Open-Minded or Gullible?|
Christians are often depicted as closed-minded, superstitious, uneducated, and backwards in their ways. This image is portrayed in television, movies, newspapers, and popular media. It is a false, prejudicial stereotype that has been created by those who despise Christianity and resent that its teachings make them accountable for their own sins. Nevertheless, they have been effective in propagating this image and changing the perception of Christianity.
Because of this perception, there is a temptation for Christians to make efforts to change this impression. No one wants to be regarded as foolish and backwards, so Christians naturally want to emerge from this negative stereotype. To do this, some Christians have attempted to become more sophisticated and educated in the ways of the world so that they become legitimized in the eyes of the world. They want to be open-minded and progressive in their thinking so that others will see them positively.
This can create a dangerous situation in which a Christian can be duped into accepting a popular belief that is false and contrary to the faith. Paul warned Timothy of this situation in 1Timothy 6:20-21 – “O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called ‘knowledge’ – which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith.” Paul’s admonition to guard the treasure of the Christian faith implies that it stands in danger of attack by false arguments raised against it. If we open ourselves up to these arguments in the name of open-mindedness, then we let our guard down and put our faith in danger.
Therefore, let us firmly stand on the foundation of truth, and let us not be moved from it. When considering someone else’s belief or opinion, set some rules to keep yourself anchored lest you drift away from the truth. Consider these rules:
These are not all of the rules that a Christian should follow as a good defender of the faith, but these make for a good start. In any case, consider that the best defense of the faith is a good offense. Therefore, defend the faith (1Pet. 3:14-15) by wielding the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Eph. 6:17). Use the Word of God to destroy “speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God” (2Cor. 10:5). Do not be gullible to false, worldly teaching, “carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming” (Eph. 4:14). And finally, keep in mind that it really does not matter how the world chooses to perceive you as long as you are right in the sight of God.
Stacey E. Durham
|Click here to host your
own church web site today!