Discernment

“It astonishes me . . . how much falsehood is being circulated in our society by people who ought to know better.”

"...we express ourselves by passing on some claim that we got from someone who agrees with us, and we don’t check it because it’s obviously true. And within minutes scores of our 'friends' congratulate us for being so brave and insightful and smart" - Dan Olinger

357 reads

“A less naïve, more discerning church must start with deeper biblical literacy.”

"If a person doesn’t realize that their understanding of the Bible lacks appropriate context and depth, they end up navigating the stormy cultural waters in whatever way happens to make sense to them based on what they think the Bible says. Ironically, without an accurate biblical anchor, their Christian views get completely watered down by the cultural waves" - Natasha Crain

246 reads

“Christian naivety is harming the church’s engagement with today’s culture”

"As I considered the types of pushback I received from some fellow believers ... I started to realize that their comments had little to do with the facts, logic, or manner in which I wrote that particular article. Rather, they were the same kinds of reactions I’ve see to any post I or other Christians write involving a call to better discernment in the church." - Natasha Crain

352 reads

Preparation Is Not Panic and Confusion is Not Chaos

"...there have been some moments of poor behavior as people have realized they may not be able to easily purchase some of life’s necessities. Hence, 'Panic As Shoppers Fight Over Toilet Paper!' There’s no doubt there have been moments of confusion as airport lineups have swelled in response to stricter policies—'Chaos at America’s Airports!' But it seems to me—and I have been following the news very closely—that such moments are relatively few and far between." - Challies

322 reads

“Is it too much to ask Christians to be honest in their political activity?”

"I really can’t support Christian friends passing on lies and half-truths in support of Trump or any other candidate. So many of the 'internet memes' tell less than half the story, it would be better for us to not say anything at all, rather than passing on lies because we like to 'stick it' to our opponents." - Don Johnson

457 reads

Can We Be Discerning Without Being Judgmental?

Good judgment is a function of wisdom, and exercising it—in the form of discernment—is a Christian duty. The Psalmist prays for discernment (Psalm 19:12), Proverbs exalts it (Prov. 14:8), and Paul prays that believers will abound in it (Phil. 1:9).

Tim Challies’ definition of discernment is as good as any I’ve seen (I have not yet read the book):

Discernment is the skill of understanding and applying God’s Word with the purpose of separating truth from error and right from wrong.

But sometimes when we think we’re exercising discernment, we’re really just being judgmental. We’ve taken a noble and nurturing love for truth and turned it into something ugly, harmful, and infectious. Those who are most zealous for truth and discernment may well be the quickest to stumble into judgmentalism.

So how do we tell the difference? How do we actively practice discernment (Heb. 5:14) without becoming one of those frowning, finger-pointing, spirit-crushing, accusers of the brethren?

Five Features of Judgmentalism

I believe five distinguishing features of judgmentalism can help us identify and avoid it.

2094 reads

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