In our first session of Reformation Pratum: Discernment, Pastor Eric Spuur of Mt. Angel Bible Church tackled the Biblical definition of discernment. Our culture, and even many Christians, say that discernment is judgmental and mean. Eric addressed this by focusing on God’s call for all believers to be discerning and the dangers of not developing discernment. He also addressed the most important aspect of discernment: the Word of God. Eric reminded us of the fundamental importance of Sola Scriptura.
This is the second presentation of Reformation Pratum: Discernment, held at Emmanuel Bible Church on November 14-15, 2014. Pastor Andrew Murch of LifePoint Church (Vancouver, WA) addressed how we should engage in discernment Christianly. How do we hold fast to correct doctrine in a loving way? Using I Timothy, Titus, and the historical example of Marcion, Andrew will navigate the tricky territory of maintaining a Christ-like attitude when we engage in doctrinal issues.
In our third and fourth session of Reformation Pratum: Discernment, Larry Nickel of Emmanuel Bible Church addressed the topic of discerning the competing worldviews that we are presented with today. Our worldview is the lens through which we interpret the world around us, and making sure the Bible is that lens is of the utmost importance. Larry explored the implications that occur when people abandon the book of Genesis and the Bible at large, and replace it with another worldview.
For our fifth session Brett Davisson of Emmanuel Bible Church gave an historical example of discernment in action. Charles Spurgeon, known as “The Prince of Preachers”, was not a man of his time. As churches in the late 19th century worked to “soften” the gospel message to attract more people, Spurgeon was one of the few to recognize the eternal importance of what was happening. He was ridiculed as old fashioned and divisive at the time, but history has shown his warnings to be all too true.
For our final session Pastor Stan Myers of Emmanuel Bible Church brought some very practical application to discernment using Philippians 1:9-11 as a guide. How do we discern between not just competing claims of truth, but between competing options that all seem permissible? How do we properly assess situations correctly and choose the right course of action? When presented with all the choices and options in life, what should Christians strive for and what standard should we set for ourselves?