Limbaugh, Krauthammer and Spiritual Discernment
On today's show, Rush Limbaugh was discussing his surprise at the recent comment by Charles Krauthammer. Krauthammer said the following:
I remember before the president-elect arrived saying, "You know, I haven't been able to figure this guy out. Is he a centrist who will occasionally throw a bone to the left or is he a lefty who will occasionally throw a bone to the right?" Nobody had any idea.
Rush made it clear that he is not trying to feud with Krauthammer, yet is still perplexed at how someone with his background would have not seen through Obama during his candidacy. Mulling that over, it occurred to me that it might be a matter of differences in 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.
It sounds as if Krauthammer may not have gotten past the outer perception of Obama the Candidate to see what was behind the outer shell of the candidate. But as a person more familiar with the way politics work than many of us are, why would he not see this? As someone who has practiced psychology, it is, indeed, surprising that he would have been blind to what the intentions of Obama the Candidate actually were.
I immediately thought back to a discussion between commenters long ago, on “The Return of Scipio” blog (2008-2009). Readers of the blog were discussing how Obama's intentions and persona were so crystal clear, yet so many seemed to be completely blinded to it. It was concluded that it was a matter of spiritual discernment, very clear to those looking at Obama from this perspective, but not so for those who do not view the world through this lens. It wasn't a matter of people not wanting to see Obama for what he was, but actually being unable to see.
It would be doubtful that Krauthammer would look at things from a spiritual perspective, given his comments on his own personal belief:
It was simply a matter of just applying my thinking to these questions of God, a historical God and a God who intervenes in prayer, and I came up short. It was no great epiphany. It was no great disappointment. It had nothing to do with my being [paralyzed in a diving accident] when I was 22. I was already way, way gone by the time I was 18 and 19. It was simply an intellectual conclusion, and I've been basically unchanged for 50 years. I don't make any great claims for it. I would not proselytize my own agnosticism. It's just where I've come to.
This is not to say that atheists/agnostics are unable to distinguish people with good intentions from people with bad intentions. However, it is to say that an atheist is not seeing through a spiritual lens and may, therefore, come to different conclusions. Just one example of how a Christian might look at a person would be to look at the “fruits”. What has that person produced? Has it been good fruit or bad fruit (or no fruit, in some cases, which would be bad fruit)? Obama the Candidate certainly wouldn't have passed the discernment test, even if based only on this one aspect of it.
No doubt, there are sincere liberal Christians out there who would argue that they have looked at Obama with spiritual discernment and come up with a totally different conclusion. However, one would have to ask them to revisit that. At this stage, the blatant and even admitted lies coming out of his administration would make it beyond difficult to defend. How can good fruit come from a rotten source?
None of us are always right about the inner workings and intentions of others, but looking at the world with a sincere desire to be spiritually discerning will sure improve your odds. Look out for the rotten fruit along the way.