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Do our values determine how we think and behave, and even so, does it matter? 

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #59 of Discerning What Is Best, a podcast applying unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, and a Christian worldview to current issues and everyday life.

 

There’s an aphorism in political philosophy: “ideas have consequences.”  Many attribute this to University of Chicago conservative political philosopher Richard Weaver’s book by that title in 1948. But the concept probably goes back to the Greeks.

Theologian John Piper noted how Victor Frankl, a Jewish professor of neurology and psychiatry, who was imprisoned in the Nazi concentration camps of Auschwitz and Dachau during World War II, and later became world renowned for his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, in which he shared the essence of his philosophy that came to be called Logotherapy—that the most fundamental human motive is to find meaning in life. He observed in the horrors of the concentration camps that human beings can endure almost any “how” of life, if they have a “why.” 

Later in life in his 90s, Frankl said, “I am absolutely convinced that the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Maidanek were ultimately prepared not in some ministry or other in Berlin, but rather at the desks and in the lecture halls of nihilistic scientists and philosophers.”

What he was saying is that ideas have consequences, for good or for evil.

The Nazis demonstrated this, crafting a comprehensive empire in just a couple of decades, one that ended in destruction and death, the logical consequences of their false ideas and ideology.

God created human beings in his image as reasoning, thinking, moral agents, people who can evaluate and make choices, whether motivated by nobility or ignobility. What people believe matters.

During the World Cup, word began circulating from Iran that an Iranian professional footballer had been arrested, accused of “waging war against God,” and sentenced to death. 

Whether this tragedy occurs, he is by far not the only one scheduled for execution. People who are not famous, unknown to the world, are giving their lives for liberty. They will be killed because religious authorities hold to immoral ideas, which have consequences.

John Piper pointed to the Bible’s observation, “Whatever was written in former days was written…[that] we might have hope,” (Rom 15:4). The ideas presented in the Scriptures produce the practical consequence of hope.”

Ideas in Scripture – that is to say, revealed truth, principles – are there for our benefit so that we may know how to order our lives in a fallen world to serve God and others, to be free and productive, and to flourish.

Regimes like the one in Iran embrace ideas arranged in ideologies that lead to tyranny, destruction, and death.

In the U.S., we’re awash with ideas producing negative consequences. 

--Identity politics leads to oversensitivity, cancel culture, seeing racism in everything, and more.

--An assumption that all human beings are basically good, generally the victim of their circumstances and environment, and a sense that all cultures are equal or relative, leads to consequences like the belief police are bad, secure borders are unnecessary, and crime is just the poor getting what they deserve.

--If we embrace the idea sex is just a physical act and nothing more, among the consequences is a celebration of the sexual revolution in all its perverse forms including now the sexualization of children, along with the ongoing hedonism and promiscuity promoted every day by celebrities and online influencers, something that only ends in degradation of lives and families.

--If we don’t think the idea of sin is valid, the consequence is we look for psychological sources to blame for problems, wrong choices, and evil. It becomes easier to call people’s bad behavior “mental illness.”  Take Kanye West, now called “Ye,” for example

I’m not arguing there is no such thing as genuine mental illness or that we should not care about or care for people struggling with mental illness. 

I’m simply observing that “mental illness” is now a media “go to” whenever some celebrity behaves badly. It’s a convenient “Get out of jail free” card.

Kanye West has a history of abominable statements, including recently making antisemitic comments. He seems to get a pass from a lot media anchors who say, well, he’s sick, he’s mentally ill, and that’s it. Few people say, Kanye is making wrong choices based upon wrong values and he needs to repent before the Lord.

Ideas have consequences.

Jesus said, “What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them,” Matt 15:11. “But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person,” Matt 15:18-20.

In another passage of Scripture, Jesus said, “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. 

People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of,” Luke 6:43-45.

What is in our heart is what matters, which is to say, our ideas, whatever the source, what we believe has consequences. These consequences emerge in how we think, behave, and the ways we approach living in this world.

In the Old Testament, we were enjoined to “Buy the truth and do not sell it—wisdom, instruction and insight as well,” (Prov. 23:23).

The late Christian philosopher Francis A. Schaeffer observed something similar. “Most people,” he said, “catch their presuppositions from their family and surrounding society, the way that a child catches the measles.

But people with understanding realize that their presuppositions should be *chosen* after a careful consideration of which worldview is true.” 

If indeed ideas have consequences, and clearly, they do, then as Schaeffer reminded us, we should take care to choose carefully our presuppositions, which are our basic ideas or assumptions about life. We need to do what Solomon said in Proverbs, “Buy the truth and do not sell it.”

In the early 21st Century, a time saturated by information and online influencers promoting every evil known to humanity, and at a time when culture has rejected the idea of moral or even scientific absolutes, it is imperative individuals, especially Christians, stay moored to truth. For our own sanity and for the well-being of society, we must critique all ideas, recognize their consequences, and stand for truth.

Ideas have consequences.

Believe and act on false ideas and you will sadly, even if enjoyably for a season, drift with the masses along the broad road to destruction.

Believe and act on truthful ideas, and you will be a beacon of light in a dark world, a testimony that there is – still – love, beauty, blessing, and hope.

Well, we’ll see you again soon. This podcast is about Discerning What Is Best. If you find this thought-provoking and helpful, follow us on your favorite podcast platform. Download an episode for your friends. For more Christian commentary, check my website, r-e-x-m as in Martin, that’s rexmrogers.com. 

And remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm.

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2022   

*This podcast blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.  

Have you ever found yourself in a conversation, using words you learned in the media but words with which you disagree?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #52 of Discerning What Is Best, a podcast applying unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, and a Christian worldview to current issues and everyday life.

For a while now I have been thinking that conservatives or Christians specifically are losing ground in the culture wars in part because the words we’re using are developed and defined by those with whom we disagree.

The abortion debate ran into this a long time ago. People who support abortion as a legal option for ending a pregnancy, never talk like this. They talk about “reproductive health” or “reproductive freedom.” They refer to themselves not as pro-abortion but as pro-choice, and they now refer to those who oppose abortion as “anti-women.” 

If you talk about transgenderism and you say something like “trans affirming” or “transphobic,” you just referenced the topic at hand using vocabulary developed by those who promote trans ideology. If you say you do not believe trans men should be permitted to participate in girls and women’s sports, then media will not describe you as protecting women or pro-girls but as “anti-trans.” If you are a parent that does not support your child’s desire to live a trans lifestyle and possibly to medically transition, then you are described by school districts as a threat, the bigoted enemy. In some states, parents can be prosecuted for not unquestioningly supporting their child’s pursuit of transgenderism. Author J.K. Rowling, who has expressed a preference for calling herself and other female persons, “women,” as opposed to womyn or some other twist on female status vs trans women, has been attacked as “trans exclusionary.”

If you talk about pregnancy and you say “pregnant people” rather than pregnant women, you just bought into the ideology promoting the anti-scientific, anti-biblical idea that men can have babies.

If you say, “sexual orientation” or “gender fluidity,” words now so common they have their own acronym, SOGI, you just acknowledged if not affirmed that sexuality is somehow a choice, an orientation, and that gender, a socially constructed concept to begin with, not only exists separate from biological sex but it can change, that “being binary” as is now said is not the only option.

The new fad concern for pronouns, as in when you meet someone you say, “My name is Rex and I use the pronouns he/him/his. Are there any names or pronouns I can use to best respect you?” is now a commonplace in media, education, and corporate life. In other words, to be in sync with the “prevailing acceptable narrative,” one must use the right pronouns, so a boy or girl who declare he or she is some version of non-binary, now demands that everyone refer to him or her as “they” or “ze” or “Xe” or one of an indefinite and always changing set of neopronouns used by the gender non-conforming, which is to say, those who reject their divinely determined biological sex. So, we’re considered disrespectful if we do not use these ostensibly gender-neutral pronouns and we’re expected to declare our own—on emails and other publications—even if we do not agree or otherwise participate in this gender confusion.

If you want to discuss race relations and begin with phrases like “white fragility” or “whiteness” or “white supremacy,” you just bought into a set of assumptions and cultural interpretations that bias the discussion in favor of leftist views of oppression, race, and justice. Even the phrase, “Black lives matter,” needs definition. If you mean the organization, then you are promoting a host of values unsupportable in a Christian worldview. If you mean simply that the lives of black persons matter, then absolutely the phrase rings true, as does “all lives matter” or “blue lives matter,” though again, the problem confronting us is that any and all words or phrasing—especially on social media—can quickly be turned on their axis to represent a stated or implied political posture in opposition to or even attacking another point of view.  

The word “equity” is now regularly used in place of “equality,” the former meaning sameness of outcome or result and the latter originally meaning sameness of opportunity. Equity assumes injustice and unfairness if any differences exist, whereas equality—this word, too, a victim of political revisionism—historically meant everyone is able to begin, to live, to pursue moral interests without opposition. Today, equity is the penultimate goal, equality is a means to achieve it.

If you say, “women’s rights,” a concept that would seem to be something Christians and conservatives should embrace, and indeed they do, you still need to define your term because in many usages today this phrase is a euphemism for abortion advocacy. Point being from the left, women’s rights are unattainable without full-on abortion-on-demand up and possibly after actual birth.

Same for the phrase “social justice,” a concept that is now so thoroughly immersed in Marxist, socialist, or secular progressive values as to have no alignment with what the Bible means when it talks about justice.

“Climate change” is another phrase that’s been defined, redefined, adulterated, and propagandized to the point it is almost unusable. And even if you use it, you still need to say what you mean, or better what you do not mean, by the phrase because undergirding much of the push for climate change policies is a secular, progressive, globalist big government, anti-capitalist intention. What that form of climate change is about is much more than Creation care, environmental stewardship, or conservation.

“The fact is, for the (climate cataclysm cabal) rants and demands aren’t about climate change. They’re about control. Control of our energy and economic future. Our jobs and living standards. The kinds of homes we can have, and how much we can heat and cool them. What kinds of cars we can have, and how far we can drive them. What we can hear, see, read, learn, think and say, under full-throttle Green Fascism.”

I’ve shared a few examples of the utter chaos that is now the English language, chaos that did not just happen but is rooted in a wholesale postmodern, post-Christian cultural rejection of Judeo-Christian values and the abundant Western Civilization those values made possible.

As I have said many times and will necessarily keep saying it, in a culture that has jettisoned the idea of absolute truth, including moral absolutes and often including God himself, there is nothing left to hold the culture together. There is no other so-called metanarrative comprehensive and true for all times countries and cultures that can define reality as God defined it at Creation. There is only the Tower of Babel, confusion. 

So, we live in a time when word salads are our daily experience.

The key for our Christian witness is to speak truth. This likely means we must work harder to understand how words are being defined, particularly if they are biased in the direction of a worldview or ideology with which we cannot agree, and then determine how we should define them in terms of our Christian faith.

Our task is to know our own convictions, to be informed, and to take courage in expressing our Christian worldview.

As Scripture reminds us, “Buy the truth and do not sell it—wisdom, instruction and insight as well,” (Prov. 23:23).

In a time of division and confusion, careful, truthful communication can be a light in the darkness.

Well, we’ll see you again soon. This podcast is about Discerning What Is Best. If you find this thought-provoking and helpful, follow us on your favorite podcast platform. Download an episode for your friends. For more Christian commentary, check my website, r-e-x-m as in Martin, that’s rexmrogers.com. 

And remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm.

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2022   

*This podcast blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.  

How did American culture get to a point where a distinguished nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States could be asked the question, “Can you define ‘woman’?” and respond with a straight face, “I’m not a biologist. I’m a judge”? 

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #46 of Discerning What Is Best, a podcast applying unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, and a Christian worldview to current issues and everyday life.

In the Garden of Eden, the Serpent lied when he said, “You will not certainly die. For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil,” (Gen. 3:5).

Later in Scripture, Jesus described the Serpent or Satan or the Devil as “a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44).

Having rejected the idea of truth and moral absolutes, American culture is now awash in lies, exactly what the father of lies wants—not lies that snuck up on us but ones our elites are promoting as the alternative facts by which we should order our lives. In a culture like this, wherein our youth are being taught outright falsehoods in the name of science, safety, diversity, inclusion, and equity, what do we expect of the future?

Thomas Sowell said, “Ours may become the first civilization destroyed, not by the power of our enemies, but by the ignorance of our teachers and the dangerous nonsense they are teaching our children.”

Consider this short list of lies:

It is a lie to say God does not exist, or if he does, he’s not involved in human history.

It is a lie that human beings can live by their own truth.

It is a lie to argue human beings are essentially good, that no evil resides within them, and that evil only comes from one’s environment.

It is a lie to believe sin is illusory or imaginary, inconsequential, or irrelevant.

It is a lie that human beings can just “follow their heart” or “trust themselves” and all will be well.

It is a lie that we can do whatever is right in our own eyes, that this is freedom, and that this life bears no consequences.

It is a lie that good works get people into heaven.

It is a lie to say that men or boys can become women or girls, and women or girls can become men or boys.

It is a lie to suggest two same-sex persons can form a moral marriage.

It is a lie to believe that human beings are sexually non-binary and represent—last count over 100—hybrid varieties of sex that are personally or socially determined.

It is a lie to live as if promiscuous, premarital, or extramarital sex can be pursued without negative consequences to soul and body. 

It is a lie to argue that all that matters in sexual relationships is “consent,” and that any consenting sexual engagement is permissible and good.

It is a lie to argue that non-affirmation of LGBTQ+ lifestyle choices is intolerance, bigotry, or hate.

It is a lie to substitute the state, negating the essential character of the nuclear family.

It is a lie to say men can have babies.

It is a lie to argue pornography and prostitution are victimless crimes.

It is a lie to say patriotism is ipso facto imperialistic oppression

It is a lie to promote the idea socialism results in anything other than loss of freedom.

It is a lie to argue America began in 1619, the product of slavery and white supremacy.

It is a lie to contend that society is at bottom the history of class conflict and that only the state can bring about a utopian classless society.

It is a lie to argue that economics determines all things.

It is a lie to contend that unalienable human rights can originate in the nation-state or the United Nations, a ruler, or regime, or any source other than as described in the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.”

It is a lie to argue race, one’s skin color, determines truth.

It is a lie to believe silencing ideas that are offensive is more important than freedom of religion and freedom of speech.

It is a lie to contend that religion, specifically Christianity, is historically the primary source of wars, violence, and oppression of women and minorities.

It is a lie to believe disagreement with ideas is an attack on the person or the person’s identity who is promulgating the ideas.

It is a lie to substitute children’s rights for parental rights in the name of sexual liberation.

It is a lie to say promotion and presentation of nudity is an affirmation of “body positivity.”

It is a lie to contend that if you believe in merit, individualism, capitalism, or democracy, you are a racist. 

It is a lie to promote woke philosophies of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the name of racial equity when what they produce is division, new racism, anti-freedom of religion or anti-freedom of speech, and destruction of academic standards of excellence.

It is a lie to claim that if you are a member of a perceived oppressed group, you cannot be racist.

It is a lie to deny sin in the human heart while relocating all sin or evil in systems or the environment or politics or oppressor classes.

It is a lie to say that all cultural practices are relative, that no judgment can be made about good or bad, right or wrong, even what constitutes beauty, and should judgment be offered, it is evidence of bigotry and intolerance.

It is a lie to claim that if you oppose Islam you are Islamophobic, if you oppose transgenderism you are transphobic, if you oppose same-sex marriage you are homophobic.

It is a lie to say that those who oppose abortion are extremists or that those who are prochoice are promoting women’s reproductive health or “reproductive justice.”

It is a lie to claim that calling sinners to repentance is bullying.

It is a lie to affirm lies in the name of love.

It is a lie to believe that digital activity is a substitute for parenting, that hours online are harmless, and that what kids learn online won’t hurt them.

It is a lie to believe that a borderless, globalist world without nations and citizenship is anything other than a path to loss of freedom.

It is a lie to believe that discussions simply synthesizing ideas without evaluation or judgment, leads to truth. For as Francis A. Schaeffer said, “Truth carries with it confrontation. Truth demands confrontation; loving confrontation, but confrontation nevertheless.” Truth is not bought by synthesis but by antithesis wherein truth confronts falsehood.

Cultural critic Rod Dreher asks, “Why are people so willing to believe demonstrable lies?” Then he answers his own question: “The desperation alienated people have for a story that helps them make sense of their lives and tells them what to do explains it.” 

The American people no longer have a sound moral understanding, so they are adrift, increasingly anxious, willing to embrace falsehood if it gives them a feeling of security. This is enormously dangerous because it provides an opening for authoritarianism, or if you please, socialism, statism, loss of freedom.

Many American elites earn their living promoting lies. So, lies are everywhere perpetrated in American culture as the “prevailing acceptable narrative,” a viewpoint one stands against at one’s risk like never before in American history. 

Yet Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the great Russian intellectual, exhorted the Russian people to “live not by lies.”

Americans it must be said are increasingly living by lies. So, it is not untimely to ask, how long can a culture last built upon lies? 

Well, we’ll see you again soon. This podcast is about Discerning What Is Best. If you find this thought-provoking and helpful, follow us on your favorite podcast platform. Download an episode for your friends. For more Christian commentary, check my website, r-e-x-m as in Martin, that’s rexmrogers.com. 

And remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm.

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2022   

*This podcast blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.  

Have you heard that men can now have babies? I know. It surprised me too, but it’s a new truth in this Orwellian age.

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #44 of Discerning What Is Best, a podcast applying unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, and a Christian worldview to current issues and everyday life.

Truth is now under attack. Satan, the father of lies, has America in his crosshairs (Jn 8:44), and he is using contemporary philosophies, “isms” if you will, to lead people to suppress the truth in wickedness (Rom. 1:18).

As was said in the days of Isaiah, “truth is nowhere to be found” (Is. 59:15), or in the days of Jeremiah, “truth has perished; it has vanished from their lips” (Jer. 7:28), or the days of Daniel, “truth was thrown to the ground” (Dan. 8:12).

The attack shows up in references to “your truth” and “my truth” or “she has to live by her truth,” or “no one should force their truth on someone else.”

But you say, “It’s common sense.” Not anymore. You say, “It’s obvious.” Not anymore. Or you say, “Wait, it’s part of nature and natural law.” Not anymore. No, truth is no longer alignment with divine revelation and the evidence of creation. Truth is whatever we want it to be.

Truth under attack is apparent in a host of irrational statements our culture is now expected to accept as fact. Have you heard these amazing new “truths”?

  1. What’s in a womb is not a baby, just a fetus, not human unless it is wanted, or at least until it is born, and then it may still be at risk in the minds of those who believe a woman and a doctor should be able to decide whether the newborn should live.
  2. Biological sex at birth is not immutablebut is socially determined, thus boys can identify as, then transition to become girls, while girls can identify as, then transition to become boys.
  3. Men can become pregnant and have babies, hence we no longer have mothers but “birthing persons.”
  4. Abortion does not involve a baby human being but rather is about a woman’s control over her own body, is essential to reproductive health, and is a human right.
  5. Crime and violence are not lawlessness, just the poor and other victims of white privilege doing what’s only fair.
  6. “Gender is no more regarded as a binary concept where one can either be a male or a female. It has emerged as a continuum or spectrum where one can identify themselves as any of the gender identities. The term gender identity means how a person identifies themselves concerning their gender. It may be regardless of their anatomy or genetics…The idea is to make everyone feel comfortable in their skin irrespective of what gender they wereassigned at birth.” That was a quote. Notice the last phrase, “assigned at birth,” which reinforces the idea that someone arbitrarily labeled the baby a boy or girl, rather than sex being a biological given.
  7. Same-sex marriage is normal.
  8. Each person is determined by skin color, sexual orientation, or gender.

Those of us who disagree with these new “prevailing acceptable narratives” can now be ostracized on social media, lose employment, have reputations destroyed, or otherwise be “cancelled.”

People who oppose abortion are now labeled “abortion extremists,” “anti-woman,” and a threat to freedom.

People who believe biology matters, and who disagree that a person can decide to change sex in order to participate in sports or frequent bathrooms designed for the opposite sex, are accused of bigotry and hatred.

Nor is religion any longer accorded an honored space. Revisionists reinterpret history claiming religion is a greater source of human violence than secularism. 

No matter that this is upside down. The murderous record of 20th Century secular Nazi and Communist regimes alone puts the lie to this supposedly new “truth.”

In America today, Judeo-Christian values drawn from the Bible are being described as a means of preserving white patriarchy and white supremacy. This, too, is a lie.

Pedophiles, who once were called perverted, are now being described as simply “minor attracted persons.” Drag queens reading to grade school children is said to be about diversity and inclusion, not about normalizing twisted and degraded sexuality.

The attack on truth took on new urgency in the 1960s with the emergence of something called “moral relativism,” the idea that there are no absolute, objectively definable, and knowable truths. Everything is relative. Thus, nothing can be said to be better, right vs wrong, more beautiful, correct. Truth is unknowable.

In his writings in the 1970s and to his death in 1984, Christian philosopher Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer recognized this cultural threat when he coined the phrase “true truth.” From a Christian perspective, this phrase is redundant, but Schaeffer found it necessary to convey what he meant by truth, real objective truth, in an age given to relativizing all statements.

In the early 21st Century, human feelings now matter more than objective reality, and if you say you disagree with a person, thus hurting their feelings, you are guilty of stomping upon their human rights. 

In a culture that no longer believes in truth, a culture that has repeatedly rejected moral absolutes, to say you believe something is true is grating to the ear, judgmental, bigoted, offensive, and even irrational or crazy. 

But Schaeffer reminded us, “Truth carries with it confrontation. Truth demands confrontation; loving confrontation, but confrontation nevertheless.” Truth, true truth, challenges error, falsehood, lies.

To “buy the truth and do not sell it,” as it says in Proverbs (23:23), can come with a price. To those who do not want to hear, those who are in the language of the Old King James “willingly ignorant” (2 Pet. 3:5), truth is the enemy. You who hold and express the truth are the enemy. If we state truth, as we should, we will face opposition, ridicule, maybe rejection and hurt from our own family and friends.

But the price of not holding fast to the truth and of not speaking the truth in love is enormously high. 

If there is no truth, there are no inalienable human rights, no real freedom. If there is no truth, there is no trust because one can never be sure or certain. We’re left with deceit, pain, disillusionment.

People wonder, “What’s happening to America? It seems like we’ve gone nuts, that nothing is valued, not patriotism, not law and order, not decency. It’s like we’re a different country.”

Well, we are a different country, at least in the sense that great swaths of the population now embrace ideas and values, an entire worldview, that would be foreign even to the criminal element a generation ago.

The idea there is no truth, nothing trustworthy, not even God for many people, undermines everything else we experience. And this attack on truth is being propagated from the White House and the U.S. Congress, state capitals, courtrooms, the ivy halls of academia from kindergarten to graduate school, corporate messaging, sports, entertainment, and the arts.

Scripture says, “When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Ps. 11:3). What do we do? We speak truth. In an age of untruth, of attack on truth, our greatest testimony is to be people of truth, to live truthfully, to speak truthfully.

In Jesus’s prayer of John 17, he said, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world” (Jn 17:17-18).

We are to be in the world but not of the world even as we go into the world.

And we are to speak truth. We will face opposition. We may be harassed or in some way hampered. But God is God. He cannot be canceled. His truth remains forever.

Well, we’ll see you again soon. This podcast is about Discerning What Is Best. If you find this thought-provoking and helpful, follow us on your favorite podcast platform. Download an episode for your friends. For more Christian commentary, check my website, r-e-x-m as in Martin, that’s rexmrogers.com. 

And remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm.

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2022   

*This podcast blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.  

Isn’t it amazing to hear seemingly sophisticated people saying things that seem to lack common sense?  Does common sense even exist anymore?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #15 of Discerning What Is Best, a podcast applying unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, and a Christian worldview to current issues and everyday life.

The idea of “common sense” goes back to Aristotle and, generally, refers to a kind of basic awareness or ability to perceive, understand, and judge in a manner that shared by nearly all people.

But for there to be common sensepeople need to believe certain thing in common. In other words, they, and the culture they produce, embrace certain understandings, what the philosophers call “presuppositions,” about God, humanity, the created order, right and wrong. We order our lives around such presuppositions. 

But we now live in an upside-down age that defies presuppositions rooted in Christian faith. Consequently, we live in an irrational age. Pretty much, like the days of Noah, people do whatever they want to do, when they want to do it, with whom they want to do it. This sounds good. Sort of sounds like freedom.     

But what we’re doing doesn't add up. No matter if you measure by history, religion, moral philosophy, nature, or common sense, the answer is the same: a lot of what we’re doing is irrational, i.e., it makes no sense.     

Why? Because so much of what we’re doing jettisons concern for right or wrong, defies faith and reason, and is disconnected from reality as God designed it.This is the very definition of irrational.      

Freedom is a wonderful thing, a blessing, and a gift from God to humanity. God created us with free will. It’s part of being made in his image.

But freedom works best, guided by belief in God, individual responsibility, and personal accountability. For freedom to thrive, it needs a culture wherein moral concerns remind us that life is best when lived within divine parameters.

The Scripture says it like this: “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love” (Galatians 5:13).    

But these are old ideas, ones contemporary culture no longer recognizes. We want no one, least of all religion or even duty to God and country telling us what we cannot do. 

Freedom to act with a moral compass of our own devising, freedom to do what’s right in our own eyes is what we want, and we’re chasing after this wind with all we’re worth.    

This podcast is about Discerning What Is Best. If you find this thought-provoking and helpful, follow us on your favorite podcast platform. Download an episode for your friends.

And I don’t just mean “bad people,” the violent, the murderer, the rapist. Certainly, they act with no regard for anything but their own gratification, rage, or emptiness.      

Nor do I mean just the bold, often articulate, or creative, secularists, atheists, or hedonists among us. We know them today. If not “celebrities,” they’re called “influencers,” a term that means individuals who post their shallow values online, day in and day out, for millions of followers to read and emulate.

But these celebrity influencers are not a cause but a symptom. They’ve become who they are because they’ve been enabled by a culture enamored by the beautiful people, their high rent looks, or outrageous behavior, or material excess.   

So, when I say we’re riding hell-bent for leather into irrationality, I don’t mean just the wayward ones out in la-la land. I mean “us,” our culture.     

Contemporary culture—meaning our “way of life”—seems bent upon finding ways to embrace, even promote ideas, attitudes, values, and practices earlier cultures, and earlier generations in our culture, considered lacking in common sense. Indeed, in much of this, contemporary culture is celebrating irrationality.     

Some of the ideas, attitudes, values, and practices we’ve recently embraced are irreverent, some are immoral, some are ill advised, and some, at least at one time, were illegal

I say, “recently embraced,” but Solomon reminded us in the book of Ecclesiastes that there are no new practices under the sun, just old ones recycled (Ecclesiastes 1:9).     

Of course, what one calls irreverent, immoral, ill advised, or illegal depends upon one’s worldview. What you believe—your presuppositions—about God, life, and truth influences what ideas, attitudes, values, and practices you consider legitimate. This is the prime reason contemporary culture celebrates irrationality. It does so because the current cultural zeitgeist, or “spirit of the age,” has jettisoned the idea of moral absolutes in favor of a new (ironically) absolute called “moral relativism.”   

According to moral relativism, ultimate truth doesn’t exist…or if it does, it can’t be discerned or defined. And moral relativism also rejects the existence of clearly knowable, objectively established truth. In place of ultimate truth, or knowable, objective truth, contemporary culture affirms the idea, “There is no truth” or “What’s true for you may not be true for me.”     

Consequently, since we can know nothing for sure, we cannot believe anything for sureIf we can know nothing and can believe nothing for sure, what we believe and, therefore, what we do does not matter.     

A culture that does not believe in objective truth is vulnerable. Well, actually it is wide-open, to subjective “truth.” In other words, if we don’t believe truth is determined outside of us than it must be OK to determine it within us. 

But this idea doesn’t work well, because human beings have depraved hearts and minds (Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 1:28), so, what’s inside us is not strawberries and cream but darkness, a capacity for and an inclination to evil.

Scripture repeatedly describes human beings as created good and for good. Yes, humanity by God’s design started out well. But with what’s called the Fall, human beings gave over their hearts to sin and depravity.      

Scripture uses phrases like “willingly ignorant” or “deliberately forget.” We forget on purpose what is right (2 Peter 3:5). We are influenced by sin’s “powerful delusion” (2 Thessalonians 2:11). We “suppress the truth by…wickedness,” we function with futile thinking and foolish hearts, and we “exchange the truth of God for a lie” (Romans 1: 18, 21, 25).     

We’re so good at this we “invent ways of doing evil” and in terms of our evil ways of life we “not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them” (Romans 1:30, 32).     

This approach to what’s right allows us to determine what to do based upon personal experience, or the new catch phrase—“fairness”—as opposed to deciding what’s righteous or what’s best, based upon biblical doctrine (Philippians 1:9-11), Church teaching, history, or even “natural law.”    

So, if we want to have our cake and eat it too, or if we think “just the right amount of wrong” is a sustainable lifestyle, then what’s to stop us from joining Frank Sinatra and singing the classic humanist anthem:

“And may I say, not in a shy way
Oh, no, oh, no, not me, I did it my wayFor what is a man, what has he got?

If not himself, then he has not
To say the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels

The record shows I took the blows
And did it my way

Yes, it was my way.”

My way…

If we want to get an abortion, it’s my way.     

If we want to say heterosexual relationships outside monogamous marriage are OK, well then, “If you can't be with the one you love honey, Love the one you're with.”     

If we think we can win not just a race, we can beat the races, than why not gamble with abandon? Life is just a crapshoot anyway so let it ride.           

If we want to believe life began by chance and that human beings are descended from some animalistic humanoid, it’s my way.      

If we want to spend beyond our means including spending other peoples’ means (our children and grandchildren), there’s no piper to be paid, no reckoning. It’s all going to work out. It’s my way.     

If we think God is an unnecessary hypothesis, that we can live life, and apparently the afterlife, without him, then what’s stopping us from creating our world and our future in our image? It’s my way.

And that’s the problem. We’re creating an increasingly scary world with a scarier future.          

Celebrating irrationality is not rational. 

Our culture cannot sustain itself indefinitely with this kind of pell-mell rush to senselessness. Yet lemming-like, we keep running toward the cliff.

But God is still the God who created reality. If we want to celebrate rationality, to exercise common sense, do it God’s Way.

 

Well, we’ll see you again soon. For more Christian commentary, be sure to subscribe to this podcast, Discerning What Is Best, or check my website, r-e-x-m as in Martin, that’s rexmrogers.com. And remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm.

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2022   

*This podcast blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.  

I used to think today’s version of the Scripture’s “false prophets” were just shyster preachers. But the Devil is more subtle.  Think about it.  Who do we watch, and to whom do we listen?  Who are the most influential purveyors of false ideas in American culture today?   

 

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #5 of Discerning What Is Best, a podcast applying unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, and a Christian worldview to current issues and everyday life.

Every day, present-day “false prophets” intentionally and effectively attack the core beliefs and values of the Christian Church and American culture. 

This is a growing existential threat, for Judeo-Christian values no longer provide a “sacred canopy” over American culture. Historic, foundational biblical values are no longer ascendant, respected, or even referenced by a vast cross-section of society. 

So false prophets now practice their craft with little resistance.

The New Testament contains many admonishments about individuals who (2 Peter 2), motivated by greed or arrogance, attempt to speak for God, (Jude 4). 

The Apostle Peter also cites “false teachers,” who propagate “destructive heresies.” Peter warned us these are people who ‘will bring the way of truth into disrepute and…will exploit you with stories they have made up” (2 Peter 2:1-3).

Scripture says, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves,” (Matthew 7:15-16)

False prophets are people who speak untruth while at times claiming they speak for God and his Word.

Present-day false prophets—wolves in sheep’s clothing—are thriving. They promote ideas, philosophies, and ideologies contradictory to biblical teaching, antithetical to Christianity, subversive to the Church, and destructive to a free culture. 

Present-day false prophets are exercising considerable influence

--in public schools --on university campuses 

--on political stages 

--in media entertainment 

–through social media 

--via bestsellers 

--in corporate training sessions 

--in government 

--even in the US military. 

Some false prophets are what’s now called, “online influencers,” people operating lucrative websites, video channels, or social media sites, marketing lies, especially to young people.  

Who are these false prophets? Well, they can be intellectuals/professors, politicians, activists, or celebrities. 

Present-day false prophets market political correctness, woke cancel culture, open hostility to a biblical worldview of law, order, and justice. They tout grand nihilistic ideologies and economic or racial determinism. They celebrate rebellion in the name of absolute freedom. They promote tribalistic identity politics and a culture of fear, and they sow chaos, madness, division, and discord, for these conditions are their path to power.

Present-day false prophets are active every day in the nation’s schools from kindergarten through graduate university, promoting anti-biblical views of human sexuality, sharing ideas with grade schoolers that are so perverse I haven’t stated them in this podcast.

Present-day false prophets use critical race theory to teach reductionist racial division, animosity, and victimhood. Some promote racism in the name of “anti-racism.”

Among entertainment celebrities, false prophets present selfie-dominated hedonism, i.e., wear fewer clothes with each Instagram picture, hop in and out of intimate relationships, and live for self-gratification, as demonstrated in their latest TikTok video. 

The message many celebrity-false prophets offer is the sexual revolution and materialism writ large. It’s Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

This podcast is about Discerning What Is Best.  If you find this thought-provoking and helpful, look for us on your favorite podcast platform.  Download an episode for your friends. 

False prophets believe in no truth, no right and wrong. But their “no truth” philosophy has practical consequences:

  • If no truth > no life-changing Word,
  • No truth > no Holy God, 
  • No truth > no law and order, no justice = only lawless riots, crime,
  • No truth > no sin = only a non-judgmental anything goes, all problems are psychological, therapeutic, So there is no forgiveness, no remedy, no hope,  
  • No truth > no freedom = no inalienable human rights…that leaves only power.

The battle today is not between Republicans and Democrats. 

Neither Democrats nor Republicans are ultimately or sufficiently committed to lasting objective ideals. They are about power too.

Consequently, neither Party’s politicians—at least most of them—are positioned to put up much resistance, so neither Party is going to slow the influence of present-day false prophets. 

In fact, our challenge today is spiritual not politicaland there are no political solutions to spiritual problems.

The battle today is between a morally relativistic, humanistic vision of society that acknowledges no truth versus an historic Judeo-Christian vision of society that acknowledges the Sovereign Creator God of the Bible. 

I don’t know if we are yet in the “end times” the Bible talks about, though some believers, including my Mother, believe that we are and she may be correct.

But either way, these are dark days, and our days are likely to get darker, but we need not despair.  

God is not surprised by 21st Century issues any more than he was surprised when Lincoln prayed in the White House during the Civil War.

Present-day false prophets—celebrities, influencers, ideologues—may challenge the Church, they may enjoy a season of cultural success, but the end of their false ideas is certain, for God is still God.

Pastor John Piper said, “The shape of error is always changing. You can’t preach enough negative sermons to stay ahead of it. And you don’t have to. The best protection against the darkness of error is the light of truth.” 

The best way to respond to untruth is with the truth that sets us free (John 8:32):

How do we do this? 

  1. Discerning truth from error (Phil. 1:8-9).
  2. Speaking the truth in love (Eph. 4:15).
  3. Being ready always to give an answer (1 Pet. 3:15).
  4. Participating in a ministry of reconciliation (1 Cor. 15:11-21).
  5. Praying for grace and unity in the Church (Eph 4:1-16).

Well, we’ll see you again soon. For more Christian commentary, be sure to subscribe to this podcast, Discerning What Is Best, or check my website, r-e-x-m as in Martin, that’s rexmrogers.com. And remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2022    

*This podcast blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.