Saturday, August 21, 2010

Closed-Minded Christians


One of the most common insults hurled at Christians these days is that they are closed-minded. Critics of Christianity label Christians as already having their minds made up, and therefore they will not consider the “facts.” By facts they are usually referring to pseudo-science or fraudulent inventions to promote evolution. “If only these Christians were more open-minded,” they lament, “then they would learn the truth.”

Despite the fact that there is a mountain of evidence which supports Creation, and the fact that there is not one verifiable fact that proves Darwinism, these atheists remain closed-minded to the possibility of Intelligent Design. But we expect to get criticized by the lost world; Jesus said that would happen. The thing that bothers me is when liberal Christians call other Christians closed-minded.

This new brand of “anything-goes” Christianity features no absolute truth. Each person is free to interpret the words of Jesus however he sees fit, and this open-mindedness is supposed to be appealing to the unchurched. They pride themselves on the fact that they respect each opinion and do not assume any one belief to be superior over another.

But there is a time to be open-minded.

The Bereans were in Acts 17:11. Luke wrote that they were “more noble” than the Thessalonians, and that they received the Word with “readiness of mind.” This would be like saying they were open-minded today. So was being open-minded a good thing? Absolutely! Read the next verse:

“Therefore, many of them believed.” Because they were open-minded they received the Word, believed it, and gave their lives to the Lord. But don’t miss this important truth.

They were not Christians when they were open-minded. They had not believed yet. And because their minds were opened Paul was able to present the gospel to a ready audience. So what should happen to their minds after they believe? They should be closed! I know that it is OK to keep an open mind to things that can change, like music and dress styles, but there are plenty of things that we should keep our minds closed to.

I am a closed-minded Christian when it comes to how to get to heaven. Jesus said in John 14:6 that He is the way, truth, and life, and that no one gets to the Father except through Him. If some liberal with a new idea or interpretation or hidden message finds a new way to the Father, my mind will remain closed.

I am closed-minded when it comes to the Person of Jesus Christ. I believe He is the only begotten Son of God, born of a virgin, and that He lived a perfect life, suffered a vicarious death, was raised from the dead by God, and now is seated at God’s right hand.

I am closed-minded about salvation. It is a gift from God, not of works, that was settled before the foundation of the world, and yet still required my choice. Good works can not earn it, but good works will come from it. All who claim salvation for themselves must first deny themselves, take up their cross daily, and follow after Jesus with nothing less than 100% surrender.

There are many other things that my mind will remain closed to. God said it, and that settles it; my mind is closed.

Ephesians 4:14 warns of spiritual babies who get carried away with every wind of doctrine from the sleight of crafty men who lie in wait to deceive. When asked for a sign of the end of times, Jesus’ first response was not about war or weather, but about false doctrine that would be so strong that it would almost deceive the very elect of God. False prophets abound as wolves in sheep’s clothing, and if we keep our minds open to new and exciting religion, we might just end up following a wolf instead of the Good Shepherd.

In light of all this, whose idea do you think it was to encourage Christians to keep an open mind, Jesus’ or Satan’s?

I believe it was Satan’s, and I will remain closed-minded about that.

(Read Dogmatic Christians here)
(Read Judgmental Christians here)

8 comments:

Amber Lee said...

I do think though, that it is possible to become such a close-minded Christian that people can become too pushy with their personal opinion. Then slapping Jesus name on them and calling them "Christian" ideas, and giving the Christians who are actually trying to live Christ, a bad name. We should all be careful that we are turning people towards Christ, not away from Him.

CrossKeysMom said...

It really is that cut & dried. When we deviate from "Thus saith the Lord..." it's then that our personal opinions get in the way of our witness, other enticing ideas cause our faith to waver, and our spiritual growth is thwarted. As a Christian, I am so thankful that I am not responsible for deciding truth. I don't trust myself!

Tommy Mann said...

Amber Lee,

Thank you for your coment, and I agree 100% that we need to be "careful that we are turning people towards Christ, not away from Him."

I might not have been clear enough in the blog about the difference between opinion and doctrine; we should all be able to keep an open mind towards music, dress code, preaching styles, etc. The ones who split churches over drums and ties are the ones who turn people away from Christ.

But I will let the red letters be black and white; I will die before I change my stance on who Jesus is. My mind was once open, then I believed, and my mind has been closed ever since.

Thanks for your thoughts!

Tommy Mann said...

CrossKeysMom,

You're right, if I had to make up truth I would be in a mess. Jesus called the Holy Spirit the Spirit of Truth, and He said that His Word was truth. Truth isn't interpreted based on our changing culture; it is "cut & dried." Well put!

Tommy Mann said...

Amber Lee, I think the people that obsses over the little things like what we wear to church are too clothes-minded.

Sorry, I can't resist a pun.

Drewsmommy said...

I'm proud to be a close-minded Christian! When people say we should "keep an open mind," they are really saying that they don't like what God's Word is telling them, so they'd rather leave themselves open to an interpretation that may better suit their lifestyle.

Tommy Mann said...

Couldn't agree more Drewsmommy,

"Keep an open mind" could also be translated "Consider the world's wisdom." People think freedom in Christ means we are free to do or think whatever we want; they fail to realize that it means we are free from the power of sin.

Amber Lee said...

Ha ha! You crack me up Tommy!