Friday, September 17, 2010

The Advantages of Being Narrow-minded

If you are a Christian, a genuine follower of Christ who believes in the Bible and all it teaches, be prepared. You are ... narrow-minded. Yes, you. You're not a "free thinker" (defined, oddly, as "one who doubts or denies religious dogma"). By aligning yourself with all that stuff you stand in opposition to all sorts of stuff like "free love" and science and ... well, all sorts of stuff. You, you ... you narrow-minded bigot! Of course, the label is common, but the truth is far from it. Consider a couple of examples.

The Bible teaches that sex was created by God for a man and woman who are married. "Oh, now that's narrow-minded." It is only for the man and woman who are married, and it is primarily for the purpose of reproduction. "See? Prude! Puritan! Victorian!" And so, if we concur with the biblical perspective, we are the ones who are "narrow". The "open minded" among us see sex as entertainment. No limits. No "primary purpose" except personal pleasure. Now that's broad thinking, see? Of course, I'd have to answer with "No". The biblical perspective on sex holds it in much higher regard than the standard view of today. It is physical, sure, but it is much, much more. It is emotional (which is being more and more disregarded today) and, beyond that, spiritual. It is the mystical union of man and woman. The two become one in much more than a merely physical sense. It is an actual joining beyond the simple connection of bodies or senses. All of that is far outside the perspective of the modern "free thinker". It cannot be. The Bible isabundantly clear that sex is pleasurable. You can't read the Song of Solomon without coming to that clear conclusion. Solomon quite wisely counseled young husbands regarding their wives, "Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight" (Prov 5:18-19). The high view, then, that the Bible holds for sexual relations certainly includes the "free thinker" concept that it's pleasurable and good. So, if the "narrow" view includes a high regard for sex as well as a genuine appreciation for its pleasure, but the "open" view only allows for pleasure, which is the broader view?

How about the "science versus faith" controversy? If you are a follower of the Bible, you will certainly end up on the "bad" side of that fight. You are narrow-minded if you think that "God created the Earth" and all that nonsense. The "open-minded" folk know that there is no god. Stephen Hawking assured us of what atheistic science has claimed all along -- that science (with a prerequisite commitment to pure physicalism) doesn't need God anymore because science has all the answers. Now that is "free thinking". Or ... is it? You see, we who claim that God created all that is are the only ones with the answer to the question, "How can there be something from nothing?" We're the only ones with a rational explanation of the vast data encoded in DNA. We are the only ones with answers to the origins of life. Further, because we are committed to "God created" does not mean that we cannot appreciate science. It was, after all, the perspective that God created everything and, being a rational being, would likely have made the universe rational that started modern scientific inquiry. No, believing in a Divine Being encouragesthe enjoyment of "thinking God's thoughts after Him" -- of scientific studies. So we have one side that denies any possibility of the supernatural and the other side which embraces both the supernatural and the natural. So ... why is it that the side with only the natural is labeled "free thinking" while the side that embraces both is "narrow-minded"?

It's an interesting thought exercise. The more you meander down this road of biblical versus worldly thinking, the more evident it becomes that biblical thinking is much broader than worldly thinking. It seems like those who are "open-minded" let their brains leak out or something. I'll take the "narrow-minded" label any day if it means I can see more broadly than the "open-minded". Of course, we're going to have to work on definitions -- again -- aren't we?
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The Advantages of Being Narrow-minded

If you are a Christian, a genuine follower of Christ who believes in the Bible and all it teaches, be prepared. You are ... narrow-minded. Yes, you. You're not a "free thinker" (defined, oddly, as "one who doubts or denies religious dogma"). By aligning yourself with all that stuff you stand in opposition to all sorts of stuff like "free love" and science and ... well, all sorts of stuff. You, you ... you narrow-minded bigot! Of course, the label is common, but the truth is far from it. Consider a couple of examples.

The Bible teaches that sex was created by God for a man and woman who are married. "Oh, now that's narrow-minded." It is only for the man and woman who are married, and it is primarily for the purpose of reproduction. "See? Prude! Puritan! Victorian!" And so, if we concur with the biblical perspective, we are the ones who are "narrow". The "open minded" among us see sex as entertainment. No limits. No "primary purpose" except personal pleasure. Now that's broad thinking, see? Of course, I'd have to answer with "No". The biblical perspective on sex holds it in much higher regard than the standard view of today. It is physical, sure, but it is much, much more. It is emotional (which is being more and more disregarded today) and, beyond that, spiritual. It is the mystical union of man and woman. The two become one in much more than a merely physical sense. It is an actual joining beyond the simple connection of bodies or senses. All of that is far outside the perspective of the modern "free thinker". It cannot be. The Bible isabundantly clear that sex is pleasurable. You can't read the Song of Solomon without coming to that clear conclusion. Solomon quite wisely counseled young husbands regarding their wives, "Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight" (Prov 5:18-19). The high view, then, that the Bible holds for sexual relations certainly includes the "free thinker" concept that it's pleasurable and good. So, if the "narrow" view includes a high regard for sex as well as a genuine appreciation for its pleasure, but the "open" view only allows for pleasure, which is the broader view?

How about the "science versus faith" controversy? If you are a follower of the Bible, you will certainly end up on the "bad" side of that fight. You are narrow-minded if you think that "God created the Earth" and all that nonsense. The "open-minded" folk know that there is no god. Stephen Hawking assured us of what atheistic science has claimed all along -- that science (with a prerequisite commitment to pure physicalism) doesn't need God anymore because science has all the answers. Now that is "free thinking". Or ... is it? You see, we who claim that God created all that is are the only ones with the answer to the question, "How can there be something from nothing?" We're the only ones with a rational explanation of the vast data encoded in DNA. We are the only ones with answers to the origins of life. Further, because we are committed to "God created" does not mean that we cannot appreciate science. It was, after all, the perspective that God created everything and, being a rational being, would likely have made the universe rational that started modern scientific inquiry. No, believing in a Divine Being encouragesthe enjoyment of "thinking God's thoughts after Him" -- of scientific studies. So we have one side that denies any possibility of the supernatural and the other side which embraces both the supernatural and the natural. So ... why is it that the side with only the natural is labeled "free thinking" while the side that embraces both is "narrow-minded"?

It's an interesting thought exercise. The more you meander down this road of biblical versus worldly thinking, the more evident it becomes that biblical thinking is much broader than worldly thinking. It seems like those who are "open-minded" let their brains leak out or something. I'll take the "narrow-minded" label any day if it means I can see more broadly than the "open-minded". Of course, we're going to have to work on definitions -- again -- aren't we?
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