Discernment Ministries was founded in 1989 by Travers and Jewel van der Merwe.
They had been pastoring for a number of years and began to be deeply concerned with what they perceived within the church as a radical shift away from the authority of Scripture.
This shift wasn’t only affecting individual lives, but seemed to be steering the Church away from its firm foundation toward experiential faith. Sadly, with the advent of signs, wonders and personal prophecy on a unprecedented scale, the church was using intuitive reasoning as a basis for faith rather than the immutable authority of the Word of God - the Holy Bible.
Their concerns led the van der Merwe's to publish a bi-monthly newsletter, DISCERNMENT, then write their first book, STRANGE FIRE, which dealt with the revival of a neo-gnosticism developing at a rapid speed within Christendom.
The ministry began with a simple newsletter mailed out to seventy people. The readership has steadily grown. Discernment presently has an office in the U. S., and South Africa.
In addition to a bi-monthly newsletter, the ministry provides books, audio tapes and videos on a wide range of topics.
Travers van der Merwe passed away in 1995 after a hard-fought battle with cancer. In spite of his suffering, he encouraged his wife Jewel to continue in the work and not to waver in the stand against what he knew to be dark days coming for the Church. His conclusion after a lifetime of ministry was that one cannot, under any circumstances, build a doctrine/teaching on experience.
His last sermon was preached in much physical pain, but he was determined to warn others about the dangers of mystical experiences.
Jewel married David Grewe in 2000. David had been helping Nigerians in Chicago start a church when they met. At the present time they live in West Lafayette, Indiana, where the office of Discernment Ministries is now located. They are in the process of setting up a Research Office in Naugatuck, Connecticut so that the many materials collected over the years will be available.
Conferences, radio programs and forums are arranged as interest is expressed by readers. Discernment Ministries is able to provide a number of qualified speakers and ministers to address a range of issues confronting the church in this late hour. Individual ministry is provided to those who call or write with questions and concerns.
The main objective of Discernment Ministries is to point Christians to the Word of God as their sole basis for faith and practice.
Many Christians are (often unwittingly) being led into mystical experiences and faith in something apart from the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ as expressed in the Holy Bible. Many sincere believers give more heed to an internal witness (and to their favorite minister or preacher) rather than searching the Scripture so as to confidently declare "it is written!"
Faith is not a force that we can wield to manipulate our circumstances, nor is it a means to gain "hidden truths" or "deeper knowledge" of God. These false premises are the springboard to mystical experience. It is the desire of this ministry to assist believers to assess what they hear, and test what they are taught by comparison to Scripture.
Always, the Word of God is our basis, our direction and our plumbline.
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