SPIRITUAL MATTERS: Will you demonstrate wisdom of God?

I would like to talk about discernment versus discrimination. In many ways, these two words are the same. They both refer to the ability to recognize differences. Discrimination has most recently been used to refer to how we respond to those differences. This word is specifically used when we talk about how we treat, or respond, to people who are different than ourselves. In the United States, there has been an ongoing struggle to eliminate discrimination. We have worked towards some level of egalitarianism since our inception. This means, we believe all people are created equal by our creator and deserve equal rights and opportunities. In recent history, this struggle has been most visible in the struggle for civil rights by the African American community, and by women. Interestingly, many people see religion as a basis for most prejudices, and oftentimes the social progressives have seen religion as a hindrance to this struggle. This is certainly an uninformed idea because religion has always been very important to our greater society, and Christians have initiated many of the struggles for freedom.
We can see the role Christians and Christianity played in the Civil Rights Movement, as exemplified in the leadership of Reverend Martin Luther King, and the many church leaders connected with him. Now, the major issues facing us are in the areas of gender identification and gay rights. Many Social Progressives compare these sexual issues to the Civil Rights Movement. Is this a valid comparison? We need to compare discrimination and discernment to see the difference between these things, so we can have dialogue on these contentious issues.
To discern means to see and recognize, but the word discernment speaks of taking another step to judgment. In other words, I recognize difference so I can make a proper judgment on how to respond. Whereas we associate discrimination with improper response, we need to see discernment as the ability to judge with the proper response.
How Does Discernment Work?
Gender and racial differences are based upon who we are. However, the new gender and sexual preference debate centers on how people see themselves. This brings the debate and struggle into a whole different realm, and makes comparison to earlier struggles a misconception. Is there wisdom in making personal perception of oneself the basis for how we treat one another? Having studied social sciences, and working with people for 40 years, I can say by experience this is dangerous territory. Wisdom is the ability to make choices based on knowledge and experience. As Christians, we should not be judgmental, but we should be judging. In other words, we are called to be fruit inspectors!
One obvious observation is that most people choose to see themselves based on desire, rather than true observation. This is easily seen in gender confusion. A person is born a male, but sees themselves as a female. Their desire is inconsistent with true observation. If this person is wealthy, they can rearrange certain parts of their anatomy, but they are in a constant battle to try to change natural hormonal production. One of life’s major struggles is finding out who we are, where we belong, and what our purpose is.
As Christians, we are not trying to be killjoys, but using the knowledge and wisdom of God’s Word to help us in our struggle. We believe the Word of God is a key to understanding ourselves because we believe He is our creator.
The major scientific view held by many who do not believe in God, or only casually believe, is natural selection. Using natural selection as the basis of the debate would, in fact, be no different than the Christian one, right? In natural selection, anomalies can be proven superior if they can be proven through survival and reproduction. It is dangerous when psychological ideas, and social debates based on them, create a new science based on human desire. When personal desire triumphs over community, the end result will always be destruction. This is why the Bible declares, “There is a way that seems right to man but the end thereof is the way of death.”
Self-centered motivation will always lead to destruction of families, relationships, communities, and as we can see from history, whole societies. This is more than a call to boycott something. It is time for Christians to discern the times and see how important it is for us to believe and demonstrate the reality of the Word to our generation! We must do so with the understanding that God is on His throne and truth will always prevail! Join me as a demonstrator of Truth so the world can see the wisdom of God in action.
The Rev. Loren Covarrubias is pastor of Mt. Zion