I got a good buddy who lives in California. This guy has a heart of gold. He continually surprises me and challenges me with the way he faithfully loves people and pursues joy above all else. What most impresses me with this guy is not how “good” he is at those things though, but how much he thinks about the things that he does.
Meticulous in everything, life is in the details and answering the question why for him.
I love that about this dude. It inspires me and reminds me to do the same. So, we are talking on the phone catching up and we start talking about his conversations with people who don’t believe in God and their issues with Christianity. It usually boils down to one thing – Christians are “closed minded”.
People say it’s their issue with marriage equality, or hypocrisy, or judgmental tendencies and I would say that all those things are rooted in this idea that Christians are “close minded”.
Touche world, touche.
So my buddy and I started working through this and it got me thinking, are TRUE evangelical Christians who have been captivated by the incredible finished work of Christ close minded? It’s for sure a good question – I guess I’ll make it more personal…
Are you close minded? Am I close minded?
Confession: I am close minded at times. I think we all are, that’s not a stamp for Christians, or for atheists. That’s just a reality of people. We all have opinions and we think they are right. The question is what funnel are we looking at it through, and how do we evaluate our opinions and beliefs?
So person A thinks I, Garrett the christian, am close minded because I look at this book(The Bible) and without fail say this is True and nothing else is. That’s a thought, and a legitimate one at that – but here’s my response:
Honestly, I don’t think someone whose an honest bible believing Christian is close minded. I think it takes an extremely open minded person to read and consume the things that are stated in this book and come to the conclusion that its the right design for the world.
I think it takes someone extremely open minded to read Romans 8 & 9, and everything in their first glances think “this is wrong, this can’t be what God means!” and then come to the place of submitting to the Word of God because it’s not your decision, but God’s as to what Truth is. I’m extremely open minded to that. In my head I might think its wrong – but my heart KNOWS God is not wrong, so I will submit to that Truth.
One step further – There are some crazy things that happen in this Bible. I mean like ridiculous things. A virgin had a kid. People raising from the dead. Some old guy building a massive boat and lived over 500 years. Massive bodies of water splitting down the middle… I mean it takes someone pretty open minded to read all that and then go… Yup, I believe it.
I think it has less to do with how open our mind actually is and how well we actually articulate ourselves. And more importantly, people care less about what you say and more about what you do. So Christians, we must realize knowing Truth is only part of the game, but portraying Truth is the GOAL! The gospel words without Gospel action is no gospel of Jesus. And the Gospel action without the words of the Gospel is Christ-less, therefore HOPELESS and leads to nothing!
Last, Christian – are you open minded in your own faith? Are you willing to read the Bible and accept what God is trying to tell you about who he is? Or are you only willing to take parts of the Bible and implant what you want it to say about God and use those verses as your ammo? I worry that men and women in my generation (including myself) that we look outside of the Bible to find who God is. I worry that we read passages like Ephesians 1:4-6 and John 15:16 and say things like “I refuse to believe in a God like that!” What if God’s moral compass of what is Good is more advance beyond your understanding? I think that’s a legit possibility…
I think our open mindedness as believers has gotten mudded. Let me be clear, when I say open minded, I mean open minded to the Bible and what the Scriptures tell us. The problem is, we as Christians have taken the word open minded and replaced it with acceptance. We say we are open minded to culture, but really we now accept things in culture that the Bible blatantly says – NO.
We are not God. God is God. He hasn’t messed up yet – I trust him. We must let Him do His job and not predicate our assumptions on to what He says and declares about Himself. I think we feel entitled to our assumptions because of our “freedom”. But Paul is pretty clear when he is talking to his brothers and sisters in Christ about their assumptions of God:
“But who are you O man to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘why did you make it like this?’ Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some pottery for a common use?” Romans 9:20-21
Let’s just take the Bible for what it is Christians…