On Narrow-Mindedness

After writing yesterday’s blog post, I thought I would address another false accusation often made against Christians: that Christians are narrow-minded because they believe Jesus is the only way to God. In fact, it has become quite fashionable to believe all religions provide equally valid paths to God. In times past, those better educated than we are today did not make such silly errors.

To believe one thing to the exclusion of something contradictory is not narrow-minded but rational. To believe two contradictory propositions is not being open-minded; it’s just stupid. If Mohammad said Jesus was only a prophet, but Jesus said He was God in human flesh, it would be irrational to say both were correct. And, of course, Jesus said no one could come to God except through Him (John 14:6), a statement that doesn’t leave any wiggle room for those desiring a religious pluralism. It’s not open-minded to pervert the words of the founders of religions to fit one’s own purposes; it’s dishonest.

My experience has been that Christians on a whole are more open-minded than unbelievers. Think about it: to have become a Christian one must have gone from one set of beliefs to a set of contrary beliefs. Such change does not occur unless one is open-minded. Conversion is a radical word, but it is absolutely necessary to becoming a Christian. However, the unbeliever, who has persisted in his unbelief, continuing to cling to the same belief system, has proven himself close-minded.

Between the Christian and the unbeliever, it is the Christian who has been demonstrably open-minded. GS

On Faith

Pliny the Elder, a first century writer who was not a Christian, wrote in his book, Natural History, “So, here indeed is a phenomenon unique among the sciences; anyone claiming to be a doctor is immediately trusted, although in no other profession is an untruth more dangerous.”  Pliny makes a good point, not just an ironic one. 

Everyone lives by faith.  People entrust their health, their finances, their love and, at one time or another just about everything else to others.  The question is never whether people have faith but, “Faith in what or whom?”

A long time ago, I put my faith in Jesus–not just that He existed.  That’s a no-brainer.  No real historian doubts that Jesus existed.  What I mean is I put my faith in Jesus, the Person, that He was who He said He was, therefore I can trust what He said (i.e., that He died for my sins), and is the Savior of those who trust in Him.  He has never betrayed my trust.

As Pliny says, people immediately trust doctors, not based on any evidence, but blind faith.  Jesus never asked for people to trust in Him based on anything so superficial as a title.  Jesus didn’t criticize Thomas for asking for evidence and instead said to him, “Put your finger here; see my hands.  Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” (John 20:27).  To religious leaders who doubted Jesus’ deity, Jesus said, “But that you may know the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…,” then He healed a paralyzed man right before their eyes. (Luke 5:24-25).  Pretty good evidence.  Jesus also offered people the evidence of experience, inviting them to drink of the water He would give them.  (John 4:13-14).

So, next time somebody accuses you of having blind faith, ask them if they’ve ever been to the doctor.  GS