Questions tagged [discernment]

Discernment is the activity of determining the value and quality of a certain subject or event, particularly the activity of going past the mere perception of something and making detailed judgments about that thing. As a virtue, a discerning individual is considered to possess wisdom, and be of good judgement; especially so with regard to subject matter often overlooked by others.

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According to Catholicism, how should Christians "seek" and "find" God?

Many Christians encourage people to "seek" God. Similarly, many Christians claim that God can be "found". I'm also well aware of the existence of many passages in the Bible that ...
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According to Protestantism, how should Christians "seek" and "find" God?

Many Christians encourage people to "seek" God. Similarly, many Christians claim that God can be "found". I'm also well aware of the existence of many passages in the Bible that ...
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How do Christians who subscribe to the "religion vs. relationship" dichotomy make sure that their own relationship with God is genuine?

Many Christians emphasize the importance of having an actual relationship with God/Jesus as opposed to merely being religious. The previously asked question What is the origin of the "religion vs....
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What is an overview of how Christians discern genuine cases of demonic influence from mundane mental health problems?

This question is a nuanced version of my recently asked question How do Christians discern genuine spiritual experiences from hallucinations?, this time aiming to address the 'dark side'. A very ...
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Does it matter whether a hallucinogen blurs delusion and reality? [closed]

Datura is a plant whose seeds have been used in religious rituals since prehistory. Ingesting Datura seeds will induce a hallucinogenic experience characterized by "anticholinergic delirium",...
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How do Christians discern genuine spiritual experiences from hallucinations?

When believers appeal to their private spiritual experiences to argue for their faith, skeptics typically respond by dismissing their stories entirely, conjecturing that these are more likely cases of ...
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How do I discern righteous guilt from false guilt?

I believe the Holy Spirit can make you feel guilty for an actual sin while the enemies of God can make you feel guilty for an alleged sin that isn't one or keep you feel guilty for a sin you repented ...
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Are there any denominations that believe in contemporary apostles, and if so, how is a person called to be an apostle according to them?

Not much to add to the title. Are there any denominations that believe that God is still calling people to be apostles today? If so, how does a person know for sure that they have been or are being ...
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Why do non-LDS Christians accept the testimonies of the apostles but reject the testimonies of the 3 & 8 witnesses to the golden plates?

Simple question: non-LDS Christians believe the testimonies of the apostles, yet they reject the testimonies of the 3 & 8 witnesses to the golden plates. Why? In the mouth of two or three ...
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Is there anything close to a consensus on how to assess the credibility of eyewitness accounts as supportive evidence for supernatural beliefs?

It's my understanding that most Christians have never had an overtly spectacular, extraordinary, supernatural experience themselves, yet they find no problem in holding very specific supernatural ...
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What is an overview of how contemporary Christians discern that God is giving them instructions to follow a very specific course of action?

By 'very specific course of action' I mean some specific assignment that cannot be inferred from just reading the Bible. For example, in the case of missionaries, the question about when and where to ...
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How do Christians discern if they are being called by God to ministry, and what ministry specifically?

The concepts of "being called by God" and "ministry" are biblical. We can find them in passages such as: Ephesians 4:1-14 (ESV): I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to ...
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How do proponents of Sola Scriptura choose the "correct" interpretation of a key Bible verse?

As a Protestant who really tries to abide by the sola scriptura principle to subject my understanding of God, His works, and His relation to us under the accepted Protestant canon, I am bewildered on ...
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Are there any Christian groups or denominations that teach how to discern between Godly, demonic and psychological experiences?

According to a Christian worldview, experiences can be either natural or supernatural. And if they are supernatural, they can either come from God or Satan. In other words, only 3 possible options. ...
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How do Christians discern whether they are on the narrow path that leads to life or the broad path that leads to destruction?

Matthew 7:13-14 (ESV): 13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is ...
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Are there any documented cases of prophecies, dreams or visions (Joel 2) in modern times (1900 - present) that are endorsed by a denomination?

In Acts 2, during the Sermon at Pentecost, Peter reminded his astonished Jewish audience about the well-known prophecy uttered by the prophet Joel: 14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up ...
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How do Christians who adhere to the maxim “in essentials unity; in non-essentials liberty; and in all things charity” determine what is essential?

The phrase has been worded in different but equivalent ways. For example, the Wikipedia article titled In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas says: In necessariis unitas, in ...
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How do Continuationists discern between genuine and made-up interpretations of tongues?

When someone claiming to have the gift of interpretation of tongues interprets someone else's tongue speaking, how do Continuationists (e.g. Pentecostals, Charismatics, etc.) go about determining ...
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What is the biblical basis for claims that certain manifestations are not of the Holy Spirit but counterfeits (e.g. Kundalini awakening)?

Revivalist movements such as the Toronto Blessing have spurred a wave of controversy around the origin of the manifestations observed in their services. Many Christians believe that these ...
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What is the Biblical basis that prayer is sufficient as a way to recognize truth?

I have talked to many people who question the theology behind prayer as a way to recognize truth. A common argument is that people may get differing answers. What is the Biblical basis for this?
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Are there any differences between Protestant and Catholic theology concerning the distinction between demonic possession from mental illness?

Is there a difference between Catholic and Protestant Theology in regards to what constitutes Demonic possession as opposed to mental illness?
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Is there a scriptural example of a non-believer speaking on God's behalf?

EXAMPLE: I recently read an article about Christian Mingle (CM), the most popular Christian Dating site in the world who carry the slogan "Find God's Match for You" and boldly splash Psalms 37:4 on ...
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How does one discern a calling to the vocation of priesthood?

Approaching this from a Catholic perspective, what are good signs that God is calling you to the vocation of priesthood, in other words, what must one look for to know whether you are called to the ...
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Why are some denominations so against the idea of personal revelation as a source of Truth?

In the spirit of On what basis do some denominations prohibit Christians from drinking alcohol? and Why do Young-Earth Creationists make such a big deal about the YEC view First, what this question ...