Advent & Misguided Discernment

“Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for God’s wrath is coming on the disobedient because of these things. Therefore, do not become their partners. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light— for the fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truth—discerning what is pleasing to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:6-10

“Discerning what is pleasing to the Lord.” Discernment seems to be a lost art. I wonder if it is because many of us have stepped too close to the darkness and the eyes of our heart have adjusted to see, although dimly.

One thing seems evident as I listen to Christian responses (or lack thereof) at what is taking place in national politics: we have become incapable of discerning what is true, good and beautiful. Perhaps it is because many of us have unwittingly changed partners. We have misplaced our hope, peace and joy in a fragile kingdom causing us to unwittingly misplace our allegiance to a fickle and faulty “king.”

Misplaced allegiances result in misguided discernment.

As our beloved bro Paul might suggest, if it doesn’t result in goodness, righteousness and truth it isn’t of the light, my friend. There is nothing good about hatred and fear-mongering. There is nothing righteous about treating women as though they are sexual objects and acting like it is okay. There is nothing truthful about scapegoating, shaming of dismissing the pain of others. These behaviors aren’t the results of a person walking in the light no matter their confession. It is the result of walking in darkness and evidence of a different partnership than partnering with God. And if by chance we cannot see, perhaps we need to take a look at with whom we are partnering.

The season of Advent reminds us that a great light has dawned on those living in darkness.

May we see. May we turn away and turn back to King Jesus. Forsake all other allegiances and change partners. Partner with God. Just know it is going to cost you something. It will cost you friends and reputation, maybe even with those you’ve consider close to you. But it is worth it.

May we see the light and live in the light so we can discern what is pleasing to the Lord and be a light.

About Fred

Fred came to serve greater Williamsburg and WCC as lead pastor in October of 2010 and is grateful to be a part of the family. He is a husband, father, certified trauma professional, S.T.A.R. (strategies for trauma awareness & resilience) practitioner, community organizer, TEDx alum, founder of 3e Restoration, Inc. and co-owner of Philoxenia Culture LLC. He received his B.S. in Ministry/Bible at Amridge University and his Master’s of Religious Education in Missional Leadership from Rochester University. Currently he is a candidate for a Doctorate of Ministry in Contextual Theology in at Northern Seminary in Chicago. Fred has also served as an adjunct professor for Rochester University and Regent University where taught courses in philosophy, ethics, leadership, pastoral care, intro to Christianity, and ethnography. He has also served as a guest lecturer on the subjects of racialized cultural systems, poverty, and missiology at various universities, such as William & Mary and Oklahoma Christian University. Fred has authored on book (Racialized Cultural Systems, Social Displacement and Christian Hospitality) and several curriculum offerings, including The FloorPlan: Living Toward Restoration & Resilience. Fred enjoys hanging out with his family anytime, anywhere. He is deeply grateful for how God graciously works through the Church in all her various forms, despite our brokenness. He is passionate about seeing the last, least, and lonely of every neighborhood, city and nation experience God’s in-breaking kingdom, and come to know Jesus as King. Oh, and his favorite season is Advent and Christmas. Fred is a founding member of the board of directors for Virginia Racial Healing Institute, a member of the leadership team for Williamsburg's local chapter of Coming to the Table, and a member of Greater Williamsburg Trauma-Informed Community Network's Racial Trauma Committee and Training Committee.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Advent & Misguided Discernment

  1. Gailyn Van Rheenen says:

    Thanks for these reflections. Well said.



Join the conversation, but please be gracious.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s