Black Christians : Christian Discernment

Discussion in 'Christian Study Group' started by cherryblossom, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    Christian Discernment 101
    How to seek the truth in today's culture.
    by Denis Haack

    If anything is certain for Christians today, it's that we find ourselves living among people who do not share our deepest convictions and values. If we are to be faithful as Christians in such a pluralistic setting, we need to develop the skill of discernment. We need to have the ability to respond winsomely to those who see things very differently than we do, instead of merely reacting to the ideas, values, and behavior of the non-Christians around us—the ability, by God's grace, to creatively chart a godly path through the maze of choices and options that confront us, even when we're faced with situations and issues that aren't specifically mentioned in the Scriptures.

    This was what Paul wanted for the Christians who lived in the pluralistic culture of the first century. "We have not stopped praying for you," he wrote to the Colossians, "asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom" (1:9). J. B. Phillips translates it this way: "We are asking God that you may see things, as it were, from his point of view by being given spiritual insight and understanding." Os Guinness uses the term "thinking Christianly," and defines it as "thinking about anything at all in a distinctly Christian way. Where our minds are so informed by the truth of God's word in terms of our assumptions and presuppositions that we increasingly see as God sees, though it will be in an imperfect way."

    One way to develop skill in discernment is to recognize that being discerning is a process that involves answering simple but probing questions. The questions are simple enough to be taught to children; they are probing enough to help us get to the heart of whatever we are trying to reflect on as Christians. The questions can be learned and used, until with practice they become a habit, a way of biblically interacting with ideas and issues in a fallen world.

    Our concern is not simply with isolated ideas, but with the whole of life and culture. The questions can—should—be asked as we scan the newspaper, attend a seminar, read a book, listen to a sermon, or talk with a neighbor. We need to be discerning about all of life and culture, because all of life and culture has been tainted by the Fall.

    The process outlined here is not a formula or recipe, nor is discernment some sort of technique. Nor are we guaranteed that answering the questions will somehow make everything turn out well. Rather, as discerning Christians we may, by God's grace, be remembered as those who sought to be faithful.

    Discernment Questions for Believers

    What's being said? What is the nature of the challenge confronting us? What ideas are presented, or are implicit as assumptions? What's really at stake, or being requested, or argued for, or disputed?

    What are the essential or foundational issues? What are the secondary or less important issues? It's vital to distinguish between the two, so we don't get distracted by things that may have significance, but are not of primary importance.

    What is a Christian response? Notice we are concerned with "a" Christian response, not necessarily "the" Christian response. Minds renewed by the truth of God's word may not agree at every point on every issue, and there is room for diversity among the people of God.

    Where do we agree? Where do we disagree? Seek points of agreement before identifying areas of disagreement. Christians have the unfortunate reputation of being unnecessarily negative and disagreeable, unlike Paul, who in Athens began his discussion with a pagan audience by finding a point of contact with them.

    Why do we believe the Christian position? What reasons would we give?

    How can we talk about and live out the truth creatively and winsomely in a pluralistic culture? Since most of our friends and neighbors see things differently, how can we make sure we are being understood?


    Discerning Discussions with Unbelievers

    When we talk with non-Christian friends about issues that matter, the discernment questions can be changed slightly to become a framework for discussion.

    What's being said? What's the message(s) or issue(s)?

    Where do you agree? Where do you disagree?

    Why? Why do you believe that? What reasons would you give?

    What difference does it make in your life? How does this conviction or value change how you live or affect your choices?

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/biblestudies/movies/articles/050105a.html
     
  2. truetothecause

    truetothecause Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Discernment

    is a Spiritual Gift I was said to possess ...a few different times..churches...who have it's members do a personal assessment to find out your Spiritual Gifts.

    couple times mine showed Discernment...and...prayer....


    M.E.
    :hearts2:
     
  3. Da Street So'ja

    Da Street So'ja Banned MEMBER

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    um

    lol

    i thought that was cute, i think we somebody needs a behavior check lol

    (not talking to you per se CB)

    (again not directed to you CB)

    when one follows something that falls SHORT, well you then fall SHORT

    and that's the problem, because something is not mentioned in scripture

    i see why people have trouble making common sense decisions (the ones that refuse to "see" beyond the "word") they look for ALL the answers in

    something that doesn't have ALL the answers
     
  4. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    Discernment is such a wonderful gift. Not everyone can differentiate the voices which speak to us from above (God), without (peers) and below (satan).
     
  5. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    You aint NEVA lied!


    (not talking to you, per se, So'ja)
     
  6. truetothecause

    truetothecause Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    That being your case...I'm CLEAR that my "voices" come from WITHIN....NOT...
    "from above"....


    Yes I can differentiate sugar from ish and that is the purpose of my Spiritual Gift....


    M.E.
    :hearts2:
     
  7. Keita Kenyatta

    Keita Kenyatta going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Listen Sis, In all respect for your convictions, I respect Paul better than I do any Christian today". Why so? Because in the Bible he admitted that he "lied about God and he admitted that he used guile and craftiness to catch the people". In other words, I can respect someone who admits that they used deception to get the people. The people do not practice Christianity, they supposedly practice Paulanism. Furthermore since the Bible says that Jesus was hanged on a tree, why isn't anyone wearing trees around their neck which is how they always been killing black men?...and since I can document, which I will on my website that what you claim to practice goes back over 10,000 years, how do you call it Christianity when it was never that until called that by our oppressor?
     
  8. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    Well, of course, that is MY "case," True. I hold to Christianity and I posted this in the Christian forum. The title of this thread is "Christian Discernment." So, of course, my view would be from a Christian standpoint/teaching.

    Please tell me if I am perceiving your tone incorrectly....Even though you are not, now, Christian, you posted here to tell me of your previous spiritual gift "assessments" within the Christian church. But, when I responded from a Christian viewpoint of "discernment," you returned to stress your present convictions about the spiritual gift.

    So, how did my motive for this thread and your motive for responding to it come to clash here?


    And, yes, I, too, can tell "sugar from ish." Truly, that is the crux of "discernment."


     
  9. truetothecause

    truetothecause Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    discernment is not limited to "christians". I think the title is misleading as it creates the illusion that the gift of discernment is indicative of 'christ ianity'

    is "christian discernment" different than any other type of discernment for you:?:

    i just posted cause i felt like responding. i was reminded of a particular time in my life:em0100:

    is that a problem:?:

    how are you perceiving my tone:?: i just want to be CLEAR in my communications

    M.E.
    :hearts2:
     
  10. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    Well, that's why I asked so I wouldn't assume what your intent was.

    I responded to your post from a Christian viewpoint. Yes, I thought I detected a bit of a defensive tone in your reply to me in that you were steadfastly separating your beliefs from mine.

    However, surely, by now, you and I both know where each of us stand in our respective spiritual beliefs. So, I thought your tone was defensive.

    But, if my "discernment" was off kilter there, I do apologize.

    Also, you say you think the title is "misleading. "However, I wasn't intimating that discernment is restricted to Christianity, but the thread is specifying what it is within and to Christianity.

    So, how could it be "misleading" when it is posted in a forum set aside for the "Study" of Christianity? Everything I post here pertains to Christianity and its tenets/teachings and "discernment" is one of them.

    Denotatively, DISCERN means:

    –verb (used with object)
    1. to perceive by the sight or some other sense or by the intellect; see, recognize, or apprehend: They discerned a sail on the horizon.
    2. to distinguish mentally; recognize as distinct or different; discriminate: He is incapable of discerning right from wrong.
    –verb (used without object)
    3. to distinguish or discriminate.
    http://dictionary.reference.com/dic?q=denotative&search=search

    But, again, this thread is speaking to spiritual discernment in Christianity. So, I just don't see how the topic nor my intent can be seen as "misleading."
     
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