What is the purpose for discernment?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Molly, Feb 23, 2003.

  1. Molly

    Molly
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    First of all,what do you believe discernment to be?

    How should it be used in the church?

    What is it based upon?

    Is Truth more important than peace and unity?

    One thing I have noticed on this board is that when true discernment is used(which involves biblical thinking based on scripture)it is often rejected as being harsh,dogmatic,or even unloving....some,even pastors,don't want to see outside the box of what they have always believed and actually reject biblical truth in many areas. How can we be this way,if the Bible is our guide? And,why should discernment taught,in love,be rejected by fellow believers?

    Just thinking and would like your input.....

    An interesting article on this can be found at www.visionforumministries.org "A Call to Discernment."
     
  2. I Am Blessed 24

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    1. Discernment: Perceiving something hidden or obscure. Comprehending mentally.

    2. It should be used in the church with much trepidation and love or it can be construed as unfair judgement.

    3. "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
    I John 4:1

    4. Truth must be adhered to at all costs. Without the truth, there IS no peace and unity.

    5. Because most discernment is not taught in love; it is used to refute another's statement and try to get them to agree with you.

    6. The purpose for discernment is to expose false teachers, not go on witch hunts.

    JMHO
    Sue
     
  3. Helen

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    Thank you, Sue.

    Discernment is what a parent uses to know when a child is telling the truth.

    Discernment involves the choosing of priorities.

    Discernment means to see things the way they really are as opposed to the way they seem.

    In the church, as Sue said, it should be used regarding doctrine, not regarding people.

    If a man has some discernment but no wisdom from God regarding it, that man can do a world of damage to a lot of people. It is also very possible to confuse discernment with legalism or a number of other 'isms.'

    It's God's job to judge and guide His people. It is ours to keep our eyes on Christ and become, each of us, the person HE wants us to be.

    It is only inasmuch as any of us knows Christ Himself that we know either truth or love. So let us concentrate on knowing Christ and let us then simply be the gloves in which His hand is working -- for He is the one with real discernment, knowledge, and wisdom. It is only inasmuch as He works in and through us that we appear to have any at all!
     
  4. Molly

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    True,Helen and Sue. I agree with you. But.....( [​IMG] )If it is not legalistic(making man made rules equal to God's) and it is not towards people,but is about doctrine....how do we as believers apply wisdom that does come from God to those who are closed to biblical Truth?

    Well,maybe not closed to biblical Truth,but not understanding of what the Bible is actually teaching....shouldn't we be teachable to learn what God has for us?
     
  5. Helen

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    Hi Molly, and thanks.

    I personally think that a person is teachable only insofar as he or she trusts the teacher! And there is so much of a problem with teachers everywhere abusing that trust that perhaps our main job around such people is to defuse their mistrust through our own characters as Christ is expressed through us. As we live close to Christ and thus show HIS love and concern for those around us, defenses will be let down and we will be trusted.

    That is a heavy responsibility to be trusted, though, isn't it? It means we really cannot afford to let any pride or self-righteousness in at all, or even presume that we understand what we might not understand. It means, instead, that we MUST remain not only humble, but in constant and conscious contact with our Lord and Savior. He loves these people more than we ever could, and if He is willing to use us to touch their lives, that is an awesome privilege and responsibility. We need to follow HIM in each individual case, knowing that He alone knows the best way to help each person, including our own very imperfect selves.
     
  6. Molly

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    I've(my husband and I) been blessed to be around very humble men with great wisdom and discernment and have learned quite a bit from their humble state,balanced with a great deal of bibilcal understanding,knowledge,and wisdom. We are very appreciative of their study time and their discernment in many areas...I am not threatened by it,but learn from it....is that the overall attitude here at the BB? I guess I would like for it to be,but I do not see a lot of evidence of it...

    I know there are quite a few bible scholars who are very dogmatic and secure in their beliefs,is that seen as a bad thing to some?
     
  7. Helen

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    Molly, we have a lot of people here on BB from different places and backgrounds. A lot of ministers here.

    Now, put that aside for a moment and look at the world wide web itself. There is nothing that cannot be pronounced with absolute 'authority' on one site or another.

    And so, knowing that anyone can say anything on this medium, and even that anonymity tends to bring out the worst in some, don't be surprised at the arguments that can go on where something as vital to us as our faith is concerned.

    I'll tell you what I have noticed in person with the folk from here and other internet places we have been privileged to meet, however: it's a lot easier in person! Rough edges get smoothed out by that twinkle in the eye or that tone in the voice. Misunderstandings can often be immediately cleared up.

    In the long run, nothing replaces face-to-face.

    I do think the internet has a tendency to make people feel a little more defensive about their various points of view. If we understand this, then I think things can go more smoothly. I know I have learned a lot of things from a lot of people here, but then I don't mind admitting when I am wrong -- I'm only Helen. My reputation is absolutely shot among my detractors, including evolutionists and a good many Calvinists, so how much lower can I go? :D

    But there are a lot of people who, unlike me, have reputations to uphold and things they have learned in seminaries they have trusted to be true. It's a whole lot harder to change positions when you are on a ladder and people look up to you than when you are on ground level. (Maybe that's why the meek will inherit the earth? :D )

    Be patient, be kind. It's hard to trust people you don't know, especially if you don't agree with them or learned something differently from people you DO know and trust!
     
  8. Daniel David

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    This is not true.

    Jesus warned of wolves that would seek to kill.

    Paul warned the Ephesian elders that wolves would creep into the assembly from among them.

    Matthew 7:6
    Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

    Philippians 3:2
    Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation!

    These are a fraction of a long list of adjectives that describe false teachers. You cannot separate false doctrine from the person who believes it.

    Therefore, we are to be so discerning of theological errors that it doesn't creep into the church.

    Good thought Molly.
     
  9. Helen

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    I know you are always going to disagree with me, Preach. That's the way the cookie crumbles here. Nevertheless, your argument falls far short. The false teachers, first of all, are only INWARDLY wolves. On the outside they appear to be shepherds of the flocks. And it is by the the fruits of their teaching you will know them. The discernment is about the doctrine. The better part of wisdom is to use that knowledge from discernment to stay away from those preachers at the least and expose them if possible.

    The discernment about those influencing the flock the wrong way is about the doctrine taught. Those who teach it must be separated out, but that is the action that comes from the initial discernment. The discernment itself is regarding doctrine -- it has to be, for only God can judge the heart of a man.

    Therefore we have GOT to separate the false doctrine from the man who believes, and even teaches, it. For if he can be caused to see true biblical doctrine and then repents, the doctrine is gone -- will you throw the man out still?

    In the meantime, I think you will find that 'dogs' is a term for unbelievers.
     
  10. Daniel David

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    Destructive theology, along with unbelievers, cowards, sexually immoral, wicked, liars, etc (see. Rev. 21:8) are declarations about WHO the person is, not just what they do.

    For example, if a person goes to hell for being a coward (see Rev. 21:8), that is a description of WHO he is. Christians can act cowardly, but it isn't WHO they are.

    The same is true for teachers. Those who are introducing heresies are themselves considered wolves, dogs, etc. They are not neutral people that happen to carry the baggage of bad theology.

    Satan isn't just a being who does wickedness, tells lies, and murders. That is who he is. The same is true of his children.

    That is evident throughout the Scripture. Now, that doesn't fall short in the slightest way according to Scripture.
     
  11. Helen

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    I guess that I hold to the possibility of repentance among humans, Preach.

    If a person is teaching the doctrine, then I will avoid him if at all possible. But I will always think of the doctrine apart from the person. There are those who have repented.

    Part of this may actually be a Calvinist thing. I really do believe people can change from a life of degradation and lies to one of following Christ and that they are presented with this choice by Christ Himself. Calvinists believe a person is what he is, and was created that way. Thus there is really no hope, in Calvinist theology, for the person who was not created already predestined to be saved. Because I do not believe that doctrine is right, I do separate the teaching/doctrine from the person and almost always have a hope for repentance for those who are preaching false doctrine anywhere.
     
  12. Daniel David

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    Helen, I am not sure if you are purposely trying to steer this discussion off course or not. It is funny how I have been accused of bringing up calvinism all the time. :rolleyes:

    1. I sure hope you hold to such a position. I know I do.

    2. Even in light of Scripture?

    3. I was once a person who repented and turned from idols to the living God also. I know it is possible.

    4. It isn't.

    5. So do I.

    6. That is correct. Man is not sovereign.

    7. I have hope for all people too because God didn't let me know who the elect are. Fyi, when JWs come to my door, I witness to them in hopes that they will embrace Christ as treasure and reject the gods that they must serve out of need.
     
  13. Helen

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    This thread is about discernment. I will simply reiterate that I believe it is regarding teachings and not persons, who are to be judged by God and God alone.

    Therefore I, Helen, separate the doctrine from the person teaching it.
     
  14. Daniel David

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  15. ruthigirl

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    " As in water face reflects face,
    So a man's heart reveals the man."
    Proverbs 27:19.
    "For as a man thinks in his heart,so is he."
    Proverbs 23:7.

    What a man believes reveals who he is. [​IMG]
     
  16. Helen

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    I am not going to wage a war of Bible verses. I do know that God judges the heart, though, and not me.

    It is enough to judge the doctrines and actions. The heart of a man is the Lord's territory.

    I have enough discernment to know that... [​IMG]
     
  17. C.S. Murphy

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  18. Daniel David

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    Your doctrine of salvation should be what determines much of your theology.

    However, calvinism has nothing at all to do with this thread.

    No one is badgering Murph. :rolleyes:

    [ February 24, 2003, 07:58 AM: Message edited by: Preach the Word ]
     
  19. Tentmaker

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    See Hebrews 4:12,13, and 5:14. These verses deal specifically with discernment. in this light I believe discernment is for anything evil or against God, be it person, words, events, etc, etc., etc.
    Especially in these last and evil days we need to be discerning. And the only way to become proficient at it is study study study, God's Word of course.
     
  20. Molly

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    I agree,Tentmaker! We have to study for ourselves,that way we can know if what is taught to us is accurate or not. Like PTW has said,there are false teachers out there who teach truth and error,it can be very deceptive because it may sound good and true,but mixed with a little error can be devastating....the only way to know the difference is through discernment.


    That is why I find it confusing that we do not listen and adhere to sound doctrine being taught here....and in our churches....I guess we do not agree on what is sound....how is that?
     

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