I first wrote this article over a year ago, but needed to temporarily suspend it for personal reasons.
I just listened to a thought-provoking podcast from Fighting for the Faith, in which Amy Spreeman, Steve Kozar, and Chris Rosebrough discuss Discerning Discernment. Ladies, my head is spinning right now, as I continue struggling with whether or not I classify as a “discernment blogger.” And whether or not I want to classify as a “discernment blogger.” And, most importantly, whether or not the Lord wants me to classify as a “discernment blogger.”
Discernment blogging used to carry a certain prestige in Reformed circles, as we saw various trends and evangelical celebrities corrode the Gospel by handling Scripture incorrectly and/or adding to it with subjective experiences and worldly philosophies. My regular readers will recall from my Autobiography With Purpose series that many of these doctrinal aberrations hindered my spiritual development for roughly four decades, which explains my passion for exposing doctrinal error now.
Then earlier this year, bloggers whom I highly respect began pulling back from discernment ministry. They correctly pointed out that this type of blogging often degenerates into scandal mongering gossip which depends on sensationalism to attract readers. Admittedly, I’ve sometimes put Beth Moore’s name in blog post titles knowing full well that doing so would boost my readership. Cheap trick, but it works like a charm.
Amy made a comment on that Fighting for the Faith podcast that gave me a sense of balance in this whole debate over the legitimacy of discernment ministry. She remarked that our goal isn’t so much to call out false teachers and unbiblical practices in the Church as is is to draw people back to the authority of Scripture. So many popular evangelical teachers and practices distract people from properly reading and understanding the Word of God that we need to call professing Christians (both false converts and legitimate believers) to examine everything against the standard of Scripture. Even more, we need to remind them that the Lord reveals Himself in His Word.
The debate over whether or not discernment blogging constitutes appropriate ministry will continue. It raises important questions too numerous to explore today, and my small blog certainly can’t cast any decisive verdicts.
But I do believe this 63-year-old housewife from Massachusetts can use her past experiences with doctrinal error to guide younger women to better study of God’s Word. I make no claim of infallibility (and in fact plead with you to hold my writing up against Scripture to make sure I present Biblical ideas), but I desire to encourage women toward properly understanding sound doctrine . I’ve learned that Biblical doctrine is the only way any of us can know the Lord as He has revealed Himself, and that worshiping Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24) requires that we continually seek Him in the pages of Scripture.
Regardless of whether or not I can consider myself a “discernment blogger,” I pray that I can inspire women to open their Bibles and know the Lord Jesus Christ. Discernment must have no other goal than to direct people to Him!