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How does discernment work?

Discussion in 'Requests for Christian Advice' started by Megan Nicole, May 5, 2020.

  1. Megan Nicole

    Megan Nicole New Member

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    I know the basics of discernment. I receive it from the Holy Spirit quite often to give me understanding over an issue or to help me see the truth. However, I do have a few questions about it.

    Here's the short version if you'd just like to answer the questions:

    Convictions differ between Christians based on their faith. But does discernment do the same? Can one person discern something to be true that isn't true for someone else? Is it possible that something I discern doesn't apply to another person?

    And here's the long version if you'd like some context:

    Some time ago, a friend sent me a sermon from a preacher (who's name I won't disclose to avoid conflict) and asked me to listen to it. My friend said that this preacher was one that he listened to and trusted a lot. So I listened to the sermon and it did not sit well with my Spirit. I could feel that there was something wrong with what the man was saying, that though his sermon had pieces of truth, a great deal of it was heresy.
    A few days ago, someone on Facebook shared a sermon from this preacher that revealed he is indeed a false teacher. But this man has a massive following and is seen as an incredible, godly man who promotes love above all. Many people that I respect and look up to are followers of this man's preaching. So I was disturbed. Was I discerning the truth or did I just not like what the preacher said? I never like to doubt any discernment, so I took it to prayer and I genuinely believe that God has revealed to me that this preacher is a liar.
    So then I have to wonder about all the Christians who listen to and follow the teaching of this man. Has the Holy Spirit not given them discernment to see the truth? Are they blinded? Or is it possible that what one person discerns isn't applicable to someone else's life? I don't believe that anyone can simultaneously be a false preacher and not a false preacher, but what if I'm just discerning "wrong"?

    I'm very new to having a deeper walk with Christ and so it's issues like these that I could use some advice on. I apologize if that wasn't very clear. I have a hard time articulating this issue.

    Thank you for any responses and God bless
     
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  2. icxn

    icxn Bραδύγλωσσος αἰπόλος μαθητεύων κνίζειν συκάμινα

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    Yes, but only on pastoral matters, i.e. how we apply God's commandments. On matters of dogma, such as what is true about God, there's only one truth.

    Without knowing what exactly you found questionable in this preacher's sermon, it's not possible to tell... or rather discern. :)
     
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  3. OldWiseGuy

    OldWiseGuy Wake me when it's soup. Supporter

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    In my church if there was a questionable statement made by a pastor he would be surrounded by biblically knowledgeable members immediately after services questioning the validity of the statement.
     
  4. JustRachel

    JustRachel He welcomed me back! <3 Supporter

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    I have been taught to test everything against scripture. If a sermon leaves out Jesus and just puts forth what the speaker feels, run. Many will be deceived and you are seeing that.
     
  5. Megan Nicole

    Megan Nicole New Member

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    Well, I suppose to make things a little clearer, the pastor is Todd White. This was one of the specific sermons I took issue with:

    again, not all of it proved wrong but please watch if you're interested because I'd love some wisdom on that, too
     
  6. fm107

    fm107 Psalm 19:1-4 and Romans 1:20

    +129
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    Hi Megan,

    What you have written above is logically sound. You have arrived at the right conclusion to your own question.

    Now whether you are right or your friend is right (about whether this person is a false preacher) is by putting it to the test. The Bible (God's word) is what we test everything against. In it contains different things to look for in a false teacher, e.g. does he teach another gospel? Galatians 1:8

    If he majors on "love" - in modern day language this usually means "acceptance" of all manners of sinful lifestyles. We need to be careful that "love" isn't a means of excusing sin.

    We are in the last days. Christendom today is full of professors, many of which are not saved (born-again). They will not have spiritual discernment as others who fall into different categories such as:

    1 Timothy 4:1
    2 Timothy 4:3
    Ephesians 4:14
    Revelation 3:17

    The best way to ensure your have sound spiritual discernment is:
    (1) to keep close to God - you mentioned the sermon didn't sit well with your spirit. That's good your spirit is sensitive to things which might not be in keeping with God's word. Many young christians can often feel something isn't right then later in life, they read a verse in the Bible that confirms their earlier conviction (whatever it was). That could be Holy Spirit at work.
    (2) keep growing in your knowledge and understanding of the Bible so you can then know for sure whether your inkling is correct or not. Ephesians 6:17 tells us to take the sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God), once your skilled with the sword (the Bible), you can use it to demolish things that oppose/expose: wrong ideas, doctrines, falsehoods, etc. 2 Corinthians 10:5.
     
  7. fm107

    fm107 Psalm 19:1-4 and Romans 1:20

    +129
    United Kingdom
    Protestant
    Married
    Hi Megan,

    Sorry, I didn't notice you posted the above video. I only watched 20 seconds (because I'm about to go to sleep) but I can immediately tell you that this man should not be teaching or preaching for the simple fact that in him having long hair (a covering) - he is disobeying the teachings of 1 Corinthians 11 which teaches headship.

    1 Corinthians 11:4
    1 Corinthians 11:7
    1 Corinthians 11:14
    1 Corinthians 11:16

    So the man is disobeying scripture even while he teaches others! He definitely should not be teaching, he cannot even get the basics right.
     
  8. Megan Nicole

    Megan Nicole New Member

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    Thank you for your wise responses! I have been being very intentional about taking everything to scripture instead of just how I "feel", per say, since I know that we're supposed to test even the spirits. So at this point, all my convictions on this issue have been proven correct in light of God's Word. I'm just so new to having this deeper walk with God and so sometimes I can doubt the wisdom or discernment He gives me for fear of being incorrect...

    I also didn't even think about the hair!! I knew his appearance was uncomfortable to look at but I didn't even consider relating it back to that verse. That alone speaks volumes about him
     
  9. NothingIsImpossible

    NothingIsImpossible Well-Known Member

    +3,173
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    I can only go by what I feel. In my case I have always had this way to sense when someone is just really evil/into evil. Not sure how to word that exactly we were at a friends house about a decade ago and they were talking about a pastor friend was stopping over. When he pulled in the driveway (I didn't know he pulled in yet), I just had thins weird tingling and "fear" in my body. My hairs stood up. When they let him in the house the feeling got worse. Again, like there was an evil presence or something. He put out his hand but I couldn't shake it. I felt some weird panic going on.

    And as he started talking to the friends he started talking about conspiracies and right away I felt assured I was right and it was my discernment.

    The same sort of things happened when I was in my early 20s and we went to Dennys about 11pm. We were waiting to be seated and some group had walked in right behind us. I didn't see them of course but I had the same feeling of fear/panic. A cold tingling and hair raising up. It felt like evil, but something almost worse. A darkness.

    Needless to say after we were seated, the group behind us happen to be seated two booths over. The first thing out of the guys mouth was that they had a food meeting. It turns out he was a warlock and his gf (I assume) was a witch. They were part of a local satanic coven. So again my discernment had kicked in without even seeing or hearing them ahead of time.

    So for me, thats how I feel with it.
     
  10. Radagast

    Radagast comes and goes Supporter

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    Yes, that is how discernment works.
     
  11. tturt

    tturt Senior Veteran Supporter

    +5,737
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    Not saying this is why Todd White has long hair.

    Some followers of Jesus believe they should let their hair grow. Numbers 6 has the Nazarite vow which includes "..and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow."
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2020
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