It’s a scary world out there for fundamentalists. Not because of their declining numbers, increasing attacks both from inside and out, and of course the continued descent of society into widespread, overt liberalism – but because each year that goes by takes them one more year away from Biblical times. And this means that it gets harder and harder to use the Bible as law for how things should be.
We are living in a very different world from the 1st century Christians – in too many ways to count. And as it turns out the Bible doesn’t cover everything. It would almost seem there are gaping holes in what it doesn’t cover (capitalism, computers and chemical warfare aren’t mentioned – and that’s just words that start with “c”!). What’s a religion to do?
Now more than ever we need discernment. It is increasingly more and more difficult to live by the letter of the law – and so we need to turn to the dreaded spirit of the law and duke it out amongst ourselves rather than easily turning to the Biblical authority that provided clear answers.
Discernment means disagreements, yes. It means hard work, too, as quick and simple answers are rarely had. It means we must be wise. It means we must have the utmost awareness of our own slants and biases and desires. It also means we are playing with something strong, powerful and beautiful.
It could seem like discernment is license to run a bit wild – when it could actually be the opposite. But there is little sense in debating this – as discernment is simply where we are. We’ve got to figure this stuff out with what we’ve got – which is to say, a lot.
What’s one thing you wish was made clear in the Bible? What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever heard someone twist Scripture to say was/was not permitted? Do you agree we are heavy into discernment times?