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Open-mindedness is one of our highest values. We encourage growth in knowledge, discovery of new truths, free thinkers and think tanks. Narrow-mindedness closes the door to new insights, exiting discoveries and fascinating new vistas.
Among the narrow-mined are the bigots, the mentally blind, the stagnate and fools. But, could it be, that on occasion, the narrow-minded approach is the way of the wise while others are so open-minded that their brains fall out?
Jesus of Nazareth said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it” (Matt 7:13). Jesus tells us we should narrow in.
Christians are often accused of being narrow-minded. The charge really needs to brought to our Lord Jesus. His claims, “I am the bread of life,” “I am the light of the world,” and “I am the door” seen singular and exclusive. What do you do with a guy who says in John 8:24, “Unless you believe that I am He [God’s chosen One] you shall die in your sins?” You either put him in an asylum or you follow Him as your Master.
The musician does not say, “Any note will do.” The doctor doesn’t say, “Any medicine will do.” So what nonsense overtakes us when we say, “Any religion will do?” My teacher said, “Children, put your thinking caps on.”
“Narrow-minded” Christians for the past two millennia have been confessing, “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:2).
Many profound religious leaders of all types have come along. They have said, “I’ll show you the way. I’ll teach you the truth. I’ll instruct you in life.” But Jesus says, “I am the way, I am the truth, I am the life. No one comes to the father except through me” (John 14:6). Pretty audacious wouldn’t you say? Who is this Jesus anyway? Glad you asked!
Some would like to make Jesus out to be a philosopher, political activist, or one of the “ascended masters.” Jesus claimed to be none of these.
Jesus claimed to be the only Son of God (John 3:16 5:16-18)
to have the power to forgive sins (Mark 2:5-7)
the power to raise the dead (John 5:24-25)
and the authority to judge mankind (John 5:27).
You may accept it or reject it but the Bible clearly teaches, “There is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. (1 Tim 2:5-6). Had Jesus thought that other religious would do the Job He would certainly have avoided Jerusalem and passed up the cross. He died there convinced that He was God’s ransom to set us free from sin and judgment (Mark 10:45).
Many are offended with Jesus’ claim to be the only way to God. But the drowning person doesn’t complain that the life ring is the wrong color. I have never heard anyone protest that oxygen should not be an essential element. Still, many would like to think of following Jesus as an optional religious hobby. Some say what is really important is sincerity. “
“It’s not what you believe, it’s that you believe it sincerely.” Does that make sense to the horse? What would you say to the mechanic who says, “You don’t need oil in your crank case.” Use sand, water or flower petals. The important thing is to be sincere.” Sincerity is certainly desirable but it only functions in tandem with truth. “Faith is like a rope,” says Dr. Michael Green. “”It matters enormously what you attach it to.”
Whoever heard of someone phoning a friend and thinking in their “open-mindedness” that any number should do the job? How can what is nonsense in everyday life suddenly become profound wisdom when dealing with religion? Witness some open-minded folks who say, “All religious are basically the same.” On the surface this seems tolerant, humane, conciliatory. But attempts at harmonizing religions produces ear-jarring cacophony.
My friend, all religions could be false but they cannot all be true.
Try to harmonize the views of God: One? Many? None? The god of self?
Check out the views of the afterlife:
Merging with the cosmic whole?
Resurrection to hell or to heaven.
When someone says, “All religions are basically the same,” are they thinking of religions which cripple the feet of women, sacrifice children, eat their enemies, force children into “sacred” prostitution, or practice “honor” killing? It just won’t mix. The discrepancies between various religious systems are irreconcilable. Although we may find things of value in a number of religions there is a lot of rot that passes as spirituality.
When Jesus comes again in the glory clouds of heaven with an innumerable host of angels, some religious folks will be upset! But they will not be able to protest, “Leave me alone, Jesus, I’m trying to tap into my god-self” or “ Jesus, how dare you break my reincarnation cycle!” Every eye will see him. It will be the most colossal reality check!
Many religions pursue vaporous and intangible delusions. Real Christians eagerly wait for the substantial and concrete return of our crucified and risen Savior. The power of His indestructible life assures us that we will live with Him forever (John 6:51; 14:19). That’s why we call Jesus’ message, “Good News!”
If you are hunting for a nice religion you have literally hundreds to choose from. In fact, new designer religions are being fabricated every day. But if you are hunting for LIFE come to the narrow way that is universally open to all! Jesus invites in Matthew 11:28 “Come to me ALL you who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest.” I commend to you Jesus the only Son of the living God!
Where to from here? Anywhere if you don’t care about your destination. But if you are asking, “How do I enter the narrow road that leads to life?” I suggest the following:
Read the New Testament accounts of Jesus. You will find yourself falling in love.
Believe the far-out truth that God really loves you and proved it in His Son.
Own up to your own sins, your shortcomings and mortality before God.
Ask Jesus to forgive your sings, to be your Master, to come into your life and make you a new person. He will!
Be determined to grow in your new life by communicating with God every day!
Plug into a sincere group of Christians who strive to live out the truth of God’s word in the power of the Holy Spirit!
Horses are known for horse-sense. Keep your mind and heart open to the narrow way of the Lord Jesus Christ. Enter in the narrow door that leads to broad open places!
Steve Johnson, LandingStripEnterprises.Com