Are You Open Minded ?
Or are you really just closed to views you don’t like ?
Our society and culture are quick to tout the virtue of being ‘open-minded’ and just as quick to condemn anyone with a ‘narrow’ viewpoint (those who already have their minds made up on an issue). One of the members of the IRC channel I am an operator in brought up a very interesting thought a few days back. She blogged it and has given me permission to use it:
Here’s a thought…. the other day I was having a conversation in a Yahoo games chatroom. I was voicing my opinion on a topic and as usual took the conservative view. Others in the room who took the liberal view were congratulating themselves on how open-minded they were. Later it occurred to me……..Taking the liberal view on any topic is NOT being open-minded!!!!! The dictionary definition of “open-minded” (from Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary found at m-w.com) is: receptive to arguments or ideas. This means one has not yet formed an opinion, be it liberal or conservative! Grrrrrrr well just wait til I encounter the next liberal with an opinion who dares call him/herself open-minded!
How ironic! Fact of the matter is that most people who claim to be ‘open-minded’ but are quick to condemn ‘conservative’ viewpoints as being closed mindedâ€¦.are really just as arrogant as the people they condemn.
Applied to the discussion of Christianity, if you’ve already formed an opinion in your mind that Christianity is not right, then no matter what language you use, you’re not being ‘open-minded’ when you approach the subject. If you’re willing to entertain any other viewpoint but Christianity, you’re not open-minded â€“ you’re biased. And that would make you just as guilty as the Christian folk you seek to condemn for their ‘narrow’ viewpoints.
A person with a truly open mind approaching the subject of Christianity and other religious truth claims realizes that the view that they currently hold may be in error. And the same level of scrutiny that they willing to apply to Christianity should be equally applied to their own viewpoint.
So if you would peg yourself as being ‘open-minded’ â€¦. Carefully consider whether or not you’re really willing to concede that you are wrong about your opinion of the Christian faith and the religious truth claims of Jesus. Jesus not only claimed to be a ‘good teacher’, but He claimed to be God. As such, what you believe about Him is of paramount importance. If the matter is simply intellectual and a matter of a lack of knowledge, there are plenty of resources available to answer your questions about the Christian faith. But if all your intellectual objections to the Christian faith were answered and you still would not be willing to concedeâ€¦ what’s the real reason you reject the Christian faith ?