Christians can no longer obfuscate this responsibility behind scripture, or abandon it through doctrines, or neglect it by appealing to supposedly higher virtues, or veil it in rituals, or unload it onto external authorities, or hide behind obedience, or appeal to things like God's omnipotence.
Any motivation to evade the responsibility of personal discernment today is fundamentally un-Christian and/or anti-Christian.
It is fundamentally un-Christian and/or anti-Christian because it opposes and works against love, freedom, honesty, creativity, repentance, and countless other Christian virtues.
A while back, I encapsulated my understanding of Christianity by augmenting a passage from Dostoevsky's The Brother Karamazov (augmented parts in bold):
Thou didst desire man's free love, that he should follow Thee freely into heaven, enticed and taken captive by Thee. In place of the rigid ancient law, man must hereafter with free heart decide for himself what is good and what is evil, and with free heart actively choose resurrection and everlasting life, having only Thy image before him as his guide.
A key part of this encapsulation is the movement away from rigid ancient law to a free heart that decides for itself what is good and what is evil having only Christ as a guide.
This is the essence of personal discernment within a Christian context. Without that essence, Christianity is not Christianity but a religion of ancient rigid law.
Dr. Charlton summed it up well in a comment from yesterday's post:
We are being forced to make personal discernment - and if we refuse to take up this responsibility, then we have rejected Christ.
Put another way, personal discernment is no longer optional. Rejecting the responsibility of personal discernment is tantamount to rejecting Jesus.
Another commenter, Daniel F., offered the following on the topic:
Trusting that one's individual discernment is in alignment with God's will is of course incredibly difficult, and one does not make these decisions lightly, but the overall principle as a core attribute of true Christianity is obvious.
Daniel is correct about the difficulty, which helps explain why so many Christians shirk the responsibility of personal discernment in favor of anything that promises to relieve them of that "burden". Unfortunately, the world is full of Grand Inquisitors who are all too eager to take on that "burden" in exchange for surrendered freedom and, ultimately, the damnation.
The responsibility of personal discernment has become the sine qua non of Christianity. Renounce that and you renounce Christ. It really is that simple.