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The Bible on Being Narrow Minded?

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Evangelical Christians usually figure at the top of the list of people who have such a narrow mind that they are seen as barriers to religious harmony.

Every religion has some set of instructions, usually in written form known as its Bible or sacred writings. The follower of the religion must know what things he is to do or not to do in order to please the deity or deities he chooses to serve. If he doesn't obey his religion's teachings, it can be justifiably said that he's not true to the doctrine, whatever it may be. This vital truth is often forgotten when one hastily accuses Christians of being narrow minded. The accuser is usually someone who has virtually no knowledge of the Holy Bible, although he may profess Christianity himself. Even many ordained ministers and missionaries are shamefully deficient in their knowledge and understanding of God's word.

A Christian lady who was a youth counselor was once asked to participate in a Native American ceremony while at work. Her work place was made up of diverse employees and management wanted to show respect and interest in the diverse religions represented.

Although the Christian lady showed interest as the ceremony took place, she refused to actually participate in it. The event gave honor to the spirits and gods the people believed in. Her refusal to take part was criticized and scorned as disrespectful. Furthermore, she was labeled as narrow minded.

A Christian is someone who claims to follow the teachings of the Bible. It should make just as much sense to say that if a person refuses to follow the Bible, he's not Christian. If someone refuses to follow the Koran, how can he call himself a Muslim? If someone rejects the teachings of the Buddha, for what reason would he call himself a Buddhist?

In both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, God's servants are repeatedly and strongly warned against worshiping, honoring, or giving reverence to any god besides himself. Exodus 20:3, 5 records God's word saying, "thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them."

One might argue that the lady's simple participation in the ceremony would not have constituted worship or service to the gods involved. While such an argument certainly sounds valid, it is; nevertheless, in sharp disagreement with the Bible, the book that Christians are supposed to follow.

The woman's participation in the ceremony shows agreement with the natives' choice to serve the gods they want to worship. Whether she agreed or disagreed with their choice, the government of the United States grants them a freedom to choose not to serve her God, the God of Israel. God himself also gives everyone freedom to choose or reject him (Joshua 24:15). It is not their freedom of choice that she sought to take away but rather her own freedom to faithfully serve her Lord. If the gods do not agree, how can it make sense to expect their servants to agree with one another?

God does not give his servants the freedom to walk in agreement and support, in spiritual matters, of those who have rejected him. The scripture of 2 Corinthians 6:17 says, "and what concord hath Christ with Belial (name of an idol god) or what part hath he that believe with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols...? Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord."

The Christian who truly obeys God's word will continue to be called narrow-minded. But, his "narrow" mind is exactly what keeps his feet on the road to eternal life. The Lord Jesus said, "...narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" (Matthew 7:14).
©2008


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