A few years ago I was reading a magazine about creation science in the shipyard lunchroom. Another carpenter friend came by and asked me "Are you open minded about that?" I thought about it for a minute but finally said "no."
Now before you go off proclaiming how "closed minded" Christians are, etc., think about it for a minute. We are told to "question everything," and rightly so, because that is how truth is found. But do such teachers really mean "everything"? I don't think so. Who do you know that is credited for questioning the theory of evolution, for example? In this society, the good people are the ones who concede to what they are told, but only by the natural culture at large: man made global warming is a fact; gay marriage is only fair; illegal border crossers are now "undocumented immigrants."; those opposed to our left-of-center President's policies are racists; etc. The mantra to "question everything" is expected to be applied only to those issues which the politically correct have asserted to be politically incorrect.
This imposed imbalance is the problem. A growing human must question all things fairly and judiciously. It is the mark of impending adulthood when teenagers, who for so many years simply believed everything their parents said, instead begin to "question everything" that ever passed their parent's lips. But maturity is finally manifest in these young lives when they begin to draw solid conclusions on a host of major issues. The questioning must come, but it must also end. A person who uses their open mind to gather good facts and consider a range of intelligent opinions should eventually be satisfied with a quality answer, and then close his mind and move on. It sounds terrible (politically incorrect?), I know, but here is the Biblical proverb related to this idea: A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. James 1:8
After earning my BS in geology (while regularly finding the weaknesses in the "evidence" for natural spontaneous origins which my professors offered in the classroom), continuing to read and study and listen to hundreds of straight assertions regarding evolution, and looking deeply into the arguments made by creation-concluding scientists, I found that I had made up my mind on the subject. My mind was as closed (established) as my friend's was. I was certainly open to discussions on the subject because each of us loves to rescue others from their false ideas and win over converts to our much better side, right?
There are two points to be made here, regarding apologetics, the theme of this month's A to Z postings:
First, let's not deprecate those who have their minds made up as if they have supposedly failed to "question everything." Before you conclude that the reason they believe in "such foolishness" must be because they have just accepted some teaching without thinking, or simply because their parents had similar views, offer to compare ideas and discuss the merits of your differing beliefs.
Secondly, we must take responsibility for ourselves to make sure we do "question" enough. Perhaps a hundred years ago, the cultural pressure to "be christian" in this country created a lot of unthinking religious people. The tables have turned now, and the pressure to be secular and humanist may cause many to bypass the riches of Christian discipleship without ever realizing, or questioning, the loss
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