The New Calvinist Tim Challies has done it again, in offering a new article attacking "discernment ministries" in general on his blog. This post it seems has been precipitated by some negative experiences with some people or a group of people who weren't exactly very kind to Challies. Regardless, the main issue is that Tim Challies has decided that the best way to take revenge against the person who wronged him, is to condemn "discernment ministries" without distinction or exception, and smear them with the same broad brush as being essentially Pharisees.
With Challies' actions, I am beginning to suspect there is more to his reaction than just a New Evangelical mindset, although certainly that is a contributing factor. While not wishing to psychoanalyze Challies, seeing that he sees Josh Harris' paragraph in his new book as a slap in the face, of him being one of "those who trust in the rightness of our doctrine and look down on others," is he possible that Challies is projecting his own proclivities and temptations onto others? Just because Challies struggle with doctrinal pride does not mean that everyone struggles in the same way that he does.
As creatures who are not God, it is not up to us to judge the secret things of the heart. I cannot judge the motives of those who engage in "discernment ministries," whatever that may be. I cannot claim they are Pharisees, and that they are treating evil as entertainment, or whatever titles Challies throws at these people. Do I know ALL "discernment bloggers"? Am I, or is Challies God, that he can see into their hearts?
The tendency to want to psychoanalyze a person and discern his hidden motives is always present. Christians however who realize our own sins and the wickedness of our own hearts should be the last to judge the heart motives of others, unless they have openly made them known. We should accept what others profess, and only question it if serious incongruity emerges between one's profession and one's actions.
The problem therefore with Challies' posts are not the discernment bloggers, but Challies himself. Instead of praying to God about the issues, and pray for these people, Challies decided demonizing such people is the way to go. Such is the way of the flesh, and we Christians should not go that way. Why not suffer wrong for the sake of Christ (1 Cor. 6:7)? Let us pray to God for Challies, that he will learn to suffer and forgive those who hurt him.