Discernment & Acceptance
Acceptance is a virtue that is easy to applaud. It feels good for everyone involved when we are approving, supportive, and accepting. Often that is precisely what life calls for—a broad, sympathetic, and inclusive heart that embraces someone even when they don’t deserve it (Rom.15:7; Col. 3:13). But there is a complementary virtue that Jesus frequently taught us to possess. Perhaps it was emphasized so frequently throughout the Bible because it often feels bad, and is rarely applauded. I am talking about the biblical call for godly men and women to “beware” (Mt. 7:15), “watch out” (Mk. 8:15), “avoid” (Rom.16:17), and even “separate from” (2 Cor. 6:17) those who claim Christ, but practice and promote the things that are contrary to God’s word (1 Cor. 5:11). The core of this virtue is called “discernment” and it has certainly fallen out of favor in our day. But because, as the Bible warns, “false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you” (2 Pt. 2:1), we must be on guard. Especially because the twisting of the truth is rarely obvious. The wolves’ most effective work is done in sheep’s clothing (Mt. 7:15). “Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14). So be discerning, and carefully consider when it is godly to be accepting and when it is not.
-- Pastor Mike
Because the claims of Christ are true, they hold up to scrutiny and careful examination. It is our Christian duty and personal calling to stay sharp and alert, “always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). That is why we are dedicating this month on Focal Point to discuss The Big Questions of the faith—How can we be sure there’s a God? What’s so special about the Bible? Is Christianity really the only way? These and other issues are what we absolutely need to understand in a world that is hostile to faith. The good news is, there are definitive answers to be found in God’s Word.
Apologetics, or the defense of the faith, is a topic I frequently address in our Round Table discussions at Compass Bible Church. Our team at Focal Point has put together some of those conversations on a 2 GB flash drive (or DVD if you prefer) for personal or group study. If you are the sort of person who prefers to watch a video than spend hours reading a book, this one is for you. I’m confident you will find these discussions practical, informative and engaging. Request No Apology Necessary with your donation of any amount this month.
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