According to I Corinthians 12 one thing that all Christians receive from God are spiritual 'gifts' - abilities that help the Body of Christ function. Some of these are alleged to have 'passed away' after the canonization of Scripture so for purposes of this discussion I'll stick to the ones that don't bother the mainstream or conservative churches. As a matter of fact, I'll focus on just a few:
I will point out a couple of recent examples. The first is rather obvious, the rampant sexual escapades of Catholic priests. If the gifts of the spirit were real, no priest would abuse more than one altar boy in any given parish without being discovered. A parent, being a good Christian, would discern, or get a bit of knowledge or wisdom, regarding said priest even before his first grope! (or at least immediately afterwards) But even without such supposed gifts, average, everyday non-gifted Catholics should be able to tell when something is rotten in Denmark, but Christianity is structured in such a way as to suppress the questioning of elders and leaders. If this happened with a neighbor one wouldn't hesitate to call the adult in question on the carpet.
Protestants don't fare any better, and perhaps no better example can be found than Ted Haggard. None of his 14,000 church members were tipped off by the Lord that their pastor was banging a male prostitute while snorting meth? Where was the knowledge, wisdom and discernment there?
But at least a few had managed to 'discern' some problems. Louis Sheldon of the 'Traditional Values Coalition' told the Jewish Week:
"he and 'a lot' of others knew about Haggard’s homosexuality “for awhile ... but we weren’t sure just how to deal with it.”A later clarification has changed a lot of us to some of us but the fact is that some people knew. Maybe it was discernment, maybe it was 'gaydar,' but a few can evidently claim some level of discernment here. But what about wisdom?
Months before a male prostitute publicly revealed Haggard’s secret relationship with him, and the reverend’s drug use as well, “Ted and I had a discussion,” explained Sheldon, who said Haggard gave him a telltale signal then: “He said homosexuality is genetic. I said, no it isn’t. But I just knew he was covering up. They need to say that.”
I could ply you with anecdote after anecdote, some even from my own life, but the overall pattern cuts across all the lines -- Catholic vs. Protestant, charismatic vs. non-charismatic, etc.. -- defective spiritual gifts. Like I said, I hope they kept their receipts, and good luck with the customer service desk.....