When inaugurated The Outspoken TULIP almost four years ago, discernment blogging was considered cutting edge. Christian women aspired to identify as discerning, and proof of their abilities depended on their skill at calling out false teachers.
I planned to join their ranks.
Then the discernment blogger I most wanted to emulate repented of discernment blogging. Her reasoning simultaneously upset me and convicted me, sending me on my own quest to understand how to do discernment ministry in a way that honors the Lord Jesus Christ.
For a couple years, I’ve written several blog posts attempting to teach that Biblical discernment involves a great deal more than naming names. Not a popular position! I suspect this approach to discernment ministry has diminished my status within the discernment blogging community, and I’m quite certain I’d have many more followers had I continued openly critiquing false teachers.
Lately, however, the tide has dramatically turned against even legitimate discernment bloggers. One (a blogger I highly esteem) recently wrote a series of impassioned Tweets begging Christians not to judge all discernment ministries on the basis of “discernment ministries” that revolve around character assassination and guilt by association. Makes me wonder if people have unfairly discredited her work because of the disreputable people who are slandering godly teachers in the name of “discernment.”
The “discernment ministries” that target good teachers have rightly caused Christians to condemn them. In their eagerness to torch the reputations of anyone who even slightly disagrees with them, they’ve brought judgment on themselves. And they deserve that judgment!
37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38 give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
39 He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. 41 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye. ~~Luke 6:37-42 (ESV)
Sadly, the current trend of condemning the truly bad “discernment” bloggers has created fallout that harms legitimate discernment bloggers. The bandwagon that celebrated discernment ministries as recently as a year ago has been replaced by a new bandwagon that vilifies all discernment ministries.
Ironically, both bandwagons carry passengers that don’t have enough discernment to distinguish between legitimate ministries and gossip tabloids.