no such thing as an open mind
i've been utilizing a feature on google lately called the google alert. if you haven't yet tried this you should check it out. essentially it is a search engine that searches key words for you daily and then alerts you by email of its findings. i have been using it to search key words and phrases in websites and newspapers that pertain to missoula.
the other day it pointed me to the website of the montana freethinkers. the website is pretty interesting where a few people are posting thoughts on religion and philosophy and other topics. on the menu bar, however, is a list of several religions including "ex-christian."
i am about to go on a bit of a rant, which i normally don't do, but this website has a good bit of discussion about christianity. some of it i agree with and most of it i don't, but the insulting thing is that there is not a christian point-of-view. if we would have posted all about mormonism and what is wrong with it here at sld, we would have been hammered. in fact, i think we have shown about as open a mind as is possible towards the mormon position or any other position for that matter. we don't necessarily agree with all the comments left here from these various viewpoints, but we allow people to share their views. and, i know i speak for my fellow authors here that we genuinely want to know how others see the world, even if we don't agree with them.
what i am ranting about is that christians are always critiqued for being closed-minded. i don't disagree with the critique entirely, but i do disagree with this label coming from people who get to define what open-mindedness is in the first place...not to mention they label everyone who doesn't agree with them as closed-minded. doesn't their exclusion of anyone make them closed-minded as well?
i am not here to blast the montana freethinkers...i rather like a lot of what they are writing because it represents the opinions of a broad group of people (who are seeking spiritual things) about christianity and the church. many of their critiques should not be aimed at christianity, however, but at the church itself...but that is a whole other blog. what i am trying to say in this post is that there is no such thing as an open-mind. what would be the fun in the world if everyone had a so-called open mind? there would be no disagreement, no ethics, no debate, and no diversity.
everyone has some sort of value that they hold to that makes them right and others wrong and a certian value makes a person closed to a different value they don't agree with. people who don't believe in god think that christians are closed-minded (and they may be right in some respects) but atheists are also closed-minded because they are not open to the christian message.
but here's the rub. people are sinners and therefore will never be right about everything they believe in this life. john calvin said, "at best a man's theology is only 70% correct." calvin was one of the greatest theologians of all time and he said, "at best." therefore we need to realize that because of sin and the fact that we are human, we can't know or be right about everything. therefore, we need to have a certain amount of openness about things that we really need to be willing to change on. but we also need to be closed to things that are not in line with what is dogmatic truth. for christians we can be open about everything except what is written in the bible.
but what about you? what is your standard that keeps you from being open to the wrong things? everyone wants to be open-minded. but only a correctly closed mind can be open to what is actually true.