Are Christians Closed-Minded?

May 10, 2012

Isn’t it rude and closed-minded for Christians to say that Jesus is the only way to God? This is a common complaint that I hear about the Christian faith. People say that Christians should be more open-minded and recognize that there are many ways to God and that all religions are equally valid. I am convinced that, while this may sound nice, there is nothing rude or closed minded about the claim that Jesus is the only way.

Imagine a doctor prescribing a particular medicine that could save the life of your child. On your way home from the doctor’s office you walk past street venders selling, among other things, alternative medicines and remedies. Each vendor claims that your child could be saved by their special mixture of herbs and vitamins. You get home and call the doctor and ask her if her prescription is really the only cure for your child. Is it closed minded or rude for your doctor to insist loudly that the various vitamins and herbs being sold are unable to cure the particular disease that your child has and that only the medicine she has prescribed can cure? Of course it is not. In fact, if she did anything else she might be charged with malpractice. It is important to tell the truth. There is nothing rude or closed minded about it.

All of humanity has a particular sickness called sin. The scriptures tell us that the death and resurrection of Jesus provided the cure to that sickness. And Jesus stated that he was the only way (John 14:6). Like the good doctor we are called to be honest about these facts. It is important to tell the truth. We should do so with kindness and understanding but with the firmness that comes from the conviction that faith in Jesus is what is really needed to heal the wounded soul.

Advertisements

6 Responses to “Are Christians Closed-Minded?”

  1. Rob Henry Says:

    I believe yours is an excellent point.
    To complicate matters, though, I could imagine some may point to what we call “sin” as something of a mental health issue, such as depression or anxiety. And, describing sin in that way, they may point out that there are several ways to treat depression and anxiety. Though sin is harder to define than a mental health issue to someone who has no interest in the possibility that there is a moral law giver, I am convinced that the Holy Spirit as well as loving and logical explanations of natural truth can communicate to those who are willing to listen, even if they have not believed in a moral law giver.

  2. Grundy Says:

    Nice analogy. I don’t understand the perspective that all religions are equally valid. Almost every faith has something against accepting false gods, and from one religion’s point of view the gods of other religions are false.

    I make it a point to never worship false gods.

  3. Tafacory Says:

    I think you assume your case is correct and then proceed to argue from an extremely flawed analogy. Comparing a doctor’s prescriptions to whatever it may be that street vendors are peddling and Christianity to other religions is not the same thing. For one, doctors are experts. Their knowledge is certain. No religious knowledge is on that certain of a ground. The doctor’s field deals with empirically testable subjects. He can gain knowledge by learning if he is right or wrong in doing various things. But we can’t make the same claim with religion because there are so many competing religious traditions and numerous denominations within each of those traditions. Furthermore, nearly every tradition has a mystical branch that deals with religious experiences and often times these contradict each other or claim to be exclusive. So if that’s the case, Christianity must show that its case is stronger than those put forth by other traditions. That’s where philosophy comes in. But there are numerous and strong arguments against Theism, especially as Christianity as painted it (Trinitarian). What’s more, the Bible seems to be full of contradictions and fragments pieced together haphazardly over long periods of time. So yes, if Christians objectively look at this evidence, fail to rebute it, refuse to be intellectually honest by conceding epistemic defeat, and continue to claim that they somehow possess and control the “truth,” then yes, they are close-minded and rude. Nice try though.

    • aar Says:

      Hi Tafacory,

      My comments are below yours.

      //I think you assume your case is correct and then proceed to argue from an extremely flawed analogy.//

      You are right that I assume my case is right. We all assume our opinions are right (or we would not hold those opinions). The article was limited in scope. There is of course a huge long argument as to whether or not Christianity is true or not. Read this blog and you will see long arguments both in the posts and in the comments where I argue that Christianity is correct.

      From reading your post I think you don’t even agree with the second part of this. The analogy is true if you accept that Christianity is true. And that was my whole point. If Christianity is true (or the doctor is right), it is not rude or closed minded to say so.

      //Comparing a doctor’s prescriptions to whatever it may be that street vendors are peddling and Christianity to other religions is not the same thing. For one, doctors are experts. Their knowledge is certain. No religious knowledge is on that certain of a ground.//

      I strenuously disagree. I am quite convinced that Christianity is certainly true. I could be wrong of course just as it is possible that a doctor is wrong (malpractice happens all the time).

      //The doctor’s field deals with empirically testable subjects. He can gain knowledge by learning if he is right or wrong in doing various things. But we can’t make the same claim with religion because there are so many competing religious traditions and numerous denominations within each of those traditions. //

      I don’t think this is true at all. I think that Christianity makes certain claims that can be evaluated for logical, philosophical, historical, and experiential truth.

      //Furthermore, nearly every tradition has a mystical branch that deals with religious experiences and often times these contradict each other or claim to be exclusive.//

      Right. I don’t agree that religions contradict. That was actually the whole point of the analogy. But the fact that people disagree doesn’t mean that no one is right (or that everyone is right). It simply means people disagree.

      //So if that’s the case, Christianity must show that its case is stronger than those put forth by other traditions. That’s where philosophy comes in.//

      There are also historical, theological, ethical, and experiential considerations.

      //But there are numerous and strong arguments against Theism, especially as Christianity as painted it (Trinitarian). What’s more, the Bible seems to be full of contradictions and fragments pieced together haphazardly over long periods of time. So yes, if Christians objectively look at this evidence, fail to rebute it, refuse to be intellectually honest by conceding epistemic defeat, and continue to claim that they somehow possess and control the “truth,” then yes, they are close-minded and rude. Nice try though.//

      This whole section misses the point. You are saying that Christianity is wrong and therefore cannot be the only truth. But that is not the point of my post. As I noted above, my point was that if Christianity is right, it is not rude to say that it is exclusively right.

  4. St. Tracy Says:

    You’re an idiot


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: