But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern both good and evil. Hebrews 5:14
Charles Spurgeon said, “Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.” How did we ever get here? What do I mean by here? Our nation, the Western world, has declared what God describes as sin to be acknowledged, accepted, and celebrated by all.
Here are just two examples of that. This month a police officer in Georgia was investigated by his department for a social media post in which he posted, “there is no such thing as gay marriage.” On January 4, 2023, he was placed on administrative leave after he refused to remove the Facebook post. In the post, he wrote, “God designed marriage. Marriage refers to Christ and the Church. That’s why there’s no such thing as homosexual marriage.” He wasn’t fired after the investigation, but he said he decided to quit because he was told he could face termination for future social media posts that others found offensive. In December of last year, a woman in England was arrested when she admitted praying in her head across the street from an abortion clinic.
We got here because God’s people are destroyed because of a lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). The Church has lost its way as a whole. So-called Christian pastors preach a false Gospel that God loves everyone and would never send anybody to hell. There have been two generations of people who have been peddled an easy believism Gospel. All one needs to do to be saved is say a prayer that you believe, and that’s it; good to go. No repentance, no transformation, keep on doing what you always did because God has forgiven you.
Too few pulpits in America preach the true Gospel, and in many churches, Discernment is a dirty word. In 2007 the book “The Shack” was published. It has sold over 20 million copies. It was written by Paul Young, who claims to be a Christian but believes in universalism (the belief that all humankind will eventually be saved).
I had to preach on this back in 2007 because our church members started to read the book and encouraged others to read it. A few years later, the book “Jesus is calling” was promoted within the Church until the Elders found out. The author, Sarah Young, believes that she speaks for God and proclaims the Bible’s insufficiency. There are entire Church movements (Hillsong, Bethel) that promote a false Gospel and deceive, if possible, even the elect.
Now I come to another matter of Discernment. As Charles Spurgeon said, “Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.” The Chosen is a top-rated series that tries to show a more human side of Jesus. I have a problem with the Chosen and would not recommend it to an unbeliever or a new believer. The actor who plays Jesus, Jonathan Roumie, is a Roman Catholic. Currently, he is one of the spokespersons for a Roman Catholic App called Hallow. It describes itself as the “#1 Catholic Prayer and Meditation App with over 5,000 prayers, music selections, guided meditations, and more. In that app, you can listen to Roumie read the Bible or be directed and taught how to pray to Mary ( the mother of Jesus) by praying the rosary. So, imagine you encourage friends or family who are not believers to watch the Chosen, and they start to google the lead actor and see him on social media promoting the Hollow app.
They have just been directed to a false religion that denies salvation by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone. Christian, we need to be discerning in all matters that pertain to faith. Be careful, be very careful in what you encourage others to watch and listen to when it comes to knowing who our God is. As the writer of Hebrews encourages us, let us mature in our faith so we may “because of practice have their senses trained to discern both good and evil.”
Jak Kelso says
Hi Pastor Mark. I have watched the Chosen. I like parts of it and have watched it nearly from the start. But I had also thought to myself ” don’t get too much into it” . Being cautious of false teaching and how the world is trying to turn us in the wrong direction. Now I watch it because it has no cussing and nudity. Safe to watch, entertaining. That’s hard to find these days. I think there’s lots of people that think TV characters are real. Beam me up, no intelegent life here.