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Good Morning Nanty Glo!

       Monday, August 16 2004 

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

Open-mindedness

On August 6, I chose for the Thought for the Day one that come in a collection I received from Trudy Myers:

The mind is like a parachute; it works much better when it's open.

I sometimes select "thoughts" that I don't entirely agree with but feel they're good food for thought. But this time I considered the possibility that someone might challenge me on it as in the past my "intolerance" has been argued. But as I considered the thought, I concluded, "No, this is a thought I can fully support myself. It may be up for interpretation, but I'm willing to defend it if it comes to that."

The next day, I did get a challenge, not directly, but in general terms, in this letter received from a reader who agreed to be quoted but prefers not to be named:

When I first read Friday's thought for the day...I nodded my head in an agreement. However, the more I turned the idea over in my mind, the more disconcerting it became. In my 65 years of living, studying, talking and traveling, I have never personally met a group more closed-minded than we Christians. While we may discuss religion with other faiths, our minds are closed because we know they don't believe in our Bible, the Word of God. We close our minds to talk of evolution because we have the story of creation in our Bible, the Word of God. We can close our minds when people of other beliefs talk of Heaven and eternal life. We know they won't be there because they don't believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as we are admonished to do in our Bible, the Word of God. We can talk of living in harmony with people of other faiths but our minds are closed to that idea because to do so would be shirking our marching orders to go forth and convert the nations to Jesus Christ as we are instructed to do in our Bible, the Word of God.

Putting aside the idea of being open minded toward other religions, we Christians have yet to open our minds to other Christians. For instance, my wife changed from the Roman Catholic Church to the Protestant Church when we got married. Although her family doesn't say so to my face, they believe I have led her down the path to perdition. She has told me that she was taught in Catechism that she would go to hell if she entered a Protestant church. By the same token, within the past year, I heard a Baptist minister declare that the Pope is the Anti-Christ. Not too long ago, I heard a Brethren minister refer to the Roman Catholic faith as a sect rather than a fellow Christian religion. My own WASP forbears were so anti-catholic that they joined the Klu Klux Klan.

To tell the truth, there are a lot of Christians I wouldn't want to pack my parachute for fear it wouldn't open.

There is a lot to chew on here. I think a lot of Christians are this close-minded, but I think that the Bible, which I believe is the written Word of God, doesn't teach close-mindedness. My favorite seminary professor used to say "open minds are like open windows; they need screens to keep the bugs out." I like that and will take it up in more detail next time.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy 

Foreign approach

People in other countries sometimes go out of their way to communicate with their English-speaking tourists. Here is a collection of signs seen around the world.

Information booklet about using a hotel air conditioner, Japan: COOLES AND HEATES: IF YOU WANT CONDITION OF WARM AIR IN YOUR ROOM, PLEASE CONTROL YOURSELF.

Car rental brochure, Tokyo: WHEN PASSENGER OF FOOT HEAVE IN SIGHT, TOOTLE THE HORN. TRUMPET HIM MELODIOUSLY AT FIRST, BUT IF HE STILL OBSTACLES YOUR PASSAGE THEN TOOTLE HIM WITH VIGOUR.

Sent by Mike Harris  

Thought for today

Love without religion is the plucked rose. Religion without love—there is no such thing. Religion is the bush that bears all the roses; for religion is the natural condition of man in relation to the eternal facts, that is, the truths, of his own being. To live is to love; there is no life but love. What shape the love puts on, depends on the persons between whom is the relation. The poorest love with religion, is better, because truer, therefore more lasting, more genuine, more endowed with the possibility of persistence—that is, of infinite development, than the most passionate devotion between man and woman without it.

George Macdonald, 1824-1905  

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