Wednesday, June 24, 2015

In which I confess to being narrow-minded...



"There are two reasons in our day for holding to a strong uncompromising view of Scripture. First and foremost, this is the only way to be faithful to what the Bible teaches about itself, to what Christ teaches about Scripture, and to what the church has consistently held through the ages. This should be reason enough in itself. But today there is a second reason why we should hold to a strong, uncompromising view of Scripture. There are hard days ahead of us — for ourselves and for our spiritual and physical children. And without a strong view of Scripture as a foundation, we will not be ready for the hard days to come. Unless the Bible is without error, not only when it speaks of salvation matters, but also when it speaks of history and the cosmos, we have no foundation for answering questions concerning the existence of the universe and its form and the uniqueness of man. Nor do we have any moral absolutes, or certainty of salvation, and the next generation of Christians will have nothing on which to stand. Our spiritual and physical children will be left with the ground cut out from under them, with no foundation upon which to build their faith or their lives."
Francis Schaeffer, The Great Evangelical Disaster


I'm here to confess to you that I am narrow-minded.  If you held a gun to my head and asked me to renounce the above view of scripture, I'd have to let you shoot me.  You see, I don't think the Bible is a good book.  I think it's God's Word, from "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth" in Genesis 1:1 to "The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen." in Revelation 22:21 and every word in between.  I believe it means what it says and says what it means, and that when parables and symbolism are being used, the text itself usually points that out. Because of that, I don't believe we can pick and choose what parts we want to embrace, while explaining away other parts that we don't like. That's why I believe many things that are currently considered to be out of touch, narrow-minded, and culturally irrelevant.
So go ahead and call me narrow-minded. I'm trying to keep to the narrow way deliberately. Label me an old fashioned dinosaur.  But, God forbid, don't you dare call me hard hearted or unloving.  Because the same Word that guided me to the above beliefs also taught me these.
Last spring a blog friend/writer wrote a post on a current cultural hot topic taking a stance that I disagree with theologically.  I, as lovingly as I could, posted a comment with my point a view.  A few weeks later I attended a conference where I heard her speak. Her message was full of truth, full of scripture, and delivered with a sincere and humble heart. After the message, I genuinely, sincerely hugged her and thanked her for her message.  Later that weekend, I ate a meal with her and thoroughly enjoyed our conversation.    Do I still disagree with her stance?  Yes, I do. She knows I do.  Maybe she even thinks I'm narrow-minded.  But, I can pretty much guarantee she knows I genuinely care for her.  I stood for what I believe in a respectful way, which she did in return to me.  That's a rare thing, friends.  This online world is all too often an ugly and spiteful place.  There's a way to stand up for what you believe without being hateful or demeaning in your words or tone.  We can do better.


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23 comments:

  1. Good words here. I don't care for it when I see fellow Christians putting other Christians down but I do think there is a polite way to disagree in love. Good job!

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    1. Yes, to be able to disagree in love is only possible with dependence on God to help us to only say what He wants us to say, when and how He wants us to say it, or write it, as the case may be.

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  2. That'll preach, sister. Good, good word.

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  4. Hi Elizabeth! You are so right. We can do better. We can learn to respect each other, even if we disagree. This post is so timely. Our world is full of violence and hatred of people who do not believe what someone else does. Why is this a free pass to harm?

    I think it's so much better to just express your opinion, and live in the love and peace of Jesus. He accepted everyone, while certainly not agreeing with everyone. He is our way and truth.
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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    1. Ceil, I want so much for the love of Jesus to show through me, even to those I disagree with! I am dependent on God to show me how to stay true to what I believe is the biblical standard and still walk in love and grace.

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  5. Amen, and amen. You are brave and courageous to speak, Elizabeth. It's funny, I'm actually braver to speak on "hot" topics in person, where the person I'm talking to can {hopefully} see my heart, hear the tone of my voice, etc. Words are tricky and it's hard sometimes to convey emotion with the written word. I'm very hesitant to comment on controversial topics online because I'm worried the person will read my words, but not hear my heart. Need to work on that . . .

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    1. That's true, June. I think that's why people often write so harshly, the anonymity makes them feel safe. I don't want to be like that. I want even my written words to be soaked in prayer, and filled with love and grace while being faithful to the truth.

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  6. Here's to doing better.......... desiring with you to be the plumbline keeper (yes, narrow-minded) in a world where people need our care and concern and attention as image-bearers along with God's heart to shine a light on the truth.
    I so appreciate you.

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    1. And I love and appreciate you, my friend.

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  7. I believer, too - what you said - exactly! Narrow-minded? Not, really, it really is liberating!

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    1. It's comforting to get a few "me too" comments!

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  8. I love this and agree with you! Elizabeth, you worded this "narrow minded" way so much better than I ever have. Thank you for standing with scripture as you do and taking a bold stance like this! I really admire you and respect you even more after reading this!! Following Gods truth and doing so in love can be done, and we must strive for both.
    Blessings,
    Leslie

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    1. Yes, truth in love, a balance that we definitely need the Holy Spirit to achieve!

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  9. Great words, dear friend. I'm with you on everything you said. I'm narrow-minded, too, but my heart longs to be open to share love and friendship with those who don't agree. I see it happening in a group of gals I spend time with - and it is refreshing to see how God works. He uses us - narrow-minded people - when we shine His light and His love.
    ~Adrienne~

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    1. Yes, sticking to our convictions while being loving. That's a balance only God can help us achieve.

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  10. Great post Elizabeth and your words hold so much truth. I agree, let's stand up for what we believe without being hateful or demeaning. Blessings and thanks for sharing at Good Morning Mondays.

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