Discernment – The Deciding Factor

Spiritual frauds and shysters would rather you not exercise discernment. Popular charismatic ministries discourage any real self-examination or analysis of truth and error. To do so, would unveil their unscrupulous ways. They even go so far to say that to point out doctrinal error would be harmful to the cause of Christ. One of these is Paul Crouch, founder of Trinity Broadcasting Network. He discourages any form of critical assessment. He says “When we get [to heaven] the true believers should have worked it out in agape love and, if not, the Lord Himself will reveal to all who was right and who was wrong.”

Actually, that is as far from the truth as can be. Jesus warns us many times to be careful about error and false doctrine and that we must exercise sound judgment. The idea that one day it will come as a big surprise who was right and who was not is idealic at best, and often nothing more than a smokescreen for false teachers to hide behind. The Holy Spirit is here to teach us the truth through Godly individuals who are called to instruct us. Christ tells us that you will be able to tell which ones are false and which are not by their fruit. It is imperative that believers examine all things in life.

In these postmodern times, there has never been a more pressing need to carefully consider what we see, hear and believe than now. We must hold up all things to the light of Scripture, and while many insists that they are doing just that, it is hard to explain how so little has changed over the years in churches. The church body should be growing more consecrated and spiritually in tune with the Spirit, yet a different kind of church has emerged. While churches are to find clarity from the Word, and be ever submissive to the authority of Scriptures, Christians are becoming more worldly, committing less time and resources to the church and its ministries. According to a Barna Poll the real meat of church life that dipped substantially in the last 20 years, has been church attendance and Bible reading. We are like the man building his barns to create a more comfortable life for himself (Luke 12:13-21). To combat this 21st century dilemma where the church is at a dangerous level of comfort and appears to be in coasting mode, we must all be wise to how we manage our time, monies and abilities. We must ask ourselves whether our main interest is to further advance our living conditions, or are we are seriously looking to increase God’s Kingdom?

Foremost in this parable of the farmer is the sin of greed. He wanted greater security and comfort. He had no immediate desire for anything else. He covets his physical needs above his own soul. It resembles what goes on today. People come to Church, if they have time or are not too tired (being well rested seems a prerequisite these days before you can worship). Evangelism does not occur regularly and judging by the low attendance at church prayer meetings it no longer seems to hold people’s interests as it once did. While years of neglect and worldly influence have left the church largely lethargic and ineffectual, it can be reversed. You begin by denying self. You do this by not allowing yourself to occupy the central spot. Instead, make God your daily worship. When we are looking to Him and His interests, we are not preoccupied with ourselves. It is as simple as the following formula:

Deny self – look to Jesus – serve others.

If your thoughts are always about self, your life will become as though it were porous and any spirituality that existed will seep away. Keep your focus on Christ. Do not indulge the flesh and its lusts. Discernment means more than to judge between right and wrong doctrine, or, false and true teachers. It is the means that leads you to think and act in a manner that is consistent with truth. Concentrate your mind on whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8) The Christian that does will exercise discernment on just about everything that touches his life and will enjoy the transforming power of the Word. Knowing and then doing ignites real change. God will once again work mightily through His people. Our assemblies will once again be well attended on Sundays and prayer meeting nights. The testimony of Christ will be shared by others and a new life will be experienced.

The parable of the farmer did not end well for him. God tells us he died that night. His time had run out and along with it, any opportunity he may have had not only to be part of God’s Kingdom but to assist in building it. He was too self-absorbed to pay attention to what mattered most in life.

What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? (Mark 8:36)

We Are Not All The Same

The great threat in the mid 1950’s was the cold war between the Soviet Union and the United States. Today, the greatest threat is Islam and its ideology where acts of terror, rape and murder are occurring daily on our planet by Islamists. However, the way we respond to the current threat when compared to the way we did when risk of nuclear hostilities was near is very different. Back then the Canadian Government constructed the Diefenbunker, an underground installation for defense and government operations. Today in the face of growing Islamic terrorism, subversive ideology, and destabilization of countries, our government looks to be woefully ignorant and naive to the real face of Islam.

We have all heard of the Trojan Horse account where the enemy within poured out to capture their foe once within the city. When it happened, it was too late to do much about it. It seems we are moving in that direction. A recent CBC News headline stating that they, Muslims, are “no different than us” does show how the media along with many politicians need to grasp that Islam and Christianity are far apart.

Let’s look briefly at some of those differences as given in an article written by Ron Grey, former CHP leader, Feb 2017:

The differences are right at the heart of their faith. The Qur’an instructs them: “Do not make friends with Jews and Christians; they are friends with one another.” (Surah 5:51) This is in marked contrast to the command of Jesus to “Love your enemies and do good unto those who hate you”. The Islamic faith assigns atheists, Buddhists and Hindus to a fiery hell and mandates its own adherents to compel religious conversion and compliance by the use of force.

But the continuing message of Mohammed was—and is—to “instil terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their fingertips off them.” (Surah 8:12)

Christianity (apart from the Crusades which began as a defensive war to protect pilgrims to the Holy Land, but devolved into a war against Islam and Judaism) was not meant to be a militant faith; but Islam has always been a faith spread at the point of the sword. That’s why Prof. Samuel Huntington wrote “Islam has bloody borders.”

Islam’s present invasion of Europe is merely the continuation of an invasion that was thwarted 700 years ago at the gates of Vienna.

The Muslim Brotherhood, one of the major sponsors of terrorism through its scores of front groups like the Muslim Students’ Association, the Islamic Society of North America, and more than 50 others, has openly declared a “stealth jihad” or a “cultural jihad”; the goal, says the MB, is to take over.

Christianity made serious strides away from errant militancy in the 16th and 17th centuries, with the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic counter-reformation. Today, there are a pitiful few voices calling for a similar reformation of the Islamic faith; but they are rare—Salim Mansur and Tarek Fatah are Canadian examples; Dr. Zuhdi Jasser and Ayaan Hersi Ali are notable American exceptions. But those reformers are called “apostates” by the Wahabi imams of the many Saudi-sponsored mosques springing up throughout North America.

In Islam, there is only one penalty for apostasy: death.

Canada’s Judaeo-Christian heritage has been a bulwark defending all faiths or no faith: the Christian call to individual conscience has always meant, in this country, that each person can choose.

The brand of Islam resurgent all over the globe today does not advocate individual choice; the Qur’an openly mandates conversion of non-Muslims by offering “people of the book”—Jews and Christians—three choices: become Muslims, become dhimmis (a less-than-third-class status, subject to severe strictures and an extra head-tax called jizya), or be killed. Other non-Muslims get a much starker choice: convert to Islam or die.

No, they are not yet “just like us.” Not by a long shot.