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Good Morning Nanty Glo!

       Wednesday, August 18 2004 

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

Open-mindedness, 2

The writer of the letter contained in Monday's Jonal said he'd never met more close-minded people than "we Christians." I know there are close-minded churchgoers, but inasmuch as "the mark of the Christian" is love, and that anyone who fails to show love fails the test of being a Christian, I don't think such close-mindedness can be attributed to the Bible or the faith. And to love our neighbors as ourselves includes the Samaritans (representatives of the neighbors who don't share our faith, as epitomized in John's Gospel by the Samaritan "woman at the well" who was shown the love of Christ) as well as those in the household of faith, fellow Christians. To fail utterly to love our neighbors as ourselves is to fail Christianity 101. Furthermore, the Bible teaches that every man and woman descended from Adam and Eve is an icon, an image-bearer, of God himself. To fail to love that in every man and woman is to fail to love God. This is serious stuff. He continues:

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.

Most of the Christians who embark on missions to "unreached peoples" study their (nonChristian) religions in some depth before entering the field, and this is certainly what the "love thy neighbor" command requires. How can you begin an evangelistic presence among them if you don't know their presuppositions, their hopes, their fears? And how can we find these out unless we first love them enough to find out? And the "book learning" in comparative religion class is just the beginning. Real people only vaguely resemble their stereotypes and the sampling of believers representing whatever other "faith" they represent. They must be studied—nay, loved—in person often for years, sometimes for generations, before conversions begin.

We close our minds to talk of evolution because we have the story of creation in our Bible, the Word of God.

But we can't talk intelligently to any modern educated man or woman without some true knowledge about the depth and breadth of evolutionism in the schools and colleges they've attended. Christians need to know where and how Darwinism challenges biblical faith, both in order to speak to those taught such doctrines and to be strengthened to ourselves withstand its presupposition that everything that's ever happened did so by chance with no conscious mind, or God, behind it, when we're confronted by the "science."

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.

The typical answer to this from Orthodox men and women on the path of holiness is, "there is more likelihood of their being in heaven than that I," knowing their own sins and being determined to judge no one else's. The most any Christian can offer "unbelievers" is a little information, "like one beggar letting another beggar know where he might find bread," as one of the great evangelical preachers I used to sit under often said. To be proud of one's religious attainment is to fall into the error of the pharisees.

The final section of his letter concerns Christians' close-mindedness to members of other denominations or communions that also confess Christ. Lord willing, I'll take that up 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.

In a Nairobi restaurant: CUSTOMERS WHO FIND OUR WAITRESSES RUDE OUGHT TO SEE THE MANAGER.

On the grounds of a private school: NO TRESPASSING WITHOUT PERMISSION.

Sent by Mike Harris  

Thought for today

The humblest citizen of all the land, when clad in the armour of a righteous cause, is stronger than all the hosts of Error.

William Jennings Bryan  

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