he loved more. Animals get to us.       

What concerns me about the pet funeral and burial phenomenon is what it may say about our culture’s understanding of the afterlife and the value of an animal relative to a human being.      

There’s nothing in Scripture that suggests heaven will be an animal-free zone. We don’t know whether God will include animals in his eternal city; actually, I hope he does. We do know, as far as God has revealed, that Dog and Kitty don’t “go to heaven.” When an animal dies its existence ceases. Not so for a human being.    

When a human being dies, his or her soul lives on eternally. And according to the Bible this afterlife will take place either in heaven or hell, depending upon whether the departed has accepted Jesus Christ as Savior. Dog and Kitty may get their own graveyard in an affluent culture. But people live beyond the grave.  

The animal kingdom is part of God’s creation. As long as human beings steward animals wisely, as long as we respect them as a gift from God, and as long as we apply the knowledge gained from animals for God’s glory, we are acting properly. Animals, like all of creation, are to be enjoyed forever.       

We need not treat animals humanly but always must treat them humanely. We are not animals, but we should all be animal caretakers.  

Praise God for animals.  I still miss my childhood dog.


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

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

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2022   

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