Friday, April 2, 2010

Open-minded

One of my Sunday school teacher's used to say, "Yeah, he was so open minded his brains fell out."  Which meant that there are times that the very positive sounding phrase of having an open mind, can actually become an unhealthy extreme.

A class-mate of mind told me once, "I'm a Christian, but I believe that whatever you believe is going to happen after you die, happens.  If you're an atheist, you just stop existing.  If you're a Hindu or Buddhist, you'll be reincarnated in another life.  God is love.  He's open minded..."

Interviewing a student at USC for our church TV program in Los Angeles, I asked one young, very hip philosophical fellow, what he believes God feels about suffering.  He answered, "Who says there's anything wrong with suffering?  I mean it's all in how we perceive reality.  Who's to say that children dying of starvation need to be rescued?  Maybe starvation is a good thing but our society has decided to call it bad."

I know, this guys brains didn't just fall out, they got run over by a truck!  Meanwhile our cameraman starts laughing and says, "Right! Tape up his mouth for two weeks and then he can tell us if starvation is a good thing!"

Isn't it odd that people who boast about being open minded are often those who consider themselves to be so highly intelligent, but can't define what truth is?  Everything is a shade of grey, nothing is black and white, true or false.  Just vague foggy guesses at what feels right at the moment.  

Being open minded isn't enough if it isn't founded firmly on truth.  Some things are black and white, unchangeable, indisputable.  Even when it isn't cool or trendy to believe them, they still stand.  I consider myself open minded, but everything I believe has to be weighed and brought in line to what the Word of God says.  Evil and hell exist.  God and His Kingdom exist.  There is only one way to know God, and there is only one way to overcome evil.  These are truths that can't be ignored.

But some well meaning Christians want to believe that it's okay to put up with a life of misery even though they also believe the verse, "By His stripes we are healed."  Maybe God wants them to suffer. Maybe God sees the good in suffering to purify their faith.  Maybe they've been chosen for a higher calling to suffer more than others because they are so special.  Maybe we should get them to share a room with the guy from USC so they can all philosophize about the wonders of suffering and tell starving children in Ethiopia to just be happy.  Really, is there any difference?

If Jesus died and rose from the dead, the captives in hell we released, the sun couldn't bear to shine, the earth trembled, all nature reacted to the death and resurrection of it's Creator, isn't it logical that if God Himself sacrificed His own life just for us, we would be able to live a new life too?  It's what He promised, but unfortunately few, very few know how to fight to find that new life.  It starts with being angry with the fact that evil has a foothold in our lives - not accepting the evil, or fearing the evil or being in awe of evil - but fighting it with all our faith and strength.   There's no better way to celebrate Jesus' victory and resurrection than making sure that everything He sacrificed for becomes real in our lives.  That takes determination and a laser-like focus. Call me narrow minded, but there's no way else to live.  


 

16 comments:

Mayela said...

I agree, i've heard many people respond to things like this USC person did. I feel like knockig on their brain to see if their awake, but then if they were really open minded they would take for consideration what Jesus did on the cross, and like you said there's no other way to live! Really like this post Mrs. Eve!

Debora Anjos said...

the best proof of His existence is our testimony but even still, there are too many people who won't accept that...

Lillian said...

I agree with every word Mrs. Evelyn... it's shameful how we believe in the word of God and that He died for us, but don't grasp the real meaning of what He did for us... Just like Mayela, I always feel like opening up the brains of these "open minded people" and making them really start to see things as an "open minded person" really would...

Divya said...

I take that challenge.

Oh, I was very open minded too in college days. I was so open minded, that my mind almost went astray. I agree with you, I used to think that I was very intelligent, and that I could see everything better than anyone else.

But when I reached the end of the straw, there was only one truth that saved me. Jesus delivered me and helped me to see more clearly.

Too much open-mindedness can actually blind a person. There's got to be a limit, and we need to have a foundation, or else "our house" will certainly fall.

suLmaaa said...

Oh my gosh, Mrs. Evelyn! I agree with you so much! If we believe in one thing, and don't accept any other alternative, we are always going to be called narrow minded!
But doesn't the bible say the path is narrow and only few go thru it??
Well like you said, I prefer to be narrow minded when it comes to God!

Cindy said...

Yes I agree. not everything we should believe. we have to distinguish good thing that we could accept and bad thing not to accept.

^_^

I think that is why God send a gift of discernment so that Christians will not be lost and identify the truth to the foggy.

thanks for this Mrs. Evelyn.

^_^
Cindy from Manila

Diana said...

hi mrs evelyn,

I also believe that this kind of people they're just saying they are open minded just to cover up their cowardness in facing the real life because if they don't then they will all put basis on things they are saying if they said everything is ok it's just because they have never been through that situation all these people for me are really full of pride just want to show off their bit earthly intelligence.

but what must we doo is to pray for them and try to tell the truth but if they just ignore, it's not in our hands anymore.

Diana from philippines

Leeanne said...

Ha, Very True Mrs.Evelyn! I can actually relate in a big way..
and I see it all differently now.

I used to be that so called "Open Minded Person"

And thought I could just see what other's couldnt and I actually led myself to believe I was right.

Big Reality check came though. Thank God I have been cleansed and washed and given a new way of thinking and learning.

Maritza Barr said...

It always amazes me to see how ignorant "open minded" people are at times. If they were really open minded (referring to this USC person) they would reason and be logical about things. For instance, does it make sense for a parent to want to see their children suffer? What pleasure does a father/ mother get out of seeing their children go through need?

The answer is quite simple, but I will mention it... in case someone doesn't get it "no parent!" This example ties in to pretty much any scenario.

Jesus died on the cross for us not to suffer. If he overcame then why are we settling for failure? I too prefer to be "narrow minded" and actually live a reasonable life...

Thanks for sharing!

Marilu said...

Open-minded, a very common word in this world.
We must be intelligent enough to prove this world what our Lord Jesus did in our behalf.

This message is super strong

Thanks Mrs. Evelyn

Alicia said...

People like that need some brains injected in their system. What a funny post, I couldn't help my self, this was too funny yet very very true.

Marites,Manila,Philippines said...

being open minded isn't enough if it isn't founded firmly on truth.

thank you for this strong article mrs.Evelyn!

God bless!

Marites,Manila,Philippines

Mishelle said...

hello Mrs Evelyn, yah i agree with you, not all information we hear are true, we have to distinguish what is true and what is not, and for us to do this we have to lean on the word of God...

there are people who taught they know and understand everything but in fact they really don't...

Mishelle
UCKG, Philippines

Dania said...

It's true and I don't think it's narrow minded. I am pretty sure that it's seeing the truth and living life by the word of God.

Debora Anjos said...

Hi Mrs Evelyn,
I decided to read this post again because I thought of this story while reading Pr Luke's blog today.

The end of your post is really powerful:

"It starts with being angry with the fact that evil has a foothold in our lives - not accepting the evil, or fearing the evil or being in awe of evil - but fighting it with all our faith and strength. There's no better way to celebrate Jesus' victory and resurrection than making sure that everything He sacrificed for becomes real in our lives".

If we fear evil or allow it to just find free access to our minds, we're negating all that Jesus went through to set us FREE!

missleon said...

My take on this is that open-minded Christians are those who do not truly believe in the Word of God. If we truly believed every Word that proceeded from God's mouth, then we would use our common sense to see that things are really are either black or white. His promises are either true or not. With God there is absolutely no grey area.