By Elizabeth Prata
In my continuation of “Discernment Week” here at The End Time, today we look at some examples of people using their gift of discernment for the edification of the saints and do it well.
You should look for people in your church who are noted for having a nose for discernment and have a long track record of grace-filled teaching of discernment helps that are accurate
The Spirit dispenses the gift to people for the help to the local body, and there should be someone in your church who can help you train in the skill or to answer questions about certain issues/fads/teachings that arise if they are starting to impact you.
Though it’s important for every individual believer to study the Bible to determine what is true and hold other teachings up to the light of truth to compare, here are some folks who discern well and minister in the global body. Please note HOW they do it.
Before we get into that, I’d like to mention a couple of how-to’s for us. If you follow a person who reviews books, discerns movements, or calls out false teachers, i.e. publicly discerns, have you checked out that discerner? Does he or she belong to a local church? Does that person have oversight by a church, an elder, a Board? Is that person accountable for their ministry? Is it possible to contact that person by email or by commenting on their page if you have questions or concerns? Or have they isolated themselves from questions or correction?
When you read or listen to them, do they maintain a respectful tone, absent of snark, just as we do with all speech? Yes, it’s OK to be righteously angry, but it is also important to be patient, clear, and respectful. If discerners have discernment conversations with people or write about them or speak on a podcast, they should do so in a way invites listening, not turns off their audience with a snarky attitude or impertinent gloating. We mourn those who preach error, we try to snatch those from the flames who follow false teachers. Do they trumpet a downfall, or do they seem genuinely sorry for the issue they are announcing to you?
Here are some folks who I follow and enjoy their ministry work in discernment-
Alan Hunter at his Youtube channel Polite Leader is one who discerns well, and has an ability to express that discernment and wisdom in ways that illuminate. Here is one short recent example:
Donnie Lamon of An Idiot with a Bible (formerly What Shall I Cry Ministries) is new to me. He’s so totally new that I have only seen this one video and his introduction video (linked above), but I liked it. Here, Donnie critiques Beth Moore. Interesting. It got even more interesting toward the end.
BTWN (Bible Thumping Wingnut) Tim Hurd speaks in the video below on the state of Youtube’s intrusive censorship these days. He critiqued me (The End Time) a while ago and he did a good job.
Steve Kozar and his wife Paulette review and critique folks at The Messed Up Church, they present some parts of sermons or lectures and then hit the space bar to talk about what they just heard in their series “Hit the Bar”. Steve also has a website called The Messed Up Church.
In my opinion, Justin Peters is the most gracious, loving, accurate, and courageous discernment person. He has been traveling the world for years, evangelizing. He also travels to warn in discernment of false movements and to teach the importance of discernment. In order to be accurate, he has to watch a lot of videos of heretical preaching. The more we love Christ the more we hate falsity. Justin certainly loves Christ and hates heresy, but by infusion of grace from the Spirit he is consistently respectful about it despite swimming in the swamp of false teaching for so many years. He has many videos on Youtube. I recommend his channel. Website here.
Gabe Hughes is also a good discerner (and of course so much more, including a father, pastor, podcaster, and writer). Here is his latest 90-second entry of his series When We Understand the Text, (WWUTT). WWUTT channel here
Pastor Chris Rosebrough is the Pirate Christian. His Youtube channel is called Fighting for the Faith. He has been doing discernment for a long time and he is really good at it. His website is here and is a great resource.
Amy Spreeman and Michelle Lesley do a good job of reviewing, discerning, and speaking about today’s culture as one of their many activities within their ministries. Together they offer a podcast called A Word Fitly Spoken. Separately they have websites, Amy’s at Bereanesearch.org and Naomi’s Table; Michele’s at MichelleLesley.com.
These are not the only people doing discernment as part of their ministries well, but it’s a start. I hope these help. Remember to test everything, and hold on to what is good.