Looking over my blog stats, I easily see that readers gravitate toward articles on discernment. This tendency both frustrates and encourages me.
My frustration comes because I believe that most evangelicals make a correlation between discernment and outing false teachers. And, while sometimes we in fact do need to name names and expose trends that subtly contradict the Bible, discernment bloggers run the risk of branding orthodox believers as heretics merely because of small areas of disagreement. Really, we don’t need to die on every hill. Much less should we crucify each other each time we believe we see a hill. Turning discernment blogs into yellow journalism never honors the Lord.
The interest in discernment encourages me, however, when readers desire discernment in order to please Christ. Scripture teaches that we must grow in knowledge (and therefore discernment) for the purpose of pleasing Him. A passage I read just this morning reinforces the relationship between Scriptural knowledge and holy behavior.
9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; ~~Colossians 1:9-10 (ESV)
The term, “spiritual wisdom,” essentially means “discernment,” making it plain that Paul prayed for the Lord to fill Christians with the ability to recognize His truth and apply it accurately. But verse 10 expands on that idea by revealing the reason believers need discernment. Biblical discernment enables us to please the Lord.
I know I wrote about the relationship between discernment and personal holiness only last week, but a variety of circumstances in the past few months have convinced me that there’s a huge disconnect among people who claim to be discerning. From what I see, people regard discernment as nothing more than an ability to spot false teachers, totally ignoring the purpose of true spiritual wisdom and understanding in their own conduct.
Because of this disconnect, I hope to write more articles challenging you (and challenging myself as well) towards developing Biblical discernment that we can then apply to our daily lives. These articles won’t be a series. Rather, I’m proposing a direction for The Outspoken TULIP.
This direction isn’t exactly new, but it will become more defined from this point onward as we examine Biblical discernment and its practical implications. Occasionally we will continue calling out false teachers and unbiblical trends that derail evangelicals from the truth, but even then we will do so with the aim of promoting personal holiness that honors the Lord. Essentially, ladies, we’ll discourage the shallow view of discernment as a tool for hunting down heresy in favor of encouraging godly wisdom that produces godly behavior.
If you want “discernment” articles that merely expose false teachers, this blog isn’t for you. But if you want to develop Biblical discernment in ways that help you become godly women, please stay with me. We’ll learn together, as I know I still need to work on areas of sin in my life. But we’ll definitely learn discernment in ways that lead us to honor the Lord Jesus Christ. And that’s the purpose of discernment.